Aiders and Abettors By Means of Letters

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Clown World

I love a light drizzle . . .

I am Reed, my pronouns are whozit and watcha-ma-call-it, my nose is red, and I am a clown.

I am insulted and deeply offended by those who call our current events “clown world.” Please take that back!

Reed

Reed, in one way, I do feel your anguish. One of my granddaughters has adopted the pronouns tee hee, and is having difficulty getting anyone to take her seriously. These are terrible times, seething with hate. I myself have considered the pronoun hey-you, or possibly even your-majesty. But on the other hand, I am offended that you are offended, and believe that to treat clowns as clowns is precisely what the clowns are demanding. What sense would it make to adopt pronouns, demand that everyone use them, and then object when they are taken at face value and are used them that way? And besides, your pronouns are stupid. Clown.

Lotsa Darla Letters

“The Right Kind of Beauty Treatment”

I thank God for you and your ministries. They have benefited and strengthened my family in many ways. I hesitate to submit this, and yet would love to hear your opinion on my objection. Your claim that men need respect and women need love is something that I would caution to say. The idea that people have “needs” that have to be met comes from secular psychology (Abraham Maslow). Later in the podcast you refer to giving respect and loving your wife as a duty, which is more in line with the commands in Scripture (Eph 5, Col 3). My concern is that when a command in Scripture is taught as a need, then the recipient is opened up to self-pity and can use that as an excuse to not be obeying the commands given to them. (I’ll obey after he or she does first).

I tried to be brief, and my hope is that what I wrote makes sense. I can flesh it out more if I haven’t been clear. Thank you for your time.

Jessi

Jessi, your concern makes perfect sense, and I agree with it. Husbands are told to love their wives, and they don’t get to wait until after the wives start respecting them. In the same way, wives are told to respect their husbands, and they don’t get to wait until the husbands are suitably loving. The commands we receive from God are to be obeyed for that reason. Shepherds are commanded to feed the sheep, and should be simply obedient. But the fact remains that the sheep do need the food, and if they don’t get it they will die.

About the post “the right kind of beauty treatment,” I had already crossed the concept of respect for men and love for women and the suggestion of writing a letter for one’s parents (maybe in how to be free from bitterness) and I have some honest practical questions, although the first might not seem very honest—I assure you it is.

First, trying to think about what I would write in a respect letter to my dad I find myself thinking that I don’t have much to work with. I know this letter is not supposed to be dishonest, that it only works if I can mention real things on which he is good at, but I can’t find much of them. Not that he is an awful parent, just that everything I try to think of sounds like flattery, or is something he does that could be better done another way. Maybe it’s not a feminism problem, but what kind of problem is this? I’m really trying.

The second question concerns the fact that it would be so awkward. My family isn’t big on showing this specific kind of affection. I would feel rather awkward to give them these letters and about how they would react. There are things I don’t think I’d want or that I wouldn’t be prepared for. Do you think it would still be a good idea?

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

God bless

Rachel

Rachel, yes, I still think it is a good idea. And perhaps your two problems will enable you to kill two birds with one stone. You have a small list, and the fact that it would be awkward is an argument for starting small. And as far as it “sounding like flattery,” let it.

Thank you for your letters to Darla; they have been a source of great encouragement.

Concerning “On Guarding Your Heart,” do you have any advice specifically for girls in high school on this topic? Due to the class schedule and extra-curriculars, I will spend most of my week with the same group of guys—much more time than I spend with my dad. It’s frightfully easy to fall into a comfortable “gang,” which has the front of being “just friends.” Is there anything I can do? Not betting emotional capital is constantly a challenge.

“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you might be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10: 14).

Sincerely,

Darla’s younger sister

DYS, yes, it is a constant challenge. The best thing is to genuinely aware of it, and calibrate your heart every morning, and every night. But at the same time, use the opportunity to study how guys think and operate.

Writing to you from the state of weariness albeit a touch of hopefulness: On your “No RomCom Ending” you wrote to Darla and left a glint of hope amidst everything. I pray that you could pray for me for a husband too. Why would God create a woman and not provide for her physical needs? Please pray that the Lord send me a husband soon. I don’t want to sin against Him and do something foolish. Many people have told me there’s nothing wrong with me, it just must be the Lord’s timing. Well, I do hope He could speed up the clock a little. Maybe with more prayers coming from across the globe, He will hearken. Please, please pray that the Lord sends him soon. Thank you Uncle Doug, and thank you for your writing to Darla. She just happens to be braver than most girls to write it. I applaud her for it too. Bless you Darla, thank you Uncle Doug, and Lord please answer this daughter’s prayer.

