Some Mid-January Letters, and Why Not?

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Ahem

What are friends for?

Forgive my presumption and/or “cheekiness”, but in your “Normal and Jesus” book snippet (“Light from Behind the Sun”) on January 11, the last sentence says:

“Virtually every outrageous thing we read about today is being served up to us from the microbes.”

Sir, did you mean to say “macrobes”—as in “That Hideous Strength”?

But if not, will you please explain that line?

Thank you!

Robert

Robert, you are correct. It should have been macrobes. Now fixed, and I think it is possible to blame auto-correct. But it was also quite possibly my own darn fault.

Men and Women and Rank

I am greatly enriched by your ministry. Thank you for being a straight shooter when it comes to addressing the roles and power struggles between husbands and wives. Some questions about the subject matter, “Recognizing that God ultimately held Adam responsible for the Fall, what was God’s specific expectation of Adam related to the initial sin? It is recognized it was his expectation that Adam not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is also recognized that it was not God’s will for Adam to abdicate to Eve’s leadership. Assuming Eve understood the command and assuming Adam was in Eve’s presence at the moment of temptation, but let’s say the scenario went differently, and not only did Adam not take and eat the fruit, but he pondered how to persuade/prevent Eve from taking and eating the fruit. To what extent, if any, would God want Adam to persuade/prevent Eve from taking and eating the fruit? To say something like, “honey, you know we are not supposed to take and eat the fruit from that tree. Or, one step further, for Adam to grab Eve’s arm/hand and pull it away from the fruit of the tree? Did God expect Adam to violate Eve’s free agency as a way of preventing the initial sin if it would have worked out in a different way? The same would go for the opposite scenario. Suppose Eve did not take of the fruit but Adam was being tempted. To what extent, if any, would God expect Eve to persuade/prevent Adam from reaching for the fruit? Another speculative question has to do with rank when considering the situation with Barak and Deborah in Judges 4. As you know, a common interpretation of this situation was that Barak was cowardly which was reflected in his abdication to Deborah. God used Deborah as a concession. Have you ever wondered if there was another male in the Israeli army who would have been willing to lead the army into battle against Sisera? If there were a possibility there was another male who was willing to lead the fight he would have stood down, otherwise he would have broke rank with Barak? I wonder if this principle may be at work today in our society? Men with higher rank are cowardly and abdicating to women but there are men lower in the totem pole who do nothing because of breaking rank? Similar to this idea, I was once in a small group setting in which the wife of the small group leader started to lead for a brief moment and I objected. The leader (the husband of the wife) supported her leadership. In a round about way, he attempted to compel me under her leadership. I’m no longer part of that small group.

Doug

Doug, the answer to your questions is, of course, “we don’t know.” But I think they are helpful questions to meditate on nonetheless. I believe that if Adam had the will to obey, he had the wherewithal to stop her. If she maneuvered past him somehow, Adam’s responsibility would have been to turn to God and plead with Him to let the penalty fall on Adam. If Adam sinned, I think Eve would not have been in a position to prevent him, but I think she would have been in a position to refuse to follow him in the sin. I also think these principles apply in other situations, although I actually believe that Barak was a great man of faith, as Hebrews tells us. So it is applicable elsewhere, but not there.

Brilliant, Where we’re you 35 years ago? The idea of Eve assuming a role not hers is analogous with the fellow who stuck out his hand to steady the Ark of Covenant when it seemed ready to tumble.

Twd

Twd, exactly so.

A matter of rank. I have read this blog long enough to know you also deal with the instructions to husbands. However, it seems to me there is an over-emphasis on wives submitting to husbands, as though this is the root of all marital problems.

A former pastor of mine used to get quite shirty with the younger men when they were very concerned with wifely submission and failed to notice how much more and in more detail what husbands are expected to do is laid out. Almost as though you could take Eph 5 v 25 onwards as a given. V. 22 ought not to be a single man’s favourite verse!

He used to say ‘you deal with what God wants you to do, and let him via the older ladies in the church deal with what he expects a wife to do. That’s not your concern’. Similarly for the girls.

I have no desire at all to take the scissors to the submission verses, but over the years I have grown in my appreciation that the apostles, understanding human nature, are very careful not to give men a sense of entitlement. I have read enough complementarian literature to see that Eph 5 can be altered in effect to read ‘husbands exercise authority over your wives, as Christ exercises authority over the church’.

I might of course only be anticipating the next installment!

Ken

Ken, you are quite right when it comes to writing a systematic treatise about marriage generally. God tells the men what to do, and God tells the women what to do, and we can all affirm that in the abstract. But when dealing with a overbearing and angry husband, I try to address his problem, and I don’t worry about trying to “balance” my admonition—because he will seize on my balance as a tool for continuing his sin. The same goes for unsubmissive women. They will seize on any expression of scriptural balance as an excuse to continue in their sin. But you are right that there have been many times when I have let the entitled men have it.

Thank you for these letters to Dawson, Pastor Wilson. They’ve been helpful and encouraging and applicable to me, as I suspect to most guys. I’d like to request a topic for a blog post. Much has been said about a wife’s biblical submission to her husband, but would you be willing to write on why that’s not automatically a better deal for the husband than for the wife? In other words, if a feminist was to read Eph. 5:22-23 and think, “Well, the guys got off easy”, how would you respond?

Many thanks,

Josiah

Josiah, good suggestion. In brief, my response would be “the husband is the head, where the crown of thorns goes.” Real masculinity is sacrificial, in other words.

The analogy of pulling rank is apt—a good commander will make sure to understand and if possible address the concerns of those who report to him, and will also as much as possible align the motivations and concerns of those who report to him to the mission at hand, and not just leave things as “because I say so”.

Ian

Ian, exactly so.

I make a habit of looking for brave men. Never know when you will need a pal in a fight, you know.

With your letters to your nephew, especially the Jan 12th one, you clearly are displaying great courage to so publicly declare such truth. I am not so brave because I am pondering how to forward the link to my dearest : -).

Deo vindice,

B

B, thanks. I will grant that I can sound brave. But we are not in it yet.

