The Only Thing We Were Missing This Morning Were the Letters

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Christian Nationalism

I saw an ad in my August/September issue of First Things for Paul D. Miller’s just released book “The Religion of American Greatness: What’s Wrong with Christian Nationalism.” I would love to read your review of this book. There are numerous opinions of “Christian Nationalism” mostly from a progressive perspective. However, many Christian leaders and evangelical organizations are warning the faithful of its dangers. Would you please cut through the crap and lay out a descriptive overview? Thanks!

Ray

Ray, I will take a look. I think we are in for a flood of this kind of book. I will certainly be dealing with the topic.

“Christian Nationalism and Other Things That Skeerded Us Real Bad” This essay fails to make any distinction at all between a nation as a people group and a nation as a collection of institutions of government. Would you assert that because Christians are commanded to love their father and mother, that 1st century Christians were commanded to love the Roman Empire? Would you assert that Christians in China are commanded to love the CCP? I don’t think you would, but correct me if I’m wrong.

Now I can imagine a retort that the institutions of American government are far more worthy of affection than those of the Roman Empire and the CCP. I can grant that much, and my point would still stand. There is no command in Scripture to love the kingdoms of Earth, nor to disciple and baptize them. We are to disciple and baptize the people, then the kingdoms are transformed from within. Discipleship does not mean taking every opportunity to seize the levers of power and enforce the teachings of Jesus from the top down. That seems opposite to the yeastly/mustard seed-ish kind of of discipleship that Jesus taught.

To my mind, Christian nationalism feels like surrender and a loss of hope in the power of the Gospel to convert and transform hearts, minds, and souls.

Ken

Ken, of course this is done by means of evangelism. The reforms that Josiah instituted were good, but they didn’t stick because of the condition of the people. So, I think I agree with you. Politics is not our savior. But here is where we might differ. Politics will be saved.

With respect to making disciples of all nations, starting with our own, how do you apply the guiding principle of incrementalism in this regard? Your critique of the unfailingly “winsome” squish is appreciated, but it seems to me that at least some of them may be acting to balance out what they perceive to be hard-edged, even impatient voices in other quarters, perhaps including your own. I’m especially interested in affirming co-belligerence between God-fearing Jews and God-fearing Christians who it seems to me are often effectively partnering in the fight for the culture. Does it not seem possible in your imagination that God might have incremental work to do through such partnerships, that may end up in HIs perfect time and way with many Jews seeing Christ in all His glory and putting their trust in Him? How does one hold the ideal of a Christian nation—full of Christian people—with faith in what is not yet seen but which we understand to be increasing invisibly, incrementally, submitting ourselves to God’s time and ways, and practicing faithful love toward God and neighbor daily for however many decades or centuries it takes to see the fruit?

Michelle

Michelle, I don’t think it is an either/or thing. Christian preachers and evangelists can summon all to Christ, and Christian politicians in the legislature can vote to protect babies alongside conservative Mormons, or Jews. And while I grant that what I teach has a hard edge, I don’t think it is impatient. Our game plan here in Moscow has a 500-year run time.

King David and Rape

Re: Denhollender and David, and the Question of Rape Pastor Wilson,

I really enjoyed your solid, insightful, Biblical reply to what Ms. Denhollender said in that clip. (at least it looks to me to be solid, insightful, and biblical).

In that clip she mentioned “the Woman at the Well” and “Mary Magdalene” as women who have not gotten a fair shake from the pulpit, correct?

Will you please explain how Ms. Denhollender, etc. say these two women and/or their stories have been mischaracterized?

. . . and please . . .

Does Russell Moore *agree* with her take on King David? . . . (and also on Mary Magdalene and the Woman at the Well)?

Thank you!

P.S. If Mr. Moore *does* in fact agree with her it would help explain a LOT about the concern I have seen you express about him.

Robert

Robert, good questions all.

Regarding David, adultery or rape, I’m in agreement that we have to let the text do the talking and not read into it things that are not there. However, I did not notice in your argument you addressing what is often mentioned as the dominant feature of the narrative: the repetition of the word ‘to send.’ It appears a dozen times in the narrative, then God sends once (Nathan) and then the word vanishes.

As yo know, Hebrew narratives are often sparse on details me might like to know, but in this case it shouts what it would like us to see. Denhollender doesn’t make the case in the brief clip I saw, but I imagine the best form of her argument is that while a few of the ‘sends’ are communication of information, many of the sends are exercises of the king’s power. He sends his army to war, he sends to find out who this woman is, he sends for her and takes her, he sends for Uriah, and he sends to have Joab maneuver Uriah to his death. Also, the clearest point of contact between the narrative and Nathan’s parable is through the repetition of ‘took’ (11:2, 12:4 twice).

So clearly with the word ‘send’ woven through the narrative, it isn’t just about sex, but about power (sending army, sending for Bathsheba, sending Uriah).

So my question is twofold—a) would you you agree that the key word repetition ‘to send’ is the dominant narrative feature of the text? b) how would you integrate this feature of the text into your argument, since it is missing?

For what it’s worth, I think it’s unclear what bathing signifies (I doubt she was nude in a porcelain tub up there) and her motives throughout are opaque to us in the narrative. By comparison the act of David’s power in sending is quite clear and the main interest of the story.

Thanks,

Andrew

Andrew, you will be happy to know that I agree with your point about sending entirely. David was acting authoritatively throughout as a king, and when he sent for Bathsheba, he was abusing his authority as a king. But this does not make him a rapist, and does not automatically absolve Bathsheba of anything. David also sent a message to Joab to have Uriah killed, but that does not absolve Joab of complicity in a crime. He remains a moral agent despite David’s sending. In Bathsheba’s case, it could have been rape, but it could also have been something she wanted, and something she tried to make come about. In other words, have there never been women who enticed men with authority to abuse that authority? So if Bathsheba protested, it was rape. If she did not, then it was not. We don’t know for certain, but the bathing gives us a clue, I think. While I agree that throughout the history of bathing, while the porcelain tub has been optional, the nudity generally hasn’t been.

In your “Denhollender and David” post you wrote: “And having said this, I want to insist that there is a biblically responsible way to rejoice in the historical growth and development of kingdom ethics—meaning that I rejoice that we no longer have concubinage—but that as we do this we have to ensure that we do not make room in any way for the tenets of critical theory. This is because spiritual maturation through history is quite different from spiritual rebellion in history.”

Since concubinage (having slave wives) is expressly permitted in God’s law (Ex. 21:7-11; Lev. 25:44-46; Dt. 21:11-14; 2 Sam. 12:8; etc.)— and therefore not a sinful but righteous practice—why do you “rejoice” that we no longer have it? Why would you characterize its abolition as “historical growth” and “spiritual maturation” when God’s law plainly permits and regulates its practice? Isn’t spiritual growth or maturation the process of conforming our thoughts and conduct to be more in line with God’s law? Were the patriarchs and other faithful men in Scripture spiritually immature for conducting themselves in conformity with God’s law regarding having concubines? As you later point out in your post, “The real issue is going to arise with what biblical law expressly allows.” Amen. If God’s law permits something, then it’s righteous (Rom. 7:12). If God’s law prohibits something, then it’s unrighteous (Rom. 7:7; 1 Jn. 3:4). David’s conduct with Bathsheba was unrighteous because God’s law prohibits adultery and murder. David’s conduct in marrying multiple concubines was righteous because God’s law permits concubinage. It’s really that simple.

Roger

Roger, actually it is not that simple. God’s law prohibited the king from taking multiple wives, whether slave or free (Dt. 17 ), and David disobeyed. And if God’s law allowed something, that does not make it righteous. What it does is make it allowable. When a cannibal tribe converts, they must repent of and abandon their cannibalism immediately. When a tribe that allows concubinage converts, it is allowed to continue for a time. Certain things can be phased out in the life of the tribe, just as God phased certain things out in the history of His people. God allowed the system of the blood avenger, regulating it to keep things from getting out of hand. God allowed polygamy, but requires Christian leaders in the new covenant to “a one-woman man.” Etc.