A Girl

AG, very sorry for your plight. May the Lord sustain you, and may the remaining letters help even more.

In your latest Darla piece, you spent a lot of time talking about how singleness is an affliction, comparing it to cancer, amputation, bankruptcy, the death of a family member, a bed of thorns, mountain climbing, etc. These seem like inappropriate comparisons. Is being unmarried really like these things?

Which leads to my question: What do you think a woman (or man) who is unmarried for *decades* should actually be doing? What is your practical advice here?

I’m an unmarried man in my mid-30s. Sure, there are sometimes when it’s not fun, but I’m quite good at being unmarried at this point and it’s a fantastic blessing (to myself and others) in a lot of ways. I’ve tried to spent my life in a way that it will be used by God to bear fruit for generations to come, and I think that’s going well.

If I meet a prospective Christian wife who has been unmarried for 10+ years, I’m going to want to see what she’s spent that time doing.

Has she demonstrated her ability to acquire skills (likely in the marketplace) that would make her an effective helper? How much wealth has she accumulated in the last 10+ years? Does she manage her household effectively? Does she have a strong knowledge of the Scriptures? How has she stewarded her circumstances, whatever they are?

“I’ve been treading water for the past 10 years because of the deep, debilitating affliction of singleness” is generally NOT a great answer. That sounds like she got hit with the female version of “black pilled”.

That might be reasonable if she actually had cancer, but she doesn’t. She’s just unmarried. There are far worse things out there than being an unmarried woman. Like being married to an unbeliever, living in an awful marriage, or living with a quarrelsome wife (Prov 19:13; 21:19; 25:24).

Frank

Frank, you are absolutely right that unmarried people, those who earnestly desire to be married, should redeem the time, and absolutely must not mope around about it. You are right about all the practical stuff. But at the same time, it really is a grievous affliction for many. I would compare it to the affliction of barrenness as we see it described in Scripture.

I am truly enjoying your letters to Darla. I offer just a brief synopsis of my marriage journey. I was ‘sort of’ taught that God had one person picked out for me. Thus, I did not take the first suitor who came along—or the fourth or fifth ( all handsome godly young men and all suitable—not that I was any great prize, but there you go). My college roommate and I declared to each other “I would rather be single and miserable than married and miserable” and we truly meant it. Thus, we were roomies for 8 years until I met “Mr. Right”. Funny thing was that he did not tick any of my boxes except that he was a Christian. God loves surprises. Fast forward 41 years and here we are in the happiest of marriages. We have endured so many very tough roads together by holding hands in prayer and we still have tough roads ahead. Those tough roads for us do not include an unhappy marriage however because we both were seeking God’s purpose when we met and have continued to do so. Oh, and my roomie of 8 years? She didn’t marry until she was 36 (young by today’s standards) but God gave her a wonderful husband and two lovely children—alll in His time.

Melody

Melody, thanks. Way to go.

I’ve benefited from your Dear Darla letter, and have a question in that vein. I am a single female, mid 20s, and I live in the South—the land of Southern Baptists. I recently broke down and started using some dating sites and apps, and I’ve had a few matches, but my issue is that nobody is reformed. They’re good guys who are dedicated to the Lord and all, but not reformed or likeminded on a lot of the theology that comes with that (let alone paedobaptist). To be clear I’m no theologian, and my bar on this is just at the base level. I’m the only reformed person in my family so I myself am going it alone and figuring all of it out as I go. I’m just speaking of basic reformed theology, even just Calvinism, as opposed to broad evangelical baptist theology, which is the very vast majority of what is available in my state. My question is, do I pass over guys like this, or should I compromise on this, with hopes maybe they’ll come around, for the sake of getting married?

Anonymous

Anonymous, I would pass over anyone who would lead you somewhere you really wouldn’t want to go.

Walking Along the Edge

I want to begin by thanking you for your ministry. Like many others, starting in 2020, our church at the time began to fold to woke nonsense, with some COVID compromise thrown in for good measure. After many long, difficult conversations, we eventually left that church. Your writing helped immensely in that process to clarify my thinking and prepare for those conversations. Your crystal clear cultural analysis and gospel-saturated solutions were, quite literally, a godsend. I really cannot overstate how thankful I am to you for your writing, especially in this last season that has proven to be exceptionally tumultuous.

