The Most August of August Letters

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Gilder Responses

Proverbs 20:29

The glory of young men is their strength:

And the beauty of old men is the grey head.

Amen. Young men are strong, but don’t know what they’re doing. Older men know what they would do if they had the energy. When these get together, it is glorious in that their respective glories are glorified. By covenant, God binds these together through fathers and sons, elders and congregants, leaders and citizens. When these glories are divorced, they lead to devastation. What God has joined together, let no man separate.

Todd

Todd, amen. And what I was going to include yesterday was a comment about how I know it appears self-serving for an older guy to be writing about respecting your elders. It is this kind of thing that really does invite the ok boomer response. But I felt this same way back when I was a young pup.

Oh boy, this is a bit entertaining. Various types of gynocentrism and incipient feminism is absolutely one of the blind spots common to the Boomer generation. This is true despite Millenials, like me, owing our existence (and so much more) to Boomers, like yourself. I personally have benefited greatly from your blogging and writing, and particularly from your defense of patriarchy. You could never be a real feminist, because you fear God. This doesn’t mean you couldn’t err in a gynocentric direction, of course. You wrote:

“So how might it be possible to incentivize his sticking around? Look, here’s the deal, the wisdom of the ages said. If you stay, you can be in charge of everything. So he agrees, and civilization is born.”

This story belongs on the shelf right next to the social contract theory of government. Neither one ever happened, and both put the relevant phenomenon on the wrong foundation. Social contract theory makes mankind (rather than God) the source of government. Your story (or is it Gilder’s?) makes female pragmatism the origin of male headship and female sexuality the source of civilization.

The story points to a number of real incentives. Men want women. Women need men. Women are better off when men “stick around.” Men are greatly motivated by a desire to be in charge. Great things are possible when people act wisely in light of these incentives.

But the story also implies a fictitious time of before males were civilized. It’s as if a large tribe of men were wandering the earth in ape-like barbarousness and met a nation of innately civilized but impoverished women.

Perhaps we recognize this is not intended to describe a real historical episode. It’s just a sort of creation myth for civilization. But the point of such creation myths is that we should act on them. The story is supposed to describe the nature of men and women, even if it is not their true history. But the story fails at exactly that point. Men are not naturally savage, nor are women naturally civilized. Civilization belongs to both sexes. We could say it comes in two flavors.

The true creation account gives us to understand that mankind, male and female, were created with an inborn relation to the logos. Men and women are born to be civilized. Their civilized-ness becomes realized as they are brought up in wisdom, and as they seek after the logos with treasure map and shovel in hand.

Putting female sexuality in the place of the logos in the story of civilization is going to have major repercussions. As my favorite blogger might say, jeepers.

Nathan

Nathan, thanks very much. Two responses for you. The first is that I don’t locate this male barbarism in a prehistoric state of nature, but rather in a post-fall judgment on all mankind from God. We find the basis for that in Gen. 3:16. Since the entry of sin into the world, woman has to play a vulnerable, but very attractive hand. For you other comments, I generally agree. A good and sensible response to Gilder is here, with which I agree. So I don’t think the gynocentric blind spot is as big as you might think.

This article posted today on Gilder is a nice read. If I had to imagine it strikes right at what Canon/Moscow was trying to do by republishing his book.

M

M, thanks very much. Yes, it does.

Getting a Map in Your Head

I have read through the Bible several times, and a common problem comes up for me. Very often I find myself asking questions like “where did this take place on the map?” Or “ how long after a previous event did this take?” Or, “ when did the prophecy happen, and when was the prophecy fulfilled?” Or, “What was happening in Judah, while this was taking place in Israel?”

Essentially I am looking for an outline of the Bible with timelines and a geography of the Bible for that specific point in history.

This is a harder question: If there existed some sort of “Through New Eyes” thesaurus that helps me understand some of the symbolism in the Bible, then Christmas would come early for me.

I have tried Logos Bible Software, but even if I spent a lot of money I am not sure it would give me what I want. Also, it is quite daunting to use. I am not sure I would even know how to navigate all that it offers.

If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. I think that it would help my Bible reading if I could understand the context.

David

David, I think I can help you with your first question at any rate. Check out Satellite Bible Atlas. The guy who did it has since veered off into some weird doctrinal stuff, but this work is a great resource.

A Hindu President?

I recently listened to Vivek Ramaswamy’s pitch for president. His policies and promises align with small government and Christian values. However, Vivek is a practicing Hindu. Is it possible for a Christian to vote for professing non-believer? Vivek says he supports the principle upon which the country was founded. These principles are undoubtedly Christian principles. While Vivek has the incorrect religious authority to believe in these principles, he still upholds them. Does Christian Nationalism require a Christian magistrate, or can we vote for someone who shares Christian values while not being Christian? Thank you for your advice.

Ryan

Ryan, Christian nationalism does have the goal of seeing Christian magistrates in office, and consequently I would have trouble voting for someone like him. So the fact that these sorts of choices keeping coming up means that we have gotten to the stage of the story where the Lord is just messing with us, seeing how long it will take us to repent. That said, I would rather be governed by a Hindu who governed like a Christian than by a Christian who governed like a Hindu.

Flusing the System

Been reading “A Primer on Worship and Reformation”. I noticed at the end of Chapter 7 Bone of His Bones you write, “A pastor can fully expect and anticipate that moving to weekly communion will cause quite a bit of sin to be uncovered in the congregation.” There is no further comment on why this will be so.

Do you think you might create a post on this idea? Or point me to something you’ve already written? I will also re-read the chapter in case I missed something.

Jack

Jack, no, I don’t think I have written anything more on that. But the basic idea is this. Christians know that communion means that they are supposed to be in fellowship with everyone else in the room. When they are not, they can navigate around monthly or quarterly communion. When they are confronted with the koinonia summons every week, there is no getting around it. They must either deal with the sin, or it blows up sideways.

Yes, Exactly

In the last couple years I picked up Spenser, and to my delight discovered this map that I knew well. There was Castle Despair and a giant, the House of Holiness with the three ladies and their mother, and St. G receives his name at the home of a hermit with a view of the Celestial City. Pilgrim’s Progress fit right in, Christian is walking through the same world. Then the other foot dropped. There were small perspective differences. St George was told he would not get to go there until his work here was done; Christian was told to keep his eyes no where else. The knights wander everywhere fighting every monster and knight they meet; Christian’s path is narrow to the point of falling of either precipice. Spencer’s world is brimming with good and bad; Bunyan’s is burning, about to burn, or only burns three months of the year.

But yesterday, I realized the biggest difference is the location of her king. There is no king in the land. The wicked prince rules and wins, driving Pilgrim’s out or destroying them. And the King of the Celestial City sends letters from far away and leaves keys that are nearly forgotten. The clear response is, “Well, the key wasn’t forgotten and the letter wasn’t ignored. Providence, my dear.” And yet, it is all a very close thing. But when there was no king in Israel, it was a curse. And Christ is Emmanuel.

