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Bitcoin Breakdown

I’ve seen Bitcoin mentioned in your blog every so often.
You may already be aware of this, but thought I would share just in case:
Many blessings,

Dan

Dan, I don’t know a ton about Bitcoin, but I am enthusiastic about anything the government can’t print more of.

Jehovah or Yahweh?

Yehovah vs Yahweh I’ve been skeptical of the scholarly abandonment of Yehovah in favour or Yahweh. Thought you would be interested in this piece by David Mitchell, author of Jesus, Incarnation of the Word’, who sides with Yehovah:

Henry

Henry, thank you. I use both Jehovah or Yahweh, depending on the circumstances. Given the fact that the Greek New Testament feels free to render YHWH as kurios, I think some people might be a little too fastidious.

Belated Allies

While I have greatly benefited from the apologetic of optimistic eschatology, reformed Westminsterian doctrine, and defense against the cool kids in the PCA, do you think it would be helpful to define exactly when the point comes to give that ship up for lost and stop expending so much energy and resources on those topics?
DeYoung has demonstrated that he isn’t interested in clearly defining his terms or seeking the truth, but rather is engaged in pushing a narrative, which in my experience comes from a position of leadership and influence and the felt need to “sway opinion,” which easily veers off into the peddling of variations of truth.
Where exactly is the line where you stop bothering to defend? At some point, “I’m really one of you guys,” stops being endearing. I’d really personally prefer you not be getting it on with LD, KD, AM, and the rest of Big Eva.

NS

NS, I take your point, but I think people like KDY have a role to play. I don’t think they are seeing the battlefield accurately right now, but it is quite possible that a time will come when they do. In other words, Theoden came into the battle a lot later than he should have, but when he came in, it was most welcome.

John Wayne on Canon+

Re: Canon+ Content Update
I just noticed that Canon+ added the great John Wayne movie “McClintock!”. My children and I often watch John Wayne, so much so that my both of my toddlers favorite refrain is to say “Daddy, I wanna watch John Wayne with you.” In my opinion his movies are excellent at teaching a rugged masculinity to young boys (and soft men nowadays) who have very few role models for the kind of gritty men the Church needs.
I understand you’re not necessarily involved in Canon Press day to day, but I hope y’all will continue to add additional John Wayne movies, especially the following with important lessons:
Chisum—John Wayne stands up to a corrupt crony-capitalist in the physical, economic and political arenas and showcases the good ways and bad ways to stand up to evil
The Alamo—John Wayne stands by his friends even when there is no hope
Fort Apache—Importance of following disagreeable orders, and when not to obey bad orders
The Cowboys—Importance of young boys becoming men
El Dorado—John Wayne pulls a friend out of drunkenness to fight off bad guys, even when the odds are long
I’d also like to suggest seeing if the Andy Griffith Show and Little House on the Prairie can be added.
Love the media Moscow puts out through its multiple channels. I can’t recommend it enough to other Christians.
Thanks Be to Christ,

Appalachian Mountain Man

AMM, thanks much.

Covenant Baptist

Baptist here. Do you have any book recommendations for Baptists who share your views on the covenant household, but don’t “put the water where their mouth is”?

Eric

Eric, I would recommend my Standing on the Promises. Originally that was one manuscript together with To a Thousand Generations, but I separated them so that Baptists could read it without causing their left eye to start twitching.
First and foremost thank you for your solid defense of Scripture—Much wisdom can be gleaned just from reading your responses to letters/questions from all corners of the planet.
I come from a strong Reformed Baptist background—but have many paedobaptist friends, and I cling to such authors as yourself and the R.C Sproul type. Since we both are sovereignist—Question: How would the good Lord allow good me to differ on such an important topic as baptism ? As you are well aware, there will always be “contentious” men—stirring up controversy and an argument at the drop of a hat—I get that.
As fathers, we want our children to obey our commands—but what happens when our commands could rightly be taken/understood to mean something other than what we intended ? God knew such would be the case as to believers baptism vs paedobaptism—good men on both sides trying to honor him. I understand individuals on both sides of this debate—saying. “well it is very clear”—of course in reference to their particular theology on the subject. However, it is not “clear”—I believe it was R.C. Sproui who once said he believed what he believed, but was not so proud to admit—he could be wrong.
Dovetailing this question is will God hold those to account who “got it wrong”— Your good thoughts and keep up the good work for sure.

