If This is Tuesday, These Must Be Letters

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Ukraine

Thank you as always for your faithful service to Christ. Your work has blessed and continues to bless me, my family and my church abundantly.

This is in response to The First Casualty of War.

I think I’m misunderstanding your point. Are you saying propaganda from both sides should be expected, or are you saying that propaganda is actually justified during war?

I believe propaganda should be expected, but that doesn’t make it right. A strategic feint may be a form of “deception”, but actively spreading a story one knows to be a fabrication is just plain bearing false witness. A “morale boost” is not sufficient grounds to morally justify false witness. What do you think?

“And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” (Rom. 3:8).

Along those lines, Zelensky’s “I need ammo, not a ride” line which many of us praised turned out to be a fabrication as well. See here:

Thanks again for all that you do for the Lord and His church. We are truly blessed to have you among us.

Bryan

Bryan, thanks. To your question, I believe that disinformation is an ordinary tool of war. A strategic feint is not a form of “deception,” but is rather a form of deception—especially if it is communicated via bogus documents that are “captured” by the enemy, and so on. And on the “ammo, not a ride” front, I would just keep in mind that disinformation can creep into debunking stories that proved effective from the other side. And though I can’t vouch for anything, it was a great line that somebody said.

He was going to walk up behind her and ask her out on camera, but then decided against it.

“But incidentally, if you reacted with angst over the fact that I praised Goldberg, even partially, rather than answering his solid point about the Monroe Doctrine, then you are part of the problem.” That stung just a little.

You have to admit, though, this ain’t the same Goldberg that wrote “Liberal Fascism” back in the day.

Maybe Part of the Problem

MPoP, I do acknowledge that. That book was magnificent, and I don’t think it could be written today. But at the same time, I don’t take the way Trump affected Jonah as a revelation of someone who was not really a conservative—although Trump did do that to many.

Just a couple of quick comments re: Ukraine “It ought to give you at least some discomfort that you are on the same side of an issue as Bernie Sanders.”

True! And who would have thought he’d side with us one whit on guns either? But does it not also give you some discomfort that you are on the same side of this issue as the mainstream media and our current administration?

“In other words, if we were actually traveling down a hard-line Russophobe road, we would be there by now.”

I thought we were already there with the Russian Collusion lies.

Joe

Joe, I alluded to this in my earlier piece. I think the outpouring of support for Ukraine is like the outpouring of support for America after 9-11. The unanimity lasted about ten minutes.

Please forgive my scary sounding name… Regarding your prime example of word smithery (as always), The First Casualty of War…

I think there’s more to Putin’s argument than just de-nazifying Ukraine. There’s also the NATO argument. According to Putin NATO = USA (which is not incorrect). NATO was expected to remain in place (which is also not incorrect). And now NATO (USA) was flirting with the idea of putting their equipment on the least defensible stretch of Russian border.

I think the best way forward for Ukraine is for them to find some rulers whose political acumen goes a few steps beyond just hating Russians. Unfortunately the way things are panning out, when Putin’s tanks finally pull out of Ukraine, these people will hate not only the Russians (for leveling them into 3rd world living) but also the Americans (for just cheerleading them into false bravado).

All this aside. Please pray for our Russian/Ukrainian Christians in the states. Christian fraternity has been destroyed. One side insists on saying “Glory to the Ukraine” at the start of every worship service, and the other side is ready to move their tanks in as a response.

Yevgeniy

Yevgeniy, I acknowledge there is some force in the NATO argument, an argument that helps explain (not justify) Putin’s action. But Putin has done more in two weeks to reinforce the need for a robust Ukrainian military than anybody else in the world. And while that might be the least defensible stretch of the Russian border, it is also the least defensible stretch of the Ukrainian border.

Source for Information on Ukraine

Jon Harris from Conversations that Matter brought a journalist by the name of Patrick Lancaster to my attention, and while he seems to have a pro Russian/DPR bias, I think that he has been providing some useful firsthand accounts, which you might find helpful. Here is a link to his channel.

BK

BK, thanks.