Spencer wrote a different land. The clearest place to look is in Castle Despair. The key of promise got Christian out. The king himself got George out. There was no near chase. The king leveled the enemies.

“Fair virgin to redeem her dear

Brings Arthur to the fight:

Who slays the Giant, wounds the beast

And strips Duessa quite.”

– Canto VIII

Whether you look at Arthur as high noble, a David in his wanderings, or a Christ type, it comes down to this—He is Arthur and Arthur is a good king. Bunyan’s king does not seem good, his world is not beautiful, and there is scant refuge on a long lonely walk. I don’t think this is true.

I love both of these books, but now I am heartily questioning the degree I share Pilgrim’s Progress with my kids. That will be difficult because they have been reading various children’s editions for years. A friend pointed out Bunyan’s own biography was as angsty as the self-flagellating monks, without the violent catharsis. Pilgrim’s Progress is an imaginative lodestar in the world. Is this concerning or is it small potatoes? What is your take?

Am I reading this right?

Can I just say, all is grace and God uses the weak things of the world?

Cheers,

Kate

Kate, two things. First, I think you are on to something that should be developed and taught to your kids. Second, I think that Pilgrim’s Progress should continue to be treasured and taught. Bunyan got through the angst of his conversion well, and he has written a very valuable story regarding our individual pilgrimage. And when you consider how long Bunyan was locked up, we should allow him his perspective. But we also need—body life—a more spacious perspective from others.

On Marrying a Younger Man

The Law of Attraction

Dear Uncle Douglas,

Thank you very much for your letters to Darla. They have been the most practical, helpful, thought-provoking, insightful wisdom I have ever heard on navigating friendship and courtship, and I return to them often!

My question is, what are your thoughts on marrying a man who is younger than you? Say you are very attracted to him, he has great character, spiritually mature, and is not significantly younger, maybe 3-5 years. I grew up thinking that the man should always be older or within a a year or two younger than the girl, but things at my church are very different. My friends have married guys several years younger and it seems to be fast becoming the norm. I’d appreciate any thoughts or advice you have on this. Thank you!

Kate

Kate, I don’t have any problem with that kind of age difference. The issue would be respect. If you look up to him, respecting his godly character, and he shows interest, then pray and go.

The Draft

I suspect I may not be the first to tell you, but your recent answer to Mark in a letter titled “The Draft” was a complete non sequitur. Unless I’m being a complete idiot, you may want to hit that one again.

Lewis

Lewis, not a non sequitur. He suggested that I write something on conscription, and I agreed. I need to do that. I just recorded something on it yesterday for an upcoming Plodcast. The short form is that biblical law allows for a mandatory muster of warriors, but does not allow them to be conscripted into combat.

Fellow Muscovite

I’ve been a fan for many years. Your book Future Men enabled me to raise my son understanding masculinity and how to affirm it. I homeschooled my kids and later discovered classical education in large part due to read Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. I’ve read and benefited from many of your books. Oddly, many of my friends have an allergy to you as some kind of patriarchal monster, whereas I feel respected as a woman in your books and writings, unlike more traditional fundamentalist types who seem to think women are sort of grown up children who need male management. Anyway, thank you. For everything. My question: I was recently introduced to Marty Solomon and the Bema podcast. I listened to a few episodes and found them thrilling. But I also had some red flags: he attributes much of his view at least in his Genesis teaching to Rob Bell. And he talks about “deconstruction.” Oh oh. I gather he is in Moscow so I imagine you may know him. I have several Jewish friends I’ve been sharing Christ with for a number of years and was hopeful about this podcast, but I certainly don’t want them to end up with Rob Bell’s doctrines! I trust your wisdom and knowledge, and this appears to be a growing “movement,” so your commentary would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Lynn

Lynn, I know of Marty Solomon, but I am afraid I don’t know him. I do think you are right to be wary of anything Bellish.

Fourth Turning Responses

Would The Fourth Turning Is Here (which is available on my audiobook service) be intelligible to someone who has not read The Fourth Turning (which is not available on my audiobook service)?

Kyriosity

Kyriosity, yes. He has a good summary of the first book at the beginning of this most recent one.

In response to “The Fourth Turning and the Future of Reformed Leadership.” What is amazing to me is, those who want to promote Christian nationalism seem to fail to realize that our Churches are continuing to empty out. Those Churches which may be seeing growth is not due to an influx of unbelievers converting to Christianity, but rather Christians leaving the dying Churches. Moreover, it is a fact that the overwhelming majority of the few Christians we have left, cannot even explain what it is they believe, nor why they believe it. This should clearly demonstrate that the Church has lost the war inside the Church, and if we cannot even win the war inside the Church then what makes us think we can win the “culture wars”? If this nation could have ever been considered a Christian nation, it is because the overwhelming majority of it’s citizenship was Christian who attended Church and placed themselves under the authority of said Church. I think we can agree this is no longer the case. It is the duty of the Church to preach the Gospel to unbelievers in hopes of bringing them under the authority of the Church. If this occurs the laws will take care of themselves. However, the Church is so concerned about the behavior of those outside the Church to the point we are neglecting those inside, which is the exact reason we are losing both those inside, and out. It is not like the Church has not been involved in the “culture wars”. Rather, it has involved itself in the “culture wars” for decades now, going all the way back to the 1970’s. The Church has lost the “culture wars” and we will continue to lose the “culture wars” because the Church was never called to fight a “culture war”. Continuing to do the same thing over, and over, expecting different results is what is called insanity. I wonder what would happen if the Church would stop concerning itself with the behavior of those outside it’s authority, (you know like when Paul said, “what do I have to do with judging those outside”) and begin to focus upon equipping those under it’s authority, and these Christians would then go out to love, and help our neighbors outside, getting in the ditch with them like the “Good Samaritan” not concerning ourselves with changing their behavior, but rather changing their hearts? I wonder what sort of impact this would have? What would there be for unbelievers to criticize? Right now the Church is being criticized, not because we are preaching Christ Resurrected, but rather because we are preaching law. The only hope for this world is Gospel. The law will not save us. Therefore, the answer to our problem is not Christian nationalism, but rather the Gospel.

Jack

Jack, thanks. This is a great summary of what we have been seeking to do here in Moscow for the past four decades. Reformation within the church first. Then flow out.

An Updated Persuasions?

My question: If you updated Persuasions, what additional chapters would it include? I still use the wisdom contained therein in my mentoring and witnessing: e.g., Evangelist’s question to Jim (in Jim and Sarah): “So you have received much good advice, and no good news?… The good news must come first, and then the good advice. Until then, the only value that good advice has is that it reveals to you how far short of God’s requirements you fall.” In conclusion: Thanks be to God for your line-upon-line, ploductivity-based ministry. It’s been a big help to me.

