Day Before Wednesday Letters

Sharing Options
Show Outline with Links

Good Idea

Recommend for Man Rampant guest invitation: Pr. James Coates from Grace Life Church, Edmonton. Thanks for all you are doing in our Lord and Saviour’s name.

Ian

Ian, thanks. Good idea.

Theonomy Stuff

I have a question after studying parts of Old Testament Law and what Jesus said about them. What are the food laws (do not eat shellfish etc…) to be specified as? Are they creation laws, or redemptive laws? If redemptive, I know that of course, Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God and thus are all fulfilled in Him. However, what about the food laws? I know what Jesus says in Mark 7, so I do not believe we are to not eat them in order to be set apart, but then what exactly were they in Old Testament Law (what classification)?

Also, if Christ fulfills the Law, how are we to look at the Law today (creation law)? I have been researching this a lot and there does not seem to be a lot of good material out there. I keep running into either Hebrew Roots Movement on one end, or super progressive people saying that homosexuality is no longer a sin. I do not believe either is correct and would love your help on this.

Hope all is well with you and your family,

Grant

Grant, my understanding is that the dietary restriction law were part of the holiness code, intended to train the people of God in making distinctions. This, not that. The unclean foods represented the Gentiles and all their ways, and the pure foods represented the Jews who were following the law of God. This holiness code is referred to in Ephesians (the commandments contained in ordinances), and so we take our applications of holiness (this, not that) to a higher level.

Have you responded to this sort of argument before? I live in a world heavily influenced by TGC, and the fact that they are posting this sort of thing tells me postmill thinking is actually penetrating places I need it to. This guy seems to be trying to inoculate people to the questions postmills ask, but his answer is basically, “yeah, that’s a good point, but you’re wrong.” Any thoughts, previous posts, or interactions planned? Thank you ahead of time.

Jerrod

Jerrod, I think that the circumstances are forcing us to deal with the implications of biblical law in the modern era. Secular law is a full-orbed system, but in order to answer it, biblical law must be held as a full-orbed system. But any attempt at that raises theonomic questions. Thus any Christian who wants to answer and refute the secularists (as Andrew Walker does) has to grapple with these questions.

Cultural Mandate

Re: Making Disciples or Taking Dominion?

I really appreciate your explanation of the underlying unity of the cultural mandate and the great commission. It amazes me how often we see dispensationalized theology raise its ugly head in the reformed community; in this case the questioning of whether the cultural mandate is even operational now.

When asked if unbelievers can carry out the cultural mandate, you said they could in part, but would make a mess of it. I agree and would add that the reason they make a mess of it and that they could never complete it is because unbelievers stand in opposition to the cultural mandates’ purpose: preparing the world as a dwelling place for God with man. Does that agree with your understanding of the cultural mandate?

Bill

Bill, yes. Very much so.

Derek Chauvin

Any thoughts on the possibility of mayhem in the Minneapolis area if Derek Chauvin is not convicted in the current trials?

Uriah

Uriah, I would say that it is more than a possibility, and is almost an absolute certainty. And I would say that responsibility for the mayhem will be shared by all those who wanted the sentence first, and the trial later. And that includes many evangelical leaders.

Now that the Derek Chauvin murder trial looks like it will go the way of the George Zimmerman one can we expect a hearty round of repentance from all of those “evangelical leaders” who called for national repentance and marched for “justice” in the wake of Floyd’s death? How long should I be holding my breath?

Tim

Tim, I would recommend against holding your breath at all.

Chestertonian Calvinism

This article introduces an exciting and new (for me) understanding (of thIs humble/happy/buoyant/grateful Puritan mind, This “Chestertonianism”) and then abruptly ends without any sequel or “for more, check out …”. I’d say I fall short of the mark of gladness, and rather resemble the “anxious”, “motive-scratching” “self” from the second Lewis Quote. Seriously do you have any more on this?

Sincerely,

Michael

Michael, I am working on a short book with that title now. Wish me luck.

Rendered to Caesar

Re: Man Rampant Season 3 Episode 2 with Glenn Sunshine What exactly does it mean to “render ourselves to Caesar?” If it is not permissible to give ourselves to Caesar, this would seem to preclude military service, which almost requires us to give our rights to the state. Or at least that’s the impression I had when I was serving.

Eric

Eric, yes. There will be those who demand the kind of whole-hearted surrender of yourself, and they do in the name of patriotism. But what they say faithful service means does not need to be defined by them. As long as a soldier holds his allegiance to Christ in reserve, meaning that he will disobey any order that conflicts with his allegiance to Christ, he may serve—regardless of what they may say.