Re: Denhollender and David Found Moore’s comment at the beginning of that clip quite useful. Couldn’t agree more that we need a new vocabulary about sin so as to avoid hurting or offending sinners or friends of sinners. Made me wonder what kind of harm is being done by using the potentially damaging language of David “committing” rape or murder. We really need to be more careful about these kinds of things. Don’t want to offend David or his relatives.

Dave

Dave, this is true. Adulterers and such find this language off-putting.

Not Much You Can Do

For years, I have been urging my sister to pull her kids from public school, warning of all the different ways her children would struggle with the lies they would be taught there. To no avail. Now, those lies are (as suspected) beginning to permeate the hearts of my nieces and nephews. One of my nieces, in particular, is struggling the worst. This year alone she has decided to flip-flop from having a girlfriend to a boyfriend, she is experimenting with lucid dreaming, dreaming she is in a man’s body and experimenting with “cutting”. She is 14 years old. I have children the same age who I have been trying to protect from all these lies, who have grown up homeschooled but also loving their cousins. Two questions: How do I navigate protection of my own family with love for my extended family, particularly with the same age cousin/friendships already established? Also: what would you say to a teen about “cutting”. I am not sure if cutting is a stepping stone to suicide or something different entirely—but how would you council someone who struggles in that area? I am the lone voice of Christian reason in her life yet I feel unequal to this particular task.

A Worried Aunt

WA, I am afraid that you will not be able to do as much as you would like to. The main thing is to protect your own kids at this point, which does not necessarily mean protecting them from their cousins. It could mean teaching them how to talk to their cousins. And a good relationship would be one in which your kids were not pretending that all this is not going on. And cutting is, in my view, more a function of frustration, guilt, and self-loathing. I would teach and train your kids how to share the gospel.

Inheriting the Land

Hello and thanks very much for reading this,

I’ve become pretty much convinced by the postmillennial view of eschatology (courtesy of online resources provided by theologians like Doug Wilson) . . . for all but one thing: Genesis 13 and the “land promises” to Abraham forever.

My question is this: Gen 13:15 explicitly says that Abraham himself would inherit the land forever, yet he has not. When will this be fulfilled, and how does it fit the postmillennial scheme of history?

What resources can I use to answer this question? I can’t seem to find any answers from postmillennial sources, but I may be looking in the wrong places.

Thanks very much.

Sincerely,

Fort

Fort, I believe that in and through the gospel Abraham inherits the entire earth—which includes the land of Israel. “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13). So when the earth is as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the earth, that flood will be global. And all Israel will be wet.

Church Discipline and Abortifacients

Have you ever had to confront or discipline a member of your church for using an abortifacient as a method of birth control?

If not, how would you address someone using an abortifacient as birth control?

The reason I ask is because 5 out of 6 of the newly married couples I talked to at my church are using abortive forms of birth control. I met with some of these couples to inform them about the abortive effects, assuming they didn’t know. I was ignored or told they already knew it was abortive. I’ve asked my elders to address this. The question has come up if and how they should address this. Thank you for your time.

No King But Christ,

Chad

Chad, yes. In principle, it is a matter of church discipline. But I would begin by asking the elders to have the pastor preach a series of sermons on practical evangelical ethics, with this issue front and center, and anchor the church’s position on the whole topic first. Otherwise, any discussion of discipline is just going to make a mess. If the elders refuse to address it, then it is time for a new church.

Too Many Red Pills

Firstly, thank you for being a voice of calm and reason in my life in these last few tumultuous years. This blog, and the Canon app, and the work of your wife and daughters, has been a steady lifeline and a tool of sanctification in my marriage and home. Second, I beg you to please counsel a wife on how to be a fitting help meet to a “red-pilled” man who may be on the verge of mid-life nervous break. Maybe you can help . . .

Married 19 yrs, 5 kids, by God’s grace and blessing, our marriage itself is healthier than it ever has been on most fronts. We homeschool and belong to a faithful and thriving Reformed Baptist church (in California!) and he has a secure and well paid job that he finds meaningful and rewarding. We have overcome many relational issues, for which I am so grateful, and our home government is in order in most ways. Our physical relationship has always been a very healthy one . . . but even that doesn’t seem to help these days . . .

In the last few years my husband has become morbidly obsessed with current politics. He follows several political podcasts. He listens to Alex Jones. Every. Day. He is inseperable from his phone and the news/meme stream. It is very literally the only thing he ever talks about to me anymore: NWO, evil elites with evil plans, degenerates, impending social/cultural/economic collapse, genocide/mass depopulation, nuclear war, global natural/cosmic catastrophe . . . I have done all the doomsday prepping I can possibly do for him. We sold my childhood home and rearranged our life to become debt free and secure our life’s worth in goods we can use/sell/barter. I am stocking freezers and learning to grow food. But I cannot give him peace. He does not know what we will do next or when.

I don’t know if he is right or wrong about the future. As for me I will trust in the Lord anyway; it is all I want and ought to do! But I am so discouraged . . . . I want to give back the knowledge of good and evil. I am burdened with much more knowledge than I ever wanted . . . I wish the Lord would come swiftly to wipe away every tear and put all to right.

I try to put your content in his way, it has helped me to try to put your Christ for ALL OF LIFE/Christendom perspective into the conversations . . . I implore him to pray, to read the Bible . . . I am afraid he doesn’t at all. He has lost all initiative to lead the family in prayer and Bible lessons which was a real spiritual nourishment to us for a blessed short while (it was never his inclination in our early years)…

And the thing I am really most worried about is how this is affecting our children, especially our boys, now 13 and 8. I feel like I am constantly running damage control on the fear and negativity, salacious headlines and inevitable F-bombs, in the conversations we have while children are within earshot. He believes it is his duty to prepare them for a very uncertain, but certainly difficult future, in a world that wants them dead.

He is quick to offense, uncharactariatically irrational, and often moved to tears. I sympathize with him wholeheartedly, but he is so angry at the world. He talks about isolating from society completely. Is it wrong to give pushback on that? Will this pass?

He alienates himself from members of the church and sizes up everyone everywhere by their reactions to these topics he brings up. He avoids the children to listen to his shows and work in his journal . . . I don’t even know if I can/should talk to him about it—and how? Maybe as a woman it is hard for me to understand what he is going through. . . What can I do besides suggest counsel he probably won’t seek or take? Maybe I will take to singing A Mighty Fortress on repeat till this passes . . .

In the meantime I pray for the Lord to intervene in his life, and in our nation . . . but first in the hearts of our men. We do desperately need them.

Signed,

ANON WIFE

Dear Anon, I am very sorry for your plight. Yes, there is a point where push back is necessary, but you are not there yet. What I would suggest, because you can’t fight something with nothing, and because what is wrecking your husband’s life is an eschatological deficiency, is that you starting reading some postmill theology. Start with something like Heaven Misplaced. At the very least, it will cheer you up, and if he shows the slightest interest in what you are learning, ask him to read it to you.

Serving in the Military

I am thankful for you and your keen analysis of our world. Thank the Father for saving you and that you’re on His side.

As a fellow military veteran (Marine Corps) and Reformed kinsfolk, my question is: Would serving in the military today be considered a worthy cause? Is it still a commendable act of service and righteous patriotism to defend these lands and our freedoms despite the social experimentation the military has suffered on behalf of our democratic “leadership”? My first child was just born a couple of weeks ago, and I was asked if I would ever encourage him to consider the military, and I did not know what to answer, given what is around us right now. But the military is bigger than the social-political experimentation publicly visible in the news. Is it still a masculine and good thing to consider service in our military? Would you stop your sons or grandsons from joining up?

Andrew

Andrew, I believe that serving in the military is still lawful, but you have to be prepared to wreck your career every day. It is no longer a course that I recommend to anyone though.

NOEO

I thought I’d recount a couple of conversations from my house to give you a chuckle.

*Several weeks ago*

Me: Honey, there’s a new science curriculum that I’d really like to try. It looks like it would be really easy to use.

Husband: You can feel free to get it if you can fit it in your budget.

I couldn’t fit it in my budget, so I didn’t buy it.

