When Letters Float Down from the Sky Like Ash After Fireworks

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Liberty Catechism

Love the liberty catechism. Could you suggest some further reading for parents to supplement the catechism, other than Slaying Leviathan (since I already read that)?

Thanks!

Michael

Michael, I would read Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto, Kelly’s The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World, and Steward’s Justifying Revolution.

Do you think that we’ll have a civil war this 4th turning or some sort of external threat that causes nationalism to surge and the country to band together?

Rocky

Rocky, I think our Fourth Turning crisis, already in process, will be a crisis of internal civil disorder, but not open war.

Presumptive Regeneration?

Great work, as always. I have a tangentially related covenant question. I affirm infant baptism for covenant children, but I am unclear about their status of regeneration under this sacrament. Ought we follow Kuyper in presuming regeneration of our covenant children? Or ought we call them to repent and believe the gospel?

I will tip my hand and say I anticipate you affirming the second, though please correct me if not. But, if we affirm the second, what difference is there, covenantally speaking, between us and the Reformed Baptists? Specifically, if covenant baptism does not confer the presumption of regeneration, then what does it confer?

Thank you for your ministry.

BJ

BJ, I am actually closer to the first, while affirming the need for the second—the call to repentance and faith never goes away. My complaint with the first would be the connotations of “presumptive,” which brings presumption immediately to mind. I believe that we should, by evangelical faith, trust God for the salvation of our children and walk accordingly.

Theonomy Once More

Apropos to no specific post of yours (or perhaps to all of them!), Stephen Wolfe recently wrote a piece on Classical Reformed Theonomy, setting out a political view that appears fairly in line with things you have said/written in the past. I’m not really sure where, if anywhere, you would disagree with it. Political views like Wolfe’s, yours, and others seem to be getting more and more jumbled together as the years go by…

Thanks!, and link to Wolfe’s piece here:

Michael

Michael, thanks for the link. I’ve not had time to get through it, but the intro looked promising.

A Terminology Thing?

You use the term same sex mirage to show the alphabet sex community, inside and outside the church, that their concept of marriage is a false social construct and totally unbiblical. So, following the same reasoning, isn’t the use of the term same sex attraction in the same category? The Bible promotes opposite sex attraction that is to lead men and women to marriage and condemns the sin of adultery and fornication as a betrayal of that institution. Opposite sex attraction is biblical. However there is no biblical framework for same sex attraction and for the church to bow to that language twisting is problematic. To put them both on the same footing is myopic and will only lead to more fog around what is clearly a biblical prohibition. What do you think?

Tony

Tony, I take your point, but there is a yeah, but. I don’t want to call a homosexual arrangement a “marriage,” because we are talking about what something is. A homosexual marriage is not, in fact, a marriage. But a homosexual is, in fact, attracted to someone of the same sex. Your point is that he shouldn’t be, which is true, and which is why “same sex temptation” would be better. But same sex attraction is not false, the way same sex marriage is.

Perennial Eschatology Stuff

I seem to remember that you believe the son of man is currently sitting on his glorious throne (Matthew 19:28), but if that is now, how does Jesus then say in Matthew 25:31 that at that time, “then”, shall he sit upon that throne, at the final judgment when he judges the sheep and the goats?

Jonty

Jonty, my answer would be that the final judgment is not the time Christ ascends to the throne, but the time which, from His throne, He settles as the day of judgment.

Regarding post-millennialism and the end of Revelation 20:4;

“. . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

If we are currently in the millennium, then where are those that are currently living and reigning with Christ? If they are alive in heaven and have been resurrected, then would their graves be empty here on earth?

This question was posed by a dispensationalist friend, and I didn’t have a clear answer for him. Hoping you would.

Thanks for all you do.

Signed,

Myles

Myles, I would say that God has made all His saints “kings and priests,” and they share in the Lord’s reign from wherever they currently are. Those who have died and are in the intermediate state are reigning through Christ (and their graves are not empty) and those who have not yet died are reigning through Christ, and are not yet in the grave.

Pride Heartbreak

This terrible Pride month has seen young adult children of some of my friends “come out.” They are heart broken. Let’s assume for the sake of argument they have repented of any bad parenting that they may have done—at least as best as they honestly know how. How do you think through helping parents in these situations?

Bryan

Bryan, I am afraid that this answer won’t be much practical help because everything depends on the situation. Do you invite them for Thanksgiving? Can they bring their partner? What about sleeping over? Etc. The answers to those three questions are yes, it depends, and no. The main thing is to love God, and to love your child in a way that exhibits the love of God to them.

Divorce Laws

Under the laws of almost every state in the USA, marriage is actually less than a contract. One spouse (70% of the time it is the wife) may divorce the other for any reason or none at all, and suffer no penalty for his or her faithlessness. What can the church do to turn back this injustice?

William

William, you are exactly right. The “no fault” approach to divorce has been a plague.

Man of Lawlessness

Today Pastor John Piper published a podcast/article regarding “the man of lawlessness.” Do you have a preterist perspective regarding these verses?

Thanks,

Jen

Jen, yes. The thing to do is to look up at my menu bar, and click on About. In the dropdown menu is a Blog Post Scripture Index. Enter Thessalonians in the search bar there, and you will find plenty of preterist takes on the relevant passages.

Random Liturgical Question

I’m a new listener, subscribed to Canon+. I’ve found your content intriguing. (I’ve loved your Daughters, Eve in Exile) I have a question regarding something I heard in your podcast “ Parenting Young People”

At the start it seems as though you are in a congregation and you recite something to the congregation in regards to confessions and forgiveness of sins as a corporate body. I’ve not heard this before and am wondering if you can explain what this is, and where I can find the biblical reference to this, as it seems liturgical and not biblical. Isn’t repentance required for forgiveness? I can’t see how this done in a corporate setting is biblical.

