Are there any weapons that should be forbidden to the general public? What about nuclear weapons?
Steve, I think we have a problem with technological creep that is much bigger than what you might be envisioning. I think that in 200 years, we could have high school students who could build nukes using off-the-shelf technology. When we get to that point, I don’t think that laws will help us. It would be like trying to ban fertilizer bombs now.
Excellent resource, thank you. With respect to your second thing, a common response from gun control proponents is that, guns being restricted only in Chicago/Illinois, the guns flow across the borders from adjacent states and municipalities with less restrictive laws, etc. Our response these days might ought to amount to something like “Borders? Did you say ‘borders’? What are those?” =) Many thanks!
Jason, yes. And nice use of the great Southern subjunctive.
I like this quote about the 2nd Amendment (I don’t know its source . . . not me):
“The 2nd Amendment does not apply to semi-auto rifles, nor does it apply to bolt action rifles, pistols, or revolvers. The 2nd Amendment RESTRICTS GOVERNMENT. The technology of the firearm is irrelevant. The restrictions on government remain the same, regardless of the firearm. The Second Amendment was not written to grant permission for citizens to own and bear firearms. It forbids government interference in the right to keep and bear arms, period. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
Those are great thoughts on gun control. What are your thoughts on how Christians should respond if the government decides to confiscate all firearms? Obviously Romans 13 must be considered so long as you aren’t being commanded to do something that violates God’s law.
John, I don’t believe that the civil government has the authority to confiscate firearms.
Forgive me if this is now old news, but I thought it might be an encouragement for you to know that Kevin DeYoung has addressed concupiscence quite handily here:
Danielle, thank you.
The Transition from Baking Cakes to Waxing Privates Went Kind of Fast
I listened to podcast 104 about the Canadian debacle and you said it was a great time to be alive! Really? Can you elaborate on this please? Love your blog. A breath of sanity in a mad world.
Carol, the comment about this being a great time to be alive was sarcastic. Or maybe sardonic. One of those words. Related to the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
Principalities and Powers Are Waiting Patiently
A few times lately, you’ve mentioned Paul’s faux apology before the Sanhedrin, and I appreciated you explaining your take more fully in this post. Thanks especially for connecting it to his failing eyesight and the possibility that he couldn’t pick the high priest out of the blurry, ravenous crowd. I can see this as a possible way to read that text.
However, could it not also be possible that Paul is being rather cheeky? Here is a Hebrew of Hebrews, trained by Gamaliel, standing before the Sanhedrin. How could he not have recognized the high priest, even if his own eyesight was impaired? Who but the high priest would have had the direct authority to judge him according to the law and order him to be struck?
Couldn’t it be the case that Paul knew exactly who held the office of high priest that year? And that he could have recognized even the sound of the fellow’s voice? But when the so-called high priest acts this un-high-priestly, in clear disregard of the law, he is no longer recognizable as God’s high priest (Acts 23:4). He has long since become a whitewashed wall, bound to be struck from on High. And therefore Paul’s response in verse 5 would be a piece of biting satire: The lowly accused proves that he knows the law of God far better than the one sitting on Moses’ seat. I find it difficult to believe Paul is either backing down (which others may argue, though I don’t think you are) or simply clarifying in Acts 23:5—any more than Jesus would have done so in Matt 23:27-28.
Do you think Paul could be up to something more subversive than simply clarifying his perspective?
Peter, yes. I don’t read it that way, but I do think it was possible that Paul was up to something subversive.
Thank you for this piece. I appreciate your reasoning from Scripture and for shedding some additional light to this situation as it relates to our current cultural moment.
In my own home, we ask for forgiveness (“Please forgive me for . . .”) from one another when it is clear that one person has sinned against (based off of the objective standard of God’s word) the other. We do, however, say “I’m sorry for . . .” if we hurt someone but no trespass actually occurred in the process. And the “I’m sorry” seems to help restore the relationship as well.
For the above examples (i.e. “Please forgive me for. . .” and “I’m sorry for . . .”), do you think the “I’m sorry for . . .” is unnecessary because it resembles too closely to “Please forgive me for . . .” and has come to be understood in this way? In the beginning of our dating phase, my wife (girlfriend at the time) and I intentionally made this distinction and it has served our purposes well over the years. But now that we have three kids and are seeking to raise them biblically, would it be better to do away with this type of distinction and encourage them to either clarify or ask one another if they are ok as opposed to saying “I’m sorry for . . .” when it is clear that no sin was actually committed? I hope that made sense. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Bryan, I believe it is good to have some verbal distinctions that mark the difference between seeking forgiveness for deliberate wrong and expressing sorrow for an inadvertent wrong.