*A few days ago*

Me: Honey, did you see that Douglas Wilson just did a post on that science curriculum I wanted to buy?

Husband: You should buy it.

Me: I would have, but I couldn’t fit it in the budget.

Husband: It would be great to have a simple curriculum to use. We’ll find room for it in the budget.

I’ll be buying the Noeo curriculum. Thanks for the help in convincing my husband.

Charlotta

Charlotta, see? That’s what we were trying to accomplish.

Marriage Substitutes

Given that the state-sanctioned institution of marriage has been debased (e.g. no fault divorce laws, extreme biases against men, etc), why haven’t Christians sought to do an end-run around the system? For example:

* Standardized prenuptial agreements that forfeit child custody / finances in the event of adultery/serious sins, “mandatory arbitration” clauses that set up clergy as fact-finders/decision-makers in the event of divorce (rather than a judge).

* Contracts that exist in parallel to the marriage that enforce strict penalties in the event of serious sins.

* Forgoing government-sanctioned marriage altogether in favor of a new set of contracts entered into by the husband and wife.

Erik

Erik, I do think there are some good ideas in there. I would want it to be surrounded with a requirement that a church wedding provide the covenantal context for everything—because marriage has to be seen as something more than contractual.

Women Voting

I have enjoyed your sermons and books on the family, especially the things about women and our role. Do you think women should vote? If so, should her vote, if married, be submitted to her husband? If not, what Scripture would you use to defend your opinion? What part can women play in the civic realm?

Nautica

Nautica, in my ideal set-up, in the ideal biblical republic, which we currently do not have, I would want households to vote. That vote would be cast by the head of the household. If it was a woman, like Lydia, she would be the one who voted. If it was the husband, then he would. But in the meantime, if a husband and wife disagree on election day, they should save their gas money and stay home. Why drive to the polls in order to cancel one another’s vote?

Return to the MInistry

I have a question regarding the return to ministry for my husband who committed adultery while serving as pastor. He has confessed, repented, and has faithfully served and grown in his office as husband since the confession 8 years ago. He served as a worship pastor for 6 years prior to the affair. He has not served in any formal capacity in the church since then. I am happy to say that our marriage is strong and we have dealt with the issues that created the atmosphere for the affair. Is it possible for a man like this to once again serve in the office of pastor? I have heard different expositions of the requirements for pastor and must say I am very unclear on the issue. He is not actively seeking a position and is unsure himself what he thinks on this topic. He has close friends in the church that would offer him a chance to serve if he would want it. Any guidance you could give on this issue would be appreciated.

L

L, I am glad you are now in a position where this is even an option. I don’t believe that this is a sin that automatically disqualifies a man forever and ever, but while I do think that 8 years is a good start, the gravity of that sin (both against you and the church) means that giving it more time would be good.

Jordan Peterson

Regarding your praise of Jordan Peterson in the Cluster Muster –

I agree with your assessment of the video and appreciate JP in general. My question for you is, have you seen his message to the Muslims and what do you think of it?

In the video he exhorts Muslims, obviously. But he also makes comments about Jews, Christians, Muslims and various religious sects coming together in unity despite their differences. This, he says, is because we are all People of the Book. This seems completely naïve, elementary, and altogether utopian. Disputes over the very nature of God are not easily resolved. And I agree that there could be less animosity and real dialogue in society. But the Book is the final arbiter of Truth and society cannot have unity without the Truth. Furthermore, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have mutually exclusive views of this Book. If the Book is true, and it is, somebody is wrong. Dead wrong. And this brings me to my main point about JP, in the video and in general.

Until he rejects Jungian archetypal pluralism JP has no place in the Kingdom. He has continually brought unusual people together because he seems to be an evolutionist, a theist, a Nietzschian, a Christian, and a follower of the Book. His wisdom is piecemeal and therefore contradictory. In his own words: Sorry not possible. And no amount of psychological nonsense will make them compatible.


Jackson

Jackson, I have not seen that video, but I agree entirely with your take. It is not enough to have loyalty to the Book. We also have to read it.

On Leaving a Church

I know you can’t give me very detailed and specific advice because you don’t know my exact situation. So I’ll try to ask this question in a general way. When is it acceptable to leave a church? I’m a new Christian coming from a very messy background of church-going and false conversion. My parents stuck with the church I grew up in for 10 years despite so many problems and so much pain. They eventually did leave, but they first set an example for hanging in there out of a desire to do the right thing and out of loyalty to their church. I know now more than ever the importance of being faithful to your local church and don’t want to take leaving one lightly. I’ve toughed it out for the last eight months through things that made my flesh just want to throw in the towel. I’ve had to put aside a lot of expectations and preferences and had to do lots and lots of asking for God’s forgiveness for pride and anger and bitterness towards my leaders as they did things I didn’t agree with. However, things just keep piling on each other. Little things here and there, finally being compounded by really big things. And now I can’t escape the question. Is it time to leave? What are the principles for leaving a church and doing so in good conscience? How do I stop worrying that I’m just being arrogant and putting my expectations for how a church should run down as law?

Any advice is appreciated.

Confused Christian

CC, it really depends on what issues are upsetting you. If it is the color of the carpet they decided to put in the fellowship hall, then you need to grow up. But if is because they are getting woker by the minute, then it is time to go. But if you transfer your membership to another church without rancor or bitterness, then you are not guilty of schism.

Just a Glance

First off, I thank God greatly for your ministry. I have received much sanctifying grace through your books, articles, and sermons throughout my new life. Being a high-testosterone, 18 year old man, one topic that I have particularly benefited from (and one that you talk about frequently) is the topic of sex, dating, relationships, and so on. I’ve heard you address a wide array sub-topics in this category but I recently came upon an interesting article that I believe has some wisdom and would be fruitful to discuss. Have you heard of Mary Harrington’s “The Three Laws of Pornodynamics”? I would love to hear your spirit-guided opinion on it.

Timothy

Timothy, I only have had time to glance at it, but I believe you are right. It looks like there is some wisdom there.

Infant Baptism

My husband and I have come to believe in infant baptism. We attend a church that I believe is very sound, but unfortunately we disagree greatly on the subject. Not only does our pastor disagree with infant baptism he doesn’t agree with baptizing a child whatsoever the age. Our nine-year-old son has pulled him aside on several occasions (without prompting from us) to ask if he can be baptized. our pastor just asked him a few questions and says he will talk to us. Last time we talked to him he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said “well he’s got all the right answers . . .“ But he thinks we need to “kick the ball down the road . . .“ I was so upset. Anyway we live in a small town in South Dakota—we don’t have many options out here for sound churches. What are your thoughts on a father baptizing his children? If you’re not in favor, do you baptize saints that are not members of your church ? We might need to make a trip to Idaho! And also, we have six children ages 11 to 7 months. Do we now wait for the older children to be professing faith before baptizing? Thank you so much for all of your videos and posts. We have learned so much from you and your family.

Sincerely,

Dora

Dora, I am sorry. This sounds like a bad jam. I would be against a father baptizing his children unless it were in the context of planting a church. And as soon as they are baptized, the question of communion comes up—would your church serve communion to your kids if you baptized them, or had them baptized at another church. It doesn’t sound like it.

The Withdrawing Problem

Having been an elder of a church for 10 years or so now my experience leads me to agree with you what you said once about being a pastor: It’s watching people make bad decisions for a living. A lot of those bad decisions are common to certain people at certain times in their life, and its become easier to spot them early on. One such bad decision that is common for women is to express the frustration that all the other people in the church don’t pursue them enough (which usually isn’t the case), and then their resulting behavior is for them to withdraw from community as much as possible. This only exacerbates their problem further as one might imagine. Have you dealt with the same issue? If so how have you handled it to good effect? Follow up question: Have you become more direct in confronting sin as you grow older? It seems to me that once you deal with the same situation over and over again your patience wears thin for tolerating it.

Timothy

Timothy, I believe that I have become a little more direct in addressing particular sins in the pulpit, and probably more cautious in personal counseling. And when someone tries to back out of the church, two things. First, pursue them or have folks pursue them. And second, create a climate in the church through preaching that discourages this kind of narcissism.

