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Playing a Doctor

This article is a brilliant, luminous gem. Thanks to Rev. Dr. Joe Boot, Steve Deace, and the Crosspolitic guys’ truthful reporting last year, I became a rube at the end of March 2020. The last section of your article is particularly poignant because there are many of us who are dealing with the fallout at our churches. Have you or will you be writing a pastoral piece for those of us trying to sort out the aftermath? I know people who have left churches and others like myself who, while they have forgiven their leaders, are struggling to trust them not to reopen the sheep pen upon hearing “public health emergency” to allow the statist wolves free access to our flocks. We sheepdogs barked and were ignored without apology. Not all of us have a institution like Christ Church to be members of and have little opportunity to be an agent of reformation to attain such a caliber. Thank you.

Sincerely

Brent

Brent, thanks much. I am sure there will be more to say on all of this as we continue to clean up the debris.

Some fish have more fun than others.

“I want the law to be explicitly Christian and Bible-based…” I am astounded that so many professing Christians have such a big problem with this idea.

Guymon

Guymon, I know. Baffles me also.

I really appreciate your blog and have grown to dearly appreciate your wisdom and guidance when it comes to how the church should relate to government. You’ve been tremendously helpful and for that I thank you. Is there a way to list all of the posts you’ve made that touch on this topic specifically? Are there a few other resources you’d recommend for elders of a church to work through in order to have a healthy view of how to interact with government?

Jory

Jory, thanks. For the posts over the last year or so, the best thing to do would be to search for the tag “coronavirus,” then click on that tag, and all the posts would come up. Or you could go to the top menu bar, find the Scripture Index, and pick a likely passage (e.g. Rom. 13), and go there. And it is possible we might see our way to assembling such relevant posts into a book—after we figure out how to fit in an extra three hours a day.

Playing Doctor Is Better Than Playing Preaching | This is one of those blogs where Pastor Doug deftly and satirically lands every single one of his theological punches to the gut of those who a supremely guilty of the sin he is addressing. And those punches are in rapid fire succession. And some of those being thwacked will also be the ones who will arrogantly keep getting up to continue fighting for their apostasy, even though they know they’ve already lost and been exposed.

Trey

Trey, I am glad you think some of the punches landed.

Classical Christian Ed Question

Regarding Classical Christian Education . . .

My wife and I have been greatly blessed by your “Why Children Matter” series. Several families at our church (in Southern CA) are involved with the Classical Conversations education program. My children are too young now, but we are considering it. Is it comparable to your CCE program? Are there any deficiencies you’re aware of or warnings we should take?

Thank you in advance for any counsel you might have to give.

Joe

Joe, I like what Classical Conversations is doing.

Book Report

I read Age of Entitlement by Christopher Caldwell on your recent recommendation. Wow, what a book! I was trying to drink from a firehose. I am putting it away and will pull it out again to reread for a few weeks. I am writing in regard to certain aspects of his evaluation of domestic policy of the ’70s and ’80s which conflicts with conservative received wisdom I was taught. (I was born in 1984.) I was startled to see Reagan portrayed as an unintentionally irresponsible neocon libertarian who destroyed the stability of the unionized ’70s in the interests of a nebulous concept of “Business,” which took off enriching itself at the expense of America’s culture. He also startled me in suggesting that some of the economic regulations, which I had held as anathema, were worth it: unions’ benefits and job protections offering stability and family wage; banking regs kept lending local and personal. Stability and locality are desirable social and individual goods; I’ve never seen this particular way of arguing for them. I am feeling quite at sea!

If I recall correctly, you have described yourself as a Christian Libertarian. Could you comment on this aspect of Caldwell’s argument?

Thank you,

Kayllie

Kayliee, yes. This is the challenge for those sketching their political utopias. It is the question of getting from here to there, and we must never forget the law of unintended consequences. So I am a theocratic libertarian when it comes to my ideal republic, but would a hundred years of civil war be worth three years of what I have in mind. Another way of putting it is that civil order is a lot more fragile than most people think, and political theorists should always keep that in mind.

An Oddity

I’m working my way through your books and just finished Father Hunger. The book was great, but what I can’t get over is that is was endorsed by Eric Mason! Is there a story behind that? Maybe he didn’t know your works well enough at the time? I couldn’t believe that a man who never wastes an opportunity to publicly slander you, would write such a strong endorsement.

Dan

Dan, yes, I know. It was a different era back then. And it wasn’t that long ago.

Thanks from Illinois

My friends here in Southern Illinois, while members of various Baptist type denoms including some Reformed, are being challenged and fed by many aspects of your ministry. We share the blogs and ploddings and Femina. We are very familiar with church history and realize it is all of grace that we are being blessed, for our edification for work to come. Keeping you all in prayer. Many thanks, Doug.

