Always Nice to Get a Letter

Sharing Options
Show Outline with Links

Rallying Behind the Virginians of Yore

Yes and amen. So who is Stonewall or who are the Virginians at least? And where are they? And when is it time to cut our losses where we are in order to be where they are. What’s the rallying point and who is the rallier? Who has the sway and the decisive point from which to sound the alarm? Not hypothetical or figurative.

Todd

Todd, right. That is the big question. And the challenging part is that everybody, where they are, has to make the assessment where they are. And the questions to ask are: is this a defensible hill? Is anybody else here with me? Who are they? If the answers to those questions come back negative, then the question arises about where to go, and how practical that is. For the record, I do not believe that we here in Moscow are the only ones taking an effective stand, but also for the record, something good is happening here.

Re: A Stonewall Moment We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying.”

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

JR

JR, exactly so.

May I point out, with all humility, the cheeky but highly effective joke I sent you 3 months prior? See here, under your heading “Okay Then” (but you really liked it as you’re about to see below):

Now, I direct your attention to the chosen meme you used in your most recent article here:

Notice any similarity? See what I did there? Your tepid response to my original letter belied the fact that it has now been living in your head, rent free, for a full quarter! I only need to figure out how to effectively display this as a plaque or wall art—without requiring verbal explanation to my house guests. A worthy challenge indeed!

Patrick

Patrick, yes. I think your guests might possibly inquire about it. And I wouldn’t call my original response tepid, but rather more like “well, then, what more needs to be said?”

Re: Stonewall Moment

One of the rallying points we can all get behind is a wholesale rejection of what has come to pass for investigative journalism. One of my heroes in this regard is a courageous woman named Sharyl Attkisson, whose first book interestingly enough is called *Stonewalled*, describing her experience as a journalist under the Obama administration. She now works independently as one of the best journalists in the USA, doing work that really matters and deserves to be followed and supported by many more people. As a result of her own standing there like an immovable stonewall, she is more or less invisible to the majority because she refused to play the cool kids’ game, but, for example, it was after her piece investigating the origins of the coronavirus that things started to change in the public discourse in that regard. Faithful good work is never in vain, even more, faithful good work that is done in the Lord. But it will cost. That’s the real question: Are we prepared to bear the cost?

Michelle

Michelle, thank you.

Peter Enns

Dear Pastor Wilson, Have you any thoughts on Peter Enns’s “Telling God’s Story”? I saw your review of “Inspiration and Incarnation” but am curious about the other title, as it was described at a recent church meeting as an incredible resource for young children and teens. I haven’t read it so I don’t claim to know its details, but hearing the author described as a run of the mill evangelical who happens to believe in evolution made my eyebrows raise.

Thank you!

PS – Jim Wilson’s book “Grace Upon Grace” is one of the best books I read last year and I cannot recommend it enough. Please pass on my thanks if possible. It has greatly encouraged me, as has Nancy Wilson’s Femina podcast.

Laura

Laura, thank you. On the Enns book, although I haven’t read it, I would certainly be wary. His other stuff is bad.

Theocracy and Free Speech

So what you’re saying is that only church members that blaspheme should be put to death

BJ

BJ, interestingly, that was Augustine’s argument on the persecution of the Donatists. No persecution for out-and-out pagans, but for heretical Christians, yes. But for my part, what I am saying is that during the millennia in which we are building the Christian “social imaginary,” the penalty for blasphemy for baptized Christians is excommunication. For citizens who are disrupting the public peace with it, the penalty would be some form of restraint. For non-Christians who are not disturbing the peace, no penalty.

I appreciate you attempting to tackle this issue. I see there are several problems with your reasoning. The first issue is your use of 1 Corinthians “if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat”

You use that verse to claim, “Christians were given explicit and free permission to keep company with idolaters”.

Besides ignoring the context of first century pagan society being different from the context of the founding of the USA, it doesn’t answer the question of what does justice demand. Also, using your logic, does this mean we shouldn’t have laws against extortion or fornication since the apostle Paul included them in the list?