I want to start by saying, although I’m a Baptist(hopefully you can look past that) I’m a friend of your ministry. I subscribe to the podcasts, and have bought a number of books from your website. Especially those for my sons and our reading together. Please take this as positive criticism from a friend. The Ukraine podcast was way off for the following reasons. 1st the idea that Putin invaded because of NATO is simply not true. I ask when was this supposed to happen? At some upcoming meeting? At the annual forum? Which countries were advocating for it? The Western Europeans certainly didn’t want it, they were too busy selling out to Putin. The Eastern Europeans did but don’t constitute a majority. Plus you have Turkey a Putin friend to block. Not to mention Biden (who is just as bought unit Russian business as Ukrainian. More on this later). But let’s assume they wanted it. What is the process? The process is decades long and has certain benchmarks Ukraine has to meet to qualify. Their military is nowhere near it. This is a fake crisis. Ukraine was decades at the earliest from joining if ever. 2nd. The idea that because Biden is corrupt and bought into Ukraine oligarchs he wants war with Russia. Weak. Biden and the elites are bought into Russia China Ukraine basically anywhere they can get their hands in. Proof: Nordstream 2. If Biden wanted war with Russia, why did he lift sanctions on German companies doing business with Russia and the pipeline? He enabled it! He allowed it to be completed! He ended our pipeline and has blocked further gas and oil leases. Why? He like Russia. He likes making money. And he’s bought into the green agenda because it pays. 3rd. Biden and elites want war with Russia. This one is crazy. If that’s the case why is he dragging his feet on sanctions? Germany issued sanctions first. Hungary who is friendly with Russia issued sanctions. We are the last ones to the table and we aren’t sanctioning the oil which is the main source of income for Russia. 4th. We don’t need to go to war to defeat Russia. But we do need to show strength. This is the part I’m most surprised by with your podcast. You are all about strength and men standing up so why would backing away from Europe do that? We should have a strong reaction fortify our Allie send arms to Ukrainians to fight. Peace only comes through strength retreating from Europe only invites war. 5th Ukrainians may be corrupt but you forget we came to the rule of law over a very long period of time. Magna Carta to constitution was a long struggle. They seem to be in the path. 8 years of war with Russia forced it. Further they don’t come from the reformation. They come from utter darkness and this process has brought some light. Opened them up to the world which includes the actual gospel. I’m not saying war to spread the gospel but that a result of this war has been the opening up of Ukraine. I’ve done missions work in Moldova and I’ve seen some of this. Listen lots more to say but I have to work. I work in the foreign policy arena. I’d love talk further with you. I’m an opponent of big Eva and David French. I love people who speak the truth without reservation which is why I’m writing this because you are definitely in the truth camp.

Thanks,

Josh

Josh, first thanks for the kind words. Your criticisms are taken as coming from a friendly corner. Perhaps surprisingly, I agree with just about everything you say here—especially about the need to show strength, which our current administration is incapable of doing. Let me illustrate it this way. Say that this war had never happened, and that Ukraine was eventually made a full member of NATO. I do not believe that this would have presented any threat to Russian territorial integrity whatever. But I also believe that Putin is paranoid, and you have to reckon with what he thinks you are up to, and not simply what you are up to.

I am grateful for your words “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” I notice a number of Christians equivocating about the evil of Putin, especially, it seems, in light of our own cultural sins re. abortion, LGBTQ+ etc.

Is there a danger that this will have a negative effect in the event of war with Russia—that people may be so conscious of our own society’s evil that they will feel less inclined to fight the evil of Putin, or may even question the reality of his evil entirely?

Richard

Richard, yes, very much so. Our current regime has been laboring industriously to alienate the loyalties of traditional believers.

I have a couple questions about “She Don’t Lie.” 1) Women in combat is deplorable, I agree, but might not the dire situation in Ukraine call for women to participate in a Susan Pevensie sort of way? If not now, do you think there’s ever a time for a woman to pick up a gun when enemy tanks are rolling through the streets?

2) You wrote: “We will not be qualified to contribute in any major way to the deliverance of Ukraine unless we go through a major reformation ourselves.” I can see how the US is culpable and that (furthermore) Biden would be incompetent in leading any sort of military action, but as far as “not being qualified” goes, how do America’s past sins exempt us from doing the right thing *now*? Wouldn’t this be like a dude neglecting to rescue a woman from getting mugged because he realized he sorta led her down that dark alley in the first place?

Appreciate clarification on these points! Thanks much.

Michelle

Michelle, I believe that it is lawful for women to take up arms in a last ditch defense of home and hearth. Jael pegged Sisera, but she did it in a domestic setting. And if a woman has a pistol in her purse (for self-defense only) because she lives in a bad part of town, I don’t think of that as unfeminine at all. My objection is to the use of women as regular combat troops. As to your other question, because we led Ukraine to believe that we would have their back if they gave up their nukes, I believe that we owe them something substantial, and it needs to be substantial enough for them to be successful against Russia. We should equip them to defend themselves, in other words.

Pronouncing Neologisms

In your recent post “ The Golden Rule, With Adjustments,” you used the word “non-plussedness.” I’d like to know if you pronounce that “non-pluss-ed-ness” or “non-plust-ness.”

I eagerly await your answer to this most critical question.

James

James, I agree that it is a crucial question. The answer is the former, non-pluss-ed-ness, and I freely acknowledge that I cannot explain why.

A Lewis Question

If I remember correctly, you podcasted something in recent years about a work of Lewis’ that may not have been authentic because it may have been completed by someone else after his death. Does that sound familiar? If so, could you point me to the details? Thank you!

Andrew

Andrew, yes. A woman named Kathryn Lindskoog argued (here) that The Dark Tower was a forgery, and that Walter Hooper was the likely villain. She does identify a number of oddities and anomalies in the various stories, but I think that the main claim is erroneous.

Thanks from a Fresh Quarter

Message: State of the Church 2022

I am so thankful to have found your ministry. I’m a 37 year old happily married woman with a 4 1/2 year old daughter. Your blog, videos, and sermons have been a breath of fresh air. The world needs more pastors like you who stand in the truth and take on the issues of the world from a TRULY biblical perspective. We have been struggling to find a church where we fit in; so tired of the cotton candy fluff that is forced down our throats Sunday after Sunday from many of today’s ministers. Your messages have convicted both my husband and myself multiple times. The message we watched today (State of the Church 2022) was particularly convicting. We have been encouraged to tough it out and “entertain angels (or Jesus)” by setting aside our griping and grievances with the modern church. We want to be those raindrops you’ve spoken of and try to make a difference in our own communities. This message was particularly beneficial to my husband who has been struggling with not knowing his place in the great commission in his own little corner of the globe. Anyway . . . I just wanted to send you a message of thanks and let you know that I will henceforth be praying for your ministry. May God bless you and yours.

