Fattest Snake Dept.
Be careful Pastor Doug, you keep pointing this stuff out, people might actually start believing this gospel thing! My wife has a very dark past and once asked me, what will she say to our son if he wants to know more about her childhood and history? She was very concerned about what he will think of her, now born again and cleansed, but then very much engulfed in a life of shame. By God’s grace I responded, you tell him, if he ever finds himself in so dark a place that he can’t even talk to us about where he’s at and what he’s doing, he can cry out to Jesus just like mommy did. There is something in all of us that is so idolatrously resistant to the idea that Christ only can purchase us and we can never make anything right in and of ourselves, that we all are magnetized to this law trap in our families, churches, and on a national scale. It’s the same thing as saying to my wife, how dare you not be a better wife to me in x, y and z. Don’t you know how bad you were before? Whether these masses loudly demanding all whites pay a steep penalty for their unchristian lawbreaking ever believed the gospel is a fair question, but giving the charitable outlook that they have, when they pressure whites to suffer under penalty for their (and their forbears’) lawbreaking, they have once again forgotten the gospel.
Patrick, thank you. Grace goes all the way down.
Could you share your thoughts on “Pedogate/Pizzagate”? It has been going around the Internet the last couple years or so. It was the subject of a discussion about so-called “fake news” with the Google CEO at their most recent congressional hearing. It makes me sick even thinking about what is alleged but it also troubles me how quickly people get shadow-banned or kicked off platforms for mentioning anything related to it. There are certainly some outlandish fringe theories around it, but there are also the Podesta emails (specifically from Tamera Luzzato), Tamara’s website, Jeffery Epstein,and James Alefantis’s creepy friends, and his Instagram antics. These seem to get light or no acknowledgement from the press. It seems like when anyone brings it up, they are immediately shouted down and called a “flat-earther,”wearing a tin-foil hat. Thankful for your clear thinking through crazy times.
Joshua, I haven’t said anything about it because I am not up on it at all. I only know enough to know (hazily) what is alleged, and also to know that the received wisdom says that it is bogus. But I can say two things. On the one hand, I do believe that there are many in our ruling elites who are capable of such things, and are capable of crushing anyone who wants to bring it all to light. On the other hand, I believe that there are many enemies of the ruling elites who are capable of lying about such things in order to damage or bring down the bad guys. I believe Washington is a dirty town, which means that people live dirty and they also fight dirty. So I just don’t know enough to say anything particular.
So if you may humor me the following was my friend’s reaction to your article: “. . . even so ‘orthodox’ a theologian like Doug Wilson gets this point of ‘orthodox Christology’ wrong and does slip into the ‘psychological’ reading of persons. According to the ‘orthodox’ conception Christ does literally have two minds and two wills, the divine and the human, while ironically it is the Nestorians who argued that Christ only has one will. So Jesus is literally a schizophrenic albeit whose minds are perfectly harmonized.”What say you? Personally, I think it would be better to say that Christ is fully God and fully man and just admit that we’re not entirely sure how exactly everything is going on in every aspect of how His two natures interact,especially in regards to the mind/will/etc., and we would be better off not making comments when Scripture does not either. Speaking as someone who once studied philosophy in college (so maybe I’m jaded), I have the suspicion that a lot of the Nestorian debate relied on suspect philosophical assumptions (or at least assumptions Scripture doesn’t address) instead of Scripture itself. I know I threw a good bit at you here, but would like to hear your thoughts.
Geoff, I agree with you—there is a tendency among theologians (including even some orthodox ones) to get too far out on the skinny branches. If your friend questioned my orthodoxy simply on the basis of me saying that Jesus wasn’t schizophrenic, that would be an example. I affirm two natures, entirely complete and distinct, united together in one person, which is what Chalcedon requires of me.
Some Lutherans Fire Back:
Re: A Nest of Nestorians? Doug, Fortunately, “our Lutheran brothers” anticipated your objections way back in 1577, in the Formula of Concord. See “The Person of Christ.” There are pages of material here, but I’ll only highlight two paragraphs:
 For here you must stand [confess] and say: Wherever Christ according to the divinity is, there He is a natural, divine person, and He is there also naturally and personally, as His conception in His mother’s womb well shows. For if He were to be God’s son, He must, naturally and personally be in His mother’s womb and become man. Now, if He is naturally and personally wherever He is, He must also be man in the same place. For there are not [in Christ] two separate persons, but only one person: wherever it is,there it is the one undivided person; and wherever you can say, Here is God,there you must also say, Then Christ the man is also there. And if you would point out a place where God is, and not the man, the person would already be divided, because I could then say with truth: Here is God who is not man, and who never as yet has become man.