Frank

Frank, if I were to do that, I would want to include a chapter on sexual identity, one on abortion guilt, and one interacting with a black-pilled Nietzschean.

Tricky Situation Is Right

I am counseling a former member of my teen group on a tricky situation. He was dating a young lady and they made a private “covenant” before God to commit to each other for life so that they could be considered married and then proceeded to do things that married couples do. They kept this decision private from everyone including their parents until recently when, under conviction, they came clean and are seeking to make things right. He contacted his pastors and me, his former youth pastor, to confess and ask for wisdom.

Understanding that it was wrong to do these things behind their parents’ backs, I find myself having trouble articulating biblically why their covenant before God is invalid. I want to say because it did not involve witnesses, but I do not recall that being a biblical requirement for marriage or a covenant. So are they married, but still need to make the covenant public somehow? Are they not married, guilty of fornication, and now needing to start at square one with a proper marriage?

Thanks for any help you can provide,

Jonnie

Jonnie, I think they are not married because the covenant they made is not enforceable by anyone outside the two of them. In other words, if he was lying for the sake of sex, when that became obvious, she would have no recourse at all. The point is not that it needs to be public for publicity’s sake. It needs to be public so that it has teeth.

We’ll See What Happens

Thank you for interacting with my previous message asking for your engagement with Provisionist/Molinist arguments. For the Provisionist arguments, Leighton Flowers has two books: “The Potter’s Promise” and “God’s Provision for All.”

There is also this statement of faith with Leighton’s acronym here.

The above link has some other sources in it regarding their beliefs.

Personally, I would be pleased to see your thoughts on the “Corporate Election” position on Ephesians 1—particularly their interpretation of “He chose us in Him” as that seems to be one of the Provisionist hinge-pins. You can find the Provisionist position on that here.

As far as the Molinist arguments go, I have found that Anti-Calvinists pick them up as a means to fill the cracks in the Provisionist system. So when Calvinists start talking about God’s omniscience, they often resort to God’s “middle knowledge” and “counter factuals.” Tim Stratton is probably one of the most prominent Molinists. He has no shortage of his beliefs online.

I think that is more than enough to trouble you with. I thank you very much for your time and any effort you put towards writing against these positions.

In Christ,

Matthew

Matthew, thanks. I will try to keep this in mind. But there is that old “hours in the day” problem.

Two With the Same Question

During your night of eschatology roundtable in 2009 with John Piper, Jim Hamilton, and Sam Storms, when asked, you mentioned that one of the most challenging things to your postmillennial view was how to harmonize the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians together. Since then, have you been able to clarify this interpretive challenge and if so, would you be able to recommend any resources to help someone out who’s having the same challenges?

Blessings,

RKM

Question regarding the “Evening of Eschatology” discussion with John Piper and folks in 2009: Pastor Doug, toward the end of this discussion, you mentioned that the hardest thing for you to deal with textually with respect to postmillenialism is harmonizing 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, particularly the Man of Lawlessness and some of the implications of him being “the Roman emperor” (I assume you mean Nero?) and the fact that him being “resurrected” and the rebellion would have to have already taken place in the greater postmil eschatological narrative. Have you had any other thoughts on this since the talk? Did you find a better way to manage the textual issues? Thanks for all you do.

Best regards,

Brandon

RKM and Brandon, yes. Since that time, I have preached through both epistles to the Thessalonians, and you can find those sermon outlines here on the blog. There is also a commentary that should be released in the foreseeable future.

God Bless Him . . .

Recently, Dr. John MacArthur was on the Babylon Bee Podcast to be interviewed for his new film, “The Essential Church,” chronicling his church’s battle with the State of California over COVID mandates, while also including the stories of Pastors James Coates and Tim Stephens in Canada, and tying those stories with the events of the Scottish Covenanters and John Bunyan.

The interviewer made mention of the Psalm sing arrests in Moscow in September 2020, and Dr. MacArthur responded by saying that he would not condemn the group who sang the Psalms there, but that generally it’s not the Christian’s place to protest or march around City Hall. Rather, he says, it is to live quiet and peaceable lives. He also still maintains that the American Revolution was unbiblical, that Christian Nationalism is misdirected, and that there is no way to make people change by changing laws, but rather, you may only change laws by changing people.

Could you please point me to past articles that you have written in response to these sorts of beliefs? Or, would it be helpful to write a new Blog and Mablog article in response to it? It seems to me that we need to change laws and people because the relationship is mutual, hence why we need Christian Protestant nations and why the Left is winning so noticeably right now. They are changing laws and people at the same time.

God bless you!

Comrade to Moscow

Comrade to Moscow, in the first place I agree completely that the strategy should not be to change the people through changing the laws. It has to be the other way. But when it goes the other way, it does establish a reinforcing loop. My best response to all of this would be found in my Mere Christendom.

Jews and the Land

Do you believe the return of the Jews to the land of Israel in 1948, and their subsequent defence of that land in 1967 was in any way a fulfilment of prophecies made in the Bible? If so, which prophecies? If not, why did such miraculous events occur?

I am an amillennialist, and I personally do not believe the 1948 and 67 events were prophetically significant. However, the more I read about them and their history, the more they seem miraculous. Could it be that God orchestrated these events as an answer to the prayers of many sincere premillennialists and dispensationalists who pray earnestly for the welfare of the Jews? Would God answer prayers in this way, despite the motives of the prayers being grounded in a false understanding of eschatology?

Appreciate your time.

Ben

Ben, I don’t believe that their return to the land, remarkable as it was, was in any way a fulfillment of prophecy. At the same time, I regard it as something of a providential staging move, preparatory to the time when they do return to their Messiah.

A Thorny One

First, I want to extend my thanks to NSA and all of you at Christ Church who helped put on the Called Conference. Our daughter attended (from Texas), and it was an incredible week of encouragement for her. Living in the Bible Belt, despite being in a wonderful church, Christian nominalism abounds which is tough for a Christian teen. She came home astounded that so many teenagers with such vibrant faith exist (not to mention boys who are unashamed to sing Psalms walking down the street, who also hold open doors and pull out chairs). We are grateful that she was able to attend.

That said, NSA has moved far up on her list of college prospects, and alas, we are reformed Baptists. My question to you relates to how we ought to guide her in this interest in NSA. Given that she’s a young woman, who would likely meet a spouse in college, is it best that we guide her in studying the theological differences that would be quite likely in someone she would meet there, so that she, herself, can ascertain how strong her own convictions are regarding baptism/communion/eschatology? I should say that we, at this point, don’t think we’d be opposed to our daughter marrying a Presbyterian if she ended up sharing those same convictions. However, if she were to come to the conclusion that she’s staunchly Baptist, say, is it wisest for her to consider other college options? Or should she attend (obviously contingent upon admission) while avoiding courting anyone there who does not share her Baptist views? We are still a few years out from this decision, but we are so impressed with NSA that we’d like to approach this with wisdom for our daughter. She’s currently so giddy from a week with like-minded teenagers that all she can talk about is moving to Idaho in a few years!