The Real Artists Went Off Grid

“A walk through our art galleries reveals our cultural bankruptcy as few other activities can.” Only of our elites. There are fantastic artists in our society making fantastic art. None of it our elites deem worthy to be included in their museums and galleries. And none of those artists want their art displayed there anyway.

Ian

Ian, quite a proper response.

Brace for Impact

I am currently AD military and have a commissioned officer in my unit that is very obviously a man but claims to be a woman. This individual also wants to be addressed as woman.

As a Christian who aspires to live in line with Biblical principals, I cannot address this individual as anything else than a man.

As a pastor and theologian, I am curious to how you would handle this situation?

Thanks,

Virgil

Virgil, I would be praying for strength, and waiting for when the moment comes. I would also be shopping for lawyers.

Rethinking Ortlund?

Pastor Wilson,

Always appreciate what you write and the great help you provide in engaging the culture in which we live.

I am writing to see if there is some further qualification you would like to add to your Book of The Month from June 2021, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. You had written that “The downside is that, as a result, there are a handful of places where the rhetoric comes off as maudlin or mawkish. But that is an occasional rhetorical misstep—the theology is tight, and Ortlund’s doctrine of the wrath of God is as hard as nails. “

I had collected some quotes from this book where an on the face reading, it is not merely maudlin or mawkish, but quotes that state things that are not true. A God with “something” that “recoils within him” or who is “conflicted within himself” seems further awry than rhetoric that is off in tone. Some examples follow:

“Something recoils within him in sending that affliction. . . . He is—if I can put it this way without questioning his divine perfections—conflicted within himself when he sends affliction into our lives. . . . But his deepest heart is their merciful restoration” (p. 138).

“Mercy is natural to him. Punishment is unnatural” (p. 140).

“We are given a rare glimpse into the very center of who God is, and we see and feel the deeply affectional convulsing within the very being of God. His heart is inflamed with pity and compassion for his people” (p. 73).

“If the actions of Jesus are reflective of who he most deeply is, we cannot avoid the conclusion that it is the very fallenness which he came to undo that is most irresistibly attractive to him” (p. 30).

“It is not our loveliness that wins his love. It is our unloveliness” (p. 75).

“The minimum bar to be enfolded into the embrace of Jesus is simply: open yourself up to him. It is all he needs” (p. 20).

“If Jesus hosted his own personal website, the most prominent line of the ‘About Me’ dropdown would read: GENTLE AND LOWLY IN HEART” (p. 21).

“the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is” (p. 18).

“What helium does to a balloon, Jesus’s yoke does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness. …his tender embrace …is his very heart. It is what gets him out bed in the morning.”

Is this more than something “excessively and objectionably sentimental” or “emotionally silly”? Do these quotes set forth false propositions of the revelation of God concerning himself? Should one read with discernment for the good of the rest and just beware of excessive sentimentality because the theology is tight. Or do you think at least some of time a line is crossed and statements are made contrary to God’s character as found in Scripture and these must be rejected. Because of the popularity of the book and a study I have been teaching from the confession, I have your review, from last June, called to my mind from time to time. Have you thought upon this book, yourself, since last June

Scott

Scott, I hadn’t thought about that book much, but I have thought about this issue. Expressions like “that’s what gets him out of bed in the morning” are over the line. Just bad. But I want to be careful. While I agree with you that God’s internal emotional weather is not tempestuous, and that Ortlund’s descriptions are sometimes inconsistent with God’s immutability, we must always remember that Scripture frequently does the same thing. For example, is the Spirit actually “grieved”? The difference is that when Scripture does it, it is not mawkish and sentimental, and the poetry is better. But Scripture does permit anthropomorphism. So I reconcile the statements that Ortlund makes that are technically incorrect the same way I do when Scripture does it—with Scripture, we know the theology is tight. With Ortlund, I believe that it is, based on the Puritans he was channeling.

A Holy Impatience

I am a 23-year-old guy, working a job that will Lord willing move full-time soon enough. How much money should I have stashed away before I approach the parents of my girlfriend whom I’m in love with about marriage?

If I could I’d get on the next flight out to them, but what say you?

Thank you,

Anthony

Anthony, if you are a self-starter, and a hard worker, then I would save a thousand dollars, and then enough money for that plane flight, and then I would approach her parents. The amount of money you need is whatever they say.

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Jane
Jane
4 months ago

My gut reaction to the self-created marriage contract is, “Who do you think is going to enforce it should the day come that it needs to be enforced?” If one of the parties is in serious, unrepentant, marriage-breaking sin, I think the odds are that submitting to the arbitration of the church isn’t going to be happening. Then the wronged party has two choices: forget the contract ever existed, or try to get it enforced. In the latter case, you’re right back to the state handling it, and if the state doesn’t like the provisions, they’ll just be tossed. Unfortunately,… Read more »

Kathleen Zielinski
Kathleen Zielinski
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Actually, that issue has come up already in the context of Muslim marriages with contractual provisions requiring that any dispute be resolved under sharia law. The American courts have fairly consistently held that if that’s what the parties agreed to, then that’s what the parties agreed to, and the contract will be enforced. Courts also rigorously enforce arbitration provisions in contracts — there is a federal statute requiring them to do so — so if a contract contains a church arbitration provision, then it’s going to be arbitrated by the church, and whoever loses will be stuck with the result.… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 months ago

Thanks, that’s helpful. I still have the concern that even in that scenario, the goal of keeping marriage out from under state jurisdiction is entirely unsuccessful. In the end, you have the state deciding, they’re just deciding within the parameters of the contract. Give it a generation assuming current trajectory, and we’ll be right back where we started with the state declining to enforce the obligations of marriage in any recognizable way, regardless of the mechanism.

Kathleen Zielinski
Kathleen Zielinski
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

That said, as with any other legal document, I would not advise the parties to draft the contract themselves. They definitely should consult a Christian attorney to make sure all of the “i”s are dotted and all of the “t”s are crossed. Because the contract will need to meet the legal requirements for a contract; otherwise that would be grounds for tossing it.

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

My thought was more on the line of the prenup being tossed by a woke judge on the pretense of it being signed under emotional distress.

Kathleen Zielinski
Kathleen Zielinski
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

If so, the woke judge would be quickly reversed on appeal. Emotional distress is not typically a defense to a contract. In general, once you’ve signed it, you’re stuck with it.

Physical duress is. If he’s claiming someone held a gun to his head and said sign it or I’ll shoot you, that’s different. But emotional distress plus $5 will get you a latte at Starbucks if Starbucks is having a sale.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

Certainly possible, especially since such judges have been around long before the term “woke.” Family law is a complete mess, and it’s not surprising the judiciary is now showing the same level of corruption elsewhere. This guy has been researching it since the early 2000s.

https://www.amazon.com/New-Politics-Sex-Revolution-Governmental/dp/1621382877

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
David J.
David J.
3 months ago
Reply to  Jane

One prenup term that will emphatically not be enforced by civil courts is custody and child support. The spouses are not allowed to waive or contract away the “best interests of the child” standard (as defined by the civil court, of course). That’s an area, unfortunately, where the adulterous/abandoning/unbiblically divorcing spouse will not suffer any consequences.

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

Pastor Wilson, haha, regarding my “good questions”… maybe you are already planning to address these… or maybe you are subtly telling me to do my own legwork (e.g. “just google”) to find the answers myself!

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

However, many Christian leaders and evangelical organizations are warning the faithful of its dangers.”

Yes, the same virtue-signaling, always-punch-to-the-right “leaders” are parroting the fears of God-hating, people-hating, abortion-loving, LBTQI-whatever+ once again. Maybe if Christians stop reading their books/articles and taking them seriously, they’ll finally shut up. Look at two of the freaks in charge below and tell me how close we are to a Christian nationalist state. We’re going mach speed in the opposite direction.

Pair.jpg
Michael Freeman
Michael Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Well, you did just get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, so from your perspective it can’t be as bad as all that.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

If reversing a rotten prior SCOTUS decision and saving more humans is Christian nationalism, everyone should be supporting it. Thanks for pointing that out!

