Your Husband’s Name
I feel like at some point I recall you mentioning the biblical origin of wives taking their husbands last name at marriage. If this rings a bell, it would be much appreciated if you could point me to that article, sermon, etc. I could really use that resource now.
John, I think there is something about that in the first part of Reforming Marriage—in my discussion of Adam’s naming of Ishah. She was called Eve later. And there is also Ps. 45:10..
In your post, the “Natural Use of Women,” you argue that women are configured towards, essentially, homemaking—that is, their bodies tell the story of fruitfulness in propagating life, and they are commanded to be busy at home. You write, seemingly out of nowhere and with no justification, that “this includes making sandwiches.” My concerns with your larger program (having now read “It’s Good to be a Man” and “Eve in Exile” as well as many of the books you yourself have written on these subjects) are numerous, and I don’t believe I’m shooting down straw men. So I don’t think it’s false to say that your larger vision of masculinity and femininity, reflected in this blog post, is both myopically restricted to the expression of masculinity and femininity in marriage and is restricted to a certain socio-cultural way of being masculine. I mean this. I hold to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, largely. I think it’s an excellent, holistic vision. Part of what makes it excellent is that JPII argues that masculinity and femininity can find full expression *even outside of marriage*; that is, celibate men and women are fully masculine and feminine even outside of the marriage context.
So let’s juxtapose visions in light of this post. You write that women are to make the sandwiches as the ones who are “busy at home.” You do write, I believe, elsewhere that this doesn’t exclude women from having careers (e.g. Proverbs 31), but rather orders those careers to the building of the family. But first, why think “making sandwiches” or her cooking food is *the* expression of her femininity or home-making? You don’t give an argument for this at all. If the dynamic form of femininity, in the context of marriage, is “perfective-responsiveness-that-gives-life”, why *must* that dynamic demand any specific individual action (say, she should be doing most of the cooking since that transforms what he provides into life) rather than a specified pattern (e.g. that may be one way of living out the form of femininity, but that same pattern can organize other actions as well). And further, if you define femininity along the lines of the “natural function” of Romans 1 rather than, with Paul, articulating the “natural function” *in the specified context of sex (and therefore, implicitly, marriage)”, you exclude the intelligibility of why celibacy and singleness is actually good (and in 1 Corinthians 7 and most of church history, actually a *greater good* than marriage).
In light of the critiques along the lines I’ve specified, how would you defend your vision against the charge of being myopic and unhelpfully specified in arbitrary ways?
Sean, thanks for the feedback, but I think you are over-complicating it. I do not anywhere deny that unmarried men and women can live full lives under the blessing of God. What I am doing is generalizing where the Bible does, while cheerfully granting all the various exceptions. Paul says that women should be “keepers at home.” What? Do men never do anything to help “keep” the home? Is their foot tied to the piano? Of course they help out around the house, but the Scriptures still assign the domestic office of keeping to the woman. And that includes the sandwiches. But I’ll go with you this far. It doesn’t have to include all the sandwiches.
A Sad One
This is a true story. Your wisdom would be much obliged. A Christian woman is going through a difficult time with her husband. Here is the story in a nutshell.
Early in their marriage her husband began a pattern of lying to her about his whereabouts, viewing pornography, spending large amounts of cash, going to bars, getting drunk, and having one-night stands. She caught him drunk a few times but had no idea about the adultery. He went through a personal revival of sorts several years later and confessed all of the horrible sins to his wife, which totaled around a dozen times of adultery, and she forgave him.
Fours years later, he got drunk again and had sex with a prostitute. She forgave him again.
Five years later, he came home drunk one night and admitted to going to a bar. Recently, four years since the bar incident mentioned above, there were some red flags and she began questioning him again. After several months of denying any wrong doing and attacking her for accusing him, he finally admitted to lying about his whereabouts, viewing pornography, spending large amounts of cash, going to bars, and getting drunk. He stopped short of admitting to any adultery. She doesn’t believe him but has no proof or real evidence. He didn’t give any good explanations for the large amounts of cash he spent and she suspects he spent it on hotel rooms. She said her husband probably knows she would divorce him this time if he told her.
