“Look, Ma, No Hands,” Letters Edition

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Ukraine

Regarding She don’t lie, Why the invasion? Putin doesn’t want nukes in a NATO’ed Ukraine. Closer than Cuba to the United States. Kennedy felt the same in 1962. Pray the people in high places have the smarts and integrity to do some real diplomatic work. I know that’s asking a lot, but miracles do happen, even today.

S

S, I agree that Putin doesn’t want nukes in Ukraine, and that is certainly understandable. But unless he annexes the entire country, which does not seem likely or feasible, what he has just done is guaranteed to get him nukes in Ukraine. After this, the Ukrainians would be out of their minds if they did not rebuild their nuclear arsenal.

Thank you for your consistent, winsome tartness, or tart winsomeness.

I am referring to no particular post here but rather the namesake of your blog. As you may be aware, the end times are upon us yet again. Eschatological bingo has called A5 and Russia is C4 away from ushering in the rapture. Maybe a post about how the current invasion of Ukraine has nothing to do with Ezekiel 36-39?

Thanks and God bless you and your work.

Jerod

Jerod, that is a most reasonable suggestion. I will have to think about it—for trademark and brand protection for my blog here, if nothing else.

In the “She Don’t Lie, She Don’t Lie, She Don’t Lie . . . Ukraine” post, you write: “So here we are now. That being the case, we should do what we can to enable Ukrainians to defend themselves (shipping arms, ammo, supplies, etc.), and we should do this surreptitiously while formally denying that we are doing anything of the kind. We should do this by defining humanitarian relief very broadly. But under no circumstances should we be sending American troops anywhere close to the action. “

Can you explain why you don’t think we should send American troops? You’ve already acknowledged that the US promised Ukraine security for giving up their nukes. Why shouldn’t fulfilling that obligation involve troops? I doubt Ukraine would have been excited to sign the Budapest Memorandum if they understood “security” to just mean shipping them guns and supplies.

Thanks,

Joel

Joel, I believe that adroit use of means other than going to war ourselves were sufficient to keep Russia out of Ukraine. Those means were bungled by Biden, and I have absolutely no confidence that the deployment of troops by Biden would do anything but make the situation many times worse. Consider his management of the exit from Afghanistan. Even now, I think that extra-military means may prevail against Russia.

While I concur with basically all of the rest of your “She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie . . . Ukraine” article, I will take issue with the idea that:

“. . . even if NATO countries made the mistake of treating Russia as though it was still the Soviet Union, which it wasn’t, that is hardly grounds for the Russians to invade a country that isn’t a member of NATO, but which might be some day . . .”

Here are the bullet counterpoints as to why Russia did indeed have justification to turn to military action in Ukraine:

1) As you detail in the preceding paragraph of your piece, America and Europe have been an utter embarrassment in terms of broken promises to the Russians. We lied, promising that NATO would not expand eastward. Lying is all NATO has done for 30 years and finally Russia has said, “No More.”

2) At what point is it legitimate for a country to defend herself, especially following decades of enduring endless prevarication from a rival? Especially if it is under the exact same setting as Cuba was to the U.S. in 1962? Cuba was not a member of the Warsaw Pact; why did we have the right to threaten war with Russia if she did not dismember the Cuban missile bases she planned to construct and arm?

3) Gorbachev knew the USSR was doomed and attempted to forge a new alliance with the West, as did Yeltsin. Russia, though admittedly a train wreck due to the 70 year black hole of Communism she suffered, is in fact an Orthodox, Trinitarian-believing Nation amongst its ordinary people. Only a post-Christian nation ruled by fools like the Bushes and Clintons would have thrown away the God-given opportunity to bring in a wayward nation of Christian Brothers, which would have in turn put severe pressure on the few remaining atheist/Communist nations, most especially China. Isildur turning away from his duty in the bowels of Mount Doom is an apt, though not perfect, analogy.

I suggest that if one is reflective on these points and questions, Russia’s military action against the cancer that is the post-Christian West is completely understandable. The poor, ordinary souls of Ukraine are the tragic victims of the madness of the likes of Klaus Schwab, George Soros and the self-appointed elite of “our nation’s best Universities” who are the true perpetrators of this disaster. Russia may be a modern-day Babylon/Persia, used by our Lord to bring His judgment on unbelieving and unrepentant “Christian” nations.

SDG,

James

James, I may have missed something, so please correct me if I am leaving something out. If I do, it is due to simple ignorance. But this situation is not comparable to us on the brink with the Soviet Union because of missiles in Cuba. It would be as though we invaded Cuba because the Soviets had said that they might someday put missiles there.

