Gentlemen, Start Your Letters . . .

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Revisiting Schaeffer

Thank you for bringing this work of Schaeffer to our attention. I haven’t read him in a long time, but I will go back and read this. Prophetic in ways he couldn’t imagine yet did.

Mike

Mike, yes. I reread The Christian Manifesto just a few years ago, and it was really good. And I intend to revisit it again soon. What Schaeffer is doing in a modern setting is bringing to bear the principles laid down by Samuel Rutherford in his magisterial Lex Rex. That book was recently republished by Canon, along with Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, another great legacy of political theory from the Reformation era.

Kingdom?

What is the kingdom of God? I believe Jesus has been given a kingdom since his ascension, but what is it? The church? The covenant? Or just wherever his will is done on earth?

Jonty

Jonty, the kingdom of God is both the rule and realm of the Lord Jesus Christ. So the scope of the kingdom is the entire world, extending well beyond the church. The church is at the center of the kingdom, like a cathedral at the center of the town, but the church is entrusted with Word and sacrament. The kingdom is entrusted with sewage, auto mechanics, railroads, art museums, and so on.

The Characters in This Book . . .

So . . . after binge listening to Evangellyfish over the weekend, I just gotta ask: was any of this inspired by stuff that actually goes on in evangelical churches in America? I kept thinking “No way, no way, no way,” (particularly whenever Chad Lester was described) but then also, “Wilson must have some insider knowledge of these type of goings-ons.” So on a scale of 1-10, approximately how “accurate” is Evangellyfish?

Ben

Ben, the particular incidents and characters are entirely fictional. At the same time, the world I was describing does exist. When we were shopping the book around, we got some interesting rejection letters. “This is very funny, but we’d better not.” One publisher thought that the book was too “sensational,” but then right after that, the head of the National Association of Evangelicals was up caught in a scandal involving drugs and a male prostitute. So my book was not as sensational as the real thing, right?

So Apparently I Started an Awkward Conversation . . .

Generally appreciated the latest Darla letter, including the frankness of the language used. However, one point of disagreement, and I’ll respond in similar frankness. I’m grateful to be married to a woman who is discrete, but not easily embarrassed by discussions of sex. The result is my wife is able to have frank conversations with other women in church about sexual matters. She ends up as a go-to for women whose “worlds are not getting rocked” shall we say. And as her husband, I learn about many of these situations. And I’ve learned there isn’t necessarily a trend line between a man’s “apparent” testosterone levels and his wife’s sexual satisfaction. There are many women who’s more aggressive husbands are not sexually satisfying them. They will say things like, “I don’t know if I’ve ever actually experienced an orgasm.” And some of the most satisfied women my wife has talked to have husbands who you might describe as more outwardly reserved. You can’t draw a trend line between a man’s testosterone and his wife’s satisfaction. Its more of a scatter plot. (on a somewhat tangential note: I’ve also learned that some of the more reserved wives seem to enjoy sex with their husbands more than the outgoing ones).

There is certainly a minimum threshold a man needs to clear. If he is lazy, a slob, and unkempt or course he’s not going to rock his wife’s world. But whether he’s a lazy slob or not is already covered by all your other exhortations. Looking to whether a man can “lock horns” with another man might provide some indication of testosterone. But it might also give indication of his selfishness which does not bode well for the bedroom. All this to say, based on my experience I don’t think it’s wise to try and project how a future husband will ‘perform.’

Continue to encourage “Darla” to seek after a man who exhibits true masculinity demonstrated by responsibility and discipline. If he’s got that, and there is attraction between them, it’ll likely work.

Donald

Donald, I agree with all your qualifications, and I agree that failure to satisfy a wife is more often a matter selfishness than size. A man who exhibits testosteronic attributes on the field may well be a boor, and perhaps a colossal one. I was assuming masculine attributes, biblically defined, in other areas of life, which in my view increases the likelihood of true masculinity in a couple’s private relationship. It is not enough simply to be “a jock.” But I was pushing against the idea, prevalent among some Christians, that masculine aggressiveness in the public sphere is neither here nor there.

