A Good Definition
In a sermon you preached about children in the congregation, you mentioned that the word for nurture (paidea) is getting at the idea about inculturation. I was leaping for joy at that definition when you said it because I think it aptly describes what the Lord says about believers raising their children. Do you know of any resources on the historical use of the word around Paul’s time and what the Ephesians would have heard when he used that word?
Jonty, a good answer to that would be Werner Jaeger’s three-volume treatment of the word paideia. Here is the link to the first volume.
Could that be generalized to “never apologize to anyone unless God thinks you wronged that person”?
Kristina, this is exactly right. Apologies are supposed to be for the restoration of relationship, and they have been weaponized in many more areas than just marriage.
Have you read Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley? If so, thoughts? I didn’t see it in your reading log but thought you might know about it.
Shawn, no, I am afraid I have not read that one.
I live in Brazil and I’m reading your book—Her Hand in Marriage.
In the part where you talk about the father’s authority over the daughter’s relationships, that the boy has to go to the girl’s father first, I agree with that, because I know it’s biblical, even when the girl’s father is not a Christian.
But I would like to know if there are cases where the father cannot have authority over the daughter’s life in relation to her love life, if it is the case where the father is a degenerate and is not the head of the house, but the mother of the house, who is the head of the house, because although the father lives with the family, he does not pay attention to taking care of the house, so in this case would it be lawful for the boy who is interested in the girl to report only to the girl’s mother?
Clear this doubt.
I would like to know in what cases authority would be left to the mother even though the girl’s father is still alive.
Larissa, yes. I believe there are numerous situations where the biological father of a girl could be properly excluded from a courtship, and you mentioned a few of them. The thing I would want to emphasize though is that the reasoning for this should be objective, and not just the result of bad blood between the father and the mother.
Ukraine. And Martians.
Thank you for your podcasts. I’m thankful to have discovered them. I just listened to Plodcast 231: Patriotism and Corrupt Governments
I think you’ve explained “patriotism” but have skipped over some issues.
1) If Martians landed in the USA to conquer it, you would join in a fight against them. What if the modern Progressives are “the Martians” —and they’ve been successful? There’s lots of room for refinement.
2) As long as “Ukraine” bombed Donbass, then “Ukraine was bombing Ukraine” and no other country should have intervened. I know of Donbass citizens who are happy to have had the “invasion” or, as they have said, “liberation.”
As long as there is no use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Ukraine or NATO, Russia would be a preemptive attacker. This is a harder topic to analyze, but at least Putin has been consistent in his messaging on this.
Evan, thanks. Not sure of your point on #1, and they have been largely successful, but there is still plenty of room for resistance. With regard to #2, Putin’s messaging and Putin’s actions have not pointed to the same issue. That is a point that could have been made about his “liberation” of Crimea, but not this pig’s breakfast.
With regards to: “Women’s Ministry as Pestilence.”
First off, thank you for all you do in your writing and teaching. My family has greatly benefited from all the content out of Moscow since we stumbled across your books and blog a few years ago.
Regarding the post—the church my wife and I currently attend has a women’s ministry, though, one I think is biblically permissible in many ways (older women teaching younger, studying the Scriptures together). We also have a “Women’s Ministry Director”, a woman who oversees this ministry and preaches to the other women at these study meetings.
My alarm bells weren’t really going off, however, until the Women’s Ministry Director began doing the benediction at the end of our Sunday morning service, and a worship leader on staff who is a woman began to have exhortative moments (putting Scripture on screen, talking about what it means and how we should respond to it before the Lord as a congregation) in between songs on Sundays before the gathered body.
I wrote a letter to the elders, believing these consistent practices to be a violation of the Scriptures. After a meeting we had together, they believe they still obey 1 Tim. 2 since they classify the former as not authoritative (rather, a time of warmth and hospitality in the send off of the congregation) and the latter as not expositional or didactic teaching (only a call to worship and more of a prophetic word of encouragement). They use 1 Cor. 11 to justify women praying and prophesying in the gathering. I am concerned that they are capitulating to the modern -isms, as we have seen so many churches do in the past that are now openly rejecting Scripture. They are concerned it would stifle the gifts and flourishing of women if we didn’t let them have an active participation in this way during the gathering.
I would be interested to hear your perspective on this—am I being overly dogmatic in my interpretations of 1 Tim. 2 and 1 Cor 14 to say these passages would prohibit these practices?
Aaron, this is exactly the kind of slippery slope I was referring to in my article. Try this. Ask the elders if the women doing this would be willing to let their hair down, or failing that, wear a head covering while they do this.
