Blast from the Past
Moscow, Idaho. Greetings, a little bit of a personal note. I think I had forgotten that you were based out of Moscow. Back in the day, my father and mother were owners of a small pizza establishment. Their first location was in Montana. Their partner’s name was Mark and my dad’s name was Karl. After the success of their first location, they decided to branch out and set up their second Karl Mark’s pizza in Moscow, Idaho. They had found success with college campus locations, and they assumed that the name would lend itself to sophomoric tastes of coeds desiring greasy pizza.
My dad would’ve appreciated your work. No idea if you were in Moscow in those days, or if you ever recalled seeing that establishment, but wanted to send a note your way.
Listening in on your Advice for Christians in the Coming Decade interview now and your insight on classical education shaped our path with training our boys.
Have a wonderful day.
Dave, thanks very much. Yes, I remember that establishment quite well.
Royalty Free, Use at Will
Fourth of July, a national celebration of that time when we told certain over-reaching established authorities to pound sand. This is very, very Yard Sign- Worthy. If you choose to copyright it, let me know how much I owe you.
Steve, thanks. If you have it printed up, just let the folks here know about it, and how they can get one.
Calvinism and Family
Over the past few years, the Lord and His Word have brought me into Reformed/Calvinistic soteriology. Along with this, there have been inevitable disagreements among my family and friends over the Calvinist/Arminian issue. My dad describes himself as a soft “Four Pointer” (TUIP), but tends to avoid debate because he believes it divides the Church too much. His argument, as well as many modern churches today, is that we should “major on the majors, minor on the minors.” Any time I bring up how the sovereignty of God is plainly stated throughout the Scriptures, he responds by agreeing, but adding that unless the issue is a “salvation issue,” he won’t passionately debate it.
I know there is a major issue with this line of thinking, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. What is wrong with saying “major on the majors, minor on the minors?” Or “if it isn’t a salvation issue, I won’t hotly debate it?” What are your thoughts on this? How would you go about handling this with my father?
Jayden, it is not simply a question of majoring on the majors. You also have to remember that different filter settings are appropriate for different circumstances or occasions. So if we are talking about an ordination exam at presbytery, I am with you. If we are talking about discussion and banter at the the family’s Thanksgiving gathering, I am with your dad.
Job and Girard
I always enjoy when you’re a guest on the Bible Reading Challenge. I was hoping you’d be the guest for the one on Job. I wanted to hear you talk about your agreement vs. your disagreement with Girard, and how you reconcile the two. Much of what Girard has to say assumes his view of the book’s ending (i.e., it assumes his dismissal of the book’s ending, consequently resulting in him not believing Job’s friends are really his friends). Since Job 2:11 says they were his friends, I’m assuming your position would be that they were his friends. It has been a while since I read Girard’s book on Job (I’ve been wanting to ask you this for quite some time), but from what I remember, much of what he has to say in his book assumes Job’s friends aren’t his friends. I just wanted to get your thoughts on that.
Also, I just watched your video, Liberty Redefined. I’d love to get your thoughts on what role you think the state should have in marriage. Can someone be married in God’s eyes without a marriage license from the state? I heard Bahnsen once say that he thinks marriage is a civil institution. I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask this to. Would love to get your thoughts. Thanks!
Chris, I learned a lot from Girard’s book on Job, and appreciated it very much. But I thought he actually weakened his case by his dismissal of the “front and back matter.” And marriage creates property issues and custody issues necessarily, and so of course the definition of marriage is a civil matter. In the famous cut-the-baby case, Solomon determined custody. The popular Christian libertarian view that “the state shouldn’t be in the marriage business” is simply a dodge, allowing Christians a pass when it comes to standing up to the homosexual agenda.
An Interesting Ministry Opportunity
Modern culture is an endless witch hunt for “white supremacists.” This much is obvious. Everyone is always asking, “Where are the White supremacists?”, but they never ask, “How are the White supremacists?” In my years as a Christian I’ve seen ministries for homosexuals, Africans, Hispanics, Asians, immigrants, refugees, men, women, children, criminals, prisoners, drug addicts, whores, single mothers, and just about every possible group under the sun. But not all.
I’ve never seen a ministry dedicated to spreading the Gospel to Whites.
And I’ve never seen one for evangelizing White supremacists or nationalists or Nazis, or whatever you want to call them.
