Women at the Academies
A young woman who is dear to our family has been accepted into one of our nation’s military academies. The fact that she is considering this path came as a surprise to us and has sparked serious concern. Realistically, my husband or I might get one chance to speak to her and/or her parents about these concerns before we become a nuisance. Do you have any advice for what to focus on if the opportunity arises? What could make the most impact in the brief time before our chance to speak is gone? I know you are a busy man, but we are very grateful if you are able to respond.
B, what I would do is this. When you have that opportunity, ask them, or her, if they would mind hearing your concerns about it. If they would mind, then expressing the concerns would probably have done no good anyway. If they are open to hearing from you, then I would say “great, thanks,” and write them a letter. If they are at all open, the letter will be read and reread, and a conversation could easily get derailed. In that letter, I would just list the areas of concern, and not spend a great deal of time pleading your case. Just state it.
Children and the Church Year
Last week Amy asked you for resources to teach children about the church year. Concordia Publishing House has a couple options that might be worth considering. “Ordering Our Days In His Peace” is a book for children to explain the purpose behind the church year.
They also have a “Church Year Worship Kit” which takes a more curriculum-based approached to teaching children about the church year.
Finally, I would like to mention “The Story Bible” published by this same company. While I have not used the aforementioned materials, we do own a copy of “The Story Bible” which we have been very pleased with. The artwork is beautiful, and the text is drawn directly from Scripture. Commentary and paraphrases are minimal and clearly indicated in the text. I have a vague memory of someone asking quite some time ago about high quality children’s Bibles. I think this one would qualify.
There is a “look inside” feature at the links provided.
I’m not affiliated with CPH in any way. I am simply an appreciative reader and wanted to pass along information that might be helpful.
Beth, thanks very much.
Pound Sand Yard Signs
I’m proceeding apace with the yard signs. I’m about to pull the trigger on PoundSand LLC, which, yes, I’m excited about. It seems our city ordinance covering yard signs w/o permit limits them to less than 10 sq feet. I’m having 36 x 24” quoted, so no problem so far in my metropolis.
How about Moscow ID?
Steve, I think that should be fine. Let us know when they will be available.
Free Speech Book
I suspect your writing and eventual book on free speech may well be the major historical work of yours that survives the test of time. I’ve read most of your published (and online) material. Your blend of wit, satire, solid logic, and foundational truth are always a joy.
Might I encourage a formal work more like “Glory and a Covering” than “Justice Primer?” A lot of the salient points in “justice” were not served as well for future generations by the quips and 21st century culture that resonated with my contemporary mind. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be as wooden as “Shining Like the Sun,” but I’d like to see a scholarly work that I can hand to my post-western-civilization-collapse grandchild in 2065 that timelessly expresses a Biblical theology of free speech.
Grace and Peace,
Nathan, thanks for the input.
No Fear Fiasco
I smirk, not because you said anything smirk-worthy—which you did—but because you used the very same analogy to make a point that I once did in a training room full of co-workers.
I said then, as you do now, that “people keep sending out plaintive email messages from a stranded Nigerian prince with billions in gold stashed somewhere . . . because they work . . .”
I nearly laughed aloud, but not with even the smallest note of hilarity. It was a lament, perhaps a laugh conjured to conceal a cry. I nearly lost my job that day.
Yes, I made the innocuous (though quite helpful) comment, comparing whatever the topic was to the “Nigerian email scam” that literally everyone knows about and yet still falls for—the original and still the best scam ever to clog our digital In Boxes. And for that I came within a hair’s breadth of termination. Not because I was right, or clever, or put anyone in their place, or spoke out of turn . . . none of that. I was nearly fired because I had the audacity to say “Nigerian.”
So . . . I’m glad you’re around to say these things without getting canned for it. I still have to worry about the axe-wielding career murderers when I say those things. Thus, at least for now, I have to cheer you from the sideline.
RE: Purple . . . Meltdown & Pensions This was a good reminder that state pensions, especially in fiscally-mad states, are not to be counted on. Got me thinking—what retirement streams do you think, assuming our current downward spiral-trend continues, could be counted on? Traditional stock market avenues? Precious metals? Crypto? Or are we now in the realm of considering barter systems and productive property-type approaches?
Andy, as I think I pointed out in the piece, nothing in this world is absolutely secure. Thieves can always break in and steal. But for the sake of prudence, I would think about real property in states that have a deeper tradition of respecting real property.