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I cannot but wonder if Christian nationalism is a contradiction in terms. When God calls an Englishman into his kingdom, he calls him out of being English, or at least those traits of Englishness that contradict the bible. I remember hearing Derek Prince preaching and he teared up at one point and made the comment ‘it has taken God 80 years to free me from my British upbringing never to show emotion’. Same for Americans? Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scyth’ian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. I know the… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

None of that is an argument against the Christian Nationalist bogeyman the left has invented–along with some so-called “Christian conservatives.” This isn’t about how we treat each other in church or how we treat our neighbors. It’s about attacking policies (say energy independence or border security) and having a convenient epithet to hurl at anyone who disagrees.

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

My understanding of “Christian conservative” is the idea that political conservatism is part and parcel of Christianity, which I think is total nonsense. Whatever may be one’s views of energy independence, border security, or for that matter single payer health care, there is no such thing as the Christian viewpoint. Christians can favor open or closed borders, be for or against single payer health care, be socially conservative or socially liberal, all without any implications whatsoever for their Christianity. And some Christians have tried to marry Christianity with conservative politics. My issue with them is not that they are politically… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

By the way, just to be clear, I logged in on a new laptop earlier today as Michael Freeman rather than Mike Freeman. Yes, we are the same person, and there is no intent to deceive; I just wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have when I logged in on a new device.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

No problem on the login. I didn’t notice it and wouldn’t have though it suspicious if had noticed. As for you post on Christianity, I completely disagree. Christians have just as much of a viewpoint as any school of thought–even more so, as others borrow from our worldview. This is very obvious with the modern woke, as they have their own system of sin, liturgy, atonement, sacraments, etc. I recommend chewing on this a bit before making such a claim. 1 The Myth of Neutrality by Dr Greg Bahnsen – YouTube Since conservatism encompasses many ideas, I’d never make the… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Cherrera, Christians have a wide range of viewpoints, which is my point. Dr. Bahnsen did not speak for all Christians. Neither do you, and neither do I. It’s not a neutrality thing, it’s that reasonable Christian minds are all over the map. Believe it or not, there is a Christian argument for “modern woke.” You don’t find it persuasive, but there are earnest Christians who hold to it, and they are no less Christians than you are.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“they are no less Christians than you are.” Whoa Mike, so now you’re playing God? The Apostle Paul knows a lot more about this than you and he’d totally disagree (I Cor. 6:9-10). Yes, anyone with any lifestyle or set of beliefs can claim to be a Christian, but it doesn’t make them one. You seem to be caught up in the post-truth world. Circling back to Rachel Devine, he (yes still a “he”) is no more a trained, qualified flag officer than a beggar on the street–despite Biden giving him a ridiculous 4-star admiral rank in a 100% political… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I will admit to not having watched the video, but I’ve read enough Bahnsen (and heard him speak a couple of times before he died) that I have a pretty good idea what he said. And I just don’t find Rachel Levine as interesting as you do. My view is not that truth doesn’t exist; if it were, then I would have a post-truth worldview. My view is that the stock of indubitable truths is far more scanty than you seem to think, and there is much more uncertainty than you seem willing to acknowledge. The Pharisees were willing to… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“And I just don’t find Rachel Levine as interesting as you do.” It’s not that Levine is interesting. He’s not at all. And nothing qualifies him to be in that position. But the guy you voted for (more accurately, his puppeteers) is/are hellbent on putting people like him, Brinton and Karine Jean-Pierre in prominent positions. The obsession for having “the first trans (fill in the blank)” instead of merit-based selections is extremely concerning and there’s a lot more to it than you want to admit. I’m not going to respond to the rest because you’re dodging the real issues just… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Is there any evidence that Levine is incompetent, other than that you disapprove that he’s trans? It’s my understanding he was state health director for Pennsylvania before being appointed, so someone seems to think he’s up to the job. I generally take the position that if people are doing a good job, extraneous things should be ignored. I once had a trans employee who was, bar none, the absolute best tactician and strategist I’ve ever met, and brought lots and lots of money into the company. Should I have deprived myself of his services because he feels more comfortable in… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

The burden of proof is on you. What did Levine do to earn that position? Remember, this administration is obsessed with the “fIrSt tRaNs EveRyTHinG!” Who else was considered? And he obviously didn’t earn the 4-star ranking, which is a slap on the face to all of us who were/are commissioned officers and actually did something for the rank on our shoulders. We can go in circles all day, but the bottom line is your beliefs and positions are defenseless. You refer to things being “reasonable” (according to whom and by what standard?) and back your claims with opinion polls.… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“Is there any evidence that Levine is incompetent, other than that you disapprove that he’s trans?”

Yes. He took as strong stance against existing science and previous SARS data showing that masks were worthless and went along with the crowd in helping shut down Pennsylvania.

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

The problem is more that there’s no evidence that he’s competent. Being appointed PA State Health Secretary for virtue signaling reasons with no relevant prior experience doesn’t count as a credential. Then there’s the scandal of how he handled nursing homes and Covid (same deal as Cuomo in New York).

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

An issue of definitions. “Conservative” is a very fluid term, that means something at least slightly different almost every single time its used. When William F. Buckley was asked to define conservatism, he said “A convergence of essences upon which the whole of the universe is in continuing approximation” or in other words “there isn’t one”. The way I use the term, I would absolutely say that Conservatism is inherent to the Christian worldview. I do not ever say conservative to mean “energy independence” or “border security”. Rather, when I say conservative, I mean the series of presuppositions under which… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, I agree with some of what you said, and would go further to say that “conservative” has become a meaningless term that is largely in the eye of the beholder. But I also see a great deal of confirmation bias in what you wrote. For example, you assume there is only one way to understand the meaning of the Constitution. There isn’t. I think Congress absolutely has the power to nationalize gay marriage under the Fifth, Ninth and two separate clauses of the Fourteenth Amendments. (Whether doing so would be good policy is a separate question.) And without getting… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“ I think Congress absolutely has the power to nationalize gay marriage under the Fifth, Ninth and two separate clauses of the Fourteenth Amendments. “ Not relevant. The example I gave was of someone who acknowledged that they thought it was against the Constitution, but didn’t think that mattered. I would strongly disagree with your assessment for a variety of reasons, but wouldn’t consider those positions sinful. At least, not at face value as given here. “And people who disagree with you aren’t dishonest; they just see it differently than you do.” This is a bit broad to respond to, but responding… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I absolutely agree that it is dishonest to say, “This is what the Constitution requires and I don’t care.” When the Constitution is clear, it means what it says. You can’t run for the Senate if you’re 25, and you can’t run for president if you were born in Egypt. But the Constitution isn’t nearly as clear as some on both right and left make out. The Constitution was written in broad generalities, with the understanding that later generations would fill in the blanks as necessary. Thus, it is entirely possible for reasonable minds to disagree on whether abortion is… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“The Constitution was written in broad generalities, with the understanding that later generations would fill in the blanks as necessary.” With the process described in the Constitution for doing so. Not in pretending it already says what you’d like it to say, which is morally bankrupt and evil. “Thus, it is entirely possible for reasonable minds to disagree on whether abortion is a constitutional right, or whether the war on drugs is constitutional. “ The first example simply isn’t possible without dishonesty. That is morally bankrupt and evil. You can take the position that it *ought* to protect abortion. You can’t… Read more »

Mike Freeman
Mike Freeman
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

But we can’t be amending the Constitution every time there’s a dispute about what this or that passage means. What’s due process? What’s equal protection? How does it apply to specific facts of a specific case? Judges just have to make decisions as cases arise. And yes, one can make an honest argument that the Constitution, as written protects abortion rights. One can argue that it’s one of the unenumerated rights in the Ninth Amendment; that reproductive freedom is one of the privileges and immunities protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and that laws against abortion violate equal protection because they… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike Freeman

“What’s due process? What’s equal protection? How does it apply to specific facts of a specific case? Judges just have to make decisions as cases arise.” The existence of realms of judicial discretion is not evidence that anything in particular is within the realm of judicial discretion. I was careful with my language. This reasoning does not apply to the case that I made. “One can argue that it’s one of the unenumerated rights in the Ninth Amendment;” I already covered this. I was careful with my language. I’ll repeat myself. “There’s no standard of measurement, at all, that can… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

That’s very true about the vax. I’m not going to debate it here, but there’s now a lot of evidence of excess deaths/injuries it’s caused. And some of the most jabbed nations (Portugal, S. Korea and others) have had the biggest problems with COVID recently, much more than lightly jabbed African nations. Yet Mike and others on here pushed it (an experimental medical treatment) like an undeniable cure delivered straight from a deity. Scientism is a heckuva cult!