Dave

Dave, God in His sovereignty determined to have these sorts of divisions in the church so that we would learn how to wrestle with them, or roll with them, depending. In other words, there are valuable lessons that can be learned here that would not be learned if we all thought the same thing right off the bat. There is maturity to be had in striving for likemindedness.

Tracking the Teacher

How do you understand the requirement for an elder to be able to teach (1 Tim 3:2)? I’m a part of a wonderful church, and our elders do a great job leading the community, but in sermons I (and I would say most of the congregation) frequently get lost or simply can’t follow what is being said. It’s not every sermon but more often than not. Is that disqualifying, and if so, do you have suggestions?

A Reader

A Reader, it may not be disqualifying, but it is not good. The cook’s job is to put food on the table, not lessons on the manufacture and maintenance of stoves. I would urge you to give some feedback to the pastor, and not in a complaining spirit. Give him an example of a sermon that fed your soul, and one that whistled over your head. As the saying goes, the Lord said “feed my sheep,” not “feed my giraffes.”

Hebrew Roots

I have seen one real life friend and lots of online “friends” ascribe to
the Hebrew Roots movement in the last couple years. The main sentiment
seems to be that Jesus “did not come to abolish the law or the prophets”
(Matt. 5:17) and so therefore we are called to continue to keep the
biblical feasts and food laws, etc., even though they would say that
these things are not our source of salvation but faith in Christ alone.
Is this a benign practice or should I be more diligent about pointing my
friend back to the portions of Scripture that I would say oppose this
view?

Cloe

Cloe, this is very dangerous. If they don’t link it to salvation proper, it is not heresy yet, but it is wobbling of the edge of heresy. Keep warning them. But at the same time, remember that this is more likely caused by something like father hunger than it is driven by exegesis.

Becoming an Elder

A follow up question on becoming an elder: if desiring to be an elder is not obligatory for all men, then what must a young man, who has no such desire, do if his elders are pushing him to be an elder?

Peter

Peter, it is certainly not obligatory for all men. But it is obligatory for some, and if your current elders are urging it, then what needs to be done—at a bare minimum—is agree to pray about it.

Restitution

I just recently listened to your message Restitution: The Forgotten Duty. Boy, did it hurt, but in a good, get off the couch and go make things right kind of way. I now see some concrete wrongs that need to be put right in my life. My question is in regards to poaching and whether or not in some circumstances, restitution would be required? For example, say you’re out hunting for deer, you kill a deer, and then realize that you were 2 days out of hunting season. Or you’re out on public land and you see a patch of ginseng and you take a few plants, but then you realize that it’s a protected species. Such actions as I’ve been able to understand are listed as crimes against nature. I don’t want to turn myself in for something that’s far in the past and hasn’t really affected a person. But I also want to be faithful to the Lord. P.S. If needed I can share my particular story. I’m also okay with this question being used on the blog, but would prefer to remain anonymous. Any help would be appreciated.
P.S. I just wanted to let you know that if it wasn’t for the grace of God, and the sermon you preached on restitution, I would have went a long time with those things weighing me down. So thank you for the work that you do!

C

C, circumstances vary, but I would not put accidental violation of government regulations, which themselves might not be lawful, in the same category with shoplifting, say.

Leaving a Blue State and Parents at the Same Time

I hope you are doing well. We live in a blue state and have prayerfully decided to move to a red state next year. Moving to a red state not only provides us with more growth potential but will be a culturally healthier place to grow a legacy. The only issue is that our in-laws and parents don’t want us to move, and refuse to move. We’ve informed them of our concerns regarding safety, affordability, growing children, etc. However, they believe it is unwise, and even tell us we are not trusting the Lord. We have prayed extensively about this for years, and we believe the Lord is leading us in this direction. Is moving out of state a violation of the fifth commandment?

In the Shadowlands

ITS, no, it is not a violation of the Fifth Commandment. Do it as graciously as you can, but your first duty in the familial chain is to your children. Don’t burn any bridges with your folks, but your focus should be on your children.