I think it needs to be repeated because you keep bringing it up. Just because people will abuse the application of just laws does not invalidate those laws. You try to make the case that the gospel will destroy blasphemy where the law couldn’t. Why does this apply only to blasphemy and not also fornication and extortion? The main purpose of law is for the government execute justice. The suppression of evil is an effect of executing justice. However, the law’s failure to suppress evil exhaustively as opposed to the gospel’s inevitability doesn’t nullify the demands of justice.

Finally your point, “When you give the state power to punish a blasphemer, you are giving the state the power to blaspheme.”.

This means the founders of most of the original American colonies were giving each colony the power to blaspheme. Many of the colonies and later the states had laws against blasphemy. Also, you statement doesn’t really prove anything. Do you think not giving the state the power to punish blasphemy will make the state incapable of blasphemy?

John

John, there are many avenues to pursue here, but I will pick one and hope that when I get this book completed, the other issues will be addressed in it. I am not arguing for “no blasphemy laws.” In earlier installments, I argue that blasphemy laws are inescapable, even in the meantime. Not whether, but which. My point here is that the gospel will bring us to righteous and balanced blasphemy laws, But if we lead with blasphemy laws, then we will get unrighteous and unbalanced ones.

Thanks for all you do. Your free-speech posts always bring me out of the woodwork, and so, behold, I have come :)

Just to clarify, I am speaking both as one of your biggest fans (think fainting teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert—just kidding) and as someone who would be thrilled to wake up tomorrow and find that the civil law of Moses had been put in place in America overnight, while I slept. Or at least, that’s what I hold in theory. In reality, being as persuaded of the depravity of man as you are, what I really want is the absolute minimal government possible.

But here’s why I’m writing: If I understand you rightly, and you hold to theonomy. As I understand you too, I don’t believe you can consistently argue for free speech. For example:

One basic argument you advance is that, basically, men are bad and cannot be trusted to properly enforce blasphemy laws, therefore we must have free speech. For starters, this may be a good and true practical argument, but it is not a biblical one. Men were just as bad in ancient Israel as they now are, and yet God gave political Israel powers to put men to death, say, for murder. But if the capacity for men to do evil when they seek to enforce laws should prevent such laws from being enforced, then neither ancient Israel, nor we, should support the death penalty, not even for 1st degree murder. After all, men are bad, and will inevitably use this legal, coercive power wrongly at some point.

So the unwillingness to apply coercion for blasphemy, based on human depravity, leads inevitably to the conclusion that we cannot apply coercion against murderers, either. In fact, this principle could be extended to remove our right to enforce any civil law at all.

So, if the Bible is our standard, human badness is irrelevant to the enforcement of blasphemy laws. At the very least, this consideration defeats the argument you advance for free speech as a biblically derived doctrine. The exception would be if you propose to derive civil law from the scripture in a looser way than the typical theonomist does. Using human depravity as your basis for the argument, and seemingly ignoring the obvious Old Testament doctrine of “Unfree Speech”, would be just such a “looser” method.

Since we are on the subject, your assertion that the Bible is the basis of Religious Freedom is false for the same reasons as the above. As someone who takes the Old Testament seriously, you are forced to decry freedom of religion. The Bible teaches (assuming the Old Testament is part of the discussion) that men are not free to worship false gods; at best, they are free not to worship the true God. But this is a far cry from freedom of religion. If the Mosaic legislation is your guide in a significant way, then your Biblical republic would be required to outlaw the building of Mosques, and anyone found worshiping Allah must be put to death. Again, the only way for you to escape this conclusion would be to treat the Old Testament differently than you do, and then perhaps you would be free to use the doctrine of human depravity as your sort of sole foundation for addressing these issues. In that case you could say, as you do with free speech, that men are too bad to be allowed to regulate other men’s religions. But really, what is the use of that argument? You and I both want certain laws enforced, despite the fact that the only men around to do the enforcing are bad men.

My contention is that your theological system, in general, has a great deal of helpful consistency; but when you come to this area of free speech and religion, the wheels come off. I don’t think the source of your arguments for freedom of speech and religion is Scripture, but rather your American political conservatism (which, of course, I also eagerly embrace). If I understand your system like I think I do, in order to be consistent, you need to modify your stance on these issues to reflect the Mosaic code, not to mention the rest of Scripture. Instead of freedom of speech you need to be arguing for Yahwic Speech, and instead of freedom of religion you need to argue for freedom from worshiping the true God, but no freedom to idolatry.

