Good Letters Prevent Truth Decay

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Jory Et Al

Having never heard of Jory Micah, I went to her website. She certainly seems to have a very high opinion of herself and expects others to as well. You might do well to learn from her that money can be made from shameless self-promotion (something you brag about, but you need to take your tongue out of your cheek). I bet you could get more money than she does for a private counseling session (although you haven’t yet learned to “shake off the chains of limitation and the shackles of oppression” or figured out that you are guilty of “incorrect biblical interpretation and stale religion.” Plus your dimples aren’t quite as cute as hers . . . so). But nonetheless: Happy Thoughts—puppies and kittens.

Melody

Melody, I am afraid it is this beard. I don’t remember if I have dimples at all. Probably not, and if I did they no doubt would be the opposite of fetching.

Jory Micah and the Hall of Lame | You won a Pulitzer for Ride, Sally, Ride? ;-)

Trey

Trey, not really. I was robbed.

Sabbath Dinner

Regarding no specific recent writing: I have a vague notion in my mind of your mentioning a “sabbath meal” or some-such. I understand this to be some type of routine Lord’s Day mid-day meal with family/friends.

1) Am I way out in left field?

2) If not, have you written specifically about this meal somewhere?

Nathan

Nathan, yes. We observe the Lord’s Day from 6 pm Saturday night to 6 pm Sunday night. Our celebration is kicked off with a sabbath dinner Saturday night to prepare us for worship in the morning. We have local extended family and guests, which amounts to 40 or 50 fifty people. This liturgy for kicking it off is dated, but it gives the general idea.

The Big House

As one who just got out of federal prison two years ago, I feel duty-bound to reply with thoughts on how to minister to such. (Did you make up that letter to get ideas for ministering to your son, Nate, or grandsons?)

Federal prison is a mixed-bag, with those that ought to be there and those that shouldn’t. [Mine was the result of calling a congressman for help with my business relationship with the Defense Logistics Agency. Won the battle, but lost the war. ] Here are my suggestions.

1) Pray for them and their families. My overriding experience during my 1.5 years there, was that it seemed I felt better than I should have. I assumed that must’ve been due to the prayers of my church and family.

2) Write them. They don’t need small talk (like the stuff my woke pastor used to write); they have radio and TV. They don’t have internet, so copy and send good stuff from it. If they’re not Christian, always share something from the Word of God. If they are, do same.

Ask them to share with you what they see and hear. You need to know how broken the justice system is.

3) Minister to their family. The men at my church did a lot of outside maintenance at our home. The women created a monthly night out to have fellowship with my wife.

4) I received great books from friends. Particularly helpful were books like Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie, Howard Root’s Cardiac Arrest; were great to help me understand the corruption of the Dept of Justice (I mean, Convictions). Even those who acknowledge being in prison for good reason have likely experienced great injustice along the way.

4) It cost me $200-300/mth for telephone, computer (emails), stamps etc. $10-20 put on their account each month is very meaningful.

5) Visit if possible. My wife came every other week. My kids and grand-kids came about once a month. God used my time in there to greatly strengthen marriage & family. I can only imagine how the experience has educated my grand-kids for a lifetime. For one, they saw their family make the best of a bad situation.

6) Prison is much like the show MASH used to be. Melodrama plus great humor. Funny, funny stuff. Encourage your friend to tell you stories.

7) Advise them not to accept certain roles in prison—such as head umpire for the 2-team softball league. It inevitably leads to having to call the infield-fly rule, which can lead to a near prison riot.

8) see #1

Hope that helps.

Steve

Steve, thank you very much. And may you harvest now some of what you planted during that time.

Competition

I’m curious what your thoughts are on the nature of competition, specifically competitive sports. Is competition a good thing merely corrupted by human sin? Or is the impulse to compete against others a fundamentally fallen desire?

In short, what’s DW’s theology of competition?

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Lance

Lance, I believe that the impulse to compete is good and healthy, but in young boys especially, must be disciplined and mortified so that carnal ego doesn’t get to run it. That is the importance of drilling good sportsmanship into the kids.

Empathy Wars

Thanks for “The Empathy Wars,” and might I suggest back of the Aimee Byrd’s and Rachel Green Miller’s are the spineless NAPARC ministers (especially the ones claiming to be conservative/confessional) who first enabled them and now fear them? If I may, I wrote a 5-part series addressing the NAPARC Nanny State back in the Summer, when a certain brouhaha was raging concerning a particular Facebook group and some, shall we say, doctored screen shots leaked from it, all aimed at sympathizing/empathizing with the “mistreated” damsel in distress, Aimee Byrd. (this tactic worked by the way, as many OPC ministers and elders quickly jumped to express their “concern” in support of Aimee Byrd ON HER OWN BLOG:

But here is some of what I wrote:

“But to give up what you can say and how you can say it, to give up firm tone and real conviction, is to give up the whole ball game. The one tool, the one offensive weapon the Church has, is the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). When the rules of engagement effectively blunt God’s Word and godly warnings and admonitions, there is no warding off the compromisers, because you are wielding a dull blade. Of course, the compromisers are only soft where they should be sharp, yet cut deeply those who wish to stand with conviction on principle. It is a clever trick and double standard that they employ time and time again. Shut down those holding the line, and give a ready and attentive ear to those slowly drifting from God’s Truth. Welcome to the NAPARC Nanny State, and beware the tone police.