Re. Blog & Mablog—Laws of Attraction, JN 15 You counsel Darla to make inferences about and be mindful of her potential mate’s endowment (it seems clear you’re referring to penis size, please correct me if I’m wrong) and the implications on his ability to satisfy her (or of course any woman, Christian or otherwise) sexually.

I first of all want to note that you seem to suggest a correlation between penis size and masculinity traits such as aggression. I’ve never heard of this, perhaps there is a correlation, if so it should be made clear and supported. Moreover, are you equating penis size with masculinity per se? That seems problematic. Part of the issue is some things you can do something about (masculinity traits), other things you can’t (penis size). To say nothing of sending women down the wrong track of expecting aggressive males to have large penises.

While the advice to screen out men with smaller penises may be fine for women (though I don’t think entirely fine), its more than a death blow to an undersized male. I don’t know how such a man carries on in ANY aspect of life with this thought in his head. By your standard (and that of the women who adopt it), any hope an undersized man might hold that his smaller size might not be a show stopper is clearly a fantasy. If he’s lucky maybe there’s one in a million somewhere—an attractive theologically informed Christian woman that doesn’t screen for penis size. Good luck, I guess. Oh well, I suppose he can forget women (LOL) and dedicate himself to good Christian charity work! If he can find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning that is. Why does God occasionally give only half the organ and then demand (along with women) the full function/satisfaction? I’m not saying you’re all wrong but there’s got to be something wrong with this.

This is a weighty topic and while the satisfaction of women may be addressed in the screening process you suggest, the flip side is that there is a whole cohort of males whose lives stand to be destroyed by it. I don’t think you can exaggerate this, the Stones come to mind:

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors any more I want them to be black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

. . . but the darkness doesn’t go when you’re screened out, the colors are LIFE, but its HOPLESSLY BLACK

PS. I appreciate all your work, but this piece needs a follow up.

Bill

Bill, happy to follow up. First, when it come to the really practical side of all this, I give a copy of Intended for Pleasure to all the couples I counsel in my premarital counseling. There is good wisdom there. In that letter to Darla, I was only partly referring to size, and I know that there are many variables. Please see my response to the previous letter. Some men who are not as big compensate in healthy ways, and other men compensate (or not) in ways that can be pretty brittle and defensively unhelpful. As for the “screening out,” I was urging Darla to do that on the basis of public behavior that a man can do something about. If a man retreats into an incel-like self-pity, a good deal of the blackness around him is something he painted himself. So my intent was to write about something that people do care about (whether they talk about it or not), and

Ask or get your father to ask, is he big, medium, or small? Women come in different sizes too. A small woman doesn’t want a large man. It hurts. Delicate subject, but an important one.

Zeph

Zeph, yes, it can be an important subject. But such a question could be asked in the wrong way, or at the wrong time, or of the wrong person. I would urge lotsa caution.

“. . . is directly related to testosterone. As a chaste Christian woman, you are to have no direct knowledge of how that would translate into the bedroom. But here is the good news. Testosterone does other stuff, which means that you can have that knowledge indirectly.” Is it possible to inflict upon yourself a case of low testosterone as a consequence of a sinful past, and if so, is it possible to remedy that through non-medical intervention?

grh

GRH, I believe it should be at least considered as a possibility. Porn can be pretty enervating. I would try to find a godly medical doctor, one who would be open to “non-medical” remedies (I assume you mean behavioral patterns). He can tell you whether there is an objective problem, or if it is in your head.

This is a comment on the “Laws of Attraction” post.

You write “there is no asexual football game” and you compare a rams butting heads to football players tackling each other. This looks like a false analogy. As an athlete, I play because I love the game, competition and pushing my physical limits. I’m not playing for the favor of a woman, and I know I’m not the only athlete with that mindset. Success and strength are generally attractive qualities to women. Therefore, successful athletes are usually attractive to women, but it does not follow that the athletes compete in order to be attractive to women.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding your post, but that is my 2 cents.