Dave

Dave, yes, men were bad in Mosaic Israel also, but God was present in the camp with them, and present in a way that enabled them to ask questions like “should we execute this guys?” They also had prophets of God who could command them, in the name of the Lord, to do specific things. We are not in that same position anymore. In addition, we have to reckon with the shift of tactics that I noted in my piece. The final issue will arise when that NT is finally successful, the world is evangelized, and some wild blasphemer begins to do his stuff. I have not yet tackled what we are to do with him. But for the record, I want secularism outlawed, I want the law to be explicitly Christian and Bible-based, and I also want a Muslim man with his four wives to be able to visit Disneyland with his wives, and free to pray to Allah in his hotel room without be molested. More details to follow.

RE: Free Speech in a Christian Theocracy

Bernie Sanders must be postmillennial. Like real socialism, real Christian Theonomy has never been tried. Obadiah Holmes may have something to say about that. Forgive me, if as a Baptist, I would rather not give the keys to my conscience to a Presbyterian for safekeeping to own the libs. As will happen (because it always happens) the issue will come back to baptism. How could a good leader let all these Baptist babies go crawling about without being baptized? Someone will have to do something about that. The other likely possibility is the liberal, effeminate academics who run the seminaries today will go into politics instead of academia.

Historically, we know what happens when any religious state takes the power of the sword, it eventually wields it against conscience. But I’m sure this time, it will be different.

Douglas

Douglas, I don’t think that would happen. But however bad a Presbyterian theonomic economy might get, it wouldn’t get to the levels we are dealing with now. Would you be willing swap 60 millions dismembered babies for 60 million baptized ones?

Your Article on “Free Speech in a Christian Theocracy” had me giving you a “Woot Woot!”, and a “Yes, and AMEN!” for expounding on this topic. An interesting facet of the issue is that the principles of it apply in so many government-run areas around us already. We can see how the government has misused, expanded, and abused the little responsibility we have given it today. As a man who works in the construction industry, I would ask people to look no further than their local building department as anecdotal proof that the best intentions get legislated into bureaucracies that metastasize into a little tyrannical fiefdoms. Here’s why this is important: we have ceded so much power to our local building officials in this nation that citizens don’t—as a practical matter—own their own home.

Why, you say? Because if you would like to modify your home, the Building Official must permit you to do so before you can start taking down that gypsum wallboard. Here in the evangelical wasteland of California, if you would like to light your home, you must use light fixtures approved by the Building Standards Commission. Same goes for plumbing fixtures, and the like. It goes on and on.

This leaves the citizen at a place where there is really very little he or she can do to their built environment without the intervention of the state or local government at some point in the stream. This gets even more discouraging when you realize that if something causes the local Building Official to be nervous, they can make you leave your property by revoking the Certificate of Occupancy. Would you like to sue? You can, but you will have to prove that what ever error occurred was the result of malice*; mere negligence is not enough. Must be nice.

In the end, it’s all the government’s houses, they just let us pretend they’re ours so we feel better about the control they have. Make no mistake, we live, move, and have our being at their whim.

This is true in so many areas. Give the government control over schools, and they will be the final arbiter of what you do and don’t know. They will own your mind. Give the government control over heath care, they can mandate you take anything at any time or withhold any treatment for any reason. They own your body. Give the government control over what you can and can’t say, and they will own your mouth. And this is why free speech is a Christian Concept—God owns our mouths, not the state. He made them, they are his, and they are to glorify Him and not the institutions crafted by sinful men.

So, as all good articles do, it raised a question in my mind. What can we do about the grossly over-bloated bureaucracy in this country? On one hand, I can see that as the country re-Christianizes (Lord let it be so) that it will happen organically. But on the other, it’s all so ingrown I don’t see it ever unravelling. Anyhow, I’m just curious how you see it happening on a practical level, and whether or not you think this is something Pastors can and should preach to. It’s just so hard to speak up at city council meetings with this mask on . . . oh wait maybe that was the whole point . . .

Blessings!

*This is a California Law, I don’t know how this works in other states, but I’d be surprised if it’s substantially different.

David

David, I don’t see anything much happening apart from reformation and revival.