Thanks

Sarah

Sarah, yes. We have confession of sin as an established part of our liturgy. That is only unbiblical if the people confess with their lips while their hearts are far off. But we have an exhortation right before the confession which routinely charges them not to do that. So the order in that part of the service is Exhortation>We all kneel>Corporate confession>Silent personal confession>Stand>Assurance of pardon.

Finding a Wife

In response to: “7 Reasons Young Men Should Marry Before Their 23rd Birthday”

I am a single 21 year old dude, working in a school district as a long term substitute teacher, and making decent money. I consider myself reasonably attractive but I live in a smallish town of around 15,000 people. I agree with the general idea of marrying sooner rather than later! Yet there is no mate in sight currently. At my church the only female that is in my age range is my sister. So as far as marriageable young ladies I’m left with 0 in my church. Beyond my church, there are no solid females of my age range that I know of either, to which I would want to be married to. So for all these reasons, my spousal “prospects” are limited to say the least. What am I to do? Leave my town and find a woman in a city yonder? Is that what it would mean to leave my “father and mother and cling to a wife”? That seems complicated. Scout out the neighbor churches? That seems mildly creepy. Do I persist in the town that I am in, praying that God brings a wife to me? That seems possible, but does not seem to be in the spirit of pursuing a wife. It seems as if this situation will not improve any time soon. What advice might you lend to a young man like myself?

Payton

Payton, not to be too blunt, if you want to hunt deer, you have to go where the deer are. As I see it, your options would be, in ascending order: 1. start attending a lot of conferences sponsored by thriving local churches. Meet people there. 2. cautiously approach online connections, or 3. move.

One Thought About Atheism

I am facilitating a study using “Father Hunger” as a resource. We are currently on the chapter dealing with atheism. Please share with me your thought as you wrote that chapter.

Thank you and Be Blessed

Chuck

Chuck, it has been some years so I can’t answer precisely. But I can make this general observation. When I was with Christopher Hitchens, I observed that two things would set him off. One, interestingly, was the vicarious death of Christ on the cross. But the second one was the fatherhood of God. It was very clearly a sore spot.

Fourth of July Stuff

So this is a throwback to your Forth of July post from last year 2021), which was pretty awesome. One point you made is that the colonists resisted taxation by Parliament because Parliament was not their government. The colonies were populated by Englishmen and Scots, all of whom had the legal rights and political heritage of Englishmen/Scots, but the colonies were not Britain and were therefore beyond the legislative power of Parliament. The only governmental link the colonies had with Britain was the fact that they all shared the same monarch, the same way Britain and Australia today have separate legislatures but share a monarch. This position is essentially the Dominion Theory of Empire that animated the arguments that Colonial lawyers like John Adams, John Dickinson, and James Wilson were making against the Stamp Act and the Townsend Duties. My question for you is whether you are familiar with the work of Harvard historian Eric Nelson? He goes a bit further and argues that the men behind the Revolution who were advancing the Dominion Theory were not doing so from a Whiggish perspective, but were actually Tories, if not Jacobites, wanting a return to the old Stuart view of royal prerogatives and limitations on Parliament. This is somewhat of a “New Perspective on the American Revolution.” Like the New Perspective on Paul, it questions the way we’ve understood what the colonists were reacting against and what their prevailing political persuasions were in the 18th Century Trans-Atlantic Context. Just wondering if you were familiar with familiar with Nelson’s work, and if so, what you thought of it. Here’s a short vid on his view:

Also, speaking of Revolutionary War historians, in the past you have plugged Gary Steward’s book “Justifying Revolution.” I actually met Dr. Steward a couple weeks ago at the Western Conservative Summit where he was giving a talk on the theses of his book. I think he would make a great Man Rampant guest. You should have him on to talk through the issues he addresses in his book. I think his work is especially relevant given the number of woke-leaning Christians who operate on a neo-Beardian, quasi-Marxist understanding of the American Revolution and the Founding.

Joe

Joe, thanks very much.

Aquinas Update?

To my inquiry:

Any updates on your thoughts on Aquinas? I heard you and James White did a sweater vest dialogue on him . . . When is that content going up? Is it? How would you sum up James Whites’ aim with his fiery rhetoric towards all-things-Aquinas? What is Dr. White calling for?

Also, how is summer summa going? Some of your authors with Canon Press love Aquinas, like Glenn Sunshine and C.R. Wiley. Are they in the wrong?

Here’s a thought: Maybe you could host a debate on Aquinas. Friend or foe? Carl Trueman says friend.

Silas

Silas, I am still reading up on it. The issue is not whether Thomas can be really useful. Rather, to be clear, my chief complaint is with the Thomist purists, who use him and not Scripture as the benchmark of orthodoxy. So my challenge to them would be, “Please name one orthodox Christian, not a Thomist, whom you consider to be fully orthodox.”

The Corruption is Far Advanced

I’ve written before and I wanted to start by thanking you for the insightful and brief response you gave to me then. Let me begin by giving some context: I’m in college and involved in a PCA campus ministry called RUF (Reformed University Fellowship). After the overturning of Roe, I was amazed and overjoyed, as I am sure you were too. Out of the overflow of this joy, I typed a message into the RUF group chat to encourage my brothers and sisters there to celebrate, and more importantly, to extend an invitation for them to visit my house and celebrate there. Much to my disappointment and surprise, I was met with messages decrying my message as insensitive and inflammatory. I was told that everyone there were “my brothers and sisters in Christ despite their differences” on the issue. Mad does not begin to describe how I felt. I talked to our minister, and was told that while abortion sure was bad and all that, I needed to “earn the right” to change other people’s opinions and “develop a posture of curiosity.” Also got a lot of rot about the church “advocating for women” and so forth. All of this is in a conversation about the murder of children. As a homeschooled student who moved around for a lot of my youth and didn’t have many friends, I was delighted to find a place in RUF that seemed to have many good folks to relate to, and I am now distraught and disappointed about the situation currently unfolding before my eyes. Fault lines (to use Voddie Baucham’s insightful terminology) are developing in a community that I love and I feel powerless to stop it. So now we get to my question. A couple of guys with similar concerns reached out to me and we agreed that we needed to meet and do something. I just don’t know what we can do or ought to do. What course of action should I aim to propose when we meet? I trust that you will prove as insightful on this issue as you are on others.