Joel

Joel, I certainly was not trying to say that there was no love of the game involved, or other regular motives. But I suspect that the existence of women is far more influential than you might think.

Are you going to bring Darla’s Dad into the series of letters to a young woman? If she has a Christian father, what is his role in helping evaluate a potential spouse?

Mitch

Mitch, yes. Her dad needs to be in the picture when it comes to an actual suitor.

Depending on Darla’s background and spiritual maturity, a potential book for her could be “The Case Against the Sexual Revolution” by Louise Perry.. It won’t be released in the US until September, but it’s stirred up quite a few columnistas in the UK, many of whom seem to have a potty mouth. Most seem to admit she makes good points, but there is always a “but.”

Ms (Miss?) Perry writes for The New Statesman which claims to be “the leading progressive political and cultural magazine in the United Kingdom”, so she has bona fide liberal credentials. From what I glean, she argues from an evolutionary and secular worldview. As you have pointed out several times, their house is built on sand.

The main assertion of the book is that the sexual revolution has benefited men in the main. They can get what they want with fewer consequences, but no real benefit to women. Another assertion is that women should be smarter about the dangers of men and act in ways that reduce risk. This seems about as obvious as locking your doors and keeping your passwords secure, but apparently that is “victim blaming.” Another shocker is that men and women are wired differently. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall reading these points on this blog.

The fight always seems to return to the Garden. I want to be like God, master (or mistress) of my own fate, doing what I want. However, truth must win in the long run, and it’s encouraging that some children along the street are starting to point out that the emperor’s clothes are at best extremely diaphanous.

I’m not sure this should make your reading list, but it might be good to be aware.

John

John, thanks for the heads up.

Gentle Discipline Movement?

What are your thoughts on the Gentle Discipline Movement and their arguments against the use of physical discipline e.g hebrew word translations for . . . na’ar vs yeled, “studies” that conclude there are various negative impacts on the child etc? Genuinely seeking to discipline by God’s word but the GD movement has thrown me off. It is not simply just secular parents following this trend but other Christians—who argue the GD movement has a better biblical basis (extending grace)and that the use of the “rod” has been taken out of context. There are many questions and layers to the debate but essentially did God really intend for the parent to administer physical punishment to an infant, young child or a young man? If a child cannot tell their right from their left (or their brain is not fully developed like “research” says) is this reason to withhold discipline until an age where they are able to comprehend better? How should Christians deal with the “research”? Finally, Is there any biblical warrant for parents to use alternative methods such as time out, loss of privileges etc especially as a child becomes a teenager.

Thanks

SG

SG, thanks. Good question, and I wrote about this just recently.

KJV Stuff

I have heard you mention the reason you use the KJV is because you prefer the Majority Text. You stated if there was a modernized version, you would consider using that translation (it is my understanding the NKJV does not solely use the Majority Text).

Have you considered the Modern English Version (MEV)? It has not been marketed well, but I have heard great things about that translation, which uses the KJV as a template. The publisher is charismatic, but I have seen no bias thus far in the MEV’s rendering.

Thoughts?

Justin

Justin, thanks. I think I have a copy of the MEV somewhere. Canon is in the process of producing a Modernized Geneva Bible. The NKJV is okay, and I use it sometimes. But somehow I just keep using the KJV.

Women as Worship Leaders?

I’m sure there’s been an article on this somewhere, but where do you stand with women worship leaders? I’m very strongly against it. There’s nothing wrong with a woman participating on the worship team but I believe, based on Scripture, that a woman is forbidden from leading the worship service. Aren’t women supposed to keep silent in the gathering? Aren’t we forbidden from teaching? And here’s a follow up: what do I do if a woman worship leader has suddenly appeared in my church? Being so set against it, how should I react? Should I continue to participate in the worship service? I expect your response to this question will be tied to your response to the first.

