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Naughty Boy

In your most recent blog post, which was phenomenal by the way, I found myself somewhat confused towards the end. You wrote, “The lines between these groups are not watertight, and some people float between them. Some folks are doctrinally in the second group, but for various reasons make forays or sorties into the world of the third group, like John Piper on life issues, or John MacArthur on religious liberty issues. And Al Mohler teaches from the vantage of the third group, but whoever holds sway over hiring and firing at the seminary is in thrall to the first group.” What exactly do you mean by “first”, “second”, and “third” groups? And what is the shortcoming of MacArthur on religious liberty? I love your writing style, but sometimes I am not clever enough to figure out exactly what you mean in some places.

Thanks for your time,

LM

LM, sorry for the confusion. I meant the three categories of religion I began with—power, escape, and dominion. So Piper and MacArthur have a default setting for the escape tradition (second), but Piper is great on life (third) and MacArthur is great on religious liberty (third). And Mohler teaches (and, I believe, believes) in line with the third group, but it would be hard to gather that from some of the hires at the seminary.

I’d be interested to hear you elaborate on the dominion category. Specifically, I’m curious to know to what degree you see direct political engagement (i. e. voting and voicing specific views on policies and candidates) as a necessary part of being “of the dominion mindset.”

It seems to me that the Tim Kellers among us are perhaps striving to live under no less a light than that of C. S. Lewis (though not nearly as good at it, but who is?) Based on what else I’ve read from you, I am probably misunderstanding you, but sometimes it seems like you are exhorting people to be less like Lewis and more like Tucker Carlson. Much as Lewis wanted to present the truths of the gospel stripped of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, the Tim Kellers see in modern U.S. political conservatism simply another obscuring artifice.

To be clear modern U.S. political progressivism wouldn’t at all be better. I’m naming conservative associations as the ones that need stripping away simply because they are the ones that are most strongly tied to Christianity in our present context.

You might counter that Lewis did engage in political commentary, and I’m not disagreeing. I’m being careful to make my comments here about the way that he engaged. He was no escapist, that I’m sure we agree on. But in a very personal way, I’m extraordinarily grateful that Lewis did not devote significant chunks of his time writing political commentary about PM candidates and acts of Parliament. I would hardly have been interested in reading such, and what he did write was extremely formative in the earliest days of my faith.

Even with all of that said, I don’t mean to sound like this is, for me, all about the precedent of Lewis. There are scriptural exhortations that provide a strong basis for viewing our witness to the gospel in this way. It’s part of the very fabric of Peter’s 1st epistle, for example. I mean, sheesh, he advises obedience to persecuting tyrants and cruel slave masters, and he appeals to the obedient suffering of Christ as the basis for his argument.

I do understand that people on all sides of this topic do see context as relevant. Different political systems come with different duties and obligations of a citizen. I, for example, certainly wouldn’t want to argue that abolitionists or civil rights leaders were in the wrong (though I do believe that some of them pursued their objectives in a godly way and some did not). I am only arguing that the people who pursue winsomeness have scriptural justification for doing so, as well as the legacy of Lewis to demonstrate its potential for effectiveness. And I know, I know, Lewis had his fair share of detractors, and he did not shy away from telling the truth to appease them. But hopefully my point is becoming clear that irrespective of many of the particulars of application, I find there doesn’t seem to be room in your teachings for the spirit of 1 Peter and for the striving to apply those principles in a way similar to how Lewis did.

Ken

Ken, I certainly don’t believe that everyone must be combative, or that everyone must drop everything and devote themselves to one cause only. And I also believe that winsomeness actually is a Christian duty. I agree with you also that Lewis, by staying in his lane, did far more long term good than he would have done otherwise. That said, I would only say that our scales of evaluation are way off. We live in a generation that has thrown millions of babies into the fiery lap of Molech, and yet we have a tendency to think that we have the ability to tell the difference between the prophet Amos and Tucker Carlson.

Hey Dougie,

You post titled, “The Naughty Boy of Evangelicalism,” should really have been titled, “Monitor Your Poo.”

Also, you were having way too much fun!!

Jon

Jon, well, not way too much.

Donations to Ukraine?

When you go to the JEEP website to donate, by the “donate” button it says:

“Covenant Bible Church in Alaska is presently handling all JEEP donations. Please add a note designating your gift ‘Ukraine Relief.’”

But when you click on the “donate” button the drop-down box only has a selection for “JEEP” and no way to designate “Ukraine Relief”

I clicked over there fully intending to donate, but that discrepancy threw me off

Would you please check with your contacts and as them to clarify/fix their website?

Thank you,

Robert

Robert, I checked with them, and the options come up when you get to the PayPal page or to the credit card page. And they are working on the initial confusing signage.

Am I Finally Coming Around?

Your comment about how corrupt our nation is makes me want to respond like John McClane: “Welcome to the party, pal”. I was actually quite surprised by your comments given the fact that it was barely over a year ago you were bemoaning that they stole our repentance in stealing the election. You are now finally realizing the totality of the corruption of not only our institutions but also the people who elected the representatives that administer those institutions.

John

John, thanks for the good-natured poke, but I would still want to respond with a “hey!” and an observation that I have actually been at this particular party from the time it started. I have been bemoaning the corruption of everything, our electorate included, for decades. And the election was stolen by the evil party from the stupid party, and the supporters of the stupid party allowed it.

Where’d My Plodcast Go?

First, I’d like to let you know that I love your insight and enjoy listing to your plodcast. The reason for my note is that I listen to the plodcast while at work. I am a graphic designer and spend all of my days/evenings sitting at my computer. It is a highlight for me to be able to hear it. It isn’t possible for me to read while designing, so the audio is important to me. There haven’t been any posted since the beginning of February and I just wanted you to know that there are fans out there waiting for the next upload.

Thanks for everything,

Kathryn

Kathryn, I would go back and double check. The Plodcast has been releasing on schedule, and is currently available on Canon+ for free, and on Apple, Spotify, etc

Infant Baptism

On the last page of To A Thousand Generations, you reiterate a point made previously in the book about New Testament Christian Jews continuing to circumcise their children as evidence of their inclusion as members in the New Testament church. When were these children then baptized? Since the sign of the covenant transferred from circumcision to baptism, it makes sense that circumcised Jews were being baptized into the new sign, but how did they apply the signs going forward? It seems it would be made sense to forego circumcision in favor of baptism or circumcised and baptized their infants, but we don’t have anecdotal evidence of baptism now being applied through we do have it for continued circumcision. In short, when do you think these circumcised children of baptized believing Jews were being baptized? And what, if any verses, would you point to for support? Thanks for your time. Working through it.

THVV

THVV, yes, I believe that Jewish parents in the first century circumcised their boys, and Gentiles parents baptized their children. But in order to establish sacramental unity, the Jewish parents would have needed to baptize their children also, so that the children of the covenant, Jew and Gentile both, would have that as their point of sacramental unity.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27–29).

Leaving California

This post is addressing the “Should I Leave California?” Ask Doug video. I have a good paying, solid job in California. So far I have been able to avoid the mandates, however that could change if the bills that are being put through pass. But even if they don’t pass I would like to leave for my children. The opportunities provided for them in the future are lessening. My kids go to a private school, but even with that I feel the climate we live in is influencing my children. I don’t think I can protect them through private school only. Is it unwise to leave a good job for that?

Amy

Amy, if you don’t think you can fully protect your children from the cultural smog that surrounds them there, then I would be praying for an opportunity to leave. There are good jobs elsewhere, but even if there weren’t “what does it profit a man . . .”

