Gideon and Pursuit
Curiously, after citing the account of Gideon pursuing the Midian kings in Judges 8:4 you mention the importance of local churches setting aside bread for state action. Given what happens to Gideon and his army in the verses that follow, we should also be prepared for a disappointing response from within our own gates.
David, what you say is quite possible. You have a point.
Thank you for your ministry to us all. May the Lord grant you many more years of faithful labors.
I have a question which came to me listening to a podcast by those responsible for the Revoice conference. One of the startling things they noted was the great number of attendees who are in a covenanted relationship with a member of the same sex for the purpose of companionship and committed care. Some of these people live together, etc. The podcasters (Preston Sprinkle and Nate Collins) spoke of this trend as something which could inform the church in terms of friendship. (No thanks.)
It occurred to me while I was listening to this that what they have basically done is craft a form of marriage that doesn’t incorporate all of the vows God has given to us—like Mormon baptisms. Now, shifting back to the hetero-side, as a pastor, I have done both pre-marital counseling and regular marriage counseling where it was apparent that the counselees did not realize what they were into or getting into. To be specific, they didn’t understand what a covenant is, they didn’t understand what headship is, they didn’t understand how submission works, what to think about children, etc. My question (finally) is this: If these marriages went on ignorant of fundamental Scriptural understandings of marriage, are they basically doing the same thing as the Revoice people? If the vows are seriously deficient (I vow to be your very best friend for life), are they married? Should we re-“vow” them? Or is there a tacit covenant work even if those wedding do not fathom it.
Thanks for your help.
Devin, I think that an actual marriage comes into existence when you have two things occur—the vow, and the consummation. The vow may be deficient, but if it is present, I think you have a marriage. At the same time, I think you are correct to see the connection between hetero-marriage-lite and homo-friendship-marriage-lite.
You touch a few times on something I thought I had as a divine insight in 2016 (and which I certainly hold lightly, as one does when one feels they’ve been given something prophetic), and that is essentially the book of Habakkuk as being highly applicable to what God was doing with Trump—i.e. bringing in a deeply flawed individual to destroy those whom are overdue for a smiting. And while there have always been some radical and anti-Christian elements within the Democrat party, TDS has really served as a sieve to not only make people choose whether they’re going to side with those radical elements, but put those elements front and center. And I sincerely hope the coming judgement is to destroy the Satanism, and the gender, sexuality and racial identity politics that have coalesced there, and not the whole country in the process . . .
Ian, that is the hope and prayer.
Releasing the audio of the first chapter of Ride Sally Ride in the All of Christ podcast was the greatest marketing strategy ever devised. I had barely listened halfway through when I ordered it up for myself. I haven’t been able to put in down upon receiving it! I am extremely blessed by your gift to rebuke culture with a jolly smile upon your face! This book exemplifies that attitude. If Roe v. Wade is overturned (Lord willing) this year the events laid out in the book do seem to follow. I know you’re not a prophet but the times and dates on the events do seem awfully uncanny!
Aaron, yeah. Some of it is kind of spooky.
I am finally getting around to Ride Sally Ride now that is on audio on the canon app and all I have to say is that if the Charismatic Movement is looking for a prophet, they should all move to Moscow!
Chapter 1, sex robots, check! Roe v. Wade, coming soon check! Country self dividing, check! Obergefell, that’s the future hope… check!
Jordan, thanks. But I don’t really want to become a charismatic prophet. What would Dan Phillips say?
Go a Little Deeper
I am a shipwreck, a pig and a dog that now and then manage to wear a suit sailing.
God has cast me several times to the ground and I come up as no Paul at all. I am still being violent, still watch porn, still drink and still have gross humor and being a bitter 50 year, selfish old fart.
I am as Mr Badman and want to be Pilgrim !? I love to live but I hate life, because my part is a villain not a chief of sinners. And I am very, very angry on God for not saving me from myself and all I do and say.
Carl, not to make light of your dilemma, but perhaps I can say something that can help. Fast forward in your mind to the day of judgment, the day when every mouth will be stopped, and God will be vindicated in absolutely everything He did to you, and for you. At that time, there will be no room for evasion at all, or for putting anything back on God. The thoughts you will have on that day will be true. Try to think them now.
Cluttering Is Not Decluttering
Repentance, repentance, repentance My husband has been repenting to me about 5 times a day for lust struggles with thoughts about other women. We’re practicing the Decluttering Your Marriage style with fast repentance and fast forgiveness.
