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, thanks. Good idea.
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, 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, 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.
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, yes. Very much so.
Any thoughts on the possibility of mayhem in the Minneapolis area if Derek Chauvin is not convicted in the current trials?
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, I would recommend against holding your breath at all.
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?
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, 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.
Nathan, I would check out some of the poems of Billy Collins.
Gentle and Lowly
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.
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.”
“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, quite true. So buckle up.
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, 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, 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.
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, 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.
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, yes. I should have thought of that book. Highly recommended.
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.
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.
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, thanks for the heads up and the link.