Just listened to Free Speech in a Christian Theocracy right after finishing Dominion and let me encourage you again to check it out. His main point is that all our atheists and heathen are deeply influenced by Christianity. There’s much to object to but man is it bracing.

Rob

Rob, yes, I have read it. Bracing is a good description.

Masking Question

Reference masking, I find myself in a quandry at work. As a federal employee, I have been forced to wear a mask at all times on federal property since January 20th. Last week, it has been decided that only non-vaccinated employees must wear a mask. Most people at my work, including my boss, know my feelings about being a guinea pig for an experimental vaccine as well as my opinion on the non-effectiveness of masks. Several of my employees who are unionized (I am not) have stopped wearing a mask even though I know they have not been vaccinated. As a manager, I am held to a higher standard and could get in trouble for not masking while unvaccinated. Also it bothers me to lie and it also bothers me to let others think that I have drunk the vaccine Kool-aid. So which is the most appropriate response: to stop wearing the mask even though everyone knows I am not vaccinated, or to continue to wear the mask, which I believe is totally ineffective and at this point is a means of punishment for not being vaccinated? I only have seven years until I can retire and prefer to stick it out.

Brooke

Brooke, given what you have described, I would continue to wear the mask. But I would work for something to give because I wouldn’t want to wear the mask for seven years.

Military Discipline

Hello Pastor Wilson, I was wondering what the biblical sentence would be for military cowardice and/or desertion. My family and I were watching the movie Warhorse where two German soldiers (kids) were put in front of a firing squad for deserting the army. This sparked a conversation about the legitimacy of the punishment. The only biblical reference I could find was when God told Gideon to send the 20,000 fearful men away, but I thought that had more to do with God getting the glory and not necessarily fearful men not fighting.

Thank you for your time,

Michael

Michael, in ancient Israel, mustering the troops was compulsory, but going to war was not. This kind of discipline, in my view, would be ungodly with a conscripted army. There are some instances where I think it could be justified if the soldiers were not conscripted, and had broken a vow.

Walking From Rome

In re: no particular post. I have read your book “Papa Don’t Pope” and your responses to some letters containing questions about Roman Catholics. I think that until Rome repents of many sins, but especially the sin of idolatry, to be a Roman Catholic walking by faith would be to be walking away from Rome. I find it hard to have a category labeled “Roman Catholic Christian.” Or, more accurately, I think I can have a category “baby Roman Catholic Christian who may come to their senses some day” or a category “Roman Catholic Christian who is constantly resisting the Holy Spirit and is therefore endangering their soul” or “Roman Catholic Christian who due to family pressures or the false doctrine they’ve been trained to fear cannot summon up the courage to leave Rome.” I know it’s not for me to judge the state of anyone’s soul. But I feel I either have to have a viable category in which to put Papist writers whom I greatly benefit from (Chesterton and Esolen, primarily), or question whether I should even be attracted to their books. How can I see this issue more clearly?

Douglas

Douglas, the categories you mention do exist. But I have also noticed another one, particularly in Roman Catholic writers I have found very helpful. Often they are very intelligent and wise, and use their “cleverness” in a way that creates “workarounds” for them against idolatry simpliciter. That is not to say that it isn’t culpable, because it still stumbles simpler people who don’t understand the workarounds, and therefore don’t use them.

In the Midst of Enemies

To whom it may concern, whether Doug Wilson or his labourers, greetings.

I have a question regarding postmillenialism. I have thus far benefited greatly from Doug Wilsons teaching on Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15, Psalm 2, Daniel 7 and 2 Peter 3 and so on. But have a question specifically about Christs rule and reign “in the midst of His enemies.” Since he reigns on the throne until all his enemies are put under his feet, how is it that he rules in the midst of his enemies? If the question is a bad question and I am ill informed could you please refer me to a resource?

Thanks for all that you do Mr.Wilson.

Gods blessings to you and your family.

Jonty

Jonty, I would say that the head of the Body is at the right hand of the Father, but that the body of Christ is here, in the midst of His enemies. This is why Christ from Heaven asks Saul of Tarsus “why are you persecuting me?” The body of Christ is in the midst of His enemies.