Will you please give some relationship advice to women in circumstances such as mine who are having a very hard time finding a husband? Now in my thirties, I am fed up and broken-hearted once again after a man said he wanted to marry me, suddenly had a change of heart and then strung me along while he was trying to make up his mind. I couldn’t take the frustration anymore and was quickly losing respect for this man. Not to mention, I’ve experienced somewhat similar situations twice before and I’m struggling to understand why this is happening with these supposedly “outstanding Christian men,” who at one point were “so in love” with me only to drop me so quickly. Why do they always say “I don’t know why my feelings changed because you’re everything I’ve been looking for”? The repeated blows by my brothers in Christ are leaving me more hopeless and discouraged after each heartbreak. Why does God still refuse to give me the desires of my heart after I’ve been praying for this for so long? How do I trust a man again one day when says he wants to marry me? How do I ensure the best possible outcome for my future?

Ruthie

Ruthie, I am very sorry for your plight, and you are not alone. Many women are trapped in your situation, and I wish I had a “ready-made” answer. Unfortunately, I think the problem is much larger than individual guys flaking. I think there is something wrong with the whole system—and I am trying to get at some of that in my letters to Dawson.

A Basic Narnian Point

I bought “What I learned in Narnia” as a gift for a friend and could not help cracking it open before I passed it along. Before I knew it, I was half-way through the book and I ran across a Lewis quote from The Last Battle, “. . . I found out that we must wait upon a monkey, and when it began to be said that Tash and Aslan are one . . .” This reminded me of ongoing (friendly) arguments I have with a Roman Catholic coworker over the Second Vatican Council (among many other things), which gives us such delightful doozies as:

Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 16, November 21, 1964

“But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

And

John Paul II, address to the Catholic community of Ankara, Turkey, November 29, 1979

“. . . I wonder if it is not urgent, precisely today when Christians and Muslims have entered a new period of history, to recognize and develop the spiritual bonds that unite us, in order to preserve and promote together for the benefit of all men, ‘peace, liberty, social justice and moral values’ as the Council calls upon us to do (Nostra Aetate 3).”

Both of these are taken from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops website, along with many more like them. At first I though Lewis was writing in response to these declarations (“together with us they adore the one, merciful God”), but upon looking it up, the RCC was declaring these things in the 1960’s while Lewis wrote these prescient words in the 1950’s.

I find it quite remarkable that the RCC’s put themselves in the place of a Chimp wearing priestly robes declaring the unity of Tash and Aslan, but Lewis’ prophetic writing (along with the dear gents at the Babylon Bee) have me questioning my cessationist position.

Since I feel I must ask a question of you instead of just inviting you to join in my laughter at a chimp in papal robes, what is your position on the gifts of the Spirit and their presence or absence in our time?

As a second question, I know that Papa Don’t Pope, but what can we do for friends who are willfully engaged in papal sophistry?

Cheers!

James, the Thankful Recipient Of A Classical Education Who Thinks He Is All Grown Up

James, as to your question, I am a cessationist, believing that the apostolic gifts are no longer operative. But at the same time, I believe that the cosmos is a spiritual place, and that there are many oddments that cannot be explained on mechanistic principles.

Beale?

Have you read either one of Beale’s commentary’s on Revelation and if you have what did you think? If you haven’t I’d recommend them to you, especially his “shorter commentary” which is a more concise version of the longer one (but still at over 500 pages). Blessings to you, your family, and the ministry.

J

J, I have not read him on Revelation. But I have really appreciated everything that I have read.

Leavened Bread in Communion?

In the CREC churches I’ve attended, I’ve appreciated the use of wine (not just non-alcoholic grape juice) in the Lord’s Supper in obedience to the scriptural pattern. However, if Scripture directs that wine ought to be used in the Lord’s Supper (which I believe it does), should we not also use unleavened bread? It seems certain that unleavened bread would have been used when the sacrament was instituted at the Last Supper, a Passover meal.

James

James, yes, unleavened bread was used at the Last Supper. But when we read of the first post-resurrection celebration of the Supper, that occurred at Pentecost. And at Pentecost, with part of the offerings, leaven was required. But the Passover regimen not only required unleavened bread, it also required the utter absence of leaven. So I believe that bread can be bread, with or without leaven, but wine cannot be wine, with or without fermentation.

Book Recommendation?

Greetings! I am Bible/ Ministry Department chair at a small Christian college in Florida and inheriting senior seminar. The goal has been worldview/ integration. Would you have some textbook recommendations? I am thinking of combining Watson’s Body of Divinity, Bonhoeffer’s Discipleship, and Eric Metaxas’s 7 Great Men.

The goal is to combine theology, worldview, and vocation.

Any advice? Thanks,

Tim

Tim, I would add Veith’s God at Work, and Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo.

But the Military is Woke

I am a 21-year-old man engaged to my high school sweetheart. I am graduating college this semester after a college football career and am faced with the choices that await such men. I have had a lifelong desire to serve my country, especially in special operations. I feel called to something more than the bland life of suburban America and wish to test myself the same way Joshua, Alexander, & Scipio did. I am faced with the choice of commissioning into a military that is led by those who hate us and our values or living with the regret and anger of trying to subdue the fire that burns in all men who wish to be in the fray. I would rather not face my first combat experience when the UN forces come raiding because we refused the metaverse VR goggles and made an observation about how beautiful Anglo-American art used to be before Marxism.

Some advice from Uncle Doug, Chaplain-in-Chief, would be greatly appreciated. P.S. My fiancee is devouring your wife’s books on marriage and motherhood. Praise God.

Addison

Addison, I think that joining the military is still (barely) lawful, but those who do it have to wake up every morning fully prepared to wreck their career. In short, I don’t recommend it. Not until this frenzy is past and somebody sane is rebuilding the military.

Not sure where to send this, but I’m interested in your thoughts on the recent interview between the Babylon Bee guys and Elon Musk. Justin Peters recently ran a piece deploring their failure to properly share the Gospel.

People I know are now saying they will essentially boycott the Bee until they repent.

Is it wrong to enjoy the BB content while still recognizing the failure and desiring to see repentance? Thanks.