Short Modern Poems

Regarding your textbook “A Rhetoric Companion” I am currently working my way through your Rhetoric Companion, and in the chapter about memorization, one of the exercises is to memorize a contemporary free verse poem of at least 25 lines. I’m having a difficult time finding a poem of that length that is of the sort a Christian would want to memorize.

Could you suggest an author or poem for me to look at?

I am enjoying the book very much.

Thank you.

Nathan

Nathan, I would check out some of the poems of Billy Collins.

Gentle and Lowly

Pastor Doug,

I would like to read your review about the book “Gentle and lowly” by Dane Ortlund.

It has been recommended by many I know and at a recent conference we had, the book sold like hot cakes. I want to be careful about what I read.

Thank you.

Liz

Liz, I haven’t read it, but got it after you mentioned it here. It looks like a worthwhile read.

Not the Future

Loved your recent video on Secularism being on its last legs. I particularly agree with your statements saying:

“Stupidity never wins.”

-and-

“That’s not the future.”

However, I’d like to point out that the time required to get through the insanity and arrive at that stupidity-not-winning future is often longer than we are comfortable with, and those of us stuck in the interim are made to suffer these fools (and the consequences of their foolishness) terribly?

Guymon

Guymon, quite true. So buckle up.

College?

I’ve recently started working as an ACT/SAT test-prep tutor, and the mother of one of my students (who attends a Christian high school) asked me if I could recommend colleges for her daughter. She wants to attend a college in the southeast, and she wants to study either clinical psychology or occupational therapy—she’s leaning toward the former. Unfortunately, at this point she’s only looking at secular colleges. I’d like to offer her a healthy selection of (faithful) Christian schools to consider, but the only southeastern ACCS college that offers a psychology degree is Faulkner University. Before becoming a believer (in 2018) I was suspicious of psychology as an academic discipline, and now I’m even more suspicious. I really don’t want to encourage my student to study psych at a secular school, but I don’t want my feedback to be simply negative and discouraging. I’d love to point her to some solid Christian books, articles, or other resources that could help her think more biblically about clinical psychology as a potential career path, but I don’t know enough about this subject. I noticed that New Saint Andrews doesn’t offer a psych major. Do you have any thoughts on whether (or how) psych can be a fruitful field of study for a Christian? I can’t find any Blog & Mablog posts that address this topic systematically. Are there any introductory books or articles (or any other solid Christian colleges in the southeast?) you might recommend to a young Christian who wants to pursue a career in this field? Thank you! Blessings.

André

André, sorry. I don’t have any recommendations that would fit that bill. But here is one short thing I have written on the general topic.

Is Mission Being Left Out?

“You want to save America? Here’s the plan. This is the play we need to run, on three. Love your wife. Respect and obey your husband. Control your temper. Stop drinking so much. Learn to be as precise and as honest in your business dealings as a person can be. Get your kids a Christian education. Bring your family to church, every week bring them to church. Throw yourself into your Bible reading. Sing psalms. Laugh at the theocratic pretenses of mortal men. Eat the fat and drink the sweet. Mow your lawn. Have a cold beer afterwards.”

Living our lives in a culturally Christian way that can open our neighbors’ eyes to the light of the gospel makes perfect sense of course.

But what about missions?

In the whole process of being satisfied in God and savoring his creation, I have, multiple times in the past, felt a bit guilty that I’m not “fulfilling the great commission” in a more boots-on-ground sort of way, such as via mission trips, helping build schools, churches or hospitals in foreign countries that are needy or gospel-deprived, supporting missionaries in a very direct manner, such as financial giving or hospitality outreach, etc.

In other words, I often ask myself whether I should be at home entertaining and “witnessing” to my non-Christian neighbors with a wonderful glass of wine and a ribeye steak, or whether that time would better be spent under the bridge serving soup, or wearing sandals, holding a hammer, climbing a ladder, and getting eaten alive by mosquitos somewhere in Africa.

What is your take on this, Doug? I’d dig some of your wisdom on this matter.

Ben

Ben, I guess my response would be “why not both?” I don’t think that embracing gladness in Christ in our lives here precludes in any way an aggressive take on missions and evangelism.

