Another Clown World Story, Like We Were Running Low?
I usually write questions but I thought you would enjoy a clown world story from the northeast! I had to get vaccinated for work, and it took me about a month to feel totally normal again. I had a fever for days, and a swollen elbow for three weeks. So, I thought it was all over and I proceeded on with my life. Last week, my family and I visited my in-laws. After returning, we discovered that a neice of ours had COVID. My wife got sick first, then my son, then I DID! But wait, I’m the vaccinated one right? YES, I am. I remember reading that the Pfizer clinical trials only looked at people six weeks after their second injection to get their efficacy number. What is the efficacy rate, say eight weeks after? Let me tell you, not too high if I got it! So, I contacted work and told them I need to stay home because I am at risk of exposing everyone in my office. They gave me short term disability and told me not to come to work. They have not told me when I’m supposed to return yet. So here I am: Waiting to hear from work; the same work that told me I had to get the shot or face termination because we need to keep ourselves and each other safe from a disease that can make people sick six weeks post vaccination from that same disease. I’m sensing some inconsistency here . . .
P.S. Idaho is looking nicer every day.
Grant, Idaho is great. Kind of cold right now, but great.
The Options Game
The Apostle Paul lived under the third option, and he did what? How is what he did like what you are proposing, and how is it unlike what you are proposing —especially when he wrote the letter to the Romans, every jot and tittle?
Frank, what happened is that he preached the second option. There is a difference between the system you live under while you are evangelizing it, and the system you have in mind while you are evangelizing it. I have no trouble acknowledging that I live under a weird combination of Options 1 and 3. Problems arise when Christians settle for that.
“So if they want to get out of this particular jam, in order to run away from Christian nationalism, they need an option that allows for a liberal use of some squid ink. That used to be Option #1, and that used to work a lot better before the state started acting like they were in fact Odin.”
Yes, isn’t it interesting how Options #1 and #3 converge every single time?
Guymon, yes, indeed. They always converge.
In response to The Sides of the North are Slippery,
I think the “three-ring goat rodeo” you’ve laid out here could be helpful for engaging true, no-kidding secularists trying to argue for a society with a transcendental vacuum.
However, the thrust of this post seems to be about engaging progressive/left-leaning evangelical leaders, and I don’t see how it’s helpful for those conversations. We’re not divided about whether or not the true God is above the state, but about what the true God wants the state to do and how He wants Christians to engage with the state.
Take reparations as an example, CRT-friendly Christians are in favor of policies like reparations precisely because they believe in Option #2, and will readily employ Scripture to make their case. Even when they’re arguing against theonomy or Christian nationalism they do so by appealing to what they believe to be God’s Law.
Maybe there’s some rhetorical value in pointing out our agreement on Option #2 to diffuse backlash against theonomy or Christian Nationalism, but getting someone to agree with Option #2 won’t change their mind on anything we care about. It seems to me to be little more than a distraction from dealing with the real dividing lines.
Mason, here is how I would respond to that. The lefty Christians who want “nice” theonomy are actually advocates of a pick and choose approach to the verses they employ. They want the “let justice roll down like a river” verses and not “you shall not suffer a witch to live” verses. Now, since they are picking and choosing, what is the system of authority that they are using to make their selections? Who or what is in charge of their winnowing process? The god of the system.
The sides of the north are slippery. How funny to read this blog post the same day my morning study led me to Amos 6. Part of God’s measuring of Israel was to have them look at the mighty cities of the earth and then say, who is better, who is mightier.
But the comparison takes a turn when you realize those nations in Amos 6:2 were all heaps of rubble. Do you really want to spend your time seeing how you measure up to the best the pagans can offer? That is a one way ticket to disaster and a woe to the modern church which spends so much time, toil and tithe on being relevant in the world.
Our message is one that over tops them all and Christ is King! Why would I settle for anything less than His Lordship!