Two Missives from Andrew
I love your Blog & Mablog videos, but with due respect (and I sincerely have that for you in abundance), do you believe, upon some sober reflection, you may, at least in part, be guilty of the “Bad Man/Good Woman” evangellyfish narrative that has pervaded “evangelicalism” for about a hundred years now? For instance, the woman, in this case a professed Christian woman, murders her own baby within her womb and it’s somehow the man’s fault or responsibility (please explain that apparent “distinction without a difference” again) even though she never told her husband about her abortion and kept it totally hidden from him until after the fact.
You can see this distorted paradigm play itself out in most garden-variety “evangelical” churches (of which Christ Church is thankfully not one) on Father’s & Mothers Day. On Father’s Day the pastor beats up on the men in the congregation from the pulpit and lists all their inadequacies as Christian husbands and fathers. However, on Mother’s Day he unambiguously praises the women and commiserates with them on how hard their job is as mothers and wives, and . . . again, yet once more, takes the opportunity to beat up on the men for their failures as husbands and fathers. Good job, Pastor, be tough on those men and lavish with your praise on the women under you care and you’ll be the white knight, the rescuing hero (you spineless so and so).
I believe Pastor Brian Sauvé of Refuge Church in in Ogden, Utah, who received so much pushback (and that’s putting it euphemistically) on twitter for suggesting woman should dress modestly as Scripture plainly states, has it right when he says: “One of the biggest failures of the pulpits of the last 50 years is a reluctance to directly address sins common to women—along with practical teaching on how to repent of them. Instead, we pretend that the greatest sin common to women is basically not having enough self-esteem.”—Brian Sauvé
Could you please comment on my question and Pastor Sauvé’s statement Pastor Doug?
Thanks, Andrew . . . but wait, you weren’t done.
As a follow-up to my correspondence sent yesterday to Pastor Doug Wilson. “One of the biggest failures of the pulpits of the last 50 years is a reluctance to directly address sins common to women—along with practical teaching on how to repent of them. Instead, we pretend that the greatest sin common to women is basically not having enough self-esteem.”—Pastor Brian Sauvé
Yesterday I commented on this tweet by Pastor Brian Sauvé of Refuge Church in Ogden Utah, a pastor who is no stranger to controversy. After posting another and earlier tweet a month or so ago, “the tweet heard around the world,” suggesting woman should dress modestly as Scripture plainly states, not only did the world (the collective “twitter mob”) come after Pastor Sauvé “loaded for bear,” so did half (or more) of the “evangelical” Church.
Biblically, both men and women are made in the image of God (Imago Dei—Genesis 1:27) and both fell into sin (Genesis 3:6) from their original state of sinless innocence and now are sinful by nature (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:3). This is why the Bad Man/Good Woman paradigm is a lie propagated by a feminized Church in a feminist culture by effeminate cowardly pastors. Yes, sorry but women are sinners too. Certainly no evangelical pastor would explicitly deny that fact, but implicitly they act like its not true. They wouldn’t want to be seen as being mean to the women in “their” (I mean Christ’s) Church, especially as a man who might be seen as partial because he is, in fact, a man and unsympathetic to a woman’s plight and her unique struggles, or guilty of the cultural secular “sin” of “mansplaining.”
However, to (practically speaking) act like women are not sinners, or not as sinful as men, is not to be kind and loving to them, quite the opposite, it’s to confirm them in their sin and not give them the opportunity for repentance by not calling out their sins. It’s exactly what the liberal apostate “churches,” which are “open and affirming,” do to the homosexuals and transsexuals (although it should be noted on that last score there are actually, in reality, none). They give the homosexual/lesbian no chance at repentance but just confirm them, and leave them, in their sin which will send them to hell if never repented of (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
After my commenting on his above tweet, I was asked for clarification on what the sins are that are “common to women.” A fair question, and I can’t answer for Brian (he is well able to answer for himself) but since I was asked to flesh this out, here are some sins I came up with as to sins which may be, in general, especially troublesome for women, specifically problematic for them. Now, that does NOT mean all women struggle with these sins, and men don’t also either commit, or are not complicit in them as well, but they are sins which women, as a whole (so yes, a generalization), may be more prone to.
Here you go, Pastors, see below. You have your next Mother’s Day Sermon almost all prepared for you. Now you can beat up on the woman on their day as you have on the men on theirs, you fearless, brave, no-respecter of persons (like your Savior—Mark 12:14) souls who without concern for losing your position, salary, and reputation, with abandonment of your own interests and security, prophetically speak forth God’s Word with boldness, you counter-cultural heroes of the faith you! Go to it! Preach it!!!