This is what I would ask the liberalized Christians out there, especially racial liberals like John Piper. Who needs the Gospel more? Blacks or Nazis? Of course this puts him in a bind. For someone who believes that all the races of the world should mix until we become like we were before the tower of Babel, anyone advocating for the existence of the White race is anathema, they committed the greatest of the deadly sins. And he would never say that Africans are lower than them. So the answer is of course the Nazis. But has he ever witnessed to a Nazi? Has he ever done anything to or for a “racist” other than denounce them? Has he ever heard them out, listened to the reasoning behind their beliefs, empathized with them, cared about the future of their children and their children’s children? I doubt it.
So with this perspective I decided to go myself. I started looking into fascism and national socialism several years ago, and I’d be lying if I said the only reason I did was to share the Gospel. After much trepidation I started messaging people online, then meeting them in person. You’ll never be fired for fraternizing with a homosexual or some other degenerate, but a Nazi? The system will make sure you never work again.
I met with them. I met their families. I laughed with them and cried with them. When they were fired because of their beliefs I comforted them. I played with their kids and drank beers around campfires, and argued the finer points of religion. And when in Rome, do as the Romans, even if that means giving a Roman salute.
What I found would shock most people.
They aren’t violent. They aren’t mean. Most of them have close friends of different races. They are normal Americans just like everyone else I know. And they need the Gospel just the same, and the fields are ripe for the harvest. They already know the problems in modern society, and would agree with most orthodox Christians on issues like abortion, pornography, and degeneracy. They see these great evils that have been brought on White nations and burn with zeal to see it driven out. Even stereotypes about racial arrogance and blind hatred of other groups don’t apply. They deeply respect honorable men of other groups, just look at Marcus Garvey or Bobby Fischer.
And while my church friends gear up to watch the next comic book movie produced by pedophiles, my White nationalist friends create fundraisers to help our own when no one else will and organize campaigns against transexuals corrupting children.
I make sure to call them “church friends” instead of “Christian friends” because a surprising number of White nationalists are already Christian. I’d estimate about 40-50%. This is especially prevalent among the young men, and a lot of them are drawn to what they see as more traditional forms of Christianity; Orthodoxy, Catholicism with the Latin Mass, and Lutheranism. The number of Christian White nationalists is in large part due to the efforts of a small group of men dedicated to reaching these people. They publish podcasts like “The Godcast: Truth, Justice, & The Christian Way”, books like “Faith and Heritage”, and translations of Christian fascist writers like Leon Degrelle, Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, and Corneliu Codreanu. Only God knows the total number of souls saved through these ministries, but I’m certain it’s in the thousands. I’ve spoken to many of them, including some who never would have come to Christ if not for White nationalism.
But it’s not all roses. You’ll still find many atheists, pagans, and agnostics among my friends. Some of them are looking for a connection to their ancestors that they never got from our culture, some refuse to believe in a loving God because of how dreadfully sinful our nation has become, and some just don’t know. But speak with authority and they’ll listen. Some of them will listen intently and silently ponder, some will offer counter arguments, some have a purely utilitarian view of religion, and some will yell and accuse you of worshiping a dead Jew. But once the commotion that always follows a discussion on religion dies down, one or two may come up to you and say “Hey, what you just said makes a lot of sense”. You can’t be bashful and timid when sharing the Gospel with Nazis. Be bold! They’ll respect you more for it.
Unfortunately the modern church doesn’t make it easy. My friends always find another anti-White pastor advocating for immigration and miscegenation, or saying they must support Israel, and say “See! See! Christianity is just another lie, they’re using it to destroy us!” The hard part is they’re not entirely wrong. Those pastors are being used as a willing tool against White America, and hindering the Gospel in the process. They’re leading their flock astray by teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. But the problem is not Christianity itself. And as I continuously remind them; you can be a Christian and want to preserve your heritage, you can be a Christian and love your people, you can be a Christian and have illiberal political views, and YES, you can be a Christian and be White.
And sometimes that’s all they need to hear.
Anonymous, thanks. You are of course correct that these folks need the gospel, just like everyone else does. Just remember is that such outreach ministries have all the challenges of ordinary ministry, along with the temptation to go native. Someone who has a burning desire to minister to hipsters is someone who likely wants to be a hipster, albeit a saved one. The same temptation lies in the other direction as well.
Getting Between the Hogs and the Bucket
I see lots of Christians resisting the lockdowns, masks, and limitations to our movements. All good. But, I don’t see any Christians speaking up or resisting the point of greatest need, taxes. The powers that be draw their strength, not from widespread goodwill, but raw financial power. Do you think that at some point, this is going to be the place where the fight eventually goes? Would you agree that unless this faucet is shut off, we have little hope of success?