Paleo-Woke

I consider myself “paleo-woke.” I think you should continue in your winsomeness especially to those in the “woke” crowd who want to see changes in society but don’t have a theonomic framework in which to submit all things to God’s law and the Scriptures. There are a lot of us out there. I find myself translating a lot of what you say to others knowing that they would dismiss you unfairly. But I think there are truly others who identify as such who truly are being faithful Christians who would be helped by what you say if you spoke more to the sensible “woke” person instead of treating everyone on that side the same.

Thank you for everything. You’ve done a lot for me.

Ace Hartwick

Ace, good to meet you finally. For what it is worth, I do believe that the category you refer to does exist. And I think the more things spiral downwards, the more some of them might be willing to read what I write. I have not found that calibrations on my part do much though.

Courtship Question

First, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Pastor Wilson for his teaching on biblical courtship. It has been very edifying for me. My question is in regards to what are the appropriate ways to get to know a female prior to requesting permission for courtship from the father. In other words what methods of vetting are men allowed to employ in order to determine if we want to actually court said female. Even more specifically is it appropriate to be texting a female I’m interested in, in order to Learn more about her and is texting akin to letter writing? Hope that all makes sense. Thank you in advance.

Matthew

Matthew, my standard answer to this question is that you should get to know the young lady in groups. As soon as you get to the point where you are singling her out, in a way that she and her friends recognize, you should have communicated with her father.

Resistance in the Military

Much like almost all others here (starting to sound cliche but that doesn’t make it less true!), God has used you and your ministry to change my life, my wife’s life, and now our children. Forever grateful to God for you. On your latest appearance on Crosspolitic, you noted that there is no “organized resistance” in the military. I am an officer in the US Army and have already had legal battles with superiors over things like (get ready for it), women are biblically prohibited from being pastors in my denomination (CREC!, though I would argue for all denominations). By God’s grace, I’ve come out the victor thus far ( and boy has it been fun!). I know of many, many others who share my convictions and worldview but I seem to be the only one willing to stand up and say anything about it (perhaps on your advice that I go to work everyday prepared to lose my job?). Indeed, being a warfighter and previous MMA athlete, I like to fight! I don’t mind being a Captain for the rest of my career or being labeled a bigot by these guys. My question pertains to the wisdom in applying my desire to withstand the onslaught of silliness. How do we “organize” this resistance? Should I take a stand at every chance I get to encourage those with their heads down and make it known to the woke brass that, “no, not in my Army!”? Should I get my legislature involved? Essentially, I want to fight and feel alone but I know there are others out there. What next?

Daren

Daren, I would begin with education. Circulate articles, posts, books. There are a lot of people who would stand if they were informed on the issues. Become a source of information.

Some Reasonable Questions

Question 1: How to parse words with unbelievers and Question 2: Arrest

I am the grateful beneficiary of your wisdom. I do not come from a biblically sound family, so I rely heavily on books and wisdom from men and women like those in your family! (Obviously I’m engaged with my local church, I have close friends who are believers, and even older women who disciple me, but still . . . there are lots of questions, so I am grateful to you.

I am writing regarding two things I merely want your reasoning on. I hope you don’t interpret the following as an attack, but I would like to know how you answer these questions.

I live in downtown Chicago. I have always been in dense, diverse cities. I notice that pastors who have lived, truly lived, in diverse spaces prioritize the “person and work of Christ” over and above the sexuality/gender questions. Many wise, biblical pastors emphasize FIRST “the person and work of Christ.” Our culture is so utterly confused about sexuality, that starting there is to put a “stumbling block” before them. Show them that they are sinners IN GENERAL before disparaging their deeply held identity with whatever progressive sexuality they’ve chosen. So, I am a Bible-believing Christian, and I would call a transgender person (people I do personally interact with) by their preferred pronoun. I do not think this is a capitulation, but an acknowledgement that they are not believers. Do we not hold believers and non-believers to different standards? If I encountered a man at work who had left his wife and kids for a younger woman, and the new couple got married . . . I would refer to my colleague’s wife as “his wife,” though by biblical standards she may not be. Also, Protestantism does not believe you should call anyone “father for you have one father,” but I think Protestants do verbally refer to Catholic priests as “Father Greg”, etc. because that is respectful of the Catholic teaching which is (I think) that Jesus is not speaking literally here and what he means is that you should not hero-worship anyone, even religious leaders. to sum up: Please give a detailed account of why you do not refer to transgendered NON-BELIEVERS by their preferred pronouns? Are there no other circumstances in which you verbally acknowledge a deeply held belief by a non-believer that is not true according to God’s word?