X

X, I believe that every aspect of the worship of God on the Lord’s Day should be led by men. But in saying this, I am not a perfectionist—I don’t object to a woman playing the piano, or singing in the choir. But in anything that is clearly a leadership role, I start to kick. If the thing is suddenly sprung on you, I would start by asking questions. Did the elders study this issue before doing this? Is there a paper you could read? Etc.

Seminary Question

I am a missionary kid who for the last two years has been studying at a Mexican seminary that rolled over to the COVID 19 tyranny. For the last two years I have done all my study through Zoom meetings. The seminary has also turned out to be more liberal than I expected. I would like to find a seminary where I can study in person and is very traditional and conservative in its theology.

Do you have a few seminaries that you could recommend?

Thanks,

Samuel

Samuel, you should check out Greyfriars Hall.

Get a Taste First

I am a young man attempting to live a traditional life according to Scripture. I am attempting to do so in the heart of liberal Northern Virginia, as an IT specialist. And so far, I have been attempting to do so alone.

What do you do when no one around you shares your view of the world? That traditional values and culture should be restored, that evil needs to be combated in every sphere.

What do you do when no one believes in the same things as you do, even at “conservative” churches?

It feels that all too often, I am left without community in a time when I desire and require community more than anything. Please let me know how I may proceed.

Sincerely,

Kyle

Kyle, what I would consider doing is moving to a place with true Christian community for a couple of years. That way you have the actual taste of it, and it is a taste that is not limited to books. Then you can move back (with your new wife) to do pioneer mission work, helping to plant a new church.

A Question About Divorce

I had a question regarding divorce. I am walking some college students through the Sermon on the Mount and we have made it to the portion where Jesus makes it clear that the only grounds for divorce is sexual immorality. I know the confessions also allow for divorce for the cause for abandonment. One of the students asked about divorce because of ongoing physical abuse. I am unsure about how to answer this question, though my assumption is that ongoing physical abuse would be grounds for divorce but I am hesitant because I don’t know of other Scripture to back that up. Asking for wisdom and direction and maybe some resources to consult. Thank you,

Matt

Matt, assuming genuine physical abuse, I believe a case could be made that this could represent abandonment and rejection. Sometimes a spouse abandons the other without leaving the house.

Calling ACCS

I have benefited tremendously from your materials over the last few years. My wife and I have come under the conviction to exit the government school system. She recently was hired as a 1st grade teacher at a local Christian school. Could you recommend some resources on how she can apply a biblical worldview and the lordship of Christ to all subject areas, instead of teaching Bible as a separate subject? I would love to hear your suggestions. Thanks, brother!

Patton

Patton, I would contact ACCS and look at their back catalog of conference talks. In listening to the talks, I would chase the references to various books.

Reparations?

Does 2 Samuel 21—where the Lord brings to King David’s attention Saul’s treatment of the Gibeonites—provide a biblical basis for/example of reparations?

Wendy

Wendy, I believe it does. But notice two things. The sons of Saul were complicit in the crimes of their father, otherwise it would have been unlawful to execute them. And secondly, these were identifiable clans or tribes, like the State of Idaho and the Nez Perce. It was not done on the basis of anything so nebulous as skin color.

Back to Roots?

I’m a 23-year-old guy from the Midwest. For some time now, I’ve felt some kind of a sense of dread that I haven’t been able to put words to until just recently. I have come to terms in the past week or two, I am convinced, that the nation I was born in no longer exists.

I’ve been reading through Ecclesiastes for the past week or so as well. And I’ve been almost horrified by the vanity and foolishness and darkness of the world around me, my own nation, my own countrymen. My family came to this country from Slavic Europe and the Netherlands only a few generations ago. And, Mr. Wilson, I at times feel overwhelmed with a despair and sorrow at the state of America.

Solomon writes about anger, cruelty, and envy. How it is crushing and drives the wise into madness. I don’t want to presume my own wisdom, but I do at times feel as though I am being tempted into madness.