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Mazel Tov! You look stunning in your uniform and your husband is beautiful. We’re all looking forward to LOTS of honeymoon photos.

Last edited 4 months ago by Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Thank you for your service to the LGBTQ community and to our country, too.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

While I’ll give Mike the benefit of the doubt about logging in, your name is legion and the Prince of Tides/Lies/Gay Pride is one of your lamest yet.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Everyone is dying to hear about the honeymoon.

Last edited 4 months ago by Prince of Tides
Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago

I don’t use terms like husband or honeymoon for sodomites. Nor do I recognize Levine’s fake rank or uniform. He belongs in the peanut gallery making asinine comments alongside you.

Prince of Tides
Prince of Tides
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Oh honey, please stop, you’re only making it worse. Your self loathing latency is in full view.

Really, when are you going to share the honeymoon photos?

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

Dora, there are lots of little churches out there. Try the next town over.

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

Regarding Nautica’s question; most elections have multiple candidates and multiple issues. There are ten items you both agree with and one you don’t agree with. do you stay home for the one?

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

WA, ask your kids to find out if their cousins’ school has a Clothes Closet. That is the latest little nastiness the woke are doing to public education. In the schools that have them, kids can change clothes into drag at school and change when they leave to go home. I just learned about this, last night.

Last edited 4 months ago by Zeph .
Chester Copperpot
Chester Copperpot
4 months ago

This is in response to ANON WIFE’s letter. I have friends and family that have gone in for all these red pill conspiracies and it makes it near impossible to have a meaningful relationship with them anymore. ANON WIFE is correct about how others get treated based on their reaction to these issues: a big part of it is dismissing anyone not in-the-know as a “sheep.” But there are so many splintered off subgroups that it’s almost impossible to find anyone who believes in exactly the same conspiracy flavor. This makes it a very isolated and lonely pursuit. I’ve never… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago

They worry over things they can not control.

Robert
Robert
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

great point.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago

Jackson, I’m glad you submitted your question. I saw Jordan Peterson’s Message to Muslims; he was far more deferential to them than he was to the Christian church. This contrast indicates a veiled antipathy toward Christianity, which means Peterson ain’t anywhere near qualified for that clerical collar — not by a long shot. In addition, Peterson has abjectly surrendered to the abominable fiction that is “homosexual marriage” in an interview with Dave Rubin, a child-trafficking homosexual who has deluded himself into thinking he’s married to another man. It is indeed troubling for two so-called “conservative thought-leaders” to promote that which… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

LGBT is perfectly biblical!

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Now Ken, you know perfectly well you’re going to have to give a little more meat on that claim.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Well, contrary to the claims of some, the epistle to the Romans endorses it.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

My argumentative nature wants to tug at that thread, but instead I’ll give you over to that line of thought.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

LOL, I’m tempted to think

  • This isn’t actually Ken
  • This is Ken but he’s joking or trolling (something he’s not known for)

I disagree with Ken on quite a bit, but he has condemned the alphabet people agenda in the past.

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Do bear with me in a little foolishness! The clue is in slightly changing the usual order of LGTB.

LGBT comes from Romans 3 : 4 and stands for

Let God Be True though every man be false/a liar. Man here would include woke activists, critical race theorists and any other cultural Marxists. Amongst others.

I reckoned I had about a 50% chance of getting away with it.

I shall turn the light out on my way out …

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago

“This contrast indicates a veiled antipathy toward Christianity” I find it incredibly hard to believe you can spend any amount of time listening to Jordan Peterson and come away with this impression. He consistently holds Christianity in a place of greater respect than most people who actually claim to be Christian. “In addition, Peterson has abjectly surrendered to the abominable fiction that is “homosexual marriage”” This doesn’t sound to me to be an accurate accounting. Could you give a direct quote? “It is indeed troubling for two so-called “conservative thought-leaders” to promote that which even the debauched Roman empire never… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

The second charge is unfortunately well-founded. He did a completely friendly interview with Dave Rubin on the topic of Dave and his “husband” acquiring a deliberately motherless child through surrogacy. It’s not really reducible to a quote, it’s just that the whole thing was treated as completely normal and simply a topic of curiosity for the rest of us, as to what the ins and outs of it are.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

I saw the video Jane. I’m looking for a quote for a specific reason. Dr. Peterson is extremely specific with his language. He expressed problems with same sex marriage several times, and to my recollection the closest he came to endorsing it was acknowledging that these people do in fact exist, and so situations outside the margins are inevitable and must be dealt with. He’s explicitly stated in the past that, and this quote is from memory so please give me margin for error, that if you do not acknowledge a monogamous heterosexual relationship with children is the ideal living… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

I guess it depends what we’re talking about. I don’t know any remotely orthodox Christian who think Peterson should be wearing a clerical collar (fp’s original comment). He still seems to be sorting things out with regard to Christianity. But I certainly think Christians can learn certain things from him. He’s been a gateway drug who has led many young men into a better future, including Christianity in some cases. He became world famous because of his disputes with pronoun people, so it’s not like he’s the LGBTQ+ poster boy. He’s hated by militant people in that movement. I have… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I don’t know any remotely orthodox Christian who think Peterson should be wearing a clerical collar (fp’s original comment)”

He was referencing Doug from the content cluster muster who suggested he would nominate Peterson for ordination. It was in jest of course, and just an entertaining way to promote the video he was linking.



Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Thanks for the clarification.

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

But I think you can say he doesn’t support it, and also say he’s abjectly surrendered. Because his attitude toward Rubin sure sounded like abject surrender. You don’t have to think being conquered is better than being free, to wave a white flag.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

This language is very different from FP’s though. You’re making an analysis that leaves room for error. FP was making a definitive condemnation. If FP had simply said “As near as I can tell, he’s surrendered to the idea of gay marriage”, I wouldn’t have bothered to comment at all. He took a few more steps than you just did, and with those additional steps comes comes higher burdens of substantiation.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, here’s Peterson in his own words, from his video entitled, “Gay Parenting: Promise and Pitfalls”: This is a political issue, too, because we’re trying to sketch out a pathway, I suppose, I mean, our culture appears to have decided that gay marriage is — well, I don’t know if “acceptable” is the right word — it’s become part of the structure of marriage itself. And so now the question is, OK, what does that mean? And that certainly opens up the question on the child front because, I mean in some ways, marriage is the union of two people… Read more »

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
4 months ago

“Does that sound like “extremely specific” language to you?” Yes, I expect perhaps more so than you’re noticing. No offence intended. “Since when does “the culture” define what marriage is?” He didn’t say that it does. At least, not in this quote. He said that the culture decided that it did. He didn’t even say that actually, he said it “appears” that they did. That looks like extremely careful language choice to me. He committed to absolutely positively nothing. “How is that not antipathy toward Christianity, which built the west, which condemns homosexuality?” Antipathy is a strong feeling of dislike.… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Justin, it’s clear you support and respect Peterson a lot, otherwise you wouldn’t be here performing linguistic gymnastics in a lame attempt to deny the obvious. Is there a reason you can’t admit your idol has feet of clay? Calling marriage a union of “two people” is not specific, let alone extremely specific. An extremely specific definition of marriage would be the union of one man and one woman, both of whom are of age, preferably not blood-related, consummated by sexual intercourse. “Two people” could be anyone: Brother and sister, father and daughter, two prepubescent children, Mohammed and Aisha —… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago

Virgil, the military customs always allow for addressing an individual by their rank. So instead of “Yes sir or No ma’am” you have the option of “Yes captain so and so or No Major.” It is easy to avoid the obvious insanity by sticking to customs. Years ago after Vietnam wound down and promotions were slow, an aircraft commander was addressed by all officer crew members by his first name. When he was promoted to Major, he told us he was Major Aircraft Commander and we all addressed him as that or just Major. The draw downs hit all ranks… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago

In reply to my above letter regarding biblical concubinage, Doug Wilson commented:   Roger, actually it is not that simple. God’s law prohibited the king from taking multiple wives, whether slave or free (Dt. 17), and David disobeyed.   Actually, it is that simple. Dt. 17:17 does not prohibit the king from taking more than one wife at a time, as Doug falsely implies. It states that the king shall not “multiply wives to himself” (v.17) in the same sense that he shall not “multiply horses to himself” (v.16). This no more restricts the king to having only “one wife”… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

I don’t think the expression “multiply” is transitive in the way you’re using it.