God isn’t pleased to pierce hearts by His Spirit with soft words without the necessary hard words, because the message of the gospel and the kingdom of God is a hard thing to hear at first. But it is good. It is glorious. We constantly need to be shaped and molded, rebuked and restrained, reformed and refashioned into the image of God. Sanctification comes by God’s Word, the Word of truth. But when the truth is smoothed out, it becomes something less than the full truth, often becomes a lie, and the Church suffers and is led further into the error that their flesh already craves.

So is it any wonder when women like Aimee Byrd and others, who do not like (and have been coached and taught not to like) strong words and sharp doctrinal lines that they disagree with, cry foul and link to a dishonest website that paints firm and convicted men (and often their godly and grateful wives) in the worst possible light? This has happened to some of us, the ones seeking pastoral ministry, by fellow ministers. We are cast by many as the yellow wallpaper that Mrs. Byrd has warned about. In reality, the concept this yellow wallpaper expresses is not original to her or the Feminist she borrowed it from, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. She is just echoing an idea that is already in Reformed pulpits, hence her success and platforms given to her by such men. The end goal is that men of conviction who speak with conviction and are unwilling to budge on doctrine have to be torn down to finally, at last, liberate women and men in the Church who have been suffering under this yoke (of firm doctrinal lines and firm rebuke for those departing from it in word or deed), and in so doing at last “uncover” the truer, gentler, freer words and boundaries of Scripture.

So yes, for those involved in this current fracas, which sweeps across several Reformed and Presbyterian denominations, the stakes are high, and neither side is swinging a dull blade. Which makes this something of a NAPARC nightmare, or perhaps even an existential crisis.”

The whole 5-part series can be found here:

Thomas

Thomas, thank you.

As always, Pastor Doug, thank you for discussions and reflections that are always pertinent and appropriately challenging to the current cultural “flavor of the day.” Regarding “The Empathy Wars”. . . your discussions with Joe Rigney and the subsequent fallout reminded me of the following situation. Our church, back in the ’80s, respected and promoted the teachings of Bill Gothard as presented in his Basic Youth Conflicts seminars. One particular exhortation from the seminar that has served me well is “never take up another person’s offense.” I’ve always interpreted it to imply that I should be careful in my relationships, not allowing hearsay or the bickerings between friends to regulate or greatly influence my own loyalties, at least until I have thoroughly researched matters for myself, if necessary. Gothard based this teaching, partly, on Psalm 15:3 which proclaims that a righteous person “. . . does not take up a reproach against his friend.” As I’m sure you are aware, in the past decade a number of indiscretions have been alleged against Gothard by some young women who have related incidents in which he harassed them emotionally and physically. Interestingly, those who are reflecting on how these indiscretions could have happened are claiming that the encouragement to never take up another person’s offense provided cover for Gothard as he took advantage of these young women. Supposedly, they were afraid to go to the authorities on behalf of themselves or their friends because it would be perceived as meddling. You can read more here: It’s an interesting read, but I think it veers off the tracks early on. The writer of this post calls the exhortation to not take up the offense of another person “fallacious” and a twisting of Psalm 15:3. If you read the entire Psalm in context, it’s obvious that David is taking a holistic approach to righteousness and relationships, basing them, ultimately, in the fear of the Lord. As you noted in your discussion with Joe, all sin is ultimately against our Lord, and His omniscience and sovereignty will, ultimately, expose the truth. I’m curious if you have any thoughts about all this.

Mark

Mark, yes, I do. When we are sinning hypocritically, we want to emphasize other people’s adherence to biblical passages that are likely to allow to remain in that position. A man guilty of adultery wants to underline the importance of people not gossiping, for example. But this is the abuse of a good biblical principle (don’t gossip), and not grounds for rejecting that biblical principle. So . . . don’t take up another person’s offense, and speak up when you ought to.

Libertarianism

This is in regards to your article on libertarianism and taking it to task for promoting atomistic society. I agree with you that there can be a weakness among libertarians in doing this. It has to be resisted where it is encountered. Any Christian libertarian who fails to deal with these communal types of governments has lost the plot entirely.

However, there are actually four governments which make up civil society. You mentioned three of them. The one you left unmentioned was self-government, AKA self-control, of which we find voluminous examples in the Scriptures. Christian libertarians are sensitive and knowledgeable about this pillar of government, but you left it out.

Without dealing with this critical pillar of government, your article is just a hair shy of being a straw man, which I’m sure you didn’t intend. I think it needs more work.