BJ, yes, I agree. I believe that all such showdowns get to that place eventually.
Two Points About the South
In last weeks letters you made two claims about the antebellum south:
1) That polygenism was a northern phenomena, and
2) That prior to the war most abolitionist societies were in the south.
Neither of these passed the smell test so I did some digging around, and I’m pretty certain both are false, or at best are extremely misleading.
First, let’s discuss polygenism. The first prominent American polygenist was a Dr. Caldwell, who was born in North Carolina. He spent some time in Philadelphia but wound up in Louisville founding the Louisville School of Medicine. He was a slave owner. Of the four prominent members of the so called American School of Ethnology (the leading polygenist organisation in the world) two were foreign born, one was a northerner (Morton) and the other was a southerner (Nott). But even the northerners get pulled into southern politics/culture as no less a figure than John Calhoun employed Morton and Gliddon (one of those foreign born polygenists) to provide scientific cover for the bondage of blacks. Many of the other prominent polygenists I can find were also southern doctors like Samuel Dickson and John Holbrook. There were southern (and northern!) intellectuals opposed to polygenism, but there wasn’t a clear geographic divide.
On to abolitionist societies. The only reference I can find for there being more abolitionist societies in the south than the north is from southern Quaker abolitionist Benjamin Lundy who wrote in 1827 that of 130 antislavery societies in America 106 were in the south. That number is questionable, but it’s also completely beside the point. Throughout the 1830s and 40s southern governments were passing laws making it illegal to disseminate abolitionist literature and abolitionist groups became entirely clandestine and public sentiment was hardening against abolition. By the late 1850s there were thousands of abolitionist groups in the north and only a few clinging on in the border states and upper south. If by “before the war” you mean “at some arbitrary point before 1861 this was the case,” then sure, it may be correct. But actually before the war, meaning in the cultural and social setting in which the war broke out, abolitionism had been pummeled nearly to death in the south.
Do you have any references to correct me?
Demosthenes, I certainly agree that just immediately prior to the war, the South had circled the wagons, and that attitudes had hardened considerably.
I had gotten that figure from a friend. I just checked with him, and here is what he gave me (from John S. Tilley, The Coming of the Glory., p. 16).
[Benjamin] “Lundy’s Genius of Emancipation records a little-appreciated anomaly, one attesting the strength of Southern anti-slavery sentiment. That is that of the one hundred and thirty anti-slavery societies operating in the United States in 1827, four-fifths of the number and an equal proportion of the membership were in the states of the South. Indeed, a careful student sponsors the finding that, at the very time when Garrison began his abolition crusade, the South was more interested in emancipation than was the North.”
In other words, on the isolated question of the abolition of slavery itself, there had been a real appetite for that in the South, which lasted until the question got swept up with regional rivalries and politics. But because of the rhetoric of the radical abolitionists, it became very difficult for Southerners who had opposed slavery to be openly opposed without seeming disloyal to their people. It is the same dynamic when mainstream pro-lifers are made to answer for the behavior of abortion clinic bombers. But, of course, the right thing is always the right thing, even if others make it difficult for you.
On to polygenism, I think I got that from Eugene Genovese’s A Consuming Fire, or maybe Shattuck’s A Shield and Hiding Place. I am not sure, and am unable to put my hands on it, but I am pretty sure it was Genovese. You may well be right about the views of the more secular leaders in both regions, but the religious conservatives (e.g. Thornwell, Dabney) were hostile to polygenism, and that sort of leadership was much more influential in the South.
I have a question regarding the Olivet Discourse. After reading your book on Revelation I have jumped into studying the postmillennial perspective. While looking through many postmill’s interpretation of Matthew 24, most of them seem to not address Matthew 25:31-46 and the “coming of the Son of Man in glory” when he separates the sheep from the goats. Do you take this passage to still be about the coming in 70 AD or did Matthew shift his focus from the destruction of Jerusalem to the last judgement?
And while I’m here, what does Luke 21:35 mean when it says “For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.” The difficulty seems to be the “whole earth” phrase which seems to not fit the AD 70 narrative. I asked a friend of mine and all I got was “Jesus meant what he said,” but he’s a pre-mill.
Any help would be appreciated!
Warren, my understanding is that by the time we reach the division of the sheep and the goats in Matt. 25, we are talking about the final judgment, not 70 A.D. As regards Luke 21:35, I believe it is a translation issue. The word ge can be rendered as earth, but also as land. If the latter then it could easily have reference to 70 A.D.
Good day! I am looking for the plodcast that addressed principles to consider when faced with a possible relocation or geographical move.