I’m mostly on board with your article, but I found myself wondering if this is really the best way to pray for the situation:

“Pray that the Ukrainians defend their country stoutly, as they have certainly been doing so far, and that Putin fail in this jaunt utterly, completely, finally, and totally.”

What if it is true that Putin was eliminating American funded bio-weapons labs in Ukraine as some have suggested? What if it is the case that there was an imminent dirty bomb threat originating from the now secured Chernobyl site? Both examples have been strongly insinuated by Putin. It could be a lie of course, but we all know that it could also be the truth. After all, America has made Ukraine its plaything for many decades. Remember the color revolution in 2014 that some of our very own high ranking officials were literally on the ground in Ukraine fomenting, so as to take out the pro-Putin yet democratically elected president there? Yeah, that kind of stuff.

So maybe, just maybe, we should pray more along the lines of advocating the two countries negotiate. Putin has already stated his terms (well before his attack): Keep Ukraine and Georgia out of NATO, and pledge it a neutral zone. As one commentator put it, “Anything else is warmongering.” Here’s a helpful piece:

Joe

Joe, the causes of conflicts like this are enormously complicated, and concerning the run-up to this war, a number of the things you say are reasonable. But seems to me that Putin has already failed, and has only succeeded in persuading the entire world that Ukraine needed to be in NATO. And he has persuaded the Ukrainians that they need to have tactical nukes. He has even lost a significant number of Russians on this one.

A joke for our times: Once upon a time a Ukrainian man was stranded upon a deserted island. In his wanderings on the island, he finds a golden lamp. I said he was Ukrainian, not stupid, so he rubs the lamp. As expected, a genie popped out. The genie says, “You rubbed the lamp, you must know what to do, so what are your three wishes?”

The Ukrainian man replies, “I would like China to invade Ukraine and then go home.” The genie is puzzled and says, “Well, that qualifies as the strangest request I’ve ever gotten.” He then snaps his fingers, and says, “Done. What is your next wish?”

The Ukrainian man replies, “I would like China to invade Ukraine and then go home.” “That was your first wish.” says the genie. “Yes, and it is my second wish.” responds the man. “OK.” and with a shrug he snaps his fingers and says, “Done.” What is your last wish?”

The Ukrainian man says, “I would like China . . .” The genie interrupts him mid-wish and tells him in no uncertain terms, “You need to keep in mind this is your last wish. You are stranded on a desert island, and if you waste your last wish, I will make SURE nobody ever finds you!”

The Ukrainian man pauses. He sits down. He thinks for a good two minutes with the genie just hovering there, tapping his metaphorical foot.

“I would like China to invade Ukraine and then go home.”

The genie glowers at the Ukrainian, and in a huff snaps his fingers, and says, “FINE. Done.” He continued, “Normally I disappear after the third wish, but I just can’t leave until I know why a man on a deserted island would waste all three wishes on such a weird request.”

“Because,” replied the Ukrainian, “the Chinese invaded the Ukraine three times, BUT THEY WENT THROUGH RUSSIA 6.”

Russel

Russel, thanks.

Conscription Stuff

You wrote, “. . . American Christians need to review what they believe about conscription and military service . . .” 

Amen. And may I humbly submit that an enjoyable and “meticulously researched” resource for that would be my ’60s era gospel-themed novel, “Covered With Snow? A factors which led me to write it was the ignorance—among Gen-Z high school kids I coached—about the last wave of high-stakes conscription fifty-ish years ago. Reviewers have noted that they learned as much or more about the Vietnam-era draft and the moral and practical dilemmas drafts pose than they did from The Things They Carried. Which was nice for someone I do not know to say. And yes, one character talks through 1st Sam 8 . . . quite naturally, if I do say so.

Yours in Christ,

Art

Art, thanks.

The Pandemic’s Debris Field

have a couple questions that I thought you might appreciate.

1. As we see the the end of the pandemic coming, I wonder what you think of the relationships that have been broken by this pandemic. I was excommunicated from a church that was heavy handed on masking and caused a lot of issues in my life which have now been rectified and has given me a firmer backbone. I have not spoken to anyone from this group in about a year. What is the Christian’s response either to other believers who were wrong or false converts who were wrong in the future?

2. Do you know any good books that really helps establish a biblical foundation for rights? My former pastor called me prideful for insisting on my right to breathe and attend worship in person and he basically equates insisting on rights as being stiff-necked.