Affectionately,

Judd

Judd, thanks. Yes, I left it out of the most recent post, but I have written on self-governance as the foundation of the other three many times. We agree completely.

Loved your post on Liberty Redefined. Made me think of Jim Jordan’s critique of Western systems of thought characterized by atomism over against the Hebraic system of thought revealed in Scripture, characterized by a sort of cosmic interrelation, particularly St. Paul’s obsession with “all things.” Anyway, Western atomism has affected not only our politics and culture, but also Western theology. For instance, it makes Protestants engage in soteriological debates about the number and scope of detached individuals for whom Christ died, when the Scriptures describe the Atonement in cosmic categories such as “the world,” “all men,” “all people,” “all the nations,” “all the families of the earth,” etc. I’m not tearing up my Calvinist card; I’ll still go to the mat for high predestination and monergistic regeneration. My point is that maybe evangelicals have framed the issues of theological discourse on the same atomistic ideological foundation on which Americans have framed political discourse. And while atomism has characterized Western thought since the Pre-Socratics, it’s most extreme emanation is of course the contractarian enlightenment liberalism that undergirds the political philosophy of both the right and the left in America. If you’ve not yet had a chance to read “Why Liberalism Failed” by Patrick J. Deneen, you should spend your next Audible credit on that one. Deneen’s theses are similar to yours as I understand them, i.e., the tenets of liberalism are self-defeating and liberalism in either its conservative or progressive form will inevitably destroy liberty. A related thesis in the book that is perhaps more specifically relevant to your post is that of the definition of liberty being inverted from the classical notion of the individual being liberated from his base desires to the end of being a virtuous agent of the body politic (the notion underlying “liberal arts”), to the contemporary notion of liberty as liberation from one’s obligations to the body politic to the end of pursuing one’s base desires. Another good book saying more or less the same things but unfortunately not on Audible is “The Limits of Liberalism” by Mark Mitchell. I think Drs. Deneen and Mitchell are both friends of Chris Wiley, but in any event they all seem to be In the same school of Berry-esque localism. All of this leads me to my question for you: What’s the elk hunting like up in your part of Idaho?

Joseph

Joseph, thanks. The hunting is good. The game is plentiful. But on this subject of the individual, I want to grant what you are saying about individualism, while at the same time noting that the importance of the individual is a teaching that descends to us from Christ. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?

Thanks for your discussion of so-called “Christian libertarianism”. These problems go way back. I think it’s important to recognize that in the fight to free the English church from Roman Catholic error, some strange bedfellows were picked up along the way. Thomas Hobbes decided to “consider men as if but even now sprung out of the earth, and suddainly (like Mushromes) come to full maturity without all kind of engagement to each other” and Locke did similarly. 350 years later we can see the fruit of their disbelief in families, tribes, and nations.

It seems to me that liberty is like money—desirable, and a blessing from God, but too much is ruinous when given to a fool.

Ash

Ash, amen. Social contract theory has wrought a lot of mischief in that it postulates the authority of a parliament that never happened, and ignores the social covenant that did happen in Eden.

So maybe I missed it but how would blasphemy (aka “free speech”) differ versus murder, adultery, disobedient children, other “capital” offenses in the OT Law? assuming that you would still find OT prescribed capital punishment applicable for those others. Where is the change/discontinuity?

BJ

BJ, I don’t believe that we should necessarily remove capital punishment from the list of options for the punishment of First Table offenses. What I am arguing is that we have a far better grasp of what first degree murder is than we do with first degree blasphemy. This is our immaturity, not a fault in the law. So given that the Lord was executed for a First Table offense, and then Stephen, and then a long line of Christian martyrs over the course of centuries, I believe that we need to do a lot more exegetical work first.

Book Title?

Thanks for your sturdy resolve and faithfulness these days. I appreciate your work to keep us simultaneously overwhelmed and encouraged.

Do you perchance have any book recommendations of a biography or autobiography from a pastor who lead, or churchman who attended, a state church in Germany during the 30’s and 40’s faithfully believing it was their duty as a Christian to obey/submit to the government at that time? But then came to see their error? Or could you recommend a book related to the topic of understanding what seems to be happening in the minds of most of the leaders/churchmen these days, particularly up in Canada?

Thanks for your time,

Nikki

Nikki, I wish I did. Sorry. But maybe we can crowd source this one. Anyone?

Charlotte Mason

I noticed someone asked you a question about Charlotte Mason last week in your letters. I have read her original writings and consider her a Christian classical educator. I will be homeschooling next year using her method and highly recommend her. I wrote a review of your excellent book, A Case for Christian Classical Education, on Goodreads and interacted with the ideas you gathered from John Milton Gregory and hers. Here is an excerpt:

“One minor critique I have is that I’m pretty positive he never read Charlotte Mason. I also consider her a classical educator so this is surprising. One of the chapters that makes this evident is his summary of the Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory. Gregory’s second law is a “learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson”. This is exactly Charlotte Mason’s principle of attention. His fifth law is “teaching is arousing and uses the pupil’s mind to grasp the desired thought or to master the desired art”. This is Mason’s “all education is self-education”. Mason says “the mind can know nothing but what it can produce in the form of an answer to a question put by the mind to itself”. Gregory says “learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth or working into habit a new art or skill.” Mason says “As a child grows we shall perceive that only those ideas which have fed his life, are taken into his being; all the rest is cast away or is, like sawdust in the system, an impediment and an injury.” I feel that Mason went way further than Gregory in her philosophy.”