Sins not totally unique to women, and which do not plague all women, and which men also commit, or are complicit in, but are generally more of an issue for woman. My choices can be debated for sure, so feel free to correct, or add to, the list as you please—
Murdering one’s own child in the womb (yes, Christian woman too, and at surprisingly high rates), gossip (1 Timothy 5:13), manipulation, not submitting to her husband’s authority but seeking to usurp it (Genesis 3:16), not supporting and being a helpmate to her husband, belittling her husband, prone to embracing feminist lies, not being a keeper of the home (Titus 2:5), tearing down her own household (Proverbs 14:1), being a bad mother, engaging in harlotry and adultery (a sin not unique only to men, but often seen as such, so I listed it for women too given the fact their rate of adultery since women entered the workforce in the 1970’s en masse is almost equal now to that of men), being uniquely given to deception especially by false teachers (1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 3:6), pushing their way into leadership, so into authority roles, as well as preaching in the Church contrary to what couldn’t be a more clear command not to do so. (1 Timothy 2:11-14)
Disproportionately bailing out on their marriage vows (covenantal vows made before God, family and friends) for unbiblical reasons like “emotional abuse” “emotional abandonment,” “he doesn’t meet my emotional needs,” “he’s not a good enough provider.” Eighty (that’s 80!) percent of the divorces are initiated (filed) by women in the U.S. The objection will undoubtedly follow . . . “Well that’s because our husbands are beating the snot out of us and physically abusing us.” Yes, sadly so sometimes, but not even close to most of the time. Most divorces are filed by professing Christian women for unbiblical reasons (not adultery or desertion and, yes, I know those 2 exceptions are debated)
Using their bodies, their sexuality, their sexual power over men (not just their husbands either, but especially men in the workplace) to entice and control them knowing men are visually sexually stimulated. Again, not only for actual adultery, but just to get their way with them. Dressing immodesty to do so (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:2-5; Proverbs 11:22).
Women, in violation of 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 are far more likely to withhold sex from their spouse than men are, as a weapon, due to bitterness and anger, or just lack of interest. Which brings to mind yet another sin, women are much more likely than men to hold bitterness and anger (passive-aggressive as the psychobabblers say) in disobedience to Scripture (Hebrews 12:15, Ephesians 4:31, Ephesians 4:26), while men are more prone to explosive anger (yes, also a terrible sin). Also, speaking of pschoababblers, that term would be offensive to most women, even Christian women, as many prefer secular me-centered, me-worshiping, psychology (nothing short of a false religion) to the Word of God, yet another fault, if not sin, of women. Sorry women!
Preferring her children over their husband and even, many times God Himself (i.e. child idolatry).
Christian women are more liable to commit the sin of marrying an unbeliever. Unlike a male, if they want children they have a biological clock that’s ticking and a window of time they can’t wait beyond, so in desperation to not miss the opportunity to have children (a good and righteous God-given desire) they are more apt to marry an unbeliever against God’s clear command (1 Corinthians 7:39).
Again, I’m sure I missed some “sins common to women” and I’m sure those I’ve listed could be debated and attacked, so I’ll leave any additions, deletions, or corrections to you.
Andrew, thanks for writing. And I am sure you feel better for having gotten that off your chest. For the record, I agree with almost everything you say, but the thing I differ with is really significant, and it colors everything else you said after that. It colors all the things I agree with (technically). You said, “and it’s somehow the man’s fault or responsibility (please explain that apparent ‘distinction without a difference’ again)” That’s the problem, right there. The failure of American men to understand the chasm between fault and responsibility is one of our glaring and foundational sins. It is not a distinction without a difference. It is the distance between Heaven and Hell. It is our neglect at this point that has made feminism in all its virulent forms even possible. American men don’t understand covenant, and that is why conservative American men want the privileges of headship without the responsibilities of headship. Sorry, that’s not how the world works. On the cross, Christ took responsibility for our sins . . . without having been guilty of any of them. And husbands are supposed to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
I am an associate pastor who receives a housing allowance. We chose for my wife to stay home when our son was born (thanks for your influence there!) and my income alone has been a stretch for us. While technically we are managing on my income, I have been trying to find ways to make more and spend less. There always seems to be a vehicle or house repair that comes up and we are often tapping into savings and not able to replenish it.
As I explore options for making my income manageable, one recommendation I received from a fellow minister was to look into government assistance for health and food benefits. I have a couple concerns about this though and feel uneasy.