The proper number of wives is one. To have more is to unduly multiply them.

The proper number of horses is the number one needs for practical transportation needs. To have more is to unduly multiply them.

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

Jane, you’ve provided absolutely no Scriptural support for your assertion that the “proper” number of wives is only one. I’ve cited numerous passages of Scripture that explicitly permit and regulate a man having more than one wife at a time (Ex. 21:7-11; Lev. 25:44-46; Dt. 21:11-14; 2 Sam. 12:8). Therefore, I can confidently assert that a man is free and completely justified in having multiple wives if he so chooses – just as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Elkanah, and many other fathers of the faith did without any hint of disapproval or call to repentance. How can that possibly be… Read more »

Mark H.
Mark H.
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

If you wish to ignore the fact that God didn’t make more than one wife for Adam, or that it was the wicked line of Cain that pioneered polygyny, the two scriptural arguments against polygyny and concubinage for Christians are these: Men who are not “one woman” men are barred from church leadership. Since that is what men are to aim for, it is foolish or worse to make that impossible for yourself. Whenever the stories of polygynous men are told in the Scripture, it is their very polygyny that causes trouble in their lives. Abraham, Jacob, Elkanah, David, Solomon… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark H.

Mark, first I don’t “wish to ignore the fact that God didn’t make more than one wife for Adam,” since I’ve already addressed that historical fact in detail in my response to Dave. Why are you bearing false witness against me? Second, the fact that ungodly Lamech is the first mentioned polygynist in Scripture (Gen. 4:19-24) doesn’t imply that polygyny itself is sinful or a violation of God’s moral law. Nor does it imply that all of Lamech’s acts were evil. Perhaps you need to take a basic course in logic. Good men and evil men have many activities in… Read more »

Mark H.
Mark H.
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

It’s interesting that you chose Israel and Judah as your examples of God’s approval of polygyny. After all, Leviticus 18:18 forbids marrying two sisters at once. So was God violating his own law?

You certainly can’t argue that God didn’t marry Judah until Israel was dead.

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark H.

It’s interesting that you chose Israel and Judah as your examples of God’s approval of polygyny. After all, Leviticus 18:18 forbids marrying two sisters at once. So was God violating his own law?   Leviticus 18:18 does not forbid marrying two sisters at once per say. It forbids a man from taking a wife in addition to her sister “as a rival wife” or “to vex her.” If both sisters agreed to the marriage (e.g., Leah and Rachel), there wasn’t any problem. In order to comprehend what is being talked about in Leviticus 18:18, it’s necessary to remember the Hebrew… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Roger, you are trying to build a strawman case for multiple wives and to poke at Wilson. That is obvious. Why do you think that 700 wives and 300 concubines is greatly and exceedingly too many while 8 wives and 10 concubines is debatable? American sports figures have far exceeded Solomon’s figures without your complaint. You miss the point of marriage that God established in the garden. What you are trying to do is to force scripture by putting a number on how many wives a guy can have just like the Muslims will say only four wives, but it’s… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, you wrote:   Roger, you are trying to build a strawman case for multiple wives and to poke at Wilson. That is obvious. Why do you think that 700 wives and 300 concubines is greatly and exceedingly too many while 8 wives and 10 concubines is debatable?   I’m not setting up a strawman at all. God’s law explicitly states: “If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.” (Ex. 21:10). This law applied to all Israelite men, including kings. Now, while it would have been no problem for… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

We are not under the law of Moses which is where you are getting your verses on more than one wife from.

Jesus reintroduced the original concept from the beginning for his disciples, and I can see no provision there for more than one wife.

Just think – if you had 4 wives you would have 4 mother-in-laws!

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

The New Testament in no way subverts or overturns God’s Old Testament moral commands governing marriage or anything else. Jesus expressly stated:   “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of… Read more »

Thomas Bauer
Thomas Bauer
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Roger, I don’t have all the answers to the things you have said, but I’d like to point this out. One of the primary purposes of marraige and sexual relations is to bear and raise children. You cite correctly that a man can sex up a lot of wives. However, that sex-uppage comes with fruit. David’s many wives brought him more sons then he could manage and with those sons kingdom destabilizing rebellion. The principle I’m getting at is our finitude. A man can rear only so many sons and nurture only so man wives. One wife and one quiver… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Bauer

Thomas, I agree with you that polygyny may result in many practical challenges that must be carefully weighed by any man considering it. I have no desire whatsoever to practice polygyny myself. I’ve been faithfully married to one woman for the past 35 years. I also don’t know anyone who’s polygynous. I have no personal stake in this issue at all. My only concern is to be honest with what Scripture teaches on this matter, and to call out those who are slandering God’s word by calling polygyny a sinful practice that our holy and righteous God permitted. If God… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

There was discussion here about divorce last week. That is a clear example of how an Old Testament permission (for hardness of heart) was revoked by Jesus when he said what God has joined together let not man put asunder. The writer to the Hebrews says In speaking of a new covenant he treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. So although the law may still reveal to us morality, what is right and what is wrong, its jurisdiction ended with Jesus. No-one seriously thinks to apply the OT… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, you wrote: There was discussion here about divorce last week. That is a clear example of how an Old Testament permission (for hardness of heart) was revoked by Jesus when he said what God has joined together let not man put asunder.   The Old Testament permission for a man to divorce his wife (Dt. 24:1) wasn’t “revoked” by Jesus in any sense at all. In fact, Jesus explicitly upheld this law and made no change to it whatsoever (remember, He came “not to abolish” the law in even the slightest degree, Matt. 5:17-19). This Old Testament provision granted… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

While I don’t believe the Bible supports concubinage and polygyny for Christians in the New Covenant, the Biblical data and arguments are stronger for them than many positions so-called Christians now support. If these were woke concepts pushed by mainstream culture, you can bet many pop Evangelicals would be all over them.

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

For example, imagine Roger being an ordained PCA minister making his case.
https://theaquilareport.com/what-to-do-about-greg-johnson/

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I would never have falsely subscribed to the WCF in the ordination process, and therefore would never have been ordained as Johnson was. I do not believe the WCF is correct regarding polygyny, and I would not lie in order to be ordained:   “Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.” (WCF 24:1)   As I’ve been demonstrating here, numerous passages of Scripture clearly “permit” and “regulate” polygyny, and therefore… Read more »

Cherrera
Cherrera
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

My main point was that you’d never have been ordained–even if you took WCF exceptions on those issues, as many have with other things. Despite having more Biblical support for your position than Johnson, you’d be written off as a crypto-Mormon, backwards, patriarchalist weirdo. Again, I don’t agree your position, but I think you have a stronger case than same-sex attraction, egalitarianism, CRT and other toxic stuff that’s entered the Reformed world. But since your positions don’t make you cool/acceptable in the current culture, they won’t gain any traction.