Personal Advice

I’m an avid consumer of your content. Usually I consume the material with a quiet online presence, but I felt the need to ask you for guidance.

I am a member of an OPC church and my situation is quite complicated, so I will tailor it to be short and sweet for you.

I am starting to realize that the man I married is not the “head” of our household, despite my wishes. He is not proactive and does not think ahead to the future by any means. We have a 3 month old son together and I feel like our son may not grow up with a strong father figure. I feel as if my role as a mother and wife are being hurt by my additional role of playing the head of the household- the position my husband needs to take. I have tried many a time to relinquish this role to him, but it just gets left unoccupied like a boat with no captain. Please lend me biblical advice, even with the small amount of information provided.

Kathryn

Kathryn, I am sorry that any help I offer here will likely be pretty lame at such a distance. I would say two things. First, continue your attempts to relinquish everything you can, and if the boat drifts rudderless, let it. And second, ask your husband if you can seek out pastoral counsel for your marriage together. If he says, “Why, are things that bad?” you can reply, “No, but I can see how they might get there. Let’s head that off.”

Diabolical Disney

A lot of my children’s friends are talking about Disney movies they are watching like Encanto and Turning Red. I am concerned because they look like Witchcraft 101 and it makes the occult and demonic powers look really good. How should I respond?

A Concerned Mom

Concerned Mom, see below.

My wife and I have a difficult time discerning between which Disney movies and shows are appropriate and the ones which are not, for our four-year-old. Up to bat is “Turning Red” on Disney + which I’m sure you will eventually get to breaking down. However, even I noticed on Chip and Potato the flamboyance of pride flags and pride pins on all the kids shirts leads me to believe the tech giants obligation to confuse little eyes and ears. Please touch on the movie “Turning Red” and help me understand when to stay in Helicopter dad mode and when to sit tight and watch. We appreciate you, Doug.

Lee

Lee, the people running Disney have an evil agenda, and I actually think the burden of proof by this point should be the other way around. You don’t watch Disney movies unless it is getting rave reviews from at least 17 theologians you trust.

Dawson Has Companions

Dear Dawson, Lack of Communication is Key.

Hey Doug, I’ve been binging your blog posts and videos since I first stumbled upon a Dear Dawson video on YouTube. It’s been a wild ride the last few weeks. I’ve had to “deconstruct” the servant-leadership garbage that I was fed from Big Eva, and I’m trying to switch gears back into practicing the kind of masculinity that was basically beat out of me by the church.

My question to you is, regarding the lack of communication in the initial stages of dating and getting to know a girl, is this something that we have to practice for the rest of our lives? Or, do we begin sharing the intimate parts of our lives as we progress into courtship, engagement, and finally marriage? Likewise, what would the correct response be to a girl who’s intentionally trying to get a guy to share too much.

I’ve been struggling with understanding the full implications of this, and was hoping to get some clarity.

Dawson’s brother, Dennis

Dennis, if a girl is trying to get you to overshare, don’t. And of course, a wife is going to know her husband more intimately than anyone else does, but it will always be important for a husband to avoid oversharing. At no stage should you ever turn into your wife’s girlfriend.

Some Gender Vocation Stuff

My girlfriend and I have seriously dated for a long time and the next step is marriage. I’m starting to look at engagement rings, have been praying about our future, and we have had many frank conversations about getting married. She is just wonderful. She loves the Lord; she loves me; she is loved by my family and friends. She has supported me through some very dark times. There are so many green lights! But I’m concerned particularly about her career. She is a physician who specializes in critically ill children—and she’s very good at it. I love all the things about her that her career choice entails: her work ethic, her intellect, her drive, her service to the community.

However, if we have children I fear that her job and its often demanding schedule will take preference and the home will be neglected. She intends to continue working after having kids. I would want her pouring her best energy into raising children and making a home, at least while the children were very young. I think she ultimately would be more fulfilled at home. But she has spent her whole adult life becoming a physician. I dare not say that was for nothing. How do I wisely and lovingly navigate this issue, especially in a pre-marriage relationship? Is it wise to pursue marriage with a Christian woman who strongly intends to be a working mother?

Mitch

Mitch, I would simply ask if she knows what you think about it. Have you had that talk yet? This is absolutely something you should come to an agreement on beforehand. There is no problem with her continuing as a physician, but there will be a problem if she does it the same way all the other women in med school will be doing it. You need to know what her thinking is about how her approach will be different, both with regard to the kids, and with regard to your concerns. And you need to not be the wrong kind of uptight about it.

Is it ever permissible for an unmarried woman to leave her parents’ home? If so, what are the circumstances? Related to this, if parents force their adult female children to stay at home, can they require them to pay rent? This seems like building the Berlin wall and then taxing those who can’t escape. Just my thoughts.

I really am asking for a friend, :-)

God bless.

Pieter

Pieter, a lot depends upon age and circumstance, but what you describe seems messed up to me.

Liberty and Lockdowns

Re: Liberty or Lockdowns

For the past 20-25 years, I would have been inclined in the past to appeal to the Constitution when fighting the diktats of the various would-be tyrants who would boss men around with no colorable pretext to do so written into the Constitution.

This would be a fine approach if we lived in a country that appreciated such things as the limitation of government by enumerated powers. We don’t live in that country, even amongst our presumed “allies” in circles that call themselves “conservative.” THAT word has been so watered down I wonder if it has any meaning at all anymore.

After all, if the President ordered everyone to wear blue jeans, the onus should be on him to show where he has the authority to make such an order, and to make the moral case for why everyone should be bound to obey it. This is such a simple and straightforward idea that I have difficulty comprehending how it can be controversial.

But we do not live in that country. At the risk of oversimplifying, I believe the main reason we do not live in that country is because culturally we have supplanted the worship of God with the worship of other things—primarily (and in no particular order) power, prosperity, and personal amusement. We are precipitously straddling Orwell’s and Huxley’s dystopias, and we’re generally fine with it as long as no one or nothing makes us too uncomfortable, whatever secular standard is used to define “comfort.”

I have no qualms against opposing decrees from any branch of government, at any level of government, on the Constitutional grounds based on the doctrine of limited government through enumerated powers, though I don’t quite know how to deal with the expense of litigation that comes along with such opposition.

Plus, the courts are not on our side, and they haven’t been for quite some time, so although I’m not willing to cede the battlefield, we need to be choosy about the time and place to fight the battle, else we all separately go to our jail cell or bankruptcy court. Yes, we’re not slaves (as you said), but consistent application of that principle leads to justification to refuse a lot of things. How do you know the blue jeans mandate is the one to oppose, and would you set a threshold of support before engineering the opposition?

Cam

Cam, when resisting unconstitutional mandates, we live in a target-rich environment. You are right that we have to pick one, and we need to pray for leaders who can identify points of resistance that have the capacity to garner widespread support. The vaccine mandates were a good point of resistance, while fighting motorcycle helmet laws wouldn’t be.

Conscription

Someone that I know may or may not have a son who may or may not turn 18 this week. That person had never questioned conscription until your Feb. 28 post. She looked up the rules on the gov website and found that transgender people must register if they were born male, but not if they were born female. In the spirit of subterfuge in the culture wars, any thoughts on how that foolish ungodly insanity could be used as a means to avoid filling out any papers?

Alison

Alison, I think this could be used, but carefully. I just wouldn’t register, and if the government contacts you about it, just respond with questions. “Why are you in the government making gender assumptions?”

