THE Interview

A hard-hitting Interview of DJW by DJW: Only one interviewer could possibly get to the really awkward questions . . .

Me: Where were you born?

Me: In San Diego, at the Balboa Naval Hospital.

Me: And when was this?

Me: In June of 1953. I am 64 years old. In brief, I should know better by now.

Torpedo room of the USS Tusk. The inspiration for some of the zestier blog posts.

Me: Do you promise to provide us with sober answers, and to tell the truth as best as you can?

Me: I can promise to tell the truth. But I don’t know if the truth can come off as sober any more.

Me: What is your calling? What is your vocation?

Me: I am a minister by day and a writer by night.

Me: What do you see as the principal difference between your preaching and your writing?

Me: My task as a preacher is to declare the Word, as the Word was delivered to us. The current events in the world will sometime come into a message when we get to the application, as it necessarily must, but my central task is to preach the gospel, preach the Word to the world through the church. That means that exposition of the Word is central. But as a writer, my task is to interpret the world in the light of the Word. All of this should be consistent and should meet in the middle, but it is no inconsistency to start from different ends.

Me: What’s your favorite color?

Me: Blue. That’s the color I use to highlight my books.

Me: Speaking of books, what interests do you pursue as you read?

Me: I generally just chase what interests me. But as far as disciplined reading goes, I start with Scripture; I have various Bible reading regimens going. After that, I want always to be reading a volume of poetry, a work of fiction, a bucket book (a book I should have read by this time in my life, but inexplicably haven’t), and whatever book I am currently reading.

Me: And from what you said earlier, you mark up your books?

Me: Yes. Books are tools, not objects of veneration. I need to find stuff again, and so I mark my books up. I have often turned down an offer to let me borrow a book because I have real trouble reading without marking.

Me: Who’s your favorite male musical artist?

Me: I would have to say Eric Clapton.

Me: Female performer?

Me: Rosanne Cash.

Me: At the risk of having this turn into an interview for People magazine, what is your favorite poem?

Me: Probably Ozymandius by Shelley. Are you going to ask me what my favorite food is?

Me: What’s your favorite food?

Me: Nancy does this lemon/chicken/pasta thing that mysteriously has not been picked up by any national restaurant chains.

Me: Who is your favorite contemporary Christian writer, not related to you?

Me: I would say John Piper.

Me: Okay, now zoom out. List the ten writers, living or dead, who have had the greatest impact on your writings, in both content and style.

Me: C.S. Lewis, H.L. Mencken, P.G. Wodehouse, J.R.R. Tolkien, John Calvin, G.K. Chesterton, Rousas Rushdoony, William F. Buckley, Rene Girard, and John Piper. An exquisite blend of all these gentlemen, painstakingly balanced, is what gives my writing that winsome tartness.

Me: Some of your critics think that you have a hard time accepting criticism. What is your take on that?

Me: No, I don’t think that is true at all. The illusion is created because I don’t take criticism well if it is offered up by the inept or lazy, or if it based on sensibilities that have been molded and shaped by the cultural Marxists. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for the great sin of suffering fools gladly (2 Cor. 11:19). In the contemporary church, this is one of our great failings, one that requires the deepest repentance. We are so far gone we think it is a virtue. We blame and attack others for not joining us in the vice.

Me: But what about soliciting responsible criticism? In order to keep yourself “centered,” do you follow the common practice of regularly inviting critical input from those around you on how you are doing?

Me: No. This is a custom borrowed from corporate America, and is not grounded in Scripture at all. Of course if someone comes to you with a criticism, it is the duty of every Christian to listen to it thoughtfully and humbly (Prov. 9:8; 13:1; 27:5; Eccles. 7:5), and to not be defensive. But to create a process that flips this around, thus shielding and enthroning the timid, while simultaneously allowing them to get their point registered, is simply subsidizing process over persons. But why do we need to ensure that we get wisdom from the timid?

Me: You are talking as though timidity were this huge, glaring sin.

Me: Yes. It is. God has not given us a spirit of timidity (2 Tim. 1:7). When the Spirit is poured out in the book of Acts, the result is boldness. And because our evangelical leadership today is so stinking cautious, they are not in a position to accomplish the things they declare as most necessary. Women don’t need mild forms of feminism from the men, and milder forms than that from the Christian men. They need men who will love them, honor them, protect them, and provide for them. And don’t tell me that’s “old-fashioned.” That’s not old-fashioned — it is just plain old vanilla normal. But a timid man won’t love a woman if the spirit of the age tells him he isn’t allowed to.