Brenda

Brenda, you’re welcome, and thank you for writing.

Stonewall Stuff

“Now in the world of contemporary politics, there is plenty of energy, desperately looking for a place to stand, but absolutely everything is slippery. In the world of the church, we have plenty of dry places to stand, but very few willing to stand there. The world of conservative politics has plenty of people willing to fight, but with no weapons. Simple detestation of woke socialism is insufficient. Meanwhile, the Christian world is a vast armory, and a huge ammunition depot, well-stocked, but no soldiers, and no ethos of fighting.

The need of the hour is for someone to identify a rallying point, where Christians are standing—as Christians—like a stone wall.”

Pastor Wilson, you do realize that for a growing number of people today’s Stonewall is you and the rallying point is Moscow, ID. When the world has gone dark, the bright beacon of light draws people who still have eyes to see. I know you know this: the emigration from all parts of the world to Moscow is something of a phenomenon. I truly do pray, fervently, that you, your family, Christ Church, and the whole Christian community building up as a willing and capable army will continue to stand faithful and true.

I am honored to be a part of it, even if from afar. I will throw all my energy into this service, using my talents to the equipping of young men and women for this stalwart stand.

It was a blessing to share Sabbath meal with you and your family last week. Your grandkids are a delight, mighty arrows in your descendant quivers. You father, too, is blessed to see such fruit.

In Christ,

Malachi

Malachi, thank you. We certainly want to be at least one of the places in the line.

Re: A Stonewall Moment…

I’ve long held dear the sentiments of this blog post. A very long time. To the great ridicule of my “friends..” And to the despair of my wife, upon whom the ridicule rubs off, unfortunately.

But you put it so much better than I ever did or could. Thanks for a superb summary of where we are and what ought to be done. Perhaps, more than ought to be done . . . but rather our only remaining hope.

Rob

Rob, thanks. And regards to your wife.

I just wanted to ask if the Bible, particularly talking about the New Testament, supports the idea of a Christian nation or/and state?

MPS

MPS, the NT does not support the idea of a singled out Christian nation, the way Israel was a chosen nation in the OT. There is no favored nation that way. But the New Testament does far more than support the idea of a Christian nation. In the Great Commission, it command that we disciple all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything Jesus said. So the NT requires a Christian Thailand, Brazil. Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, China, and down through all the rest.

If you could list them . . . what are the three most PERTINENT issues for Idahoans to consider in the 2022 midterms?

Mr. Tumnus

Mr. Tumnus, good to meet you finally. I will give you two. Idahoans need to strip the governor of his unilateral power to declare an emergency, and to keep us in it without the legislature. The people of Idaho need to replace all the senators who resisted this reform in this last session. And third, the people of Idaho need to despose Gov. Little without replacing him with someone worse. This last one could be a trick.

Fear of God, Fear of Death

This isn’t pertaining to any recent blogs, but perhaps the recent eulogy will do. Do you have recommended resources on fear of death for Christians? Of course the Bible tells us we aren’t supposed to fear it, and we have eternal life to look forward to, but surely there are others who still struggle with the sudden terror of remembering that one day our hearts will stop and there’s nothing we can do to escape it. The fear of the unknown, what it feels like, how it’ll happen, separation from loved ones, and of course standing before the Lord to give an account is frightening, even with faith. I haven’t found any solid reformed resources on working through this issue as a Christian. Any suggestions?

AA

AA, the best I can do is recommend a recent book by Michael Reeves, called Rejoice & Tremble. It is not specifically on fear of death, although that would be included, but it would be an outstanding help for you.

Ah, Let’s Talk About Baptism

Regarding your video interview, “What Changed Your Mind on Baptism?” the question which was raised in my mind was, “If baptism has no saving merit by itself, then what real benefit does it afford the infant sprinkled with water?” As a baptist, and as one who was baptized by immersion as an 18-year-old (a first-generation Christian), my baptism benefits me spiritually because I remember it clearly as a distinct milestone in my life. By my baptism, I was assured, as the Heidelberg Catechism states, that I was “as certainly washed by His blood and Spirit from all the pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, as I am washed externally with water, by which the filthiness of the body is commonly washed away” (HC, Question 69). Yet I don’t see how an infant would be conscious of this benefit at the time of his baptism, nor would he remember the experience when he is older. Also, I don’t get the impression from the WCF that Presbyterians believe that baptism guarantees regeneration (WCF 28.5). So what benefit does it really afford an infant? As a relatively new parent of infants, I fully understand the ardent desire to see them saved. I would gladly give up my own salvation if it guaranteed theirs. Thus, as a Christian parent, I will make every effort to evangelize, disciple, and catechize my kids from their earliest days. Yet if sprinkling them with water before the church against their own will doesn’t guarantee their salvation, then why do it at all? Wouldn’t baptism be more beneficial to them if I waited until they were old enough to make their own decision (I pray, from a regenerated heart) to repent of their sins and confess Christ as Lord? Thanks, brother.