Thank you for this post, it was a joy to read, and as one who used to try and walk that balancing act of secular vs religious, makes me even more proud to be a theonomist and one whose Lord is Lord of all !
Watched podcast on YouTube and read it again today (the sides of the north are slippery)
Thank you for your ministry and the work you do. It is an encouragement to me to holiness and complete submissiveness to Jesus my Lord and Saviour..
Keep on doing what you are doing.
Larry, as we used to say back in the day, we hope to keep on keeping on.
A Hot Question
I have been an almost lifelong member of CREC churches. I just got done with a fairly quick declaration and justification with a sibling who loves and respects me, but will no longer talk to me because I said “I do” when asked if I thought Douglas Wilson was a Christian. Is there a support group that I can join after this? And am I going to be receiving some sort of badge, or at least a pin? No need to respond, for some reason I thought this was a worthwhile message to send.
P.S This is honestly heartbreaking, but not unexpected. Christ came to bring a sword…
See attached meme . . .
Courage, thank you for your kindness and steadfastness.
What am I to make of Eastern Orthodox Christians and Liturgy? Some of the most faithful sermons I have heard lately have been from Orthodox Priests or Bishops, who have vinegar and cussedness at similar levels to yours! Just with 5th century St Nicholas costumes . . . i know of You Tube videos where a so called Protestant questions an Orthodox cleric, but I want to hear from you on this.
They are surely our brethren. I realize the bells and smells issues and the focus on apostolic succession . . . so, how should I perceive their functionality in the scheme of those I name Brethren?
Please have someone give me feedback even if you can not. I have half a mind to call New St Andrews and ask questions.
Waiting impatiently, faithfully your Sister in CHRIST who is our Life.
Brenda, on many issues of the current cultural insanity, they are our co-belligerents, fighting the same enemy we are facing. Many of them are doing this more faithfully than some who profess a more accurate understanding of the gospel. But w hen it comes to the gospel proper, their system functionally denies it, but a number of their people are saved despite this—because the real gospel has a way of getting through all human barriers.
RIde Sally Sequel Idea
I very much enjoyed your book, “Ride Sally Ride,” despite its deep seated undertones of hateful, patriarchal, and rather Pauline rhetoric that just smacks of faithful Biblical interpretation. I would expect nothing different from a backwoods grasshopper eater.
I would like to propose a prompt for a follow up novel to “Ride Sally Ride.” Here is the premise. An individual, living the majority of their life in the Metaverse has discovered, or rather developed what they call their “truest self,” that being a robot cat. Now as a robot cat, life and work can be rather difficult and this individual, through meeting with a licensed counselor who is also a Metaverse avatar, has decided that true happiness can only come through legal representation and affirming representation in their work place (also in the Metaverse), and in all spheres of societal operation.
The protagonist, a pastor who is convinced that the “ekklesia” must be physically present in the universe that God created, struggles to deal with national Christian leaders’ view of Romans 13 and the Public Safety Mandate that states that, “for the suppression of viral transmission and for the reduction of carbon emissions, all mass gatherings must take place in the Metaverse.”
I’m worried we may not be prepared for the implications that this disruptive innovation may have on our society.
M, you don’t think that this might give them ideas?
You were ahead of the curve with Ride Sally, Ride.
Scott, yeah, but being ahead of the curve on things like this brings in what might be described as a sort of dismal joy.
Charter Schools Question
I am an assistant teacher at an ACCS school in Ohio and I wanted to ask a question regarding the recent Hillsdale Classical Charter school movement that has sprung up around the country. As an aspiring classical teacher, I deeply sympathize with the work Hillsdale is doing. I am a strong advocate of the 1776 project as well as classical Christian education. I love that Hillsdale is attempting to provide an option for parents that counteracts the government schools that are plaguing our nation. I am bothered however, at the marked silence about Christ in any of these schools.