P.S.—If you could do an “Ask Doug” video on the subject in general, I’m sure that would prove edifying to many brothers out there, just sayin’ (:

Caedmon

Caedmon, I would encourage you to meet with those friends in order to pray for RUF, and for reformation and revival to break out.

Just Starting Out

We are a young couple, soon to be married, moving from California to South Carolina. We are both originally from the Southeast and are excited to return. This question may seem unusual, but what advice would you give to a young married Christian couple regarding the purchase of their first home together, especially in this market? What kinds of things should we prioritize? For example, should we look for a large family room? Extra room for future kiddos? Land? Guest space? And what about budget and financial stewardship? We want to intentionally make a home with Christ and his Gospel in mind. What practical insights do you think are worth knowing?

Mitch

Mitch, I will assume that you are going to be like most newly-weds, just starting out and doing so with not very much money. That being the case, don’t try to buy your final home now. Buy a home that has two characteristics—the first is that it will one you can work on fixing up together, and second that it is one that enables you to keep debt to a minimum.

Blue State Pastor

As a pastor in the capitol of California, thanks for your comments for us blue-staters at the end of “Roe Reversal Rainbow Month.” Sometimes, especially when the next family moves to Idaho, we feel like the 51st Highlanders at Dunkirk. But this is the foxhole the General has called us to fight in. So I was glad to hear that we are not forgotten.

Because it is quite the ride. We pray at the Capitol, and it turns into a crowd of Christians, and then a confrontation with BLM and Antifa, and then to speaking the gospel to both. We voice dissent with legislators about infanticide, and we are joined by yet another crowd of Christians looking for leadership. And when relativism’s stranglehold here seems too great to surmount, God reminds us to stop disbelieving Rhoda, and then He overturns Roe.

So we’re grateful again for the encouragement that the immigrants to the New World not forget the Old. This victorious army of His has many parts, and we need each other.

P.S. Don’t forget: without California, how much material would the Babylon Bee really have to work with?

Jed

Jed, I never thought of it that way before. California as a jobs program for the Babylon Bee.

The Romantic Bond

“When romantic or sentimental young girls think that marriage is simply about being soul mates, or best friends, or anything like that, they are leaving out most of life. Not only so, but they are seeking to have some nebulous feeling of love be the bonding agent. And then, when that feeling is gone, or has shifted into a form that they don’t recognize, they feel like the marriage is dead.”

What is the difference between this and attributing to a spouse the sin of abandonment if these things happen to have become the case?

DM

DM, I can’t say without more detail. Is it a case of the husband no longer feeding his wife, or a case of a wife going on a hunger strike. Did the marriage die, or did somebody kill it? These would be the sorts of questions I would raise in the course of pastoral counseling.

The Next America

I really appreciated your recent post “Roe Reversal Rainbow Month.” I think your predictions for a divided America are very solid; however, it seems to me that the one wild card is all the moving going on right now. Many liberals are moving to conservative states and bringing their political views with them. How does this dynamic interact with your predictions?

Thank you and God bless

Landon

Landon, I think that element is there, with some folks tracking their blue into the red states. But in the main, I think that the refugees know what caused the mess they are fleeing from.

Abortion and Natural Revelation

One thing from your recent piece on the reversal of Roe struck me as an unfortunate figure of speech. When you said, “we do not get to kill the babies because of what Jehovah God said to Moses on Mount Sinai,” you said something likely to be misunderstood. Now, misunderstandings will happen, but this one goes right to the heart of the relationship between the law of God and the civil government. I’m sure you will acknowledge that it was wrong to kill babies even before Sinai, which is why the Lord was pleased with the Hebrew midwives. The delivery of the Mosaic law wasn’t the origin of objective morality. It wasn’t the moment man received knowledge of right and wrong. It wasn’t the beginning of civil government or of God endorsing man’s punishment of murderers.

When you say we can’t kill babies because of Sinai, it suggests that the prohibition is an arbitrary, artificial commandment that applies to only a particular time and people. There are injunctions of exactly that sort in the Mosaic law, such as not eating unclean animals, or wearing mixed fabrics.

Again, I wouldn’t bring this except it goes right the question of how our laws relate to God as the supreme authority and original lawgiver. It seems to me we should be as clear as possible about the submission we are advocating our society render to the Almighty, and what relationship that has to Sinai.

“Thou shalt not kill” is part of the deep magic, and not something applied to the surface of the created order.

Nathan

Nathan, thanks. We agree on the substance, and need not differ on the chronological order of things. The evil one was a murderer from the beginning, and inspired Cain to kill his brother—and the sin was the sin of murder. But we need not quibble over how we phrase it when appealing to the law of God. When Paul says “love does no harm to its neighbor,” and quotes the ten commandments, the implication is not that love was unnecessary before Sinai.

Just a quick question. It seems that you are appealing to natural law in this article in a couple places. Could you point me to some resources that make the case for natural law being Biblical? Thanks!

Robert

Robert, I am not sure which article you are responding to, but perhaps you could start here.

