A Protest Against Hackneyed Cant
Re: How Hymenaeus Struggled With Math Doug;
Please don’t use “At the end of the day”.
Ron, I understand your point, and take the spirit of it to heart. But, at the end of the day . . . I’m still gonna.
The Gary DeMar Letter & Eschatology
Regarding this controversy with Gary DeMar, what is driving it? Do the signatories of this letter believe that he is a full-preterist, or just that he could encourage others to go that route? If you believe he is a full preterist, could you cite where exactly he goes there in his teaching?
LM, the letter was making no claim about what Gary believes. The letter was seeking clarify what Gary believes on this questions, and hence the questions. We are currently working on setting up a meeting with Gary where we can settle that issue.
“One of the reasons we know the Lord has not yet returned is that full preterists are still here, carrying on the way they do.” —How Hymenaeus Struggled With Math. Fun rhetoric, but isn’t that logic squirrelly? If the preterists were correct, the argument that they and their error are still around would be a non-starter, no?
If that’s a only a half-joke or something, understood.
Logan, it was just a little joke I made to lighten the mood.
Hey Doug, I recently discovered the truth of postmillennialism, and I had a question about the connection of the sun not giving its light in Matthew 24 and Isaiah 13 to the physical darkness that was pressing around the crucifixion of Christ. Was this a literal darkness? And if so, what does that mean for a possible literal fulfillment of Matthew 24? Thank you.
Jarrod, I believe the darkness at the crucifixion was literal darkness, and there are no indications to the contrary. But the decreation language of Matthew 24 is quoting Isaiah, and everywhere that kind of language occurs in the Old Testament, it is referring to the destruction of a nation or city (Ezekiel, Amos, Joel, and Isaiah).
Why isn’t the church helping people get married? It seems like younger Christian men and women have been abandoned and sinned against in this area by older generations, but nobody is willing to acknowledge that truth (much less do much to help them get married).
This is particularly the case for those who were not born into strong Christian families and do not have people working “behind the scenes” to help them find good matches.
And what advice should we give people to help them find a spouse if they’ve been abandoned in this area by their families and church communities?
I’m thinking we need to equip people with some practical Guerilla warfare tactics, but I don’t know where to start.
Erik, the only way that I can see that working is if the young people agreed to go along with our selections.
Gating the Table
Wikipedia’s article on your featured painting (Christ of St John of the Cross by Salvadore Dali) includes a copy of the sketch by the original St John of the Cross which inspired (?) Dali.
Say, instead of saying “fencing the table,” how about “gating the table”? Some people need kept out now, but the deeper point is we (and God) want them in. Unbelievers? Not just “Don’t partake,” but look to Jesus and the truth, become believers, and then come and welcome! Hypocrites, sinners? Not just “Let it pass by,” but count the cost, repent, put on Christ, and come in! Little children? Pastors who have to keep them out can at least ask them to grow in grace, mature, and come in when they’ve been circumcised and kept the law of Moses (or whatever), rather than ignore their existence as if they were kept out as hypocrites or unbelievers. And struggling Christians, welcome . . . might be a good idea to have an elder or two standing in a corner in case someone needs to consult them, and a good idea to point them out.
Andrew, good suggestions.
Shameless and Unashamed
I have a comment and a question today. The comment is that based on your recent article The Shameless vs The Unashamed, shouldn’t your section in What’s Done Been Wrote be called Unashamed Appeals, instead of Shameless Appeals? :)
The question is that I was reading some archived letters and people were mentioning your letters to Dawson. Being interested in the subject, I was wondering if they were still available to be read. And where I could find them. Thanks!
LM, yes. Shameless Appeals is ironic. As for the Dawson letters, they are now available in book form.
A Childrearing Question
Firstly, thank you for taking my question. We are having a difficult time with our four year old boy. We discipline when he is disobedient, disrespectful and so forth, and we cheer when he does well. He does not seem to respond to either. For instance, we stress the importance of godly obedience but today his mother told him to stay on our porch and he disobeyed and then ate food he was not supposed to eat, subsequently lying about it. We disciplined each time, and he knows it is wrong, but lately he seems to be getting worse. How do you recommend we correct his course? Thank you again.
Alan, the answer is that disciplining children, particularly children who are willful, is not a “one and done” sort of thing. You can take heart in the fact that the book of Proverbs was written to help parents bringing up sons, and that the book contains a lot of repetition.
My question pertains to mind-altering drugs, such as antidepressants/anti-anxiety, and how dependent Christians should be on them.
My wife went on one of these drugs a few years back after our first child was born due to postpartum hormones. My current thoughts on these are that they are supposed to be temporary and if used beyond that they become a crutch as they allow a Christian to forego facing their fears. I also think that they are over-prescribed as it doesn’t make sense to me that for centuries women didn’t have these, and then in the last 20 years all of a sudden one quarter of U.S women are on them. Something is clearly broken here and I believe these drugs interfere with Paul’s command of being sober minded.
From my wife’s perspective she says that without the drugs she is miserable, she becomes extremely reliant/clingy on me (which I don’t mind) and that for her to be “sober” minded, as Paul commands, she must be on the drug. At the same time the drugs cause other side effects, such as weight gain, and she occasionally contemplates going off the drugs to lose weight.
I want for my wife to be content and happy as per Scripture, and on the other hand I am ordered to help my wife grow in her faith. In my rather short life experience, growing in faith occurs during trials where Christians face their fears and conquer evil while leaning on Christ. These drugs block that trial from happening. However, I don’t want to throw her in the metaphorical Anxiety creek like John Wayne’s swimming lesson in “Hondo”.
1. Is there anything wrong with psych drug use and modern prescription levels? Am I off base here?
2. If there is a possibility of something wrong with the usage of these drugs, how can I discern if it’s a real need vs a crutch?