1) Should I as a Christian, let alone a minister, be seeking to take advantage of government programs in order to better provide for my family and prepare for our future?
2) Assuming the answer to the first question is yes, is it lawful for me to exclude my housing allowance from my total income in order to qualify? I qualify for government benefits if my housing allowance is not considered part of my income, but would not qualify if my housing allowance is included. It seems in many contexts housing allowance is not supposed to be factored into my gross income. Is it unethical to exclude that part of my income in order to qualify even if it is technically allowed? Am I taking from someone who might have a more legitimate need for those benefits?
I appreciate your wisdom on a variety of topics and would love your insights on this situation. Thanks for all you do!
Johnathan, I honestly believe the answer to your first question should be no. We really need to be modeling for our people a willingness to refuse the benefits first.
An Interesting Idea
As a prerequisite, I must say that I was going to put my name as John Doe because of the nature of my work, but my email revealed my name, so I found no use in that. The reason for my writing is in regards to all the content on Blog and Mablog. it would be amazing if you could put all of Pastor Wilson’s Blog and Mablog content on kindle in an “annual edition.” I may be unfamiliar with how it works, but it seems all you have to do is just smash them together in a Mobi file and share it. I go back and read his posts often, but as a missionary, I don’t always have great access to internet. If I could store them on my kindle (because a kindle is easier to carry when you travel as much as I do) I would be able to refresh myself with these articles as necessary without internet access. I know this is a niche problem that probably only I have, and I am also aware the world does not revolve around me no matter how badly I want it to sometimes. Either way, if this falls on its face, I do hope this is taken as a token of my appreciation for all the work you are doing. I wouldn’t want these on my kindle if I didn’t think they would be useful (sorry the the double negative, actually, no I’m not, haha). If this is as far as it gets, I hope this can be an encouragement to you. Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight.
With brother affection,
Taylor, thanks. Consider your suggestion suggested.
I have a quick question brought to me by my husband. If, as preterists believe, the world is getting better and better, how do we explain the 20th century being the “bloodiest century”? Has this been addressed on your blog or on Canon Press’ YouTube channel?
Amber, yes, it has been addressed, but I can’t recall where exactly. The basic answer is that the kingdom of God does not take off like the space shuttle, where altitude is gained every second that passes. It is more like hiking up the foothills toward a mountain range. Within the space of one mile, you might be going down a lot. There are canyons and crevices. But within the space of twenty miles, you see you have gained a lot of altitude. So don’t look at church history in 50 year increments—you might be looking at a crevice. Look at it in 500 year increments.
I’m postmill, but a problem I run into is this: will righteousness and wickedness both increase? Is there any passages in Scripture showing that wickedness will decrease as time goes on? I understand that the kingdom will grow, but does that mean there will be more righteous people than unrighteous people on earth when Jesus returns?
Ben, I think that wickedness over time will become a lot less influential, but at the same time a lot more self-conscious about the nature of what it is doing. And I believe there will be far more believers than unbelievers when Christ returns.
Good morning! I am currently in a Bible study going through the book of Revelation. “When the Man Comes around” somehow popped up in my recommended books on Amazon and I bought it. I have loved the commentary. I do have a question. The book asks what if the prophecy John was speaking about was in regards to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 vs. an end of the world prophesy. Most of what I have seen says Revelation is thought to have been written around AD 95, 25 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Is that date incorrect? Were these visions given to John prior to AD 70? Any help with the dates is much appreciated!
Blessings to you.
Autumn, yes. That is an astute question. I hold to an early date for the composition of Revelation. Here is a great book on the subject. I believe that the central thing that makes the book incomprehensible to many is the assumption that it was written after the destruction of Jerusalem. E.g. before Jerusalem fell, Nero persecuted the church, and did it for 42 months. After Jerusalem fell, your guess is as good as mine.
Teaching in Public School
I am a pre-kindergarten special education teacher in a public school. I am not a public school supporter but I do see some benefits for the population I teach. However, Lord willing my kids will not be in a public school and I will be able to stay home with them. After going to the FLF conference and the Liberty tour in Fort Worth I found myself trying to decide if there was a place for Christian’s in the public school at all?
In my situation I do not have a curriculum to follow and I create everything I teach. I’ve been able to help families get their homes in order and learn how to handle their children better. Most if not all know I am a believer and that my methods stem from that background. I do teach in a very red city in Oklahoma and most [of the] liberal agenda is staying out of our district (we have remained open the past two years with little Covid protocol). There are few private schools and even fewer private Christian schools that teach special education children leaving me with the public school as my only option. I do believe God has given me a gift to teach these children and help their families as well. Is there a place for Christians in the public school that are not compromising their beliefs and morals or do we just need to get out?
