Ride Sally Responses
So, I just wanted to say, I read Ride, Sally, Ride over the weekend, and it was so, so good. Like really good. I read Flags Out Front a couple months ago, and have a particular fondness for those characters, so I wasn’t sure how RSR would hit me (especially with an unconventional plot set-up). But after reading it, I really think Ace & Stephanie, etc, are top notch. Thanks so much for a great read.
One thing I have noticed in your fiction is how often you make things “work out” with complex situations. Whether a character is in a confused state of mind, in a relational bind, or a life & death situation, it all just sort of falls into place, and God makes things click. I like this style a lot (especially when it comes to a character’s salvation), and it makes me wonder how often we miss God doing just that in the realities of our own day-to-day lives, how His hand (and plot lines) are evident in my own story, yet I am not looking for it, and so I miss it.
Thanks much for a good read, a challenge for my own cultural engagement, and a reminder that God is always writing a story in our own lives. Bless you. And keep up the great writing.
Scott, thanks very much.
A Merch Suggestion
Will NSA college make a “Hey Wokey McWokeFace” T-Shirt? You could have it so that “Hey Wokey McWokeFace” on the front and “All Black Lives Matter” on the back with # AbolishAbortion.
Ben, thanks. Keep passing on the ideas.
Back to Sally
God’s timing truly is astounding. Just 3 weeks ago, acquaintances of mine were outraged that anyone would use “such terms and descriptions” as you have in Ride, Sally, Ride to try and shock people awake to the perversion of our society.
Some of these same acquaintances are now loudly proclaiming that anyone who doesn’t see how “Cuties” was using shocking imagery to wake us up to the perversion of society, and is therefore admirable, if a bit nauseating, is a philistine and a prude.
Kevin, ain’t it odd?
I haven’t read the book and don’t intend to, but I hope by coarse language you don’t mean the sinful ones. Taking God’s name in vain and pornographic words are both examples that should never be used by Christians in public. I’ll never forget when Leithart used the f-word many times in a review of the pornographic book, Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Under pressure later he munged it, but it still shows the incredible ego that some have that they can play with fire and not be burned.
Lance, two things. First, Christian liberty is not the same thing as “anything goes.” Paul is very clear that our language is to be disciplined and holy. But the second thing is just as important — the standard of holiness is to be Scripture, and not a standard of etiquette set by our great-grandmothers.
What Happens After Death
I would be delighted to have the phrase “meaningless concourse of atoms” appear in my eulogy, especially because it might actually jar one or two of my unsaved relatives out of their perpetual slumber. Bravo.
Tom, thanks. And thank God that we are not such meaningless concourses.
Politics and Such
Do you have any recommendations for when/why a pastor can be political? I recently cried foul on the Obamas (and others tied to Netflix) for remaining silent about Netflix’s “Cuties” film. And then came the darts. I was told “just stick to preaching” etc. Apparently questioning the Obamas is not acceptable. The idols of our day. I thoroughly enjoy your content.
Matthew, that is like telling John the Baptist to “stick to preaching” because he went so far as to mention Herodias.
The David French Issue
Re: David French and the Train that Already Left the Station. I appreciated your gracious tone toward David French. At times, it is difficult for me to have such a tone when reflecting on what we might call the David French branch of the PCA. Not that he is the leader of this group. I don’t think he is an elder, but he does seem to speak for this group and to this group. My challenge is that I believe many of this group are doing significant harm to the PCA and church catholic. Sorta like the harm Chamberlain did to England in the thirties, except they are still doing it AFTER the war has broken out. I trust that these men, having been examined/ordained in the PCA, are mostly Christians. So that means they are not God’s enemies. But it sure seems at times as if they are aiding and abetting the enemy in their blindness. I understand that like Edmund’s brother and sisters we are to earnestly desire their repentance. Yet it seems to me that that doesn’t rule out stronger, or perhaps more direct, language than you used here is appropriate in addressing what they are doing. How does one balance all this in the pursuit of peace and purity, particularly within one’s own congregation?
Bill, I do take your point, and the point of the letters below. I see what you are saying. I take the approach I do because people I respect have a genuine respect for David.
I subscribed to David French’s writings after I heard him on CrossPolitic. I was looking forward to reading the thoughts of an accomplished writer as he applied biblical thinking to current events. I won’t be renewing my subscription.
After his post on Kyle Rittenhouse, his very next post was ‘Why Is So Much Diversity Training Radical and Weird?’ Perhaps because Christians have allowed the violation of the social compact, and have not been faithful in standing up to said violations? Can he not see the connection?
It’s not exactly surprising that David French would go the direction he did on the social compact. His writings clearly lean toward the ‘never Trump’ camp – always complaining, taking offense over minor issues, and seldom giving Trump credit when it is deserved (and then only begrudgingly). So taking issue with law and order is a shot at Trump supporters, and he attempted to use a theological justification for it.