Heather

Heather, these are all reasonable questions. If she were to attend, with her Reformed Baptist convictions intact, she would not be entirely lonely. There are others here, students and faculty included, who would share those convictions. Thus far we have been able to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect. The broad consensus is certainly exuberantly paedo, so she would certainly have to be braced for that.

Alright no fair . . . Thoroughly enjoying Mere Christendom right now (while my wife and I are enjoying the first week with our first child). But I reached page 101-102 and the litmus test of a Palestinian non-Christian and Republican Christian and all I have to say is that’s not fair. Definitely a good test, while not hitting it exactly on the nose you did illustrate a challenge I have with my family. They are professing Christians (father and brother and wife) and we all live within 30 minutes of each other, but we could not attend the same church. This is a great bother and disappointment to me, and I know my heart needs to continue to be shaped like Christ in my relationship to them both. Now to my question. Where is the book for working on those sort of relationships?

Shea

Shea, you are right. There really does need to be a book on that. In the meantime, as best you can, cultivate fellowship in non-church settings.

Interested in Interest

“You May Not be Interested in Interest, But Interest Is Interested in You” Good essay on maintaining a Christian view of modern finances. And to offer a bit more of an explanation of “good” debt: At it’s best, banks are materializing the wealth of the future into the present. They ARE creating wealth, by seeing what could be and bringing it to now. It is very similar to the patchy present/future nature of the way the Kingdom of God is advancing throughout the earth.

Ian

Ian, thanks very much.

Off the Beaten Path

I am reading your book, Fidelity. What I have been wrestling with for a long time is a sexual attraction to women’s hair. The problem is that I don’t have to go to a beach to be blindsided by temptation; Walmart will do. I frequently fall into a depression wishing that my wife would do something similar with her hair, and I get angry with God and/or my wife.

How can I develop contentment when it is impossible for me to avoid triggers? Is it wrong for me to request my wife do certain things to her hair, or should I be trying to kill all sexual desire for hair?

(As a side note, I do not masturbate or go looking online for photos of hair. That is “easy” to avoid because it is an external action. But I don’t know how to “feel” content in the moment, or the hours thereafter. I also have obsessive tendencies, so there’s that too.)

Any wisdom you can share is appreciated.

C

C, this is complicated. A woman’s hair is her glory, and it is part of her sexual attractiveness. But it sounds as though your temptations may take it beyond that, moving into the realm of a fetish. It sounds as though your obsessive tendencies might have something to do with it as well. So I would begin by mortifying your desires in that area (not all, but most). I would be do this by giving yourself to the study of contentment. Jeremiah Burroughs’ book, The Rare Jewel, would be a great place to start.

Yeah, I Think You Need to Talk

Respectfully requesting some guidance, acknowledging that you are only hearing my side. Before I talk to my pastor about what I believe is some bad lessons he is teaching, I would appreciate your wisdom. About 2 years ago, we found a nice little church with a faithful pastor. Recently, however, he has been calling out husbands. While I have no problem with husbands being guided, my fear is that he is calling out husbands for women’s sins, while not addressing the fact that the women should take responsibility for their own sins. To add to this, I have two teenage daughters I am trying to raise into good women, and I am uncomfortable with the fact that I keep having to correct him to them.

Here are some examples of what he has been saying:

* He railed against the divorce rate, and then proclaimed “I blame the men.”

* He added that it is men that need marriage because no one will reveal their flaws and keep them in their place more than their wife (not the best sales pitch to reluctant men I might add, but I do not want my daughters thinking that this is their role as a wife).

* He told men they must listen to their wives, because what she is saying to him comes from God. He added “even if she delivers it in a sinful way, it is from God.”

* He talks about the serpent deceiving Eve, and he said “Where was Adam? I blame him for not protecting her.” Of course, Adam’s sin was listening to his wife instead of God, which contradicts my pastor’s assertion that a woman’s words come from God even when they are sinning.

* He admonished husbands to not bicker with their wives, and added “even if she is royally chewing you out, don’t bicker, if you’re a man you should be able to take it,”

Now, to be clear, if he were speaking to men only, a lot of this would make sense. But he isn’t speaking to men only. He’s speaking to wives and future wives, and if he is going to specifically discuss a woman’s sin, I think he is doing them a disservice by holding only the men to account.

He and I have become good friends, and I believe I need to hold him to account. But I also acknowledge that the discord in my home being added to by this may cloud my judgment.

God bless you.

John

John, yes, I agree that you need to talk with him. But I would strongly recommend that your first talk simply be to ask him questions. Don’t debate, don’t complain, don’t protest. Just go to him to ask clarifying questions. Get his actual position fixed in your mind. Do it so that you can take it home and pray about it. If you decide that it is as lopsided as it sounds here, then you should have a follow-up talk where you register your concerns.

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Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago

Doug, You have certainly missed my point. It is abundantly clear and can be demonstrated beyond any doubt that you are a promoter of Christian nationalism, as if Christian nationalism is what can save us. Christian nationalism is about law. Law can never save. Gospel is Good News. Good News has the power to change hearts, and changed hearts changes lives. When we lose faith in the power of The Good News to do what it says it will do, we will naturally revert to preaching law. The question then is, should the Church be promoting Christian nationalism (law)? Or… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago

Jack, I think the only thing “abundantly clear” here is that you really don’t understand what Doug has been saying yourself. The Gospel changes hearts, and changed hearts lead to a changed culture, which leads to a changed government, all of which is in submission to Christ. Doug has repeatedly emphasized that this is a bottom-up movement powered by the preaching of the Word and reformation in the church. Characterizing Christian Nationalism as “law” and opposed to Gospel is a fundamental mistake. Doug has (as far as I know) never said that Christian Nationalism can save us. He would probably… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Jonathon, Your response begs the question? If Christian nationalism is not the answer to the peril we find ourselves in? In other words, if CN is not the answer to our problem, which will save us from the mess we are in, then why do we have those who are promoting CN? If Christian nationalism only entailed bringing folks to Christ, and allowing the laws to take care of themselves, I would be all for it. Maybe you need to read “The Case for Christian Nationalism” which is published by Cannon Press, and promoted by Doug Wilson and you will… Read more »

Nathan James
Nathan James
8 months ago

It’s pretty childish to suggest the laws will take care of themselves. That is tantamount to saying you would rather not think about the process of making law in a republic. If that’s the case, don’t concern yourself with the CN question. That’s just how the laws take care of themselves when people start to realize that Christ is the only alternative to insanity.

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Nathan James

What is “childish” is for one to suggest that when one says “the laws will take care of themselves” that such a one would be suggesting there would be no human involvement. It simply means if the majority of the citizens in the nation where Christian this would take care of the laws since the humans involved would enact laws which reflect what it is they believe. This is a far cry from Christians now being a minority attempting to force what it is they believe upon the rest of society through the political process. You really need to take… Read more »

Dave
Dave
8 months ago

Jack, what do you think the answer is for the peril we are in?

