A DeYoung Comment
Concerning your post about DeYoung’s Taxonomy.
I, likewise, found DeYoung’s breakdown helpful, but utterly inadequate at the same time. I am vocally against the woke stuff (I’m a 4) and after DeYoung published, one of my elders gave me a call and asked me my thoughts. And I said it was helpful, but I also said that DeYoung missed a critical question. And that is if there is actually a danger in what is being taught by the 1s and 2s. DeYoung treated the four categories all as equal; the 1s and the 4s are morally equivalent in the article. But I think DeYoung would have to rework his thoughts completely, and actually come off his soft 3, if he agreed that that Social Justice was a harmful heresy. There are no such grids like this for Trinitarian errors being passed around today. And the reason I think DeYoung overlooked this is because of his strict Spirituality of the Church, Two Kingdom, anti-theonomy, anti-cultural mandate views. Since he doesn’t think Christians need to engage in the culture, then social and justice issues need to come as merely secondary in his mind.
I like DeYoung from what I have seen, and I recently had a social media exchange with AD Robles on this, he is not woke, but he is friendly with the woke. And that is where your latest article comes in.
I appreciate your familiarity with the rules of logic and rhetoric. It is evident in almost everything you do. My question is about your apologetic method and how that holds up to the rules of logic. Is presuppositionalism just begging the question? Thank you for considering my question.
Dear LC, thanks. Begging the question is when you assume the thing you need to prove. Say you are disputing with a friend over the reliability of a newspaper story. You can’t solve the problem through buying another copy of the paper and bringing it in as a second witness. The reliability of the paper is what is being debated, and so you can’t appeal to it in order to resolve the question. So how does that apply to presuppositionalism? Because we are finite creatures, we have to start somewhere, and that means starting with assumptions. Because we are finite creatures created in the image of God, those assumptions will have to be about ultimate things—the existence of the triune God, the reliability of reason, and so forth. And in its turn, that means that our reasoning about all ultimate issues will of necessity be “circular.” For example, I base my argument on reason, and someone asks me for my reason for doing that.
A Sabbath Question
What are we to make of Sabbath-keeping in the New Covenant? It makes sense to me that we would still be bound to keep it (albeit on a different day), but I have a hard time with passages like Rom. 14:4-5, Col. 2:16-17, and the various times Jesus’ broke the Sabbath. Although I was raised in a strong Sabbatarian household, most of my Christian friends are convinced that the Sabbath was something just for the Jews under the Mosaic Covenant and use these passages to support their positions. Thanks for any help you can offer!
Jonathan, yes, I am a sabbatarian. Those passages, I believe, are referring to the keeping of the Jewish calendar, sabbaths included. I would look to Heb. 4:9-10—there remains, therefore, a sabbath rest for the people of God, and that sabbath rest is on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10). I would recommend this book.
Not referring to any particular article, but related to the current heresy of teaching homosexuality as NOT being a sin. Have you ever written anything regarding the principle of church discipline that Paul teaches in 1 Cor. 5 ? Specifically, Paul is telling the church how to relate to a particular Christian as a church. Can a father who has adult Christian children who are committing these types of sin, or arguing that Scripture doesn’t teach homosexuality is a sin, stand on this teaching/principle to break family relationships with that adult son or daughter and also encourage siblings to remove fellowship with them? To “put them out” for the purpose of the buffeting of Satan to work their repentance? The alternative argument is that a father should still maintain fellowship with those adult children and “love them” into repenting of their heretical thinking. Many more side issues related here, but that is the core at present. Thanks !!
Chris, I think my response would be on two levels. First, in principle, yes, familial discipline (and ultimately disinheritance) is and should be an option. That is the backdrop. But the second thing is this. I think a father in this position should first run a spiritual inventory on himself, asking the hard questions about whether or not he chased his wayward children to the place where they are. If the answer comes back as a yes, then the best thing you can do for children who need to repent is to show them how it is done.
A Clerihew Comes, Unsought
A Clerihew for you:
Douglas Wilson a writer
Tongue sharp as Thorin’s Biter
Writes many a book
And so I takes a look.