John Murray

Another kind of answer to another kind of question:

I dunno if you like John Murray, but he’s got some great essays on people being just body and soul, and not three parts. I think it was Luke that asked. You’ve probably read them, but just in case you hadn’t I wanted to mention them.

Cheers,

Matt

Matt, yes. I like John Murray and have his collected works. Thanks for the recommendation.

A Good Report

My question has nothing to do with a particular post. The good news is I finally got married to a fine Christian woman with a charismatic background. A month prior to meeting her, she described having demons cast out of her. She’s connected with a charismatic ministry tied to Neil Anderson where they claim that Christians can be possessed. Other than listing experiences as their basis of truth, I’m trying to answer this question using the Bible. Do you have any recommendations where to find out whether Christians can be possessed? I don’t think it is possible but my wife is sincere and has been a Christian all her life. She’s had a lot of trauma. Thank you. Sincerely,

Brent

Brent, everything hinges on what you mean by “possessed.” I would emphasize to her what Scripture says about all true Christians having been ransomed, redeemed, purchased, bought with a price, etc. A demon can’t own or possess one of God’s possessions. At the same time, a covenant member can be afflicted and tempted by a demon. In Luke 13:16, Jesus says that a “daughter of Abraham” had been afflicted by Satan for years. Job was afflicted by Satan (Job 1:12). The apostle Paul was also worked over by Satan (2 Cor. 12:7). But those who are owned by Christ cannot be owned by another. No man can serve two masters.

The Metrics for Next Time

What are some questions that folks exploring potential church homes could use to gauge their leadership’s competence (especially in light of the last few years)? 

One I would ask is under what circumstances would leadership choose to not meet in person. 

The church I have been attending is solid on core theology and yet I perceive a naive hope to return to “normal,” perhaps having not learned from all that’s transpired. As if Covid and all that came with it was all just a run of bad luck. Now this is just my gut feeling but to tease out whether my intuition is accurate it would be helpful to have questions that are pointed but not too specific. Does that make sense? 

Thanks for any help you can offer. 

PS: it could be someone has produced this resource  but when I searched the results were extremely underwhelming. Please feel free to point me to an existing resource if you are aware of one. 

Dan

Dan, I think it is a fair question to ask. “Under what circumstances would you agree to shut down your worship services?” And I think that question covers the waterfront.

Marital Wrongs?

“But agree together with your wife (when things are calm) that you want to walk through that specific incident together with her, the next time you have a counseling appointment.”

What is the line between filing things like this away for future discussion and 1 Cor. 13:5, where love is not to keep a record of wrongs?

Guymon

Guymon, it is the difference between one player yelling at another one after a blown play, and watching the game film with the coach later. The player who sinned doesn’t have to a avoid watching the game film.

Exactly So

Privileges will be what the ruling elite grant themselves. Permission is what they will grant their subjects.

Jeff

Jeff, I wish you were not as correct as you are.

Yes, There Was a Problem

Housekeeping concern only—why aren’t the recordings of your blog posts populating to the podcast feeds currently? Also, I’m missing my weekly plodcast.

Continued blessings in your ministry.

Tom

Tom, it should be fixed now. We got a similar complaint a few weeks ago, and I believe our resident exorcist dealt with the problem. Check it out now.

Two Reformation Questions

I have 2 questions I was hoping you’d answer..

1. What verses would you cite to refute those who say that the elect are made up of visible saints only and that the doctrine of decretal election is not explicitly taught in Scripture, but merely a logical deduction from the fact that God has decreed all things? Those being the fine gentleman named John Barach and James Jordan and the like.

2. What are the books you’d recommend reading to get started on the history of the 16th and 17th century reformation?

J

J, I would point to Paul’s whole line of argument in Romans 8-11. Nothing can separate the elect from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, which is at the end of chapter 8. So naturally the question arises, at the beginning of chapter 9, why then, Paul, are the elect of God chasing you around the Mediterranean trying to kill you. Paul’s answer is the key to all of this. Not all Israel are Israel. That means that not all the elect are elect. For reading, why don’t you start with D’Aubigne’s History of the Reformation in England?

What Does the Patriarchy Require in Adult Sunday School Classes?

I am not writing in response to a particular post but about a practical and theological question that has become increasingly relevant in my church. My church is Reformed and very much dedicated to biblical patriarchy; they are not “soft complementarians.” The women even got together recently to watch “Eve in Exile.”

However, one woman mentioned something last Sunday that stuck with me. I was teaching Sunday School, and this woman told me afterwards that she thought about speaking up with a couple of thoughts on one of the verses, but “as a woman” she was not sure if she should. Our Sunday school class normally does include some discussion, and a couple of the women will occasionally speak up with a question or thought. This has always troubled me a bit, but I had unintentionally shoved it to the back of my mind. However, I have been thinking about it a lot, and it seems to me that the patterns of biblical patriarchy and female submission in Scripture, notably in I Cor. 14:34-35, prohibit a woman from asking questions or contributing to discussion in that context. This particular issue of a woman in Sunday school discussions appears to be rather absent from most conversations about “complementarianism,” and the idea that they should remain silent in that context would be quite foreign to everyone I know, even my Reformed friends. That is why I thought I would ask your thoughts on the matter.

Thanks and God bless,

Adam

Adam, I believe that Paul’s injunction to “ask their husbands at home” is talking about the worship service proper. They didn’t have Sunday School classes back then, so those were not in view. We also have the example of Priscilla and Aquila correcting Apollos (Acts 18:26), and the text is clear that they both set him straight. That happened in the synagogue parking lot. And so the question becomes whether or not your class is an informal time (closer to the parking lot), or a time of formal instruction in the voice of the church. And so my definitive answer is “it all depends.”