Josh

Josh, there are many possible avenues for a response here, but I will limit myself to one. While you are waiting for them to make their own decision, do you teach them to pray? Confess sin? Sing psalms and hymns? But why? They are not Christians and you are just instilling hypocrisy. Or do you encourage them to hang back because they are probably not regenerate yet? But then, what does that twelve years (say) teach them regarding their foundational relationship to God? And to answer your question directly, Christian baptism does not good at all if the recipient is not looking back on it with faith, but remembering it as a distinct event in your life is no barrier to such faith.

Recently, my wife and I have started drinking the paedobaptist Kool-Aid, and as it turns out, it is quite good and biblical. The issue, however, is that I am a Baptist pastor. I love my church and am very blessed in my ministry here. How does a pastor navigate these treacherous waters? I want to honor my church and not cause scandal or schism, but I also want to be faithful to what Scripture teaches. How do I approach these things? Do I tell the leadership and ask for them to study these things with me? Do I tell the church and throw myself upon their mercy? Obviously, I know that you cannot advise in the specifics, but I would appreciate any principles that you could share. Thanks!

T

T, if it is just a matter of your theology, and not a practical question (e.g. your wife is pregnant), then I would wait until your theology has solidified on the question. I would then tell your elders where you are on the question, and that you are willing to not teach on the subject, and willing to not baptize any children, unless and until the whole session studies the issue and comes to that conviction as well. But if they decide not to study it, that’s fine too.

As confessional Lutherans, my husband and I are interested in hearing how you have come to the understanding you have about the sacraments. We are delighted by your open honesty on the transitions from Calvinist doctrines. In particular we liked how you pointed out the lack of examples in the NT of one stand or the other- baptism of infants or the waiting on a confession of faith from a young ‘un. We would like to point out that we Lutherans have always held that the conversion and baptism of the household of the jailer (he and all his household- family and servants with their families Acts 16) would have included young children. Also Cornelius and all his is another example.

Another point to make regarding infant baptism—the absence of a specific example in the NT is not an argument against it, just as there is no specific example of a woman receiving the bread and wine of the Lord’s supper and we don’t exclude them. I recently watched the YouTube video of the round table discussion in eschatology. Very good to hear the discussion of the various viewpoints! One comment I would make is that Jesus repeatedly told His disciples (sometimes in extreme exasperation) MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.

Enough said!

Pamela

Pamela, thanks. I don’t know that the household of the jailer and that of Cornelius contained any infants. I am willing to say that if they had contained them, it wouldn’t have slowed the apostles down any.

So, you helped me come to the understanding of baptizing babies. I, in turn, helped another pastor friend come to the same understanding, and he is now influencing his other co-elders at the church plant he is at. We also both love theonomy, postmillennialism, and affectionately call you “Uncle Dougy.” What have you done?

Sincerely,

James

James, I like that. You call me Uncle Dougy, and then ask what have I done?

Sir, let me start off by saying that I admire how you know and revere the Bible, and how your mind works whereby you diligently seek to apply the Bible to the world, both specifically and in principle wherever applicable, etc. and more, that preeminent in and permeating your thinking seems to be Jesus Christ and the Gospel and the glory of God.

So, please accept this question in good humor and overlook my “cheekiness”, whereby to position my question most clearly, I tried to use a sort of disrespectful and/or discourteous “literary devise”

Question please: Exactly which specific logical fallacy(s) is it when one takes the earnest, humble prayers of a godly, committed, mature Christian, in faith, laying hold of his God to do for him what God had promised in His word (i.e. your father).. and to /infer/deduce/equate that to the “official” wholesale sanctioning of the same promises to anyone who joins a church and nods their heads to some propositions (i.e. infant baptism churches (extreme exaggeration but the essence remains))?

I am very interested in your answer both to the specific logical fallacy question (if you would take my question in theoretically/in principle)… But also and even more (and although you raise some interesting points in the video) to the overtly implied spirit of the question itself, because it does seem a big leap biblically from one to the other.

Best regards,

Robert

Robert, thanks for the cheeky question. The logical fallacy (informal, not formal) would be one that accompanies rendering general by induction. When you reason from particulars to the general, you want to make sure your sample size and/or characteristics line up with the general. But in what I was doing I don’t believe that error is being committed, because I believe and teach that the only way the baptism of infants is going to do any spiritual good is if the people involved in it are exercising a true evangelical faith. Faith is the only catalyst.

Disorderly Wives

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I don’t always agree with you, but your opinions do make me think more deeply about the Christian life and my own walk with the Lord. That’s why I like your website.