Mike

Mike, I didn’t see those interviews, and I didn’t read the critique, so this is not directly about any of that. I would just register a general caution. One of the marvelous things about the gospel is how it advances despite the ineptitude of those who represent it. And so whether or not the BB presents the gospel the way I think they should, I would still rejoice at how many opportunities they create for the rest of us to stand for truth, and to share the gospel while doing it. And, as Dwight Moody once put it, “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”

Schooling Choices

I have recently been introduced to your writing through my men’s small group. We are studying Future Men together.

Coincidentally (or as the Lord would have it perhaps) my wife and I toured our first classical Christian school. We are considering it for our two kids (12 and 9) who are currently in public school.

The reason I am writing is that I just read chapter 13—School Work. It was eye opening and a little scary. But I am left feeling like I need to understand more than just the problem. I am now really curious how to identify the problem as we consider schools, what to do to counteract it, etc.

I checked your blog to see if you have any articles on the topic but didn’t find any. Are there any you could recommend?

Thank you!

Austin

Austin, I am not quite sure how to address your question, but I think the best place to start would be with my book Excused Absence.

More on Rotify

Pertaining to Rotify: I really loved your take in the “Rotify” article and have used the very same biblical verses to talk to my children about how to choose music to listen to. I’d like you to expound a little further on that post, though, as it left me with a question I have been struggling with for several months. My 15-year-old son loves Spotify and would never DARE (or DESIRE) to listen to the extreme examples of filth that your article included . . . he does, however, like to listen to certain songs that are popular and filled with twaddle sung by less than stellar people (Bieber, Kanye, Rihanna, Swift or even contemporary Christian rap artists). He always brings it around to my appreciation of Johnny Cash music (which isn’t exactly daycare music). (“And after all, Kanye converted!”) What say ye about listening to the likes of losers even if their songs have catchy/somewhat innocuous tunes? Think of Lil NasX with his satan shoes singing Old Town Road, etc? or Save Your Tears on whose album cover is festooned with a guy dribbling blood down his mouth.

Not to mention we are of the mindset that dating comes (and only comes) when one is ready to marry . . . so it seems weird to let my 15 year old be singing about girls and relationships when we are discouraging him from going down that ‘Old Town Road’ in order to ‘Save His Tears’ for another day.

Are we being unreasonable or prudish? I do not what to be so strict or unreasonable as to make my son HATE the standard.

Rebecca

Rebecca, right. You want him to love the standard. So the first thing is to distinguish this issue from the point of my article. That was about basic morality, basic decency. The issues you raise are about maturity and aesthetic standards. The best thing you can do there is to have ongoing conversations with your son about what he is listening to, without trying to ban things you think are inane. But you also need to listen to it yourself because sometimes the inane is more subversive than it looks. And talk to your son about that. A couple of books might help—All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers, and A Hole in our Soul by Martha Bayless.

The Kung Flu

My note is prompted by several of your articles about the Wuhan Virus. My position is, I respect what the WV can do, but I don’t fear it (cue Michael in Jude 9).

You have also highlighted the situation in Canada, and you have suggested that the ultimate tipping point for Christians here would be when they come for our children. I’m afraid that day has come in Quebec where an unvaccinated father has lost parental rights.

As usual, there is certainly more sin involved that led to the situation (divorce, mother’s live-in boyfriend), and it is possible that the father wasn’t exactly Ward Cleaver. However, vaccination was stated as the only condition to be met in order to restore parental rights.

There is no mention of any Christians in this dog’s breakfast, but I suspect Christians in Canada are more likely to be unvaccinated than pagans, so the day could be approaching when their government takes a proactive approach to parental separation.

Fighting doesn’t seem to be an option (also not very Canadian), but I have nothing better for our Christian siblings in Canada other than to stay in prayer and stand firm, or find a way to emigrate to a red state. I’m sure they would welcome any suggestions.

John

John, yes. And we can pray for Canadian examples of standing up to this so that others might see that it is in fact possible.

Baptism Into Death

You responded to my question on the relation of John 15:1a and 1 Corinthians 12:13 with this: “Jonty, in my view, this is actually the nub of the whole FV debate and/or misunderstanding. There is a connection to Christ that is not salvific, although it is genuine. There is also a connection to Christ, that which is enjoyed by the elect, which cannot be touched.”

Are you saying that the death in Romans 6:3 “by” baptism is the same work the Spirit does in 1 Corinthians 12:13, along with endowing a gift to the baptised person for the edification of the body?

Appreciate you answering on this topic! For all the controversy with FV you wouldn’t think there’s much going for it, but as I see it, some churches should carry on reforming.

Jonty

Jonty, we are baptized into the Lord’s death, and the Spirit baptizes us into one body. This is what water baptism means, seals, and signifies. But the water of baptism does not accomplish this all by itself, ex opere operato. The catalyst that makes the sacrament efficacious is evangelical faith.

Sorry, Haven’t Read Them

Have you read the Harry Potter series? And where do you stand on them?

Ace

Ace, sorry. I haven’t read them, and hence do not have a detailed opinion about them. But I do have enough of an opinion to have kept me from reading them.

Disappointing

In trying to discern a proper biblical response to our ACCS school’s decision to voluntarily mandate masks on all JK-12 students, I found your article on “Humming ‘A Mighty Fortress’ Through Your Mask. There are parents who have a sincere conviction that it is wrong for them to mask their children. There are older students who sincerely believe it is wrong for them to wear masks. The students who refused to comply were sent home and given zeroes on their work for the days they missed. They have been told compliance is a character issue. One student, upon returning to school with a mask after being told he would not be allowed to do his work at home, the headmaster praised him. This puts this student in the position of having been praised by the school for complying with an order his parents have expressly told the school they believe is wrong. We are desperately trying to find a way forward with the school so our children can attend and still keep medical decisions in the hands of the parents. We are thinking that requesting a religious exemption to the masks is the best way forward. I would appreciate your sharing any wisdom you have on this matter with us. We just so torn over the situation we find ourselves in. We want to be at peace with others who see things differently, but not violate our consciences. My sincere thanks for all you do. Your writing has been a help and comfort to many of the families in our school community.

Sincerely,

Cayce

Cayce, yes, this is really disappointing. Short term, I would request a religious exemption. But long term, you need to rethink your relationship to the school, and examine alternatives. Even if they grant you the exemption, these are the people that you are entrusting with the task of teaching your children how to think critically. And how can they teach what they do not know?