He repented to me tonight about a desire for me to die so he might be free to marry. He said it was a brief thought and it’s not actually what he wants.
I’m emotionally exhausted. It has hurt and I feel myself tense when he walks into the room, wondering what it will be this time.
What needs to happen here? Am I being too sensitive with having pain here? Should there be any emotional baggage, or not so much because he says that’s actually not his desire?
At what point is change expected? Are men forever doomed to struggle with lust multiple times a day? In no way does he feed sin. He doesn’t have a porn problem. Can lust actually be eradicated from a man’s life? Even if it will always be a temptation, is it also expected to be a sin they fall to every now and then?
Exhausted, but pressing forward in hope
Exhausted, you can only declutter your marriage by confessing your sins. Do not confess your temptations. The devil can get you chasing your tail in nothing flat that way. The only responsibility you have for fleeting thoughts is the responsibility of rejecting them. Martin Luther said that you can’t keep birds from flying over your house, but you can keep them from nesting in your chimney.
I just noticed an “Islamic centre” as they call it, has been opened up in my town. We ought to pray for their salvation and that the centre would be brought to nothing, but how should the churches and individual Christian’s in my town respond to this?
Jonty, I would recommend contacting James Rayment, (email@example.com), who has a flourishing ministry to Muslims.
Please pardon as my letter is not in regards to a particular blog post, but just seeking some wisdom in general.
My family and I have been trying to move out of a deep blue state to South Carolina for the past couple years, and the Lord just blessed my husband with a remote job, giving us our pick of the litter in regards to where in the state we’d like to relocate. However, now that we actually have some wheels in motion, I’m reading predictions that the economy will crash as early as June. Although I obviously don’t believe everything I read, with the way our political captors are spending I think this might be a fair guess. Are we too late to get out of Dodge? Houses there are very expensive, and I’m terrified of moving so far just to lose everything we have. We have small children. On the other hand, our current state is deeply wicked and a threat in itself. Any thoughts on the matter would be a blessing.
Lost and Confused
Dear Lost, of course something can always go wrong, but my advice to you would be “steady as she goes.”
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Re: “On Not Being Catty About It” When I get to Heaven, I’m gonna ask Euodia and Syntyche what his name was.
Kyriosity, let’s just hope it wasn’t Clement.
I have really been enjoying the things I am watching on YouTube coming from Canon Press and Doug Wilson. This letter is more of a request. I am trying to make sense of Jonathan Pageau. My son is fairly enthralled with him, and so I have tried to watch his YouTube videos, but I feel like they pretty much make my head explode. He can sound so intellectual, and yet I don’t hear Biblical truth, but jut lots of almost Gnostic double talk. I tried to find some Reformed views on his teaching, but so far have not found anything. I can envision Doug doing one of his ‘reaction to’ videos while watching one of Pageau’s. What made me think of it is that I just watched Dougs video titled…hmm…something like ‘There is no Forgiveness.” In it he talked about sacrifice. That reminded me that I had just that day noticed a Pageau video on Sacrifice, probably dated 5/10 or 5/11. I then tried to watch Pageau and again, it sounds like crazy double talk. He does not go to Scripture for his ideas. They are very human oriented. Yet, there are apparently a good amount of people – professing Christians – that watch him. My son had walked away from the Lord in early adulthood, and now is telling me that he has come back to God, but it is with these sorts of mystical, symbolic undertones. I would sure like to have a little help in how to sort out Pageau’s teachings. Is he totally off base and a heretic? Does he sometimes hit the mark? Babylon Bee interviewed him. I will have to watch that and see what they came up with. So, my letter is a request for help in making sense of Pageau’s teachings. Thank you.
Debbie, sorry. I won’t be much help. I don’t know much about Pageau particularly. I would assume that our differences would be the standard sort of differences you would find between Reformed Protestantism and EO.
What We Have in Common
Bret Weinstein and his partner Heather Heying are the sort of individuals who live and reason by a completely different philosophical grounding, but reason very deeply about it and so can be quite useful to listen to. They come at this topic from an incredibly different direction, but essentially point out that men grow up with overt modes of competition, and women grow up with covert modes of competition—and also that our modern society has -probably to our collective detriment—replaced many forms of overt competition with more covert forms . . .
Ian, I agree. And the thing we have in common with folks like them is that we all believe in objective reality. That we cannot tailor that reality to suit ourselves.
