Thank you for this. Would you mind explaining briefly what “woke” is, in laymen terms, and would you mind giving a brief explanation of why it’s sin? I agree that it is sin, but there are these contrary mind daggers competing for the moral high ground. Therefore, if I had a concise statement on this (maybe I should go back and read the Statement on Social Justice that I signed) it would help me navigate this well written blog. Thanks!
S, being woke means to become acutely aware of all the ways the system is inherently oppressive to victims and minorities, with all participants after that point clambering to become one of those victims or minorities. In evangelical circles it is the additional practice of trying to layer all this with a schtick that sounds biblical.
“Woke or Awakened” It’s about time somebody started saying this. It’s time to start calling a spade a spade. Repentance is what is needed not appeasement.
Mark, yes, and amen.
On being “woke” and “social justice”: I tend to summarize the social justice warriors as people who don’t understand either justice or society. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and strength, the second is to love your neighbor as yourself; being “woke” seems to mean breaking the greatest commandment while paying lip service to the second.
Christopher, exactly right.
“And on top of that you might have a couple of deacons who think that income inequality is a real problem, and that socialism shows real promise, if only we are wise enough to pursue true socialism.’ I would be far more inclined to take this line of argument seriously if you would at least once in a while give some attention to the sin of greed—you know, the sin by which the 1% hoards half the world’s wealth and resources while all around them are people having trouble meeting basic needs. But no, when someone hoards a billion dollars while others go hungry and lack health care, the problem is with the people who are hungry and lack health care, not the greedy hoarders. This strikes me as a far more pertinent example of the other problem you were mentioning, of complete and total moral inversion.
Mike, sorry, but this betrays an almost perfect ignorance of what is happening. The one percent don’t hide all the food in caves. Income inequality in itself has almost nothing to do with greed. As for actual greed, the real sin, I have preached and written against it plenty.
“Woke or Awakened?” Have I just woke up from a coma? Is this still last November or next November . . .?
Neil, no, just regular old April.
Some of My Books
This is not particularly related to any post, but I wanted to let you know that I stayed up quite late last night reading The Man in the Dark from cover to cover and your understanding of human nature is embarrassingly accurate. Thank you for everything you write; I consistently and thoroughly enjoy it. Also I found the part in the book where Lambeth “bowed gallantly” while sitting down inordinately amusing, and continued to chuckle about it throughout the rest of the book. Please keep doing what you’re doing, sir. It is a great blessing to me and to my family.
Audra, thanks very much.
I recently finished your book, Mere Fundamentalism. Your discussion of what sin, Hell, and salvation actually are was outstanding. Your presentation of those things helped me to take information that I already had and see how it all fit together. When seen in the light of the big picture, sin looks all the more hideous and salvation all the more beautiful. I thoroughly enjoy your writing and your books are among my favorites. Mere Fundamentalism, Empires of Dirt, and Evangellyfish have all resonated deeply with me for different reasons. Your writing has been a real blessing to me over the past few years. Thanks.
Andrew, thank you for reading.
I’ve recently read Angels in the Architecture for the first time. The book has been both convicting and encouraging. Nearly every chapter has provided me with plenty of food for deep thinking, which leads me to this letter. I’m eager to put the ideas presented in Angels in the Architecture (AITA) into practice, but I’m not naive—I see well the obstacles. I’ve been steeping in modernism for decades. I’m resolved that a medieval Protestantism is a worthy endeavor but I want to be able to move towards such ideas with wisdom. And I know that I lack wisdom . . .
Drew, a number of my other books are attempts to fill this out. I would start with Mere Fundamentalism, A Primer on Worship and Reformation, and Empires of Dirt.
Looking back a few years on the blog, you had a reoccurring series called the Basket Case Chronicles. What was the motivation for the project and where did it end up?
Boudreaux, that series is now a book, a commentary on First Corinthians, entitled Partakers of Grace.
Keep Your Kids
I was reminded by this posting how very blessed I have been by your books on child-rearing that you gave away this past November. Thank you!
I am wondering, however, about retention. There is constant low-level angst in most churches I have seen about the many children who, despite making professions of faith, drift away as they grow up, a drift that I have heard explained by the Baptist practices that encourage children to doubt their salvation, making it hinge on the child’s credibility or maturity. My question for you is, does your approach to paideia tend to solve this problem? Is the phenomenon of children growing up and moving away from the faith unknown at Christ Church, or at least quite rare? One can’t expect perfection in a messy fallen world, but it would be a little odd if the churches that handle children properly were not a visible improvement on the status quo.