Amber

Amber, you are very kind, and thank you.

Dawson Related Stuff

“Here, the man must sympathize with the woman, and he must do so intelligently, but he must not forsake his basic orientation as he does so . . . That demeanor means that he needs to sympathize with (not resent) her level of desire. He married a woman, and everything that comes with that.”

That being said, when husbands are commanded to live with their wives in an understanding way because wives are the weaker vessel, that shouldn’t include the possibility of a headstrong wife using her weakness as a guise to manipulate the situation to her own advantage, should it?

IOW, the weakness Peter mentions is a mere statement of fact rather than a crutch.

I believe you said something analogous regarding the passage in 1 Corinthians and the weaker brother. Something about the balance between giving deference to the weaker brother versus not letting the weaker brother drive the boat?

Guymon

Guymon, yes. A headstrong woman could seek to do exactly that, and a wise husband won’t let that happen.

Should a husband and wife avoid “debating” theoretical/theological/political/etc. issues as is common practice among male companions?

Caleb

Caleb, they should avoid debating the same way that men do. But a man and his wife have to be able to work through issues.

Your letters to Dawson are fantastic and very insightful. I am having my son read them, and I wish I could have read them when I was his age. With that being said, I am curious if you were exaggerating to make a point with your most recent letter. Most Christian husbands and wives, if I were to guess, would be thrilled if the difference in desire was only twice as much. Wouldn’t most marriages, even good ones, have the difference in desire be more than that? Thank you,

Mark in the Midwest

Mark, yes, I believe that the divide is actually wider than that. I was using a very simple 2/1 ratio to illustrate the principle.

In your article The Zone of Vulnerability you get at the frequent misunderstanding between a man and a woman who are in the beginning of the dating phase and then find they are on completely different pages regarding how they think of one another, especially after one or both of them fall into that zone. Somewhat related to this, my question is how should college students or even upper high schoolers who are not interested in dating yet or who don’t consider themselves ready navigate friendships with the opposite sex? What does emotional over-sharing look like and where is that line? What is the difference between a group of two girls and three guys hanging out and a group of two girls and one guy, or is there even a difference?

Cheers,

Emma

Emma, I would urge companionship in groups, with the odd numbering you mention. I would try to cultivate a group culture that has a dislike of “oversharing,” and encouraging those prone to it to talk with their parents or pastor.

Church Commitment

As a pastor in a Reformed non-denominational church in suburban Memphis,TN one of the common themes I see for younger families (and many church members) is a lackadaisical approach to church attendance . . . .miss for kids’ sports, miss for the lake, miss for a “rest” day. We have many families who are here weekly and are pushing back against this but many more who fall prey. I teach a large Sunday school class of folks primarily in our 30s and 40s raising children. As a teacher, I would like to address this and am wondering if you have addressed it at length anywhere? I know it would be important to study the covenant renewal emphasis on the Lord’s Day, which I have been exposed to but don’t know much about. Having worked in a church for all of my adult life I have been in church nearly every week by default but that is not a good biblical argument. Thanks for your consideration.

Chris

Chris, yes, I think this is a contemporary problem—we are a lot more mobile as a society than our grandparents were. This makes it easy to be gone. Sorry I have not written anything on it in any kind of depth. But I would start with teaching, not with rebuking.

Starting a Classical Christian School

Thanks in advance for your time – I know you’re a busy man. I should probably know a better way to contact you by this point, but this will have to do.

I had my first conversation with a few of my pastors recently about starting a school in our church. I’m sold on Classical Education, but my pastors/friends have never heard of it (the horror!). My pastor has requested I pull together some resources on “how” to go about starting a school, and that we try to start the conversation at a broader level than “classical”, and then narrow our focus from there if we can. Do you have any recommended resources along those lines? Like “How to Start a Christian School 101”? I think your book, “The Case for Classical Christian Education”, would fit the bill quite well if we just skip Chapters 9-10, and 14-19, initially. But I wanted to see if you know of others.

Thank you,

RK

RK, I would contact ACCS. They will be able to help you with all “starter kit” issues.

More Good Content

I don’t know if you have noticed the Choc Knox Unplugged podcast, but they are doing really good work with their discussions on metaphysics. They are giving us practical tools for understanding modernism, understanding God’s world as He made it, and extracting our minds from one to the other. I cannot say enough good things about this podcast and I hope you will commend their work to your readers.

Eric

Eric, thanks. Here you go.

Faith

How would you teach regarding the concept of faith as it relates to Romans 14:23 and how -or- does that concept of faith relate to James 4:17? It seems to me that the concepts of being “having faith” and being “in faith” have been used by believers inconsistently and in contradictory fashion dependent on their circumstances as an excuse for doing/not doing something and therefore mold these concepts and scriptures to their current desires/fears. For example, when being fearful of having children (energy, finances, etc.) I’ve heard it said that one should “have faith” and be fruitful and that this application of faith would mean a reliance on God’s grace and a desire to honor and glorify God in proceeding in doing something he says is “good” as well as how he designed/commanded us to do. On the contrary, I’ve heard advice given saying not to do something when there is doubt and/or fear as this would be doing it when not “in faith” and therefore doing X, Y or Z would be sin, even if the action would seem to have no basis for being sinful (and is actually something God says is good) other than the sole fact that there is uncertainty or doubt without a clear justification or explanation for the source of doubt. The two interpretations and applications of the concept of “faith” seems to oppose each other. How would you counsel/guide/teach on this? Any recommended supporting commentary or resources would be much appreciated.