This letter is about your recent article “Disorderly Wives.” I am a wife and mother and also teach science and music at an ACCS-member school. So, I do a lot of different things. I do, however, tend to flounder when I don’t have enough to do; for me, busy (or full–however you want to view it) is better.

In your article, it sounds like you’re saying that a woman’s primary place is in the home, folding laundry, doing dishes, making meals, etc. and then perhaps a secondary place would be some of the roles of the women in your family that you mention at the end, such as missionary work, writing, and teaching. Am I reading your article correctly? If so, I’m wondering if a woman could reach a point where she needed to cease doing her secondary role in order to give all of her attention to her primary role. In your opinion, what would that look like? Under what circumstances would that occur?

I’m also curious if you have any advice for wives who have disorderly husbands, and what a disordered husband would look like.

Thank you!

In Christ,

Hannah

Hannah, last question first. Yes, there are plenty of disorderly husbands—men who can’t keep a job, or men who waste household money on their own vain pursuits, etc.

On your first question, I don’t say that a woman’s place is in the home, but that her primary responsibility is the home, and her domestic duties there. But if a woman has three kids, and they are all in a faithful Christian school, and she is industrious and competent, she might be done with her home responsibilities by 10:30 am. Now what? It is a matter of foundational priorities.

When Extended Family is Difficult

Thank you for all you do! What counsel would you give to adult children (with their own little ones) of a parent who, while a professing Christian, acts divisively, manipulatively, has outbursts of anger, undermines dad’s (her son’s) authority in his home and feels entitled to have some authority over her grandchildren, and would in many ways be in the biblical category of a fool. Let’s say this parent/grandparent accepts no responsibility for this and concedes nothing when confronted and is unrepentant. Let’s also say that the issue for the adult children (child and child-in-law) is not an issue of resentment, punishment, or anger toward this person, but not wanting this behavior in their home and around their children. This parent/grandparent lives in a different state than the adult children and is not likely under any meaningful or involved pastoral authority. How do the adult children handle competing duties to honor parents yet obey Ephesians 6:4 (biggest concern), obey the command to warn a divisive person once then after that have nothing to do with him, to not keep company with fools? Most of the commentary out there that I’ve read deals with the heart and attitude of the adult child (you should desire to honor your parents even if they aren’t acting honorably), versus how to think through situations where legitimate boundaries are needed that don’t feel very honoring to put in place (such as, you cannot behave this way in our home), and how to show honor in these situations. I see very extreme cases discussed, like sexual abuse, but not things on par with the above-listed issues. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

MC

MC, taking the case just as you have described it, my answer would be that you should keep your visits short and very limited, and that you don’t let grandma take the kids for a few days, etc. In other words, if the folly is significant, routinely expressed and kind of out there, then you need to keep your kids out of range until they are mature enough to navigate the situation themselves.

But I would also want to add that this should not be done unless you gone to Christian friends who know you well, and ask them if they think of you as persnickety in your habits. Are grandma’s sins the kind of thing that more charitable Christians would cover a multitude of?

Courtship, Fidelity and Marriage

In your book Fidelity you write that a man who struggles with sexual sin, such as porn use, should marry at the first available opportunity. That’s me. However, my Christian mother recently told me I should not get married unless I am in love with the woman. But there is a woman I am certainly interested in, and who I think would be good for me, and I for her, but I am not “in love.” Should I pursue her for a romantic relationship?

Please help me out with understanding how to proceed or how to back off.

Thank you kindly,

Jacob

Jacob, the issue is not whether you are “in love” with her, but whether you are willing to love her. As an old Puritan once put it, choose your love, and then love your choice. Falling in love is certainly fun, and take it if you get it. But it is not to be the foundation of anything.

In a recent Letters to the Editor segment (Courtship Question, 06/01/21) you mentioned that a young man should get to know a young woman in group settings, and “As soon as you get to the point where you are singling her out . . . you should have communicated with her father.”

How (if at all) does this change when the “getting to know each other” occurs long distance?

I’ve been to several CREC singles retreats in the past year and a half. These are typically 3-4 day events and are excellent forums for meeting other young Christian men and women. However, any communication outside of these retreats is long distance and likely one-on-one. In my opinion, 3-4 days of getting to know a woman in-person and in a group setting is not enough to be able to pursue a courtship/dating relationship. I believe friendship is a foundation for a more serious relationship, and I am not comfortable jumping into courting/dating without being friends for some period of time first. But due to the distance, this “being friends” comes in the form of messaging or phone conversations.

Would you give any leeway for a month or so of one-on-one conversation without stated intentions of marriage or without speaking to the woman’s father? Or, should I be willing to “stick my neck out” and court/date a young woman after only knowing her for 3-4 days?