3. In interpersonal relationships is it appropriate to extend forgiveness even if that person hasn’t repented? Is repentance required in order for you to forgive?

Thank you for your time,

Shawn

Shawn, forgiveness must be sought before the transaction of forgiveness can be completed. But we can have the issues of forgiveness completely resolved in our own hearts so that if and when it is requested, we can respond immediately. As to the broken relationships, I would wait until a post-pandemic consensus begins to emerge, and then send an inquiry about having your excommunication lifted. And on rights, I would begin by reading Glenn Sunshine’s Slaying Leviathan.

Gary North

In case you hadn’t heard, Gary North has passed away. I know you and he had your differences – but for what it’s worth, he mentioned you positively more than a few times on his personal website (now closed to new members) which is actually how I discovered your blog and ministry. He often listed “Collision Course” as recommended viewing and also commented positively on the Man Rampant series. RIP.

Austin

Austin, yes, I had heard that. And yes, my only interaction with him publicly was when we occasionally clashed on the value of classical Christian education. But my personal debt to him was very large. I have read about 28 of his books.

For the average pastor, how much time should he expect to spend every week on preparing a sermon? Secondly, how should the rest of his week break down?

Unrelated, but if you haven’t heard, Gary North passed away. I wonder if Gary were to ask the Lord to be able to write one more book, if God would respond: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (or you write one more book). :)

Sam

Sam, I think an average pastor should spend at least a day in sermon prep. The rest of the time should be spent golfing. Kidding. The reason of the time should be spent teaching, counseling, leading the elders, writing. And yes, I had heard about Gary North, and see above. I learned a lot from him.

Everything Ties Together

I’ve been listening to the Blenheim Lectures to much benefit. I love seeing so many pieces of our worldview that normally sit polished on the shelf get taken down and put together into something useful. It is certainly like drinking from a fire hose, but in all fairness, I am listening at 1.5x speed. Good work there!

I want to note also your work in various places exposing the “long march through the institutions,” which I think I was practically unaware of until they all yelled “Boo!” We certainly can’t go in there and take them back. It feel like we’re opening our eyes to these little Chernobyl catastrophes all over the land, and the half-life is way past our lifetime. Woe on us.

Thanks,

Devin

Devin, yes, exactly. But don’t forget to keep postmillenialism in the mix. It helps fend off the black despair.

It is a privilege to write you. My name is John. I am 34 y/o, married, have two 6 year old daughters and have been a Christian for 14 years. If you have the time, I need your help. I learned about you 12 years ago after I read one of my favorite books of all time, “Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl.” At the time I read your son’s book I had no idea that you were his father. My pastor at the time gave me that book for my 21st birthday and it struck a chord within my soul so deep, I could only express the feeling with my electric guitar. Indeed, the music was very cool and groovy. 6 months or so after the book, my pastor shared a movie with us, his congregation, on our Friday movie night called, “Collision” Your debate with Christopher Hitchens changed my world view so dramatically, I felt the immediate need to apply the presuppositional arguments directly to my life and in doing so it changed my walk with God for the best!

Since that time I have been an e-disciple. Watching and reading all of the content I have time to. Most of the time I listen to audio books to and from work. I am a maintenance engineer and travel to and from job sites so I have 2-4 hours of listening time a day. I have listened to all the Mablog material and many of the books you have written, Black and Tan, a Primer on worship and reformation, Joy at the End of the Tether, Father Hunger, Fidelity, and many more.

Here is where I need your help. My world view has shifted dramatically after listening to your book, ” When the Man Comes Around” I have watched your night of eschatology with John Piper, I have also gone through Dr.Gary DeMar’s “Basic Training-Bible Prophecy.” I am not a reformed Christian. I don’t know how to categorize my faith and practice but I will sum it up this way. I take the Bible as true. In all its parts, in all of its styles, in its context, under the correct languages, and in its inconveniences to my preconceptions about the world. I believe in the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the lordship of Christ by faith alone, and the authority of Scripture to inform my world view.

Something has happened after listening to When the Man Comes Around. I was disappointed, greatly in fact. Towards the end of the book when you were explaining how the New Jerusalem was the bride of Christ and you were taking this particular vision that John saw as symbolic, as you did a very good job explaining why, not only here, but throughout all 22 chapters of your commentary, I realized that if you were correct, I had no longer knew where I was in my faith. I am looking forward to heaven greatly, but my idea of heaven was informed by Revelation 21 in the description of the new heavens and earth. Your idea that we are now in the new heavens and earth devastated me. How can you possibly know or intend to do this, I know. However, in just two days I have this sense of losing all of my foundations of my practicing faith. See the problem is I believe your perspective. It is sound, I look them up, I practiced my Bereanism.