I listened to it a bit ago (sometime within the past several month— say 4-6 months.) You cited top criteria to consider before uprooting and moving across country!
Thank you for any help with this matter. And thank you for faithful work!
Darlene, I don’t remember which Plodcast that was. Sorry! Maybe I might crowd source the question? People? But in written form, I have put down what I think of the subject here.
Somehow That Didn’t Make the News
The letter writer ‘Mark’ forgot to point out that Bill Gothard was completely vindicated in the lawsuit against him. While there are fallen preachers out there, he wasn’t one of them. The details can be read here.
Lance, thank you. I hadn’t heard that.
Battle Over the Dictionary
Strunk & White Supremacy.
The battle over the dictionary apparently started even before Rousseau. I’ve been reading Dante again (as therapy against screens) and found some amazingly relevant insights in the commentary by Dorothy Sayers. See quotes below for her comments on the abuse and corruption of language; as well as other insights into our cultural moment. 700 years ago, Dante penned his famous observations on the human condition. 70 years ago, Dorothy L Sayers elucidated Dante’ prescient description of our social media sopped age. In her commentary on The Eighth Circle of Hell [Malbowges]; the Circle of Fraud or Malice, Sayers writes:
“Malbowges is, I think, after a rather special manner, the image of the City in corruption: the progressive disintegration of every social relationship, personal and public. Sexuality, ecclesiastical and civil office, language, ownership, counsel, authority, psychic influence, and material interdependence—all the media of community’s exchange are perverted and falsified, till nothing remains but the descent into the final abyss where faith and trust are wholly and forever extinguished.”
“The Panders and Seducers. In the Circles of Fraud (the abuse of the specifically human faculty of reason) the ministers of Hell are no longer mere embodied appetites, but actual devils, images of the perverted intellect. In the First Bowge, those who deliberately exploited the passions of others and so drove them to serve their own interests, are themselves driven and scourged. The image is a sexual one; but the Panders and Seducers allegorically figure the stimulation and exploitation of every kind of passion—e.g. rage or greed—by which one may make tools of people.”
“The Flatterers. These, too, exploit others by playing upon their desires and fears; their especial weapon is that abuse and corruption of language which destroys communication between mind and mind. Here they are plunged in the slop and filth which they excreted upon the world. Dante did not live to see the full development of political propaganda, commercial advertisement, and sensational journalism, but he has prepared a place for them.”
Quotes are from Canto XVIII, pg 185-186, The Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Cantica I, Hell, translation and commentary by Dorothy L. Sayers, Penguin Classics, Copyright 1949.
Brad, thanks very much.
Strunk and White Supremacy
I have watched the video you chose to include many times before. I have the link saved. I have at least 2, 3×5 cards, covered with particular things that John and you did to demonstrate respect and unity. My favorite, please don’t say it wasn’t on purpose, was that you each took the manner of the other in interacting. John poked fun and used language that sounded almost like you. You were constantly affirming him and self-deprecating. Not that you never did those things but it seemed you had traded sweater vests.
There was a whole seminar on how to heal division and demonstrate the value of differences, in the unity we have in Christ.
Once again, just encouragement.
Jeanette, thanks very much.
This is in response to “Strunk & White Supremacy” and including the YouTube video of you and Pastor John you link to in this article.
I watched the whole video, at normal speed.
The discussion you had was rich and mature and enlightening and helpful.
It stretched my understanding about the body of Christ and the diversity of personalities, gifts, “blind spots”, functions, etc . . . it showed me how much my own mind/heart needs to be matured and stretched just to accommodate both you and pastor John, for example
Pastor John’s preaching and articles over the years have helped me very much… but I wish he would never say another word about race issues, social justice, etc. and just stick to preaching/teaching Christ and the Bible . . . and from a cultural point of view I resonate very much with you.
One reaction I have from watching this is my despair of the prospect of ever coming to an agreement on the “race” issues through “talking”, etc . . . like you and pastor John and Joe did with the group of African American brothers and others . . . and totally agree with you is that this harmony is only found in Christ . . . like the Jews and Gentiles in the New Testament.
Pastor Doug, isn’t it true that the Jew/Gentile division was worse and deeper than the “black/white” issues of our day? . . . and that Paul, and others didn’t seem to emphasize feeling everybody’s pain, etc. on all the “Jew/Gentile” issues . . . but rather just to live like Christians? . . . esteeming others more than yourselves, forgiving, love, etc.? right?