Mr. Wilson, do you ever also face these sentiments? I’m aware that Christians since long ages have written of the sin of despair. And I feel burdened almost daily with a weight of a darkened culture, as if it even is a culture.

And so I’ve found myself reverting back to “my roots.” I’ve learned Russian and taken to consulting more traditionalist works and perspectives from that land. I feel as though the ground around me has been pulled out and I am mocked as I fall. So I’ve resorted to these traditions of that aspect of forebears which seems much more stable and long lasting than anything I can find from my own birth land.

Though I have found some sense of mooring there, with Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and some Orthodox beliefs from of old, I miss my homeland even though I still live in it. I feel as though I am constantly mourning.

Mr. Wilson, could you please kindly offer some counsel to me and to those I know who share this burden?

Thank you sir,

Jake

Jake, remember that the whole world is a broken place. Everybody has their problems, and every nation has their own issues—including Russia. If you are in roots recovery mode, I would encourage you to trace out your American heritage. There is a lot of good material available

Wish I Could Help

I’ve been watching your “Blog and Mablog” podcast for a while now and honestly I’m curious if you’ll be able to help me with one problem. I decided to write to you because . . . well, why not. It’s always good to get advice from people who are smarter than me. I am 28, a Baptist for 6 years and I come from Poland. There are not many Protestants in Poland, because they make up less than 1% of the total population of the country, and still a fraction of us are conservative. For a long time in my life I have aspired to be a man in the biblical sense of the word. I truly worship God, I am involved in my local church, I study the Bible regularly, I preach in my community, I am a vicar, people trust me, I help others, I pastor people with pornography problems. However, I have a big problem. I am on the autism spectrum. It’s not severe enough to be mentally handicapped, but when it comes to social interactions . . . let’s just say it takes a lot of effort for me to function fairly normally among people. Normal means that others don’t feel uncomfortable in my presence. Fortunately, many of them know me well and can forgive me my slip-ups – big and small ones. I want to start a normal family and live a fairly normal life, as far as God will allow. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and I struggle with the traumas of my childhood and adulthood, such as the death of my beloved mother and the betrayal of my father, who abandoned us all. I am also currently experiencing the difficulties of caring for what is left of my family and carrying a heavy burden of responsibility for them and the entire family estate. On top of that I am undergoing psychiatric treatment for various ailments. It all boils down to the fact that while I am somehow able to deal with contacts among people, although I am still perceived as a freak who can say stupid things and discourage people or behave in such a way that others look at me with pity, creating a closer relationship with someone of the opposite sex with these limitations borders on the miraculous. Would you be able to advise me something here as someone with much more experience? In Poland it is difficult to find pastoral help for people on the spectrum who see the world differently, as if they were from another planet. Is my maladjustment to modern culture to blame? Is the problem that I am not spiritually developed enough and cannot control certain behaviors? Many people tell me that I need to improve certain behaviors and be more accommodating, but I’ve already done a lot of work to be less “weird” and “tactless.” The very therapists I’ve had admit that I am an extremely high functioning person with Asperger’s Syndrome. Is there anything in the spiritual realm or relationship with Christ that would help me overcome these barriers? I’m not even talking about finding a godly woman . . . but in general.

If you write back I would be grateful, if not it’s okay.

Best regards and may God bless your service and your family

A

A, it seems plain to me that as there is help available, it will have to come from people who know and love you. If you are “high-functioning,” I would just encourage you to continue to “function high,” and to trust God. If it takes a lot of effort, expend that effort. Duties are ours, results are the Lord’s.

Sending Up An Aussie Flare

I am married, and have a son with another child on the way (don’t worry, the latter sounds genderless as we have not found out the gender yet!)

I live in Australia, and I would like to know if you have any contacts with any Aussies who are up front with living biblically, i.e. living in the culture without bowing to it.

I am grappling with your material on husband’s/wive’s/father’s/mother’s. Thanks for your content.

Matt

Matt, yes, I know we have many friends in Australia. The comments here are open for anyone who wants to connect.