While I have never met David French, I will be cancelling my subscription to him because his theology is bad. Actually, that’s not quite correct. His theology is thin , , , thin and brittle. He argues conservative principles quite convincingly, until you dig down a little and realize there is nothing in his theology to support his claims. He winds up attempting to use worldly wisdom to support his stance instead of biblical wisdom, and poof — it vanishes for lack of substance.
Thanks for another insightful and educational post, as together we joyfully and intentionally expand the Kingdom of God!
Jeff, yes. It turns out that a house cannot withstand a storm unless it is built on a rock.
With conservatives like French, who needs liberals?
Jacob, thanks, and see above.
David French learned a while back that there will always be audience for content denouncing Christians and conservatives for not being nice enough, especially if you are in that camp. Trump just made that business model more lucrative, and French is happy to fill that market share.
David French is astonishingly blind not to see the complicity of governing officials in the rioting. More than a simple disagreement, I’m afraid he’s been grinding the Philistine’s corn for some time. His every action seems calculated to oppose faithful Christian political engagement. I sincerely pray God will restore his sight and even grant Mr. French Samson-style revenge.
Nathan, I attribute this sort of thing to a real love for America, but they are thinking of an older America where the myth of neutrality, that deadly lie, was still plausible on the surface. In other words, that myth died, and some conservatives are still in the denial phase of the grieving process.
The Election Looms
As election day draws nigh, I was wondering if you would list of the specific decisions/actions Trump has made that makes you want to vote for him this time around.
Tim, yes, I hope to do that.
Antifa and the Fascists
Hey there, I’ve been an irregular reader of your stuff since like 1997. “I wonder what Doug thinks…” is, I’m certain, some question that arises from my childlike desire for someone to throw a cultural molotov for the sake of Christ’s glory. Certainly the Mosowvite has one in hand. You hardly ever disappoint, comrade bruv. Question: why is it, in your HO, that Antifa never seem to target actual Fascists? They tend to aim at the blue collar business owners. The actual fascists, according to definition, would be peeps like Bill Gates, the leaders of the World Economic Forum, Davos, Carlyle Group and the WHO, etc. All Unelected, Corporate heads, who have been given carte blanche to do whatever they deem necessary for the Great Reset come 2021.
Thoughts? Thanks for being you.
Christopher, as far as me being me is concerned, I can’t help it. I think you are right in the main, but some of them really are going the whole distance — think of the guillotine outside Jeff Bezos’ house.
Front Lines Mom
I take your point from several pieces you have written and things that have been said that it’s patently obvious we are on the brink of either a cultural reformation or dissolution. Up to this point, despite all the current events, it’s been relatively easy to rest in the Lord’s sovereignty over the situation. These recent days however, I find myself wrestling with a rising anxiety over the potential of civil violence and unrest on a large scale in America.
As a mother who is currently educating many children in our home, I know from a ground level perspective that I am wielding a potent weapon in the Kingdom as I ask the Lord to help me raise our children in His nurture and ways. And yet from a big-picture perspective the temptation is to feel like I’m little ole me at home with my flock whilst America is a burning dumpster fire and most men are either welcoming it or standing on the side, shrugging their shoulders with their hands in their pockets. Additionally, most Christians in our community are very dispensational in their theology, so of course, everything IS going to Hell and Jesus is coming back like, next week. Stay tuned. All of these things are beginning to converge in a daily battle of discouragement as I consider the months and years ahead.
How can I navigate these times with the proper mixture of courage, fortitude, and hope in a practical manner of speaking? I’m implementing the common means of grace in my life and in our home and I still struggle to be encouraged. What would your counsel be for me and other mothers like myself?
Whitney, it sounds to me like you know what to say to yourself, but just need to be reminded to say it. Never forget, however challenging things might get, your children were born for this hour.
Hyper-Preterism Once More
I’m writing because I’m struggling with sorting out my postmillennial convictions and the heretical Hyper-Preterist movement. I grew up in a Fundyville of Pre-trib, Pre-mill hoop-la; I’ve since become Reformed and embraced Postmillennialism (btw, it truly is a lot of fun!). My issue, however, is that my mind wants to make a jump to Hyper-Preterism because I’m seeing how all of the passages I thought were supernatural (like the Olivet Discourse) were actually just hyperbolic language about A.D. 70. Why can we make this passage hyperbolic, and not every passage that’s about the supernatural resurrection in the New Testament?
James, the key is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. When we look at the decreation language of Matthew 24, we find that Jesus is quoting decreation language from Isaiah, where it is talking about the destruction of Babylon and Edom. When we encounter language in the New Testament about the general resurrection at the end of history (as in Martha’s comment to Jesus about Lazarus), we see that the Jews of the Lord’s day interpreted the OT language about resurrection as being the climax of human history. And they weren’t wrong, as the Lord’s response shows.