Kathleen, my central objection to Christian support of the public schools has to do with putting our children there. They have not been trained or equipped to deal with what is thrown at them. Someone in your position is in quite a different position. If you got another opportunity, I would encourage you to take it, but I don’t think you are sinning by being where you are.
I wanted to get your take on the Chris Rock/Will Smith situation from last night’s Academy Awards. I’m not a fan of watching wealthy leftists congratulate each other and condescendingly lecture us on morality after visiting Epstein’s island, but I guess I’m an uncultured rube.
In case you missed it (which I hope you did), Chris Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife Jada. Will Smith initially laughed, his wife was visibly annoyed, and upon seeing this he took it upon himself to assault Chris Rock and begin screaming and swearing at him from his seat.
The video can be seen here: (Profanity warning):
What are some godly principles to defend your wife? This display was clearly the world acting worldly. Is there a proper, biblical way of handling a similar situation (not that I would be in the running for an Oscar . . . yet)?
Gary, yeah. The biblical way of handling something like that would be to not be in attendance. The whole thing is a monstrosity.
Check These Out
Your post The Naughty Boy of Evangelicalism fills me with such hope, but so much frustration too. Being 4 hours or so from Moscow I find myself gazing the landscape looking for warriors but finding sleeping drunkards in the pews and it kills me.
In Spokane, do you know of any third groupers to labor alongside?
Also, I was intrigued to see historical figures in the third group, and am curious, could you make similar lists for the first too? I assume this three-way split can be traced through church history.
A Possible Idea
So I was watching your “Relationship Advice Blogs” video where you explained the epidemic of singles unable to find someone in churches and that it’s been a topic at presbytery meetings and such. As a single 32-year-old man at a CREC church in this situation, I had an entirely self-interested idea. What if there was a way for CREC singles, with pastoral approval, to be placed in a network where people can meet and find each other? It probably doesn’t need to be something complicated like CRECSingles.com, but it might be a worthwhile endeavor to help get people paired up.
Sam, thanks for the idea.
A Hard Spot
What reasons would you consider legitimate for leaving a local church? I have been at the same Baptist church since I was born; my parents actually met there. I have been reforming for the past two or so years, now confessing the 1689, and I have grown very discontent with the church I now attend. The preaching is regularly topical, the music is Big Eva style, and the soteriology is obviously not Calvinistic (there are alter calls after every service). If I were visiting this church, there is no chance I would come twice, but my dilemma is that the people here are family to me. It has been growing increasingly difficult for me to even sit through a service because of how shallow and irreverent it strikes me, yet I love all of my brothers and sisters in Christ there. Should I leave, or tough it out and try to reform the church? I also plan to meet with my pastor soon to discuss some of these issues, and either tell him I’m leaving or see if he is open to criticism, so if you have any advice on how to go about that it would be welcome as well.
Thanks for your time,
LM, don’t leave yet. And don’t ask your pastor if he is open to criticism. Ask him if he is open to you giving him books from time to time.
My kids are around 10-8-6, boy-girl-boy. By the grace of God we were able to raise them well from the time they were very young and I believe my kids to be submissive, honest, and a blessing. But things are getting different and little difficult now. Me and my wife have heard you try to pull way back on spankings by 7 and be done with them by 12. So, we decided to try and not spank them anymore, for anything short of bold faced rebellion. Again, this is almost never ever the case, I believe my kids want to obey and get where our correction and instruction is coming from. But we are entering this weird territory where disobedience is not obstinate, it comes from not remembering, or not considering, or not applying wisdom. Something like giving the command to not jump on the couch, so they move to the loveseat. And its a half hour later from when I gave the initial command. Or its the next day, but the same command has been given twice this same week already. And because we’re trying to pull back on the spankings we are finding ourselves nagging and snapping more. I would probably agree with anything you would say about how we’re doing it wrong, but if you have some advice about how you might go about handling this stage the right way, me and my family would greatly appreciate it.
AS, it is not just pulling back from corporal punishment, it is also a matter of moving into “real life” discipline, assigning extra chores and things like that.
Writing in regards to Dawson’s cousin Dennis, in the latest Letters.