She is unsure what to do because she is a God-fearing woman.
According to biblical law does she have grounds for divorce? If so, can you give references?
B, yes. I believe she has grounds for divorce, and it seems to me that it is time. The references would be the standard ones for infidelity. If she says that she can’t be sure that he was being unfaithful, I would simply apply the reasonable person test. Suppose he admitted spending the night in a hotel room with a hooker, but his story is that he was too drunk to do anything? I think a reasonable person would say that it was reasonable to assume he was lying.
Flirting With Temptation
This question relates to your advice to confess actual sin, not mere temptation. Does “flirting with temptation”—where one lingers on the edge longer than is justifiable but does not quite fall—constitute a sin? How would you advise a woman who has concrete evidence that her husband has been tempted by online pornography, but also has reason to believe that the protections they have put in place were effective in holding him back until he could walk away from it? If he does not take the initiative to confess, should she acknowledge it was temptation and not sin and let it go? Or, if this is the sort of thing that needs to be addressed, what is the most respectful way to approach the subject?
SB, there are times when flirting with temptation becomes a sin in its own right, and the person whose conscience it is should evaluate whether it rises to the level of needing to confess it to anyone else. But if the spouse is surmising that there was such flirting, but no overt sin, I think it would be better to entrust the situation to God.
Peter Zeihan is fascinating to listen to (although I have not read his books). I think he is brilliant in some areas—namely discovering and highlighting demographic, geopolitical, energy, and economic pressures—but then my main critique is that he treats the logical outcomes of those pressures as inevitable destiny. I have yet to hear him give a list of what factors could throw a wrench to his predictions. What if there’s a global pandemic, what if one of the new generation nuclear startups succeeds in making cheap, modular, and safe nuclear power. . .? I think my advice to people regarding Zeihan is similar to the caveats you put out (and generally good advice always): absolutely listen to him, especially regarding why he thinks certain things will happen—but then hold loosely his conclusions, do one’s own thinking on the topics, and also never forget that God is in control.
Ian, well put.
Just Passing It On
RE Inverse Sabbaths
Something I heard many years ago in a sermon, and it stuck with me: “…this is the 4th Commandment. It means some of you have to speed up, and some of you have to slow down.”
Alicia, thanks. That says it all.
URGENT—Vaccine, sinful or not? Is taking a vaccine a sin because it has cell lines from abortions done in the 1960s? I haven’t taken the covid jab yet, but i turned 21 last month, and it’s holding my entire life back, I literally can’t get a decent job because I don’t have it, and I don’t want to be in my mid 20s living with my parents, please shed some biblical insight on this.
Joshua, here are my thoughts on that aspect of it.
Hi. You recently recommended supporting a particular Pro-life ministry but I cannot remember the name. Please tell me the name of that ministry. By the way, the letters advising your nephew on selecting a wife have been very helpful to my son. He’s been seeing a girl and says she fits everything you talk about. He’s put a deposit on a ring and is planning his proposal. Thank you!
Jill, here you go. And congratulate your son for me.
I was watching one of the interviews between you and Rebekah about her new documentary, and I don’t recall if it was you or her who voiced disagreement with complementarianism and seemingly considering it comparable to egalitarianism. I was hoping you would be willing to expound on that at some point. I am curious what you think complementarianism is and how your beliefs differ from it.
Nellie, what I meant was that the complementarians, while differing with the egalitarians, tend to be too accommodating to them.
To be honest, I have tended to skim (or scroll past) the “stickergate” posts on the presumption that one can never be even close to objective about family. And while I can empathize with the pain you must feel at these injustices, the whole thing was starting to feel a little demoralizing: yet another report of the Philistines unfairly taking ground, mocking the living God.
And then you published young Seamus’ assignment. My hope is renewed. I’ve caught a glimmer of how this plan out ahead several generations thing works. Godly-serrated snark has a bright future.