One of the Family

OotF, we should have faith, and everything we do should be done in faith. We should also enjoy what God has given to us to enjoy, and stay away from what he prohibits. One of the things He prohibits is the hassling of a weaker brother who is staying away from certain things unnecessarily. That is how I reconcile these teachings.

Providential Preservation

I’m all in on Gods Word being preserved in all ages. And I totally agree that it is a battle of the paradigms when it comes to how we as the church today identify Gods preserved (or not) Word. When it comes to the Byzantine manuscripts, how do we know they were written in the areas that the Scriptures were written from and to? I heard James White dismiss this argumentation as basically an echo-chamber argument within TR circles with no back up. I guess it’s all up to you now.

I have a question about the Textus Receptus. Were the later manuscripts that, lets say, Beza used from the Byzantine family, consistent with the earliest Byzantine manuscripts we and they had and other Byzantine resources like early church fathers?

Jonty

Jonty, the reason the Byzantine manuscripts are by far the majority manuscripts is that they are from “all over.” The Alexandrian manuscripts are from . . . Alexandria. And regardless of which school of thought you belong to, there is work for textual critics to do. But the variations within Byzantine manuscripts is a lot less than the variant readings within the Alexandrian.

A Sad Situation

I discovered your videos about a month ago and have been watching them almost daily. Thank you for sharing them.

I was wondering if you are aware of the rising phenomenon of gray divorce. After 25 plus years of a seemingly successful marriage, a man dumps his wife for a younger woman. How do you think the betrayed wife should handle it? What should be the response of the adult children?

Margaret

Margaret, I believe that a professing Christian man who does this should be excommunicated by his church. Thereafter, I believe that his betrayed wife should pray for his repentance, keeping herself free of every form of bitterness and resentment. I believe that if his children can relate to him as an unbeliever, they should be willing to do so, while making it very clear that they identify with their mother. If he insists on being treated as a fellow Christian, then I think they should put distance between him and their families.

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Buford T. Crimethinker
Buford T. Crimethinker
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy

It’s pretty sad that Doug has gone 99% boomertard, and a Catholic cardinal has a better grasp of justice and peace than …probably the best Reformed minister America has.

Sam Rutherford
Sam Rutherford
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Mr. Douglas Wilson, Best Reformed Minister in America, Boomertard

Jimmy
Jimmy
5 months ago
Reply to  Sam Rutherford

Hey, we are men. We all have to wear several hats.

Buford T. Crimethinker
Buford T. Crimethinker
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Yes, that’s right. You think Putin is ‘paranoid’, despite us breaking pretty much every treaty and agreement we’ve made with Russia over the past 30 years, and slapping away every olive branch the Russians have made over that time. You can’t quite wrap your head around the cold hard fact that the Russians, especially now, are not the movie bad guys the television told you your whole life they were, and that they have legitimate security concerns that, when combined with eight years of Ukrainian terrorism and ethnic cleansing in the Donbass, Ukrainian armies now massing near the Donbass, and… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago

Mr. Crimethink, Perhaps you could educate us regarding the treaties that we have broken with Russia? The agreement that seems most pertinent right now is the Budapest Memorandum where Russia (yes, that Russia), the US and the UK promised to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity (territory that included Crimea and the Dombas) and political independence if they gave up their nuclear weapons (the third largest stockpile in the world at the time). If they are pushing for nukes now it is probably because one of those parties went back on the agreement! Also, your timeline regarding Ukraine’ overtures toward NATO is… Read more »

Buford T. Crimethinker
Buford T. Crimethinker
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I direct you towards the good monsignor’s letter, which contains a timeline decidedly more complete than yours. Refute it or be silent.

Last edited 5 months ago by Buford T. Crimethinker
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago

I read the good monsignor’s letter, which has some valuable history for those who don’t know it, though it is carefully filtered and spun to provide a bizarre and one sided view of that history. If he wants to complain about the media’s handling of the invasion he would do well not to engage in even worse excesses from the opposite direction. As one example, take his treatment of the Budapest Memorandum where he blames Zelensky for violating the agreement by floating the idea of rearming with nuclear weapons. This coming 8 years after Russia has clearly violates the agreement… Read more »

Buford T. Crimethinker
Buford T. Crimethinker
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

‘Agreement’, then…except for the 1972 ABM treaty, of course, which we unilaterally withdrew from in 2002, just as we were moving NATO nukes closer and closer. Nah, meaningless, right? So the point stands. There were legitimate security interests which we agreed to respect, and then proceeded not to, right up to Russia’s heartland. Enough is enough. As for the Budapest Memorandum: Yes, I’m going to say up front that Russia’s breaking that treaty was warranted and right. Following a US-backed coup and the installation of a rabidly anti-Russian government bent on ethnic cleansing of Russian-majority regions, it was right and… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Buford T. Crimethinker
demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago

