If you were to create a list of books to equip men who are not able to attend seminary but yet have a desire to know God, to enjoy Him, and to help others do the same, what would it include? I’m thinking of a list along the lines of Dr. Eliot’s five foot bookshelf of Harvard Classics, except for theology only. Assume the list is for mature Christians who are familiar with reformed theology. Assume also that the readers of the list will have a similar level of comprehension as your average seminary student.
Drew, putting a five-foot list together would be a project in itself. But off the top of my head, I would start with Calvin’s Institutes, Turretin’s Elenctic Theology, Harold O.J. Brown’s Heresies, Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction, and Beale’s We Become What We Worship.
I have just finished your book, Confessions of a Food Catholic. Thank you for this instructive read, which put words to and clarified many vague, unformed thoughts I had. I have a further question. If you feel like you did address it in your book, or perhaps in a blog post, please direct me where to look.
I was intrigued by your thought that nature itself cannot indicate what is beneficial, that “natural” doesn’t equal “best.” My question regards the fear in which some Christians view “unnatural” adulteration of our food, whether the substance or the processing of it. This fear is the fear of the arrogant atheist scientist. If in the name of “science” we have recommended to us sex change surgery, designer babies, and cloned humans, what mightn’t they be doing to the food? When you don’t fear God, why should the long-term damage caused by chemical pesticides give you any pause or slow down the great march of Progress (or profits)? . . .
Also, regarding alternative medicines, the same fear applies to atheist doctors. If they can ignore the holes in evolution, won’t they ignore the holes in modern medicine? Surely they are some of the worst people we could give the responsibility of correctly reading the evidence about what does and doesn’t heal.
Kaylie, when it comes to decisions like this, nature alone cannot provide the standard. Cooking food is unnatural, but so is putting poison in it. Sex change surgeries are unnatural, but so are braces for the teeth. We have to learn how to read Scripture so that we might learn how to read nature. Faithful Christians who submit to the plain word of God are able to tell the difference between playing God in the realm of nature and exercising dominion in the realm of nature.
Communion Wine Question
This clip is old https://youtu.be/IwfSt6FbzYs so you may have already addressed this, but is there a context where using something other than wine for communion is not a sin? For example, when I was in Iraq, I led the Lord’s Supper with my fellow Marines using Dr Pepper and crackers. Alcohol is illegal in Iraq and even if we could get it smuggled in, our unit had banned its consumption. Thanks for thinking this through for me.
Jordan, two things. First, in a situation like that I am sure the Lord received it according to the intent. But second, I would have preferred to celebrate the Supper in just one kind, just using the crackers.
Emoting Like Pelagians
Head of nail, meet hammer.
I know that isn’t history’s most loquacious letter to the editor, but I’m not sure what else there is to say.
Unfair to Mohler?
While I agree with the larger point in “Murder on the Orientation Express”—that many of the brainy sort of evangelicals have an appeasement problem—I think you’re being unfair to Dr. Mohler, who emphatically has not left room for the Revoice heretics, as you suggest. Just recently, at a PCA event of all places, Mohler unequivocally rejected the Revoice project for its embrace of intersectionality and critical theory, its twisting of the biblical teaching on celibacy, and its reversion to the thoroughly un-Protestant doctrine of concupiscence. The video of his talk is available here. Though I share virtually all of your criticisms regarding squishiness among the evangelical leadership where those criticisms are warranted, it does no good to stir up the rank and file against those leaders where it isn’t warranted.
Chuck, I sincerely hope that events will prove that I was being “unfair” to Mohler. I really do believe him to be among the good guys. But I think events will actually show that the intersectional woke are more dishonest than many assume, and have gotten embedded in the woodwork of many conservative bastions. As in, at Southern.
The Nepotism Thing
Rando query, Mr. Wilson,
My family thoroughly enjoys your ministry, as well as the ministry of your wife, children, sons-in-laws, etc. I’m sure it must be very rewarding to have your family closely involved in the church. But do you worry at all about Christ Church ever being too Wilson-centric? We are wrestling with that a little bit in our local church, so I’d be curious on your thoughts.