A Postmill Amen

I’m heartened, as always, by your biblical, Jesus-has-triumphed-and-reigns optimism, Doug. It sounds simplistic to many but after a lifetime of reading the Bible between nightly naps, it’s clear to me that it’s an unavoidable and glorious conclusion. I’m mystified that Christ-followers can be so resistant to the notion. You wrote: “The future of America is Christian. We can say this in all confidence because the future of the world is Christian, and there is not a blessed thing that Klaus Schwab can do about it.”

Amen and hallelujah. Keep stating the obvious.

May God grant us (His church) the audacity to believe that He’s able to do such grand things in spite of the observable fact that we circle the toilet bowl drain even now . . . and may He use the experience to grant us humble repentance and dependence on Him. Then we’ll see clearly to trust that He will use us to make the most of the flush.

Carey

Carey, thanks, and amen.

Some Ukrainage Pushback

While I disapprove of the invasion from what I can see of it, and certainly don’t approve of targeting civilians, I think there are sometimes when it is best to stay neutral and pray for peace and the best for both sides than to side with one of two immoral parties, and I feel like this may be one of them. I wish I could cheer for the Ukrainians, but in the long run, I fear that their president may be no better for them than Putin, or, what seems more likely, a pro-Putin puppet. Zelensky is not only a clear non-Christian, he supports free abortion and the legalization of prostitution, and is, to my understanding, very pro-LGBT as Eastern European rulers go. Most of his films, at least the ones Wikipedia mentioned, appear to be very raunchy and of a highly suspect morality, and his being very pro-choice is particularly serious given Ukraine’s abysmal birthrate (which fell after the ousting of the pro-Russian president of Ukraine in 2014). Putin, for all his crimes (not unusual for great rulers of the distant past, such as Constantine, Clovis, Charlemagne, and Justinian), and the fact that he is probably but a nominal Christian, is pro-life, has stood firm against LGBT propaganda, and has raised the birth rate of Russia, and dramatically brought down the deplorable abortion rate of the Soviet era. He has also done much to restore the Christian heritage of Russia, though it is a different form of Christianity than what I would prefer. This is not a call for “Our Putin, right or wrong”, but a suggestion that, rather than cheering for one side or the other, we can pray for a quick and lasting peace, the best for the Ukrainian people, and the salvation of both Putin and Zelensky, and, if possible, find ways to help the refugees. I also fear that a decisive victory by Zelensky would bring about a resurgence of social liberalism in Europe, where it is on the wane. As a non-dispensational ag-millennialist, I would hate to find out, after cheering for Ukraine, that I’d supported Carthage against Rome, or Diocletian against Constantine, and thus cheered for something that prevented the rule of Christianity in Europe from taking place in my lifetime.

James

James, all reasonable points, but also I think, beside the point. If we were invaded in a comparable way, we Christians would fight, but we wouldn’t be defending all our varied cultural atrocities.

Re; “ A Few More Random Observations About Ukraine” and all of your recent posts regarding the conflict. One of the things readers such as myself admire about your posts is the classical rhetorical style you use, in which you do your darndest to anticipate potential arguments regarding the topic at hand and respond accordingly; IOW you usually do a good job anticipating our potential questions/objections/arguments/etc.

However, regarding this current European conflict, at the risk of instigating you to put your guard up, it seems you’ve not properly anticipated the core of your audience and what we are thinking regarding the Ukraine matter, and maybe you momentarily forgot who we are.

Sure, some of your audience are the occasional Karen’s who falsely accuse you of supporting rape and all that rubbish, but did you forgot the type of Reformed men we are that read your blog?

We’re the dudes who spend the wee hours of the night (after we worked 8 hours at the office for our day job) annotating every page of Aquinas’ larger Summa during the week, and spend the weekends pouring over every book Karl Barth (cuz we want to argue with him) and Eric Voegelin wrote just cuz our Institutes are so worn out the pages are starting to rip and we’re waiting for new copies to show up in the mail. And then we smoke cigars with our compatriots from our local church while arguing political philosophy in our studies while our wives visit in the kitchen with each other discussing the virtues of Elizabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael . . . and I’m not even exaggerating!

Doug, I went back to school in my thirties just to get a masters in political philosophy so i could speak at secular college conferences and defend the faith against godless communists and godless neocons. In the Reformed (Presbyterian and Anglican) communities I’ve been in for more than 30 years (I’m 45), I’m not the exception . . . I’m more or less the average Joe.

So respectfully, I’ve debated from the college podiums the (sic) great political minds they threw at me, from universities in San Francisco, to D.C. to Toronto, and all across the blessed North American territories and I can say with a degree of experience that the men who’ve been writing to you lately (and who you slightly agree, slightly disagree) are far more experts on this war in the Ukraine , than any “experts” that are currently employed by the western powers and governments who rule over us.

If you’ll be fair, you stepped in the cow pie when you tossed the word “expert” out into the fray . . . t got my eye twitching.

Neil Postman wrote all those years ago, that the great failure of western governments is that they don’t employ theologians and ministers as advisors (alongside generals, etc.) . They rely solely on only one kind of “expert”.

Doug, I’ve read nearly every post you’ve written recently, and I appreciate the candor and politeness you’ve demonstrated in responding to the commenters who’ve disagreed with your posts. Perhaps a couple of them prolly shouldn’t have dropped the “necon” badge your way. (When my brothers and I are drinking beer and smoking cigars together in our studies, we accuse each other of being “neocons” and then slap each other across the back afterwards in love. When it’s done in a comment via the internet, it tends to not look quite as loving.

Suffice to say, I’m not adding more fuel to the particulars of the debate on the war, I could do that, but it’s not as interesting as to just help gently nudge you toward the recognition that to even reference “experts” as you did, is the type of positivism that Eric Voegelin and Francis Schaeffer and a whole host of others warned us about.

Do I think you’re leaning a bit too far the wrong way on the Ukraine subject, yes, but I’m sure sometime soon you’ll realize your leaning stick is curved, and when you finally notice that, you’ll toss it aside and get a more straight leaning stick and then you’ll be on the same page as myself and my fellow brothers who comment on your blog regularly.

And yea, we are praying for our fellow Ukrainian brothers and sisters AS WELL as our fellow Russian brothers and sisters who’ve been persecuted the past 10 years by Ukraine . . . but of course you have regularly been reminding us in all your posts to ALSO keep praying for those Russian Ukrainians who keep getting killed and persecuted by the Ukrainian government these past ten years and we’re grateful that you’ve been reminding us to pray for those persecuted Russians . . . . er . . . wait . . . . did you remind us to pray for them….I forget . . . (whoops, I think I just tossed my hat in with a comment on the war, darn it)

God Bless you, I appreciate the work you do,

Kenneth

Kenneth, my problem in responding is that I honestly don’t remember appealing to any specified experts at all. Can you help me out?

From: A Few More Random Observations About Ukraine “It has been obvious that our assessment of Russian capabilities was grossly inflated, and it is also obvious that our surprise at discovering the opposite was genuine. It is very easy to talk about how Russian felt threatened by NATO, but surely it is obvious now that NATO felt threatened by Russia.”

It almost seems like you are making Putin’s case here, however unintentionally. NATO falsely and unfairly made a boogeyman out of what in reality is just a modest country with a relatively weak economy just trying to survive like the next guy. They (Russia) have been genuinely threatened by a stronger power and feel the need to do something to protect themselves. That’s their story, anyway, and it may very well be false. But your admission about the relative strength of NATO along with how they’ve incorrectly perceived and treated Russia as a force to be reckoned seems to strengthen Russia’s case.

Here is a story.