My second question is regarding your “serrated edge.” I was really strengthened by this book and some of your talks about “not caring” that what you say offends people so long as it pleases God. It is VERY difficult to biblically espouse some of our beliefs, when you are surrounded, truly surrounded in person, by people who consider it hateful and when history at many, many points attests to hateful acts done by wolves in sheep’s clothing . . . so it is spiritually nourishing to hear your argument. You cite Jesus’s sarcasm, how Jesus cut down people’s folly with some jokes, and your point is well-taken!

I know you know your Bible, so forgive me if I am being dull . . . but after Jesus caused trouble for 3 years, he was arrested and silent as a lamb.

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:1-5)

In my experience, the type of Christians who are unabashed, pugnacious, a la Jesus do not follow Jesus when it comes to this. Here’s my question: If the world progressed to a point where you were arrested for the things that you say, would you go silently as though you had said your peace? Or would you truculently stomp your feet and wail and scream?

Thank you for your ministry (and your whole family). Cheers!

Elizabeth

Elizabeth, thank you. I don’t have time for it right now, but I think you are right. I do need to give a detailed argument for the pronoun thing. On the second issue, I would note that although Jesus did not open his mouth during His trial, the reason for His arrest was because He had not be silent as a lamb. If I were to be arrested (and some would say when, not if), I would very much hope that I would not stomp my feet, not wail, and not scream.

The Hurly Burly of Politics

Thank you Mr. Wilson for your fair-minded evaluation of both the cultural-political landscape as well as your own thoughts. The biggest problem I have is the deafening silence I hear from the pulpits across America. I’m not concerned so much about pastors speaking out against the Jan. 6 insurrection itself but rather how much the gospel of Jesus Christ was tainted that day. There were symbols of Christianity alongside symbols of white supremacy and nationalism. There were individuals praying while they rioted and stormed the Capitol. To an unbelieving world they saw a message that brought shame, ridicule, and derision to the gospel. True the gospel does bring contempt from an unbelieving world but that contempt should come because we are preaching the pure message of the cross not the false gospel of Christian nationalism. The world also saw Christian hypocrisy in the Christians embrace of Mr. Trump these past four years and the scorn and contempt heaped upon Mr. Clinton during his tenure. We all need to repent!

James

James, thanks. Here are some additional thoughts on the whole question of guilt by association.

Lies in Warfare

Re: Not to Mention the Second Battle of Ai

Your quote from Ecochondriacs makes me wonder your thoughts on lying in general. The story of David, in particular, is full of lying, by both David and his friends. This man after God’s own heart lies fairly often in the story, and while Scripture is full of righteous men sinning, I do not get the sense that David’s lies are held as such by Scripture. Will you write/have you written on lying? My current leaning is that it is a bit like anger. There is righteous anger, and there is unrighteous anger. There is righteous lying, and there is unrighteous lying. When I tell someone their cards is still on top of the deck, or that I forgot their birthday and there totally isn’t a surprise party waiting for them, or that no, officer, I certainly don’t have guns for you to confiscate, I figure these are righteous lies. When I tell my wife that I did not gossip about her to my friends, I figure this is an unrighteous lie.

But it sure is hard to find reliable commentary on the issue, and I sure would look forward to reading some that you might offer.

Mike

Mike, I have written on this, and I think you can find something on it in my Scripture Index in the menu bar. Look under Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5, under the prohibition of false witness. But the basic standard is this. In times of war, or situations comparable to war, deception of the enemy is not bearing false witness against your neighbor.

Intended Audience?

This is about “Unless God thinks you wronged her”

Pastor Wilson, I feel like I came in on Act 2 of a play and missed some important details on the background of your “Unless God thinks you wronged her” podcast. . . . Who are these *Christian* women?

Could you please point to and/or describe some examples or scenarios that illustrate exactly what you are addressing, especially as it seems to be some sort of prevalent behavior in the church?