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Of course, this would be a long conversation, but for starters the Church should repent of taking up the weapons of the world such as politics, and power, and come to the realization that, “it is not by might nor by power.” In other words, the “peril” we find ourselves in will not be rectified by our human efforts but can only be rectified as we as Christians humble ourselves and call upon the name of the Lord who is the only one who can save us, and I am not simply talking about our individual salvation. We continue to… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Jack O'neal Hanley
Dave
Dave
8 months ago

Yes, American Christians need to repent. That would involve actually living as Christ commanded us to live in every aspect of America — government, business, homes and individual lives. Jack, when I was 14 attending a huge church outside Washington, D.C., I was advised against going into politics as that was a dirty business. That particular church had many big wheels from every aspect of government and inside the beltway business. Christians were abandoning the US government which was corrupted and in need of dedicated Christians working there as a mission field. Had we done that 50 years ago, I… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, You and I must have been in 2 different countries? 50 years ago, would have been 1973. Three short years later 1976 was dubbed “The Year of the Evangelical”. Four years later we had the rise of “The Moral Majority” along with other Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, etc. which focused heavily upon politics, and lobbying. The fact of the matter is, I do not have the time nor the space here to list the many Christians, and Christian organizations who were heavily involved in politics. It is impossible for one to suggest… Read more »

Chris Schuttger
Chris Schuttger
8 months ago

Replying to the whole thread … I see Christian Nationalism as a part of a two-fold command. We are called to be salt AND light. We are each given different gifts. Some as evangelists, some as administrators, etc. It’s not either/or .. it’s both/and. I’ll not opine on where or how we are imbalanced as there are likely numerous opinions in that space .. but the principle is I’m a toe and you’re a nose. The body needs both at the same time. To prioritize one over the other is unbalanced.

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago

I’m sorry, but I do not see how anything you say has to do with us as Christians being commanded to be Christian nationalists? I mean, how in the world is the call to be “salt and light” a command to be Christian nationalists? I am attempting to determine where in scripture that the Church is commissioned to preach Christian nationalism? Sure, we all have different gifts, and abilities but where are we commanded to use these gifts to promote Christian nationalism?

Ken B
Ken B
8 months ago

I’m afraid the term Christian nationalism seems to me to be a contradition in terms. When God calls a man into the kingdom he is calling him out of being English or being American, at least as far as where those cultural or ethnic identities conflict with the ethos of the kindgom.

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Christian nationalism is clearly a selfish reaction of Christians who understand they no longer are the preferred majority in our society, and instead of looking at the lost world as our neighbors who need the love of Christ, we instead intend to bring in the Kingdom of God by force. Christian nationalism is a movement that is not going to end well at all, and the sad thing is there seem to be many Christians who look forward to it with pride.

Cherrera
Cherrera
8 months ago

Yeah, it’s going so incredibly well letting the pagans run the show instead of Christians. This should make you happy, since you defended the Satanic trans pushers last time you were here: Pastor Preaches to Tyrant Police at Drag Queen Show – Christians Arrested (2-minute video) – Defy Tyrants You also called the Mosaic law “hell” as I recall. That makes pretty clear what you think of the Lawgiver. It’s sad more people can’t recognize Marcionism when it slaps them in the face. Also, your law-Gospel distinction is manmade. Sure, no one thinks the law saves in and of itself,… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by C Herrera
Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

You say, “Yeah, it’s going so incredibly well letting the pagans run the show instead of Christians”. Well, Christians are running the show as far as our Churches are concerned and our Churches are continuing to empty out. Moreover, the Church, and Christians have been involved in the culture wars for decades now and it is abundantly clear the culture is becoming ever more immoral. So then, you tell me how well things are going with the Christians in charge? You go on to say, “This should make you happy, since you defended the Satanic trans pushers last time you… Read more »

Dave
Dave
8 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

Ken, if you share Jesus with friends or people you bump into, you are an American Christian nationalist. Those living in Nigeria or China or elsewhere living Christian lives and sharing Jesus are Christian nationalists in their countries.

John Middleton
John Middleton
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

That’s it? I’m under the impression there is rather more to it than that, or else why would we need even the term? There is is no reason to call sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ American anything, since it’s all about Jesus and not at all about America.

What if some of the the friends or people you bump into are not American citizens? What if an American is outside the United States and shares Jesus with friends or people they bump into? What if a Nigerian or Chinese shares Jesus with Americans?

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  John Middleton

John

You are missing the point! If Americans share the Gospel with those who are not Americans, they are promoting Christian nationalism in these other nations. In other words, we are not simply sharing Christ, we are also sharing Christian nationalism no matter the nation. You really need to read your Bible. I actually typed that with a straight face. Just kidding! Well said!

Dave
Dave
8 months ago
Reply to  John Middleton

Yes, John, there is much more and typing like this only covers a tiny portion. There is plenty of good and plenty of bad and the tough job is to sort the good from the bad. I am not enamoured with the term but that is what we have to work with. Are you a Christian who wants America to be a Christian nation again? Do you follow the Great Commission? You are an American Christian nationalist whether you like it or not. America is a nation and those born here or naturalized can’t shake that label. Nigerian Christian nationalists… Read more »

John Middleton
John Middleton
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, since there is much more and you know that, it is baffling, and I want to be charitable here, that you would have represented American Christian nationalism as merely the practice sharing Jesus with friends or people you bump into. Since you are not enamored with the term be of good cheer; that is not what we have to work with. Christians have been calling it “witnessing” and “preaching the gospel” for a long, long time, without brining American or nationalism in to it. I am a Christian. Before we want America to be Christian again we ought first… Read more »

Dave
Dave
8 months ago
Reply to  John Middleton

John, here are some kirker Christian nationalists:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vWF_lctSTo&list=RD7vWF_lctSTo&start_radio=1

John Middleton
John Middleton
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

Thanks, but all I see is Indian (yes?) Christians singing some grand old hyms.