Thank you so much for the fruit you and your family produce for Christ’s people. Apologies if you have already addressed this, but I am wondering if you have a recommendation for a book which, in my fancies, would be titled something like “How to Read a Book Like a Christian.” I’m not a new Christian, but for 25 years I was steeped in the culture of academic post-modernism. I can read a book like a deconstructionist, like a feminist, like a Freudian. . . . but not like a Christian. A Christian homeschooling podcaster recommended “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren. Despite Prof. Van Doren’s bona fides, I think I have been far enough down that road. Your thoughts would be most welcome. Blessings to you and yours,
E, I don’t know of a book that is exactly as you describe. But the closest I can think of would be C.S. Lewis’s Experiment in Criticism. And it is a wonderful book regardless.
First of all, thank you. Your writings were first given to me in 2019 when I became interested in Classical education. It was a fascinating read and got me to the Repairing the Ruins conference in Atlanta that year. I believe you received a well-deserved award there. It is clear why.
My question after reading your article is this: While I believe the election was stolen, making resident Biden illegitimate, and knowing that nearly all he and his administration accomplish through him will be illegitimate, if not downright evil, the Bible seems to say that his authority IS established by God and meant to bring about events necessary to fulfill His promises and prophecies and ultimately Christ’s second coming. What is my responsibility then?
I live in a small town in Ohio now and have pretty much decided to concentrate on these things: God, family, neighbors, and work in that order. No, I’ll not give up my rights. The government didn’t give them to me and they cannot take them away, and I’m not getting a mandatory vaccination more because I am possessed of an immune system that prevents me from getting colds or the flu, but other than that I’m pretty much keeping my head down. (Yes, I can see myself in a back-alley somewhere getting a counterfeit vaccination passport.)
You are a trusted source for me when it comes to this issue. My father has passed already so I don’t have him to turn to. Does all this sound like the wisest course?
Russel, sounds good. The only thing to keep an eye on would be your local and state politics. Sometimes these people don’t approve of those who are keeping their head down.
Heading to Westminster
First, I want to say how richly you and your family and your ministry have blessed our little family! Secondly, my husband and I grew up pre-mil, fundamental & dispensationalist. It wasn’t until happening upon your work that we even knew what any of that meant! We are currently attending an IFB baptist church, which happens to be the only place with a spine in our tiny central IL town. With all that said, we are heavily leaning post-millenial/covenantal and would really appreciate some guidance. We have watched/listened to many of your sermons. There is so much we know we don’t understand. Could you recommend reading material or a place to start? We do use the Canon App. Which thank you for that!
Myranda, God bless you both. I would say that the next thing would be to address the foundation issues. I have a book/commentary on the Westminster Confession that is called Westminster Systematics. Try that next.
Religion is the Problem, Right?
In the past two weeks we have seen one man, burdened by his guilt and struggles with lust, shoot up a massage parlor. Secondly, the knife-wielding young man who drove his car into the Capitol and was shot by Capitol police, who appears to have been religiously motivated, encouraging people to “study who the beast is, study who the antichrist is, study who the false prophet is . . .” Obviously this confused young man had some other psychological issues, the belief that Farrakhan was Jesus Christ as an obvious example. But do you think we are seeing a trend pick up here, where the media will start to highlight and categorize these “religious” motivated acts as indicative of the danger of all religion? One occurrence is a point, two is a line, three is a trajectory. Or am I reading a narrative that isn’t there?
Tim, I don’t think we have that yet, but I think we had best keep an eye out for it. They will want to say that the enemy is “religious extremism,” as though all religions are the same. But this is like fighting quack remedies by outlawing “stuff that comes in bottles.”
I am currently a lay person who has benefited greatly from your books over the past decade. My church leaders say that church is for Christians, but also say that being “missional” includes tailoring the culture of the service to the unchurched on the basis of 1 Cor 9:22-23 (all things to all men) and to go out of our way to be accessible to the unbeliever (e.g. on the grounds of 1 Cor 14:23).
They therefore hold to a flexible order of service and favour contemporary songs in worship (with sound lyrics) with only the occasional hymn.
I have read your 1 Corinthians commentary and most of your books on corporate worship. Could you please comment on my church’s application of 1 Cor 9 in particular? Thanks.
Pierre, in 1 Corinthians 9, Paul is not talking about the liturgy of the church at all. In 1 Corinthians 14, he is talking about corporate worship, but is only saying that the worship should not be bedlam, incomprehensible to any sensible person. Worship on the Lord’s Day morning is a meeting of God’s people, and it is for them. If you want to have an outreach service, do it Wednesday night.