Jordan Peterson and Lewis

In light of your recent comparison of Tucker Carlson to Francis Schaeffer, I have another comparison I’m curious about your thoughts on. You recently reacted to Jordan Peterson being passionate about the education of young people and particularly their morality. I recently read Abolition of Man by Lewis and watched the Commons episodes you did on it. If I’m understanding Lewis correctly it would seem there is quite a bit of similarity to Peterson’s concerns and what Lewis was worrying would happen if the Tao was not passed on. Would you say that Peterson is taking up the mantle of Lewis?

Shea

Shea, in an indirect way, yes. Peterson does not yet have the gospel down, but I am convinced that God is using him in a remarkable preparatory way.

A Mister Mom Question

Regarding Federal Husband and other husbandly direction:

Dear Mr. Wilson,

My condolences on the death of your father, he has surely been a wonderful and faithful man!

Thank you for laboring diligently to take responsibility for your family, preach the gospel, make disciples, and train up men.

I have been studying your work for nearly eighteen months and am continually challenged, inspired, and energized.

The specific question I have regards my Biblical duty as a husband and father: My wife and I have been married for 17 years and we just last year were finally blessed with the births of our two baby boys (one in January and one in December). We own and operate a jewelry store in Chicago and have done for 5 years. I have surely been an abdicating husband for most (or all) of our marriage. With the enormous change of life that two new babies bring I am feeling convicted in many ways but the main concern that I am trying to sort out is how to properly be the covenant head of our family. Currently, my wife runs our jewelry business and I stay at home taking care of our boys. My wife is well suited to the business as she has worked at it for 12 years and does a great job serving our customers, I have a smaller role in managing the accounting. Hopefully that is sufficient backstory for you to offer some insight.

My question is: how would you recommend that I take proper responsibility for my family?

I understand if there is not time for you to respond. Thank you for considering.

Sincerely,

Seth

Seth, this probably comes as no surprise, but I don’t believe this to be a healthy long term set-up. It seems to me that you should be preparing yourself to take over the jewelry business.

Another Book

In last week’s letters, Levi asked for some books that would help him study American history more accurately. You suggested two, both of which I have purchased and am looking forward to reading. I’d suggest another book for Levi and others: The War Between the States, edited by John J. Dwyer, with contributing editors that include George Grant, Steven Wilkins, and, of course, yourself. As an amateur historian and Texan, I understood that there is much truth to the often ridiculed claim, “the Civil War was fought over more than slavery.” But it was not until I read this book that I could articulate the extent to which that is true. In fact, the problems other than slavery that precipitated the Civil War were also relevant during the American War for Independence and are still alive and kicking today. I highly recommend this excellent book to anyone who wants to better understand not just the Civil War but also the civil strife which is rampant in our nation today

Bill

Bill, thanks.

Stats

I just watched your YouTube video titled “What Did We Learn From C0V!D?” At the very end, you say that people need a stats lesson . . . I thought you might appreciate knowing I’ve attempted that. Actually, this article was rejected by the first Christian blog I submitted it to. I’ve written other articles too, but this one is still my favorite. And yes, I’ve faced a ton of backlash professionally for this.

PS—my son is working through the first Omnibus textbook from Veritas.

Cathy

Cathy, thank you.

Female Deacons?

I appreciate your willingness to engage me, even though I vehemently disagree with either your explicit views or how you state them (though I am myself a Theology of the Body style complementarian Anglican).

In a letter, you argue that ordaining female deacons should signal off alarm bells over egalitarianism. I find yet another area where I vehemently disagree with your views. The female diaconate is actually quite ancient; the office of deaconness is attested to in the 4th century Apostolic Constitutions, and they were appointed for ministry to women (including baptizing women!). John Chrysostom and Origen both saw the instructions in 1 Timothy 3 concerning “deacon’s wives” per the ESV as pertaining to female deacons, since the Greek clearly doesn’t say “deacons wives” in 1 Timothy 3:11 (Γυναῖκας ὡσαύτως σεμνάς lacks the possessive αυτος which usually modifies “women” and gets translated “their wives”). And many church fathers believed Phoebe was an *ordained deacon*. Clearly the fathers were not raging feminists.