My question deals with the church we are at now. Overall, this church seems healthy, but there has been a recent development that I don’t know how to think about. As it turns out, in the coming year, the elders are planning to make a strong push for the church to read through the Bible together. There will be a church-wide reading plan and each sermon will be taken from one of the previous week’s readings. So far, so good! However, there is also going to be a devotional made available whose entries are written by members (and presumably the elders) of the church. I know this because I was asked to write one of the entries. The problem is that my wife was also asked to write an entry, as have a number of other women, presumably.

This seems to me to be crossing—or at the very least, toeing—the line on Scripture’s prohibition on women teaching. For context, we have no women preaching or teaching in any other capacity (excepting children and women’s Bible studies), nor do we have female deacons. I plan on initiating a conversation with the elders about this, but first I wanted to hear your thoughts in the hopes that they would help clarify my own. I assume that the justification would be that this is not an official teaching capacity, but I’m not sure I buy that, particularly, since this is organized and distributed by the elders. What do you think?

Charlie

Charlie, it sounds like an official church-approved teaching to me. I would encourage you to have that talk.

Andrew Tate?

I hope you are having a lovely August.

Have you looked into Andrew Tate much? He is a rich former kickboxing champion who has absolutely taken Tik Tok by storm with his views on masculinity, his anti-feminist rhetoric, his tips on making money, his advice to young men, etc. He is immensely popular among some young men I know, and I thought he might be a good person to examine, perhaps in a Doug Reacts video.

God bless,

Adam

Adam, no, I am not familiar with him. Thanks for the suggestion.

Partial Preterism

This is not as much a comment as it is a question. If there is a better place to direct this, I apologize and please let me know where I can direct this.

My question has to do with the partial-preterist interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. I am strongly persuaded that Matthew 24 refers to the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70 but I’m confused about how this fits with Matthew 25:31-46. The latter passage seems to refer to the final judgment but it also seems to be imminently connected with the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24. Is the event described in Mt. 25:31 distinct from the event described in Mt. 24:29-31? If not, what is an orthodox partial-preterist understanding of Mt. 25:31?

I’ve done some preliminary research and haven’t found much besides arguments for the unorthodox hyper-preterist interpretation. As someone who has expressed your support of partial-preterism in Mt. 24 I was wondering if you had any insight? Thank you,

Jace

Jace, my understanding is that Matt. 25:31 is referring to the Final Coming of Christ, and that the parables earlier are “timeless.” They had applicability in the first century in the run-up to 70 A.D., they have applicability now, and they will have prior to the Lord’s return.

A Husband in Sin

I am seeking guidance on the role of wives in communicating with their husbands about sin they see in their husbands. Specifically, I am unclear about the scope of 1 Peter 3:1-2. Does this verse only reference a wife’s duty to a non-believing husband? Or does it mean that a wife should never initiate a conversation with her husband about a sin in his life?

The personal side of this is that my husband often struggles with a sullen mood, and it impacts his relationship with our children and myself. I alternate between trying to exude the joy of the Lord and remain silent on the subject, while praying for his joy to increase, and trying to gently point it out in hopes that he will recognize it and correct it, while also praying. Though I’m sure my pointing it out is done imperfectly, I am also trying to preserve our marital connection. When he is sullen it makes it difficult to engage him in conversation or interact much at all. But he will still want to have sex. I do not refuse him and do my best to be as receptive as possible (while praying for more receptivity) but the enthusiasm is hard to come by.

I want to obey the Lord and respect my husband, meet his physical needs, and maintain my own joy while promoting his. He is a good man and I love him dearly, and want to help him as God intended. Any insight you can provide would be appreciated.

LT

LT, Peter does not limit it to unbelieving husbands, but rather says that is about husbands who are not obedient to the word. So I think it includes Christian husbands. My advice would be that if it involved Ten Commandments stuff—cheating on a business deal, or praying to icons—you should be vocal. But for the situation you describe, a good man who sometimes has sullen moods, what I would do is have a conversation with him when he is not sullen, and ask his permission to speak to him when he is being sullen. If he says no, then don’t, and continue on as you have been. But he is likely to say yes, and you should ask him how best to speak to him in those moments, and then do it that way.

Parachurch Question

Re: The Agreeable King Assensus. Are para-church ministries biblical?

Randy

Randy, I think they can be biblical, but never when they are taking over the responsibilities given to the church.

Place of the Apocrypha

In the Gospel of John we read Jesus attended Hanukkah. Yet Hanukkah is in an apocryphal book.