Homeschooling Question

I have a question for you. After reading the book, Standing on the Promises, my husband and I decided it was best for us to homeschool our children in order to train them up. Our options for a solid classical Christian education is not an option in our area. We felt quite blessed to be introduced to Classical Conversations right from the get go and have considered ourselves a CC family for the last 5 years. This past year I even took on the role of director in order for a community to begin in the new town we had recently moved to. My question is what is your take on CC’s business practices? They seem to get torn down quite a bit by self-proclaimed CPAs and those who have had poor experiences. As of yet this is not my experience and our personal CPA has no issues with the way they handle business. I see that they helped produce the Riot and the Dance: Water, which we loved by the way. I also saw the Classical Conversations logo on the sign up for Fight, Laugh, Feast, which my husband and I will be attending in SD). I’m just curious if you take their constant beatings as Christian persecution or are they truly in the wrong? Thank you for your time and maybe we’ll bump into each other at the end of the month in Rapid!

Tristan

Tristan, I wouldn’t convict anyone on the basis of rumbles you may have heard. If your experience is good, then go with that. All Christian organizations are operating in a fallen world, so pray for them, but in biblical law the burden of proof is on the accuser, and the accuser should not be listened to unless he also is under accountabiity.

Back in the Closet

I attend a PCA church that has its flaws but has overall been a good church to me and been faithful to the gospel. Of recent we’ve had much turnover in leadership and currently have an intern pastor. While the world seemingly flipped upside down in 2020 nothing was addressed to the congregation (from George Floyd and BLM to coronavirus and lockdowns). We do not own our own building but rent space from a local private school. We have a mask mandate not enforced by the government but instead (by what I’ve been told) by the school we rent from. I do not know how seriously we have pushed back on this to them or just accepted it since it’s the norm. Overall everyone has complied (including myself). Of recent, though, people seem to be “waking up” (including myself) and are done with all the masking. One deacon informed the session that he was no longer going to mask up and was told he and his wife then can enjoy service from a closet in the side of the sanctuary. I do not want to cause divisions or factions in the church. I want us to be united as it seems necessary since we are already being attacked from all sides outside the church. That said, it feels as though we are being led more by a board of actuaries than of shepherds. I can see what is coming down the pipeline (see our neighbors to the north) and I know if we don’t start working on our “bravery muscles” they will be completely atrophied by the time we truly need them. What do you suggest?

I have been recently wearing the mask in and out of entering the building but taking it off for the service but still sitting in the congregation. Do I continue this? Do I put it on but sit with my brother in the closet to commend his bravery and show that what he is doing is good (even if you disagree with going maskless)? Do I take it off and join him in the closet? I just want to honor God above all and be as best a help to the congregation as possible.

Thanks!

Andrew

Andrew, I assume you meant interim pastor, and not intern pastor? What I would do in a situation like this is to ask the elders if they would be open to a petition from members of the congregation. Propose something like a cordoned off section in the back, where all those who desire to be done with the masks can sit, maskless, during the service. Ask sweetly.

Yes. Should Have Mentioned That.

E. asked for recommendations on a book about how to read like a Christian. I would like to highly recommend “Reading With Purpose, Applying the Christian Worldview to American Literature” by Nancy Wilson. Short, to the point, with a method that can be used far beyond American Lit. I bought it as a homeschool mom wanting to teach it to my children but found it to be highly beneficial for myself. It is now marked up and coffee stained. If I’m not mistaken Nancy has adult children who are authors and her husband has written a little here and there as well.

Jenny

Jenny, yes. I should have thought of that book. Highly recommended.

Peace Proposal

In a recent article you made a quip about “Lesbyterians”. I must needs inform you that my hilarious wife, in her typical, and I hasten to add, delightful, dry deadpan, coined that term several years ago. Were it not for the fact that litigiousness between Christians is forbidden, you might be in some legal hot water.

But since lawsuits among brothers are a no no, I’m going to do the next best thing and inform the Twitter Sisterhood of your latest bit of unforgivable malfeasance. They’ll know what to do. “A prophet of their own has said, ‘Moscow Man is always bad. This testimony is true, therefore complain about him on Twitter sharply.'” You’re in it now, sir.

Sincerely,

Outraged in Wisconsin

Dear Outraged in Wisconsin, let there not be friction between us. I propose this as an explanatory solution. Remember that Leibniz and Newton came up with calculus independently. Sometimes these things happen.

Charlotte Mason Again

Through my discussion with others on homeschooling, I’ve come in contact with those that esteem the Charlotte Mason philosophy. I’ve read a little bit about it but it is new to me and I wanted to get your quick thoughts in regards to this teaching philosophy.

Thanks

Chris

Chris, I recently answered another question along the same lines, and had to confess that I didn’t really know enough to comment. But other readers did, which means you can go back through the letters (sometime in the last month or so), and look at that interaction.