In Christ,

Caleb

Caleb, what I would suggest is something like this. If a young lady has caught your eye, and you want to follow up, ask her dad if you can “get to know her better.” You are not courting in the sense of actively trying to win her affections, and you can have your “month or so” in a way that has some accountability.

Chesterton for the Win

Thank you for continuing to cash this out and compile your thoughts on a Mere Christendom approach to theonomy in your recent blog posts.

If you haven’t already done so, you might include Chesterton’s whit on the topic as you prepare your manuscript.

“We have laws against blasphemy—that is, against a kind of coarse and offensive speaking in which nobody but a rough and obscure man would be likely to indulge. But we have no laws against heresy—that is, against the intellectual poisoning of the whole people, in which only a prosperous and prominent man would be likely to be successful. The evil of aristocracy is not that it necessarily leads to the infliction of bad things or the suffering of sad ones; the evil of aristocracy is that it places everything in the hands of a class of people who can always inflict what they can never suffer. Whether what they inflict is, in their intention, good or bad, they become equally frivolous. The case against the governing class of modern England is not in the least that it is selfish; if you like, you may call the English oligarchs too fantastically unselfish. The case against them simply is that when they legislate for all men, they always omit themselves.” – GKC, Heretics

THVV

THVV, thanks much. I will try to remember that.

I’ve enjoyed the careful and thoughtful way you have been sorting out the questions surrounding blasphemy and government. Something that keeps coming to my mind is that there seem to be similarities between treason and blasphemy. One thought is that many people already have a tolerance for capital punishment if someone commits treason. William Bruce Mumford simply removed a union flag from a public building in 1862 and was convicted of treason and executed.

In a Christian theocracy, it seems like blasphemy and treason might have more of an overlap. I can imagine scenarios where blasphemy would be a calculated effort to destabilize a formally acknowledged theocratic Christian nation. The loony guy on the street yelling blasphemies seems to require a different response than someone conspiring to place the abomination of desolation at the capitol for national worship. Are there situations like this that you think could justify capital punishment for blasphemy?

Josh

Josh, I think you are making reasonable distinctions.

Year in Review

“Our Year in Review”. My reading is that Mablog is throwing a lot of complaint into the air, and while you are distracted, he is trying to leave his weeks of apologia for Trump behind. In my opinion, he aided and abetted very likely the most corrupt leader this country has had. Having not voted for Trump in 2016, Mablog had 4 years to take the measure of the man and still did not get the grift. Trump will continue his big lie, and as with all liars look for his fabrications to grow.

Fred

Fred, may we measure your detestation of liars by your response to the Fauci email revelations?

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nathan
nathan
3 months ago

Fred, what makes Trump the most corrupt leader the country has ever had? I feel like he’s more run-of-the-mill and maybe one of the less corrupt.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago

“Our Decade+ in Review”.

My reading is that Fred is throwing a lot of complaint into the air, and while you are distracted, he is trying to leave his weeks of apologia for Obama behind. In my opinion, he aided and abetted very likely the most corrupt leader this country has had. Having voted for Obama in 2008, Fred had 8 years to take the measure of the man and still did not get the grift. Obama will continue his big lie, and as with all liars look for his fabrications to grow.

Two can play that game, Fred.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago

Did Fred crawl out from under the same rock where James (last week’s letters) resides? Or do they all sound the same because they’re programmed by the same Big Tech/legacy media sources?

Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago

I must disagree with Pamela about the absence of paedobaptism is not an argument against paedobaptism. That is the argument. That simple. I go to a Reform church. Most are paedobaptist, but not all. I am a credobaptist. It would make my life a lot easier if a believed in paedobaptism, but I just don’t believe it. I have an optimistic eschatology. I have heard all of the arguments and they just don’t register. I don’t consider myself a weaker brother, but I think that Romans 14 needs to be included in the thoughts of the Reformed.

Last edited 3 months ago by Zeph
Ken
Ken
3 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

Zeph: If you indeed attend a Reformed church in which most (but not all, including yourself) are paedobaptists, do you not think that the session is bearing Romans 14 in its collective thoughts?

Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken

That wasn’t a comment about the session, but Reformed that tend to hang out here.

Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

That came off a little snarky. sorry. Can’t edit the post

Robert
Robert
3 months ago

Pastor Wilson,

Thank you for answering my cheeky question and addressing both aspects of it!