Should we draw any significance (symbolism, lessons, or foreshadowing, etc.) from the events or celebration itself? Should we consider Maccabees as any more or less valid as a result?

WT

WT, Maccabees is worth reading, and Scripture references those events a few different times. Good stuff, just not inspired. But the reference of Jesus attending Hanukkah is relevant to debates over the regulative principle—as that holiday was not commanded in the Torah, just like Christmas.

To Gladden the Heart of Man

I am wondering what is the distinction between having a “gladdened heart” and drunkenness. It seems as if all people when they have a drink or two will have an initial stimulation or sensation—from my understanding this is caused by the blood alcohol level ascending in the body. Is this sensation biblically forbidden? Here’s a practical example: me and the wife, after a long week, will have a glass or two of one of our favorite beverages. We are certainly “gladdened” and I don’t think we’re drunk. If an emergency arises we are capable, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to handle any heavy machinery (maybe not even drive long distances). I probably should wait till Saturday morning to use the skill saw. Is this permissible? What’s the distinction? Have you written or spoken to this before? Thanks!

John

John, I go into all of this in Devoured by Cannabis. Where I draw the line is that I think it is fully appropriate to relax with a drink, but think it is not prudent to get buzzed with a couple of drinks.

What’s the Deal?

just recently moved to the area with my husband (who grew up here) so we can be close to his family and also to be part of the Christ Church community. My in-laws moved here more than 20 years ago to be close to the Christian community and here we are doing the same as a second generation, along with thousands of other people making the pilgrimage to northern Idaho for the same reason. With this great migration happening, a gravely serious question comes to my mind almost daily and I’ve been dying to pick your brain about it . . .

When choosing where to start a community such as the one that’s growing here in Moscow, the ramifications of which have determined the course of my current life and climate, why, back in the day, did you not for heavens’ sake choose to plant it somewhere with palm trees??

Sincerely,

Fair Weather

FW, because palm trees are the orcs of the plant kingdom.

A Deeper Question

What are your thoughts on God being Timeless vs Eternal? Was Time created in Genesis 1:1 or is Time an Eternal logical rule of sequence that did not need to be created?

I think there are major implications to several other doctrines of the faith based on how these questions are answered, (E.g. current state of dead saints and whether or not “it is finished”), and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks!

Stephen

Stephen, I would answer on two levels. The first is that I lean toward the view that time and space were created when God created the world, but I also think this could be wrong for reasons related to the second level. It is hard for creatures to discuss such things when we have absolutely no grasp of what timelessness would be, or what eternity is like. It is like June bugs debating quantum physics.

Stand Up and Fight

On Augustine and the Red Pilled Among Us-

I disagree in part with your conclusions, but I wanted to thank you for discussing how Christians should fight. Too often we are told this day simply to not fight at all, to let ourselves be run roughshod over by those who want us dead for no other reason than the color of our skin. I know of many white men who become disillusioned by the cowardice of modern day Christianity, which refuses to face the spears of the enemy and calls it love. As such those men turn to identity politics groups which do not represent a biblical view of the world, because at least those men are fighting men, not weak willed milksops who stand for nothing, against nothing.

Please, do keep discussing and teaching how and when Christians may fight, whether it is against unbelievers, believers who (purposefully or not) take acts to destroy us, and others. We need this. Thank you.

Kyle

Kyle, thanks.

Ho, Ho, Ho

Thank you for your insightful writings and commentary. The Lord brought your content and Canon+ at a time when I needed some clarity. May God bless you all richly.

Thank you for your recent Sweater Vest dialogue regarding Calvinism. At first I didn’t know what you were talking about because you were talking about some theologian named Tom Quizno, who taught about God being simply God. It was all a bit befuddling.

Then when Dr. White talked about an extra-biblical interpretive lens, through which we look at the Scriptures but which itself cannot be looked at or questioned. That’s when I knew you were talking about Calvinism. It had to be. What other paradigm is so staunchly guarded and what other theologian is so highly venerated than John Calvin.

I wholeheartedly agree that we should love our Calvinist brothers even though they say things that make us nervous.

It took me a moment to break the code but your warning about elevating Calvinism is timely. I hear you, brother. Thanks!

Joshua

Joshua, very droll. If we were up to me, actually, I wouldn’t be a Calvinist at all. But as God predetermined it, I can’t help it.