You do realize that Zelensky is a native Russian speaker who performed best in the most Russian districts in far Eastern Ukraine, right? I don’t think you have any idea what you are talking about and you sound like a hysterical left-winger going on about “ethnic cleansing.” Next we are going to hear about all of the Ukrainian Nazis (yes, I know, they are real). I am certainly willing to agree that this isn’t a black hat/white hat situation, that Russia has legitimate national and foreign policy interests in Ukraine, and that we have, in many way, backed the Putin… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago

As a matter of good internet discussion hygiene it is very bad form to edit comments after they have been responded to – I recommend no edit function personally. You don’t seem to have any idea what the ABM treaty was, and withdrawing from a treaty in a manner specifically allowed for in the treaty isn’t breaking a treaty. I’ll just say for the record that it had nothing to do forward deployment of nuclear weapons and everything to do with anti-ballistic missile technologies (which weaken MAD). We have had forward stationed nuclear weapons in Turkey for over 60 years.… Read more »

Jimmy
Jimmy
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

You are right about the treaty, I think. The US government is obligated to protect the Ukrainian government from the Russian government. Who is obligated to protect the (ethnically Russian) Ukrainian people from the Ukrainian government though? And how did those guys get in power? As the proprietor often says, I think there’s a play being run on all of us. This whole thing smells like Danzig in the late 30s.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy

Jimmy, We aren’t obligated to protect the Ukraine. We would be if they were in NATO, but they aren’t. In the Budapest Memorandum we promised to not violate their territorial integrity. Russia promised the same. Russia broke their promise, that doesn’t obligate us to respond, though we are allowed to. (I don’t think we should, and I give credit to Biden for clearly stating prior to the invasion that the US would not conduct combat operations against Russia.) The Ukraine has a complicated ethnic history and you are going to get the wrong idea if you are reading Russian propaganda.… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago

Refute it or be silent.”

Your demand is for someone to spend at least a full day’s work researching a random article you linked in order to gain permission to speak.

Do I have to explain how that’s an unreasonable demand on a casual message board?

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Perhaps you could educate us regarding the treaties that we have broken with Russia?”

Maybe not a treaty, but Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” was one of many assurances we gave to Gorbachev and others in the early 90s regarding NATO’s expansion. Now look at the nations our Senate admitted by treaty in 2004. I guess one can excuse this with “politicians always lie” or something, but we clearly and repeatedly said something and went back on our word.
NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard | National Security Archive (gwu.edu)

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Cherrera, That is a great source for the 1990-1991 atmosphere, and Bakers comments are the best arguments I know of for a broken agreement. But I think it is weak as a casus belli. During negotiations over the reunification of east and west Germany Baker told Gorbechev that NATO wasn’t planning to move eastward (toward Soviet borders – remember, this was a completely different world). But those negotiations went on for months and ended with a multi-lateral treaty (between the four powers, as they were called, and Germany) and it didn’t include any requirements regarding NATO expansion. I don’t think… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Do you include Russia among those Eastern European countries. that may reasonably pursue their interests? Actually, l do have a problem, when their pursuit of interests is inimical to my country’s wellbeing. I don’t blame them, but I have a problem with it. Of course one consequence of this war will be the exact opposite of Putin’s goal – NATO will be strengthened. That is to America’s detriment as well as Russia’s. Certainly many will view the invasion as vindication of NATO expansion. I recognize it as demonstration of the folly of a perpetuated and expanded NATO from America’s perspective,… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, I certainly don’t have a problem with Russia pursuing its interests, in the abstract. That doesn’t mean that I approve of any given action that they may take! Your more careful taxonomy of not blaming them but having a problem with it is apt, but in the case of something like the Baltics joining NATO I don’t have enough knowledge to know whether it is good or bad for the US’s interests in the long term. I am inclined to believe that NATO has outlived its usefulness and thay a two tiered European defense treaty with the Baltic states,… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Do you include Russia among those Eastern European countries?

Actually, I kind of do have a problem with countries pursuing their interests when that pursuit is inimical to my country’s wellbeing. I don

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

All of that is a great argument for following Washington/Jefferson’s advice against permanent/entangling alliances. You end up in a huge mess. Another way to frame this: what if Mexico had a color revolution with clear Russian backing 7 years ago, and had biolabs (yet another “crazy conspiracy theory” that wasn’t) not far away from the U.S. What if their leadership was now clearly pro-Russian? Would we take action? Look what we did halfway around the world over alleged WMDs.

Goodeguy
Goodeguy
5 months ago

In regards to RK’s question above, the FightLaughFeast Network has an online class later this month on precisely the topic of starting a Classical Christian School. See below:
https://flfnetwork.com/flf-edu/

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

RK, Canon Press has several books that would help you. Tom Garfield wrote a history of Logos school, which is where Doug got his practical education in running a Christian school. Larry Stephenson wrote a teacher’s manual about running a Christian school.

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago

The more common gray divorce scenario is that after 25 years of seemingly successful marriage a woman dumps her husband for any reason that occurs to her, or for no reason at all since the law doesn’t require one.

In that case, is there any difference in what you think anyone’s response should be?

The real John M
The real John M
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

This is very true. I know of several men this has happened to.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Yep, and you often don’t hear the whole story behind those “he left his wife for a younger/hotter babe” situations. Sometimes it’s been 20 years of a low/no sex marriage and endless nagging. I’m not saying that’s the correct solution, but there’s always another side.