Imagine that there is a bully and a lanky nerdling, and that this bully has been picking on the nerdling for many years. You know, trying to take his lunch money and stuff. Occasionally, when the nerdling stands up for a fellow nerdling friend, the bully seems to come right on around to oppose his efforts, and is often the one who was indirectly behind the troubles in the first place. Now, truth be told, the nerdling is no saint, and has in fact bullied his little sister and her friends many-a-time, perhaps to prove to himself that he is not the weakest one on the block. In any event, he’s just as punkish as the bully when you get right down to it.

Now, it just so happens that one day the bully had employed the help of a bully-nerd that he didn’t much like, but who could get close enough to the nerdling’s circle to be annoying. The bully would have done it himself, except that the school principle was watching and had put him on notice to behave. So instead, the bully gave the bully-nerd some “resources”, which included some eggs for throwing at the nerdling’s house and some thumb-tacks to put on the nerdling’s class chair…that kind of thing.

The nerdling would really have liked to be able to take out the bully once and for all. He still remembers the day that bully put a fellow nerdling (Hugo Slavia) into a body cast. I mean, that bully was a dangerous dude. But the nerdling was simply too weak to win a round of fisticuffs with him. So instead, he decided to send a message that he could hold his own. He had once again sat on some well-placed thumb tacks in Geology class, and as soon as they got to recess, the nerdling walked right up to the bully-nerd and socked him good.

Was the nerdling wrong in attacking the bully-nerd? Yes, I think maybe so. Was the bully-nerd wrong for participating in these niggling attacks on the nerdling? Yes, I think maybe so. And was the bully wrong for both bullying himself and using the bully-nerd to do some of his work for him? Yes, I think maybe so. Nevertheless, the school principal came out to the playground and disciplined the nerdling, while nearby the bully discreetly slipped the bully-nerd a few more thumb-tacks for later as he was wiping the blood from his nose.

Bully = NATO

Bully-nerd = Ukraine

Nerdling = Russia

Nerdling’s friend = Syria, etc…

Lunch money = Black Sea oil, etc…

JPH

JPH, thanks for sharing! Suffice it to say, our paradigms are different.

The Objectivity of the Covenant

Thankful for everything you do Pastor Wilson. My Christian walk has been edified and challenged over the last 2 years through your ministry.

My question is about the “objectivity of the covenant”. I grew up in the church, and went to a SBC Bible college (I’m still of my baptist convictions but am growing in an understanding of both sides, my fiancee is convinced that some day I’ll come to her and tell her I’m a paedobaptist . . . only the Lord knows). All that to say I’m not ignorant, but I am still incredibly young in my understanding of Scripture and theology. You are the first person I’ve heard use this phrase and it seems to be incredibly helpful as I’ve heard you explain it in understanding the church. But I’m curious if this is something you coined (if it is strictly a Federal Vision idea) or if other people have written on it. And where could I look to learn more about this idea (books, sermons etc)? Grace and peace to you brother,

Shea

Shea, I am not entirely sure. But I think I coined that phrase. And by it, I simply mean that the visible church is in covenant with God, not just the invisible church.

In the Westminster Confession, the divines used 1 Corinthians 12:13 as a Scripture reference in two different ways. In 27:3 referring to the work of the Spirit alone making the sacrament efficacious for salvation, but also in 28:1 referring to the non-salvific, visible efficacy of baptism in admitting the party into the visible church. How is 1 Corinthians 12:13 to be understood in both these ways?

Thanks for offering your ministry in this way, I can say it’s helpful for those who don’t have a reformed pastor or minister to ask these things.

Jonty

Jonty, as the Confession also says, there is a sacramental union between the sign and the thing signified. That is why the wedding ring is just a piece of metal, and is also efficacious in sealing the marriage vows.

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Jsm
Jsm
3 months ago

James’s comments and Doug’s dismissal got me thinking. If the left ended up controlling all power in the USA and started jailing and executing Christians and conservatives would you fight against a Christian nation that invaded the USA to protect fellow Christians? I know this isn’t the issue with Ukraine and Russia. Inam just wondering if in this hypothetical would all this still be besides the point.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

Jsm, let’s talk about what actually is the issue with Ukraine and Russia. For most practical purposes, Russia is essentially a fascist country. Putin’s political opponents end up dead or in jail. There is no free press. There are no free elections. There is no free speech. The Ukraine, on the other hand, was essentially a free country with small-d democratic institutions. When you have a fascist country trying to export fascism, versus a free country trying to remain free, to me that’s an easy analysis. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with all the ways in which they exercise… Read more »

Jsm
Jsm
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike you clearly missed where I said” I know this isn’t the issue with Ukraine and Russia. Inam just wondering if in this hypothetical would all this still be besides the point” On your points about russia being a fascist country my question would be “by what standard”. In our country, when founded, there were blasphemy laws in most states. So there goes the left’s idea of free speech. Right now all attempts at getting transparency in our elections are being vigorously resisted by our government, media, and press. On political opponents in jail or dead, how many Jan 6… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Yeah, I think we can all agree that jailing political opponents, shutting down media you don’t like, and generally being an authoritarian corruptocrat is pretty fascist.

But enough about Zelensky.

Cherrera
Cherrera
3 months ago

I thought you were talking about Biden for a minute. I don’t think ol’ Mike knows the real definition of fascism, either. Our current combination of Big Gov’t/Big (controlled) Media/Big (and heavily censoring) Tech/Big Pharma/etc. all working hand-in-hand would make Mussolini jump for joy. And our two-tiered justice system (not just for Jussie but the likes of Hunter Biden, Hillary and Antifa) should make anyone concerned about “political prisoners” concerned.
Jussie vs J6: Unequal Justice (humanevents.com)

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Can you guys please stop embarrassing yourselves with claims the January 6 rioters are political prisoners? They stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of a democratic election, one of the core constitutional functions Congress has. They chanted “hang Mike Pence” and “Nancy, we’re coming for you.” They put congressional staff and Capitol police in fear for their lives. They beat law enforcement. They forced members of Congress to barricade themselves in the House chamber for safety. I’m not saying that you can’t find a single odd injustice here or there, but these are not political prisoners.… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Can you please stop embarrassing yourself with your bias? Unarmed people entering a building (some let in by cops) isn’t right but it’s not an “insurrection.” People like yourself were silent here as Antifa/BLM rioted in dozens of cities, looting, burning, fighting cops, assaulting store owners, resulting in over $2 billion of damage, over 30 dead and hundreds of injured police officers. And they took part in several REAL armed insurrections like Chaz. Yet we see DAs in leftist cities removing/reducing their charges while going after cops who tried to stop them. Just recently Jacob Greenburg got a 5-year prison… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

“BUT WHAT ABOOOOOUUUUUUTTTTT”

And PS: You have a very poor memory if you think I wasn’t equally as critical of the BLM rioting.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Says the guy embarrassing himself with the claim that what amounts to an unauthorized tour is The Worst Assault on Muh Democracy™ Since The Founding Of Our [Systemically Racist And Not Worth Preserving Anyway] Country in 1619.

You are nothing if not entertaining, Mike. Let me know when your J6 Democrat Inquisition gets around to actually charging anyone with insurrection.

Last edited 3 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago

“What amounts to an unauthorized tour” disqualifies you from being taken seriously about anything.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

As does your effeminate histrionics over unarmed protestors “storming the Capitol”. In case you haven’t noticed, I stopped taking you seriously a long time ago.