I would first like to begin by saying you have been one of my greatest influences over the last year. Your consistently powerful “Blog & Mablog” talks have inspired me in more ways than one.
I do not have a question about any particular blog. I just finished “When the Man Comes Around” and I have two questions in particular.
1. How does the postmillennial handle the countless and seemingly physical promises in the Old Testament (specifically in the prophets) made to Israel? Some of these promises are hard to make figurative/spiritual. More specifically the promises of one day bringing Israel back into an abundantly prosperous land that will never be “plucked up or overthrown anymore, forever.” I do not believe I have found any of your content where that is addressed.
2. You did not address the issue of the first beast being thrown into the same lake of fire that burns with sulfur as the second beast and eventually Satan. If the first beast is Rome, to which I agree, then why did it take another 300+ years for Rome to actually fall whereas the priesthood fell soon thereafter the Revelation?
Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope to hear back from you “soon.”
Jerod, while I believe that many of the OT promises have a spiritual fulfillment, and are fulfilled in Christ and in the church, I do not believe that this excludes physical and literal fulfillments. I believe those are still coming. And as far as the timing of the judgments on the beasts, I don’t believe that the events in an apocalyptic vision are time-stamped the way a surveillance camera would stamp them in our world.
For those of us that use an RSS reader, the pics don’t always come through. It’d be good if you could name the book and author you’re reviewing in your article so we don’t have to click through to the blog. thanks.
Lance, thanks for the reminder and nudge.
I trust you and yours are well. Apologies as this isn’t a letter about a specific blog post (though I’m sure you’ve probably addressed it at some point).
I’m a Christian from the UK and though I think we’d disagree on a few points, you always seem to want to engage respectfully with people who disagree with you, a trait sorely missing in large sectors of society it would seem currently. So thank you for that.
I was born to missionary parents in Africa and was brought up listening to and reading about extraordinary tales of missionaries in Africa. One big inspiration in my life has been one Dr Helen Roseveare, who if you are not aware of her was a missionary doctor in a remote part of Congo from the early fifties to eighties. Aside from doing remarkable medical work in extreme conditions and building a hospital and church (literally, she definitely got her hands dirty) she also preached and taught the Bible from the pulpit, there were no other ministers for miles around. What is your view on her doing this? Should she not have preached? Can exceptions be made in extreme circumstances such as this?
As her remote village slowly became more accessible (in many ways thanks to her) she took a step back from teaching as more ministers were able to visit the area and she could concentrate on medical work, but she still preached occasionally. She endured severe hardships, including rape during the civil war, but always remained steadfast in her commitment to the Lord.
I understand that you receive many letters from all over the world, and possibly may not even read this! On the off chance that you do, could you comment on the questions I asked, and possibly even tie it to the question of women doing traditionally men’s jobs (as Helen Roseveare did). If nothing else, I exhort you to read her books about her time in the Congo, she was a truly inspirational servant of Christ.
Mack, yes, I was generally familiar with her work. This is the kind of person I can respect and admire, while still believing straight-line obedience would have been better. As Samuel put it, to obey is better than sacrifice. My own mother was a single woman missionary to post-war Japan, and I am proud of her dedication and sacrifice there. But there were things about the post-WW2 missionary culture that I think were misguided.
Hey brother, I’m a missionary serving in Italy. I just purchased “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates”, based on your recommendation. You may already be aware of this, but if not, I thought you’d like to know that a fair amount of the titles I purchase in paperback from amazon.it are actually printed by Amazon. Seems like a slippery slope when it comes to the whole question of editorial control. Whenever possible, I’m purchasing books as hardcover.
Thanks for all your work. I appreciate the thought-provokingness of your publications.
Daniel, yes. We certainly need to keep an eye on it. All the e-books in my Mablog shop are books that are available in hard copy also, and Amazon prints them.
Sticking With the Faithful Churches
In 7 Steps to Navigate a Purple Cultural Meltdown, you mentioned staying at your church if it’s faithful, but defined faithful “not as just orthodox but as led by pastors who ‘understand the times’.” Can you go into this more, and when you should leave an otherwise faithful congregation?
I’m in an amill church, all are well aware of the mess we’re in, but of less of a ‘fight and rally’ mindset than a ‘keep calm and carry on’ mindset. They take the view that the world has been this bad, and worse, before, and we’re to just keep chugging along. (We’re also in a pretty red state/area, so there’s less of a threat to us directly). They’re far less high octane than the post mil/theonomy folks I follow, but they’re faithful, orthodox, and godly. At what point does it become an issue to leave over?