I also feel Charlotte Mason supports presuppositionalism. Number 18 of her 20 philosophical principles, she calls the way of reason “We teach children, too, not to ‘lean (too confidently) to their own understanding’; because the function of reason is to give logical demonstration (a) of mathematical truth, (b) of an initial idea, accepted by the will.”

The thing I love most about her philosophy is summed up in the verse, “knowledge puffs up but loves builds up”. She is continuing the tradition of St. Augustine and later Lewis in Abolition of Man of the Ordo Amoris. She wants students to have an appropriate affection and relation to a great number of things and not a head merely filled with facts.

I highly recommend her last book “A Philosophy of Education” for anyone wanting to learn more.

AP

AP, thanks for sharing this.

Novare Texts

I’m a high school sophomore at an ACCS school. Our school recently began teaching from the Novare textbooks, and I have many serious issues and concerns with the texts and the company. I really want to do anything that I can respectfully and appropriately do to try and convince the school to ditch these texts. I know that you’ve looked into this issue and have written some articles on it. What actions would you suggest taking, and how would you recommend I go about them?

I really like the school and I have no desire to leave nor do I bear any ill will toward any teachers or staff, and I think they may be unaware of what a major threat these texts are and how antithetical they are to the goal of Classical Christian education.

Please send some advice, thanks

Jonathan

Jonathan, I would recommend two things. First, you and your parents should petition the board through whatever mechanism they have established for doing so. And second, you should use the education that is being provided to you as an instrument to push back. In other words, do you rhetoric thesis on the issue.

Polygenesis

In your book “Black and Tan” you make the case that while many in the South failed to see blacks as equal to whites in terms of dignity, many in the North affirmed polygenesis, which is easily more grotesque. But that provoked a question in my mind: If the Northern perception of blacks was shot through with polygenesis, how did the abolitionist movement take root? Polygenesis does not seem like the sort of soil where abolitionist sympathies would have flourished. To put it simply: Why would people who saw blacks as less than human also demand that their chains be broken?

Bryan

Bryan, I believe that the broad culture of both North and South was fundamentally and deeply Christian, which is the energy the abolitionists were drawing on. The new-fangled views on polygenesis would have been found among the educated elites in the North, but not in Southern leadership. Before the war, the majority of abolitionist societies were in the South.

Presuppositionalism in the Classroom

I am starting teaching Grade 7’s about ancient literature, guided by Veritas Press Omnibus 1 and beginning with Genesis. I believe some of the kids are skeptics, or from an non-Christian home. How should I as a presuppositionalist address any doubts they may have about the truth of the Bible?

Pierre

Pierre, I think the best thing you can do in such a situation is love God, love the kids, and love the Bible. Let them express their questions and doubts without getting defensive. Assume what you want them to assume.

A Different Question, Certainly

I know this may be a very goofy question for you to answer, but I have been a lifelong outdoorsman/fly fisherman and have recently had a revelation of sorts. I have always practiced catch and release fishing for bass and trout, simply in the name of conservation and enjoyment of the outdoors I love to visit. But I have recently started to wonder if fishing for sport or catch and release, would be considered sin? I don’t care much for the opinions of the rest of the world on this issue but I’m more concerned with how God would feel about me potentially putting fish in pain just purely for my enjoyment . . . what are your thought on this? Thanks!

Brian

Brian, thanks. Never thought about this before. But it seems to me that if it is lawful to catch the fish in order to eat it, it should be lawful to catch the fish in order to let it go. The cost/benefit of the fish’s life to enjoyment of one meal for a human is lawful. I don’t see why the cost/benefit of the fish’s struggle to enjoyment of that struggle wouldn’t be similar.

The Second Crime Scene

Re: The Second Crime Scene Pastor Doug,

This podcast by Jocko Willink on the Uyghurs is a good image of what the second crime scene may look like. Apart from summarizing the abuses those people are undergoing and its history, Jocko asks this question “What’s worse? Being tortured, or having someone convince your children that they shouldn’t respect and admire you and your culture and where you came from and your family?”

Probably this won’t surprise you, but it graphically illustrates what you are warning people about with something happening today, as we speak.

Eric

Eric, thanks much.