Like I said, let me know when your clown posse decides to actually press the charges your clown media keeps screaming about. Otherwise, it’s just crappy political theater designed to keep your Democrat circus in town.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago

Well, fortunately, neither I nor the justice system need to care about your opinion. The tough sentences being handed down demonstrate that judges and juries, apparently unlike you, know what a riot looks like when they see one.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Sure they do, which totally explains all the tough sentences handed down to your Burn, Loot, Murder and Antifa criminals after their many, many riots in various cities. After all, nothing says “tough on crime” like having Heels-Up Harris, the Vice-President of Clown World, raise your bail money so you don’t have to sit in jail after destroying downtown, amirite? Hey, speaking of which, the two-year anniversary of George Floyd being sober and drug-free is coming up in a couple months. How many more riots — after which you know there will be tough, tough sentencing — do you suppose… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

Hey, speaking of which, the two-year anniversary of George Floyd being sober and drug-free is coming up in a couple months. “As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked …” How many more riots — after which you know there will be tough, tough sentencing — do you suppose BLM and Antifa have in store for Portland to celebrate this momentous occasion? I’m afraid you are starting to turn into the man of Romans 2: “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment… Read more »

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

Swing and a miss, Ken B. There’s no joy in Mudville. If you want to build a graven image to your pistol-whipping, porno-acting, counterfeiting, thieving felon with a rap sheet a mile long, then be my guest. After all, Romans 13 only applies to those who don’t like masks and certain “vaccines”, not criminal junkies, high as a kite from hooping (that would be using illicit drugs as a suppository), resisting arrest, amirite? Face it, Ken B: You only care about the evil Floyd because the media told you to. Unfortunately, too many people outsource their thinking to a bunch… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

If you want to build a graven image to your pistol-whipping, porno-acting, counterfeiting, thieving felon with a rap sheet a mile long

I wasn’t aware that any of these crimes or moral evils was a capital offence, to be administered without a trial and right of defence.

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

Oooooh, I love games! “Try to Shame the Opposition into Silence” is my favourite. Now that you’ve had your turn, time for me to give it a go: I wasn’t aware that being in the Capitol uninvited on January 6 was a capital offence. Too bad Ashli Babbit’s death sentence was administered without a trial and right of defence by a member of the Capitol police who still walks free. Sadly, unlike for St. Floyd, patron saint of fentanyl, no one rioted for Babbit. No murders. No burnt buildings. No stores looted. No terror inspired amongst the populace. Not even… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

Your whataboutery is pointless. You are still evading the question of whether Floyd was entitled to a trial before in effect being executed.

Antifa riots are irrelevant to the question of what went on on Jan 6.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

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

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

Indeed. Sucks having your crappy, fallacious arguments thrown back in your face, doesn’t it?

Newsflash, Skippy: You don’t get to dictate the terms of this discussion. If you’re going to point the finger of fallacy while engaging in multiple fallacies, then expect to be mocked. What was passage of Scripture you quoted? Oh, that’s right:

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago

More what aboutism. Is that really all you got?

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike: “More what aboutism.”

Translation: “Shut up, shut up, shut UP! I can’t deal with it when you remind me that my side is far worse and that I’m a flaming hypocrite! It gives me the sadz when all the windows in my glass house break!”

Sorry facts give you hemorrhoids. Handwaving doesn’t make them go away.

Still not seeing those insurrection charges. Mike. Maybe you need to call your congresscritter.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago

FP, not only is hypocrisy completely irrelevant, it’s actually a logical fallacy. It’s called tu quoque. Look it up.

The problem with it is that since you can always find someone on the other side who is behaving badly, everyone gets a free pass. Hitler gets a free pass because what about Stalin, and Stalin gets a free pass because what about Hitler. So no one can ever be called to account for everything.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Yup, nothing says “winning the argument” like you playing the part of Stalin (42 million dead) pointing fingers at Hitler (25 million dead) for his atrocities. Nothing like being worse than the other side and trying to cover it up with the fallacy fallacy. Same old play from the same old musty playbook. I’d say do better, but I don’t want to tax your capabilities. Stalin was objectively worse than Hitler, yet Hitler gets all the bad press while everyone looks the other way when it comes to ol’ Uncle Joe. Hey, you think the current drama in Ukraine will… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago

You remind me of the old joke about lawyers, that if you have neither the facts nor the law on your side, just pound on the table. Since almost none of what you said is actually responsive to anything I said (where it doesn’t flat out claim I said things I never did), I’m not going to bother unpacking any of it. What you still haven’t responded to is that your comments about someone else’s hypocrisy are completely irrelevant to whether they have a valid argument. Suppose a man with a porn addiction tells his teenage sons to stay away… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Arguments don’t happen in a vacuum, son. If you need help connecting the dots, then why not simply ask? I’d be more than happy to help you understand why so much of what you know just isn’t so.

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

fp really is Col. Nathan R Jessup. I bet he doesn’t like faggoty white uniforms either. :-)

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

It would appear so.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“but these are not political prisoners. These were thugs attempting to overturn election results they didn’t like. “ ehhhhh Yes and no. Who exactly do you mean when you say “these”? People went and protested. People went and committed felonious assault. People went and attempted to use intimidation to coerce political outcomes. People went and vandalized property. People went and trespassed. Almost no one is in all of these groups, and who is in which of these groups is on a case by case basis. Since all evidence thus far has concluded that there was no pre-planned organization in the crime,… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, I don’t think that every person who participated in the riot is equally culpable. I would even entertain the possibility that some of them got swept up into it and aren’t guilty of much more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But clearly there was a component to it of people trying to overturn the election. Donald Trump had effectively encouraged them to do just that. And that, by any reasonable definition of the term, was insurrection.

The meme from people like FP that they were just taking an unauthorized tour is monumentally stupid.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Yup, nothing says “overturn the election!” better than Trump telling the J6 protestors to go home.

Still waiting on those insurrection charges, Mike. Should be any day now. Any day.

In the meantime, you can tell us all about the color of the sky in your universe.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago

You surely know this, but 11 leaders of the oathkeepers have been charged with seditious conspiracy. Things are looking bad for them, as one has already pled guilty and turned on the rest. That’s not exactly exactly a charge of insurrection, it is more like a charge of attempted insurrection, but it’s likely the best you are going to get. It’s also worth noting that there were thousands of people over barriers at the capitol and 500+ entered the building but only something like 40-60 are being prosecuted for violence and another <100 for property crimes. The police lost control… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

demosthenes1d, of course he knows it, but it doesn’t comport with his narrative, so it doesn’t matter.

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

Yup, just like clockwork. One year after the mostly peaceful protest on Jan 6, The DOJ gets chewed out on Capitol Hill and 48 hours later 11 nobodies are charged with seditious conspiracy. Amazing what a little political pressure will do.

And the list of those charged with insurrection still is:
.
.
.
.

In the meantime, we can all sit back and ponder just why it is left-wing terrorist groups get far more lenient treatment than right-wingers while left-wingers scream about insurrection against a country they hate anyway.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

“ That’s not exactly exactly a charge of insurrection” fp’s mocking defense was for the contention that Trump specifically was in any way guilty of insurrection. Unless Trump is attached to that group, it isn’t that relevant to what he was saying. I don’t disagree with you or Mike a lot here, but I would be cautious about one specific statement. “ Donald Trump had effectively encouraged them to do just that. “ He has to say “had effectively” because Trump did not literally do that in any measurable objective way, which is relevant because a great many people want to charge him… Read more »

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

Very close to this question would be whether the Kurds were morally required to fight against Americans when we invaded Iraq.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Jsm

The hypothetical requires a near infinite number of follow up questions for clarification, rendering it basically unanswerable.