Porn Creates Problems

In a response to someone’s letter about porn, you said,

“But if you are talking about stretches of faithfulness, interrupted with periodic failures, that is a different situation.”

Can you expand on this? How is it different, and how does one respond differently to this kind of situation?

D

D, I am talking about the difference between an occasional sin and bondage to sin. If a man lost his temper every decade, that is bad, and it is a sin, but I wouldn’t describe him as a hot-tempered man. And if a young man goes six months without porn, but then stumbles and has a bad couple of days, he needs to confess his sin and walk uprightly—which he plainly knows how to do. He did it for six months, so he must know how. This is quite different than a man who has not enjoyed victory for any length of time, ever. The second kind of man needs to get help from outside himself.

F.F. Bruce, for the Win

I’ve been reading Paul: The Apostle of The Heart Set Free. I just shared this with my sons and love to hear your thoughts on this- (From F.F. Bruce) In his chapter entitled ‘The Gentile Problem’, which could also been called The Judaizer Problem, he writes that gentiles who put themselves under the law were returning to slavery under the ‘stoicheia’

He says the stoicheia are “best identified as the planetary bodies (Gen 1.14) which the pagans deified and the Jews saw as real but merely “instruments serving their Creator’s will.”

“Stoicheia, or elemental powers, were, so long as they dominated men’s minds, like the weight of outworn tradition or THE PRESSURE OF CURRENT OPINION. “

“Those whose minds were emancipated by the gospel from their domination knew all such influences to be in themselves “weak and beggarly”, unable to exercise control where their control was not admitted.”

All this leads me to consider this biblical paradigm as explicative of the waves after waves of nonsense being spewed and enforced in our day. Maybe it would be helpful to call it by its biblical name—STOICHEIA.

Steve

Steve, there is something important in what you say. In the early days of my ministry, I read a boatload of F.F. Bruce’s stuff, and greatly profited by it. And I think this particular point is really worth meditating on.

The Flip Side of the Sabbath

What do you think of the 4 day work week push? I could see some scrutiny for it promoting laziness, yet I could also see how many people would benefit from an extra day off to not work in the office, but to work around the yard, the house, shop for groceries and so on. Perhaps less people would busy their Sundays and actually rest for a day. Or maybe we would find more tasks to fill our days off. I would love to hear your thoughts and if there’s any biblical texts that deal with this issue.

Mark

Mark, I take a dim view of it. I believe that the 4th commandment does require us to rest for one day, but I also believe it contains an implicit requirement that we work for six.

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Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago

James, I think the Catholic position is in keeping with a personal view expressed by C.S. Lewis himself:

“We do know that no person can be saved except through Christ. We do not know that only those who know Him can be saved by Him.”

Last edited 10 months ago by Jill Smith
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Hillaire Belloc, back in 1936, argued that Islam is best understood not as a brand-new religion but rather as a Catholic heresy. Mohammed knew about Christianity from his travels and incorporated many Christian doctrines intact into his teaching: the unity and omnipotence of God, heaven, hell, and more. He rejected those parts of the Faith that he found too complicated: the Incarnation, the Trinity, the sacraments.

Islam, like Calvinism, is iconoclastic, fatalistic, and accepting of divorce. Its differences from Catholicism are likewise more a matter of degree than kind.

The Great Heresies, Chapter 4

Last edited 10 months ago by John Callaghan
JohnM
JohnM
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

If that’s what you think, consider the possibility that your own difference from both Calvinism and Catholicism is more a matter of kind than degree.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

One way to approach a Muslim is to say:

“You’re wrong!”

Another approach could start:

“You already believe many true things: God is indeed one and omniscient and omnipotent. Heaven and hell do exist. But… there are also truths that you haven’t been told: Gove is also love. He so loved the world that he sent His only Son to live among and die for our sins.”

“Your religion’s founder had human limitations – as we all do. Could he have made some mistakes that should now be corrected?”

Might that latter approach be a more effective evangelization strategy?

Last edited 10 months ago by John Callaghan
JohnM
JohnM
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

There is no point to any evangelization strategy unless there is a reason to evangelize in the first place.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

“Your religion’s founder had human limitations – as we all do. Could he have made some mistakes that should now be corrected?”

Nope. As Allah’s holy Prophet, Mohammed was practically perfect in every way. Next question.

Last edited 10 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago

Any attempt at evangelizing Muslims (or Mormons) has to deal with the peculiar status of their religion’s founder.

Again, one could say:

“He was a murderous nutcase!”

Or:

“He got a lot of things right and preached many important truths. But… some truths eluded him. Here are the important truths he missed…”

Or, as Hamlet said to his friend from Wittenberg:

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Sigh. What I wouldn’t give for people to, rather than restate their premise, address the point so we can move the discussion forward.

If you’re going to evangelize, you need to be able to anticipate and address the responses you’re going to get to your questions. I just gave you a response — a variation of which you’re very likely going to encounter from Muslims.

So then, if this is the line you’re going to take, how do you address such a response from people who don’t think the status of their religion’s founder is peculiar to begin with?

Last edited 10 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago

My preference would not be to attack Mohammed directly. There’s plenty about him to criticize, I just doubt assaulting that wall – “He was a prophet! Period.” – would be effective.

Demonstrating the truth of something he denied is less direct but allows the hearer make the logical connection for himself thus undermining the wall.

“OK, if that’s true then how could Mohammed have gotten it wrong? He couldn’t have if he were directly relaying divine commands. Therefore…”

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John C: “I just doubt assaulting that wall – “He was a prophet! Period.” – would be effective.” Congratulations. You’ve just reached a dead end with your original question. Care for a do-over? John C: “Demonstrating the truth of something he denied is less direct but allows the hearer make the logical connection for himself thus undermining the wall.” And how are you going to do that when you can’t even agree on the standard by which to judge truth in the first place? According to the Muslim, Mohammed didn’t get it wrong because he was acting in his capacity as Allah’s… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago

Consider the effectiveness of Will’s critiques of pastor Wilson. Do they convince anyone? He is an outsider and everyone here knows much more about our host than he does, so – regardless of their merits – the attacks find no purchase.