One of these schools started near me in Cincinnati and I have been troubled by many of my Christian friends eagerly sharing and encouraging their friends to enroll their children in these schools. I know in many ways these schools are better then the public school option but what I wanted to ask you is in your mind do you see a difference? Is there really a difference between Cincinnati Classical School and Cincinnati Public School? Yes, these schools teach explicit phonics, and Latin, and require their students to read Milton but if they are attempting to instill “virtue” in their students without any meaning behind it than are these schools useless or any better than the public ones? Again, I hesitate to speak ill of them because I know they are being founded by wonderful men who are trying to work against the scourge that is American public schools. Yet I am worried that these men are actually working against they are own labors here.
In essence then, my question is: Since all education cannot be neutral and is indeed always religious (whether it says so or not) are non-Christian classical schools merely raising children entrenched in Humanism or should we applaud them? What would you advise a parent who was thinking of putting their child in a non-Christian classical school? I would love if you could do a podcast or article on this matter.
Thank you for your help in advance.
Hannah, I am happy with the movement over all because I believe that it will be really helpful in deconstructing the current government school system, which is by far the greater threat. But this is just tactical support. As a long-term solution to our education woes, it is no solution at all.
Debating a Spouse
Doug, a letter recently said regarding arguments with the wife:
“I learned not to drop the ball, but to let the ball drop. When a discussion/argument becomes heated, emotional, and accusatory don’t respond in kind, table it until both of you are ready to proceed in love. Until then, let the ball drop: never respond in kind to emotional, hurtful accusations.”
What to do when one spouse does that, and that attempt to diffuse the situation enrages the other spouse even more? My experience has been that sometimes one spouse unfortunately just likes to push the buttons of the other spouse, and when one spouse attempts to just “let the ball drop”, the other spouse will have none of it. I haven’t yet figured out to handle that.
R, if you can’t defuse the situation, and your spouse insists on having the argument, then you can insist on bringing in a referee. In other words, it really is time for some pastoral counsel. Schedule an appointment, schedule an argument, and have your pastor there to call fouls.
Called to Ministry?
What would you say to a young man considering going into Christian ministry? I have heard some say if you desire it, go for it; others say if you desire it, do anything else until you’re miserable; and still others giving different advice. I have had an underlying pull to the ministry, and some in my family have encouraged me to go that way, but I do have a respect for the role of shepherd that I do not want to make that decision lightly. I still attend the same church that I did before discovering the doctrines of the Reformation, and am frankly a little skeptical of going to my pastor for this. My church now is a weird mixture of Bible Belt (leadership cannot drink alcohol, etc.) and Big Eva (Contemporary Christian Music, topical preaching, etc.). So I guess what I’m asking is how a young man knows he is called to pastoral ministry, and maybe some advice on if it is important that I attend a Reformed church.
Thanks for your time,
LM, I would first look at whether you are active in informal ministry now (e.g. evangelism, leading Bible studies). Then I would look at whether the people encouraging you in that direction have objective reasons for doing so. Evaluate those reasons before the Lord. And at some point you will have to transition to the kind of theological environment you hope to minister in.
Our culture in the West is now largely very hateful of how Western it is. Could you please do some kind of blog post or answer to this explaining what is going on here? Is it that the godless recognize and despite our Christian heritage?
I just do not understand this. It seems to me that the most Western people in the world are Western people who hate the West. In an unnamed Bible College in Chicago I was taught about “the West” and her history of oppression and so forth. But of course the Professor was himself an English-speaking, Western, former professional athlete. I say this and I ask this because it seems to me that what is happening to “the West” is like what happened to the unfaithful vineyard tenants who were routed out of their place and other workers were brought in. Do you think this is a fair view of things or am I thinking too broadly?
Part of my reason for asking this is that I want to understand better how this dichotomy really works, if there even is a legitimate dichotomy here nowadays. Otherwise it just seems like one of those ideas that have been commandeered by the less than critically think social justice-ites.
Thank you kindly.