Dealing with Pushback

Thank you and all the saints there in Moscow for the abundant amount of resources! I am currently teaching a class in church on The Biblical perspective of civil government/ an overview of the history of Church and State. This past Sunday one person pushed back quite firmly when I made the point that the Bible teaches consent of the governed, and that kings were elected. My primary verses were Deut. 17:14, 2 Samuel 3:17-19, 2 Samuel 5:1-3. In the end I think the discussion was helpful, but I also left doubting myself a little bit. As I read the verses above they seem to imply that the people hand over power to the king in an election, but in 1 Kings 1 it seems as if David hands the power off to Solomon. I wonder if you could help clear this up, and if you know of any academic resources (perhaps on Canon +) that address this more specifically. Also, if you have time, could you share wisdom on the appropriate way to respond to push back while teaching. I was happy to listen and respond, but it took up a good half hour of class. I wondered if there was a way to be patient yet to move on more quickly, or if these types of extended back and forth are good and healthy from time to time? I am in the early stages of learning how to teach so I’ll take all the advice I can get

B

B, on a topic like this one, I think dealing with the questions during class time would be most profitable. For further study, I would recommend Canon Press’s recent release of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. And with the succession of Solomon, the nation was on the brink of civil war, and both sets of popular opinion had made their “nominations.” David, responding (remember) to a revelation from God, named his successor. But Solomon still required the approval of the population—notice the role of the people there (1 Kings 1: 39-40).

The Dobbs Vote

Probably other have brought this to your attention, but, just in case, Dobbs was decided 6/3, not 5/4 as your article “Roe Reversal Rainbow Month” states.

Thanks for your ministry!

Wendy

Wendy, on the basis of what I first heard, I wrote 6/3, but later I found out that Roberts did not vote to overturn Roe, so I corrected it to 5/4. Roberts was willing to adjust the viability standard, which is where the 6/3 comes in.

Regarding the Roe reversal . . . and as you stated . . . this ruling was by the sheer grace of God. But that is where I might draw the line. As for being grateful for Donald J. Trump, I think the real sheer grace is that God did something good for His people in spite of Donald J. Trump. Do you not think any Republican president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life? Anyway, it was Mitch McConnell that did all the heavy lifting, pushing the appointment through. Yes, God raises and removes kings but, for the hardness of our hearts He just might have given us the king we deserve, an immoral man, and still accomplished His will in saving the lives of the unborn. We might have had a much more worthy and upstanding leader and got three conservative judges to boot. We are so easily pleased. Sorry to be a wet rag but I think immoral leaders regardless of their strips [?] will have a detrimental effect on society at large which will not be fully understood until all is made known.

RM

RM, in my piece I gave all due credit to McConnell as well—because the sovereign God uses means. Those means include men who are sinners, all of which is fully granted. But the fact remains that Roe was overturned, on the earthly level, because Trump kept his word.

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Jake
Jake
1 month ago

Payton, Good conferences, even when not local, can be fruitful, too. I met my wife initially in Florida, neither of us being from that state, at at a conference where Doug Wilson was speaking. Then we met again in Idaho a couple years later at a Credenda Agenda history conference–this was where she turned my world upside down without realizing it. A call to her dad and a long distance courtship ensued (that turned local when I moved there), and we were married a few months later. I haven’t met anyone else with a similar story, but I wouldn’t be… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
1 month ago
Reply to  Jake

I found my wife on Plenty of Fish, a free service. Just remember, it is God that determines who you will find and where you will find her,

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeph .
Evan
Evan
1 month ago

RM wrote: “Do you not think any Republican president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life?” If you look at history from the start of Roe, I think the evidence shows that the answer to that question is pretty clearly “No.”. Reagan gave us Scalia, but also Kennedy & O’Connor who supported Roe. George HW Bush gave us Thomas, but also liberal Souter who supported Roe. George W. Bush gave us Alito, but only after initially nominating Harriet Miers, which so angered pro-life conservatives she had to withdraw. GWB also gave us… Read more »

RM
RM
1 month ago
Reply to  Evan

Evan, I don’t believe the opportunity to reverse Roe has presented itself before now. The chance to appoint three justices in one term, along with the exiting makeup of the court, happened while a “conservative” was in office, who’s promise to appoint pro-life judges is not too much to ask. This time around we had at least five conservative justices who had the courage of their convictions to do so, while some in the past did not for whatever reason, and maybe to their own shame.  That gets me back to my initial argument with regard to electing whomever the… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

“Evan, I don’t believe the opportunity to reverse Roe has presented itself before now.” RM, as I said in an earlier comment, Republicans had more than enough opportunity for over 20 years to appoint staunch pro-life justices. They failed. How about showing a little humility and admitting you’re wrong instead of doubling down? Nominees by president: Richard Nixon (R): 4 Gerald Ford (R): 1 Jimmy Carter (D): 0 Ronald Reagon (R): 3 George H.W. Bush (R): 2 So you have over 2 decades with 10 nominations all by Republican presidents. They had plenty of time to nominate judges with the… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

George H.W. Bush (R) 2

Clinton (D) 2

True, the Republicans are guilty of inconsistency in their court nominations. Nixon was hardly a conservative anyway. Reagan was as much a libertarian as true conservative. For what it’s worth, Kennedy was his third choice, after Bork got Borked and Ginsburg, let’s say, went down in smoke. The Bushs…were just Bushs.

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnM

Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, none of that takes away from my point. The bottom line is Republicans appointed 10 justices in a row and still couldn’t overturn Roe. People assign all sorts of labels and names to Trump as well, but he was able to do what 4 prior Republicans couldn’t.