The Lost Virtue of Sexism

I have a question that is halfway related to your post “The Lost Virtue of Sexism.” I recently watched it on YouTube and loved how you connected it to the gospel. My question has two parts. First, in your talk you mentioned how you saw women staying out of the military, church leadership, etc. as honoring to them. It is easy to see this in the military sense. No one puts the things they highly value in harms way. Would you say the same for church leadership? That there are spiritual “bullets” that church leaders have to take? I would love to hear you expand on this point of how the prohibitions for women in the Bible are honoring to them. This leads to my second question about female spiritual authority. I certainly agree that 1 Tim 2 and 3 prohibits church eldership. I also agree that it is a creation principle and that throughout Scripture God wants men to step up in spiritual leadership. So my question is this, does the principle apply to all situations of spiritual leadership, or only in the context of home and local church. For example, if there is a missions team and a single woman has more experience than any of the men on the team, can she lead the team, or does this create a backwards view of the role of women if teams are to model the church in order to plant churches.

I ask this question because as I look for materials, most theologians address it only in terms of preaching in the pulpit even though many point to the creation principle behind it. I’m wondering if it is being a Pharisee, and adding more onto a command, to extend this prohibition outside of a local congregation and home, or is it compromising the creation order to allow it.

If you have already addressed this issue, feel free to email me the link and I will be ok with that. Thanks for all the resources you provide. I appreciate you guys and hope you are doing well!

In Him,

Paul

Paul, I would say that qualified male leadership is mandatory in the church, and normative everywhere else. You can have the occasional odd situation in other circumstances (Deborah), but it ought to be unusual.

Practical Question About My Books

I was wondering – why are some ebooks not available on the dougwils shop and only available on Amazon? I have run into quite a few, but the most recent example I’ve found is ‘Federal Husband’

Steve

Steve, the reason is simple. The publishers are different. The books in my Mablog shop are published by Blog and Mablog Press and Tire Center. Canon publishes most of my stuff, but I have a lot in my computer that I am working to format in publishable ways—before the angel of the Lord tells me it is time to assume room temperature. The volume of material being generated is at a pace that would glut Canon’s market but I have to get it ready before I join the choir invisible. But Canon has the right to pick up anything they want from my shop, which they have done a number of times.

Marriage Question

I am a young man who has recently started a relationship with a girl, I am 20 and she is 19.

We were talking the other night and the conversation drifted to the financial role of the man when married.

The topic came up because I am on a very long study path (6 years +) and she asked if I thought it would be right to marry whilst studying as that would mean that she (who’s course is much shorter) would be the main income bearer for at least a few years if we were to get married and that she understood from the Bible that when the woman leaves her fathers house the man must be able to support her completely and that if that was not the case that it would cause an insecurity in the man.

Now at this point I do not feel that I would compromise my role as the man of the house as long as I am not content and don’t see the need for change in the future, but am working towards a qualification that would allow me to support her and our children to the fullest. I think it would not be appropriate to sacrifice a short term lower income in order to work towards something greater for leaving my studies and finding a job that would plateau and make future growth much harder.

I have scoured the blog but cannot find which book or blog post that can answer my question satisfactorily, if you could point me in the right direction or answer my question directly I would greatly appreciate it.

Regards

Gerthys

Gerthys, I don’t remember addressing this problem directly. But I think your friend is right, and you are right, and that means that you shouldn’t settle for any kind of arrangement that would get you both “used to” the the need for her to work outside the home. I would look first at the prospect of you working and studying. And if she works, make it short, like for a year or so.

Glad You Asked

Have you written on the theology of sarcasm or could you offer any recommendations in that vein? I’ve been chastised several times now, by a handful of sweet Christian friends for my use of sarcasm in two FB posts in which I criticized the Democratic party’s abortion platform and later the ridiculousness of Christian women celebrating Kamala Harris. Wit and sarcasm (when not used to unkindly shame or embarrass a particular person.) seem to be the best way to give feet to my thoughts. No one minds if I type out “abortion is wicked.” But if I use humor and sarcasm to say as much, the post gets shared around and then the calls, texts and chastisements coming rolling in . . . with full emotional force. Tearful pleadings to repent, accusations of maligning the gospel, turning people away from Jesus, etc. I’ve always had my post read-over and approved by my husband who is wise, gracious and wonderful. My conscience is clear and I think I can point to several instances of sarcasm in the Bible. But I was hoping you might have some well articulated thoughts on the topic.

Many thanks for your books and podcasts and all the wisdom and fun they’ve brought to my family.

Laura

Laura, yes. As it happens, here you go. Also if you search this blog for the phrase Satiric Bite, it will turn some things up.

Pulchritudinous Levels

I am so encouraged by your blog, Canon Press, and specifically your daughter’s podcast/books. As I am learning just what a godly marriage looks like, I am perplexed by the idea of attraction “levels” in marriage. I have always believed that spouses should think of the other as the most attractive or beautiful to them. My question to you is this, is this a selfish thing to ask or expect in a marriage? Part of me thinks how silly or immature this expectation is, but it does seem to hold some kind of truth when I examine it. I am very curious to hear any biblical view on this. Thank you!