AA
AA
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Both scenarios are sin and I think that if in either scenario the one doing the dumping is a professing Christian both ought to be subject to the same discipline. I don’t agree with the attitude taken in the previous response that “I’m not saying it’s the correct solution” is somehow an comparison that excuses the sin of a man doing something sinful because “there’s always another side”. It takes the focus off the particular sin of the man in the particular scenario in question. The attitude and general nature of both responses seem to dismiss the obvious sinfulness of… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

I don’t think the responses dismiss anything. I know my comment doesn’t. The subject addressed was gray divorce. The scenario chosen for example was a woman divorced by her husband for a younger woman, as if that were the common case when middle aged people divorce. It happens, but since it is a known that two-thirds of divorces are initiated by wives, and on top of that adultery is not the rationale most often cited, it obviously cannot be the common case. Since the subject is, the problem of gray divorce and what the church should do, why pose the… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Our culture has, and long has had, a rampant divorce problem, and it’s only a little, if at all, less common within the church than outside the church.  Perhaps it might be wise to get to the source of the problem, what exactly is marriage under the new covenant. The evangelical position when defining what they think doesn’t apply to gays is that ‘marriage is between a man and a woman for life’. Matt 19 etc. and is correct, going back to original intention for marriage from the beginning. Jesus told his followers not to get divorced, and this is… Read more »

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

If Desmond Tutu — a useless human being who did nothing to get his own house (that would be the hellhole known as South Africa) in order — is the best you can dredge up to fling criticism at evangelicals, then maybe it’s time you reevaluated your phobia of that group. Desmond Tutu wasn’t fit to tie the average evangelical’s shoelaces. God permits divorce in certain, limited circumstances because men’s hearts are hard. God never permits abortion (the functional equivalent of sacrificing children to Molech) or homosexuality under any circumstance. So no, it’s not a criticism well made. It’s a… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago

I have rarely seen anyone so spectacularly miss the point. Jesus didn’t directly address either abortion or homosexuality. He did say a lot about marriage and divorce (and remarriage). Regardless of who points it out it is not in order to condemn the evils of the former whilst being disobedient regarding the latter. At least not if you want to be taken seriously. I am only echoing Rom 2: you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? … Read more »

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

Ken B, you are a funny guy. Misinformed, with the occasional totalitarian streak, but funny. God addressed abortion and homosexuality directly. Jesus is God. Therefore, Jesus directly addressed abortion and homosexuality. Hey, speaking of which, how do suppose it went for Communist apparatchik Desmond Tutu when he had to give an account to Jesus — you know, the Supreme Judge of the universe who directly condemned homosexuality and abortion — for selling his soul to shill for these aforementioned sins that Jesus directly condemned? Look, I get it: You hate evangelicals. We all have our bugaboos. But could you keep… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago

Look, I get it: You hate evangelicals.  I don’t think discernment is your strong suit. By your reasoning when the apostle Paul criticised the Jews for having the law and claiming to teach it but didn’t keep it in their own lives he was ‘hating’ them. I’m only following Paul’s line of thought: if you want to oppose gay marriage on the grounds that it is between a man and a woman for life i.e. permanent, indissoluble, if you want to have any credibility when arguing for that you cannot then turn a blind eye to large numbers of believers… Read more »

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

I don’t think first principles is your strong suit. Just like four-sided triangles and one-ended sticks, so-called “gay marriage” ain’t a thing, no matter how hard a delusional people try to pretend otherwise. God created the institution of marriage. He and He alone gets to decide what it is, and isn’t. Not a bunch of screaming, petulant narcissists. That people sometimes don’t live up to the standard is a terrible argument for destroying it. In the same vein, if you don’t want to be accused of hating evangelicals, then quit with the gratuitous smears. A divorced Christian — even a… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago

This is going round in circles somewhat. Let me give you an example of what I am getting at. I have been arguing against the whole woke CRT LGBT agenda on a sports forum I frequent for years in the news and current affairs section. Reasoned biblical argument against such stuff. I was a while back going to take on – yet again – the transgender agenda and its abusive, destructive nature, but had to admit that if I did so anyone with any knowledge of the amount of abuse in the professing church both Catholic and Protestant would simply… Read more »

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

Ken B: “Hundreds of thousands of abuse cases mean you have lost the right to criticise.”

Codswallop. No wonder evil is winning the day; you’d rather assemble a circular firing squad than face a flaccid army of emasculated deviants, poofters, groomers, perverts, and drug-addled asylum inmates.

Ken B: “On this particular occasion I just wasn’t prepared to take the flak…”

They have no argument, and they know it. If only you knew it, too.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I’m not sure where the “hundreds of thousands” number comes from. There tends to be a lot of questionable extrapolations and accusations when it comes to subjects like this. At the least, you’d have to go back decades to get a number like that. Contrast that to cases like this, which may involve hundreds of thousands of youth (not necessarily sex changes, but those drawn into LGBTQ+ due to all the hype) in just a few years. This Diabolical Moment – The American Conservative It’s especially bad how they go after kids who don’t fit in with their peers….then suddenly… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Cherrara – I’m talking about the Catholic abuse cases in America, Ireland and German-speaking Europe, and off the top of my head over the last 6 decades or so the numbers do head up into 2 or 3 hundreds of thousands. You then have to add in the protestant figures, so sadly I don’t think I am exaggerating. A Catholic cardinal in the States wrote a report citing that 6% of Catholic clergy had been found guilty of abuse – which means 19 out of 20 hadn’t. 81% of it was gay priests preying on young boys, a fact you… Read more »