Yours in Christ
A question about the Received text tradition: How do we go about choosing which TR is the best? I know from your book debate with James White that you go with the 1550 Stephanus, some people go with Scrivner. But what’s the criteria for choosing which TR we use as a Greek text?
Jonty, here would be a good place to start.
More Dawson Fallout
Without getting into too much of an introduction and unloading the dump truck (I’ll reference that later), my name is Buddy and I had a few questions for you regarding your blog posts to “Dawson”. I am 22 years old, a God fearing man, pursuing a masters degree, and in need of some advice with a female.
The particular blog post that I was heavily convicted by was titled “Lack of Communication is Key.” Without too much exhaustive information I believe I have fallen into this error. I have been brought up well by my parents and believe myself to have a good head on my shoulders, but believe I have fumbled the ball on this one. My intention for writing this letter is I believe myself to have fallen into errors outlined in this and the blog pots but also because I desire to subject my thoughts and actions to a standard—the only standard. I am pursuing a Godly approach to this and would appreciate any words of wisdom you may have to offer.
It will be best if I refer to this particular woman of interest as Jane throughout this letter. Me and Jane met about four years ago and immediately hit it off. Due to my cowardice and stupidity I did not pursue this woman in an intentional way from the get-go. As seems to be the way with a cowardly man, I beat around the bush and most certainly walked right into other errors outlined in your blog posts. However, I am here right now (4 years later) and I believe it would do no good to try to retroactively do the right thing. As I said before and as you can probably imagine by the blog post I am referencing—I believe I have overshared with this woman and could be in a situation where if it goes any further it will be “vaguely dissatisfying” for her and bad all around.
Now some brief background into my situation. Me and Jane had not spoken for nearly a year (up until about 4 months ago) and I reached out to her fully convinced (finally) that she was the girl I wanted to marry in the future and I needed to see her. Up till that point we have had many miles between us, thus making it very difficult to move forward in any way regarding a relationship. Now, by circumstance alone we were able to get a few days together and in the course of events I told her that I would like to be more than her friend and enter into a relationship with her. introduced her to my family and we spent a few days together and I explained what I wanted moving forward—so she understands where I stand. She reciprocated these feelings but because of impending distance (she is about to go over seas for a mission trip) she said she needed to think for awhile about the implications of this. I agreed, believing some time was appropriate considering the mission trip and a current distanced situation.
Fast forward a few weeks and we are still in a position where Jane is trying to figure out if she would like to move forward. She has been wrestling with some family issues so I thought the time was still appropriate, however, believe for both our sakes we need to come to some sort of conclusion. She has expressed that she likes me a great deal and is attracted to me and would like to move forward but doubts about the future are holding her back. I am tempted to think I have slipped into a perpetual friend-zone where she does not find me attractive (using this word as an encompassing term as you did) enough to enter into a relationship and would prefer to keep things in “girlfriend” status.
Now for my questions. Some of these may need additional details, so if you need more details and have time to respond, I could provide those details.
– Was I wrong to give her this much time? Should I have been/be more intentional?
– I believe myself to have overshared for four years and believe she could be in a spot where she may see me more as one of her girlfriends and given she is a good christian woman will not entertain lesbianism, (a rough paraphrase, I admit). Lets assume I have overshared. Is there a way to move forward and correct it or am I entering into a situation where it would be bad for the both of us?
– I have not groveled for her attention or spelled out my emotional resume but still believe there to be error on my part in over sharing. I also recognize that I was setting myself up for failure given an unwillingness to act for 4 years. What advice might you offer to a young man like myself who is committed to doing the right thing and subjecting these feelings/emotions/decisions to a biblical worldview?
I understand a lot of wisdom goes into these decisions and there are many more details I could share, but I would appreciate any words of advice that pop into your head. I do like this woman quite a lot (understanding that may blind me a good amount) and would like to see us move into a stage where we are closer together than before. However, above all I would like to move forward committed to the right approach—knowing that this woman may not be who God has for me.