Olivia

Olivia, each spouse should be devoted to the other, meaning that they should not allow themselves to be attracted to any other. But if they have eyes in their heads, they can know that someone not their spouse is an attractive person. They just can’t be attracted.

Poetry and Kirn

I was watching your conversation about Wordsmithing with Walter Kirn. (I have temporarily paused it, so you might cover this in the video.) You are talking about poetry.

Most of the time, poetry was enjoyed as it was read, you all are mentioning. Even Homer’s poetry was only put down on paper afterwards: it was enjoyed as it was spoken out loud. Perhaps, if poets want to be heard again, they ought to join their poetry with videography skills and do 5 minute videos with their poetry as the narrator. In fact, John Piper did this with a short video to one of his poems (Sproul, Piper, and many others did the voice over for the video). If a poet wants to advertise their work, video would be a great medium which would probably get traction.

Anyways, you probably mention that very thing in the next few minutes of the video.

Thanks for your work,

David

David, great point. And no, I don’t think we got to that.

Freedom and Liberty

I would heap praises upon you but I don’t want to test your mettle too much. Having said that, you are a refresher of those who are sometimes confused and some times discouraged.

Would you please explain the difference, if there is any, between freedom and liberty. I think they are kissin’ cousins, or two sides of the same coin. What say you. Thanks

Tony

Tony, thanks. In my usage, they are closely related, and I sometimes use them as synonyms. But I generally take liberty as including the philosophy or theology of it, and freedom as referring to the personal exercise of it.

EO Question

I need your help. I’ll be fine without it, but perhaps better off with it. My request is in reference to your Content Cluster Muster from 03.11.21. I know that the date has passed, but I tend to move at about 2/3 the pace of our ” fast-paced one-stop-shopping society.” My apologies for that. =)

I watched the video that you headed “As C.S. Lewis pointed out as well . . . “. I watched it all. As I was watching, I kept thinking that I have indeed been well-catechized as a Lutheran. I quote from my brain, “There is a gigantic grace-sized hole in this conversation” between J. Pageau and Jordan B. Peterson.

Near the end, J. Pageau asked that JBP might be visited by “grace” in the midst of his obvious suffering. Awesome! Finally!

But then —and I am an artist as Pageau is—I watched some J. Pageau videos. I think that he is doing some marvelous work. (I watched his expositions on the symbolism and meaning in Revelation.) Then I thought “Uh-oh. Bad Lutheran, Bad! Go sit in the corner.”

His exposition on the symbolism of 666 and the Beast are persuasive, to say the least. And yet, and yet—is Orthodoxy wrong? (Big-O orthodoxy, I mean.)

I struggle. I welcome your response, should you have time to give it. Peace to you, and thank you for your great work!

Jason

Jason, I know that this short response won’t cover all the bases. But yes, EO is wrong. But they are not wrong about everything, and in certain areas some of them have really valuable things to say. But never forget that they have figured out a way to rationalize praying to pictures.

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demosthenes1d
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If anyone listens to the podcast Eric linked (and you should, its great!) you should know that the guy doing most of the talking isn’t Jocko Willinck, it is Darryl Cooper. He hosts his own, very infrequent, podcast called Martyrmade. It is incredible stuff and should be better known. https://www.martyrmade.com/

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James Claypool

In high school I read a book on the Trachtenberg method of arithmetic. Jakow Trachtenberg developed it while in a nazi prison camp. He gave an interesting definition of freedom vs liberty: the nazi guards had much more freedom than him–more choices available to them; but he had much more liberty–ability to make good choices.

This has stuck with me ever since then. I tend to think of liberty as akin to biblical wisdom–the gracious ability to properly order your life before the Lord.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

The dissident and political prisoner, Anatoly Sharansky, tells a similar story:

As I’d tell my interrogators a joke, I’d laugh. And, as normal Soviet doublethinkers themselves, they would want to laugh. But they couldn’t, especially if two of them were there together. Laughter would end their careers.

So they’d covered up that temporary glint in their eyes with a tantrum. They’d pound the table, shouting, “HOW DARE YOU?”

“Look,” I’d say to them calmly, “you can’t even smile when you want to smile. And you claim that I’m in prison and you’re free?”

(The Doublethinkers)

demosthenes1d
Member

Montesquieu: Freedom/liberty “consists in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do whay we ought not to will.”

That captures the western christian tradition on freedom.

Ash Vaughn
Guest
Ash Vaughn

Christian artist Owen Cyclops had a humorous take on this issue on Twitter: https://twitter.com/owenbroadcast/status/1091773939016179712/

Melody
Guest
Melody

To Thomas of “The Empathy Wars”. Your concerns exist in other denominations as well. The Mennonite Brethren Conference is so far gone it is mind boggling. This, barely 100 years after they broke away from traditional Mennonites who had drifted too far from Biblical theology.

some human
Guest
some human

Seeing Jocko referenced on DW’s blog is like watching two very different parts of my world collide. A strange experience to be certain.

I do wonder, Mr Wilson: Are you a fan/listener of Jocko?