Doug, could you clarify a bit on what you have in mind regarding a husband not oversharing with his wife? What is the line between not oversharing and keeping your wife in the dark? I’ve dipped my toes into some of the more red pill Christian spheres and there are some beliefs there that a husband should keep things from his wife, and that concept has troubled me. For example, if a husband falls into sin (lets say porn, habitual lying, even adultery. The habits and biggies, not ‘I had a mean thought about Bob today’), he shouldn’t, or doesn’t have to, confess to his wife. That makes him appear weak, and reverses headship (he confesses to her, which gives her authority over him, making her the head). Likewise a wife may not confront her husband over sin, so any counsel or confession is to be done with other men, the wife need not know about any of it. Even things like the family’s financial situation or financial troubles—the wife isn’t to know. If he is worried, hurting, or struggling with something, the wife isn’t to know, only other male friends. But yet in all these scenarios the wife is expected to be a completely open book in ever area of her life, and confess every sin and thought to her husband. I understand that a guy shouldn’t come home blubbering into his wife’s shoulder about his bad day at work every day, but at what point is withholding thoughts, feelings, struggles, and sins from his wife a form of deception, where she would be blindsided by her husband’s (and maybe her own) actual reality were she to find out?
Anonymous, I share your concern. The point is not to make sure the husband looks strong for his wife, but rather that he be strong for his wife. And when it comes to sexual matters, that is the one place where the apostle explicitly says that the wife does have authority (exousia) over her husband’s body.
Thanks again for the series of letters to your imaginary nephew. In the latest of these letters, describing a situation in which a husband should not apologize because his wife is correcting him for something he did that she thinks was sinful but he does not, you wrote . . .
“. . . he gets to the point where he loses his temper. Now he really does have sin to confess.”
My questions are not about whether the husband should apologize or not, but about the beliefs that lay beneath your statement.
I’ve noticed that both you and your dear wife (she, during a discussion of parenting) have previously said things along this line, the assumption seeming to be that anger or “temper,” when expressed, is always sinful.
Do you not believe in the concept of “righteous anger?” Jesus seemed to (driving out the money changers is one example). So did our brother, Paul (be angry, but do not sin). And was not the zeal of Phineas recounted in Numbers 25 a form of righteous anger?
Or, is it that you do you not believe that saints of God are able to ACT in righteous anger in a Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered manner?
On that last question, I recognize that none of us possess the clarity of mind or purity of heart that Jesus did (or could we, by His Spirit?), so it’s surely going to be fewer and farther between when we ARE able to see clearly enough to rightly be righteously angry and act with self-control. But it seems that Scripture teaches that it IS possible and SHOULD be a thing, at times. Phineas was commended by God Himself, after all.
I fully realize that in the practice of this viewpoint, the immense difficulty is in discerning, in the moment, whether said anger is “the anger of man” that does not accomplish the righteous purposes of God (James 1:20) or something more akin to God’s anger at sin (Psalm 7:11).
In my experience as a Dad, there have been MANY times where I expressed anger toward one of my 5 children out of selfish irritation or because of personal inconvenience. That was the James 1:20 type of anger and apologies were warranted and made to make those wrongs right. No justification there. I was wrong.
But there have also been a handful of times where, as the wiser or more spiritually mature one in the situation, I CLEARLY saw the repeated or habitual sin of my child and the peril it posed to their soul. I was angered by it (Psalm 7:11?) and I believe, appropriately expressed that anger with a raised voice and serious tone. The controlled but fitting expression of anger in those situations is one part of what gave the child clarity about the seriousness of their sin and appropriate “godly sorrow” that led to repentance in the heart of my child (2 Corinthians 7:10). I can conceive of a similar but not identical situation happening between spouses.
In the tenuous place in which we all live, that of “saint still to be fully sanctified,” I recognize the shaky ground I’m standing on in moments like I describe, so my ONGOING prayer is for wisdom and humility and grace. My goal is for the person in question to be moved toward God’s view of things, not to damage them or thwart God’s work in them.
In a culture that is overly concerned that everyone feels good about themselves, suppressing truly righteous anger seems remotely akin to giving everyone an “I-won’t-judge-you participation award” because we don’t want anyone to think, or to think that we think, that they are not a “winner.”
Sin makes all of us losers, which is contrary to our blood-bought identity as Christ-followers. Sometimes we need to be shown that contradiction as it manifests in our behavior in the most forceful terms, and in such “showing,” righteous anger may play a part. When we ignore that, I think we neglect a necessary expression of the heart of God that is sorely missing in the modern era.
I look forward to your response, Doug.