James
James
3 months ago

Advice concerning movies (from someone with no kids yet): Stick with the older Pixar movies (By older, I mean everything up to and including Inside Out, though I cannot judge Finding Dory, Cars 3 or the Good Dinosaur and find nothing objectionable about Incredibles 2). Pixar was the last bastion at the top of the American movie industry for wholesome family entertainment until the production of Coco in 2017, after which it has moved in a different direction. There are enough good old films to watch with your kids that you don’t need to go to the theater to find… Read more »

A concerned mom
A concerned mom
3 months ago
Reply to  James

I want to know what people tell their kids when they are not allowed to participate in something everyone else is talking about. How do you do it without coming across as judgy or making the decision appear arbitrary?

If you know anything about how witches do their thing, you will quickly recognize that Turning Red particularly is a tutorial, not entertainment.

James
James
3 months ago

I think you’re right, and I am sorry you are in this situation, though I have not seen Turning red, and now I almost certainly never will. It is easy to get your own kids to watch, at your house, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Inside Out instead of Coco, Encanto, and Turning Red, but it is harder to tell them not to watch it with their friends, and to tell them not to in a way that doesn’t put their friends down.

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
3 months ago

I haven’t seen Turning Red, so take this with several grains of salt, but the plot summary on Wikipedia appears to make it impossible for it to be a “tutorial” in any meaningful sense. I have a certain amount of reliable knowledge of actual witchcraft from missionary friends and relations. “Turning into a giant red panda when excited” (or anything similar) sounds like a wild story you tell for fun (the name of the movie is a pun!), not reports of anything demons empower witchdoctors or witches to do. Actual, effective witchcraft is not something that happens to a witch.… Read more »

Thomas Bauer
Thomas Bauer
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

Thank you for the principled response. One thing I love about Doug and Canon is the emphasis on avoiding reaction and instead acting out of predefined principles.

A concerned mom
A concerned mom
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

A cursury view of etsy would show the vast number of talismans or amulets being sold with spells, aka power bound up into an object. Witches draw circles around themselves as a routine practice to increase power. Pop magic is common among college women and it looks different from what African witchdoctors might do. I don’t see how this movie is not an aesthetic portrayal of basic witchcraft to the average 5-10 year old. It even gives the script: if you have emotional problems, embrace magic.

Kristina Zubic
Kristina Zubic
3 months ago

Is an “amulet” bought from an Etsy member today really any less fake than an “amulet” bought through an ad in the back pages of Rolling Stone in the ‘90s?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Tuggy

I have seen Turning Red. They blatantly contradict the ten commandment in the first 90 seconds, and the concept of obeying your parents is the villain of the movie. As a point of reference, I watched Game of Thrones. I watch Quentin Tarantino films. Growing up, I was on the pro-entertainment side of virtually every church scare from Harry Potter, to Dungeons and Dragons, to Magic the Gathering. Turning Red was hard to watch. The content isn’t bad. They aren’t teaching you witchcraft. The problem is the morals are an utter abomination. The climax of the film is centered on… Read more »

Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Those are some very good reasons not to watch it!

Alison
Alison
3 months ago

Hey CM, I have 8 kids and we’ve spent our parenthood battling the Enemy for our kids particularly with media. When our kids don’t understand or agree when we say “No” to something in media is 2 Cor. 10:5: We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. It is nearly impossible for a child whose mind is so malleable to take every thought captive when it is captivated by a screen. We encourage them to trust us, assure them that they won’t die from being uncool and… Read more »

A concerned mom
A concerned mom
3 months ago
Reply to  Alison

Thank you!

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago

I’ve read some of the parental criticism of Turning Red, and I haven’t seen concern about witchcraft. But the movie does have a PG rating and has themes and plot elements that some parents think are unsuitable for pre-teens. When Mei hides out in the bathroom, her mom figures it out and asks through the door “Did the red peony bloom?” She brings in advil and pads and tells Mei ‘”You are now a beautiful, strong flower who must protect her delicate petals and clean them regularly.” Parents who haven’t told their daughters about periods might not want them to… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Jill Smith
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

“does the movie seem to approve of young teens “setting boundaries” with their moms? It’s not so much the behavior as whether it is presented in a positive light.” The behavior is not only portrayed in a positive light, explicitly, not just implicitly, but the mother is portrayed as wildly out of line for caring about any of it. The problems with Turning Red aren’t what physically happens in the film. Its that the movie takes the wrong person’s side in pretty much every scene. At one point the little girl has a heart to heart with her father, who… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

That was certainly the impression I got from the reviews. And I doubt very much that they intended us to take “my body, my panda” only at face value. One of the few things I really restricted in my daughter’s viewing was movies or TV shows with mouthy kids. Even if parents are lunatic enough to tolerate it themselves, mouthiness sets kids up for trouble with every other adult who crosses their path. Teachers, coaches, future employers, and other kids’ parents. I think I did pretty well with that because when my dear one finally saw a Lamb Chop episode,… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Jill Smith
Jane
Jane
3 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I have to think the Asian choice was deliberate. Asian families have this reputation (even among those of us who don’t know any!) and I think the message is meant to be “y’all overbearing parents need to cool it and let your kids be themselves, and you Asians who are like that know who you are”.

Robert
Robert
3 months ago

Thanks for checking about the JEEP donation page, pastor Wilson.

On another note…knowing it isn’t your wont to respond to these comments, I’ll try anyway…

Would you (or somebody :) please clarify your comment about the prophet Amos and Tucker Carlson?

“…and yet we have a tendency to think that we have the ability to tell the difference between the prophet Amos and Tucker Carlson.”

Thanks!

SP
SP
3 months ago

You are concerned about your friends in Ukraine, which is understandable. I think having a friend or two in Russia might help with objectivity. Let me introduce you to Hal Freeman, a Christian from South Carolina living in Russia. He’s been pretty responsive to correspondence with me but he lost his wife to cancer a few months ago. His blog has been very informative.

https://halfreeman.wordpress.com/

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago

Doug said: “James, all reasonable points, but also I think, beside the point. If we were invaded in a comparable way, we Christians would fight, but we wouldn’t be defending all our varied cultural atrocities.” Doug seems to want to oversimplify this Russo-Ukrainian war. No one doubts that Ukrainians are justified in fighting the Russian invaders. This hardly means that third parties, like Americans, must root for the invaded. Doug’s argument is that if someone in an army is justified in fighting for that army in a given war, the whole universe must also come down on the side of… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Nathan, I go back to Russia is trying to export fascism and the Ukraine is trying to remain free, which comes close (with a few loose ends still to tie up) to resolving the issue for me. Ukraine is an emerging democracy. While no one would mistake it for Canada, it had been making huge steps in the direction of becoming a free society. This war may have killed that process. As far as Russia’s story, is there any serious reason to believe NATO actually had any designs on invading Russia? I have a Second Amendment right to own a… Read more »

James
James
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

We have to remember that, though the invasion is probably very wrong, Volodymyr Zelensky (and Democracy) is not our savior, and Vladimir Putin (and Autocracy) is not the antichrist. This war is, from what we can see of it, similar to the war of 1812, with a government trying to take back land owned by what was part of their country not so long ago, and was one people with them in the not-so-ancient past (Both Russians and Ukrainians claim Kievan Rus, which flourished in the middle ages, as their own, and as recently as the late 1990s (at least),… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
3 months ago
Reply to  James

James, democracy is not our savior, but it is far more likely to protect us from tyranny; John Calvin proved that Christians can be just as bad at running totalitarian regimes as non-Christians, and the people who implemented Jim Crow were mostly Christians too. Having a Christian government is no guarantee that it won’t descend into tyranny. So I myself favor democracy, with a strong Bill of Rights that takes some subjects off the table. You’re right that no country, including the US, is perfect. But no country will be perfect until the Second Coming, so we work with what… Read more »

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Is NATO really a threat to Russia? Unequivocally. There’s a faction of career bureaucrats in the state department that are pursuing “regime change” in Russia and have been for years. Those bureaucrats outlast presidents. America (and western Europe) interfere quite extensively in the internal affairs of weaker nations. But that’s supposedly OK, because it’s for “democracy.” American press has been demonizing Russia for years with the kind of stuff that makes great war propaganda. The only thing that gives confidence that a NATO invasion of Russia is off the table is the Russian nuclear arsenal. But that doesn’t mean Russia… Read more »

David J.
David J.
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Poor Russia! So abused by the world!