You will have to forgive me for laying this on you. Not only do I feel awkward and silly, but I can sense a dark and fatalistic cloud moving in on my life. Part of writing this letter was to articulate my thoughts. I still don’t think I have achieved my goal. So I’ll try to simplify and concisely state my predicament.

After finishing the book when the man comes around, my foundational understanding of Revelation and Heaven, (Our final eternal state.) was deconstructed and left laid in a heap. I don’t feel I have any hope of seeing my way through the rough future that is sure to come down on America. My strength for sharing Heaven to my 6 year old daughters has left me. My attitude and courage has failed me. Something happened to me. My goal post is missing. I am different, no longer wanting to claim promises and adopting a who cares-who knows attitude towards the future. I have stumbled and am falling into darkness quickly. I need a hand to get out of my pit. I dare not read another commentary on Revelation that holds my previous concept of heaven. I no longer believe them to be true. My eyes have been opened to a very inconvenient truth (Sorry Al Gore, your going to have to take a back seat on this one) No other commentary I have read on Revelation has been this profound and informative. I am grateful for it. I am grateful for you.

I was afraid this letter would be long, I apologize. Sir, I need help restoring my hope in Heaven. Will it be glorious like the picture described in Revelation 21:10? or is that only a symbol? How can I learn and know for sure that anything in Scripture is what I think it is? Indeed, where my hope is derived from depends on the correct understanding of its language, context, and so on. I haven’t been this lost since before I became a Christian and it seems so silly and trivial. But I know there is darkness creeping in my soul. I can sense it, and it scars me.

Sir, thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope you don’t think I am accusing you of anything. You have been nothing but helpful to me for the past 12 years. You just unintentionally destroyed my understanding of Revelation and Heaven. lol. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I know it will be a task just to make sense of this letter. I had to try.

Thankfully,

John

John, very sorry for your plight, and I hope I can help. The fact that the afterlife is communicated to us in symbols means, because symbols are always LESS than the reality, that eternal life with Christ is going to be far, far more glorious than anything you have ever imagined before. “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18). Second, a couple of my other books may help you re-calibrate some things. Try Heaven Misplaced, and Mere Fundamentalism.

Some Eschatology

I just read Zephaniah and your commentary on it from 08/22/2015. Do you think that these minor prophets sat down and wrote the whole book, under inspiration, from start to finish? In one fell swoop? Or do you think that they wrote them over the course of time? When I read them, it’s very disconcerting to be blasted with the terrible dismay of God’s judgment and then flip to the glories of his mercy and delight. As I write that, it occurs to me that this is how salvation works on the emotions . . . severe conviction of the horrors of our sin, fear of judgment, punishment and separation from the King, the relief of finding refuge from Him in Him, and the elation of being one of His people, His very own. It is quite the breathtaking ride.

Alison

Alison, I believe that the general pattern with the prophets is that their books are collections of prophecies that were delivered at various times throughout their lives and ministries. I don’t believe they were generally written all at one go.

As I continue to ponder my eschatology (all thanks to you and your godly terryhootin’), I have a question in regard to Revelation 19:11-21.

In the partial preterist postmillennial view of Revelation, is Revelation 19:11-21 historically and ‘literally’ prior to Revelation 20:1-15, or is it historically and symbolically “in tandem” with Revelation 20:1-15.

Thanks in advance (and for the link to buy your commentary on Revelation, as I fully expect that robust endorsement to make its way here).

PS, yes, I deliberately borrowed your word used in the description of your grand kids. They had to learn it from somewhere, I’m guessing.

Evan

Evan, I don’t take them as coming in tandem.

For years I was a firm amillennialist, but lately I’ve been studying postmillennialism and I just might be convinced. I have one question for you. According to your postmil beliefs, when was Satan bound and when did the millennium begin? Or has it begun yet? As a former amil, I always believed that Satan was bound by the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ and the millennium began then. Thanks for all that you do,

Joe

Joe, I believe that Satan was defeated in the cross and resurrection, and there was a struggle afterwards because he knew his “time was short.” I believe he was bound, such that he could no longer deceive the nations, at 70 A.D.