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

How in the world does one sharing Jesus with people cause them to be Christian nationalists? Are you suggesting that this is all that would be involved in being a Christian nationalist? Have you read “The Case for Christian Nationalism”? If you have then, what you are reporting here is what is called “fake news” because I can assure you that Christian nationalism involves far more than simply sharing Jesus with our neighbor. Again, if Christian nationalism only involved a desire to see all come to Christ, then I would be all for it and I cannot imagine any Christian… Read more »

Dave
Dave
8 months ago

“I have no idea where in the Bible we are commanded as Christians to ensure the laws/magistrates honor God.” From above “Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that they will bring to you every major matter, but they will judge every minor matter themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will carry the burden with you.” Exodus 18:21,22 Jethro advised Moses on how to structure government and… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago

Jack, you hate God’s law. You say a society under God’s law would be a “hell-hole.” Simply put, you hate God if you hate what he commands. We are to disciple the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything God has commanded. That would be making them Christian nations. Christian Nationalism. This isn’t hard. You refuse to listen to God’s Word. You suggest society under Him would be Hell. The world will get society under God’s law. If you don’t like it, I suggest you change your heart. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Sorry for the late reply. My friend, are you aware of the council of Jerusalem recorded in Acts Chapter 15 where Peter says, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear”? Do you have any idea what Peter was referring to as a yoke on the neck? Well, that would be the law. You see, the problem is not the law. The law is perfect, right, and just. I’m afraid what Peter is saying is, “the problem is us”.… Read more »

Chris Schuttger
Chris Schuttger
8 months ago

I should have added the comment that I was referring to Christians being salt as preserving culture/community through being active in the political sphere. Setting policies, passing/defeating laws, sitting in the seats of the Judicial branch, etc. The call to shine the light is evangelism, reaching the lost, praying for the Holy Spirit to do His work in their hearts to be fertile for the seed of the Gospel. I think Christendom has failed to be salt by being sufficiently politically active. “Big Eva” is a current term … but where was “the church” when the culture was supporting slavery,… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
8 months ago

“The church” has a a mixed history in a UK context on social issues. Wilberforce is of course well known as bringing about the end of the slave trade out of Christian convictions, although he was aided in this by more ‘secular’ considerations as well (industries who had to pay wages couldn’t compete with those who did not). Tory Evangelicals were instrumental in the Victorian age in curbing the excessive exploitation of the poor working class. Gospel and social conscience were not seen as alternatives. That said fast forward to the 20th century and the church was instrumental in bringing… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ken B

You are correct about the 20th century. The church was failing big time by refusing to base its political action on God’s Word.

Ken B
Ken B
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I certainly think the church should support laws that are righteous and oppose those that are not. My problem when you talking about political actions is when conservative Christianity gets caught up in party politics. The identification of conservative theology with the Conservative Party, all the more when the latter is populated with very unrighteous people (as at present). In the UK historically, bracketing ‘church’ with a failure to act against greedy exploitative capitalism did the cause of evangelism no end of harm. Church is for the rich. Left a spiritual wilderness in parts of the country. Conversely, although I… Read more »

Appalachian Mtn Man
Appalachian Mtn Man
8 months ago

Re: Kate I married an older woman, she has three years on me. I was around 22 or 23, she was around 25 or 26 (I’m really giving myself out as a man here not remembering exact ages). She was what we’d call in the South (in jest) a “cradle snatcher” haha. We’ve been married for 5+ years now, two kids and a third on the way. Biggest issue for us was that, because she was older, having kids became an immediate thing to plan for. Other than that being married to a woman a few years older was not,… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Appalachian Mtn Man
John W
John W
8 months ago

Thank you, Pastor. Your advice was much better than I thought I would have to do. No further questions, just a heartfelt thank you and God bless.

Zeph
Zeph
8 months ago

C. I can see that you are dealing with sexual temptation. Why can’t your wife be as hot as the model? For you, instead of her figure, it is her hair. Confess discontent as a sexual sin, because in your case, that is what it is.

Last edited 8 months ago by Zeph
Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
8 months ago

EDMUND SPENSER, the English poet-colonist who advocated a scorched earth policy on the Irish, whom he mocked in his Faery Queene.

john k
john k
8 months ago

Two years after finishing The Faerie Queene (and the Irish tract published only after his death), Spenser experienced the Irish rebellion of the Nine Years War, and possibly lost a child in the burning of his home, Kilcolmin Castle. One year after that he died. The Anglo-Normans have meddled in Ireland since at least the 1150’s. Pope Adrian IV (the only English pope), in the supposed bull, Laudabiliter, authorized Henry II to rule Ireland, and “to reveal the truth of the Christian faith to peoples still untaught and barbarous.” (This was after seven hundred years of evangelization there.) In this… Read more »

Will
Will
8 months ago
Reply to  john k

Spenser’s house was the fortified manor of an English Lord, and more than a legitimate military target and it is extremely questionable as to whether he lost a son in its destruction. You can read all you want about Spenser’s view of the Irish in A View of the Present State of Ireland, where he argues that the Irish language should be expurgated and celebrates the ruin and starvation of the native Irish people. Spenser was a great poet, but he was also a defender and enabler of tyrants who expressed tremendous hatred and contempt for the native people of… Read more »

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
8 months ago
Reply to  Will

Well said Will. Couldn’t have put it better. The very sad thing is that later on in the 17th century Puritanism was introduced to the native Irish through violence and the sword. The legacy of this, and the subsequent Penal laws against Catholics in their own country by a Protestant ascendancy, has diminished latter day evangelism.

john k
john k
8 months ago

It gets complicated. The Protestant ascendancy was an Anglican ascendancy, and excluded Presbyterians. I’m willing to be corrected, but I don’t know that it would be accurate to call it a Puritan ascendancy.

john k
john k
8 months ago
Reply to  Will

At least one literary scholar, Sheila Cavanaugh, questions CS Lewis’s unnuanced quote. Nationalism, tribalism, ambition, and religion all play a part in Ireland before and after Edmund Spencer’s era. The leader of the Irish Nine Years War rebellion, Hugh O’Neill, participated in the family practice of murdering rival relatives to gain traditional Gaelic office. He imposed serfdom on Irish peasants. Irish leaders pragmatically switched allegiances between the clan system and the English system. Hugh had hoped Elizabeth would make him prince of Ireland. England was not prepared to rule as a federation of ethnic peoples, either in language or religion,… Read more »

Will
Will
8 months ago
Reply to  john k

Yes, and her reading of Spenser (and of Lewis) is far from convincing. Spenser’s own views on the people of Ireland (and their culture, religion, language, and their right to do things like eat) are made abundantly clear in both his poetry and his prose, as well as his association with and service of such murderers as Arthur Gray. One does not have to approve of the conduct of people like O’Neill to find Spenser’s casual cruelty barbarous and unchristian. Your statement that “England was not prepared to rule as a federation of ethnic peoples” is obvious. Why this justifies… Read more »

john k
john k
8 months ago
Reply to  Will

The pope in the 12th century authorized the Normans, who had already subjugated England, to go on to Ireland also, for the truth to be taught, and for financial support of the papacy. Was that a sufficient justification?

Henry VIII apparently saw Ireland as a source of intrigue against him. Is it permissible to secure the stability of a country by dominating a neighbor?