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

“Jesus didn’t directly address either abortion or homosexuality.” God called homosexuality an abomination and it’s thoroughly condemned in the OT and NT. While there’s strong anti-divorce language from Jesus and places like Malachi 2:16, there are clearly some Biblical grounds for it. How much latitude we have in determining them (e.g., does “abandonment” only mean literally leaving someone?) is another question. With sodomy, there’s no excuse, ever…despite what Revoice types say about celibate, same-sex attracted “couples” being able to hold hands or cuddle. Revoice Is Over and I Have Much Greater Concerns Than Before – The Aquila Report Jesus didn’t… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

While there’s strong anti-divorce language from Jesus … Perhaps I should have made it clear I am talking about the teaching of Jesus in the four gospels and beginning of Revelation. You will find plenty on marriage, but no direct reference to either abortion or homosexuality. You won’t find him using obvious synonyms of these words. If you do a bible study on the subjects you won’t be able to use the gospels, certainly not the way you can for marriage. The church can be very quick and loud to condemn the evils of abortion and homosexuality which are by and… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

“The church can be very quick and loud to condemn the evils of abortion and homosexuality which are by and large sins committed outside the church” Actually, there’s a LOT of homosexuality in the mainline denominations. And “same sex attraction” (while supposedly remaining celibate) has gained quite a bit of traction in conservative circles due to the likes of Revoice and Sam Allberry. If we can learn anything from denominations like the RCA (Reformed denomination somewhere between conservative and mainline), playing around with these issues doesn’t end well. I expect there are a lot more abortions in the church than… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

There may well be a lot of homosexuality in the mainline denominations, but to echo Tozer such institutions as embrace this are no more ‘churches’ than 11 dead men make a football team. We all know the saints on earth are not sinlessly perfect, but if they practice gross sin and religious error on an ongoing basis then they can hardly count as being ‘saints’. It is not just practicing homosexuality is a mark of idolatrous paganism, not practicing but approving of it is virtually the same, and therefore a mark of apostasy: Though they know God’s decree that those… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Also, this puts the number of Catholic abuse cases in some perspective.
Catholic child abuse in proportion | Andrew Brown | The Guardian

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I pretty much agree, except remember, we should concede nothing to whataboutism. Perversion and murder remain just that regardless of who else is doing what, and we can say so.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

I clearly said it’s not the correct solution so there’s no need to impugn my “attitude.” So if a man is in a long-term sexless marriage with a constantly nagging wife, should she be the one disciplined? I know of several such cases where husbands unfortunately turned to other things (porn, other women, etc.). This wasn’t the correct course of action, though I seriously doubt the churches they attended would discipline the wife (possibly leading to grounds for divorce if she didn’t repent).

AA
AA
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Yes, she should be disciplined. But this conversation just seems to be a lot of finger pointing at the more “common problem” that seems to suggest that women are at large the cause of divorce and therefore the church involvement and discipline needs to be focused on where the wives are going wrong instead of focusing on the fact that there can be, and many times are, multiple issues of sin at play with both man and woman in the demise of a marriage and one party’s sin doesn’t give credence to another’s. If you apply the same logical argument… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

Maybe we just need a lot more discipline, along with many more monasteries and nunneries! You continue to go with “attitudes” you assume and where it “seems” people are going. Quite the mind reader, aren’t you?

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

I’m very much of the NATO shouldn’t exist and is antagonistic to Russia opinion. However, at the end of the day it remains that Russia invaded Ukraine because Putin chose to invade Ukraine and if he hadn’t made that choice there wouldn’t be a war. I’m not changing the subject here.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Sounds like Biden playing his 3-dementia chess.

Nope
Nope
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

Talk of church discipline in a modern Protestant/evangelical context seems almost laughable to me, especially since anyone can just go down the street to the next church of a similar flavor and be welcomed with open arms, no questions asked. In fact, the new place will probably tell you how nasty and unloving the last lot was to you. And if you run out of options, one can always just start his/her own church. Discipline is only possible in an actual community where it costs something to enter and leave. This just isn’t the case in the bulk of the… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago
Reply to  Nope

It reminds me of a friend whose wife cheated on him. They were struggling financially after he lost his job. She started doing some part time work and it became part time+ for one client. She managed to pin all the blame on her husband and got all kinds of support from her gal friends on social media. He had “emotionally abused” her or something, even though her kids and immediate family sided with her husband. He faced it alone and with almost no support, save a few conversations with me and other guys. They went to a megachurch which… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
5 months ago
Reply to  AA

I can appreciate your intent AA, but you are so deep into speculative abstractions of generalizations that you just aren’t saying *anything* anymore.

You’re concerned about the perceived level of discipline and blame that’s being dolled out based on a perceived ratio of responsibility in all divorces, everywhere. You’re about 6 layers deep in imagining how people are imagining situations.

Precisely how much blame do you suppose Cherrera is attributing to men? 7? Is it 7 standardized blame units (SBUs)? Personally, I think men deserve 9 SBUs, but for very different reasons.