Thanks for Wordsmithy!
Garrett, thanks. I think.
Theocratic Free Speech
I was listening to a YouTube video with Doug talking about how free speech arose from Biblical Law and how it limits the blasphemy of the State. I feel like I kinda understand but I am not fully grasping it or seeing where it fully comes or how it limits the government for blasphemy. I got on this site to find more and see if it was explained differently or better so I could fully grasp it but I have not. Is there an article or another video that Doug shows the scriptural references and lays it out another way? I am learning about theonomy and trying to understand it better.
My Dad’s Book
I know that your dad is staying with you at the moment and I am writing in the hope that you can pass on a message to him.
We had our first men’s book club last night where we discussed Jim’s book Principles of War. We are a small church of about 100 people but we had 16 men turn up which I was pleasantly surprised by.
But the main point is that Jim’s book encouraged us all to think hard about how we can do and support evangelistic efforts in our local area. It was fun to read, practical and short, all of which were big positives and very helpful for the men.
If the Lord is kind to us, we will be a more prayerful, purposeful and evangelistic church because of Jim’s book. Please thank him for writing it.
I hope this is encouraging to him that even if his body limits his work, he continues to work for the King through his books.
On a side note, I and several other men and women in my church have been greatly helped by your ministry and the work of Christ Kirk and Canon Press. Keep it up.
Thomas, thank you. I will pass that on.
A High and Lonely Calling. That Has a Nice Ring.
It’s a real shame that you seem to be the lone satirist in the evangelical world, and even more shameful that no one recognizes you as such. All the talk is always about your zesty content while nothing is ever said about your tangy form (which apparently means the form is doing it’s job). Being a satirist is a high and lonely calling in a world of panicked moralists, I suppose. Most sanctimonious folk wouldn’t know good satire if it came up and slapped ‘em hard on both cheeks . . . which it inevitably tries to do, anyway.
For having such a thirst for moral teaching, it’s ironic that satire sails over the heads of so many evangelicals, especially our thought leaders. You would think they might appreciate it more, since it seems crystal clear to me that the sharpest moral blades have always been in the hands of the satirists: Swift showed me more than Kant how to treat the poor; Twain taught me more than Marx to be wary of the capitalists; Mencken, not Plato, convinced me of the dangers of democracy. But I venture that a self-righteous generation doesn’t really want satire because the don’t really want the blade. Only the truly penitent are prune-able.
I pause to wonder, though, with the exception of Chesterton, why we have had so few Christian satirists since the Reformation (Erasmus being a prime example). Perhaps writing something about the need for satire, it’s prophetic function, and why so many sanctimonious/woke people who want moral teaching simply cannot abide it would be a good forthcoming blog.
Appreciatively (and I mean that with no irony),
Nate, it really is amazing. And there is so much material just asking for the treatment. It is like we have a huge jungle of nonsense out there, and only two machetes.
A Man Bun Question
I received a question from Anonymous about the propriety of wearing a man bun.
Dear Anonymous, see below.
Thanks for Sharing
I don’t expect you to be familiar with all the tunes (sorry, I guess my ageism is showing), but this seems like something that wouldst bring thee joy, as it hast to me.
RK, thanks for thinking of me.
I’m not sure if you saw the attached article and what it describes but I look forward to your reaction to it. Maybe you could write something like “Demons in the Architecture?”
Archie, makes me want to go punch something.
As Chesterton pointed out in The Everlasting Man, Delenda est Carthago, Carthage must be destroyed. That is the battle cry Christendom must embody and the hope Christendom must believe. A society built upon sacrificing its children to its god is bound to inevitably be devoured by that god. Whether we engage in opposing it or not, it cannot end in anything other than destruction, but God grants us the joy of participating in its demise. Jeremiah 48:10
Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ
Todd, thanks, and amen.
At Least One More Round
Do you recommend that Ascol keep fighting for the SBC or would you tell him to leave?
Justin, I think that they should stay in for at least one more round.
Working On It
When The Man Comes Around
Hey brother, I’m a huge fan and appreciate all you do for the body of Christ.