Support the Arts

You probably have not heard of Minna Sundberg, but she’s a very talented young artist from Finland who publishes a weekly science-fiction webcomic called “Stand Still, Stay Silent.” She has been an atheist for years.

She recently announced that she has become a Christian, and took a break from her webcomic to share a new tale called “Lovely People,” featuring Christian themes, set in a near-future techno-dystopia, and starring cute fuzzy bunnies. The reaction from her fan base has been . . . mixed. It was brave of her, and the craftsmanship is really good.

I thought somebody in your circle might want to look at it, as it seems like the kind of thing that Christians ought to be doing in these days and times. It may not be your cup of tea, but one of your kids might enjoy it.

“Comic synopsis: “Lovely People” is a comic about three best friends; an aspiring social media influencer, a Christian homemaker and a mother-of-three grade-school teacher, enjoying their lives in a Social Credit system. Until they run into trouble.”

Brian

Brian, thanks for the heads up and the link.

25
Leave a Reply

avatar
 
6 Comment threads
19 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
JohnMdemosthenes1dAubrey MetcalfA dadJP Stewart Recent comment authors

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
WJ
Member

Another recommendation for Man Rampant guest invitation:

Artur Pawlowski.

Mark Hanson
Member

Eric, I left the Navy as a conscientious objector after 2 years and 4 months of my six-year enlistment because I came to believe that my commitment to following God was in obvious conflict with my pledge to the government. At the time (1975), I was one of the few non-Jehovah’s Witnesses that had succeeded at such a plea. My thinking at the time was that I was sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, which did not acknowledge God. At the time I did not allow myself to take mental reservation about that vow, subordinating it to… Read more »

Eh
Guest
Eh

I’m sure we all agree the two masters thing is about idolatry. But it appears to me you were conflating that admonition’s “masters” with earthly masters, which NT Christians were called to obey. You might say that they were still called to seek freedom when possible, but it doesn’t seem to be the same kind of master.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

While the Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention God, the Declaration of Independence does several times. To me, the issue is that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, but politicians don’t follow it when it comes to sending troops to war (or much of anything else). For example, Congress has the sole power to declare war. Any idea how many conflicts we’ve been involved in where that didn’t happen?
https://civcm.psu.edu/constitution-day/constitution-day-2018/when-did-congress-last-declare-war

demosthenes1d
Member

The declaration refers to “Nature’s God” and “Divine Providence.” Given the author’s beliefs I think it is a stretch to say it is referring to the Triune God in a straightforward manner.

Would you hold that a Unitarian Universalist church is praying to God?

WJ
Member

The Declaration had 56 signatories. Would you hold that all of them were Unitarian Universalists?

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

No. Only 2 of them were Unitarians and 2 were deists. The rest were Trinitarians (Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, a few Quakers and a Catholic). The consensus belief was a Trinitarian God. And I’d take those 56 brave souls over 56 modern Evangelicals (many of which hold heretical “woke” beliefs and are complete cowards) any day of the week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2qCOZOJ4p4

And for the record, Mark Hanson didn’t bring up Trinitarianism in his comment…just an acknowledgement of God.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

But 56 people didn’t author the Declaration, with it’s “Nature’s God” language. I assume the reference was to Jefferson.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Nope. Jefferson drafted it because of his writing skills, but it was edited twice. If “Nature’s God” was some secret unitarian or deist code, the 93% Trinitarian, orthodox majority wouldn’t go along.
https://americanmind.org/features/a-claremont-thanksgiving/lincolns-thanksgiving-natures-god/the-laws-of-nature-and-natures-god/

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

However, “Nature’s God” was Jefferson’s wording, Jefferson’s idea, from the start. https://www.nps.gov/articles/independence-declarationdraft.htm I don’t have another reference at hand, but I believe the entire preamble was pretty much Jefferson’s wording. Not 100% sure of that, without reviewing, but I think so. Even with edits, not all the signatories had equal input into the content of the final document. Jefferson doesn’t get all the credit, but as original drafter I would say he gets considerably more than an equal share. In any case, nobody was signing the Declaration in order to affirm Christian doctrine, or even belief in God. The intent… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

John,

The reference was to Jefferson, but it pulled in Franklin and Adam’s as well.