What if he were to take a more positive approach? Imagine he persuaded people that Pastor Wilson had missed the importance of pre-16th century Christian history, that he had not grasped the importance of visual artistic beauty in worship, that he’d ignored theological truths articulated by Chesterton and Lewis, etc.

Would that latter tack get him further?

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John,

Are you describing yourself here?!

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I was posting in haste and didn’t have time to make the paragraphs match voices. Should have said:

Imagine he persuaded people that Pastor Wilson had missed the importance of outreach to the poor, that he had not grasped the importance of sympathetic listening, that he’d ignored the theological truths articulated by liberal theologians, etc.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John C: “What if he were to take a more positive approach?….Would that latter tack get him further?”

Not with any knowledgeable reader of this blog.

There a reason you keep ignoring content? Remember, you couldn’t overcome a simple objection to your original question, despite your positive approach. Not very convincing, if you ask me.

Could it be that a positive approach isn’t everything?

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John, you’re not going to get anywhere with the resident no it all. He’s seldom right, but never in doubt.

Adad
Adad
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

Will, are you describing yourself here?

(To borrow a phrase.) 😉

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

He’s certainly not going to get anywhere if he continues to ignore the primary question being asked. After it was explained to him that what he needs to do is answer the given response a Muslim would likely give his approach, he has three times since ignored it and again just restated his initial idea. I don’t know why anyone would expect to get anywhere that way, regardless of who is in the conversation. Did you have any constructive criticisms for fp? Or just the insult? To FP: For what its worth, I don’t think your objection directly contradicts his… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, Never was my intent to contradict John’s premise. In fact, for the most part, I agree with it. Problem is, being nice by itself simply isn’t enough to carry the day. John’s example left a lot to be desired. To keep things interesting, I decided to play Muslim’s-advocate. Remember the context of our discussion: How to evangelize. Consider the assumptions implicit therein: Christians sharing their faith are already facing an uphill battle. The world, including Muslims, hates us, and they will throw up any objection they can think of. And if you doubt me on this specific hypothetical, simply… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago

I may have been a “relentless little rebel” as I was once described on a school report card, and I may have carried being a know-it-all well into early old age. That being said, I’m not quick to challenge the pontifications (ha!) of St. John Paul the Great. I do an eye roll from time to time, but only when no one is watching.

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

Jilly, a thousand upvotes for that line about the pontifications of one of Catholicism’s better pontiffs. You just made my day.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 months ago

I don’t have much to say. You said it all quite nicely. But with the “likes” feature gone I have no other way to express approval and bookend this short offshoot of the conversation.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago

Imagine you and your neighbor are conversing one evening when you see a man walking down the street.

“That’s Mr. Smith”, your neighbor says.

“Yes. He owns the big factory in town”, you agree.

“My grandpa tells me he’s an aloof, ornery old man who demands absolute obedience from all and treats his workers like slaves.”

“I work in his factory”, you reply. “He’s wonderful and loving and cares for all his workers. You should get to know his son too.”

Are you both talking about the same man?

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

I have gradually come to believe that calvinist doctrine is a Christian heresy. The essence of heresy is the dilution of mystery. There aren’t too many mysteries left over in calvinism–that’s because everything is predestined. Calvin’s God is a loser because he can’t entice people to love him freely–nor even to reject him! Everyone has to be predestined to heaven or hell if God is to be absolute monarch. The glory of God is surely that because of his beauty, majesty, loveliness, power and utter desirability he can woo people to love him of their own free will without deciding… Read more »

Ken
Ken
10 months ago

Back in your boat, Brendan. You’ve landed on strange shores.

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
10 months ago
Reply to  Ken

I won’t hang around long

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Strange shores indeed. God ordained shores upon which women are subservient to men, cult leaders make a great living fleecing their flocks, pastors expediently marry off pedophiles to young women, and love for one’s neighbor is anathema. Could go on and on, but you get the drift.

Ken B
Ken B
10 months ago

Calvinism is bunk! 🙂

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

John,

You likely know this, but considering Islam a heresy certainly wasn’t unique or novel to Belloc. Dante had Muhammed with the schismatics, many have noted that Muhammed took a rudimentary Christian understanding and warped it. Peter Leithart wrote a piece, called Christianity mirror I believe, which discussed Islam as a heresy that was intended by God to highlight areas where Christendom was failing in their calling (treatment of slaves and women and a over focus on martial virtue and conquest, for instance).

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Belloc noted that as well:

“[T]hose who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was – not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing.

He attributed the main cause of Islam’s extraordinarily rapid spread to:

“a complicated and fatigued society, and one burdened with the institution of slavery; one, moreover, in which millions of peasants in Egypt, Syria and all the East, crushed with usury and heavy taxation, were offered immediate relief by the new creed, or rather, the new heresy.”

Chapter Four, para. 12 and 28

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Something I became aware of only recently is the Muslim reverence for the Virgin Mary. She is the only woman mentioned in the Qur’an and has an entire chapter named after her. “He said, ‘I am but a messenger from your Lord, [come] to announce to you the gift of a pure son.’ She said, ‘How can I have a son when no man has touched me? I have not been unchaste.’ —Qur’an, Sura 19:19-20 Muslims believe she was pure, courageous, free from sin, and a role model for all women. Muslim women visit her shrine in the Kidron Valley.… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Christians focus mostly on Islam’s bellicose side (understandably, given its history) and liberals shy away from noting Islam’s Christian roots.

Belloc again:

[Mohammed] gave to Our Lord the highest reverence, and to Our Lady also, for that matter. On the day of judgment (another Catholic idea which he taught) it was Our Lord, according to Mohammed, who would be the judge of mankind, not he, Mohammed. The Mother of Christ, Our Lady, “the Lady Miriam” was ever for him the first of womankind. His followers even got from the early fathers some vague hint of her Immaculate Conception.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Callaghan
Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

…and liberals shy away from noting Islam’s Christian roots. No we don’t.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

Perhaps I’ve just missed it. Could you give an example?