Farinata, yes, our approach to paideia is intended to address this. In our Grace Agenda conference, just now finished, I cited some of our statistics with regard to retention in my talk for the conference—which should be available very soon.
Only One Olive Tree, Darn It
Yes, there’s one tree, but the difference between circumcision and baptism is the difference between roots and fruits. That is also the difference between Abraham (circumcision of flesh) and Moses (circumcision of heart). 2) A gaping chasm of a problem is your insistence that the New Covenant has a boundary like that between Jew and Gentile. That was done away with in the cross. Baptism is a rite of ordination for sacrificial service (even Israel’s national baptism was preparation for sacrificial service), a boundary of office. Romans 11 is about the priesthood. 3) Circumcision related to the promise of a fruitful land and a fruitful womb (Genesis 3, Genesis 15). Its sign reflected that. But the promise of the New Covenant is resurrection, not seed or real estate. So a sign upon children unwittingly testifies that Christ has not come in the flesh. Which is, you know, antiChrist, like the Herods.
Michael, are the infants of believers today on the tree?
Thank you for continuing to make cogent arguments in favor of infant baptism. I love this: When God redresses this problem through the new covenant, He does not say something like “in the old covenant, your descendants were faithless, but in the new covenant I will sidestep that problem entirely by making your descendants irrelevant.” It’s almost funny. Baptists of course don’t really think this, and don’t treat their children like little heathens (infant “dedication”), as if they were complete strangers to the covenant. In fact it was an infant dedication at a Reformed Baptist church many years ago that instantly turned me into a paedobaptist. I got viscerally angry that these people were in effect treating their children as strangers to God’s promises, and that was absurd! I realized quickly that baptism wasn’t really about me at all, but about God’s covenant promise to save his people from their sin, to them AND their children. Thanks!
Mike, thanks, and amen.
Reformed Baptist (RB) brother here. I’m sure that you are right about some (most?) RB on this, however while I would agree that the parallels are valid, I would suggest that given that we now have the complete Revelation (mirror not as dim), the Helper, etc. the application and outworking need not be a clone of that present during the Old Covenant. No, the visible church has not, and is not, pure. There are some that are of the 2nd and 3rd soil versions that look good but will fall away. However, given that we now have the discernment from the advantages listed above, indeed the commands to do so, it is our duty to work toward a pure church. The fact that complete success is only attainable through a work of the Spirit does not change this but it should remind us that we have not arrived. However I amen your vision of the future visible church as this is exactly the result that constant discernment produces . . . a church of mostly believers.
BJ, yes, and amen. Our task is to pray and work for a church that is faithful.
[On Infant Baptism] While I agree with some of the lovely parallels between the Old/New Covenants, the establishment of this covenant by Jesus at the Last Supper seems (at least to this daft Reformed Baptist) to throw a dirty great wrench in the works. “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:27-28). If some fall away from this covenant, though, wouldn’t that mean that Jesus’ blood is poured out for the potential forgiveness of sins, straight out of the synergist’s playbook? “It is truly offered to all in the covenant, but only some receive its salvific benefits?” It seems (unless I’m missing something) that the establishment of the covenant through Jesus’ blood, particular redemption, and forgiveness of sins are drawn together by Matthew as an inexorable 1-2-3 hopscotch jump—yet I’m not sure how the reprobate can step on 1, leap over 2 entirely, and land on a Schroedinger’s Cat version of 3! The only way I can see to square this is to drive an exegetical wedge into the comma in v.28 and say that Jesus establishes the covenant and forgives sin as 100% separate acts; however, Jeremiah 31:31-34 which Jesus alludes to doesn’t appear to make that distinction either. Unless I’ve missed something very obvious, I sadly won’t be signing up at the local presbytery to dunk my babies anytime soon . . . (I recall this very verse was referenced in one of the free books you released during #NoQuarterNovember, but it was only mentioned in passing.)