3. Is this an area that I need to stand on to help her grow, or should I let her make her own decision?
Appreciate your guidance,
Mr. P, your questions are entirely reasonable. My approach would not be an absolute rejection of them, but I do believe they are over-prescribed, and I also believe that we have cultivated a mentality that is not embarrassed by an undue dependence on them. I would discourage relying on them too quickly, and I would also want to discourage any kind of permanent dependence. But there are of course some exceptions.
I am writing to see if you knew that Naomi Wolf is now publishing readings of the Geneva Bible over on Substack. She recently began this and has now finished reading Genesis 7-11. Praise God and pass me some more ammunition. The fellows over at the Theology PugCast put me on to this in their last session entitled “The Return of the Old Gods” Episode 225
John, I did not know that. Thanks.
Free Lancing Woman
I wanted to thank you and your family for your ministries. I am only approx. two years old as far as my new life in Christ goes, but your ministries have really helped put into words what I’ve come to know in my heart with no idea how to articulate. You’re all such a blessing.
“The Shameless v. the Unashamed” runs alongside a topic I’ve been wondering how to tackle. I live in Canada, where many church leaders decided to follow the example of the state rather than the example of Christ when it came to lock-downs, mandates, and partiality.
Due to these circumstances, I currently attend a home church with a rag-tag band of believers who became disenfranchised by these developments. Our group has not elected any elders, and I’m beginning to see the limitations of a body without a head, so to speak. Gathering together on Sunday for the Lord’s day is wonderful, but our group does not have any real drive toward any particular direction, and I want to DO something.
I am my own household for the time being (though I’m hoping to meet the right man and start a family), and kind of need the guidance of an in-person elder or authority. I want to unashamedly proclaim Christ, but I’m sort of wondering where the lines are drawn when it comes to proclaiming the gospel, applying the word exegetically to this era’s unique circumstances (if exegetically is the right word), while strictly avoiding an authoritative role, especially over men.
Just looking for a better understanding of what I’m allowed to teach, and when; whether it’s permissible for a woman to do this, and in what circumstances it may be acceptable (in-person, online, unbelieving audience v. believing audience, etc.). Been thinking of starting a blog or writing a book. I’m sort of tired of holding back my enthusiasm, but also want to tread lightly, especially when my foot comes anywhere close to my mouth.
Kate, I would encourage two things. The first is that of seeking out a church with a more stable form of government, but one that did not crater during COVID. And second, I would ask the elders of that church for their blessing as you start a Bible study for women.
Praise for the KJV
As I recall, a few weeks ago (in a Plodcast(?)) you reviewed a book about the influence of the KJV on our language(?) and culture(?).
I recently (re)read a little pamphlet (under 20 pages) that resonated with that review and I thought you might be interested in looking at it.
“The Excellence of the Authorized Version” by William O. Einwechter (1996)
It doesn’t seem to be “King James Only,” but it praises the AV for its history, pedigree, translation, language, influence, importance, etc.
It includes extended quotes from several different sources, including this one by Rushdoony:
One of the charges consistently leveled against the King James Version is that its language is archaic and obsolete. The answer is a simple one: it is intended to be. In 1611, the King James Version was as “out of date” as it is today. Compare the writings of Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, King James I, and John Lyly with the King James Version, and this becomes quickly apparent. The translators avoided the speech of their day for a basic English which would be simple, timeless, and beautiful; and they succeeded. Their version spoke outside their age and tradition with elemental simplicity. Their wisdom here exceeds that of their successors. Nothing seems more ridiculous than an outdated “modern” translation.
[from “Translation and Subversion,” The Journal of Christian Reconstruction 12 (1989), 12-13.]
If you are interested, here is the link to it where you read it online, download it, or order it.
Birth Control Is a Perennial Question
Is birth control/family planning wrong for Christian couples, since they stem from evil places like Planned Parenthood? My husband and I decided before we got married that we wouldn’t prevent a pregnancy nor necessarily try for one either. We were convicted that God would allow conception whenever He thought was best. To us, using condoms, the pill, or natural family planning methods have the same goal in mind: to prevent a pregnancy. So we believe in using neither since they were originally pushed by Planned Parenthood agendas.
However, it seems that many Christians have begun to “plan out” their children using birth control methods rather than allowing God to plan the size of family. It has become the norm, and in many communities if you choose not to do so you may be considered irresponsible or old-fashioned. What is your opinion on this and does Scripture give us principles against this? Is birth control and family planning a resource we can use responsibly or a veiled evil that we’ve been deceived by?
Sabrina, thanks for the question. Here are some thoughts of mine on the subject.
Try This Expression Out
I listen to and appreciate all your stuff.
I have been toying with a new expression; “Cultural Hyper-Calvinism”. This is where Christians are so focused on God’s sovereignty and providence that they believe we have no cultural responsibilities (common with a-millenialists and R2K advocates).
I have not developed a complete definition of this expression but wanted to offer it to you in case you like it and would like to make some hay with it.
Steve, thanks. I love to make hay out of things.
The Teen Crush
Thank you very much for your ministry.
I am writing to thank you for your content about the godly roles of Men and Women, and to ask about the, in some ways simpler and in other ways more messy, topic of Christian teenager interaction. One particular question is on the use and culture of the “crush”(not the orange kind). As a 17-year-old, I think it lends itself to an attitude that normalizes violations of the 7th commandment: the feelings are there, but, instead of fighting them, the “crush” is used to excuse them away. Any thoughts or directions to your writing on this general topic would be appreciated. Thanks,
Dawson’s Neighbor’s Dog-walker’s Cousin
DNDWC, thanks. I am with you. My exhortation to young people in this is “if you know what you’re doing, do it. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it.” Having a crush can be fun, but that is not the same thing as being a good idea.