Kenneth Abbott
Guest
Kenneth Abbott

The Matthew Hockenos biography of Martin Niemoller might help Nikki with her questions.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I appreciate the suggestion, thanks Kenneth.

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

James White has done a similar demolition job on Jory Micah – after all he was the first named out of the three musketeers. I’ve glanced at her blog over the years, though not recently. She is typical of this genre, she claims a call to ministry by the Holy Spirit as a teenager, and more lately has started down the broad road with LGBT & Co adorning the lampposts. You could see it coming. I think it is a reaction to perceived grievances, some of which may be real, a way of hitting back at the evangelical establishment. I… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Regarding polygenism: I think Doug is wrong to consider polygenism a northern phenomena that elites in the south weren’t tainted by. The second most consequential American polygenist (after Morton) was Josiah Nott who was a southerner (South Carolona born) his whole life and a slaveholder. Also, upon Mortons death the Charleston Medical Review wrote “We of the South should consider him as our benefactor for aiding most materially in giving to the negro his true position as an inferior race.” I don’t see any reason to believe that poygenism was more popular or common among northern intellectuals than southern, though… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

The polygenism thing sent me down a rabbit hole, and as far as I can tell most of the prominent polygenists in 19th century American were southern gentlemen. There were plenty of northerners too, but the belief had wider purchase in the south. Unless someone can offer some other evidence I’m convinced that Doug is wrong on this one. Also, I looked briefly at the claim about most abolitionist societies being in the south. I can find no reference for this and it seems exceedingly unlikely given the prominence of Quakers and Congregationalists on the abolitionist cause and their geographic… Read more »

Mike Metokur
Member

Gerthys, I don’t think your conversation with Doug is quite right here, or quite nuanced enough. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where the burden to provide financially is placed on the man. Providing for one’s own household is a reference to families taking care of their widows. While it does seem ideal for the man to be outside the home (woman was made as a helper, woman was made for man’s sake, women are to be workers at home), there’s nothing that prohibits them from being the primary or only breadwinners. In fact, that may be the best way… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Mike, This is a good comment. We should all realize how contingent the current idealized model of a man working outside the home for wages while the wife stays home and attends to the hearth/family is. For most of history most people were agrarian and men rarely left their home/fields and women often participated in field work (especially during harverst). Everyone’s labor was necessary to keep the family alive. Men had more of an outward facing mission, but women also participated in the market. For instance, due to food taboos in much of Europe only women could milk cattle and… Read more »

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

demosthenes1d – I think you too make a good point. I have had the leisure to be able to read up on English history amongst other things more recently, and I was struck by how recent and middle to upper class the wife at home/husband at work regime is. Prior to the Victorian era of industrialisation as you state women worked alongside their menfolk. Before there was much of a standing army and men could be called up to fight in the king’s wars a wife was expected to be able to carry on the husband’s business whilst he was… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Who’s “building an edifice”? 0.03% of the church who get called hyper-patriarchal? How about we concern ourselves instead with the 80-90% of the church that’s grossly overreacting to what amounts to a moderate virus for most people? “Forsaking the assembly of ourselves together” >>>> a tiny number of people having a questionable interpretation of Eph . 5. BTW, Eph. 5:22 is a much more direct and less nuanced command than Rom. 13, which has a lot more latitude for interpretation and practice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh2BHAA-NO0

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

JP,

Your casual dismissal of 545,000+ deaths from COVID and the hundreds of thousands more with persistent lingering problems is pitiful. Your lack of compassion belies your professed Christian beliefs. If you spent more time reading the Gospels, perhaps you would realize your need of repentance. It might also go a long way in curbing your anger.

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

JPS – I don’t think the virus issue is really relevant. You did however raise what has become a red flag to me in American complementarianism, namely quoting Eph 5 : 22, that is, the wifely submission verse. Why not start with the ‘husband’s love your wives’, that is more important and more spelled out. Exactly what submission means here how it should be lived out is a less easy question to answer than many suppose. It’s not obey (like a child) not serve (like a bond servant). It is something for older women to teach the younger, not men.… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Your “own reading” is simply a pretext for what you want to believe. The church’s massive problem with COVID fear-mongering (compared to the tiniest fraction that may–or may not–have a questionable view of Eph. 5) is certainly relevant. Your eisegesis of Eph. 5:22 isn’t.

Byrd pushes really bad theology and is a troublemaker in the worst sort way. Bringing her up is similar to your misinformed bloviating about U.S. politics. Sometimes “across the pond” views need to stay….across the pond.
https://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2020/06/news-aimee-byrd-kicked-out-of-ace.html

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

Sorry, JP, the problem with truth is, it doesn’t respect borders.