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago

I haven’t read or commented on this blog for a long time because it’s depressing but I thought I’d check it to see Wilson’s take on Ukraine. It was pretty much what I expected. The American empire has been pushing towards war in Ukraine for years. The goal of “creating an Afghanistan” and care for Ukrainian civilians are not compatible. The US State Department, CIA, etc wanted to put Putin in a position where he would by forced into a costly and bloody occupation because the alternative would be even worse for Russia. https://mobile.twitter.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1498491107902062592 The endgame is regime change in… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

What reason is there to believe the gas attacks were fake? Syrian and Russian propaganda of course say they are, but isn’t that like taking the words of Nazi Germany regarding their treatment of the Jews or the words of Stalin regarding labor camps in the Soviet Union.

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

Peter Hitchens has done a lot of work on the alleged Syrian gas attacks, including an article in his column detailing how evidence that cast doubt on the attacks was suppressed. The Syrian regime had nothing to gain by such attacks. Even the BBC had to finally admit it had reported this wrongly.

There were shades of weapons of mass destruction.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7793253/PETER-HITCHENS-reveals-evidence-watchdog-suppressed-report-casting-doubt-Assad-gas-attack.html

Last edited 3 months ago by Ken B
Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Thank you. Hitchens article about the 2018 gas attacks was interesting, and puts them from obvious to unclear an contested. Do you have any material regarding the 2013 gas attacks (which I though was what Barnabas referred to).

Ken B
Ken B
3 months ago

No I’m afraid not. I have read Hitchens on and off for a long time now, and he has been campaigning in his column to prevent a repeat of Iraq. Ironically, his brother Christopher who was on the left supported the Iraq invasion whilst Peter Hitchens on the socially conservative right was against it from the beginning. He has commented on the various military interventions of the West for a long time, including Syria but unfortunately there is not a separate collection of them on his blog. In many ways these Western interventions were as indefensible as the current Russian… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

I am no expert, but I would guess not every western intervention is the same, and so there are various degrees of justification. Thanks for pointing to Hitchens, I agree it would be nice if his various texts where collected.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I can’t believe you told your readers to take the news out of Ukraine at face value.”

I must have missed when he said that.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Good to see you Barnabas, really. Been a long time, and I benefited a lot from some of our conversations back in the disqus days.

I’m sympathetic to the more pro-Russia line, or at least to the idea that the US/west was a major contributing factor to this conflict. But I don’t think there is any reason to look to Putin/Xi for leadership. That isn’t the only alternative model to look to, and as you can see from the response of Hungary and Poland they don’t think so either.

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Of all the traditional American freedoms, surely political representation is least important. A hypothetical monarchy that stays in the lane assigned to it by scripture would be much preferable to the government we have now.

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Many people quote Adams about our (erstwhile) form of government being unfit except for a moral and religious people, but somehow they never reach the obvious conclusion that a return to the 1787 constitution, under present conditions, is folly.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

There is a mythology among some RW Twitter types that we are a normal people ruled by a wicked and hateful elite. If we can “burn it all down” something better will come forth. But I think it is clear that we have better governance than we deserve and if we had a new constitutional convention today and complete reinvented and restructured our governance in line with popular will, or even in line with the best 10% of right wing intellectual thought, we would get something much less functional and less humane than our constitutional system, even with all of… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

What traditional American freedoms do you most value? Which actual, as opposed to hypothetical ideal, monarchies stayed in their lane and/or promoted those freedoms?

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Oh I don’t know, how about Alfred the Great or Constantine?

I’m much more interested in freedoms of religion, speech, movement, and economic activity.

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

We probably have different notions concerning civil authority’s proper lane, but I’m not sure if Constantine or Alfred the Great conformed to yours either.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

Nathan, I certainly don’t think there is an iron law that says representative democracies are good and monarchies are bad. But monarchies that work well are actually mixed governments with subsidiary and representative institutions. And those monarchs are kept in check by the lesser lords, or the barons, or the merchants or the guilds or the mayors or some other power bases. Much of our problem is that our multi-level mixed government had atrophied and more of our life is ruled from farther away. That problem would only be exacerbated if we swapped out our legislative and executive branch with… Read more »

Nathan James
Nathan James
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I’m torn on whether atrophy is the right way to characterize what happened to our lesser institutions. Did we get Obamacare or the Great Society or Social Security because something atrophied? The Feds outlawed the health insurance I would have purchased. They also confiscate 15% of my income for SS, which if they hadn’t I could have easily bought my own insurance and retired by 40. That’s not an exaggeration.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

There is a push pull. Local areas and local people cede control as larger bodies are hungry for it. The same thing has happened within the federal government itself, where the legislature has continually ceded ground to the executive and the judiciary. The executive is hungry to expand, biy the legislature also desires to not legislate (for a host of reasons). The idea that any of us could retire at 40 is an indication of how enormously wealthy we are. The idea that you can work for 15-20 years and provide enoigh value to make fair exchange for all of… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

If they kick against the EU system there will be some pain. They aren’t as financially powerful as Britian to weather a divorce gravefully. But if you believe the EU is basically a European manifestation of the GAE/globohomo then this is good news. Poland is declaring constitutional independence and they have the chance to stick to their guns. I’m not as enamored with the Hungarian regime as I once was. I’m concerned that Orban and his cronies will go down the Erdogan path. But it is still a preferable alternative to the stifling Putin regime. And much better than full… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I doubt either Hungary of Poland has the political will to do what it would take to extricate themselves from the EU. An alliance with Russia would likely be necessary. Ten or twenty years of immigration and NGO social engineering and Poland and Hungary will be as progressive as Sweden. Nice regimes have shown themselves to be unable to stand up to Globohomo soft power projection and I don’t have a lot of options that I can be picky about independent regimes in 2022. In the future, we may see some livable countries existing under the protection of China. They… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

“In the future, we may see some livable countries existing under the protection of China. They don’t make crazy ideological demands like the USA does.” Is this intended as sarcasm? You are talking about a nation that literally grades people’s social worth and provides access to public goods on the basis of the sorts of news stories they share and the types of discussions they have online and how attentive they are at work. They have also shown themselves willing to engage in mass scale re-education and even liquidation for groups that don’t fit the dominant ideology. To the extent… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

But do they grade the social worth of people outside their borders or sovereignty? China never really scared me until I learned about their social credit system, but that is because of the example it sets rather than anything China is likely to do to me. By example I mean both of what it is possible to do with technology, and the ideas it could give certain people on our side of the pacific. That they are not actively seducing other nations to follow their example I believe is owing to lack of interest in doing so rather than to… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

P.S. – Anything China does against western media companies does not hurt my feelings, even if they do it from totalitarian motives. Anything they do against western global(ist) corporations counts as a point in their favor even if it doesn’t make them good guys.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Outside their borders and sovereignty is a slippery thing. Hong Kong is inside their borders now. So is Tibet. They would probably like to add other Taiwan, highland areas(near tibet), possibly parts of Mongolia and Korea and onward. Much like Russia they have a historical sphere of activity and they have aspirations even beyond that sphere. Barnabas spoke of being under theirprotection, not just being trading partners. Getting protection from China will involve selling some of your soul just like getting protection from the US does. I don’t care at all about China’s effect on media companies. But the fact… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Yes, Hong Kong is inside their borders. We don’t really need to add “now”, even though we can understand why the people there don’t want to be. As you note China has a historical sphere of activity, and it includes all the places you mention. Why would it not, when those places are adjacent? The better question is, why does our sphere of activity extend to places nowhere near adjacent to us, to the borders of Russia and the offshore of China, and just about everywhere else? I expect that is a question the Russians and Chinese ask. I may… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

But do they grade the social worth of people outside their borders or sovereignty?”