Homiletical Stumper

Would it be appropriate for a pastor to teach from Song of Solomon? I’m not trying to be mischievous—this is an honest question. Since Song of Solomon is a rather intimate book, I realize it might be a little awkward to discuss (especially if the little ones are present!). But 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all Scripture is profitable for teaching, and this must necessarily include the Song of Songs. What would you do if you decided to teach from this book?
Thanks,

Brandon

Brandon, I believe that being able to teach from the book is most necessary for the Body, but I doesn’t have to be on the Lord’s Day morning when all the kids are are. I would reserve the teaching for books and conferences, that sort of thing. But I do think that that everybody in the Body who is of age should have ready access to that teaching.

Elder Care and Counsel

I am getting rather stressed out taking care of my 100-year-old mother. She is not a Christian. We shared the gospel with her and my dad (who passed away at 99 two years ago) many times over our years, but not since my dad died. I love her, but have not really liked her as a person since my teens. My husband was the one who thought we could handle taking care of her (not blaming him in any way, just making sure you know this was a mutual decision), but it’s been three months and the house is small and there’s nowhere to hide—maybe we made a mistake. But there’s no real alternative in this location, so we are trying to deal. We don’t have a church home and there’s nothing within an hour’s drive that stayed open during Covid. I’d like to have a good heart-to-heart with a REAL Biblical counselor, because I don’t know if I’m being too hard on myself or on my mother (as far as I know she has no inkling of my stress, the frustration is only being discussed between me and my husband, yes, behind her back, because she can hear almost nothing, even when you speak right in front of her and yell). Can you suggest how I would go about finding someone? Is there an association you would recommend? Thank you.

Guilt-Ridden Daughter

GRD, I would recommend that you check this out. But the short form is that you shouldn’t feel guilty when you discover the good thing you decided to do is also difficult.

Challenges With Parents

I lead a small Bible study group that is steadily and faithfully growing, much like a mustard plant. We all come from different churches, spend much time reading Christian literature, confess sins, and far more importantly still, read the Word of God and pray together. The Lord is blessing these efforts of community and hospitality, much of which has been inspired by Moscow; and so I would like to extend my appreciation to your ministerial faithfulness that has blessed my little community beyond measure.
That being said, there is one area I find myself struggling, and that is in my peoples’ relationships to their parents. I have been hitting this wall for some time, but was moved to reach out to you here personally to ask your advice, especially after you touched on this topic in your Moscow-wide honest Q&A. To name a few examples, there is one lady in the group whose mother is vicious (and I do mean vicious) to her and her husband (who is a close buddy of mine, and also in the group). He is a solid man of God who diligently loves her, takes accountability, and is all in all a solid man who her mother has no reason to despise so much. My advice to her was to cut ties with her mother so long as she chooses to be at odds with her husband. My logic was that, biblically, this young lady is now tied to her husband, and if her mother chooses to have no part in him for no solid scriptural reason, then she is choosing to have no part in her own daughter. In principle, I still feel confident in this advice, but after hearing your wisdom on emphasizing familial reconciliation above all else, I wanted to ask your opinion on if I handled the situation appropriately. I also wonder what steps I can take moving forward as I lead and counsel these two friends of mine through this situation.
Another example would be of one young man in my group (he lives with his parents and is not married, unlike the other person I mentioned) whose sister recently became the captain of some public high school dance squad thing (or something like that). This friend was struggling, as he doesn’t really agree with his sister being on the team in the first place, as these young ladies wear pretty revealing outfits as they dance. He found himself in a situation where his mother was vehemently angry at him for insinuating that he might not go to this recital for that very reason. How do I balance Luke 12:51-53 while also teaching my brothers and sisters to honor their parents. What if a parent is asking them to go to a dance recital where a bunch of teenage girls will be flaunting their goods while everyone cheers? Is he obligated to go just to avoid a quarrel with his mom? Or does he hold his ground and endure her wrath?
Thank you in advance for your time! I apologize for the long question, but I try to be thorough when I can help it.