I’ll refrain from a snarky but good-hearted comparison between Paul’s eyesight and your own, but there were a lot of typos in this post. :P Great article though. Thanks.
Joel, typos are the price you pay when I get to going good.
I have often explained the issue of identity politics (“This is the heart and soul of identity politics . . .) by labeling it tribalism. The tribe dictates the outcome: “If you are not one of us, we do not care what the evidence shows, and if you are one of us, we do not care what the evidence shows.”
Gray, thanks much. Exactly.
With regard to the section from “Becoming a Church That Cares Well,” how does “believe evidence” work itself practically when being confronted with an alleged sexual assault victim? If someone contacts the church and says they were assaulted and needs counseling, I think it’s obviously wrong to say “Prove it” as the first thing we say, but we obviously can’t blindly believe either. How can we address this in a way that’s pastorally sensitive, yet abides by the biblical standards of justice? How can I live this out with those I know who say that they were assaulted a long time ago, but the case never went to trial?
Sam, if the situation is “active,” meaning that the abuser is (for example) alleged to be on the premises and still a threat, then an investigation has to precede any substantive counseling. If the situation is not active that way (a person comes in for counsel because he was abused thirty five years ago by a family friend who has since disappeared), then what you do is provisionally step into that experience, and counsel the person in terms of their memory of it. But you should do this in such a way that if that old family friend showed up one day, you would not have wronged him.
That Notorious Edit
I watched the original trailer again, and read Joel McDurmon’s comments. He maintains that in the voiceover there was actual, intentional sin involved against Denhollander, an actual offense that demands an apology, and seems to reject Dr. Ascol’s good faith explanation of unwise editing. It seems this requires both mind-reading and a refusal to believe in good faith the explanation and admitted “unwise alignment” Dr. Ascol acknowledged regarding the trailer.
Dr. Ascol’s explanation seems to me completely legitimate, considering the overall video editing was a bit sloppy and not particularly careful in alignment of audio…. e.g., a clip of Mr. Ascol was overlaid by (his) words “at this point we’re being played,” and the audio of “Satan” was overlaid over the name “Nettles” prominently displayed on the screen. I similarly assume they weren’t intentionally trying to imply that Dr. Nettles is Satan or that Dr. Ascol is the one playing people. To maintain in light of the acknowledged unwise editing and other similarly unintentional audio overlay that there was an intentional implication of Denhollander as being the “principles and powers” seems uncharitable at best.
Daniel, thanks much.
Hey Wilson! I want you to be more of a “servant leader,” and start doing what I tell you to do! ; – )
Jason, that’s a point of view, certainly.
Bowing in the House of Rimmon
What do you make of Elisha giving Naaman an exception to bow to an idol?
“‘In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.’ He said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he departed from him some distance” (2 Kings 5:18-19).
Was this a moment of error for Elisha, or is there a time when God’s people may bow to their pagan master’s idols, yet not be unfaithful?
Thank you for you ministry,
Garrett, I think Naaman was asking permission to push his master’s wheelchair into the house of Rimmon, and to help his elderly master bow. He made it clear that he would not be worshiping himself.
A Nice Thought Though
Is there a benefit for Canon Press (or you or Mrs. Wilson) to buy from them directly vs Amazon. I buy new since I mark up and keep my books . . . and the way I buy is send my wife the books I want and she orders. She is thrifty like that so usually goes for the deal. Thx
Jordan, going for the deal is just fine with us.
Audio for When the Man Comes Around?
Is your commentary on Revelation going to be released in audio format?
Kyle, I checked and yes, it is. Should be fairly soon.
An Ecclesiological Jab?
You weren’t overtly critical of Baptist ecclesiology, on account of that wasn’t your central point. But the implication arose in the second (third?) paragraph of the “So What’s It About?” section. And I was just thinking for those Baptists who read this piece, but might be innocently ignorant of the Presbyterian critique of Baptist ecclesiology, it seemed like a quick swipe at how the Baptists do things and then quickly move onto the actual point.
Trey, no. The fact that I have to explain the swipe means that I didn’t do it very well, but here it is. I wasn’t being critical of Baptist ecclesiology at all, just any effort to point to it in a lame attempt to explain why Mahaney didn’t get to explain himself. Because any ecclesiology that allows Chandler to speak can allow Mahaney to do so.