When Writing Letters, Don’t Lose Your Head

Justice & Injustice

I recently read A Justice Primer in conjunction with a couple weeks of leading a study of biblical justice in a Bible study. One question that came up was from my wife, who is a victim of childhood sexual abuse. By their very nature, crimes of abuse are carried out in secret. How should the standard of multiple witnesses be upheld in the situation of a child or children bringing accusations of abuse against a person? How does one balance protecting children and the presumption of innocence?As an example, Larry Nassar had many accusers, but none of them to my knowledge had corroborating witnesses. Had he not confessed, would that be an instance where a criminal conviction would not be possible according to a biblical standard? Thank you for your writing and ministry. It has challenged my thinking on many points over the years. And thank you for your recent generosity during No Quarter November. I am stocked up on new books for awhile. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! Regards,

Didn’t Kipling write a poem about this?

Anthony

Anthony, merry Christmas to you also. You are correct. The presumption of innocence and the requirement of Dindependent confirmation of charges means that when injustice happens, it will be likelier that it will happen in the direction of the guilty going free. If we dispense with these standards, there will still be injustice, but it will be in the direction of the innocent being punished. Scripture teaches us that we should far prefer the former to the latter. But keep in mind that there will be a Day of Judgment,when absolutely every injustice will be rectified.

Associated with that Wilson Character:

As a regular reader and a public supporter, the flak I receive for being associated with you is expectantly for the “tone.” No surprise there. But second only to the “tone” is the post-millennialism. In my experience, this is especially true among ministers.

Brandon

Brandon, yes. Postmillennialism is the kind of doctrine that gets into everything.

Flattening Sins

I have a theory that came to mind after reading your post about flattening sins. I believe the Western church had an intuitive understanding that not all sins were equally the same. Some sins are so heinous they show that if someone walks in them without repentance, they show you aren’t regenerate. But this correct understanding eventually morphed into mortal and venial sin, which is itself incorrect. While I don’t have direct proof, does this sound plausible?

Geoff

Geoff, part of it sounds plausible. The mortal/venial distinction is partly common sense, and partly dependent on a particular view of merit and the afterlife.

Re: “The Sin of Flattening Sins” This is a bit of a tangential question, but it’s one I’ve been wondering about. You mention the sin of pedophilia at the end of your post. While obviously sexual contact with anybody outside of marriage is a sin, I’m wondering what the biblical basis for calling pedophilia a sin is. Does the Bible have a minimum age for marriage or dating/courtship? (I have never seen one, but I’m wondering if it’s one of those things phrased in a weird way.) Perhaps more relevant would be the question of marriage and teens. Culturally, a 20-year-old guy who has a15-year-old girlfriend would be considered a pedophile, regardless of whether that is accurate or not. And, legally, they not only couldn’t have sex (which would be a sin) but also, in many states and countries, could not marry. It’s the second part I’m trying to understand if there is a biblical basis for. Is there a biblical warrant for saying, for example, that a 15-year-old should not be able to marry a 25-year-old if the15-year-old wants to and their family is on board? In a nation ruled by biblical law, would there be a minimum age for marriage? How would that be determined? I realize, again, that that is a tangent, but I recently read Joel McDurmon’s The Bounds of Love, and I was surprised that he didn’t mention sex crime laws much at all, and issues of statutory sexual offenses not at all. I have been pondering whether there is a biblical basis for statutory sex offenses and whether the Bible gives warrant for setting a minimum age on marriage.

Lori

Lori, I am comfortable with the general range of our age of consent laws. And also happy with the requirement, state by state, to require parental permission within a certain range under that age of consent. That said, different cultures set different ages and then rear their children with those ages in mind. The Lord’s mother was probably in her mid-teens if she were typical for her time. So in an agrarian society it is quite possible that a couple of teens could be ready for adult responsibilities while in ours that same degree of responsibility would require a few additional years.

Merry Christmas, All You Reformed Types!

I would be curious as to your nutshell answer to an anti-Christmas Reformed type, that respects the other person’s conscience yet sets him straight on why his view is objectively errant. Assume that the person is arguing in good faith, not merely showing his badges, and honestly believes that Scripture disallows any observance of Christmas. From the above post, I gather that you don’t really think it is optional in the broad sense to hold some sort of observance of the season, or at least that not doing so is objectively inferior to doing so.

Jane

Jane, two things. In our church we have 54 called meetings of the church a year—on the 52 Lord’s Days, and on Good Friday and Christmas Eve. For those who have conscience issues over regulative principle issues,they are free to miss those last two. We think they are missing out, but we don’t bind their conscience over it. We don’t require anything that we can’t prove from Scripture is mandated. We think those two services are allowed, but not mandated.