And one question/observation I really hope you will answer that seems to be missing in the vibe I get from pastor John…………. where is the admonition to the African American brothers to forgive and to esteem their “white” brothers more than themselves . . . just as it is the duty of the “white” brothers to forgive the African American brother and esteem him more important than themselves . . . Love covers a multitude of sins . . . maybe I’m showing what a Neanderthal I am, but it seems like the African American brother is getting a pass on his bitterness, unforgiving attitude, lack of love, etc.
Do you have an answer/observation/comment on that?
Robert, my only response would be to agree. If the gospel is the only answer, then the gospel applies to all, and the logic of it must be extended in every direction. No one gets a pass.
In the DG video embedded in Strunk and White Supremacy, you and John reference a conversation between you and several African American pastors. I searched for it but came up empty. Is it still available for viewing?
Shane, I believe the meeting we were referring to was not taped and was behind closed doors.
Where to Give Your Stimulus Check
Follow up on what to do with your government-issued bribes . . . I like the one fellow’s idea about donating the “economic impact payments” to a crisis pregnancy center or anti-abortion ministry.
Are there any in Moscow that you would recommend in particular?
Arwen, yes. CareNet of the Palouse.
Or Maybe a Bonaparist
Not my original thought but in an unusually pleasant social media exchange someone brought up the following idea:
A Christian libertarian is really just a temporary libertarian. Underneath, they are really a monarchist.
Please take care of your health, although I realize that is God who is at work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure, and so He will preserve you . . . but I will tell you that you are becoming very valuable from your writings and communications, to the Church here in Southern Illinois among those of us who Stand and Think. God Bless Nancy and all your family. May the LORD of us continue to help us mount up with wings like eagles, to discern what is True and Noble and Lovely, and help us quit ourselves like godly men and women.
Yours in Christ
Brenda, thank you.
I appreciate and am encouraged by the wealth of stuff on eschatology available on the Canon App. While enjoying the swim in DeMar & CO’s pool, however, I think I’m missing the future return of Christ, which some of our creeds profess.
Where’s the guardrail to keep from flying off into a historically heretical preterism where it seems there’s no need for Christ to return?
Thanks for any help.
Iivo, the universal church has made only one eschatological determination, and that is that full preterism is wrong. At Christ Church, we confess every week that Jesus Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. And Canon has at least one book dedicated to the refutation of full preterism.
Thank you for loving the truth and boldly and aggressively charging every elephant that dares to cross the threshold. I like my truth served like my bourbon—top shelf, straight and neat, and 100 proof, Keep pouring it on.
Jennifer, no, no. You drink it. Don’t pour it on.
A Book Recommend
I’ve been searching in vain for a resource that I don’t think exists, but I’m hoping you may have a recommendation. I would love to find a book (or even an online guide) with selections for celebrating the yearly Christian calendar as a family. My husband reads the relevant scriptures during Advent and Holy Week and we discuss, but as the homeschooling mom, I’d love to flesh out Christian seasons and holidays both personally and with the children. There are of course countless liturgical guides or devotionals, but I’d love something cheerfully reformed and approachable enough to read together with our children. In true homeschooler form, there would be bonus points for additional content like recipes, crafts, and traditions, but maybe I’m being too greedy. I’ve found some good things for Advent (including your book), and some “okay” stuff for Easter, but it’s wearisome having to vet everything (either it’s too Veggie Tales-y or too Roman Catholic). We aren’t wanting to celebrate every feast day imaginable, but just to orient our days, weeks, and months as Christians. I think to myself, surely someone else wants such a thing, and has compiled a delightful collection of readings and hymns and such for families. Surely. And yet . . . I can’t find it.
Any suggestions? Two of ours are still in diapers. We don’t have time to write curriculum. Please help.
Amy, thanks. The closest we have is this.
Re: Jory Micah in Strunk & White Supremacy: Sure, white men can turn in their guns—right after white women turn in their Twitter accounts.
FP, so our guns are safe then?
The Real Source of the Problem
Pastor Doug, I think you are off by a couple hundred years. The onset of our problem traces back to Descartes.
David, yes, of course, I actually agree with that. But then we half to go back even further, and eventually we get to Adam.
Do you catalogue your personal library? If so, how?
Nate, the librarians of Tyndale Library at NSA did it for me, and students can check out my books. Two birds with one stone.
I have been greatly blessed by listening to your podcasts. Thank you.
I have been searching on the internet to find what your podcast theme song is. Would you let me know the name of the singer and the song?
Yours in Christ,
Jacob, if we are thinking of the same thing, it is God Don’t Never Change by Ashley Cleveland.