Books on Education

I am considering a PhD in education/EdD in the future, and I wanted to begin by reading some solid good books on a Christian theory and philosophy of education. In particular, I’m looking for someone who really develops what our wonderful theology would look like in the classroom. Things like behavior management and classroom structure are a passion of mine; as a first-year teacher, I want to make sure my practice lines up with Truth. My alma mater, a wonderful Christian college, did a good job in giving me that theology, but my application arms are still that of a toddler.

Also, I want to thank you for your recommendations on books to read to improve writing skills. I’m excited to dig into them, although I cannot bring myself to dig into a dictionary page by page just yet.

Best regards,

James

James, on education, I would start with Repairing the Ruins, which I edited, then on to The Case for Classical Christian Education. I would also read The Seven Laws of Teaching, by John Milton Gregory. On writing, you might try my Wordsmithy.

Textual Issues

I know you prefer the Textus Receptus over the critical text and will be debating James White next month on this, but what are some good resources you’d recommend on these issues?

Sam

Sam, actually James and I will be debating paedocommunion. But on textual issues, why don’t you start with The Identity of the New Testament Text by Pickering?

The Kings of Judah

The good kings of Judah often blew it at the end of their days. For example, Asa is kicking butt for 35 years and then drops the ball buying off Syria and then seeking physicians rather than God.

Are we to take away that these kings didn’t have the root of the matter? Or is the lesson that even the faithful can blow it massively?

The answer with David is obvious because of his detailed account of repentance, but I am a little puzzled for guys like Solomon, Asa, Uzziah and so on.

Thank you for answering these questions for us

Thomas

Thomas, I generally take Scripture’s evaluation of them as good kings at face value. Their failures I take as a function of the remaining sin in us all, as well as the enormous pressures on them to collapse.

Hard to Get At Sin

A pastoral question for advice if you don’t mind: I have a married couple in my church where the husband is a good, solid, Christian guy. A hard-worker, supports his family, good father, husband, etc. His wife, also a Christian woman in good standing, and they have some issues that we are working through with the both of them, but I would say no more issues than the average marriage.

There is one issue that I am at a loss. She consistently demonstrates an unwillingness to be a “keeper at home” (Titus 2:5). I believe this to be at the point where all parties acknowledge that this is what the Bible expects of wives, and yet there is a continued failure on the wife’s part to do so. I also believe that a submission to just this one area would greatly improve their marriage and their home.

I don’t know what to do with this. I am confident that there isn’t an underlying issue in the home or something else that is hidden, at least my efforts to unferret something like that have given me enough satisfaction to stop prying. I think it boils down to an issue of the wife just wants to have her own career ambitions and is not willing to obey Scripture in this area.

My follow-on question is this: how does one handle a church discipline situation between a husband and wife? If one spouse ends up falling under church discipline and the other doesn’t? I’ve never been able to figure that one out.

I’m not saying that the wife is heading that way, although that could end up being a possibility, but it raises the question in my mind.

Thank you for any thought or advice you might have on this.

In Christ,

H

H, there are some surgeries that are too delicate for church discipline to perform, and this sounds like one of those. Unfortunately, some professing Christians insist on living outside the full blessing of God, and it is awfully hard to make them want to. And when one spouse is disciplined, depending on the reasons for the discipline, their marital obligations remain unchanged.

Dawson Has a Circle of Friends

Sadly, much of what you have described in your ‘Uncle Doug’ series has happened to me. The sad part about it, is that I put my foot down and demanded a change that needed to be change. Said girl was on board, but then not. Still wanted to get back together though. In trying to be “gracious,” I didn’t answer her and almost pushed her away by not directly answering the text, “when did you stop loving me?” The inflection in the text, (which is normal speech, not the monotone nicety-nice speech that is common among egalitarians) stung. I replied indirectly, completely glazing over  the content of the text and instead reacting to the inflection. She completely shut down and went on to marry someone who I know very little about, but it has eaten me up for years. Trying to move on, weighing the balance between the material prosperity that the monotone brings and not ignoring the true nature of human nature and moving forward with it. Thanks for you series.

RJM

RJM, it sounds like a case of “live and learn.” But part of learning is not letting it eat you up.

I hope you publish your “Letters to Dawson.” And then build a time machine and send it to my adolescent self.

God be praised for Jesus, and even the heartache I’ve experienced by diverging from His plan has a purpose, but I think we can all agree that His way is better.

Cam

Cam, indeed. His way is better.