So why do you forbid what the Bible expressly permits? And if it’s not for exegetical reasons, but for cultural reasons (i.e. permitting female deacons would encourage feminism in our context), why are you letting culture dictate a forbidding of what Scripture expressly permits?

Sean

Sean, this is a fantastic question. I believe that Phoebe was in fact a deaconness at the church of Cenchrea, and I believe that Paul outlines some of their responsibilities in 1 Timothy. What I don’t believe is that this was the same office that male deacons had. So having women deaconnesses is not a feminist move, but fusing the offices of male and female deacons is. In my commentary on the pastorals, The Pillar of the Truth, I argue that these women were also the enrolled widows, who had to be at least sixty-years-old, married to one man, etc. An early church council then waived the age requirement, which is part of the sad history of the development of the order of nuns.

Due Process for the Devil?

Looking at Genesis 3, God’s judgment upon Adam and Eve was one that was administered after affording them each due process. In verses 9-13, God (who is obviously omniscient) interrogates Adam, then Eve, and gives them an opportunity to speak in their defense before pronouncing the curse of judgment upon them. But God does not provide any such hearing for the serpent. Rather, the God appears to judge the serpent upon Eve’s accusation of him for deceiving her. It’s not exactly the case that there were two witnesses condemning the serpent (as required throughout the rest of Scripture even for judgements for conduct of which God is omniscient), since Adam put the blame on Eve and didn’t even mention the serpent. So what do we glean from the serpent being judged through a different judicial process than humans? Obviously, the serpent was not entitled to due process, but is there a deeper meaning here?

Joe

Joe, a really interesting question. I think Milton’s account provides a fairly reasonable backstory that could account for this. Satan was there in the Garden, up to no good, was warned off, did his thing anyway, and then was cursed by God directly. Perhaps it was something like that.

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Greg Laughlin
Greg Laughlin
5 months ago

Kyle, you might not have to go far! RemnantRVA.com

Appalachian Mtn Man
Appalachian Mtn Man
5 months ago

Regarding Deaconesses, my Church has that position written into our Constitution with the verbal assurance that it exists purely for the care of widows and children. The thought was that a woman can do anything an unordained man can do, which I think is bogus because an unordained man can preach and teach and ought to for his family. So far we have had 0 deaconesses and the elders say there are no plans to ever have one. Curious whether a stink needs to be made about this at all? And if so, should the stink occur now, or IF… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Appalachian Mtn Man
Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

Speaking of the Coofid Test, the jab junkies who used to shame “unclean” pure bloods here regularly done runoft, to quote a once-popular movie. Their position hasn’t aged well. Maybe they’ll surface again during the next plandemic that Resident Biden is promising.
President Joe Biden assures us that ‘there’s gonna be another pandemic’ – twitchy.com

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

The question I have been working through is what to think when you have a woman who has national respect that she is considered a de facto leader whether she wants to be considered one or not. When she speaks, people listen. I am thinking of Corrie ten Boom.

Last edited 5 months ago by Zeph .
Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
5 months ago

“…the sad history of the development of the order of nuns…”

I have to smile.

Nuns are among the most incredible, passionate lovers and followers of Christ that I know.

What some of them might lack in terms of theological finesse and rectitude from, let’s say, a Reformed perspective, they more than make up for in their sheer devotion to Christ and holy abandonment to his cause and will.

I thank God for them.

Jane
Jane
5 months ago

It can both be true that nuns are often good as individuals, and the development of the institution is fraught with errors and misdeeds.

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane

True, – & true of all institutions

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

I think you know that’s a cop out reply. Sure, every institution, including the church and all her various branches have errors and misdeeds in their history. The same is true of every form of government, business and non-profit organization, etc. They’re all made up of sinners and have bad actors and bad actions along the way. But certain ones have been sketchy if not downright evil from the beginning while others haven’t. I’m not going to debate nuns or the RCC as a whole, but your statement could justify (or condemn) anything.