Aubrey Metcalf
Guest

Greetings demosthenes1d and others, I believe the Founders refernce to “Natures God” and “Divine Providence” should be informed by reading the creeds and confessions of the time. Divine Providence = Westminster Ch V, Belgic Art. 13, Heidelberg Lords Day 10, etc. As to the Deism question much has been written on both sides. I believe the Founders established a gov that, in their view, wouldn’t persecute anyone regarding the Trinity, mode of baptism, presence/lack of at Lords Supper and other Christian Doctrines. They wanted the general principles of Christianity to animate the spirit of the gov.. The moral man to… Read more »

Aubrey Metcalf
Guest

Rectitude: morally correct behavior, thinking or righteousness.
IOW : appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude ( morally correct behavior, thinking or righteousness. ) of our intentions, …..with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Very good points, Aubrey, and ones often ignored by the aMeRicA WaS nEvEr A cHriSTiaN nAtIoN crowd.

demosthenes1d
Member

I’m sympathetic to these views. I think the trope that “the founding fathers were Diests” is way off the mark, and most of the people involved were orthodox in their understanding. However, it is a fact that the three men directly responsible for the language in the Declaration (Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams) were either not religious or were Unitarians (not sure when Adams dropped the Trinity). At least for Jefferson and Franklin it was well known that they weren’t Christians, so their appointment by the continental congress indicates that a Christian grounding for the document was unimportant.

adad0
Member

Ummm. Adams was raised a Congregationalist, since his ancestors were Puritans. According to biographer David McCullough, “as his family and friends knew, Adams was both a devout Christian, and an independent thinker, and he saw no conflict in that.”[348] In a letter to Rush, Adams credited religion with the success of his ancestors since their migration to the New World.[349] He believed that regular church service was beneficial to man’s moral sense. Everett (1966) concludes that “Adams strove for a religion based on a common sense sort of reasonableness” and maintained that religion must change and evolve toward perfection.[350] Fielding… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Adad, Not sure if you are trying to argue with me, but I didn’t call Adams a diest, rather I called him a Unitarian. And I started in a hypothetical that I wasn’t sure when he rejected the trinity. It may have been after the Continental Congress, though Abigail was certainly a Unitarian at that time and she was very influential on him. Here is a quote on the a trinity from a letter from Adams to Jefferson that also sheds light on what they meant by “Natures God.”: “This revelation has made it certain that two and one make… Read more »

Aubrey Metcalf
Guest

I appreciate your response. I believe the Founders were mostly orthodox but were attempting to establish a gov on the general principles of Christianity that exercised restraint/enumerated powers. Whether they held/rejected certain doctrines that I and other Christians hold dear such as the Trinity, mode of baptism, Lords Supper, church polity etc etal wasn’t their intent because what they didn’t want to do was use the gov to compel others to hold these beliefs. The Founders concern I believe was to establish a form/framework wherein Christians, the church, those of goodwill toward fellowman along with everyone else who desire freedom/liberty/independence… Read more »

Candace
Guest
Candace

Jerrod, here is a response to the TGC article from James White that might be something you’re looking for:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mxUA97jimWM&feature=youtu.be

Jerrod
Guest
Jerrod

Oh wow. Thank you so much Candace. I was not aware of it. I’ll be sure to give it a listen.

kyriosity
Member

Dunno which article on Chestertonian Calvinism was in view, but here’s this from N.D.: https://youtu.be/539EClxNRmM

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Based on the referenced CS Lewis quote, this is the article in view:

Calvinism 4.0/Chestertonian Calvinism

In context, of course, Lewis was rather less sanguine about logical workability of Puritanism than the excerpted quote implies. He cites the contemporary criticism of it as erring “in the direction of fantastic optimism”.

To use an updated example, Lewis presents the original Puritans as essentially the 16th century version of 1960’s hippies. There’s an undeniable experiential attraction to the philosophy and lifestyle – but the emotional high is unsustainable once the initial buzz wears off.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Lewis’ sentence after the quote states that Puritan doctrines “were at first doctrines not of terror but of joy and hope”. About predestination, he then writes:

But what of ungodly persons? Inside the original experience no such question arises. There are no generalizations. We are not building a system. When we begin to do so, very troublesome problems and very dark solutions will appear. But these horrors, so familiar to the modern reader (and especially to the modern reader of fiction), are only by-products of the new theology. They are astonishingly absent from the thought of the first Protestants.

Elisabeth
Member
Elisabeth

Oh my güdness! A truck crashed on 101…noone was hurt except the front hood of the truck!… yikes! 😬

Elisabeth
Member
Elisabeth

Definitely get Steve Schlissel for man rampant, and Paul Murphy!…they know city culture.