I recently started listening to your podcast and I’m very appreciative of how your thoughts give grit to theology, something that is greatly lacking in evangelicalism today.
I have a question for you, can you recommend a few books on the topic of justice from a biblical perspective? There are many books on the subject of social justice, but I’d like to start with an objective approach by looking at what the Bible says.
Thank you and thanks for all that your doing. Keep up the good work, knowing that our labor and toil in the Lord is not in vain.
Ethan, thanks. And see below.
A Justice Primer
A basic introduction to the principles of biblical justice, desperately needed in our time.
A Close Election
There’s a fairly important point you didn’t mention. The only reason there is any possibility of a close election is the electoral college. If the election were determined by national popular vote, Trump would be toast. In fact, neither he nor George Bush (nor any Republican ever again) would have been elected in the first place
Conservatives cite this as an example of why the electoral college is a good thing, but try, just for a minute, to see how it looks to the left. They see the election as stolen just by virtue of the fact that they command majority support among the American people but are deprived of power anyway. So to whatever extent they do steal, they see themselves as simply getting back what was first stolen from them. And so of course they are angry and in the mood to riot. So would you be. Is there any doubt that if the electoral college routinely awarded the White House to popular vote losing Democrats, instead of the other way around, that the right would be ready to riot too?
And what you are seeing is JFK’s dictum that those who make peaceful change impossible will make violent change inevitable. Whatever you think of socialism, the country wants national health care. And a broad social safety net. And if there is a violent civil war because the majority can’t get what it wants through democratic means, you may end up with far more socialism than you would have under Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden.
I’ve never been a fan of the Constitution. I see it as a bit of political expedience that managed to bring the states along into a union, but that also gave us a bloody civil war 75 years later. It may yet produce a second civil war. But, those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable.
Mike, thanks. From the sociological side, I actually think there is much in what you say. But keep in mind that the liberal establishment dominated our political life for most of the twentieth century. It is the conservative resurgence that has actually been trying to change direction, ineffectually for the most part. The hard Left wants a lot more of what we have been doing for many decades. Conservatives want the real change.
“That does not mean that evil has triumphed for good, but it does mean you should be stocked up on guns and ammo.” Pastor Doug, what would be the best biblical case you can muster (this side of the Cross) for defending your property (and perhaps your neighbor’s business/home) from rioter’s by guns or other shows of force? I have heard a flip side argument of overcoming evil with good, loving your enemy, etc . . . which doesn’t seem quite right to apply here, but I’m not sure what the N.T. case would be for standing in front of Frank’s Quickie-Mart with an AR-15 all macho-like might be.
Joseph, two things. First, there is an optical illusion here because we don’t understand how property rights are human rights. Behind Frank’s Quickie-Mart are Frank’s wife and kids, who need to be housed, fed, and clothed. Thus you are not defending the PopTarts with your AR-15, you are defending the rule of law, and through that, people created in the image of God. Second, I would prefer to make a biblical case, and not just a NT case.
“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft” (Exodus 22:2–3).
This happened at 2 am, after the alarms at Frank’s Quickie-Mart went off.
One More Lock Down Letter
Thanks again for the work you do. My apologies for the umpteenth questions about this lock down business. I guess it’s part and parcel of speaking faithfully on relevant and pressing issues…
Our church opened rather late (August) and stringently requires masks for both services. In addition, you cannot register to attend a service if in the last 14 days you have been in any state with a travel warning (as determined by the glorious socialist republic of New Jersey). A voluntary, but not really, quarantine order used to exist for all residents returning from those states, that’s why the policy is in place.
After visiting a military friend in Tennessee it now seems apparent I cannot attend church for two weeks. Word on the street is that even offering to take a COVID test will not make a difference. Services are streamed online. Me and my wife asked to meet with one of our elders and his wife about the issue, and while I sense they are in agreement over the ridiculousness of the matter, I doubt the verdict will change and I will likely be barred from attending, and by extension my wife along with me will be absent for two weeks since we would go somewhere else.
The gospel is preached at our church and the elders have held mostly steady on current issues, a gut-reaction from the pulpit on the George Floyd situation months ago being the outlier. But being barred from Lord’s day service with, presumably, no tangible biblical support, along with the host of mask requirements and other silliness that has gone on makes it feel like our membership might be worth reevaluating. A very solid 1689 Baptist church exists just down the road that we would heavily consider. By way of advice and caution, does this seem like an issue worth pressing and possibly leaving over, or should we be thankful for an otherwise faithful church? Many thanks
Wesley, if your church has been otherwise faithful, I would urge you to do what you can to not divide over this issue. I would visit the 1689 church until the coast is clear back home, and then come home when you can. If your home church spirals into something worse, then I would consider transferring.
An Empty Spot Experiment
A Parliament of Pots
This is collection of some of my more fanciful pieces — didactic parables, stream of consciousness rants, and so forth. The collection goes back many years, mostly into the Credenda years.