If you read this response, thank you. I look forward to potentially hearing from you soon.
Buddy, I think you are still overthinking. My encouragement—from a distance admittedly—is to get a ring and propose. Give her something definite to say yes or no to.
I’m enjoying reading the letters to Dawson and Darla. I’m quite thankful that in my church, marriage is encouraged and expected for most young singles. I’m also thankful that in my church, all the warnings you give to both Dawson and Darla are regularly given to the young singles. But that doesn’t mean that relationships at that stage of life is always easy.
Picture this scenario. You have a quality young single man (let’s call him Dawson for the sake of the story) who has a desire to find a godly wife. Then let’s say that two godly young females (let’s say Darla and Cindy for the sake of the story) would both be thrilled if Dawson started to intentionally pursue them. They all run around in the same group of friends. Darla is more reserved and wants to honor Dawson’s right to make the first move so she is intentional to not show too much interest. Cindy is more outgoing. She’ll cutely throw her head back and laugh at Dawson’s jokes. She makes sure to thank him for his nice prayer at the most recent church event. Her intentions are pure; she’s not trying to be a flirt. But nine times out of ten, Dawson is going to go for Cindy. I’ve seen situations like this happen over and over. Two things seem to result:
1. Darla gets discouraged at getting passed over. She gets older and eventually settles for a lesser man because she doesn’t want to be a single old maid.
2. All the other girls notice that the Cindy’s are getting picked and not Darla’s. But they don’t have Cindy’s good intentions. So they start thinking, “well, I guess the way to make sure I get a husband is to be more of a flirt.”
I find one of my missions in the church is to try and encourage the Darla’s to prevent situation #1. But I’m seeing situation #2 creep in more and more. Any thoughts.
Roger, yes. I think that the older godly women need to teach Darla how to flirt without being a flirt. If Cindy did it right, then Darla should work on that. If the subsequent imitators of Cindy did it wrong, then avoid that.
What’s the deal about ‘is he taller than you?’ Saul was head and shoulders above the rest and was a loser. I’m 5’6″. My wife is 5’11”. We’ve been married 42 years.
Jeff, congratulations on the 42 years. That list wasn’t my list—and I prefaced it by saying that some things on it were a matter of personal taste, while others were biblically required. Height preferences would be a matter of taste.
Although This Field is Not My Bag
Would you speak to issue, currently in vogue, of UFOs? The Senate had the first public hearing on this yesterday since the 1960s? Is this all a distraction? Do you think Aliens exist? Are they just Demons? Or something else?
What are the ramifications if they did exist? How would this impact the Christian theology? Eschatology, soteriology, or the creation mandate?
Mark, it has been many years since I looked at any of this, but my inclination is to say that interest in UFOs and the occult and the paranormal seem to go together.
A Collection of Questions
I want to thank you for your ministry and active role within our culture. You have been a huge blessing to me since I first “discovered” you when I stumbled across Man Rampant on Netflix(or Prime, I forgot which). Since then, I have become a regular consumer of content from you, Christ Church and Canon Press. What a blessing it has been! Finally, a ministry with teeth and a willingness to embrace the totality of the Great Commission and what it means to retake the cultural ground evangelicals have ceded in the past century. Doing it all with a dram of bourbon and a good cigar just ads the right amount of panache in my opinion!
I am relatively new to Reform Theology, coming from a Baptist, Dispensational, Pre-Millennial background. I am grateful for the men who have ministered to me from these ministries, but as I’ve grown in Christ, my heart constantly longed for more. As a teacher of history, I couldn’t understand why the church in America (and much of Europe) believed and behaved so differently within our own culture prior to the early 20th century and especially since the 1950’s. Coming to Reformed and Post-Millennial convictions have solved a good bit of that mystery for me. This has taken roughly two years of in-depth study and reflection for me, especially within the last eight months.I am grateful for the part you have played in my growth in Christ! To Him be the glory!