Michael, thanks. I believe that your line of argument is the strongest line of argument that Reformed Baptists have. Do the claims made for covenant membership undo the doctrine of definite atonement, which I definitely hold to? Now if the blood of Christ did only one thing (efficacious redemption), then the argument would be in my view unanswerable. But if false teachers can deny the sovereign Lord (despotes) who bought them (2 Pet. 2:1), and if it is possible for apostate Christians to despise the blood of the covenant, by which they were sanctified (Heb. 10:29), then it must be possible for the blood of Christ to lay an non-salvific claim on some.
Re: Infant Baptism Every explanation of infant baptism that I’ve ever read is predicated on misidentifying what the infant Christians are. Very respectfully, Bro. Doug, including this one. What’s born of the flesh is flesh, which is why the sign of circumcision was “in the flesh of your foreskin,” as Genesis 17 emphasizes repeatedly. If your parents had Hebrew flesh, then you did too, and got circumcised accordingly. Being born of the Spirit is something else entirely, and it isn’t transmitted through the human bloodline. After people are born of the Spirit, then they’re baby Christians and are proper subjects of the Christian rite of spiritual birth, which is baptism. Kind regards,
Steve, we all agree that baptism points to Christ. But the difference is over whether we are pointing to Christ in the heart of the one being baptized, or Christ on the cross. Are we pointing out or in?
Currently reading through To A Thousand Generations. During your discussion comparing the covenant of God to a building (circa loc 383 in Kindle) you write: “Furthermore, the scaffolding, when compared to the building as a building, is far inferior to it. Does this mean, Paul would ask, that the scaffolding was sin? Far from it—God required it; it was part of His perfect and revealed intention in the building of this house. The scaffolding as scaffolding is far superior to the building.” The last sentence there doesn’t seem to make sense to me and seems to directly negate the first sentence I quoted. So I’m having trouble understanding exactly what you mean here. I think I understand the overall illustration, and find it helpful, but the devil’s in the details, as they say. Clarification appreciated.
Nathan, sorry for being confusing. I meant that scaffolding is superior scaffolding. The building can’t do what only scaffolding can. But the building is the point of the project, not the scaffolding.
With the deep state wielding power and the apparatus of the administrative state seemingly used more blatantly for partisan reasons lately, I found this graphic interesting and thought I’d share it with you: here https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/eitc-audit. I find the overall lack of IRS audits in blue states (or in areas that would typically be represented as blue on a voting map during election time) quite startling.
BLT, I am sure it is all an honest misunderstanding.
How do I go about donating to this site or one of the many podcasts I listen to Doug Wilson on? He’s in so many places, I don’t know where would be best. (it’s not a lot, just as I can give) Thanks
Matthew, thanks for the thought. Working on it.
I may be under-educated or brainwashed about this, but can you briefly explain why globalism is something that should cause a Christian soul to revolt? Perhaps we’re revolting at globalism done badly like others revolt at nationalism done badly. Thank you!
Jess, I think we should work for a restoration of what I call mere Christendom, which honors and respects the nations and tribes that make it up. There is global unity in this, but it would be a Trinitarian unity, and not what globalism today is, which is Unitarian to the core.
RE: mechanics of forgiveness. What is the difference between restitution (as biblically conceived) and reparations (as conceived by SJWs)?
Jason, with restitution the guilty party or someone complicit in the guilt restores the object stolen. With reparations, we make people who look like the guilty party restore it, which is just a new crime.
From the Archives
Re: Sexual dirt and a gospel backhoe Dear Mr Wilson, I read your article regarding anal intercourse. I am in the situation where my husband has told me that he would like to try anal sex. I however, was not sure if it was right. I agree with everything in your article but am not completely sure if you are saying this is a SIN or just something you wouldn’t recommend. I am unsure how to respond to my husband. If it is a sin I feel like I need to lovingly say this is something I am unwilling to do. However, if it is not a sin, is it something that I should be willing to follow his lead in and submit to my head in? Could you give a little more clarity on weather anal intercourse is a sin? Also, how would you advise me to respond to my husband? I would like to clarify that this is something he is not trying to force me to do, but has expressed he would like and naturally I am wanting to please him, but not wanting to sin. Thank you.
PK, yes, it is my judgment that this is something that should not be done, whether outside marriage or within it. I believe that it should be included under the “passionate lust of the Gentiles,” and is therefore sinful. This would be my argument, but it is not based on an explicit statement of Scripture. But that would be my judgment, since you asked.