Michael the Archangel

I am a big fan of your works and greatly appreciate the content your and your congregation in Moscow put out. However, I was greatly disappointed to read in Letters in Every Direction post, your opinion concerning the Christology of James B. Jordan. What I mean is, when you referred to him as an orthodox believer. One who has a false Christology, as the JW’s do, is by no means orthodox, but is in fact heretical. Even Athanasius would back me up on this. I currently have a friend who is a JW who I am trying to evangelize, and I am obviously not going to tell them that their Christology is okay while the rest of their doctrine is heretical. One can’t be a true believer, no matter how orthodox they are in other areas, and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel. Jordan’s view takes him far from orthodoxy into heresy. I’m saddened that you would count him as orthodox and that Canon + would promote his content. The Christology of our faith is not something to be trifled with and set aside so as to count someone a brother in a spirit of ecumenicism. I realize and acknowledge that you said that his view is wrong, I was just disappointed you counted him as orthodox. Thanks,

Brady

Brady, I think you read that exchange wrong. Jordan’s Christology is orthodox, unlike the JWs. The JWs teach that Christ and Michael are the same, and that he is a creature. Jordan teaches that Michael is a way of describing the eternal Son of God.

I did some research on this after hearing Jordan make that claim. Apparently the argument is that the verse in Jude is referring back to Zec 3:2 where it says “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?’”

It apparently does make sense to Zecariah that the Lord would say “The Lord rebuke you”.

Jason

Jason, I still don’t think it works. The parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:11 makes it clear that we are talking about created angels, plural, which would include Michael.

A Zeihan Issue

Regarding Zeihan’s book and thesis: it doesn’t take a Mr. Fusion to upset part of his prediction technologically. The simple expanded use of nuclear fission, particularly small modular reactors would suffice. Fission fuels have an energy density of ~80Gjoules per gram, compared to 0.000055 Gjoules per gram for natural gas. Fusion would be even better at 300Gjoules per gram, but not necessary. Another disruptor is 3d manufacturing, which can re-localize supply chains.

But in the end, I fully agree the real disruptor is the judgment of the Lord and whether he extends grace and mercy to America (and the world) or brings wrath.

This is a time to stand in the gap and intercede for our sinful nation.

Best regards,

James

James, thank you.

A New and More Interesting Question

How would you respond to James Whites accusation of the “partial Presbyterian citation” of Acts 2:39? He seems to think that the phrase “as many as the Lord our God shall call” modifies the other groups of people (“you”, “your children”, “those who are far off”), to make it say that only the elect people of those groups have the promise given to them.

Jonty

Jonty, but then the question becomes why Peter brings in the children at all.

Hot News About Anti-Depressants

I know you have written and talked in a level-headed way about antidepressants etc. before in recent years, and if you ever find yourself in the process of doing so again, I believe you might find this talk useful in various ways, it was recorded 3 or so years ago: ‘The myth of the chemical cure.’

Dr. Moncrieff has featured in the UK media quite a lot in recent days.

Here is an article by the hated Peter Hitchens which gives an introduction about the sort of thing that is going on:

‘As a major study overturns decades of received wisdom that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain, the verdict of science is now clear—our unhealthy obsession with antidepressants must end’

That’ll do.

Best wishes,

IB

JB, thanks much.

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Zeph .
Zeph .
1 month ago

Rachel, some suggestions on your letter. Do you remember a school play that he attended, or did he miss the play for work? Did he help with homework? In my case, I started reading because my dad read action-adventure stories. Any such influence? What did he influence or inspire you to do? What mistakes, if any, did he see in your grandparents that he tried o avoid with you? My father would never drink in front of us because my grandfather abused alcohol. One other thing: don’t have him read the letter in front of you. It will embarrass him,… Read more »

Sewa
Sewa
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeph .

I get paid more than $90 to $100 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $13,000 from this without having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on
the accompanying site… http://www.youwork9.com

Last edited 1 month ago by Sewa
Liz
Liz
1 month ago

Re: Anonymous’s issue with finding Reformed paedobaptists to date: My two youngest daughters came of age during this period where it is harder to find a godly spouse. They tried several on-line dating sites and apps, even the Reformed ones, but the best contacts they have made are in Reformed Facebook groups. There are several groups available that I am aware of ranging from general Reformedish groups that accept paedo and credobaptists, to groups that specifically require membership in a NAPARC church, for example. Since our church did not have a lot of young adults, they have found wonderful female… Read more »

Rogue
1 month ago

To the nice partial preterist, I posted this recently. Perhaps it might be helfpul? https://rogueskingdommen.files.wordpress.com/2022/08/the-eschatology-of-jesus-christ.pdf

Rogue
1 month ago
Reply to  Rogue

It you’d like a copy, I can send you one!