Roger, reasonable question. Let me begin by showing my cards with a book recommendation—In Praise of Nepotism by Bellow. That said, I think everyone should acknowledge the problem of turning the control of a ministry over from a talented founder to the blockhead of a grandson simply because he shares the last name. That is a problem. But it is also the problem that everybody and his dog guards against. The other problem occurs when someone with the same last name has to clear three times more hurdles to get the same recognition. But, with all that said, the ministry here in Moscow is governed by elders, trustees, board members, etc. who have no family connection to me. The success my kids have had, with thanks to God for it, has been largely independent of my realm of influence.
Random question. Jesus is both God and man. But, mysteriously, the two are not mixed. That being the case, how did Jesus not sin? How was he able—or willing, as a man, to mature and become “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” when Adam and Eve, also created without sin, couldn’t—or wouldn’t? Along these lines, could God have created Adam and Eve in such a way that they wouldn’t have sinned, but didn’t do so for His glory? Or is there something inherent about being a creature that would not allow us to avoid sin, and thus only when we are united (mysteriously) with Christ are we able to not sin (once we have passed through death, of course)?
Bill, Christ in His humanity was in the same position as Adam and Eve—able to not sin, which He did not. The fall of our first parents was not necessary because of their finitude. In the decree of God, it was settled that Christ would stand, but this was not because His soul was somehow temptation proof. Take the example of Christ’s bones. They were breakable, just like ours are breakable. But the Word of God cannot be broken, and it was settled beforehand that the Messiah’s bones would not be broken. But God didn’t accomplish this by giving Him stainless steel bones.
A Helpful Suggestion
Tishbite Calvinist preachers: Perhaps you are that one…no?
Malachi, the barrier to entry for me is the grasshopper casserole part.
I appreciate the work you do. This email isn’t directed toward any one particular blog post. I just wanted to let you know that Ep. 98 of the Plodcast was never published. You think you’ve got us fooled thinking we’ve listened to 100 episodes? Ha! Think again! If there’s any way the episode could be posted, I’d be very grateful as I’m sure others would be as well. Thanks.
Tony, we don’t know what happened. Either we recorded one and lost it, or I counted wrong. The reason this might easily happen is that I record once a month, doing four at a time. That involves higher levels of math, which is a challenge for me.
First of all, thank you responding to my question re: Beth Moore. I will do my best not to be an empty bucket.
Second, in the comments section of that post, I tried to respond to the question of one of the other commenters yesterday and my posts said “pending moderation.” I still don’t see the comments posted yet. Is there something I need to do to bring my responses into conformity for the moderator? Or just wait longer?
JD, no, nothing wrong with your comment. It is just that WordPress sometimes throws comments into moderation for some reason, and I don’t always notice.
Theonomic Hodge Podge
First I would like to acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is ever so merciful and gracious to have provided the Evangelical world such a man as yourself Pastor Wilson. I appreciate you and find much of what you write to be compelling and simple for minds like mine to understand. Thank you.
I have a question regarding theonomy as a standard by which we, both as a nation and a world ought to live by. Specifically as matter of case law.
You mentioned in the article where you were responding to Steve found here that executing homosexuals is not the only punishment found in the old covenant.
As someone who has come to believe that we ought to model the justice system by God’s law, I am often confused by the many theonomic positions held by theonomists regarding this topic. What would you recommend as reading to get a complete perspective on this topic? Would you consider writing a book on such a topic? Has it been exhausted by anyone else that you agree with? Thank you in advance for your guidance and time.
Respectfully your servant in Christ
Robert, no, there is no one book that puts it all in one place. My position is a collage of things I have gotten from all over.
So—now that Amazon is censoring Christian books is it time to cancel our Prime memberships and stop buying from them?
David, I don’t think so. See below.
Barton and Ben
I don’t know if you’re aware of this video or this guy’s ministry but I just wanted to it to get as much exposure as possible. Maybe it make your next Content Cluster muster. Texas boys makin’ noise!
You guys are gracious to take the time, but I’ve become convinced that the only response needed to a P&P accusation is the eye roll emoji.
Miya, that’s a school of thought, certainly.
And I don’t believe Klavan has ever argued that homosexuality is wonderful, normal, or natural. His position seems to be if that’s what people think they are or want to do, whatever.
Mike, right. He is a libertarian, which has a different set of (very serious) problems.