I’m not trying to be “coy” or naive, and maybe I don’t get out enough, or maybe I just don’t recognize it when it is right in front of me. Also it is possible I have been guilty of this in the past and might still be!

Of course I can imagine something of what you might be talking about, but the examples/scenarios that come to mind are extreme caricatures—e.g. things I’ve seen on tv or movies etc.—and I have to think what you are addressing is some more subtle thing and/or that goes on all the time.

And/Or is there some new “Christian” book or “movement” that you are addressing?

. . . Or are is the behavior of the women you have in mind just a result of the teaching/beliefs of “plain old”, modern liberal “christianity”?

Thank you!

Robert

Robert, great question. What happened was this. The guys at Canon took a throwaway comment from a Man Rampant episode, and made it into a meme. The comments section for that meme went nuts on Facebook, and because of that, I wrote the blog post. So the intended audience would be those people who were mortally offended by the sentiment of the meme, which was that you shouldn’t apologize for no other reason than to placate somebody.

Random Question Indeed

Bit of a random question. Every video I’ve seen you in depicts you wearing your watch with the face positioned on the side of your wrist. First, why do you wear it that way? Second, how do you get it to stay without rotating?

Bless you,

Eric

Eric, not sure how I get it to stay that way, which it does most of the time. Random question, random answer. I started wearing it that way during my service on submarines. The passageways were so tight that I didn’t want to bang my watch face on some valve handle. Having started to wear it that way, I must have then found it convenient.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
23 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago

Elizabeth Scripture says not to worry in advance if you are arrested, The Holy Spirit will tell you what to say or to be silent. Since it is a faith activity, we can only be faithful or not.

Last edited 3 months ago by Zeph
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago

James,

If you think a minor tussle from months ago is a bigger detriment to a “Gospel witness” than so-called Christians who support Biden, an adulterer who has multiple credible accusations of sexual abuse made against him, and his promotion of Black Supremacy (Critical Race Theory), rising inflation, rising gas prices, importing oil from the world’s #1 state sponsor of terrorism (Iran), border crisis and concomitant rise in human trafficking, and proposed federal funding of abortion — then I have a ton of bridges in Portland to sell you.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago

It’s interesting how someone like James shows up almost every week in the Tuesday letters. Like programmed droids, they take the MSM as gospel and use all of their terminology (“insurrection!” “white supremacy!”). Now if we’re talking about events over the last year leaving $2 billion+ in damage, over 30 dead, hundreds of police officers injured, multiple “autonomous zones” on seized property, etc., I’m fine using “insurrection” to describe that. Or to describe the armed black militia groups in Tulsa who shouted “There will come a time when we will kill everything white in sight” last week. I bet James… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago

But however bad a Presbyterian theonomic economy might get, it wouldn’t get to the levels we are dealing with now.

I don’t know. The levels we are dealing with now in large part trace back to the social gospel, which, if not specifically Presbyterian and not theonomic by name, was a postmillenialist program. A Roman Catholic theonomy also would happily result in many fewer aborted babies, and many more baptized ones….virtually none of them Presbyterian.

Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Biblical postmillennialism and modernist pseudo-postmillennialism aren’t even distantly related.You absolutely can’t extrapolate the effects of building the Tower of Babel to the effects of spreading the gospel.

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

“Biblical postmillennialism” is begging a question, but that aside,that their variety is not yours doesn’t make theirs pseudo as opposed to a different variety of postmillenialism. The social gospel might be an hybrid form, but it does share a root, assumptions, and motives with other forms.

Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

It’s not because it’s not mine, it’s because “we’re going to make the world great by doing good things” has nothing in common with postmillennialism, which is the belief that Jesus’ reign will be established throughout the world through the power of the gospel, and through the power of the gospel alone. There’s really not a single assumption or motive in common, beyond the merely superficial idea that things will look better in the end than they do now — by entirely different means, with entirely different motives, and entirely different in what “look better” will mean. To say they… Read more »

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

They absolutely share an assumption, namely, the perfectability of society. This single point of similarity should be obvious if you compare both to pietistic premillennial dispensationalism.