Adad
Adad
1 month ago

Fair weather, having gone to the U of I, and ccm, four years at least. I remember more fair weather than foul during that time. In any case, they do have a lot of wheat! 😉

Jane
Jane
1 month ago

I hope that Joshua’s day job is secure and sufficiently remunerative for his needs.

Roger
Roger
1 month ago

Jonty, but then the question becomes why Peter brings in the children at all. – Doug Wilson John Gill answers this question quite nicely and correctly: “and to your children: this is the rather mentioned, because these awakened, and converted souls, were not only in great concern about themselves, for their sin of crucifying Christ, but were in great distress about their children, on whom they had imprecated the guilt of Christ’s blood, as upon themselves; the thought of which cut them to the heart, and made their hearts bleed, within them: wherefore to relieve them, and administer comfort to… Read more »

Al Postlethwaite
Al Postlethwaite
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Context: Peter is talking to Jews in Jerusalem.

The promise is “to you” – here and now. The promise is “to your children” – generations to come. The promise is “to those who are far off” – those who are not of Jerusalem / Israel; the Nations, as in those who are not of Israel, everyone else, the gentiles.

This is a statement of the extent of the promise, which is made to all of God’s elect, no matter where, when or who. It is not a call for infant baptism.

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago

Hmm, seems like you wanna skip the immediate offspring and go straight to distant posterity? How did it apply to their sons and daughters alive at the giving of the promise?

Re the above quote from Gill, the promise was to their children as children of the flesh though. A paedo can agree with Gill and then bring in some OT and NT to counter his baptistic assumptions about covenant :)

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonty

God’s promise of forgiveness of sins and the outpouring of the Spirit applies solely to the elect members of their immediate offspring just as it does with their distant posterity. God’s gracious covenant promise never applies to the non-elect members of our offspring. “That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed” (Rom. 9:8). That is the explicit truth of the covenant as taught by the Apostle Paul not a “baptistic assumption.” Your assertion that “the promise was to their children… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Notice I didn’t say it applied to them as children of the flesh, that would be contrary to sound doctrine, but I instead said what Peter said, that the promise was “to” their children, as children of the flesh. That is it is offered to the children in the covenant irrespective of their receiving it or not.

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonty

Peter is not saying that God’s promise is “to” their children “as children of the flesh,” which would itself be contrary to sound doctrine. God’s gracious promise of forgiveness of sins and outpouring of the Spirit is only made “to” their children as “children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8) period. The non-elect or “children of the flesh” are not and cannot be genuine members of the covenant of grace. The covenant was made with Isaac not Ishmael (Gen. 17:18-21; Rom. 9:6-13). God’s gracious promise is not an ineffectual “offer” of forgiveness of sins made to the non-elect if they fulfill… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

You’re conflating a giving of the promise by God with the receiving of it. Of course only the elect actually grasp it, but that’s because God gives them faith to do so. But does he extend/offer the blessings of the new covenant to the baptised non-elect? Absolutely. Are they obligated to receive it? Of course. Do some refuse to receive what is theirs in the covenant? Clearly – Hebrews 10:29,30. Again you conflate. Promises of God are not His effectual call. Surely you are aware that the Jews were given the oracles of God, the covenants, the promises and circumcision… Read more »

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonty

You’re conflating a giving of the promise by God with the receiving of it. Of course only the elect actually grasp it, but that’s because God gives them faith to do so. But does he extend/offer the blessings of the new covenant to the baptised non-elect? Absolutely.   No, I’m not conflating the giving of the promise with receiving it. Scripture makes quite clear that God’s gracious covenant promise is given to and received by the elect or “children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8) alone. God makes no promise to forgive the sins of the non-elect or “children of the… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

In time, before Gods decree to save person A on the 1 of January had happened, was he a “child of the flesh” when the gospel offer was extended to him? More to what I’m trying to get at is, when Person B as a baptised member of the covenant though unsaved, came under the administrative grace of the covenant and believed upon Christ post-baptism, was he a child of the flesh? Yes they were, and they were elect. But the only way you know they’re elect is because the free offer of the gospel goes out and you know… Read more »