Re: Dear Dawson Thank you for the excellent letters to Dawson—I wish I’d’ve had something like this back when I was dating. As it is, my wife and I have spent our 15 years of marriage getting into exactly the sort of unhealthy ruts that you’re trying to keep Dawson out of. Any chance you’ll turn your pen toward helping the already-married correct some of these mistakes? Getting out of ruts makes for a bumpy ride…

Josh

Josh, I will have to think about doing that. In the meantime, you might check out Decluttering Your Marriage.

Thus far you’ve provided a lot of helpful advice to Dawson. I was wondering, do you have some “avuncular advice” for young ladies who want to marry but more specifically want to marry a man they can respect and submit to? My thoughts on the topic are that if I have to do all the work to get a young man to start a relationship, I could easily end up “wearing the pants” should the relationship advance; on the other hand, what if the young men struggle for reasons of their own to take the initiative? And at what point (if ever) would you advise switching ponds if the fish aren’t biting?

Dawson’s Cousin

Dawson’s cousin, the current plan is to write a series of letters to Dawson’s cousin, or maybe even his sister.

“A woman can be the breadwinner for the home, and he can be a stay-at-home-dad, for example, and you can certainly prove to me that it can be done.” How do you handle a wife who refuses to be a “keeper at home” (Titus 2)? Relatedly, how would you handle a situation where a wife ended up being put under church discipline by her church as a result? What would that look like practically speaking for the husband, family, and church? If a wife continued in disobedience in this area, could you see that eventually leading to a divorce? Should it lead to divorce?

Just some questions I haven’t been able to square in my brain . . . thanks for any input.

R

R, I don’t think ordinary levels of household neglect should be a matter of church discipline at all. But there are times when it gets to crazy cat lady levels, of a magnitude that would cause a woman to lose custody of her children, for example, that could be a matter of church discipline.

As you peppered readers with illustration after illustration in your “Zone of Vulnerability” letter to tall and handsome Dawson, it became apparent how the “breakup songs” of the world are painfully birthed and how their varied cry fests perpetuate the lie. They scream, “Iove bites, love bleeds,” but clearly, that is not the issue. Rather, “they are not supposed to work that way.”

I realize you are writing to a fictional nephew whose young lady friend has no Dad in the picture, but I’m hopeful you’ll work in a way to address what Dads of mid-20s daughters can or should do to help their sweet treasures stay out of the V-Zone.

And more hand tool illustrations would be helpful.

Thank you, again, for the time, thought, and prayer you devote to these posts.

Carey

Carey, thanks for the suggestions. Maybe that’ll come up when I write to the young ladies.

Infant Baptism

For those of us still confused about all this, might you some time respond to this article? Thank you!

Laurel

Laurel, thanks. I will give it some thought.

Remember Canada?

Thank you for exposing the mess that is Canada. I was in Ottawa with some men from our church on Thursday and Friday. What really shocked me was that it seemed to be not much more than a block party. On Friday, things turned ugly. But I saw no violence or vandalism except for that carried out by the police. We are now in a state of emergency, even though the threat is gone. The organizer is being denied bail and faces 10 years in prison. We are living the Progressivist dream.

The church in Canada went into this weak—we knew that. We have found ways to encourage one another, but we are all very discouraged by the number of our Christian friends and colleagues have complied and turned their back on us.

I am working on a statement that will explain the biblical case for bodily autonomy (following Kuyper). This is really what this is all about. If we lose that, mask mandates, lockdowns, travel restrictions will necessarily follow.

Appreciate your take on things. Pray for us.

Scott

Scott, stay strong. Stay strong.

A Christian Take?

Hello, I have been struggling with finding biblical language to put on the “Mass Formation Psychosis” term. This author was helpful at the end of this article. Have you written on (or know anyone else who has) this from a biblical perspective?

Peabody

Peabody, no, sorry, I don’t. But that would be helpful.

Actual Spiritual Power

I have noticed in several of your articles that you believe the fortune telling slave in Acts to have actually been able to tell fortunes, and I would assume that you would believe other supernatural events caused by pagans, such as the turning of staffs into snakes or water into blood, to be actual miraculous events, though demonically rather than divinely enabled. This seems exegetically sound to me, but that presents another question: How does one differentiate between evil and divine miracles in the absence of divine revelation? For example, if I lived on the upper east side of mount Parnassus in circa 300 BC (never having known there even was such a thing as an Israelite), and the Oracle of Delphi accurately predicted the future, how could I know that such a prediction was demonic?

BK

BK, I believe that the standard would be this. Are the miracles consistent, or are they hit and miss (Dt. 18)? And do they lead to the one true God, or to dumb idols (Dt. 13)?