Mormonism is arguably about as far removed from traditional Christianity as Islam is. Both claim to be correctives to the original Christianity which they consider to have gone astray. Both are strongly socially conservative.

From what I’ve seen, liberals are much more warmly disposed to the one over the other.

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Perhaps you could tell me how you came to that conclusion. Let’s start there.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

Will, John may have a different answer, but I agree with him that American liberals seem more warmly disposed toward Islam than Mormons. I would guess it is because Mormons code as red tribe and Islam as an oppressed ethnic minority. Go to Slate or HuffPo of The Daily Beast and read the last 20 posts tagged Mormon and Islam and I think you will find that the Mormon pieces focus on their sequel repression, homophobia, racism, etc. And the Mormon pieces focus on their experience of discrimination and highlight “the first Muslim federal judge” or the like as inspiring… Read more »

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I’m missing your point. John made a blanket statement that  liberals shy away from noting Islam’s Christian roots. I simply disagreed and asked him to explain how he reached that conclusion. Red tribe and zeitgeist aside, I’m still scratching my head about the injection of Mormons into the discussion regarding liberals’ views of Islam’s Christian roots. I hope John will enlighten me.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I think that if US Muslims had the same political clout as Mormons do, and if they used that clout to promote conservative political and social policies, they would lose support among liberal Americans. I think there is also a (perhaps unconscious) expectation that Americans ought to be more “enlightened” on social issues such as racism, sexual equality, gay rights, and the rest of it. What Muslim governments do in the Middle East poses a dilemma for liberals here: is it hypocritical to oppose Christian Uganda’s treatment of gays while giving Islamic Egypt a pass on its horrendous human rights… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, I think you are right that it is complicated. There are questions of political calculus, outgroup/far group/neo-orientalism, oppressor/oppressed consideration, etc. But all of it is quite selectively applied! I’m no fan of the Mormon faith, buy you could make the case that they have been as oppressed as anyone. You mention Israel/Palestine, how does that question break across partisan lines now? It seems like there is a broad centrist concensis that Israel is good and Palestinians are Hamas, but a sizeable group on the right and the left that are very anti-zionist. It just happens that many of the… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I am probably not the right person to ask because almost of my liberal social circle is Jewish and, while they differ in the depth of their commitment to Zionism, no one is so sympathetic to Palestine that they favor any solution that would threaten Israel’s security. The young are exposed to anti-Zionist rhetoric at college but I don’t think Jewish and half-Jewish kids are especially susceptible to it. There is the “why must Israel reply with bullets to Palestinian kids throwing rocks” and “why does the Mossad assassinate terrorists?” kind of rhetoric common to the young and naive, but… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Jill Smith
John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

“Islamophobia” is a label commonly invoked by those on the left to disparage those on the right.

“Christophobia” and “Mormonophobia” (“El-Dee-Ess-ophobia”?) are terms quite absent from discourse on the left.

From what I’ve observed (as an outsider to the left), Christianity and Islam are usually slotted into the oppressor/oppressed framework that is quite popular nowadays.

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

But Mormons are known for worldwide terrorist attacks, such as the recent one on the Texas synagogue! Oh wait, wrong religion. As usual, the cognitive dissonance on this one is off the charts, to include drive-by trolls on this blog. To think of all the special DoJ and FBI units that would be created if a white nationalist Mormon group pulled that off instead of a brown-skinned Islamo-fascist.

Last edited 10 months ago by C Herrera
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

We don’t have to do that much imagining. The Poway Synagogue shooting was done by an OPC elders son. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poway_synagogue_shooting

I’m not privy to inside information, but I bet there are still more agents working the Islamist file than the middle class Christian kid file, regardless of sole public statements.

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

One example vs. thousands worldwide, including many in the U.S. My point stands. And the last I heard, the OPC hasn’t gone Mormon.

Last edited 10 months ago by C Herrera
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I guess the question is, what is your point? Do you think people don’t realize that the most likely terrorist is a Muslim? Or do you not think the FBI/DHS spend more resources on Islamic groups than other groups?

People are a little burnt out after 20+ years of Irafghanistan, but they are probably still concerned about people yelling Allahu Akbar.

After the Poway shootings I don’t recall a round of DOJ crackdowns on reformed churches. If he had been a Mormon I doubt it would have been different (maybe if he was FLDS).

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I doubt there is a mosque in Los Angeles that hasn’t been infiltrated with government informers!

There is disturbing information about the Poway shooter. From nobody seeing that coming, some of his classmates had reported his literature and direct threats to the local police. It was considered not serious enough to be acted upon–I doubt that would have happened with a Muslim who told classmates he was thinking of targeting a synagogue.

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

I consider the oppressor/oppressed framework in the US to be relatively fair assessment of the Christian right.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/03/26/americas-islamophobia-is-forged-in-the-pulpit/

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

Will,

Do you think American Mormons have been oppressed? Do you think liberals would cheer a play mocking the Koran and Islam the way they did The Book of Mormon? Do you think Muslims would respond the way the Mormons did?

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I simply challenged John’s original assertion that liberals shy away from noting Islam’s Christian roots. Now we’re in the weeds about Mormons (99.9999% white and not oppressed) and who would mock the Koran and Islam in a fictitious satire (just about anybody).

But since we are in weeds, here’s an interesting piece from the Pew Research Center.

https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/

And this from NPR

https://www.npr.org/2015/01/10/376127650/satire-in-the-muslim-world-a-centuries-long-tradition

I’d bet there are a good number of novels critical of Islam, written by Muslims. The Satanic Verses comes to mind.

I’m still waiting on John’s response to my original question.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

I’m sure, but The Satanic Verses is not a good example! The Norwegian publisher was shot and left for dead; the Italian translator was stabbed, nearly to death, in Iran. The Turkish translator was the intended target of a massacre that resulted in 37 deaths in Sivas, Turkey. Publication houses and bookstores were fire bombed even in the US, and violent demonstrations wounded and killed a lot of people. Twenty thousand Muslims gathered in front of Parliament Square in London to burn Salman Rushdie in effigy. Only one-third of US bookstores were even willing to carry the book, and many… Read more »

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

The other reason The Satanic Verses isn’t a good example is because, when Rushdie wrote the book, he was an atheist.