Me: Why are you so rude to the notion of white privilege?

Me: Not because it is an imaginary concept. The idea of white privilege is the rudest, most privileged, and whitest idea to come down the pike in a long time. And to the extent that there is privilege, to take it and bury it in the ground in a napkin, to “check your privilege,” is to claim you serve a harsh master.

Me: Why do you think you are so detested in some quarters?

Me: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10).

Me: That’s it? God, Jesus, Bible?

Me: Anything wrong with God, Jesus, Bible?

Me: A critic might say that you always think you’re right. You leave no room for discussion, no room for the possibility that you might be wrong.

Me: It is true that I always think I’m right. But I don’t think I am always right.

Me: Come again?

Me: Thinking you are right is the same thing as thinking. Everyone does it. Stepping back and looking at the sum total of your thoughts, of course it would be folly not to see that you have been guilty of mistakes and errors. But while you are thinking at all, you are thinking you are right. So that is why I say I always think I am right, but I don’t think I am always right.

Me: But isn’t that arrogant?

Me: The curious thing is that out of all the people I have met who think so (and I have met a number of them), they think so. And they think they’re right. No one ever came to me in a spirit of rebuke, but with the prefatory proviso that they might be the arrogant one and I might be the innocent baaa lamb. Furthermore, I don’t ask them to. But I do find it curious that they ask me to. And so it is that I conclude, 9 times out of 10, that the goal is not to admonish and edify me, but rather to steer me.

Me: Steer you where?

Me: Back onto the reservation.

Me: Did you just say what I thought I heard you say?

Me: Yes, you did. And freedom of speech cannot be defended in the abstract.

Me: But surely Christians should voluntarily abstain from speech that some might find offensive . . .?

Me: And thus become the permanent prisoners of the Coalition of the Perpetually Offended? Never underestimate the ability of the sob sisters to sob.

Me: What would you like your epitaph to read?

Me: I would like my epitaph to say, “I was holding back.”

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bowers28
Member
bowers28

thank you

John F. Martin
Guest
John F. Martin

Greetings Pastor…thanks for this. I met another man in church yesterday down here in Twin Falls that has heard of you, so a road trip is seeming more possible. But no questions about your progeny? If I might compliment one of them…I just finished reading both the 100 Cupboards series and the Ashtown Burials. Told one of my sons that I’d trade readings…and both are much better than the Unwanteds that he recommended. There’s a speech by Niffy to Cyrus in Empire of Bones that warrants inclusion into an All-Star list of quotes. Thanks for pointing me to more authors,… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

This made me laugh, “Books are tools, not objects of veneration. I need to find stuff again, and so I mark my books up. ”

I do that too. The problem being, once I’ve marked it all up, I can never remember where I put the darn stuff.

adad0
Member

Hey Memi, I am pretty sure our host wrote this post in subliminal response to your nom de blog!????

Sounds like good blog cred to me!????

insanitybytes22
Member

LOL! Pastors can do that you know, engage in the subliminal response without even being aware of it. I have one here I’m quite fond of, I call him Edward Snowden. I’m not sure where he’s planted all the bugs at our house, but obviously he’s been spying on us. :)

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

About that day job (expositing & preaching the Word to the world) —
how does Word differ from Jesus?

adad0
Member

I doubt that there is a difference.

Jesus is The Word Made flesh. !

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

If there ain’t no difference ‘twixt Jesus & Word — then Scripture is NOT the Word, correct?

insanitybytes22
Member

He is the great I am. Omnipotence. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God gets to be several things all at once with a few paradoxes thrown in for good measure. I’m laughing here because I call such things, “watermelon ideas in pea brains.”

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

Tru ‘nuf — but don’t “Reformed” type folk specially tend to require Scripture as the only available vegetation that can get a brain to necessary God contact?

Example: Noah had to have had direct speech from (or record thereof) to get saved! — says they.

insanitybytes22
Member

I’m really not sure? The last truly “Reformed type folk” who seemed to hold that notion, suddenly decided he was a homosexual and ran off with another man. I haven’t seen him since.

john k
Guest
john k

It’s clear Noah would not have been saved without “direct speech” from God to build the ark (Gen. 6, 1 Pet. 3:20).

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

So John
By “saved” vis-a-vis Noah — are you talking about Noah’s temporary physical salvation over against drowning?