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I don’t disagree that you have a point. To Trump’s credit he appointed, depending on how you want to count a concurring opinion, fifty, or sixty percent of the justices who overturned Roe. Unlike any of his predecessors, Trump batted 1.000 when it came to prolife SCOTUS appointments. However, without two other votes, by justices appointed by two other Republican Presidents, it still wouldn’t have happened. Prior Republican Presidents possibly could have done more, but they did more than nothing at all and what Trump did by itself wasn’t enough.

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnM

A lot of people focus on the president as though he is a perfect judge of judicial character, but he’s not. He is choosing from a list of people that are brought to him and he has very little information, and likely not much interest. The bug game changes has been the fostering of a conservative legal movement through the Federalist, which was founded in the mid 1980s as a student group and rose to prominence in the late 90s/early 2000s. They identified and groomed talented young lawyers. They worked tirelessly to build political clout with politicians and voters, and… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago
Reply to  demosthenes1d

I think you nailed it.

Regarding Jeb, I probably wouldn’t have voted if he’d gotten the nomination either. What I wonder – and we’ll just have to wonder and it doesn’t matter now – is what we would have gotten instead of Kagan or Sotamayor, if McCain or Romney had been elected.

Evan
Evan
1 month ago
Reply to  RM

RM wrote: “I don’t believe the opportunity to reverse Roe has presented itself before now.” But it did. Several times. Most obviously, the Casey vs. Planned Parenthood decision reached in 1992 (which upheld and even expanded Roe) was a 5-4 decision, and both O’Connor and Kennedy voted for that. George HW Bush’s pick David Souter did as well. If Reagan or Bush had appointed a single pro-life justice instead of any of those three, we would have ended Roe after 20 years instead of 50 years. I have no problem with criticizing any of Donald Trump’s sins, and hoping and… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Evan

This is all even if we accept RM’s premise that theoretical alternative timelines are a reasonable basis to deny gratitude where its due.

If someone else would have clothed and fed me had my parents not done so, that is not a basis for lacking gratitude to my parents for clothing and feeding me.

Even if alternative candidates would have accomplished the overturning of Roe (although there’s less than zero evidence they would have), that is not a basis for denying gratitude to those who actually did.

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago

Actually Doug, you couldn’t quite seem to stomach giving due credit to McConnell as well. You couldn’t “…really make sense of it all”. You saw fit to throw in mention of a disappointment to you that was unrelated to the Roe reversal. Now if that is fair and reasonable then anyone who gives thanks for the reversal of Roe, but expresses their gratitude to Trump with a yeahbut (as many do) is also being fair and reasonable. If your thankful mind is not now changed about McConnell you should be able to understand equally thankful minds not being changed about… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
1 month ago

BJ, every single person past infancy has to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. I grew up in the church. Lifetime membership, but I wasn’t saved until middle age. Having a Christian family is a blessing, but it doesn’t replace your child needing to call on Jesus, one on one. Read Way of the Master by Comfort and Cameron. It is worth the read.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeph .
-BJ-
-BJ-
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeph .

Zeph, I totally agree, but it answers a different question. Do we tell our kids they belong to God and to trust Him because He lives in their heart? Or do we call them unbelieving outsiders and call them to repent and believe the gospel? We can’t do both at the same time, though Reformed Baptists try their darndest. We have lean one direction or the other before a credible profession of faith, but my question is logically and chronologically prior. What posture do we hold to best get them there?

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago
Reply to  -BJ-

What was Cornelius before Peter preached to gospel to him? Or Apollos after he had been instructed in the way of the Lord but before Priscilla and Aquila explained to him the way of God more accurately? What was the the status of the Ephesians described as disciples in Acts 19:1-6, before Paul told them about Jesus? I think you can raise children to be God fearers, teach them a knowledge of God, and even treat them something like disciples, all the while knowing they are not believers until they are. To get them there, well we know God does… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
1 month ago
Reply to  -BJ-

My driving focus for my answer is Romans 8 where Paul talks about learning of the sin of coveting and at that point, when he committed the sin, he died. Spiritually, at that moment, he was dead. If he had physically died at that point, he would have gone to Hell. Covenantal affiliation in place, circumcised on the 8th day, but still dead. So, what brings the dead back to life?

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeph .
Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
1 month ago
Reply to  -BJ-

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. Now, granted, this was Luther and not Calvin. But do we really think believers will get anywhere without continued repentance and more faith? Having begun in the Spirit, do we now continue in the flesh? It’s one thing to constantly undermine any assurance a young saint may have in their salvation, as many paedobaptists allege many credobaptists do. But in correcting that error and allowing that some may be regenerated when very small, it is important to also avoid… Read more »

Nellie Aspen
Nellie Aspen
1 month ago

RM;

I think another factor to be aware of with Trump, I am so glad that Roe was overturned, but if you look at survey results since his presidency there’s been such a sharp change with so many more people stating they supported abortion “rights.” I think using someone as inflammatory and who despises women as much as Trump does as a figurehead for the pro-life movement has had negative consequences.