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonty

In time, before Gods decree to save person A on the 1 of January had happened, was he a “child of the flesh” when the gospel offer was extended to him? More to what I’m trying to get at is, when Person B as a baptised member of the covenant though unsaved, came under the administrative grace of the covenant and believed upon Christ post-baptism, was he a child of the flesh? Yes they were, and they were elect. Herein lies the heart of the problem you’re having correctly understanding the covenant of grace. In Paul’s argument the “children of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger
Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Ok I will respond to your Romans 9 argument – since you’re leaning so heavily on it. Romans 9 Paul is in anguish over the unsaved state of his kinsmen, wishing them to be saved (Romans 9:1-3), they are Israelites, who are those to whom is the adoption, covenants and promises (v4,5). You keep wanting to drive home the point that the promises of God are only to the elect and the elect only. You said above that the view I am setting forth is flat out contrary to apostolic teaching. Well, how explicit do you want it? The promises… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Yes the true seed are the children of the promise, but who are the covenantal seed, the non elect in the company of the seed of Abraham? Those who are baptised into Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27) who are among the children of God and seed of Abraham who are the elect (Galatians 3:26,29). The covenantal seed are also the branches who stand by their professed faith (Romans 11:20. which faith, Paul by the judgment of charity takes to be true faith, for he can’t peer into their hearts) but who can also be cut off like the Jews were because… Read more »

john k
john k
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

The Westminster Standards recognize a twofold character in speaking of the covenant of grace. When the covenant is defined as the effectual application of grace by Christ, only the elect are in view, as in your quote of WLC 13. However, the covenant is sometimes equated with the visible church. The visible church contains both elect and non-elect members, yet all are counted as no longer “strangers to the covenants of promise” (WLC 166). WCF 7 speaks of the covenant as being “administered” in various ordinances of the visible church. It is clear that God saves the elect, ordinarily, by… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by john k
Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  john k

I don’t deny that the “visible church” or “covenant community” comprises both elect and non-elect members. But I would take issue with saying that the covenant of grace “has a two-fold character.” The covenant of grace was secured by Christ’s shed blood on Calvary, in which He effectually redeemed or atoned for the sins of the elect alone. Therefore, the true “single character” of the covenant of grace is limited in scope to the elect in Christ alone. Non-elect people may receive the outward signs and seals of the covenant of grace, such as circumcision (prior to Christ), baptism, communion,… Read more »

john k
john k
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

You admit that the non-elect are, in some sense, in the covenant of grace when you continue to use the term “covenant community,” and speak of the non-elect having “outward covenant signs” placed on them, and you also posit “true members” of the covenant of grace, implying that there are false members. I take that as agreement concerning the administration of the covenant in history.

Peter did not preach, “The promise is to you and your children who are eternally elect.”

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  john k

Peter clearly qualified to whom the promise referred – “as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39) – or the elect alone. The promise of forgiveness of sins and the outpouring of the Spirit is made to solely to believers or the elect. The only promise made to unbelievers or the non-elect is one of judgement and eternal condemnation. Moreover, the fact that the visible church includes non-elect reprobates, who have received the outward covenant sign, does not imply that they are members of the covenant of grace. In fact, the metaphor of the olive tree (Rom.… Read more »

john k
john k
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

If the covenant of grace refers in all aspects only and solely to the elect, your argument is correct. I think, however, that the “election of grace”(Rom. 11:5) is not the same thing as the covenant of grace, but a subset of the covenant administration. The tree is not solely the elect, since non-elect are branches in it, until cut off. But no elect person is ever cut off from the invisible church. Also, why are the unbelievers, enemies to the believers, “beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Rom. 11:28)? Is it not because, as descended from Jacob’s sons,… Read more »

john k
john k
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

“God’s gracious promise of forgiveness of sins and outpouring of the Spirit is only made ‘to’ their children as ‘children of the promise’ (Rom. 9:8) period.” This is exactly the paedobaptist view. Peter speaks to the whole crowd of OT church members, including their children, as being “of the promise,” according to God’s providence of placing them in Israel, the visible church. It’s a call to enter the NT form of the church with your children, through accepting Christ as the Messiah of Israel. Otherwise, it becomes a call to discern eternal election in order to know whether the promise… Read more »

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  john k

This is exactly the paedobaptist view. Peter speaks to the whole crowd of OT church members, including their children, as being “of the promise,” according to God’s providence of placing them in Israel, the visible church.   Well, I’m a paedobaptist, and that’s certainly not my view, because it flatly contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture.   “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called.’ That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Goodness me, “neonomianism”?! How about a covenant? You know those things wherein God requires certain conditions to be met in order to obtain the blessings promised (repentance and faith). If you say no then you’re forced to deny the fact that faith is an instrument of justification, because Gods decree just goes past all conditions and secondary causes, right?