But yeah, it’s totally the right-wing Christians who are the oppressors. I mean, the Christian response to Robert Mapplethorpe versus the Islamic response to Rushdie? No comparison.

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 months ago

Not to mention Charlie Hebdo. If Christians went out and killed a double-digit number of people whenever Jesus was mocked, Bill Gates, the UN and WEF woudn’t even have to fear monger about overpopulation.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago

I’m no fan of Salman Rushdie. My sympathies are with some of the British media who reacted to his knighthood by describing him as “self-pitying, pretentious, and ungrateful”–especially the latter. His nine years under expensive round-the-clock police protection did nothing to stem his vitriol against the British monarchy and British government. Nor did I much like his advocating for Roman Polanski when he was arrested by the Swiss and faced possible extradition to the US. I guess he thinks great artists are above such mundane preoccupations as morality and the law. Obviously I think that people should be allowed to… Read more »

Will
Will
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill, good example or not, it is an example of a former Muslim criticizing Islam. That was the point I was making to demosthenes.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

Sure, but I’m not not sure they can often do it with impunity. As opposed to ex-Mormons, ex-Catholics, and ex-evangelical writers who can earn a decent living exposing the hypocrisy and/or brutality of their former co-religionists as well as the stupidity of their former beliefs. I am naturally most familiar with the Catholic variety–“I knew it was all nonsense when the diocesan tribunal turned down my second request for an annulment.” Which I suppose is an improvement on “Sister Mary of the Seven Wounds lied to us when she said biting the communion host sends you straight to hell.” But… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 months ago
Reply to  Will

“I’m still waiting on John’s response to my original question.” You might be waiting a long time, as its a strange question if John read it the way I did. He made a casual generalization, clearly not meant to say that literally all liberals do this. You interpreted him entirely literally, and demand evidence for the claim he obviously didn’t mean. That (many) liberals do not include Islam in their multitude of criticisms of Christianity seems fairly self evident in 2021. I remember the day after The Pulse gay night club shooting a few years ago, a shooting by a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

The Mormon response was brilliant. “You’ve seen the musical, now read the book.” I’ve seen it twice, and while it certainly mocks elements of Mormon belief and practice, it isn’t a totally unsympathetic portrayal. The young missionaries are presented as idealistic kids who want to change the world for the better. I think a dominant theme is not to ridicule Mormons for beliefs that seem “outlandish” to outsiders but to get viewers to recognize that even their own religious beliefs come across as weird to those who don’t share them. I discovered that for myself when trying to teach the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill,

I haven’t seen book of Mormon, but I know Parker and Stone are somewhat sympathetic to Mormons generally, but they are also super super blasphemous. The Mormons responded well, but I think it is safe to say a similar play about Islam would receive a different reception.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

I think that is due to a number of factors. In the last election, 69% of US Muslims voted for Biden. In California, Muslims are reliable Dem voters. The four Muslims that have been elected to Congress have all been Dems. Whatever they may privately believe, Muslims tend not to get involved in attempts to restrict access to abortion, oppose expansion of gay rights, or oppose the use of graphic material in sex ed programs in public schools. Mormons have done all those things in the past which makes liberals perceive them as more socially conservative than Muslims in the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill,

“I think that is due to a number of factors. In the last election, 69% of US Muslims voted for Biden.”

I’m interested to see what sort of rhetorical shake up happens as Hispanics continue to move toward being a swing block. The latest polls show then evenly split R-D and more favorable to Trump than Biden (so much for the permanent majority that some progs were banking on and so many conservatives were using to sell fear). I’m not sure the democrats can hold together their new supermajority of educated urban whites and working class hispanics…

JohnM
JohnM
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Why do you think that is?

I also wonder who, Hispanic being a broad category.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

John, The democratic party had become less of a working class party and more a party of the academy with a few identitarian groups attached. The primary focus on oppression and on global warming are not bug sellers in working class Hispanic communities. The unions used to keep the democrats somewhat grounded in working class concerns, but they have lost the private sector unions, and the public sector unions are generally not blue collar. As a brief example, Hispanic people tend to really dislike the awkward neologism Latinx, buy democratic pols continue to use it to show their affiliation with… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I agree. But I think the Hispanic swing might be felt in more strongly in some places than others. People thought that California Hispanics might vote for Larry Elder last fall, but they didn’t. Whether that was due to his being black (I think it’s no secret that urban working class Hispanics are by and large not overly fond of black people, and vice versa) or his being viewed as too extreme is hard to say. Texan Hispanics are more likely to be a swing group. On the other hand, it’s possible that California Hispanics could move toward the GOP… Read more »

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

Demo, you’re a riot. You just can’t bring yourself to admit that Hispanics are swinging towards Republicans in a big way. 2018 midterms: 69% of Hispanics voted for the Democrat in Congressional races nationwide, versus 29% who voted for the Republican candidate. Most recent Rasmussen poll: 48% Republican vs. 46% Democrat. And I especially love your “Conservatives sell fear!” line. Yup, because as we all know, the relentless covid panic-porn we’ve all had to endure for the last two years was pushed by the likes of arch-conservative Dr. Tony “I Am The Science!” Fauci and the famously ultra-right wing mainstream… Read more »

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I don’t think that the younger generation of liberals is well educated in the difference among faiths.

This is my impression as well. The modern liberal worldview seems increasingly Manichean. Groups are coded as “oppressors” can only be the subject of criticism while groups coded as “oppressed” must be extended maximum interpretive charity.

Analysis that attempts to avoid this duality in favor of a more neutral approach is now liable to be considered ideologically suspect or simply not very useful.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I don’t think that the younger generation of liberals is well educated in the difference among faiths. “

I don’t think the younger generation of anyone is well educated in the difference among faiths.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Here is a Leithart article discussing the theory of some scholars that Islam started as a faction of the Syriac church and that many of the early references to Muhammed (translation: exalted be) are not to a property name at all. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/12/the-christian-origins-of-islam

I don’t know much about this topic, but I am favorably inclined toward Tom Holland who rejects that thesis, but holds that the vast majority of details about Muhammed (and indeed a written koran) post-date his life by at least 200 years.