Carey, I agree with your general point about anger, and with all of your qualifications. There is indeed such a thing as righteous anger, and in Ephesians we are commanded to “be angry and sin not.” We are also told in Ephesians to put away “wrath and clamor.” So there is a clear distinction between righteous and unrighteous anger. What my wife and I were addressing was the loss of control that is expressed with the phrase “losing your temper.” All that agreement expressed, I think that occasions for righteous anger within a well-ordered home should be rate to the point of non-existence.
At your recommendation, I purchased The Unseen Realm, by Michael Heiser. It is a rather uncomfortable book. It feels like the universe is more crowded than I once believed it to be. I am also currently reading That Hideous Strength again, and it seems to me Lewis had a pretty good grasp on the supernatural and all the beings that inhabit the divine council.
I am only about half way through, but one part that has messed me up. Heiser says the us/our plural of Genesis 1:26 is not talking about the Trinity, but God speaking to the other members of the divine council, namely other spiritual beings. Here is one of the passages: “Many Bible readers note the plural pronoun (us; our) with curiosity. They might suggest the plurals refer to the Trinity, but technical research in Hebrew grammar and exegesis shows that the Trinity is not a coherent explanation. The solution is much more straightforward, one that an ancient Israelite would have readily discerned. What we have is a single person (God) addressing a group —members of his divine council.”
He is saying that we aren’t only made in the image of God, but the image of the member of the divine council—the elohim, angels, what have you.
Honestly, I don’t like that. It feels real specialized, like I have to take the word of the ten people who know Hebrew “technical grammar”, just like I have to trust in the ten specialists who understand quantum physics if I am to believe the universe came from a very specific definition of nothing. I have no way to fight back because I don’t understand quantum physics, just as I don’t understand ancient Hebrew customs, vocabulary, word plays, or ancient Israelite cosmology.
Do you know if others share this viewpoint, or is Heiser a maverick?
And how did you take this when you read it? Seems like a huge departure from what nearly all Christians believe to be true. Do you think us/our is referring to the plurality of the Trinity making a plan, or God conversing with other spiritual beings who share some kind of common image that they make us in? Do you think Heiser borders on heresy with his? Lots of questions.
Tim, I don’t think Heiser is a heretic, but is sometimes something of a maverick, and still really helpful. At the same time, I don’t agree with him all the time, and if something is unsettling I would just set it off to the side. And I don’t agree that we were created in the image of the divine council. I don’t believe that adds up.
Vanilla Westminster. Really?
Paedo-Communion vs. Philip Kayser’s “Young Credo-Communion” Greetings Pastor Wilson,
I recall in one of your videos from some years back that you said you came to paedo-baptism slowly, and even more slowly paedo-communion, knowing it was not embraced by the Reformers. You also call yourself a “vanilla Westminsterian”.
I have greatly benefited from your instruction on the covenant and covenantal nurture of children, qualifications for eldership to include faithful children, etc. I don’t recommend anyone more highly than yourself on Christian education, covenant nurture, marriage and family, etc.
However, I can’t agree that holding to paedo-communion permits one to be a “vanilla Westminsterian” unless there’s some banana slices or something rather unexpected on top of the vanilla ice cream. It also seems that the much labored “FV Dark and FV Lite” distinctions sort of have a watershed on paedocommunion. The FV lite seems to take paedocommunion, which is just outside of “vanilla Westminster” and have a biblical/theological system that works back toward/harmonizes with Westminster, whereas the FV Dark take paedocommunion and work out a system that is not exactly Westminsterian, and certainly not vanilla Westminsterian (I believe you have called them Augustinian).
Maybe I’m way off, as an outsider of the CREC looking in fondly in many respects, and as a great admirer of your teachings on family/education/covenant nurture in particular, but I fear that after your departure to glory, some in your circles may run with paedocommunion and the theology undergirding it in directions further and further away from “vanilla Westminsterianism.” I believe there is a letter online from many years back of James Jordan saying something to the effect of, for him, paedocommunion and his system/program is something entirely different than Reformed Presbyterian/Westminsterian.
So my humble request and appeal, if you have not already, is to check out Dr. Philip Kayser’s book “Children and Communion.” I think it maintains most if not all the things that I presume would lead you and others to embrace paedo-communion over and against those Reformed denominations that wrongly turn partaking of the Lord’s Table into something like passing a theology exam for ordination into the ministry. In short, I think Kayser’s book resolves the issues of both “mature/P.H.D.” communion, and infant communion, both of which appears to be outside of Westminster.
Thank you for reading this and considering my appeal.
Pastor, thanks very much. I have ordered the book.