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

… but there’s always another side. In my opinion I doubt if only one side is ever wholly responsible if a marriage breaks up. It might be primarily due to one side, but I reckon there will always be contributory factors from the ‘innocent’ party as well. I got into trouble on a ‘survivor’ blog commenting like this – ‘you are blaming the victim’. Even ‘victims’ in these circumstances need to examine their own conduct to see if they have sinful co-responsibility for what has gone wrong. Because one party is not keeping to their vows does not justify the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

JohnM, Divorce seems to be really complicated. I completely agree that more people should know that women are far more likely to initiate divorce than men. They are also far more likely to rate their marriage poorly, indicate marital dissatisfaction, have a low view of their spouse, etc. Women are also far less happy than men in general in America today. Something like 40% of white women over 40 are long term antidepressant users (by far the highest use group). Things have gone very wrong. That said, i don’t think we should remove infidelity from this discussion. It is hard… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

This is an issue on which I don’t feel I have a good grasp of where the culture is. What is the extent to which adultery is still stigmatized (not in the church, but in the broader culture)? If it becomes known, for example, that two co-workers are having an adulterous affair, what is the extent to which their reputations actually still suffer? Does anyone still care? My perception is that people still pay lip service to marital fidelity but it’s not something most people really care that much about any more. However, as I said above, I’m not sure… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Divorce seems to be really complicated but for Christians at least the simple part is, we’re told not to but some do anyway, because they want to. As we both acknowledge, more often than not the some are women. “It’s complicated” should not be our starting point. We should not remove infidelity from the discussion when the subject is infidelity, However, the subject is the phenomenon of gray divorce, and how the church should respond. Infidelity certainly sometimes is a cause, but we should not mention that without acknowledging infidelity is not the typical cause and is not the core… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

John, I don’t think you should be so quick to sideline infidelity here. The peak infidelity years for men seem to be ages 40-60 (notably when they are most attractive relative to their wives). Given that in almost 90% of divorces at least one party states that infidelity was a contributing factor, it is hard to imagine that infidelity doesn’t play a role in a great many, if not most, of these divorces. On the relative rates of infidelity IFS research indicates that up through the 90s men were about twice as like to commit adultery (prostitution plays a role… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I’m convinced infidelity is not qualified to be the starting quarterback in this discussion. I don’t know where you got the 90% statistic; not knowing I won’t dismiss it out of hand, but it is very different than anything I’ve ever read on the subject. For what it’s worth, it’s also different than what I’ve heard from people involved. What I’ve read and heard makes me not believe it. I have read that when middle aged men are the ones who initiate divorce they are more likely than middle aged women are to do it for the sake of another… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

John, Good thoughts, I’ll respond to a few things. 1. The 88.8% figure was included in the link in my first post. That was the percent of divorces where at least one partner listed infidelity as a factor (not as the primary cause). Infidelity is a bit more slippery than adultery and even adultery is somewhat interpreble. 2. I agree with you that we should be suspect about the “attractiveness curve” that gets so much attention on the “manosphere” side of things. However, it is also pretty obvious from basic evo-psych and from observing relationships across cultures that men are… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

The church needs to focus on the church. That is where lies such hope as there is the near term. Should be our focus anyway. Miserable women and divorce are two different but related problems the church needs to recognize. The first calls for gaining an understanding of who and why, for a start. The hope is for the church to help women with the transformation by renewing the mind of which Paul speaks. The second calls for emphasizing what we already know to be the truth, as sternly as our people make necessary, and then some degree of “sanctioning”… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

For the record, for many years I have been blessed to be part of communities where the majority of marriages are (relatively at least) happy and healthy. I think much of it has to do with strong norms toward taking care of the house and childrearing, both of which I think help women flourish. But it certainly doesn’t remove the all of the cultural headwinds.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
5 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

BTW, John. I haven’t done much digging, but the Austin Institute – which Mark Regneres (friend of the blog) works with, finds that infidelity is the most common reason given for divorce. But they have it at about 35% (as opposed to 60 something for that NIH study – 88% was at least one spouse listing it). Just another data point.

David J.
David J.
5 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Demos: You misspelled 12%.

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

Women in combat is bad, but so is children in combat. America has been sending children in combat for so long, nobody even notices. The Bible is quite clear that minimum military age is twenty, not eighteen, not seventeen with parental consent, not twenty-one. Twenty. Twenty was the cutoff age for those who entered the Holy Land. Every reference to adult men in the OT is twenty. We have been formally sending children into combat since WW2, As a result, foster kids are thrown out of juvenile protection while still in high school. Most wind up dropping out because they have… Read more »

Jonathan (The Conservative One)
Jonathan (The Conservative One)
5 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

This is so true. I think the Bible is abundantly clear about this, and I absolutely think the minimum age for service must be twenty.

Abuny
Abuny
5 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

I appreciated your comment. It goes to show how far we are from having our base assumptions of “normal” led by scripture.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

Nice response here to Peppermint Psaki’s “There are 9,000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently” line. This is probably the biggest elephant in the room right now, as soaring energy prices are basically a huge tax and affect the prices of so many other things. A global energy/inflation crisis could lead to all sorts of hard-to-imagine outcomes and events. It started well before Russia-Ukraine, which certainly exacerbated it. And no, it’s not just bad luck or a few bad policies. Occam’s razor leads to the conclusion that elites want power and control over a poor,… Read more »