Colten

Colten, your advice to the first couple was good. Sometimes a principled decision to move out of range is the first step toward genuine reconciliation. With regard to the second situation, I would say that it would depend on how raunchy the thing was going to be. But from what you describe, it sounds to me like he should stick to his guns.

Immigration Question

In the May 21, 2024 letters, a man named Andrew asked for a book recommendation for a biblical view of immigration. I can’t think of a book, but I do know of a theological essay on the topic from Pastor Jacob Reaume at Trinity Bible Chapel. You can find it here.
God bless you!

Chris

Chris, thanks very much.

Theonomy and Spiritual Gifts

Some of the objections I hear from people when discussing the idea of applying biblical law in its general equity to our current context is “that will be very difficult and sounds risky,” or “how will you know you have done it correctly?” Or “there is a lot of room for error in attempting to do that and you might accidentally hurt someone if you apply it incorrectly.” All of these are valid points and raise good questions. These concerns should not be ignored, but these concerns also should not deter us from proceeding to apply biblical law to our current context with fear and trembling.
My question to you pastor Wilson is if you see any similarity between what a general equity theonomist is trying to do with the application of biblical law in all of the weird, hairy, or technologically modern circumstances we find ourselves in and that of the continuationist who is trying to stay firmly tethered to the Scripture while also allowing for the Holy Spirit to move and act in ways that don’t always fit nicely in his Christian brother’s safe and rigidly reformed cessationist box?
All of the objections I listed earlier have also been leveled at me for being a continuationist. I just found that interesting and it caused me to pause and wonder if perhaps theonomy and continuationism have more in common than we think.
One day all the nations of the Earth will be Christian and the laws in those lands will reflect God’s Law. If the men in those places of influence who have a say in how those laws are drafted are filled with the Spirit and pray earnestly for Him to direct, lead, and communicate to them on the particulars (which aren’t specifically mentioned in the closed cannon of Scripture) of legislative wording, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing!?
I’m curious what you think about it.
I’m am very grateful for your ministry. God has used it to change me and to increase my affections for Christ in every area of life.

Joshua, theonomic continuationist

Joshua, I do think there are similarities, but I still see one crucial difference. Application of Scripture is always going to be challenging, but applications are absolutely necessary if we want to attempt obedience. But getting a word from the Lord is not application, it is providing us with another inspired source that would in turn require application. And if application is hairy, how much hairier would it be to receive a “thus saith the Lord”?

Children Who Fall Away

In the audio of Kevin DeYoung that you linked to he explained towards the end that your view is that when a child born in the covenant does not remain faithful, that it’s in some way the fault of the parents. Could you clarify your view on this?

MQ

MQ, I don’t believe that it is always the fault of the parents, although it frequently is that. But I do believe that it is always the responsibility of the parents. This is why, throughout Proverbs, the misbehavior of a son brings shame upon his parents.

Brand and Lewis

There is a very engaging interview between Bret Weinstein (an evolutionary biologist) and Russell Brand (a recently baptized convert) entitled “Russelling With God.” Russell refers to C.S. Lewis often when discussing his new found faith in Christ. Thought you might find the discussion encouraging.

Blair

Blair, thanks very much.

Postmill Hope

I would love to know how you interpret these Scriptures.
If you only have time to answer one the most pressing to me is this: In light of how you view John 3:17 (with which I agree) how would you explain John 1:29? What does it mean that Jesus took away the sin of the world? What is meant by “sin” and what is meant by “world.” If you have more time, can you also answer what Colossians 1:20 means, “to reconcile to himself all things.” I have read some commentaries essentially saying this means peace in creation either through the reconciliation of regenerate people to himself or the casting away of the demons and unregenerate but unless I have misunderstood the word ‘reconciliation’ and/or the words ‘all things’ I do not find that explanation sufficient. Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated.
And if you have even more time, can you answer this: how do you interpret Romans 5:18?
Do you interpret it to mean essentially as one trespass led to condemnation for all men (Who are in Adam) so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men (Who are in Christ)? If so, do you interpret it this way because 5:17 says “those who receive”?
Thank you! Our family appreciates your ministry so very much!