Will
Will
8 months ago
Reply to  john k

Why do you think I have any stake in defending the Medieval Papacy? Or in justifying the behavior of the Normans, who got up to a lot of trouble everywhere they went, from the British Isles to Constantinople? Henry VIII was the sort who saw “sources of intrigue” everywhere he looked. Is it permissible to bring ruin and starvation on another nation to momentarily quiet the paranoid delusions of a tyrant and satisfy the greed of his lackeys? I’m not really sure why you are pursuing this line of argumentation, but it’s probably best not to spend too much time… Read more »

Will
Will
8 months ago
Reply to  john k

Why do you think I have any stake in defending the Medieval Papacy? Or in justifying the behavior of the Normans, who got up to a lot of trouble everywhere they went, from the British Isles to Constantinople? Henry VIII was the sort who saw “sources of intrigue” everywhere he looked. Is it permissible to bring ruin and starvation on another nation to momentarily quiet the paranoid delusions of a tyrant and satisfy the greed of his lackeys? I’m not really sure why you are pursuing this line of argumentation, but it’s probably best not to spend too much time… Read more »

john k
john k
8 months ago
Reply to  Will

Tudor policy did not rise from nowhere. I know you’re not defending the medieval papacy, but silence about it gives them a pass, while holding the later English to account. The opinions of Spenser, and the actions of Henry and Cromwell disgust us. No one today supports physical and cultural destruction. Of course, neither does anyone support intra-familial murder to gain political office. It’s worthwhile to discuss old wrongs (and the history behind them), as well as denounce them, so that the wrongs do not fester forever, and become the justification for renewed atrocities, whether in Northern Ireland, Croatia, Serbia,… Read more »

Zeph
Zeph
8 months ago

Kate, my mom was 8 years older than my dad. When I was in fourth grade, I had a classmate call me a liar to my face when I said the age difference. Your friends can sometimes find it awkward. If he is worth it, go for it. Just be advised of that issue.

Jennifer Mugrage
8 months ago

Kate,
I really appreciate Bunyan for all the angsty characters.

mo
mo
8 months ago

I not only appreciate the characters in Pilgrim’s Progress–I consider it the most timeless, always-relevant, convicting, comforting, and re-readable piece of Christian literature ever written outside of the Bible. Kate, are you a post-mil warrior? I think your post is why I’m weary of the rising postmil crowd. And over the past decade that I’ve followed Doug’s writings, I’ve noticed that eschatology and the promotion of postmillennialism is getting infused into everything he writes and promotes. Has anyone else noticed this? It seems to be a growing obsession that animates and mobilizes a very specific tribe (I’ll call it) within… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
8 months ago
Reply to  mo

You make a great point here which I have noticed myself. The way in which I put it is, “there are Christians who allow their eschatology to drive their whole theology”. There are pre-mil folks who are so convinced of their eschatology that they refuse to get involved in the culture so as to not “polish the brass on a sinking ship”. On the other hand, there are those who are so convinced of their pre-mil that it drives them to the belief that the Kingdom of God depends on our efforts, and the end seems to justify any means… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Eschatology informs more than Hanley may want to admit. All the more reason to seek to get it right.
The postmill view doesn’t entail that God must expand His Kingdom in every generation, but I doubt God is eager to make His power known to a generation that doesn’t believe pagan giants could, and should, be defeated.

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

Yeah! So I suppose you, and those who agree with your eschatology have it right? It does not matter what the post-mill view entails unless it is correct. I’m not sure of any eschatology which would “entail that God must expand His Kingdom in every generation”? So then, what is your point? It seems according to you that God is only “eager to make His power known” to generations which are eager. This seems to mean the Kingdom depends upon us in some sort of way, when it was my understanding that God works in spite of our efforts. I… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

My point is that something like a radical two kingdom view, for example, doesn’t stand in isolation from ones eschatology, and is very much driven by it. These things are tightly linked up for all Christians, not just for postmillers, so it’s important to get our eschatology right. God isn’t interested in eagerness as a mere emotional disposition, without regard for content. Rather He is pleased to make His power known through generations that are believing in His specific promises. As with the land of Canaan, God promises to give the world and the nations as an inheritance, as co-heirs… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

You say that it is important to get our eschatology right. I will assume you believe you have “got your eschatology right”? Well, I will assure you that there are those who have dedicated their lives to such study who disagree with your eschatology. My point is no one can demonstrate their eschatology to be the correct eschatology. Therefore, if one operates upon a two-kingdom eschatology and it is not the correct eschatology then they are operating upon a false belief, and the same would go for the post-mill side. It would seem to me that all of us, no… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Is Hanley allowing his agnostic eschatology to drive his whole theology of evangelism? “My point is no one can demonstrate their eschatology to be the correct eschatology”, he said, with an absolute confidence in the correctness of this position. Hanley wrote: “You seem to abhor the two-kingdom view and believe those who hold to such a view are not operating correctly. However, those who hold a two-kingdom view would more than likely say the same for those who hold the same view as you.” Hanley seems to have devoted himself to abhoring his understanding of Christian Nationalism. So there’s more… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Katecho
Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

The theology of evangelism is to go and preach the Gospel. What is the Gospel? Well, that would be Jesus crucified, dead, buried, and risen. Therefore, exactly how would our eschatology change this in any way? My friend, if one’s eschatology had been demonstrated we would not have the opposing views. You say, “Hanley seems to have devoted himself to abhoring his understanding of Christian Nationalism”. One of the things I understand about Christian nationalism is, you can ask a number of different folks who adhere to Christian nationalism what it is, and you would get a number of very… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Hanley wrote: I am not sure what “pagan giants” you are referring to but if it involves engaging in the culture wars, I would ask, exactly what did Paul mean when he asked the question, “what do I have to do with judging those who are outside”? There are certainly wrong-headed ways of engaging in the “culture wars”, but regarding 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, Paul wasn’t a civil magistrate. He judged matters within the Church from his apostolic authority (see 1 Cor 5:3). He did not act to judge cases outside his jurisdiction, or did he advocate that stewards of the… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

I did not say anything about a Christian who may work inside the civil magistrate. I am talking about the Church being involved in the culture wars. Therefore, if Paul tells the Corinthians they are free to associate with the immoral of the world, then it seems he is acknowledging the fact that there will always be the immoral of the world, and Paul goes on to ask the question, “what do I have to do with judging those who are outside”? There is no problem at all with a Christian working for the government operating upon his or her… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Perhaps Hanley needs to define what he means by culture wars, because God has put enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman from the beginning. In this sense culture war is inescapable. Worship in the walls of the church building is culture war. Educating your children in the fear of the Lord, and not in the secular school is culture war. Hanely wrote: “it seems he is acknowledging the fact that there will always be the immoral of the world” So it is only in the eschaton that immorality will diminish, and spears will… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Katecho
Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

What I mean by culture wars is the Church getting involved in politics in order to effect the moral behavior of those outside its authority. Again, there is no problem with Christians being involved in politics, but we are not called as the Church, nor as individual Christians to seek such offices so as to force Christian morality upon the unbeliever. The Church is called to speak prophetically to individuals, rulers, governments, and nations. The Church is not called to attempt to take over the civil realm, nor are Christians. You are correct that there is “enmity between the seed… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Hanley wrote: “It seems to me the Church cannot even manage her own affairs seeing as how she has lost the culture war she was never called to fight, while at the same time bleeding members.” Lots to untangle here, but I’ll take a stab. Christians in the very first century were confronted by unbelieving rulers. Often the only weapon they had to fight with was their own death as a show of ultimate resistance, and they did not use the excuse that Hanley is using here. They did not insist that the Bride of Christ be perfected before they… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