But isn’t it presumptuous and/or careless for a (e.g. Presbyterian) church to think that just because parents are true born again Christians, that they have the (extraordinary, mature) kind of faith your father displayed in “claiming” the salvation of his children? [and yet even as I ask the question I am convicted about my own lack of faith]

Best Regards,

Robert

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert

What is the deal with all this questioning of people’s faith? The baptism discussion has brought it out in swarms. It’s not just this question, but also the many comments on the youtube video asking for a “guarantee” of salvation before baptizing children. If the thing ought to be believed, then we must model, teach, encourage and strengthen one another in believing it. To take someone who is just beginning the journey of faith with a few faltering steps, and suggest that they doubt their faith and postpone obedience is beyond wrongheaded. Surely we have to either argue that baptism… Read more »

Josh
Josh
3 months ago

Hi Doug. This is Josh who asked the baptism question. Thank you for your reply. To answer your question, I wouldn’t think that teaching my children to pray, confess sin, or sing psalms without baptizing them would be teaching them to be a hypocrite. All men are accountable to worship God and pray. To fail to do so would be sin. On that note, let me just add that I believe that if my children were old enough to possess the cognitive ability to confess sin (which they aren’t yet), then they should be old enough to profess faith in… Read more »

Gray
Gray
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Fraternally:

Can we try to substitute an action in your argument?

“For whose benefit is the feeding of the infant? The infant has no idea what’s going on at the time, and will have no memory of it. Is it then for the parents’ benefit? Is it for God’s benefit? I wouldn’t think it was for God’s benefit, seeing that God’s choosing of life took place in eternity past, and He wasn’t waiting for me to provide food to secure my children’s nutrition.”

Whose faith was involved when Abraham had the knife in the air?

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Gray

Gray,
What benefit do you understand baptism to provide that is analogous to the benefit of physical nourishment provided by food?

Kevin
Kevin
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Hello Josh, I’m a fellow Baptist (a confessional 1689 Reformed Baptist, to be exact), and I commend you for your questions. I’ve looked into the issue quite a bit, and I think you’ll find that, especially throughout history, Reformed paedobaptists have had varying justifications for infant baptism, even including that it presumes inherent holiness (regeneration) within the infant. Most modern paedobaptists seem to hold a view that infant baptism brings one into a kind of provisional church membership that must be followed up with a profession of faith later, though that practice, of course, differs with how they treat the… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Doug, Thanks. Even when I disagree I want to understand the reasoning. Minor quibble: That’s not a couple of things, that’s four things. Bigger quibbles: It more than leans toward the idea that one is in the kingdom by virtue of baptism or by virtue of parentage, and apart from believing – the very thing Baptists dispute God has a people, and they are those who are of the faith of Abraham, no matter who their biological or genealogical fathers were.I am responsible to serve God and it has nothing to do with my ancestors. I’d come closest to granting… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, I appreciate your reply. As to what you said in #4, this is where I think much of this discussion hinges. Are paedobaptists assuming that baptized infants are in the New Covenant in any sense? If so, what sense is that? Do they have Christ or Adam as their federal head before God? Because those are the only two options in scripture, and Christ does not lose any of his own. Of course Baptists baptize professors of faith who turn out to be unbelievers, but we would say this then proved the baptism to be illegitimate, showing that the… Read more »

Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Of course, not becoming Christian is an option. The Lord saves who he saves and he damns who he damns. Everyone here , knows examples of both kinds of children in every Christian tradition, raised by godly parents, both credo and paedo. We trust the Lord. We trust the Goodness of the Lord, We can’t name it and claim it like some televangelist.

Zeph
Zeph
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Whose faith is being demonstrated at a baptism, the parents or the child’s? I don’t see a biblical problem with young baptism, 3-5. They are old enough to know that Jesus paid for all their bad things as the Heavenly Father is concerned. They are old enough to know that they need that and they are old enough to ask for it. I don’t have a problem with a rebaptism if the believer has a conscience issue about it. That would be a Romans 14 thing. If a young child is credobaptized, they should start taking communion.

Last edited 3 months ago by Zeph
Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Josh, I think you’ve missed the point of asking about teaching them to pray. More pointedly, it is this: are you teaching your children to pray without faith? That would be crazy, would it not?

As to confessing sins, unless you have multiple children under one year old, I think you’re making it out to require more maturity than it does. If a child obeys his father, understands that he gets spanked for disobedience, cries and desires reconciliation, and changes his behavior following the spanking, then chances are excellent that he understands sin.

Kevin
Kevin
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Nathan, are you assuming that a baptized infant has faith, i.e., is regenerate? Biblically, what leads you to that conclusion?

Ash Vaughn
Ash Vaughn
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

The crux, to me, is that credobaptism doesn’t solve any problems. You still have to contend with the issue of baptized members who fall away from the faith.

AF
AF
3 months ago

I haven’t read Fidelity, but could Doug (or someone who has read it—I have too many books in the queue to pick it up right now🙃) explain his position on a man marrying asap if he struggles with sexual sin/porn? I’ve heard some say that, but others recommend getting a handle on the sin first rather than trying to ‘fix it’ with marriage. Of course everyone deals with lust & ‘burning’ from time to time, but I would be very hesitant to commit to a man with a porn problem (or who is engaged in some other sexual sin) bc… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  AF

What is “struggles with sexual sin”? That much could just means a man has a sex drive like he’s supposed to, in which case marriage is the way he fulfills something he’s meant to do; it shouldn’t be understood as “fixing” something, because nothing’s broke.