Last edited 4 months ago by C Herrera
Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I agree with you that all of that “other toxic stuff” has no Biblical support whatsoever. By the way, just to clarify, I’m in no sense a “crypto-Mormon.” I believe Mormonism is a pseudo-Christian religion with many heretical doctrines. I do believe in “patriarchalism” though, as Scripture plainly teaches it: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

I somewhat agree with your last point, but I would go much further in my criticism of the current push back by Christians against “woke” culture. My position is quite simple. Denying that God ever authorized concubinage and polygyny in the Old Testament – which is what the vast majority of professing Bible believing Christians do – is a complete denial of the authority Scripture. The passages authorizing their practice are simply too numerous and too clear to explain away. It’s no better than the recent movement that attempts to explain away the numerous passages of Scripture that condemn homosexual… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

@ Roger: Paul to the Athenians: God used to wink at sins, but now He orders all men everywhere to repent. Paul (say I with Jim Jordan and BH) to the Hebrews: where the priesthood changes (from Levi to Melchizedek) the law has to change. Paul to the Corinthians: A is good and sinless, but B is better; you do fine to do A, yet B is better. (I want to show that this kind of thing, this kind of A and B, can be Biblical; not concerned with the particular example at Corinth). Do you insist concubinage and marriage… Read more »

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Lohr

Paul to the Athenians: God used to wink at sins, but now He orders all men everywhere to repent.   Andrew, that does not mean that God authorized or permitted sinful behavior in His law, which is a blasphemous proposition. In the law God prohibits sinful behavior (making it unlawful) and permits righteous behavior (making it lawful). Paul simply means that God withheld special revelation from the pagan Gentiles and left them in their ignorance and sin for thousands of years, but now has sent His gospel to them commanding them to repent and believe on Christ for salvation. John… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Roger, I’m glad that you think Christ was quite pious as it was Jesus Christ who said that divorce was granted because of the hardness of our hearts. You wanted scripture and you got it straight out of the good old Bible.

I appreciate your complement that Christ’s piousness is reflected in what I typed.

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Nice try, Dave. But no dice. This is what you actually wrote:   The hardness of our hearts forces the desire to search for some manner to have more wives instead of being content with one wife as Adam had with Eve. God did not give Adam multiple wives. From the beginning it was [not] so and the hardness of our hearts pulls us away from the correct path.   You’re twisting the words of Jesus here regarding “divorce” and trying to dishonesty apply them to “polygyny,” as if these two distinct topics are equivalent to one another. They are… Read more »

Dave
Dave
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

Roger, divorce is serial polygamy that is caused by the hardness of men’s hearts. That is the part you are missing. I know men who were married and divorced at least four times for silly things. You are twisting Jesus’s answer to make your point more palatable.

Tell me, when did Adam get more wives and when did he divorce Eve?

Also, when do we get our slaves back according to your scripture?

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Roger, divorce is serial polygamy that is caused by the hardness of men’s hearts. That is the part you are missing.   Dave, there’s not a single verse in Scripture that either states or implies that divorce is “serial polygamy” – which is an absurd oxymoron that you simply made up out of thin air. Jesus words are quite clear and easy to understand. Divorce and remarriage for an unjust cause – “except for fornication” (Matt. 5:32; 19:9) – is a form of “adultery” not polygamy. On the other hand, divorcing one’s wife and remarrying for the just cause of… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

God compared Himself to an unjust judge and to a thief in the night.

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Lohr

Clearly, Jesus is not portraying God as being an unjust judge or engaging in sinful behavior in this parable (Luke 18:1-8). Rather, the “unjust judge” is a character that Jesus invents in order to develop a comparison that stresses the Lord’s willingness to hear and respond to the prayers of His people. If evil judges will act justly in such circumstances, how much more will God, who never tires of hearing the pleas of His people, do what is right? The Lord, who can do no injustice, will move quickly to help when His children cry out to Him (Luke… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago
Reply to  Roger

A more current practical concern regarding polygamy is what happens when a Muslim man is converted who has three wives and kids with each. Does he stay with them all? Thinking postmillenially, this will be an issue at some point.

Roger
Roger
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

Zeph, by what justification would a converted Muslim man “who has three wives and kids with each” not stay with them all? They are his wives and children, after all. If he departs or divorces any of them without just grounds (such as marital unfaithfulness), then he would be sinning against them and the Lord. So, of course, he should stay with them all and continue to be a faithful husband.

Felix
Felix
4 months ago

I am absolutely baffled by these takes on the David/Bathsheba story. Bathsheba is the Lamb in the prophet’s parable to David. I assume that’s a pretty heavy implication of innocence. Add in the fact that her silence about the rape can easily be explained by David’s response to an unwanted pregnancy, which is to have her husband clandestinely murdered. But weirder still is Doug’s reference to Moses’ war brides. If I force someone to marry me first does that make any sex I have consensual? Or is the argument that the war brides DID consent to marry rather than live… Read more »

Zeph .
Zeph .
4 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

If it were rape, wouldn’t Nathan have called David out on it?

Felix
Felix
4 months ago
Reply to  Zeph .

He DOES call david out in his parable. The parable is about a powerful man STEALING a lamb from a weaker one. The lamb has no agency in the story (it’s property that belongs to one man or another).

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Felix

Adultery is theft whether or not the other person is complicit. If the other person is complicit, it’s just an inside job. But it’s still STEALING.

Felix
Felix
4 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

I would really appreciate a clarification on your opinion of the Moses war brides. Do you think they consented to their marriages or did they not consent to marriage but because they were married their intercourse wasn’t rape?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 months ago

While I recognize that we have no way of knowing Bathsheba’s attitude about being summoned by the king, I am curious about what she should have done depending on the nature of the summons. Was this a Harvey Weinstein summons where saying no might have resulted in the equivalent to “Well, you’ll never eat lunch in this town again” or was it a “Refuse me and you die” kind of approach? Assuming the latter, would we say she ought to have refused and gone cheerfully to her death? That is certainly what I was taught as a young Catholic. Fortunately… Read more »

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Joseph provides a pretty clear example here. It is not as obvious to me as it seems to so many that Bathsheba had no choice but to wordlessly surrender to a king who did not have a track record of non-military violence or abuse of women. That she simply dared not even utter a word of refusal and that David would not have brooked any refusal are quite the presumptions, but absolutely necessary to a firm assertion that rape occurred.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

I find it unlikely that David would have ordered her death if she had refused him. It doesn’t fit with everything else we know about him. There was undoubtedly a huge power imbalance, and that is enough for us to say that David especially behaved badly! But that doesn’t constitute rape, even today. I am more curious about what we think of Bathsheba. Presumably she knew that she wasn’t free to have sex outside her marriage. She ought to have turned him down–she is clearly not the first or last woman to have been in the awkward position of rejecting… Read more »

Felix
Felix
4 months ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I feel like people’s objectivity is clouded by their affections for David. His response to getting caught was to kill her husband. Bathsheba probably had more than one life on the line in her thought process about keeping silent. This “we don’t know how david would react” kind of thinking makes no sense when we see his attitude later in the story.

Jane
Jane
4 months ago
Reply to  Felix

His response to getting caught was to try to create the belief that Uriah was the father. His killing Uriah was part of a downward spiral. You sound like you’re asserting that we do know how he’d react, and I think that’s drawing way too much inference from his later actions. I think the whole point here is that it’s unwise to level a specific accusation of a specific crime against David based on inferences about what we’re not told. We’re told quite enough to have a picture of how deeply he fell into sin, and leveraging a rape accusation… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
4 months ago
Reply to  Jane

David was guilty–he admitted it in II Sam 12 and Ps 51, and repented and God forgave him, tho he suffered consequences. Whether Bathsheba had any guilt at all the text does not make certain, tho I think it pretty sure she had a lot less if any. (The teenaged boy who sought improper touching from me when I was 7 or 8 was guilty, but I didn’t (hadn’t been trained to, to be sure) give him the loud firm no I should’ve, so I had some guilt.) I recall reading that James Ward’s musical “The House of the Lord”… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
4 months ago

James White of Dividing Line fame did an interesting discussion on David and Bathsheba a couple of years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qT_0vXCBjk

and the relevant bit starts at about 16:25

Robert
Robert
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

That was really good.
He was very even handed and Biblical and cogent.
Thanks for mentioning this!