 Therefore we regard it as a pernicious error when such majesty is denied to Christ according to His humanity. For thereby the very great consolation is taken from Christians which they have in the aforecited promise concerning the presence and dwelling with them of their Head, King, and High Priest, who has promised them that not only His mere divinity would be with them, which to us poor sinners is as a consuming fire to dry stubble, but that He, He, the man who has spoken with them, who has tried all tribulations in His assumed human nature, and who can therefore have sympathy with us, as with men and His brethren, He will be with us in all our troubles also according to the nature according to which He is our brother and we are flesh of His flesh.
Darin, thanks. I would have been grievously disappointed in our Lutheran brothers had they not anticipated the objection back in the day. But anticipating is not the same thing as satisfactorily answering. What is outlined above gives a ground for Christ being present “in, with, and under”the consecrated bread, sure enough. But it also places Him in, with, and under the unconsecrated bread equally. And in everything else as well.
Re: Nest of Nestorians “So then, do I confess that Mary is theotokos, God-bearer? I most certainly do—as regards His manhood. This is not a Nestorian reading.” Mary was not the source of his divinity? Of course she wasn’t, as there is no source. But the label speaks to her “bearing” or “bringing forth” his whole person—containing both natures, does it not? Did her womb contain God or did it not? If not, perhaps “Christotokos” would be a more precise label. This is slicing the loaf pretty thin, but you know how the fathers loved to get down in the weeds, amiright! Related thought: Most of us left are mechanics and salesmen. Those who were gifted to labor in doctrine should maybe start work on some kind of bridge. They probably won’t have separate camps for Catholics and Calvinists, and it looks to be a cold minute before we will have the luxury of throwing each other out of cathedrals again.
Joey, thanks. I simply want to stick close to the way Chalcedon frames it. According to His Deity, Christ is begotten of the Father. According to His manhood—and I capitalize His even when talking about His manhood—Mary was theotokos, God-bearer. So yes, Mary is the God-bearer when we are talking about His humanity.
You should really read the Lutheran Confessions on the subject and then perhaps you wouldn’t construct such poor arguments. I would also encourage you to read the book Lutheranism vs. Calvinism which is the debate that took place between Jakob Andrea and Theodore Beza. It’s one thing to say, I believe this, therefore, I’m not a Nestorian, and then another thing entirely to make applications of Chalcedon that are actually Nestorian. Especially when those who first affirmed Chalcedon would have rejected your understanding of it (which can be seen in the Book of Concord where the testimonies of the Church Fathers are listed).
Andrew, thanks for sharing.
Attendance at a Same Sex Ceremony?
I’m a brother in Christ from the Minneapolis area that is greatly enriched by your Blog. I enjoyed your article, “The Sin of Flattening Sins.” I’m struggling with the lack of clear messaging from the elders of my church (Bethlehem Baptist Church Minneapolis MN; John Piper/Jason Meyer) as it relates to how Christians should respond when invited to a doctrine of demons ceremony (sometimes called a wedding associated with a gay mirage). The obvious answers to me are: 1. Attend and intensely and vociferously rebuke the evil proceeds (of course almost nobody will do this). 2. Respectfully, kindly, and discreetly decline attending. I was in a small group setting related to our church which was led by an elder. I suggested it was a sin to attend a doctrine of demons ceremony as a silent participant. The elder, visibly upset with me said, “I wouldn’t go either, but it is a conscience issue which we must respect.” At the same moment a couple of members rolled their eyes at me for suggesting such a thing. While it is recognized that there are a multitude of conscience issues and we have to be careful we don’t impose our convictions on others, I’m inclined to think this scenario is not a conscience issue, that is, it is a sin for a Christian to attend a doctrine of demons ceremony as a silent participant. However, I am willing to recognize that attendance as a silent participant at such an evil proceeding is a conscience issue—a seared conscience. Thus, the strategy for capitulating on this issue by smart evangelicals is to consign the situation to a conscience-issues status. John Piper initially commented to this situation at the Desiring God website during his10/10/13 podcast (episode 191). During it, he presented 5 thorough reasons why a Christian should not attend. However, his recent comments show a minor slippage in that he used the phrase generally a Christian should not attend and that the main focus is not that we should not attend but that we should do what we can to maintain the relationship with the person. You see how that works. I’m curious your thoughts on this. It would be refreshing to know that as it relates to the subject matter you have stated from the pulpit in the most severe way possible (with outstretched arm and finger; flushed red face, and veins popping in your temples and neck) “how dare you think of attending such an evil proceeding!” Please let it be so. God bless,
Doug, I agree with John Piper that we should not attend, full stop. I also agree that we should do what we can to maintain our personal relationship with people trapped in this sin, but that is only done because we want to help them. If we start attending their ceremonies in silent acquiescence, we are no longer in a position to help–having become part of the problem.