You are correct that the early Christians experienced persecution that we have never dreamed of here in the U.S. They seemed to look at this persecution as a badge of honor. However, they did not insist that Christianity be the preferred religion in the land, the way Christian nationalists insist. They were not being persecuted because they were preaching Christian nationalism, or God and country. They were not insisting the government recognize Christianity as the national religion, nor were they insisting that all the rulers of the land “kiss the Son”. No! They were experiencing persecution because they were preaching… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Hanley wrote: “They were not insisting the government recognize Christianity as the national religion, nor were they insisting that all the rulers of the land “kiss the Son”. Hanley is just re-asserting what he needs to demonstrate. The New Testament quotes Psalm 2, so on what basis does Hanley suggest that it was off limits for first century Christians? Is Psalm 2 written to be a kept secret within the walls of the Church, or are its warnings explicitly addressed to kings and rulers of the earth? If Christians aren’t authorized to proclaim these warnings to them, who is? Recall… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Katecho
Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

We are talking past each other now. I have agreed that the Church is called to speak prophetically to the nations, warning them of impending judgment. So, let’s not say again that this is what I am against. Now, you can call the Church speaking prophetically to the nations “culture wars” if you like, but this is not what I am referring to in the least. Rather, I am referring to the fact that the term “culture war” was coined in 1991 and it involves the Church picking up the weapons of the world such as politics, and law in… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

You are now debating an argument I have never made. I said nothing of a Christian who may work for the magistrate should stop making judgements. What I am saying is, Paul makes it abundantly clear that it is not the business of the Church to judge the behavior of those outside it’s authority. In fact, he makes it clear that there will always be the immoral of the world, and that we as Christians are free to associate with the immoral of the world. He says nothing of us as Christians judging those outside. However, it goes without saying,… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Hanley wrote: “He says nothing of us as Christians judging those outside. However, it goes without saying, if a Christian holds such an office then he has an obligation to do that job.” So a Christian who holds a civic office can judge those outside, even though Hanley takes Paul to be saying that Christians aren’t to judge those outside? Hanley can’t have it both ways. Hanley tried to make 1 Cor 5 do too much. But if anyone is allowed to judge those outside the Church (and Hanley must acknowledge that even Christians are permitted to do so), then… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Katecho
Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

This is getting comical now. Let us remember that Paul told the Corinthians, “when I told you not to associate with the immoral, I certainly did not mean the immoral of the world”. This seems to mean that Paul is saying that we as Christians are to pass judgement upon those inside the Church, but we have no business passing judgement on those outside. I mean, the way you would seem to have it is, we as Christians should insist all those outside the Church must, and have to acknowledge Christ as King of Kings, when Paul seems to be… Read more »

katecho
katecho
7 months ago

Hanely wrote: “My friend, there are rulers all over the world today who rule lands who have no regard for Christ in the least.” But there are also many unbelievers in the world today who have no regard for Christ in the least. Are they excused from their Gospel obligations to God on that basis? Are we to refrain from proclaiming Christ’s Kingly authority and His Gospel obligations to them because they don’t want to hear it? If not, then why should a current state of unbelief change how we pronounce God’s obligations to unbelieving civic rulers? We are not… Read more »

Jack O'neal Hanley
Jack O'neal Hanley
7 months ago
Reply to  katecho

The Gospel has no “obligations”. The Gospel is Good News which frees us from the obligation to the law in order that we may now serve, not out of obligation, but rather out of love, and great gratitude for what God has done. I have already agreed that the Church should speak prophetically to the nations, proclaiming Christ’s authority. So then, this is not where the disagreement is. My complaint is with the Church preaching Christian nationalism, dominion theology, and, or theonomy. The Church is not called to take over the civil realm in order to enforce the laws of… Read more »

Zeph
Zeph
8 months ago

The Bible says that military service is for men who are at least twenty years old. This eighteen-year-old thing was started in WW2. Biblically, eighteen-year-olds are still juveniles.

Last edited 8 months ago by Zeph
Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago
Reply to  Zeph

That’s a fact, and I think it’s a massive problem that most people today don’t see this as an issue. Even many conservative Christians see nothing more heroic than an 18-year old going off to fight in foreign wars, and I am merely aghast.

I’d love to see a good study/essay about this, and I think it would be a good subject for a post by Doug as well.

Zeph
Zeph
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

This has a huge relevance to foster care.

Nathan
Nathan
8 months ago

Jonnie, a secret marriage is no marriage. They did it in rebellion against authority, and their choice of secrecy makes plain that it is and was fornication. Marriage must always be under authority, as must all covenants be. A parent, a pastor, an elder in the gates. Someone must make it official and a matter of public knowledge. Not only for “the teeth” in case of the violence of divorce (though that is right), but because it is by nature necessarily a communal, official thing. Otherwise their children would be seen as illegitimate, others might seek to court them, and… Read more »

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
8 months ago

Hey–what happened to my comments about Edmund Spenser???? Why have they been deleted???? I simply pointed out that he was a notorious colonist in Ireland, who favoured a scorched earth policy against the Irish, and who also mocked and looked down on them in his Faery Queene. Why is that such a problem??? You cannot talk about the spiritual value of his writings and their rich Christian symbolism without taking this open, indisputable historical fact into account.

Brendan of Ireland
Brendan of Ireland
8 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

🤣🤣🤣🤣

Cherrera
Cherrera
8 months ago

DW said this in his article on George Gilder:
“But I also understand why some other people want to insist that this is a form of incipient feminism. It is because they are trying to make me snort my coffee.”

Did you know Gilder was so henpecked that his mommy (I mean wife) wouldn’t let him drink anything stronger than Lipton Tea at home?

Gilder.png
Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago
Reply to  Cherrera

No comment, but a citation would be beneficial to everyone if you’ve got one.

Russel Polk
Russel Polk
8 months ago

In Re: Tricky Situation Numbers 30 gives a very cogent response to this situation. It is about the taking of foolish vows by girls and women under a covenant head. If the girl is still under her father, the day he hears about it he can annul it. If he does not, then it stands. The same goes for a wife but applies for her husband. If she makes a foolish vow, her husband can nullify it the day he hears about it. In this situation, it sounds like the day he heard about it, he disliked it, but did… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 months ago
Reply to  Russel Polk

Russel, excellent application. Goes hand-in-hand with Exodus 22:16-17.

Basically, now it is up to the father, he’s got the freedom to evaluate the situation and take it either direction. If they are both Christians and in sincere repentance, it may be wisest for the father to require their marriage.