The recipe is simple, take biblical postmillennialism and subtract the fear of God, and boom, social gospel. And that’s not only a possible recipe, it is the historical route actually taken.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but “perfectability” isn’t the best word. No orthodox Christian believes in that, some Wesleyan sects notwithstanding. Postmils believe society can be transformed by the Gospel and honoring/fearing God. Both secular and “social gospel” progressives think they can program and re-educate people to perfection, despite the 100 million+ people already murdered through such failed efforts.

Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Taking biblical postmillennialism and subtracting the fear of God is like taking the gospel and subtracting Jesus, and claiming the thing you come up with is still just another side of the same coin as the gospel. It’s absurd. And as Nathan pointed out, “perfectability of society” is really the wrong way to characterize postmillennialism. It’s not some abstraction called “society” that’s changed (though that’s what the social gospel is aiming for), it’s the hearts of men who seek to serve Christ in ever growing numbers, with the same fruit we expect to see in our churches when we have… Read more »

Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Sorry, wires crossed, it’s JP Steward who I should have cited as objecting to “perfectibility.” What happened to the edit function?

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

I was responding to the claim that postmillennialism “has nothing in common” with the social gospel. That’s false. They both agree on the feasibility, desirability and inevitability of transforming the world. There’s a reason that eschatology isn’t a first order theological issue, and this is it. Two people can have roughly similar eschatological beliefs but be miles apart on the most important thing. For the record, there is no system, doctrinal, legal or otherwise that can avoid exploitation by sinners. The main thing is always the main thing. So it’s hardly a point against postmillennialism that it can be abused.… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Gospel

I know, it’s Wikipedia, but I’ve read other sources that also more or less indicate the same thing about the historic connection between postmillenialism and the social gospel. This one just makes it easy to find in the first paragraph. You might object that it misrepresents what postmillenialism even is, but in that case theonomic postmillenialism, the kind that most closely shares an animus with the social gospel,also misrepresents postmilleniaism. Do you think it does?

Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

In the same way that the Old Testament law and Moloch worship have the same animus, I guess. Both hope for the favor of the ruling deity resulting in peace and prosperity.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 months ago

Protestants charging Catholics with idolatry is the well-worn equivalent of modern progressives charging conservatives with racism.

It’s a charge that easy to make and almost impossible to deny in a manner that could ever satisfy the accuser.

Ash Vaughn
Ash Vaughn
3 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

The difference is that idolatry is an actual sin and “racism” is not.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 months ago
Reply to  Ash Vaughn

Racism is a subset of hating one’s neighbor.

In both cases, guilt is in the eye of the beholder. Responding, “I’m not being racist/idolatrous!” is insufficient to convince the accuser that he has misinterpreted what he thinks he’s seeing.

Douglas Singer
Douglas Singer
3 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

The denials I’ve heard amount to saying “Even though I lit this burning cross, I’m not committing an act of racism because I only light racist burning crosses to the Devil.”

Last edited 3 months ago by Douglas Singer
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Singer

That’s usually how it works.

Democrats these days perceive anything that a Republican does as little different than burning a cross. It’s practically a reflex with them now.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Singer

Cross burnings these days are less common than horse-and-buggy carriages on highways. There are racists like this, though.
Armed black Nationalist Militia in #Tulsa today: “we will kill everything white in sight” – YouTube

Dabney
Dabney
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I don’t know a single true conservative who is racist. Claims that America is white supremacist are false on their face – white males are the most discriminated against group in the country. It is only due to the grace of God and our superior work ethic that we still control most American institutions.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Dabney

It’s humorous people like Bernie Sanders and Buttigieg say Denmark should be our role model…a 90%+ white, European nation that’s starting to deport refugees.
Denmark to deport migrants to asylum centres outside EU under plans to crackdown on immigration | Daily Mail Online

Corey Reynolds
Corey Reynolds
3 months ago

RE: Postmillennialism and Presbyterian Tyranny, The true postmillennial hope is that the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord like the water covers the seas. At that point, people will no longer make their babies “pass through the water” (sort of like Molech, eh?) because they will all know that such foolishness is never once mentioned in the Bible and that all of the previous generations’ insistence upon such things was just as tradition-enslaved as the Roman Catholics ever were. So I don’t think you have to worry about a future where Scriptural knowledge is ubiquitous AND… Read more »