If someone is sinning by what they do, I wouldn’t tell them to get married as a solution, or to refrain from marriage until they get a handle on it. I’d tell them what they need to do is repent, independent of the the question of marriage.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

AF explained what she meant: “struggles with sexual sin/porn.” It’s a legitimate question. Marriage very rarely “fixes” that problem from what I’ve seen. Repentance may be the answer, but acting out on the sin almost never goes away overnight. So the question is should you postpone marriage until you’ve abstained from the sin for a period of time (of course the period will be arbitrary, whether 6 months, 1 year, etc.)?

AF
AF
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

I clarified that in the next sentence. “Of course everyone deals with lust & ‘burning’ from time to time, but I would be very hesitant to commit to a man with a porn problem (or who is engaged in some other sexual sin) bc of the ways it can warp one’s sex drive/habits/interests” I didnt want to elaborate for propriety’s sake, but I mean the point where normal sex drive goes unchecked and turns ugly. Pornography, fornication, lust, and then icky twistedness those three can lead to if let loose: Sex addiction, objectification or disdain of women, abnormal ‘kinks’, all… Read more »

AF
AF
3 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

That makes more sense, thanks! As a single that second kind of man is the kind that scares me, especially if he presents himself as the first type😬 I guess thats where discernment and vetting comes in.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago

For the Fauci haters: could someone point me to some analysis of his emails that you believe showed him to be a lying fraud? I haven’t seen anything of substance… if someone got 3,000 pages of my emails and went through them trying to find nuggets that make me look bad they would have ample fodder.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Demo, are you trying to pull a Jonathan? Try asking in good faith next time.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Of course they don’t. All they have are conspiracy theories and invectives. See the fellow’s dodge below. It’s a pity.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Straw man Bill: conspiracies like Russian collusion, Ukraine-gate, bogus COVID death counts and the Jan. 6 “insuwwection” (in which a demonstrator was the only one murdered) getting much more attention than over a year of riots that have caused many magnitudes more damage/injuries + many deaths? Can’t you just be happy that every story that doesn’t fit your narrative is memory holed by Big Tech within minutes…including credible ideas that FauxChi & Co. dismissed? Nah, I guess you have to throw around terms like “conspiracy theories and invectives” to soothe yourself. Talk about a pity.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

The real pity is it appears you never learned that assertions are not the same as facts. Care to share a list of your sources ? Then we can judge their veracity for ourselves.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bill
JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

I’ll raise you a non sequitur, Billy.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

You’re the one making unsubstantiated claims. As they say, “Put up or shut.”

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I’d like to second your question. I hadn’t heard of these startling revelations, so I did something I haven’t done in along time, visited the BBC site. Perhaps not quite as objective as it used to be, but with no axe to grind on this issue, and I found zilch that could be construed as about to bring down some world-wide hoax.

The BBC analyst thought attitudes to the e-mails reveal more about the person reading them and their politics than what is actually contained in them.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I call B.S. on your assertion that you have “no axe to grind on this issue”. You’re in way too deep furthering the Coronadoom narrative, as your own past comments amply demonstrate. Of course it’s much easier to double down on protecting your precious patron saint of pandemics Fauci — even after he came right out and admitted he lied to you — than it is to admit you’ve been duped.

Didn’t Doug say somewhere that to believe a lie is as much a sin as it is to tell one?

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

Ahem, it is the BBC that has no axe to grind on this issue! It is obligated to attempt to be objective.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I’ll call B.S. on that one as well. The BBC has every axe to grind on this issue, as they, along with the rest of the fake news media, have a vested interest in promoting the Coronadoom narrative.

If it bleeds, it leads. And the media’s squeezed a surprising amount of blood from this turnip.

You yourself admitted the BBC isn’t objective. So then, why on God’s green earth would you turn to them when seeking information?

Last edited 3 months ago by WJ
Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

What I actually said was the BBC may not be as objective as it used to. I still don’t see any obvious reason to believe it is being partisan on this particular issue. It is not going to influence public opinion. It is not owned by rich individuals with an agenda. I don’t think I have ever known a time when both right and left haven’t accused the BBC of bias against their own side. It can be in the eye of the beholder. My opinions such as they are have been garnered from those suitably qualified and who are… Read more »

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

You seriously believe that? Like NPR, the BBC is near Pravda levels at this point.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

One of many examples of the BBC showing their bias and lying.
BBC criticised for cropping out weapon in Black Lives Matter protest photo – LBC