Dear Pastor Wilson and Wilson Clan,
I recently discovered you on youtube and have since subscribed to your app. I am greatly enjoying hearing the truth you preach. I’ve been especially convicted and encouraged by the teaching of your women on marriage and motherhood. I greatly appreciate your firm adherence to Scripture, particularly unpopular Scripture. That being the case, I’m curious why women in your ministry do not cover their heads. You all obviously firmly adhere to the teachings of many extremely unpopular passages on the role and even dress of women. How can you preach the universality of the commands in 1 Cor 14:34-35, women remaining quiet in the church, and yet ignore the command of a few chapters earlier 1 Cor 11:2-16?
I’m genuinely asking. I recently dove into the “that command was just for the Corinthian culture” argument . . . and came out of it with a scarf on my head. I could not find any way that argument held any water for those of us who obey the other hard commandments to women in Corinthians and the rest of the NT. 1 Cor 11 does seem to require the Corinthian women continue head covering to counteract rampant issues in their culture that were creeping into their church. Those issues are exactly the same as our cultural issues that are creeping into our church! Paul commands head covering as God’s answer to Feminism, cross dressing and androgeny. Sounds familiar.
One of your daughters said in a blog post “If God said to wear pig tails, I’d wear pig tails.” God does say women ought to wear a head covering when they pray or prophesy. And Christians are to pray without ceasing. I wonder what the effect would be if Christian women suddenly returned to being highly visible in our culture this way? I can tell you that in my own life I get a daily small “obedience workout” just by putting my covering on every morning. I’ve had many conversations with nominal or liberal Christians, who cannot fathom actually OBEYING something in the Bible if it makes you look different. I’m much less concerned about saying something that would make me look weird or “too religious” because . . . well, I already look weird and too religious. I can finally hold my head high among all the Muslim women I work with, women I had previously envied because they got to proclaim who they were and what they believed the second anyone laid eyes on them. Now I do too. I would also note the Muslims being so visible gives the impression that there are a LOT of them. What if Christians suddenly became visible as well, in all our (covered) glory?
I’m so curious to hear your response, thank you for your time.
A Deep Bench
Simply a question about preaching at Christ Church. Judging by Canon+ it seems as though there are four main preachers at the church right now (you, Pastor Sumpter, Pastor Longshore, and Dr Merkle). It’s interesting seeing that each of you is preaching through a different part of Scripture, Psalms, Leviticus, 1st Samuel, and John respectively.
Having been at a church where we preached through Acts for almost 2 years, I’m curious how you sustain preaching from so many places well. As a congregant hungry to be fed I wish we could have been in more parts of Scripture over those 2 years but also recognize the importance of preaching what is there in the text and don’t want to short change a book. How do you all decide where you will preach from and how do you keep the congregation on track with what is being taught? Thanks and God bless
Shea, each preacher decides what books to preach through, and we try to cover the waterfront.
I’ve enjoyed your booklist page and your virtual library tour. Being such a prolific reader and writer, could you expound upon your reference system? Even if it’s a as simple as a commonplace, I think it’d be helpful to know how you recall the ideas for your next book to write or that quote from Chesterton, but can’t remember which sermon it was from. I was hoping your book Ploductivity would address some of this and while I like you don’t shy away from digital tools, what tools do you use for that sort of thing?
Candy, very sorry. When it comes to that sort of thing, my brain is kind of a junk drawer.
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Ben, thanks for the info.
Was I Being a Bit Too Coy?
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 found this actually quite confusing. You said; “I don’t want to position myself to be the next great leader” and then almost instantly recommended everything you’re doing (your church, your school, your publisher, etc.) which seemed to be a direct reversal of what you claimed you didn’t want (“to position yourself”). Why not mention another organization as a place to look? Are there any other Christian churches or publishers or schools that can offer a biblical and theological direction and teaching? I say all of this as I just recently read Matthew 6 and Jesus teaching around “anonymity” and the warnings against self-promotion.
Can we learn from Christ Church, St. Andrews, Logos School and Canon Press? Absolutely! That’s why many of us come here and read your stuff. But can we learn from Piper, Keller, and the faithful anonymous Baptist preacher down the street too? Absolutely.
I found the conclusion of your article troublesome and would just humbly ask you to consider promoting other places outside of your organization as models of faithfulness.
Thanks for allowing commentary and considering this perspective,
Ryan, sorry for the confusion. I meant what I said. I don’t think that we will be the catalytic moment, but I do very much want to be a part of it when it blows. And I could name other places that I think will be part of it as well—but I honestly don’t know who will be the Luther in this scenario.