JohnM
JohnM
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

We know those who know Him will be saved because we have that promise. At best, no hope is promised for those who do not know Him. The choice of wording there “can be” strikes me as…evasive, or manipulative, anyway somehow, off. Better to talk about what we’ve been told is and will be. One either has the Son and therefore the life or having not the Son has not the life.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

I can see why we’re not supposed to take the universalist or pluralist position–“doesn’t matter what you believe, just be a good person and that’s enough.” But I thought it odd that the passage from one of the Narnia novels was used to oppose a Catholic teaching, given that Lewis himself has been criticized for writing that “There are people who do not accept the full Christian doctrine about Christ but who are so strongly attracted by Him that they are His in a much deeper sense than they themselves understand. There are people in other religions who are being… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Jill Smith
Ken B
Ken B
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I have occasionally amused myself with the thought if evangelicals* are the only ones to be in heaven, am I sure I really want to go there!

*Other groupings are available.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I’ve always used speaking to real people as an example. If you’re speaking to someone on the other side of the door, whether or not you know their name doesn’t change the nature of who it is you are speaking to. If you wake up every morning and have a 10 minute conversation with the person on the other side of the door, you get to know them moderately well. If you thought their name was Mike, but when the door is finally opened it turns out their name was Jeremy, it doesn’t alter the substance of the relationship. While… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
10 months ago

Rebecca, take the title of every song your son listens to and google them with the word lyrics after the song title. Print them out and read them. Discuss the problematic lyrics with your son looking at the paper in front of you.

-BJ-
-BJ-
10 months ago

Addison,

Please join us. We need godly stalwart men in the Armed Forces. There are thousands of us here. The media hypes the woke voices, and times are certainly tough. But unlike businesses and churches, we cannot build an alternative military. We must save it, and we have enough people to do that if we are willing to fight.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
10 months ago
Reply to  -BJ-

BJ, to a certain extent I agree with you, but how do you go about saving the military when the top brass are openly working to hobble — if not destroy — the military? Remember, as good a President as Trump was, it was he who appointed General Mark “Fake, Ghey, and Insubordinate” Milley, a clown who sports more medals than Eisenhower ever did yet can’t win a war, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And there are many more people like Milley in the upper echelons of the military. How do you fight that when the Evil Party openly… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 months ago

Don’t forget the first ever “female” 4-star admiral…a true slap in the face to any of us who wore a uniform…heck, an insult to any U.S. citizen.
Biden admin declares transgender health official Rachel Levine is ‘first-ever female four-star admiral’ of the US Public Health Services Commissioned Corps – TheBlaze

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
10 months ago

A fairly disturbing decision today from the Supreme Court:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/21-164_2co3.pdf

What makes this disturbing is that even with six conservatives on the Supreme Court, only one thought it was even worth taking the case.

Jsm
Jsm
10 months ago

On the 4 day work week Doug responds exactly the way you would expect. However the 4th commandment doesn’t guarantee your employer’s right to all of your work. If the free market is pushing employers to incentivized their schedule by offering 4 day work weeks, good. Spend your days off being productive towards your family and honor the Sabbath.

Jane
Jane
10 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

Yes, I think Doug missed the boat on this one, especially since Mark mentioned the idea of using the extra day to do non-employment work. Perhaps his concern is that as a cultural phenomenon, it would be used for idleness rather than other forms of work. But at the very least, he wasn’t clear about it.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

It is a disappointing answer. Work is good, it is good for us, and it is a blessing if we are able to have work that supports our families. But it is far from the only good, and work toward some enterprise end is not the only kind of work. Also, my work would look like utter idleness to 99% of people who have lived and that is (mostly) a blessing. Toil is less toilsome for many. I also work less hours than my great grandparents and can spend more time in other pursuits. Good and more good. I think… Read more »

Jane
Jane
10 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Still, I think there’s something to be said for the difference between productive leisure and idleness. I don’t mean every second has to be spent accomplishing something we’d typically think of “work”, and given what I’ve heard from his daughters on the use of time and resources, I don’t think he thinks this either. But there’s a difference between pursuing an interest or hobby that actually creates something that blesses others, or will put you on the path to being able to do that, and simple idleness (e.g. sitting around eating junk food and watching banal TV, televised sports, mindlessly… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
10 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane,

I completely agree. Productive leisure is a good way of putting it. The danger today is that it is easier than even to be a passive consumer who just becomes a vessel to be filled. Binge watching TV shows, or YouTube, or scrolling the endless feed on Twitter or Facebook or Gab.

Peipers argument assumes that leisure is filled with community/family building and reflection.

Of course there are many many productive things that can be done outside if wage labor or “traditional” employment (traditional in quotes because it was only the norm from the early 20thc).

ashv
ashv
10 months ago

Re stoichiea, I also highly recommend Peter Leithart’s book Delivered From The Elements of the World.

Eliza
Eliza
10 months ago

Ruthie – my 20s and early 30s were similar to the times you described. The Lord used it to bring me closer to himself. And then to a good and godly husband in his perfect timing. Later than I would have chosen, but I thank him that he also overruled my earlier choices!
Try to be careful when you use that word ‘always’ – it can lead to a sense of hopelessness.
*Keep praying*, and get good counsel from wise older women who have strong marriages.

Robert
Robert
10 months ago

Pastor Wilson,

Would it be a gauche display of an entitlement and/or trivial “participation trophy” mentality if I were say that I would be honored to receive — as a “token of your appreciation” for helping keep typos off your website — an autographed copy of “Light from Behind the Sun”, and including a line inside mentioning the occasion of said autographed copy?

Best Regards Anyway! :)

Robert

HENRY
HENRY
10 months ago

Pastor Doug,
I am in the middle of reading a book, Confessional County by Raymond Simmons. I would love you to do a book review on it. I think you would love it. It takes Postmillennialism and Theonomy and presents a plan of attack for America. Reminds me a lot of the approach your fathers book took on warfare and how your family applied it to Moscow. Thanks, Henry

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 months ago

Speaking of Canada, they’ll have no shortage of future totalitarians with this kind of brainwashing:
https://twitter.com/ezralevant/status/1483787311032815616

Last edited 10 months ago by C Herrera