More Postmill Questions
1 John 5:19 (KJV) And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1 John 5:19 (ESV) We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
In what sense does the world lie in wickedness/the power of the evil one since Christ is King and currently reigning from His seated position at the right hand of the Father?
Todd, I take this as referring to the world at that time, the world of that generation. But there was a world to come, which we are in the process of inheriting. The devil was the ruler of that age, but he was then thrown down.
I must admit defeat (or rather, victory) of coming to the Postmillennial position. You’re right. It is more fun this way.
But more importantly, I wanted to receive some pastoral counsel on this as it regards my current pastoral role. I am serving as a pastor amidst a plethora of Dispensational premillennial pastors/elders either by confession or osmosis. We are not confessionally/doctrinally of this position, but we are historically and by majority. There are also mischaracterizations of postmillennialism (and preterism at that), and I know I am walking into a type of sticky goo.
As cool as it would be to see them all be postmil, I don’t expect it but would rather advance patiently and properly amongst my brothers in Christ. I do not suppose I am the only one who reads your blogs who is going through something similar. I was wondering what your counsel would be in this regard.
Evan, my advice would be to play it cool, and stay away from any postmill cage stage stuff. Keep it out of your explicit teaching (but not out of your cheerfulness). Pray that God would get you to a peaceable settlement where you are, and, failing that, to a peaceable transition where you are going to be.
Are you aware of any Postmillennialists who have interacted with the idea that global climate change may be used to vastly increase the world’s resources to support increased populations? Less Arctic and more tillable land seems like it would be a positive.
Joshua, I had not seen that argument. But it is fun to see it now.
From “On Humming ‘A Mighty Fortress’ through your Masks” Pastor Doug,
You reference your objection to Social Security in this post. Have you developed that elsewhere? I am set to be ordained in the first part of next year and would like to think through the issue more thoroughly? Any direction appreciated!
Chris, my case against Social Security is not all that sophisticated. “Thou shalt not steal.”
Being Fastidious Is a Sin Too
I have been vary edified by many of your sermons. The one titled Confession of sin was a great blessing to me and helped open my eyes. But now I’m struggling with remembering something I did wrong every two weeks. I’m willing to deal with them but the problem is they are all small things from five or six years ago, like a mindless comment that was a lie or some bad joke I said to someone that I haven’t seen in a long time, I’ve have repented of them to God, but is that still something I need to confess to that person? Most of the times I have brought something up, like lying about using someone’s bathroom, and they don’t know what I’m talking about, they’re always nice about it but I wonder if I’m sounding legalistic and poorly representing God to them. Also, with the bigger things I felt a heavy burden on me before I confessed the sin, but with these small things the affliction seems more self-enforced, if that makes sense. No sin is small sin but what sin needs to be confessed to one another? I know that since you don’t know the specific it might be hard to give an answer, but just some general principles would be very helpful.
Daniel, I think your question is really a reasonable one. I would apply the Golden Rule. If someone sinned against you in that same way ten years ago, say by coveting your plaid slacks momentarily, would you want them to confess it to you? And depending on your circle of friends, you can let them know that things are different with you now with a “hey, everybody” confession. But if there is any doubt, I would still confess specifically.
Forgiveness and Expiration Dates
My question is, Is there a statute of limitations on adultery as cause for divorce? Here are some of the facts:
*I was unfaithful, not my husband
*When discovered, we went to our pastor/church for confession and guidance
*My husband chose to forgive me and stay in our marriage
*He never received the support and guidance needed to really heal from bitterness
*Now, 8 years later, he believes there is no healing and no one can give him a biblical reason why he should not seek divorce
Of course, there are so many more nuances to our relationship, and I’m sure they factor in heavily. But this is a main overarching issue that I cannot seem to find guidance on. I want to save my marriage. Thank you in advance for any guidance.
Sarah, your husband had grounds for divorce at the time, but once he forgave you and stayed with you for years, those grounds disappeared. Your adultery cannot be reactivated as an issue—if it could be, then the forgiveness was meaningless.
The Torah and Christ
I am a relatively new Christian, a few years since I committed to Christ. I have people whom I respect on both sides of this issue and I am very conflicted on it currently. I am inquiring about keeping Torah and more specifically Old Testament dietary and social law as Christian Gentiles.
I found a video where you were answering this but the sound was distorted and unable to be listened to.