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Thomas Bauer
Thomas Bauer
5 months ago

Thank you for the answer. I know my questions are almost never on topic, but your responses are most helpful!

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago

Regarding Ukraine, do we really think none of this would have happened if only Ukraine had not given up nuclear weapons?

If Ukraine had retained nuclear weapons either 1. Those weapons would be useless and irrelevant or 2. They would be usable with use contemplatable, and the situation would be orders of magnitude more dangerous.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

What’s this “we” stuff, Kemosabe? None of the events leading up to the current “minor incursion” took place in a vacuum.

Besides, the first casualty in any war is the truth. Take everything coming out of Ukraine, Russia, and especially the Brandon maladministration — which includes his media lapdogs — with an entire mine’s worth of salt.

Last edited 5 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

Maladministration? Are you questioning the brilliance of our VP?

“Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine.”
Kamala Harris Explains Ukraine/Russia Conflict to Black Radio Host: “Ukraine is a Country in Europe. It Exists Next to Another Country Called Russia. Russia is a Bigger Country” (AUDIO) (thegatewaypundit.com)

Just imagine the day when we have nine Kamalas on the Supreme Court. It’s easy if you try!

Last edited 5 months ago by C Herrera
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

To be fair, Willie Brown’s arm-candy is trying her best to explain the geopolitical situation to her Democrat constituents in terms they can understand.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

John, I don’t think there is a scenario where the Ukrain keeps its nukes and and stays stable and independent.. If they kept them they would have been made a pariah state (like NK) unless they firmly allied themselves with either NATO or Russia. Also, I’m not sure they have (or have had) the state capacity to maintain nukes – as you imply – and they have significant internal tensions that would make a nuclear arsenal extra dangerous. There has been a meme going around the armchair foreign policy squad that the only way to be safe from invasion (and… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I can still remember Chernobyl. After the accident the radiation didn’t stay put but was blown across large swathes of northern Europe as far as Scotland. The area is still uninhabitable.

The use of such weapons is virtually unthinkable, the damage cannot be contained.

As for the Ukraine, a new sarcophagus had to be built over the disused Chernobyl reactor at huge cost largely by the EU, so the country isn’t remotely in a position to have nuclear weapons considering the cost of maintaining them.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, I’m not arguing the underlying point, but conflating a nuclear reactor with a nuclear missile as you’re doing is, at a minimum, just a tad inaccurate. This is like comparing a molotov cocktail and a surprise accidental wildfire, just because they both work on the same principle of fire. Whether or not the use of a molotov in any context is justified, has very very very little to do with how much damage the recent California wildfires did. The costs are wildly different, in terms of money, in terms of environmental damage, and in terms of lives. It creates… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin – If the Ukraine had retained a nuclear deterrent, going by the war so far it could well have been tempted to use it on say one Russian city to try to save Kiev, if the deterrent had failed to prevent war in the first place. That would almost certainly have led to Russian retaliation on a Ukrainian city. My point is that, as with Chernobyl, the radiation released in such an exchange is no respecter of borders. It would drift all over Europe, especially the belligerents, contaminating as it went. It might drift eastwards towards China. It is… Read more »

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

Meanwhile, Hiroshima waves “Hi!” while holding a bouquet of oleanders.

There are only two things not respecting borders around here: Biden’s illegal aliens, and your panic porn.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

What do you call a light-skinned Ukranian man who likes guns, wants to defend his border, is almost “toxicly” masculine and does this in the name of liberty? A hero! You might even call it “sexy” if you’re a woman or Revoice pastor. Practically everyone agrees, including the MSM, celebrities and wokevangelicals. What do you call a man in the U.S. with those traits? A Christian nationalist, deplorable, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, insurrectionist Trumptard! And they’re greatest threat to our “democracy” (meaning government/Big Tech/Big Media/Big Pharma fascist oligarchy)….even though that demographic has a very low crime rate. Hipster, female seminary professors… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

What do you call a light-skinned Russian man who likes guns, wants to defend his border, is almost “toxically” masculine and does this in the name of liberty? 

Vladimir Putin.

Have you watched his speeches, the output on Russian media, the crackdown on any last remaining bastions of free speech? The ‘I’m a Real Man™’ act and woe to anyone who tries to stop what I’m doing.