Caroline

Caroline, on Romans 5:18, you have anticipated my position correctly. On John 1:29 and Colossians 1:20, I understand both to be referring to God’s redemptive plan for planet earth, including all humanity, redemptively considered. I am not a universalist, but I do believe the world, meaning the overwhelming majority of human beings, will be saved. I am postmillennial.
In your article “A Federal Vision Late Entry” I read your mention on Piper and his insistence on “an affectional dimension to saving faith.” I am reading through some of Piper’s books right now that deal especially with this topic, and I admit that I am a little confused by it. I have read Mere Christianity, and this quote especially stuck out to me: “Some writers use the word charity to describe not only Christian love between human beings, but also God’s love for man and man’s love for God. About the second of these two, people are often worried. They are told they ought to love God. They cannot find any such feeling in themselves. What are they to do? The answer is the same as before. Act as if you did. Do not sit trying to manufacture feelings. Ask yourself, “If I were sure that I loved God what would I do? When you have found the answer, go and do it.” I know that true Christians have a deep love for God, and I know that this will involve feelings. But I also know that there are times when Christians do not have “feelings of love” for God.
Do you agree with Piper? And are Piper and Lewis driving at the same thing and I’m just missing it? If they’re not, who is right?

MR

MR, I don’t believe that Piper would say that the affectional element must be experienced at the same levels at all times—so I don’t think there is a difference between them. As to the affectional element issue, I am closer to Piper than to his critics, although I do think there is a category mistake going on. An essential element of saving faith is that it be alive and not dead. Something like affection is what the living organ would necessarily do, being alive. Life is a characteristic of saving faith, just as life is a characteristic of a living eyeball. But seeing is not a characteristic of an eyeball, but rather something that a living eyeball does.

Public Service Announcement

My last few posts on the blog has returned the dreaded . . . “Awaiting for Approval” response. Never had that happen before. I feel like maybe I’m being censored ever since I made a couple of comments regarding Reformed Theology being too systematized and mysterious. I was in the Reformed church for quite a while so I feel I’m a bit entitled. We all remember what being censored was like over the past 5 years and how unproductive it was so I hope the blog hasn’t caught the disease. I’m sure Reformed theology is robust enough to stand a challenge or two. If it keeps up I might have to get Elon Musk on it since he did such a marvelous job of turning Twitter around. I love the blog so please keep me on it. Thank you!

Rob

Rob, thanks for asking. No, you are not being muzzled. This is something that WordPress does to me, and I haven’t figured out how to manage it. Some people’s are waved through, and others go into moderation without any rhyme or reason. If I am busy or traveling, the comments can sit in there for half a day. But I only nix spam or trolls. You are safe.

Yeah, Ask About That

Thankful for you and your team’s work! Me and family attend a church here in Toronto, Canada.
We have a contemporary style of Sunday worship service. We have a woman worship leader on staff that does the call to worship at beginning of the service and the prayer sermon. I think she is functioning as a pastor during those times.
Are my concerns valid? If they are, how should I talk to my elders?
Thanks

JC

JC, you are not imagining things. Those are pastoral functions that a woman should not be doing at all. I would ask one of the elders who the best elder to talk to would be. When you find out, go to him with questions only, not objections. You are talking to him to find out their thinking, not to register your thoughts. Hear him out. Ask why do they do this, why that? Repeat back to him what he has said so that he knows you got it. After a few weeks, ask him if you can get together with him again to register your concerns. If they are receptive to input, great. If not, I would begin praying about a new church.

Virgins Without Oil

I was converted at 34-years-old from old order Amish in Ohio, this is my 40th year as a believer in Christ. Through your teaching, I have abandoned Arminianism, and amillennialism, I heartily embrace postmillennialism, and I am nearly converted to Calvinism. I have some Scriptures I struggle with, I have never heard a Calvinist teach on the parable of the 10 virgins, could you help me?
PS, your message, not having my own righteousness, was one of the 10 best messages I’ve ever heard!

Allen

Allen, thank you very much. I take that parable to be referring to preparedness for the Lord coming in judgment in 70 A.D., and not a parable about personal salvation. That said, the general principle would still apply to things like personal salvation. Don’t presume, don’t be a slacker, don’t take God’s grace for granted.