I understand Faith and faith alone is what saves and it seems to me that keeping to dietary law is steering towards salvation by works.
Matthew 5 17-19
Revelation 21 1-4
Matthew 28 19-20
These verses seem to say that we should still keep Torah as Gentiles and that, We are being grafted into Israel.
I appreciate any insight or advice you could offer
Conflicted, we are grafted into Israel, but as wild olive branches we have brought in something new. My recommendation to you is that, as a new Christian, you should not study stacks of verses from different parts of the Bible. You don’t have the narrative flow yet. I would encourage you to read Hebrews through 10 times, and then Galatians 20 times. Do it with these questions in the forefront of your mind.
I’ll be praying over Stickergate.
Thanks for the constant flow of free, or in the case of Canon+ very high value to dollar content as usual. I have been working on low heat on the back burner a larger email for you covering major topics to which I’ve alluded in the comment sections at various times, but refuse to make an only half-baked effort and time management with four small children and financial concerns while trying to save money in this climate being what they are, it is slow going. I did want to comment briefly on something I heard just now in Man Rampant Season 2 (the one with Peter Hitchens), You question why, in Football, a team will be able to execute a brilliant and dynamic 2 minute offense in the fourth quarter, but why couldn’t they score like that in the first? You conclude that the deadline is giving added motivation, and then compare that to the far left using emergencies as justification for power grabbing.
The problem here is that deadline motivation has nothing to do with difference in football play, and the oversight in the sport is being carried over to an oversight in the politics. In the fourth quarter of a football game, the material conditions of the game are different from what they were at the start of the game. As you well know, there’s less time left. What you haven’t considered, at least not in the content of your comparison, is the chain reaction of strategic changes this makes on the game that have nothing to do with motivation. With little time left, the opponent has no time to make careful adjustments to new strategies. With little time left, the penalty for catastrophic failure is nonexistent, you can’t lose the game *more* than you already are, while the reward for success, instantly winning the entire game, is as high as it can be. This changes every decision about play calling across the board. A 50/50 chance at a touchdown vs. an interception would be a borderline insane choice in the first quarter. You have no way of calculating the ultimate effect of the decision. At the end of the game, you know precisely how much or little effect both the interception and the touchdown would have. You have had the benefit of watching them react to your offensive choices for hours at that point, and hundreds of examples of their strategic choices from which to devise an ideal strategy.
Simply put, it is a substantively different game late in the 4th quarter. This is part of the reason why I criticize so sharply when I see people criticizing the study of games as a generality as I did a few months ago. Many of the principles of analysis at play carry over significantly to the real world. In this case, the reason the left was able to make so much headway recently was not simply because they are claiming an emergency. There is a confluence of circumstances that allowed this window of opportunity to exist, from a refusal for churches to participate in mainstream culture, to conservative media being more interested in selling to existing conservatives rather than outreach to the center, to internal divides still rippling outwards from those that despise Trump too much to allow the right to succeed so long as he is at the helm. We’ll call that the David French effect.
The point is, the analysis of both the football and the politics is more complicated than all that, and Christians tend to be allergic to strategic thinking. We may be required to be wise as serpents yet innocent as doves, but we tend to be more of dogs in both respects. You might describe a dog as loyal, but never innocent. He whines and begs for what he wants, and scratches up the walls when denied his comforts, and has all the strategic inclinations of walking in a straight line towards the thing that he wants.
I don’t expect you disagree with any of this. The flat game theory analysis just popped out at me and I felt the need to comment. God bless.
P.S. Oh, I just recently watched your debate with James White and your older one with Andrew Sullivan. I have to compliment you across the board, as in every debate I’ve seen of you, you are not just delivering your thoughts, but also playing your opponent. Hitchens’ trademark was to steal the moral high ground away from his religious opponents, something most of them were completely unused to, and most are just never able to recover from being in such unfamiliar territory, so you by contrast standup and declare how pointless and without power his condemnations were. White by contrast is an exegetical heavy hitter. He was *expecting* to throw down on issues of Biblical interpretation. Rather than lean in to that expectation, you present your point of view as, for lack of a better singular word, “cute”.
You’ve taken one of the primary lessons of David and Goliath to heart. You don’t beat a Goliath by fighting like a Goliath.
Justin, thanks. And thanks for the good explanation on the Hail Mary pass—although I still have questions about the rapid fire completions, three in a row, each for fifteen yards.