I’ve been through this argument, “all sins are the same,”with churchmen more times than I care to remember. I gave up arguing some time ago. Now I simply ask, if all sins are the same, why does God assign different penalties to different sins throughout the case laws of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy? And leave it at that. In my time I’ve run with the wild bunch and the church bunch both, and I’m afraid I’ve met just about as many idiots in church as I ever did at the beer joint.
James, yes. But at the beer joints they can always blame the alcohol.
November Is Still On Our Minds
Just wanted to say that I really appreciated No Quarter November. In fact, I’d say that much of it was some of your best work. Why?Because you’d sworn off qualifications I actually felt your content was even more careful, specific, and powerful. Pretty amazing since I already thought your stuff was extremely accurate, focused, and well-defined. I think it’s time for No Quarter January.
I am extremely thankful for the free e-books. I even broke my Kindle back out! Several I had already purchased and read in the past but several more have moved from my “long list” to my “short list.” Really enjoyed Flags Out Front, Serrated Edge and the short book on Classical Ed. At any rate, I’m currently reading through Standing on the Promises. Thanks for writing and sharing. In the section on Christian Education (Chapter 7, around location 1140), you write: “But what if some Christians do adopt a goal of ‘conquest,’i.e. they want the public school to become tax supported Christian schools? Then such attempts should be resisted for a different reason; God does not assign educational responsibilities to the civil magistrates, even if the magistrates are godly. It is not their area of godly assigned responsibility.” To the greater point here—godly education is not the responsibility of the civil magistrate—thanks for pointing this out. Very astute and not something I had really considered. But I would like to “pick a nit.” It would seem on the surface that if money was attached specifically to a child, and the child’s father could choose to spend that money at any school he thought best, that would be an acceptable means of accomplishing a good goal. When the problem is often a lack of money—there are many people who just cannot afford a good school for their kids—then a system where the money was attached to the kids would work. Or what about “tax credits” for parents of children in private schools (especially if below a certain income bracket)? Do you think these would be acceptable? The main problem seems to be the pragmatic one—a secular government can’t be trusted not to move the goal-posts mid-stream. (I mix metaphors too, you know.)
Nathan, if the father is just getting his own tax money back, then why not just cut out the middle man? And if he is getting someone else’s money to educate his kid, then how is that not redistribution of income, or socialism for short? That said, I am open to things like vouchers and tax credits as instruments for dismantling our current system, but not in favor of them in the abstract.
What is “the Dalrock route?”
Keith, from what I have seen, I would describe the Dalrock route as over-realized patriarchy. This is not the same thing as extreme patriarchy (the toxic kind), and it is not the same thing as my own version of (amazingly balanced) patriarchy. I speak as a man, as Paul might say, and that’s the problem, as RHE might say. Over-realized patriarchy has a tendency to assume that the complementarians who gave away the store (and I agree with Dalrock that many of them did give away the store), did so on purpose. In other words, what they tend to describe as conspiracy, I would describe as a mix of conspiracy from some and confused foolishness from others. This also has had an impact on how Dalrock has interacted with some of my stuff, looping me as one of the conspirators to feminize everything. Since I know that he is persistent in reading me incorrectly, eventually I quit reading him.