Uhhh Yes. Yes they do. They simply don’t have the power to enforce anything outside of economic freezeouts.

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris
Last edited 3 months ago by Barnabas
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I didn’t argue that the United States does not do this. I argued that China does do this. So why are you posting the link?

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

What does China do that is the same thing?

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

If you mean corporations that do business inside China, that is within their sovereignty. If you mean something else, you’ll need to inform me.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

Before I respond with any measurable amount of effort and length, under whose sovereignty is Hong Kong in your eyes? More broadly, what definition of sovereignty are you working with? Under a plain reading dictionary definition, if China conquered all of planet earth by force, they could rule everyone who exists with an iron fist, but not violate your premise, as sovereignty is defined primarily by power. 1 a : supreme power especially over a body politic b : freedom from external control : AUTONOMY c : controlling influence In fact, by a strict dictionary reading, its actually not possible for the US to exert control… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Hong Kong is under the sovereignty of the Beijing government. To be sovereign in itself Hong Kong would have to have complete independence from China, rather than constitute a special administrative region, as it does. Had China been stronger in 1997 I doubt Hong Kong would be anything other than another city in China. If China had been stronger in 1842 that is certainly all it would be.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  JohnM

“Had China been stronger in 1997 I doubt Hong Kong would be anything other than another city in China. If China had been stronger in 1842 that is certainly all it would be.” So then….. it IS only a an issue of power that you’re using to define sovereignty? But this completely destroys your criticism of the US. The US *can’t* overstep the bounds of sovereignty by force if the limits of sovereignty are themselves defined by force. Rather than specify a critique of US foreign policy, you’ve actually made it impossible to criticize *anyone’s* foreign policy. You’ve changed “The… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
3 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

You don’t understand the point of the historical references, and you’re making things up. Sovereignty in context means having complete autonomy and authority to conduct all the affairs of an independent state, without dependence on or reference to the authority of another government. Hong Kong is part of a sovereign state with an exceptional degree of autonomy, but a degree that falls short of sovereignty. I realize you can talk about sovereignty in other contexts, but that’s not what we are doing. I’m not going to argue about definitions, but perhaps this will help you understand the status of Hong… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I’m going to respond to several of your comments in one go. I agree that we don’t have a problem with a group of kleptocrats who can be thrown out. The West has a deeply sick culture and a seemingly unstoppable momentum towards a really bad historical moment. I don’t agree that “we” all deserve it. History sweeps up the good and the bad and otherwise good people are susceptible to propaganda and just the rotten culture. I don’t have any principled commitment to a right to speak out or subvert the State. Such freedoms seem to have only aided… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

China generally treats real Christian believers not at all unlike the Uighurs and the Tibetans. There is a reason why the underground church in China is underground. Is that also an example of how an “healthy society” treats people?

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

“I don’t agree that “we” all deserve it. History sweeps up the good and the bad and otherwise good people are susceptible to propaganda and just the rotten culture.” Nations and families are judged corporately. There is no avoiding it. “I don’t have any principled commitment to a right to speak out or subvert the State. Such freedoms seem to have only aided my political enemies for decades and here I am behind a pseudonym and a VPN.” If you believe that there is no right, or imperative, to form your beliefs in a way that is buffered from the… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

Dude. Are you triggered or what? Too much nonsense to address. In a few decades God fearing USA turned to Sodom while the godless regime of the Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution is poised to be the next global hegemon. There is zero historical evidence for your theory of corporate judgement. “This is an absurd black pill, read a book on the cultural revolution sometime. It’s was a lot worse than people saying mean things on Twitter or being afraid you might get a stern talking to from HR.” This is just a fundamentally unserious assessment of the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Theory if corporate judgement is a little strong. My point is just that we don’t control our own destiny and we have representatives (chosen or not) who cause us to be blessed or cursed. Unchosen commitments, obligations, and attachments is still the fundamental lot of man, even in a libertine and liberationist age. My kids can be great and do no wrong. But if I take to drink and quit my job, or if I get depressed and off myself, they will suffer mightily. Average Johnny in northern Gerogia may have had no sympathy for the planters and their slaves,… Read more »

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

As a quick follow up on China, this is a place where up until 2015 (earlier for some groups) if you had more than one child you could be forcibly sterilized. In the face of imminent demographic decline they took the bold step of… allowing two children. Now they are all the way up to three as of 2021. The way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if they flipped from compelling people to not have children to compelling people to have children. I had a lot more than 2 children in 2015. This one policy (one of many… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I notice that the birth rate for China is higher than many Western European countries and has been since well before 2015. Soft power vs hard power. Both Russia and China brought huge feudal societies into the 21st Century and it was an ugly process in both cases. The alternative to the One Child policy may have been mass famine, I don’t know. (You know, one way that that “corporate judgement” idea has been used is as an apologetic for the fact that Yahweh and the Israelites killed an awful lot of Egyptian and Canaanite babies.) Anyway, as I said,… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I don’t see how the idea of corporate judgement, applied to modern politics, doesn’t degenerate into some motte and bailey dance between actual moral culpability and judgement vs a tautological statement that living under bad conditions is bad.The idea of a minister whipping up guilt in the congregation over sins they had nothing to do with and no control over really gets my inner Nietzsche going. Conservatives, being what they are, are very uncomfortable with breaking ranks from the status quo, be that the American regime, Capitalism, Western Liberalism, etc. Corporate judgement is a post hoc rationalization for the “we”.… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
3 months ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

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Zeph .
Zeph .
3 months ago

The real Disney moneymakers are the Superhero movies. Look up Marvel Cinematic Universe. That and Star Wars.

Last edited 3 months ago by Zeph .
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
3 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

That is a *VERY* case by case basis. Some of the Star Wars projects have actively lost money, while they had an unbelievably enormous up front cost. Four billion to buy the IP, the most expensive marketing campaigns in history, toys lines which have surprisingly very much underperformed, some analysts don’t think Disney has actually broken even on the investment yet. As for Marvel, they have had bust after bust since Infinity War. Their only recent success was the most recent Spider-Man film, but Sony owns most of those profits, not Disney, as Sony bought the rights to make Spider-Man… Read more »

Ryan Moffat
Ryan Moffat
3 months ago

Doug- First off, thanks for the thoughtful leadership and voice for multiple generations. As a younger pastor, I admire your courage, your integrity, and your theological chops…..a strong trifecta for long-term pastoral impact. I wanted to make an observation from your last post (“naughty boy of evangelicalism”) and then ask a few questions. You said in the final section that you weren’t looking to position yourself as the voice around what you call “Christian Dominionism” but then you end the article by pointing to 4 organizations (which all happen to be YOUR organizations) as places we can learn from. I… Read more »