Or are you referencing how God “saw” Noah to be a righteous faithful believing fella (sans any reference to first hearing any word from or about God), and so He brought him & his safely through the flood?

So Noah’s faith preceded God’s warning, yes?

thee have I seen righteous before me

john k
Guest
john k

Does God give people direct speech about temporal deliverances, but leave them on their own to figure out knowing Him? The two blessings are not separate. Think of David, walking with God and being saved from earthly enemies. Noah received with his descent from the godly line of Seth the knowledge needed to be righteous, blameless, and a man who walked with God. He had the gospel promise of Satan’s head crushed, from Adam and Eve’s time. The Bible is not silent on these words Noah received from God. True, it doesn’t say how much more he may have gotten… Read more »

Larry Geiger
Guest
Larry Geiger

I have never made a mark in a book. My wife is a librarian and my elementary school librarian was very specific about how to take care of books. People often think that paper back books I give them have never been read. They’ve been read, it’s just that I’m the only one to have read them up until then. My wife brought me a book from the library a few weeks ago and there was a hole in one of the pages. How on earth did that happen? I probably don’t want to know.

TedR
Guest
TedR

Why don’t you? I am thankful for librarians but their one glaring sin is to teach whole generations not to mark in their books. I am only just unlearning this awful practice.

“Books are tools, not objects of veneration”

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

“mark my books” — is Kindle’s voice-recording notation a God send for you?

Scott Gregory
Guest
Scott Gregory

Thanks for the look inside – the man, the myth, the legend. You are a treasure to all of us …not just the Palouse!

prayersofadoration
Member

Which reminds me of a joke. A ninetyfive year old is asked at his birthday how he wants to die. He says “Shot by a jealous husband.”

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Would Nancy kindly provide the recipe for the lemon/chicken/pasta thing?!

JeremyP
Guest
JeremyP

Thanks Doug, Nice to have someone articulate how one should always think they are right whilst aware that they might not be. To not do so makes you unstable and like one that looks into a mirror and forgets what they look like. Thanks for articulating how this need not be arrogance.

Trey Mays
Member

Any media personalities looking to interview Doug Wilson should take their cues from Doug Wilson himself on how best to interview Doug Wilson. One of the best interviews I’ve ever seen by anyone.

bethyada
Member

It is true that I always think I’m right. But I don’t think I am always right. Exactly, most people think they are right, that is why they say what they do. TO argue for things that you think are untrue is just dishonest. The problem is that people say that when they disagree with you and just want you to think what they do. What they should say is, “Have you considered you may be wrong” (ie. the second sentence). The problem with them asking that question is that the answer may be, “Yes. And have you considered you… Read more »

adad0
Member

Or, the other version of the same thing:

Mr x: This problem is black and white.

Mr. z: I don’t think the issue is black and white at all. Anyone can see that this issue is a gray area.

Mr. x: Oh! So it’s black and white that the issue is not black and white! (?)
????

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Offtopic: Did I miss the post on “He descended into Hades”? I was looking forward to that one.

kyriosity
Member

We haven’t gotten there yet. Had an out of town guest preacher last week, and Doug’s out of town this week, so I’m guessing we’ll go to Hades next week. Wait…that doesn’t sound right… ????

James
Guest
James

“Thinking you are right is the same thing as thinking. … But while you are thinking at all, you are thinking you are right.” Seems like this is missing something, though? For every belief we hold, we also have a confidence interval in that belief. So I have maybe a 2% confidence that I understand the basic concepts of string theory, but a 99.99% confidence that I understand the basic concepts of the Gospel. So while it’s true that I think I’m equally right about those confidence numbers, the practical ways I use those two beliefs are very different… I… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Is this an opportunity to ask difficult questions? (Though I confess I have already asked a few.) What do you make of Dietrich Bonhoffer? Which liberal hobby horse (such as global warming) do you think may actually be true? Chicago or Austria? After Shakespeare (and the English Bible) who had the most influence on the English language? Who was William Shakespeare? What is your least favourite colour? Which sins (that obviously should be crimes) warrant the death penalty in a relatively Christian State? Who is your favourite of the 12 Disciples? Should cruelty to animals you own be a crime… Read more »

Jane
Member

Not meaning to sound harsh, but I always thought the “who really wrote Shakespeare” question was a boring and colossal waste of time. The answer is, “The guy who wrote all that stuff was the guy who wrote it. And he was a genius.” Who cares whether it was this guy with that actual name, or this other guy with this other actual name?

adad0
Member

Ginger or Maryanne?

bethyada
Member

?

adad0
Member

I keep forgetting you are still in the U.K. There was a 1960’s TV situation comedy called “Gilligan’s Island”, where Ginger was a Hollywood movie star and Maryanne was a farm girl with girl next door good looks! They were both attractive young ladies, hence the universal question:

“Ginger or Maryanne?”