I would love to read When the Man Comes Around, but I only have time to listen (think James White). Is there anywhere I can find an audio version of your book? Would you consider releasing one for a Canadian brother? (We are persecuted, you know).
Kenton, we want to get all our titles into audio, but that one is not yet in production. Many sorries.
Deja Vu All Over Again
Re: Playing a Doctor on TV is Better Than Playing a Preacher in the Pulpit This gave me a real case of deja vu, but from a different angle. When I was a doctoral student (later dropout) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto (late 1980s) the entire buzz was about being “Post-Enlightenment” and “Anti-Foundational.”
So, as I tried to unpack this a bit, I asked questions like, “If we are going to be Post-Enlightenment, why do we still hold to the same conclusions about the Bible that the Enlightenment gave us (“the assured results of modern scholarship”)?
The supposedly bad stuff of foundationalism (the possibility of real knowledge, certainty, etc.) was to be jettisoned but the really nasty stuff was held without question: JEPD Source hypothesis, multiple authors of Isaiah, anti-supernaturalism, and the idea that the church wrote Scripture. One of my fellow-students explained it this way: the Bible is the human response to challenges and phenomena that the ancients experienced. We are reading their impressions of things.
But this of course is the fruit of the Enlightenment, so our Post-Enlightenment was not very post at all. One of the Senior Members did it this way, “THIS is not the Word of God” (referring to the Bible he just tossed on the table, “THIS is the Word of God” as he carefully picks it up. And speaking of Barth, why is he still so popular? He was speaking against a scientific (real) understanding of Scripture and assuming that the findings of destructive criticism was real.
Anyway, good article on Fauci. I expect there are many areas in our world that need the same kind of questions.
Scott, thanks. I have noticed the same thing in other areas. Why are postmodernists never post-Darwinists?
Hills and Dying on Them
I have recently been notified that my company wants me and others in my department to come back to the office next week after having successfully worked remote for 15 months (having one of the best years ever). The environment that they are now requiring me to go back into is to 1. Get vaccinated or 2. Wear a mask/face covering if I don’t. Unfortunately, I fall into categories not willing to do either as a matter of conscience and conviction.
My convictions lie in the fact that neither of these are God-honoring due to the actual evidence of efficacy of the experimental vaccines and the growing evidence of the health issues with them. The issue with the masks is that the science shows that they are not effective nor are they necessary. In my convictions it is ultimately living a lie to merely go along with it. To me it’s a matter of principle and while I don’t use the same standard of judgment for others, these are my convictions based on the facts (truth). With that context being laid, I have heard you say that we have to choose hills to die on and I think unless my company will allow me to continue working remote and to live out my convictions that this is that type of hill. I do have a family and am the sole income for my home. My wife supports me. I have sought other counsel and the counter was that I could lovingly wear the mask out of respect. I don’t fully agree with that because it’s not loving to do something just to make others feel ok especially when it is compromising the truth.
I am in a bit of a hard spot but want most of all to honor the Lord, to trust Him, and to obey Him and the convictions I believe He has laid on me. Would you counsel someone to “die on this hill”?
Jeremy, from how you have laid it out, that is certainly what it sounds like. I would encourage you to follow your conscience, and I appreciate how you have not bound the consciences of others in that.
The Neglected Qualification
I read the following article on TGC regarding what to do when a pastor’s child strays. One thing thing that was not listed was “resign.” I know you have a book that addresses some of these topics (full disclosure, I have not read it). But 1 Tim 3:4 seems pretty obvious on the qualifications of a pastor. Does this apply to fathers as they are raising their children in the home or does it apply to grown children of pastors? I’m even thinking of a NYT article I read recently about John Piper’s son being hostile towards Christianity. It pains me to read about wayward children of a pastor I have such respect for. But isn’t it best for a pastor with wayward children (young or old) to step down, for the sake of both his church and his family?
Roger, yes. It is astounding to me that stepping down is frequently not even on the list of options. For those interested in studying this further, here is a link to the book you mentioned.