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonty

The fact that faith is the “sole instrument” of justification in no way implies that God “promises” to forgive the sins of the non-elect in the proclamation of the gospel. The gospel promises forgiveness of sins solely to believers – the elect – “children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8). Not a single non-elect person will ever become a believer. Therefore, God makes no promise of forgiveness to the non-elect – “children of the flesh” or “vessels of wrath” (Rom. 9:8, 22). Moreover, as I’ve already pointed out, on what basis would God make such a promise? The Father did not… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

My point was is that God has decreed the objective promise to be subjectively received by way of a second cause, namely faith. God can promise a non-elect person to forgive their sins and truly mean it, but he has not ordained them to eternal life. The condition of the promise is faith, and you seem to want to skip that and talk as if the secret things of Gods decree just happen without any real actions in time.

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Hebrews 4:1.

Fear, in case you come short of the promise given to you. Fake warning? No sir.

Roger
Roger
1 month ago

This is a statement of the extent of the promise, which is made to all of God’s elect, no matter where, when or who. It is not a call for infant baptism.   I agree that the extent of God’s promise is to His elect people alone. God’s promise of remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit is not made to the non-elect period. But this has always been the case. God’s gracious covenant promise was made with Isaac not Ishmael (Gen. 17:18-21; Rom. 9:6-13), even though both children were Abraham’s physical descendants. Yet, God still commanded… Read more »

Jonty
Jonty
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Amen

Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Where is Christian baptism said to be the ‘sign’ of the new covenant?

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken B

Physical circumcision was the “sign” and “seal of the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:11) and of our spiritual circumcision “of the heart, in the Spirit” (Rom. 2:28-29). Is this not also what is signified by baptism under the New Covenant?

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Col. 2:11-12)

Ken B
Ken B
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

Roger – I used to think Christian baptism was the sign of the new covenant until someone pointed out that this is nowhere stated in the NT. The Holy Spirit himself is the seal under the new covenant, and I cannot but note in the Col verse you quote that being raised with Christ in baptism was though faith in the working of God, which is not something an infant can do. I have a very long time ago baptised believers who had previously been christened as babies, so obviously looked into the issue of the validity of infant baptism.… Read more »

Roger
Roger
1 month ago
Reply to  Ken B

The Holy Spirit himself is the seal under the new covenant, and I cannot but note in the Col verse you quote that being raised with Christ in baptism was though faith in the working of God, which is not something an infant can do.   Well, infants couldn’t consciously exercise “faith in the working of God” when they were being physically circumcised either. Yet, physical circumcision – the “sign and seal of the righteousness of faith” (Rom. 4:11) – was still commanded to be applied to them. Therefore, the fact that “faith in the working of God” is not… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger
Al Postlethwaite
Al Postlethwaite
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

“His command that it should be applied to all the members of our household has not been restricted in any way.” Abraham circumcised all the males of his household.
If a man, head of a household, came to faith in Christ, but the others did not, would you then apply baptism to all the members – including the unbelieving – of his household? If not, why not in the light of the statement I have quoted above?

Genuine curiosity – I’m not being snarky / or sarcastic.

Last edited 1 month ago by Al Postlethwaite
Cherrera
Cherrera
1 month ago

Regarding, your latest post about Mar-a-Lago Gate, IF Trump really had anything incriminating or classified to hide, there are only two safe places to put it

  1. Hunter’s laptop
  2. Hillary’s email server

You’re guaranteed the letter agencies and corrupt courts won’t touch them. The fact the judge who approved the raid once represented Epstein makes this seem even more like an absurd dark comedy…if it weren’t happening before our eyes. It’s quite possible what they’re really looking for is stuff on Epstein or Spygate that Trump planned to release later.

Andrew Lohr
1 month ago

Jace: at some point I was reading thru Mt 24 and 25, looking for the break between destruction-of-Jerusalem stuff, with which 24 clearly starts, and the last judgment, which 25:31-46 clearly is. (Of course, God being God and man being man, His great judgments in history will resemble one another and will resemble the Last Judgment, and will resemble His smaller judgments.) I was surprised not to draw the line between A.D. 70 and the Last Judgment until 25:31. Jesus keeps telling His hearers “YOU be ready:” 24:33, 42, 44. “Then” in 24:45 and 25:1 and “you” in 25:13 and… Read more »

Sewa
Sewa
1 month ago

great article