Most guys would consider Ginger a very high maintenance gal!

Now we will have to see who I have “triggered”!????

bethyada
Member

Know of the sitcom, not the characters well.

I am outside the US but not UK

bethyada
Member

Maryanne

kyriosity
Member

adad0 Nancy. Duh.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

https://dougwils.com/s21-atheism-and-apologetics/on-mulberry-street.html May 6, 2007 in a passing illustration, Hitchens allows that the 17th Earl of Oxford was the true author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. The more of that kind of thing the better. Joe Sobran convinced me years ago. “It does not matter to me whether Homer was one person or many, or whether Shakespeare was a secret Catholic or a closet agnostic. I should not feel my own world destroyed if the greatest writer about love and tragedy and comedy and morals was finally revealed to have been the Earl of Oxford all along . . .”… Read more »

Jane
Member

The problem is that with all the evidence and tight argumentation in the world, you can’t really, ultimately, ever move it out of the realm of speculation. So while contemplating the idea that Shakespeare was Martin Marprelate could be very entertaining, where can you go with it, if it it’s actually no more than a speculation?

I feel the same about the authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews, for that matter.

bethyada
Member

Really? I assume you were not tempted to become a detective?

This type of thing fascinates me. Don’t have an opinion on Shakespeare. But I think Luke wrote Hebrews.

Jane
Member

I’m not saying the questions might not have any interest for anyone (though they don’t particularly interest me.) But if you cannot be sure enough about a conclusion to act upon it in any significant way, it really does escape me why people would be very invested in the answer. For example, if you decide that De Vere wrote Shakespeare, what do you do with that conclusion? IF you start building a whole bunch of literary criticism on it, publishing, writing articles, etc., it just seems odd to build something on a foundation that might be utterly and completely wrong,… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I think you can hold things speculatively without building a skyscraper.

But your assumption is: what if we are wrong? (fair enough). But the other question is: what if we are correct? If we are correct then we can gain greater knowledge.

Take, for instance, the dating of Revelation. It can’t be shown for certain, but it probably matters for exegesis (to an extent). Some things cannot be avoided.

CHer
Guest
CHer

Sorry to interrupt, but I must report that toxic masculinity and male privilege is alive and well in Texas. I thought Wonder Woman and female Army Rangers would do all of the flood rescuing:
https://www.lewrockwell.com/political-theatre/toxic-masculinity-texas/

Meanwhile, our Antifa heroes are attacking peaceful demonstrators:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/28/black-clad-antifa-attack-right-wing-demonstrators-in-berkeley/?utm_term=.19defcc69467

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

Marxists are long marching through muh institutions. That guy holding open the church door for them? Well, that’s the world’s best contemporary Christian author. Don’t Waste Your White Guilt.

mys
Guest
mys

Lol. Hey now, the good pastor loves living in the Twin Cities surrounded by Somalis. Just ask him.

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

He was all talk. He left.

Steven M Odom
Guest
Steven M Odom

I was holding back. Genius

cduncster
Member

A 3 minute 49 second sample of a high craft competence fellow in more than one genre, from Norway, Ole Borud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47qodS-FHmg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01qiEmrZTKw

Nathan Smith
Member

So this post is almost 2 weeks old and I’m posting a question… But if I don’t ask I don’t think it’ll be answered. Worth a shot?

Anyway, PG Wodehouse. Now, I enjoy Wodehouse. I find reading him a delightful experience, but I think I would hesitate to put him in my top ten. I’m not as well read as Pastor Wilson, but I do enjoy reading and continue to do so. I’m not sure who exactly would be in my top 10, not all of them anyway.

So why Wodehouse? What about him qualifies him for top ten status?

Nathan Smith
Member

Replying to my own comment, for any other who may stumble upon…

I found this:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/who-is-p-g-wodehouse-and-why-should-it-matter-to-us

Nathan Smith
Member

And there is episode # 10 of the plodcast podcast, found here at the time of writing this comment:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/plodcast/id1257949421?mt=2

SarahS
Guest
SarahS

Just when you think you’ve already SEEN the most narcissist thing ever.