J, the Christian faith is like leaven, and it gets into everything. And we are living in a time when those who hate that aroma are far better at recognizing its source than those who love that aroma. Thus attacks on the West, on America, on traditional values, on the patriarchy, on hetero-normativity, and so on, are all simply proxy wars aimed at Christ. And Christians are largely clueless.
Hello! I am debating with a pastor and my fiancé about definite atonement, that Jesus died only for the elect. I am endeavoring to keep an open heart on the subject but it seems very clear to me that Jesus took our punishment on the cross, not made it possible to have punishment taken away. A verse pastor pointed out in opposition was 1 Timothy 4:10. Can you clarify the meaning of the word translated “specially”? Thank you for your time sir. Big fan.
Hannah, that verse reads, “For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10, NKJV). This clearly states that Christ is the Savior in some sense for those who do not believe. Those who argue for an indefinite atonement, Jesus dying for no one in particular, want this salvation to be a potential salvation “if they only believe, which they probably won’t.” In other words, no salvation at all, but rather just a prospect. I would argue that there are many blessings that result from living in a culture dominated by the truth of the gospel, and those blessings accrue to unbelievers as well as believers. In other words, when we broaden the sense of salvation, we need not broaden it into hypotheticals. We might broaden it into aspects of life that are not eternal life—good medical care, low crime rates, educational opportunities. In the final analysis, however, if an unbeliever dies despising the true origin of such blessings, those blessings become an ultimate curse—the same way common grace does.
Not the Same At All
I am responding to your post entitled “Not The Same Thing At All.” Near the end you talked about the damages caused to a marriage by a husband and wife committing adultery, specifically the “bad decision/one night stand” version. You say the consequences of the wife’s sin in that case are more severe if she gets pregnant, if I understood you correctly. I guess I want to quibble with this.
I completely agree that egalitarian ideas are by and large unscriptural. And I agree with the general concept in the post that due to the nature of men and women’s differences, sins they commit will have different effects on the relationship between husband and wife.
But, if marriage is supposed to be a reflection of Christ and the church, and the husband is the spiritual head of the wife, then let’s put it in context of Christ and the church. What would the spiritual damage to the marriage between Christ and the church be if Christ forsook the church for another bride? I mean, it’s unthinkable and obviously only an academic question . . . We know that Christ’s love for the church is unchanging and eternal. But just imagine if he removed that love and unchanging support, and even temporarily put it on someone else? For me, I can’t discount this direct link of spiritual headship and even if the damage may not seem as concrete as a pregnancy, I have to think adultery on the husband’s part would cause spiritual damage in far-reaching ways, absent the merciful intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Now when I think of the church falling away from Christ, as it has so many times, this for me puts the wife’s sin in that context. Christ lovingly accepts repentance and continually calls us back to himself. His spiritual headship remains unchanged and it doesn’t seem to me, drawing the line to marriage, that the wife’s sin attacks the foundation of that marriage in the way the husband’s sin does.
I’m not discounting the damage either sin would cause nor the work of the Holy Spirit to undo and sanctify. I’m only addressing the severe/more severe contrast in your post.
Even to put it in the specific terms of a pregnancy resulting from unfaithfulness, well, a one night stand engaged in by a husband can also result in a pregnancy. Would you say that pregnancy with that other woman is any less damaging to his marriage when it becomes known?
Anyway, I know you’re busy but if you get time, I’d be interested in your thoughts. Thanks for a thought-provoking article over all.
Ryan, the good news is that I agree with your reasoning completely. My point there was that the sins of the husband and wife committing adultery were not the same sin. I agree with you that his sin is a lie about Christ, while hers would be a failure to live up to what the Church ought to be, but frequently has not been. The child makes her sin more severe in that respect, but not necessarily ultimately.
In case you didn’t see this, I thought you’d find it interesting:
I have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, and I believe this is a free link to the article.
It reminds me of what you’ve pointed out about the 2020 election: it’s not necessarily clear whether or not there was significant tampering, but it is clear that only one side is being allowed to speak on it.
Paul, thanks for the link.