I am seeking God’s guidance on pursuing a formal theological education. It would have to be done online and part-time due to my schedule. I have looked at several Reformed Theological seminaries, but would like to hear your thoughts on which ones would be similarly aligned with a Christ Church-type worldview. Also, I have looked for a good study Bible that is post-millennial in its teachings. I have looked at RC Sproul’s Bible as well as the D James Kennedy study Bible, but there isn’t a ton of information available describing either one on their respective web sites. As a secondary issue (but not a deal breaker) I am not thrilled with ESV and I think both of those are in that format. Would you have any suggestions?
As a final note, I am a cigar and pipe enthusiast. Out of curiosity, what was the cigar you flourished in your last No Quarter November video? Personally, I’m a fan of Maduro/sun-grown type leaf and English pipe tobaccos.
Again, thank you for your time and your willingness and courage in the service of Christ and His Kingdom! I pray for your ministries remain strong in Him!
Jeff, blessings on your theological pilgrimage. I am not up on study Bibles, but I think there is a version of Sproul’s that is NKJV. And sorry, I don’t know of any seminary that has online courses that would offer CREC distinctives. I would encourage you to just pick a solid Reformed seminary. And sorry again, I don’t know what kind of cigar it was—they just handed it to me.
Do It Through Service
4 years ago my wife and I moved to a little town called Sanger in Texas, just north of Denton, which is a large city with two very liberal colleges. We go to a small reformed church (who is a big fan of you). Over the last 4 years we have convinced around other 7 families from our church to move to the same town (4 in my neighborhood), and plan on getting more to move here.
As we started to populate the town we’ve began discussing all of us running for city positions. So here is the question . . . what are the top positions people should be running for as they attempt to bring a city under submission to Christ?
Dalton, I would start by volunteering to service of city committees. That way you will be paying your dues, appropriately, and you will also be able to learn where the action is.
Unmarried and Wishing It Were Otherwise
“But there are women who very much want to be married, and no one suitable has approached them, and they are getting on in years. That is for a separate letter also.” Please expound on this Uncle Doug/write this separate letter. This is me. It feels awful not being married in the late-thirties/early forties. Why would God create someone and then decide not to bring a match for them, but still give them the desire to marry? I want to cry every time I see another friend of mine gone to this—like outliving/outsurviving all of my fellow soldiers (soldieresses) on the battlefield who all fought a battle together only to realize that my comrades all passed on and I am the last one standing who can remember this remarkable fight. It is a good fight and I have many young friends, but I still would like to be married. I’ve become almost the oldest unmarried woman in our Church. I have read Mrs. Wilson’s book on the matter. It doesn’t fix the problem, but was consoling just the same. Please pray that the Lord would send a godly man. It’s terrible waiting this long. In the meantime, I’m enjoying being a friend to all of the young children in our Church and training them in the fear of the Lord and I do have a life. It’s just that I see all of my classmates and some children I used to babysit getting married. You do not have all of the answers, I understand. I am just frustrated and look forward to that letter you may soon post since the subject came up with Darla on another post.
O in Canada
(P.S. I did not provide my proper email address because I wish to remain anonymous. After all, this is so embarrassing a subject – not being married at this age. Quite frankly, it STINKS (capital letters intended). Thanks for bearing with me.—Your reader and sister in the Lord.
O, I am very sorry for your plight. I should write more about this. But if you go back and read the earlier letters to Dawson, I get into it a bit there.
Hello Pastor Wilson, I work in film and digital media, and often use part of the Lord’s Day each week to relax by watching a movie or show. Recently, however, I’ve been convicted by just how nihilistic and secular so much of the media produced the Western culture has become. That is why I was so grateful when I came across CanonPlus, and have been enjoying watching through it’s content on a Sunday afternoon when I’m free. My question is, in addition to the lectures, audiobooks, series like Man Rampant, and the documentaries, does CanonPlus have plans to go into narrative movies and shows as well? It would be great to see that kind of content produced by a Christian production company. Take care and God bless you and the brothers and sisters in the Lord who are in Moscow.
Nick, yes. There is a small matter of money, but yes. That is one of the goals.