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  Nellie Aspen

While President Trump clearly changed his views to pro life, I don’t know anyone who considered him the “figurehead” for the movement. If one is trying to choose the less inflammatory side, Jane’s Revenge and terrorists like this have us beat by a long shot.
Antifa chant ‘burn it down’ at Supreme Court abortion ruling protest in DC | Fox News

Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

“Jane’s Revenge and terrorists . . .” Now hold on a minute. Whenever the subject of gun control comes up, I keep hearing that one of the reasons for the Second Amendment is so that citizens can defend themselves from tyranny. So what happens when Jane’s Revenge decides that they, too, have Second Amendment rights against what they consider tyrannical government? Other than the bare, naked fact that you disagree with them, can you give me a principled reason for why conservatives have the right to take up arms against what they consider tyrannical government but liberals don’t? You may… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

That’s an absurd comment on many levels, even for you. I’m not going to waste more than one reply, but here are a few obvious problems: When did I say Jane’s Revenge didn’t have 2A rights? What does committing terrorism against pro-life groups and crisis pregnancy centers (whose sole job is helping mothers who keep their babies) have to do with fighting a tyrannical government? Do you actually know what Jane’s Revenge does? Abortion isn’t a constitutional right. I’ve never advocated taking up arms against the government, but someone protecting say, 1A, 2A, 4A, 10A or other constitutional rights that… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I’m not a leftist. That aside, respectfully, I think you missed my point, so here it is again, from the beginning. Do you have a principled argument for why conservatives rising up against what they see as tyrannical government is good, but liberals doing the same is not? You are right that crisis pregnancy centers aren’t the government, but Jane’s sees them as co-belligerents. It’s the same principle under which in wartime someone might bomb a factory. Even if that factory isn’t the army, it’s making it easier for the army to do its job. As to abortion not being… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“Do you have a principled argument for why conservatives rising up against what they see as tyrannical government is good, but liberals doing the same is not? “ No, and no one has made that claim. The argument would be over whether or not it is tyrannical, not whether or not overthrowing tyranny is valid. “ but Jane’s sees them as co-belligerents. “ Christians aren’t relativists. That Jane’s see them as XYZ does not make them XYZ. If you want to make the argument for tyranny, you have to actually make the argument for tyranny, not simply point to the fact that… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Everything he assumes–that the majority is usually right (and not swayed by a corrupt culture/media, demagogues or their own selfish/sinful natures); that a living constitution won’t devolve into totalitarianism; that everyone can have their own constantly changing interpretation of everything–is based on a terribly flawed view of man and his institutions. It also runs counter to the 100 million or so deaths we saw in the last century by murderous, despotic governments that allegedly began with good intentions.

Last edited 1 month ago by C Herrera
Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Ah but you see it wasn’t socialism that was the problem, it was that it wasn’t implemented properly …

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I would never say anything so patently absurd as that the majority is usually right, and before you go claiming your opponent believes something that stupid, maybe you should first be sure that you’re right that your opponent actually believes that. What I do believe is that there is no good evidence that the minority is right any more often than the majority, and if you’re going to deprive the American people of self-governance, you need a far better reason for it than any I’ve heard so far. The rest of your complete mischaracterizations of what I believe fare no… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

“Christians aren’t relativists.” Justin, that’s hilarious, and thank you for my laugh of the day. You may have convinced yourself that you and your fellow Christians aren’t relativists, but if you can sell that to anyone outside your circle of faith I’ll eat my hat. The more central problem, however, is that you’ve convinced yourself that your definition of tyranny is the only correct one, and it’s not. You’re trying to win an argument by re-defining words in a way that no one else defines them. And if you think that living constitutionalism means that anyone in power can imagine… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“So what happens when Jane’s Revenge decides that they, too, have Second Amendment rights against what they consider tyrannical government?” Ridiculous argument, and obviously so. That someone else might misuse a right is not a basis for denying that right. If that were the case, there would be no such thing as rights. A country has every right to, for example, maintain a military to defend themselves. That obviously doesn’t mean that no country’s army could do evil things. That some countries do evil things with their armies is not an argument for abolishing the military. You have free speech.… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Actually Roe only protects abortion through the first trimester, so perhaps you should review the decision before you tell us what it says. And I’m part of that supermajority that supports abortion on demand through the end of the first trimester, with restrictions in the second trimester, and only in extreme circumstances in the final trimester. But I doubt that’s a regime you’d be happy with. And how is it misusing a right for the pro-abortion side to take up arms against tyranny? Even if I were to agree with you that first trimester abortion is murder (and I don’t),… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

I don’t think my better half ever regarded her pregnancies as any kind of being enslaved. Sometimes hassle, yes. Having conceived that’s another person, she’d loan it temporary accommodation for 9 months then feed it and cuddle it!

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, I’m happy for both you and your better half that you got what you wanted. Please do not make the mistake, though, of thinking that your experience matches everybody’s experience. There are plenty of women for whom being forced to carry to term a pregnancy they do not want is slavery. They’ve been told by the state that their bodies belong to their fetuses and not to them.

Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike – I have been the lone opponent of abortion on a UK forum, and the defence of it consists entirely of asserting a woman’s right to bodily autonomy with no accompanying argument for such a right. They won’t think about any right to life of the unborn child, depersonalised as foetus. Also woman rather than mother. Except for very rare instances, a woman who is pregnant has already made her choice by getting together with a man. They weren’t ‘forced’ to get pregnant, even though that is not what they intended. There is now a third party (four if… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, legally, I could not compel you to let me sleep in your spare bedroom for nine months, even if not doing so would kill me. The idea that I might have the right to seize your body for nine months strikes me as totalitarian. It’s not that I’m happy with the fact that abortions happen; I’m not. But I think the alternative — your body belongs to the state — is even worse. If I had magical powers, the underlying reasons why women have abortions would disappear. But I don’t, so we are left with who gets to make… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Ken, legally, I could not compel you to let me sleep in your spare bedroom for nine months, even if not doing so would kill me.  If I rented my spare bedroom to you, or suddenly found that unexpectedly you happened to be living in it (what on earth is he doing there?!!), it wouldn’t give me the right of life or death over you if I wanted to reclaim it as my spare room. So I might claim absolute spare room autonomy, it’s my room, but if I find someone else living in it I have to respect their… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken B

But what basic rights do I have if I’m in your spare bedroom without your consent? Especially if you need it for something else? But that wasn’t my point anyway. My point is this: If I cannot compel you to let me live in your house without your consent, then *how much less* do I have the right to compel you to let me live in your body without your consent? Because as annoying as you might find it to have me living in your house, I can assure you that’s nothing compared to the annoyance of seizing someone’s body,… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

It never ceases to amaze me how you pro-murder people go and engage in THE procreative act, are surprised that it results in procreation, then proceed to blame the baby for your stupidity.