Come Again Soon

I am so with you all in the Moscow Mood. While I cannot move to Moscow and participate daily in your midst, I am there with you in spirit. I have worshiped several times in Christ Church and the worship experience was one of unity in the body of Christ that I have never before had in any other worship setting. The worship there was God exalting in every way. The songs were songs of praise from the Psalter. The Word was preached in a pure, convincing ,and convicting way. The service gave food for the soul and empowerment to live for the Lord throughout the week. How I would love to join with this congregation in worship every Lord’s day. I pray that God will continue to use Christ Church, New St. Andrew’s, and the Logos School to build the kingdom until He comes again.

Gena

Gena, thanks very much. Hope you can come visit us again sometime.
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J
J
18 days ago

Colton- on the subject of attending a dance team recital, I have spent the last three years attending my daughter’s dance recitals, and when she is not on stage, I am staring at the backdrop, the stage lights, the program, the back of the heads in front of me… anything but the teenage girls on stage (and not being obvious about the fact that I’m not watching). While I wouldn’t say the costumes are inappropriate per se, they aren’t really a great thing for this recovering porn user to be taking in. But I want to honor my daughter’s time… Read more »

David J.
David J.
12 days ago
Reply to  J

J, honest question here. If it’s a bad idea for you to watch the other teenagers’ attire (and presumably their dance moves), should your daughter be wearing the same clothes and executing the same moves in front of other males?

Zeph
18 days ago

Regarding John Wayne movies: I don’t recall any of his characters being Christian. Just keep that in mind when you talk about the movies.

Ben
Ben
17 days ago
Reply to  Zeph

You can question whether it was genuine, but he attended church in the quiet man.

Zeph
15 days ago
Reply to  Ben

I liked most of the Charlie Chan movies when I was a kid. No Roland Winters, please. One thing I never realized as a kid, was how hard the cast worked to show Birmingham Brown’s courage. In an era that showing a Black man’s courage could endanger the life of the actor, the writers had BB showed his courage by showing his fear while never abandoning his post until the mystery was solved.

Ken B
Ken B
18 days ago

If the letters are being edited in the UK shouldn’t we expect British spellings?…

Jeff
Jeff
18 days ago

Guilt-ridden: caregiving is hard work. It will probably be the hardest thing you ever do. My wife has had Alzheimer’s for 8 years. We thought we’d had the love thing figured out; been married 35 years when she was diagnosed. This has shown how poorly we understood and lived 1 Cor 13 through this loss, struggle and grief. I don’t know if I’ve ever quite finished learning ‘love is patient’ let alone the rest. Remember what Doug said. You are doing a good thing. Sometimes the good thing is very, very hard. Caregiving can be quite socially isolating. You and… Read more »

Guilt-Ridden Daughter
Guilt-Ridden Daughter
12 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate your encouragement and I have prayed for you and your wife and will try to remember to pray for you often. May God bless you with peace and great comfort.

John Middleton
John Middleton
18 days ago

The problem with I have with The Duke as a moral paradigm is the reality of Marion Morrison.

John Darwin
John Darwin
18 days ago

For MR’s question regarding feelings and affection for God, I highly recommend “The Religious Affections” by Edwards, available on Canon +. I’ve been making my way through it very slowly, and it has been very helpful for me since I’ve often struggled with feeling dead in my affections (especially when compared to Piper). The book deals with the subject very Biblically, and it has been both clarifying and convicting. From the preface: “There is no question whatsoever that is of greater importance to mankind, and that it more concerns every individual person to be well resolved in, than this: What… Read more »

ChristIsKing
ChristIsKing
17 days ago

Young right-wingers are fatherless? Absolute nonsense from someone who can’t formulate an argument.
When Nick Fuentes was 18 and started to gain an online following writers from The Daily Wire approached him and offered to send him on a trip to Israel. He would have had a lot of monitary support if he agreed to be a mouthpiece for Israel but he refused. The folks at The Daily Wire then began working with leftist groups to cancel him.
I notice that Wilson took a trip to Israel and since then published a pro-Zionist column in a near weekly basis.

Shawn Paterson
Editor
Shawn Paterson
17 days ago

Eric,

Check out ‘A Man as Priest in His Home’ by Waldron.