We have long since passed 1984 when the war unleashed is described as ‘peace-keeping’.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Nice non sequitur. This has nothing to do with Putin and I’m not defending his actions. Instead of trying to be cute, maybe you could work on manning up a bit yourself? The first lesson: “Why grown men shouldn’t be terrified of a virus with a very high survivability rate.” The second: “how to avoid conniptions and eisegesis every time the Bible talks about women’s roles.” As for your misinformed comment on American conservatism, you’re confusing neo-cons (which are much closer to Democrats on many issues) with much older conservatism which focused on protecting borders and avoiding entangling alliances, wars… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by C Herrera
Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

“Why grown men shouldn’t be terrified of a virus with a very high survivability rate.”  Who is being terrified? It is not ‘manly’ to have a glib attitude towards a virus that can do permanent damage and is considerably worse than flu in its effects. Utter folly. 5% of the overall population isn’t that much for the more serious end of the illness spectrum, although enough to collapse the healthcare system if allowed to run rampant, but this percentage increases considerably once you get over age 60. Or aren’t the lives of the elderly worth much, not even a bit… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

You calling someone else a “windbag” is gold. You can make up whatever you want that “probably” happens on a “mass scale,” but it doesn’t make it true (it’s not) and doesn’t solve the root issue. Your problem is with God’s word. If you want to talk about “mass scale” problems, how about the Muslim rape gangs that were hidden by your beloved media and gov’t? Oh wait, talking about that puts you on the side of those you hate. Better to watch the optics and remain on the respectable center-left side than face the truth. Have a nice weekend… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by C Herrera
Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Your problem is with God’s word. No it isn’t, it’s with its misuse and being twisted leading to abuse, especially that of claimed authority. That applies to the home and the church. I have seen both. Almost always in a hierarchy of power. The lid has been coming off abuse by both church leaders and in the home for several years now. I used to be fairly sceptical about it due to the number of ‘professional victims’ adorning the internet, but this is no longer tenable. Aimee Byrd was referred to here disparagingly a while ago, so I looked her… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. Margaret Thatcher
The problem with American Conservatism is that you eventually run out of other people’s countries to bomb. Ken B
Ironically in view of the above discussion, the Russians have in the last hour or so hit a nuclear power station in the Ukraine with artillery and set it on fire. Fortunately the fire was in administration and there has been no radiation leak.

Nope
Nope
5 months ago

John, I understand how you feel. I still remember holding Pastor Wilson’s book Heaven Misplaced in my hands and knowing that what I was about to read was going to be a game-changer. I was also afraid because I knew it was going to dismantle more than ideas but that it was going to set me at odds with many people around me. Both of those things happened, and I wish I could tell you there was a happy ending but there was not. I still remember finishing the book and feeling sad, not that it wasn’t true but sad… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Nope

I don’t think anyone’s millennial view is indicative of whether they have a genuine Christian faith or not. It really shouldn’t be an issue and nowhere in the NT is this ever a test of whether someone is in the faith or not. Whilst I have a view on this, I don’t think anyone should hold it in a rigidly dogmatic way, and when they do it can become divisive. The bible is the truth and not a particular interpretation of it (something some Calvinists very badly need to learn). I have recently come to visit the topic again, having… Read more »

Nope
Nope
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I don’t believe one’s eschatology decides whether someone is a Christian or not, but it most certainly decides what type of Christian one is. It seems as if everything else flows from a person’s understanding of these matters. Perhaps not at first, but once it’s thought deeply about, absolutely.

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  Nope

What decides one’s eschatology?

Nope
Nope
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

I’m sure answers to this vary by experience, etc. Ask yourself what decided yours, and there’s your answer.

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  Nope

Consider the possibility that whatever it is that determines one’s eschatology might be something more foundational than the eschatology itself. Hermeneutic, for example. True, for most people it simply comes down to received teaching. Frankly, temperament and personal preference probably figure into it for some people. It might make sense that everything else flows from eschatology, and I think for some people it does, but not everyone follows the logic from one point of theology to another, or from theory to practice.

Christian
5 months ago

A Received Text Reading List Elementary McShaffrey, Christian M. How the Holy Bible Came to Be: An Elementary Introduction to the Doctrine of Believing Bibliology. London: Trinitarian Bible Society, 2021. Watts, Malcolm. The Lord Gave the Word: A Study in the History of the Biblical Text. London: Trinitarian Bible Society, 1998. Intermediate Hills, Edward F. The King James Version Defended, 4th ed. Des Moines, IA: The Christian Research Press, 1956, 1984. Hills, Edward F. Believing Bible Study. Junction City, OR: Eye Opener Publishers, 1967. Letis, Theodore P. The Ecclesiastical Text: Text Criticism, Biblical Authority, and the Popular Mind. The Institute… Read more »