No wonder you Democrats have to “fortify” elections. Left to Darwin, idiocy like that would be terminal.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago

As I recall you amaze rather easily.

Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago

Mike began this with an incredibly asinine question about how terrorists attacking a charitable group might be considered a defense of 2A and a fight against gov’t tyranny. Since then it’s been a train wreck proving the three SJW laws: 1) SJWs always lie 2) SJWs always project 3) SJWs always double down His “living constitution pals” from 100 years ago wouldn’t recognize their counterparts today, where legalized murder, child sexualization/grooming, a destruction of the rule of law with privileged politicians like Clintons/Bidens getting away with open crime, etc. That’s why there’s no reason to trust shifting/relative standards, public opinion… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
1 month ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Cherrera, you’re awfully good at tossing around jargon like woke and SJW (though I’m not entirely convinced you know what any of those words mean), but you’re pretty spotty on demonstrating any actual analysis that shows you understand any of the issues. I’m neither woke nor SJW (though as with anything else there are some parts of their philosophies I agree with and some I don’t). And I’ve already had to correct you once in this discussion after you imputed to me views that I do not hold. But here’s the thing: Nobody is right all the time, and nobody… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

And analogies have their limits don’t they? If you are in my spare bedroom without my consent I have the right to have you removed but you have the right to not be murdered for it. You can compel a woman to allow her child to live in her body (which is not her’s alone, but if it was it wouldn’t change the point) because the only alternative is to violate her child’s greater right to live. Of course, in most cases a pregnant woman cannot be said to have taken on boarding her child entirely without her consent. She… Read more »

Kristina Zubic
Kristina Zubic
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

Mike, Ken can get you out of his spare room without dismembering your body before you’re even dead. He has the right to an empty spare room but not to Mike in pieces. The gruesomeness of the method is the point.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Kristina Zubic

If dismemberment is the issue, then are you in support of mifepristone and misoprostol as a method of removal?

Last edited 1 month ago by Prince of Tides
Kristina Zubic
Kristina Zubic
1 month ago

I am. Heck, misoprostol alone can cause a miscarriage.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

You have the basic right not to be murdered for violating a lesser right of Ken’s, which is occupying his room without consent. The bodily autonomy of one person is an important right, but it is trumped by the right of one person not to be killed by another without sufficient reason. Besides, your analogy would only work if Ken had put up a big sign on his house saying “room available” and you sneaked in without looking, and then he suddenly decided he didn’t want you there anyway. Babies inhabit their mothers’ wombs 99.9% of the time as a… Read more »

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

De facto permission? Does that apply to 10-year-old rape victims?

Jane
Jane
1 month ago

Are you having trouble understanding what I meant by 99.9% of the time?

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Sorry, I’m not a mind reader. How gracious of you to grant 0.1% to your sisters.

Jane
Jane
1 month ago

It’s not about being gracious. It’s that the overwhelming majority of conceptions aren’t the result of rape. That’s neither a kind nor an unkind fact, just a fact. And if we’re not talking about rape, then the “uninvited guest” argument is completely beside the point and worse than useless as an analogy. If the woman wasn’t raped, the guest was invited, even if she wants to pretend she issued no invitation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jane
Nathan Tuggy
Nathan Tuggy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

In most (all?) states, a landlord whose tenant blatantly stops paying rent has only one recourse to get them out, and that’s to have the sheriff evict them after due notice has been served. Not only is it extremely far from legal or moral to quietly murder and remove a guest who’s overstayed their welcome, it is not acceptable to use any private violence or force against such a previously-invited trespasser. Even so much as removing their possessions without their consent is a real problem. Even ejecting an uninvited trespasser by private force is illegal! Yes, you read that correctly.… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Nellie Aspen

 if you look at survey results since his presidency there’s been such a sharp change with so many more people stating they supported abortion “rights.”

I’m open to hearing an argument for this conclusion, but you haven’t made one. There are a functionally infinite number of cultural factors happening simultaneously that have coalesced into our current situation. You can’t just blindly ascribe mass scale changes to one variable for no reason. There’s a whole host of things that happened in 2016, including results of things that happened 20 years ago, that have nothing to do with Trump.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

I heard or least I heard an RUF pastor this Sunday say persons of color suffer as a result of being born that way. It caught me off guard to hear this from the pulpit.

arwenb
arwenb
1 month ago

<i>”Do you not think any Republican president worthy the office would have done the same, appointing conservative judges who would defend life? “</i>

To answer this requires one to ask
“What makes a Republican worthy of the office?”,
“<i>Did</i> prior Republican presidents nominate “conservative justices who would defend life”?”, and
“If they didn’t doesn’t that in itself make them unworthy of the office?”

Aaron Snell
Aaron Snell
1 month ago

Sarah, regarding your letter on corporate confession and the question of its biblical nature, I’d like to add one thing:

In the Lord’s prayer, we are commanded to pray corporately for the forgiveness of our sins (the pronouns all switch to the plural, i.e. “when you all pray”). So it is biblical.

George
George
1 month ago

Hi Pastor Doug, many thanks for your faithfulness & courage! We have been richly blessed by yours , your family & Christs church ministry over the last decade, I live in South Africa with my wife & 3 children. It’s a beautiful country in many regards & we live a blessed life, however it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to envision my children & one day their grandchildren being able to raise a family in our country due to the politics & failing state. I’m a businessman and the cost of running a business is becoming very high (we… Read more »