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

JPS – I am not sure the questionable view of Eph 5 : 22 is such a tiny fraction. There may be more misuse of this than you think. I needed a lot of convincing that Ravi Zacharias was actually guilty of the things he was accused of – after all there is a whole industry of women ‘survivors’ nursing their grievances on the internet. And yet RZ was guilty, and hardly anyone in the evangelical community had the discernment to see through him. It might have helped if they stopped believing the Holy Spirit doesn’t enable this kind of… Read more »

JohnM
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JohnM

Ken B,

I’m not JPS, so pardon me if you are willing….

One reason not to start with “husband’s love your wives”, or at least not to spend so much time talking about it, is that no one is questioning that part. No one has made it controversial. No one is attempting to got-to-understand-the-context it into irrelevance for us. No one (and here I’ll beg your pardon again) characterizes it as the less important and spelled out part.

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

JohnM – I don’t have any problem with a bit of comeback! My real objection is to men busying themselves with what wives should do at the expense of concentrating on what they are supposed to do. The bible study leader who first went through the wives and husbands teaching was strong on this and it left a lasting impression. I think it was wisdom. The corresponding controversial verse regarding men is ‘for the husband is the head of the wife’, with all the arguments about what exactly ‘head’ means in this context. (In this debate, some egalitarian scholarship drifts… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Ken, One place where I would push back would be against this statement: “….had neither the time nor the inclination to obsess with roles in marriage…” I think this is incorrect. Women worked along side men at home and in the field, but sex roles were generally very well defined and adhered to. Of course there were always exceptions and hard providences, but generally there wasn’t some sort of marital negotiation about who would reap and who would stook the grain, or who would thresh and who would mill, or who would milk and who would butcher or who would… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

demosthenes1d, et al I’m really replying to the entire string here, having gotten in on it late. I concur that (many) Evangelicals have created a gender work roles false absolute. It happened partly because upper class luxury became middle class normative after WWII, and Evangelicals aren’t as good as we ought to be at distinguishing between familiar cultural norms and Bible orthopraxy; we all like to baptize our bias. In also happened, maybe more so happened, in understandable reaction to second wave feminism. Thankfully, we really don’t have to choose between absolute inviolable gender-role boundaries, or none at all. However,… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

John, I hope I made it clear in my posts that I am very much in favor of (quite rigid) sex roles, and I think the ideal of the man doing most of the provision is worth striving for. However, a woman working outside of the home isn’t an abomination. If you are newly married, you are in school, and your wife works at a daycare or a grocery store or a nursing home there is no shame. Even after you have children if your wife needs to pick up afternoon shifts as a home health aid to make ends… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

That doesn’t sound all that rigid to me. Which is fine, I mostly agree. I’m not sure I would push young men, or young women for that matter, to get married much sooner rather than a little later. The idea that a man ought to be “established” before he starts a family actually is an old one, and one that makes some sense to me. It might help to pair that idea with a more modest idea of material necessity. In this day and age, because the times are evil, I think I would advise a man not to marry… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

John, Maybe just not rigid in the direction you are thinking. I think we would be better off if most jobs and even “careers” were coded male or female. You have to have some flexibility for extraordinary circumstances, but generally jobs like caring for children are best done by women and jobs like construction are best done by men. You work your way toward the middle from there, but in my ideal most jobs and most domestic tasks should be “women’s work” or “men’s work.” These things can’t be imposed though, they are the outworking of a healthy culture that… Read more »

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

Who does the coding?

Ken B
Guest
Ken B

demosthenes1d – I don’t think there is really any disagreement here. Men and women are not interchangeable, and there is a general description in the bible as to what their relative roles are in, for example, the family. My only real problem with complementarianism (ghastly word!) is when attempts are made to prescribe exact roles for each sex, i.e. obsess about it. I have deliberately cultivated a mentality of not getting hung up about this, of not agonising about it. Being the main breadwinner for me and she dealing mainly with the children (especially when very young) and ‘building the… Read more »

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

Jesus didn’t have a problem being supported by women.

Elisabeth
Member
Elisabeth

I love this photo of the hippo getting his/her teeth cleaned. So adorable..hahaha.

Lance
Guest
Lance

The letter writer forgot to point out that Bill Gothard was completely vindicated. The details are here: http://www.discoveringgrace.com/2018/02/26/the-suit-is-retired/.

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee
Lance
Guest
Lance

If you think wikipedia is a reliable source you are really out there.

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

The link you posted is more credible? How? It seems to be more of a fan site.

Bobby McGee
Guest
Bobby McGee

I guess if Lance wants to ignore 34 women who claim Bill Gothard sexually harassed them, that’s his prerogative and it’s certainly no surprise.

Nathan Tuggy
Member
Nathan Tuggy

It’s a bit of an oversimplification to say he was “completely” vindicated, but it does seem more likely than not that he was innocent. Perhaps more importantly, it seems like there’s a higher-than-normal chance that the case was put together with deliberate deceit, not just an innocent mistake. So it would certainly be reckless to use his case as an example of sex abuse among conservative Christians: the chance that it was a malicious, self-serving lie is similar to, perhaps rather greater than, the chance it was legitimate. And anyone who repeats malicious lies as examples of a wider problem… Read more »