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
5 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

My statement neither justifies or condemns anything. It’s just a fact, whether we are speaking of something intrinsically evil from the very start (Nazism) or something that went awry in recent times (rise of pro-LGBT Christians). It doesn’t matter where you begin the story of churches or institutions. Fallen human nature rears its head at various points throughout history.

Jane
Jane
5 months ago

So I’m glad you realize that a defense of nuns as people is a red herring, since any institution has to be judged on the degree of overall faithfulness vs. tendency to corruption as a body, not the niceness of its members.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Your comment reminds me of the warning about stones and glass houses. Douglas Wilson has been involved in numerous scandals but has never been held to account by his friendly flock.

Jane
Jane
5 months ago

I’m not Doug Wilson nor part of his flock — so I’m not sure how that would apply to my comment in any way, even in the alternate reality where it was true that he has never been held to account.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Alternate reality? He has been involved, front and center, in scandals. I could list them if you’d like. I don’t believe he’s ever been held accountable for his scandals. He’s tried to excuse them, but that’s not the same is it. You seem a bit touchy. Nowhere did I say this applied to you.

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Nuns are not a red herring, they are central, germane to Doug’s comments about the founding of their respective religious orders. I have a problem with your point about the faithfulness v the corruption of an institution or body, and this having nothing to do with the moral character of its members.

Jane
Jane
5 months ago

I didn’t say “nothing to do with”, but a good person can certainly be part of a corrupt institution. It’s just not to be depended on to be consistent, and I’ve seen enough nuns who are very poor representatives of their faith to eliminate the possibility that the conduct of all nuns belies the possibility of monasticism being a corrupted institution. There is an entire monastery of them near me.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane

I watched my father-in-law struggle with the corrupt institution of the PCUSA in the late 1980’s. Was the PCUSA an inevitable result of “the sad history of the development” of Reformed ideas minted in 16th century Geneva? Most here would disagree. (Though I might argue yes.)

The minister who presided at my wedding was a good man inside that fallen institution as I’m sure there were once good nuns in your local, now-modernist monastery. Nowadays, growth and vitality exist both in newer conservative Reformed denominations like the CREC and in newer conservative orders of nuns as Brendan notes.

Jane
Jane
5 months ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

The situation in the PCUSA was an inevitable result of “the sad history” of turning away from the gospel. Are you suggesting that any faithful Reformed Christian would deny that there’s any sort of “sad history” connected with the PCUSA? My point isn’t so much to agree with the “sad history” comment as to point out the sophistry of saying that because one knows nuns who appear to be good and spiritual people, there *cannot be* a sad history connected with monasticism. That’s as ridiculous as saying that because I have known good people within the PCUSA, no one dare… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

Matt, where in Australia do you live? I’m sure there are some wonderful Christians in some of the Bush Towns of Queensland. They won’t do you much good if you are a Sydneysider or a Melbournian or if you live out West.

Last edited 5 months ago by Zeph .
Carlin
Carlin
5 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

If Matt reads this – I live in Sydney and I have a handful of friends who are pretty closely aligned on these sorts of things. I am always trying to connect with more people who are on the same page. Feel free to get in touch!

Zeph .
Zeph .
5 months ago

A, the biggest piece of advice is to thank God and praise him about your disability. It is an act of obedience and it is easy to ignore.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
5 months ago

So, Roe v. Wade has finally been aborted. Good way to start the weekend.

Thanks be to God.

Ken B
Ken B
5 months ago

I agree this is good news. An important victory but not the end of the war. I’m sure our host will comment on the importance of this for America, but if it causes a rethink in other parts of the world that too will be a good thing.

Cherrera
Cherrera
5 months ago

Yes indeed. It’s also time for the #NeverTrumpers (Thabiti, David French and the rest) to repent. This wouldn’t have happened without the justices he appointed. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.