Anonymous, from what you describe, I would not leave a church like that.
Regarding 7 Principles for Navigating a Purple Cultural Meltdown, I need more help. I currently live in the Washington DC metro area (Montgomery County, MD), where I raised my kids. Last month, we sold our house and we are renting until my youngest graduates from high school in June. Incidentally, they still have not resumed in-person instruction yet in the public schools. We have been planning to hightail it out of here for years for all the reasons you can imagine.
My problem is how to find a body of like-minded believers. It has been challenging enough to find a faithful church in an area where I have lived for 25 years, let alone in a Red state that I don’t know. My current church is evangelical Bible-believing, but they are missing a “spine” regarding our current cultural issues. What I have noticed is that church spines, whether they be made if jelly or steel do not reveal themselves without close and sometimes prolonged inspection. My wife and I visited Christ Church last August and I have been reading your stuff for past 15 years. Moscow is really the only place that I could have confidence that I’m making the right move. However, we have concerns about moving that far way from our immediate and extended families that are scattered up and down the East coast. You guys wouldn’t happen to have a list of strong-spined churches in say Florida or Ohio would you? You would really be helping out a confused bloke
Brent, let’s do it this way. Let me invite readers who attend strong churches in Florida, Ohio, or other points east weigh in here. And if they don’t, you are certainly welcome to join us.
Protestant Resistance Theory
Could you please teach Protestant resistance. I think we had all be better informed how to properly fight against evil in these dangerous times. I know most know Scripture, but not in this exact format. Thank you very much.
Anne, thanks. Yes, we will try.
An Aside About Baseball
Re. Seven Principals for Navigating a…Meltdown.”
I copied this post to me and mine (broadly) and will refer to it often, i.e. whenever I am sucked down by the immediate. Thank you.
AND I am encouraged by you finally admitting that baseball is THE sport of life (see last sentence of the quote—in your own words! :) )-
“Play Shortstop—That might seem a little cryptic, but what I mean is this. When you are playing shortstop (and the other positions, for that matter, but especially shortstop), you are thinking about various scenarios all the time. If it comes to me, I throw to second. If it goes to right field, I cover second. If it . . . Not only so, but you could explain why you need to cover second in that circumstance. My emphasis here is on the why. You need to study baseball, in other words.”
John, you are right. Those are my very words. But, as you might have guessed, I admit nothing.
Old Coot Worship Music
My family and I are thankful for your ministry and have often benefited by your perspectives, and some of us attended last year’s conference. We appreciate your efforts on behalf of the gospel and the cause of reform theology. We also appreciate your sense of fun and humor; so, when we ran across the link in your Content Cluster Muster from 3/25 to the Worship Song Song, by Random Action Verb Worship, we really enjoyed it and got a good chuckle.
Being old coots, and old coots who have been through extended seasons attending various old-line denominational churches, independent churches, and so on, we have been exposed to all kinds of church music, from Latin chants to hymns to contemporary Christian music—“P&W.” The Worship Song Song is a great and well-done send-up of the latter, and has more than a kernel of truth. We suppose you included the link in the spirit of good humor, and it occurred to us that the more, shall we say, “traditional” church music styles could also use a good-natured send-up. So we wrote one, below.
We were thinking of waiting till we could record it in four-part harmony, but decided in the interest of time to send just the lyrics (everyone knows the tune) so we wouldn’t be too out of date responding to the original post.
Hope you find it amusing, with a kernel of truth as well. Speaking for ourselves, in our 70 or so years we have come to appreciate Christian music in many styles from old to new, so long as there is sound doctrine and clear gospel truth in them.
Thanks and blessings in Christ,
Ode to our Hymnal
(To be sung to the tune of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”)
Austerely, in strict meter; a capella except during Conference Week when use of an ancient pipe organ is permitted. No flourishes, trills, improvisations, key changes, skipped verses, or fermatas are permitted without the express written consent of the author.
Ten thousand times we’ve sung these songs,
Yet we will never change them
Though dull as dust, five verses long,
Let no man rearrange them”
“x” hundred years ago
The ancients wrote them, so
Be dozing if you will
Our hymns continue still
And we will ne’er exchange them.
The age of sacred songs is gone,
Few living souls could write one
Unless it’s styled like some old song,
By no means we’ll recite one
Our Luther, Watts, and Bach
Have hardened into rock
These new songs we reject
Lest they with joy infect
Or holy bliss ignite one.