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

@Ken B and anyone else interested in the object level discussion here. Zero Hedge ran a series of articles on the emails exerpting several dozen emails to try to show that Fauci was lying about gain of function research. They have even more clips on their twitter. The pieces are spinning it hard, but there doesn’t appear to be much there.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Fauci has joined George Soros and Bill Gates in the far right wing’s pantheon of supervillains bent on global domination through mass murder or, at the very least, the ruthless suppression of human rights. Add to that the vast numbers of conservatives who believe Fauci knowingly lied about the virus for the purpose of creating economic and social chaos in order to throw the election to the Dems. And that’s not counting all the people whose science education was so dismal that they think modifying recommendations in the light of new data is equivalent to an admission of scientific incompetence… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Thanks, Jill. Honestly this is about what I expect, but it was an honest (very much good faith!) question, as I hadn’t heard much about it, and the tidbits that I saw in a quick look at both legacy and RW media seemed utterly banal…. I’m not a huge Fauci fan, I think he has played fast and loose with the truth several times for what he saw as altruistic goals. But I also don’t think he’s a villain. The stuff I have seen from the emails doesn’t seem to add anything to what was known. I hope all of… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

As I understand it, he initially downplayed the effectiveness of masks because there was a shortage and he wanted to direct the limited stock on hand to medical workers. I think this lack of candor, however well intentioned, was a serious error in judgment that came back to bite him.

I think of Buzzfeed as my go-to if I’m ever so frantic with boredom that a quiz entitled “Tell us your favorite Disney princess and we’ll guess your favorite pizza toppings” sounds like something I’d enjoy. Hard to think of it as a news outlet!

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Yes, I think he burnt some credibility on the mask issue, though it is more complicated than the way the story is typically told. He also admitted to altering his estimate for “herd immunity” based on how willing people were to accept vaccination. As quoted in NYT “When polls said only about half of Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity was 70-75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.” This is pretty bad in my… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Demo, you do realize that “playing fast and loose with the truth” is a term of art for “lying fraud”, don’t you?

So what do you need “Fauci haters” for?

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Thanks, Jill.” Thanks for what? Two paragraphs of tripe that scream “Proudly programmed by MSNBC”?

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

“Thanks for what?”

My thanks was because Jill at least attempted to answer the question rather than make a scurrilous accusation of bad faith.

I prefer good faith responses! And if I’m looking for cultural war bloviating I can get that anywhere.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

From what I’ve gathered, in my brief visit here, culture war bloviating passes for serious discussion. Please tell me this is an anomaly.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

‘Twas better in days of yore. Unfortunately only the dim memories of a happy band remain.

But yeah, its basically a big right-wing purity spiral now. But as pseudo-Ghandi said “be the change you want to see.” And plenty of smart people still hang out here and comment occasionally, it isn’t all half-wits and self important mid-wits!

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Bill Gates–a guy who wants us to eat 100% fake meat, block the sun and has an obsession with Ray Kurzweil’s singularity. That alone should make him beyond suspect. The projection and inanity in your last paragraph almost makes it sound like you’re joking…I hope you are.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I think it’s not a sign of mental pathology (or villainy) to speculate about the outcome of the global race for AI. But it’s Elon Musk who is obsessed with the singularity and who is making doomsday predictions.”This is a case where Elon and I disagree,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, speaking with the WSJ Magazine and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “The so-called control problem that Elon is worried about isn’t something that people should feel is imminent,” says Gates, according to a transcript of the interview published by the WSJ Magazine Monday. “We shouldn’t panic about it.” A plot to block the sun… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jilly,

Thanks for bringing some references and thoughtfulness to the discussion. I too am no lover of our tech overlords, but before making an accusation we should make sure we have our facts straight! Careful analysis is what is needed and I’m glad you have provided it.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jilly, you said: And that’s not counting all the people whose science education was so dismal that they think modifying recommendations in the light of new data is equivalent to an admission of scientific incompetence and deceit. Jilly, what about people whose science education was so dismal that they think they and science are one and the same? People like, oh, I don’t know, Dr. Fauci: Attacks on me are, quite frankly, attacks on science. Because all of the things I have spoken about, consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science. Sometimes, those things were inconvenient… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago

 Fauci’s overall handling of the epidemic will be ultimately be judged by people more qualified than I. But some of the accusations that have been leveled against him reveal a lack of basic understanding that researchers, encountering a new virus, offer advice based on data available to them at the time. Any recommendations arising from clinical data are therefore provisional and are subject to revision as new data becomes available. The scientific method proceeds from hypothesis to tentative conclusion based on research findings–tentative because it must always be revisited in the light of previously unknown data. You, of course, know that, and even… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Jill Smith
kyriosity
kyriosity
3 months ago

Another idea for Caleb: contact the folks who sponsored the singles retreat about starting some sort of online group for participants. That would provide an opportunity for continued conversation without immediate pressure to pursue an individual.

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