New books and sermons are OK;
We sense their value keenly
But new songs must be kept at bay,
For they may prove unseemly
Are in a style that’s wrong
Their doctrine may be pure
But we are smugly sure
Our old styles reign supremely
The four-four meter is the best,
No six-eight time permitted
This is the rhythm God has blessed,
All else for the dim-witted
We must have dignity;
Our psalters shall be free
Of joy; well kept in check
To spare our stiffened neck
And when it ends, we’re seated.
O Thou transcendent God who reigns,
O awe-inspiring Trinity
We thank Thee that Thou hast been trained
To fit within our liturgy
You know we need to go
By twelve o’clock or so
Please send your presence now
Before verse five, somehow
Then we’ll get home and watch TV
Mr. & Mrs. B
Mr. & Mrs B—chef’s kiss. You really ought to record that, you know.
Hanging With the Guys
I just had Man Day with 3 close friends last week. All around 40 years old and we don’t live in the same cities anymore, so we got together and ate good food, drank good drink, and laughed until we cried many times over. There were also many moments of reflection and edification. I have 2 teen-aged sons and the others are raising younger boys, so they had questions for me. I realized as I was sharing things I had learned, that many of them had come from you (teach your boys not just to obey the rule, but to love the rule . . . instill a mindset that plans to be married by 23 etc.), so I just wanted to pass along a note to say thanks. You’ve made me a better Dad and my boys are much better off because of your writing. BTW, you were awarded Line of 2020 with “that bitch goddess intersectionality” so congrats on that!
Dan, thanks very much, and God bless you all.
I read the Jehoiada blog, and I listened to your YouTube message about Roman 13 and the the 21 principles about government and Christian response.
As I sit under a perpetual cloud of spiritual depression that is SovietSeattleizikan. I was drawn to you mentioning lesser administrators being instrumental to changing a gov’t as in Jehoiada or the Glorious revolution. Here in SSizikan, the King county Sheriff is on the hot seat. A young Asian man was killed by deputies. The family sued in federal court and King County settled out of court to the tune of 5 million. I didn’t think highly of our female sheriff until today . I thought she was a liberal tool for the county, the last elected one. But today, she did the unthinkable, she defended her deputies. Now the story’s out that the young man was high on LSD and threatening the neighbors with a knife, and one neighbor was going to shoot the man. It was a chaotic scene and the deputies had a time trying to discern what’s going on. eventually the young man was shot and killed. The family didn’t like it and thought it was a racial shooting.
The sheriff was finally able to talk and she defended the deputies. A county councilman wants her fired. And for all intent and purpose, she told him to go to H__L.
Just maybe a minor administrator could be instrumental in changing the landscape around here
Joseph, thanks for writing.
My Book List
I appreciate you, and your work. I notice you have an impressive book list. I have one question on my mind. Do you give up reading an awful book, or do you muscle through it? Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Jeremy, no. I regularly start books that I don’t finish because I don’t think the game is worth the candle. When I do muscle through a book that I think is a stinker, it is because there is some need to—I need to review it or something. The books that I complete are usually books that I find edifying at some level.
That’s Probably Because It Was Muddled
I very much enjoyed the last section of your blog post. Much of what preceded it was quite muddled and leaves me wondering how you got there. It just does not follow that all those who believe the Democrats had enough legitimate votes to win the election will have a more difficult time justifying resisting a legitimate leader giving unlawful edicts. Do you believe the city council of Moscow stole the election?
John, thanks, and point taken. But I would counter with this. We don’t believe that the current city council stole the election. But if we did believe that, we would have brought things to a head much sooner. There is a natural and good tendency to be more patient with legit rulers who are doing bad things than will illegit rulers doing bad things.
Rights Are not Put to a Vote
I really appreciate your latest post.
My question is this.
How does the conclusion change, if at all, if the mandatory buy backs are not established by executive order, but by a bill passed by Congress? Thank you
Mason, I don’t think anything changes. Inalienable rights shouldn’t be put to a vote. If they are, and they lose, then those who know they have those rights from God should continue to exercise them.
Ethically Sourced Resistance Material
I was encouraged by “A Jehoiada Situation”—okay, by the analysis of the situation, not the situation. Please keep it up. You mention a few books relevant to the subject and provided their links on Amazon. I am trying to move away from Amazon unless there is no other choice. With a little digging, I found these books in a few other places.
There’s even a free PDF version of VCT here. .
Your article also encouraged me to re-read my state constitution and to start getting legal preparation for my church. It’s probably also a good time to double down on the prayers even though the Lord should give us justice instead of mercy.
John, thank you for the resources.