Why do we think they are allowed? The Westminster Confession cites the establishment of Purim as a proof text for the calling of stipulated feasts or fasts, and that was an annual holiday. And the Lord went to Jerusalem for the festival of Hanukah. These were the two holidays of the Jews that were not required by the law of Moses.

Take Me Instead

It sounds like many don’t have a good grip on the difference between “responsibility,” “blame” and what “taking responsibility” looks like in your example couple. With regard to the financial debts of the wife: “She has disregarded her husband’s financial parameters over the years and run up their credit cards over 100K.” Wouldn’t all of the below be responsible actions by the husband? A. Close the credit card accounts? B. Pay off the debts, albeit at the expense of the entire family? (with a no future debt agreement) C. Ask the wife to go into personal bankruptcy? D. Family bankruptcy? This is all with the understanding that the wife was financially abusing the husband.

Jason

Jason, depending on the laws of the state you are in, yes to all.

Good article, thank you. But, methinks that the husband is responsible for all his wife’s actions with one exception: adultery. When a married woman joins herself with another man, she breaks covenant. In the same way that Christ is not responsible for the apostatizing of the apostate, the husband is not responsible for the woman’s act of covenant breaking. One sees this by implication in the husband head of wife/Christ head of church similitude (Eph. 5:23). For in this, Christ is head of church, which by definition does not include apostates. In the same manner, the husband is not the head of the now apostate (covenant breaking) adulterous woman, although he is responsible for all leading up to that moment. Thus, he is now free to divorce and remarry, if he so chooses (Matt. 19:9). For if he is responsible for her adultery, how can he be free to divorce her and remarry? Rather, if he is responsible for her adultery, then it seems that he must take the initiative to restore, and not dissolve, the relationship. What say ye?

Paul

Paul, some men virtually chase their wives into the arms of another man. Some men abdicate in such a way as to create a vacuum of leadership. Other men are simply wronged. I believe men in the first two categories should take responsibility for their own contributions to the crack-up, but you are right—even if the husband is being a lout, that doesn’t justify adultery.

Re: Take Me Instead This is the most constructive article I’ve read on husbandhood for a while. To anyone who contends this article doesn’t say enough, could I direct them to a book where you’ve written about masculine responsibly a bit more?

Kevin

Kevin, I would recommend Federal Husband, Reforming Marriage, Future Men, and Father Hunger.

As a married woman, this topic interests me very much. I’ve been reading Dalrock for a couple years, and I was raised in a home that prized your work. I have since come to prize it even more on my own. I was originally a bit distressed to discover that someone I was beginning to greatly respect(Dalrock) disagreed with someone I already greatly respected (you). However,after reading this post, I’ve forgotten where the disagreement was. Dalrock seems to have objected to your supposed ignoring of women’s sins and responsibilities. And before reading this post, I was beginning to agree. Now,post this post, it would appear that your position has grown. I wouldn’t really say it changed, but it doesn’t seem to be the same as it once was. So my question is: has there been any change in your views on this subject? Because,from what I can understand, this post is beautifully unobjectionable.

Grace

Grace, thanks for the kind words. I would have to say that there hasn’t been any change in my thinking on this topic for decades. I have written other things that, if taken in isolation, could lead someone to think I have been changing, but I really haven’t. I would file this appearance under “you can’t say everything every time.”

Thank you very much for this article, Pastor Wilson. I wonder what you say to the idea (that I thought I learned from you, actually) that Adam sinned by allowing the serpent into the garden—by not protecting his wife from the serpent? I like the cleanness and straightforwardness of what you argue here—that Adam was sinless while his wife was sinful. In a sense, this is the most straightforward reading of the text in my mind. But do you also think that Adam may have sinned prior to his wife by allowing the serpent into the garden? And if so, would that change your argument in this article at all?Thanks so much for the help!

Robert

Robert, I don’t think Adam handled the serpent the way he should have, but he didn’t fall until he ate the forbidden fruit. In other words, up to that point, everything was salvageable.

Re “Take Me Instead” What is the Dalrock route? You laid out a scenario but never actually specified what would you have the husband actually do. The Scripture does in fact give options. If she has cheated, he may divorce her. If she overspend, he may stop working to allow the consequences of her sin to engulf them all. If she is unruly, he may walk away from her emotionally or physically and “live on the rooftop” as Proverbs advises or leave her as the husband left the Shulamite for refusing him (Song5). What did Christ do with disobedient Churches? We can read it in the first few chapters of Revelation. Ephesus He removed, and Laodicea He vomited out. If the treatment of Christ for the Church is a picture of marriage then, is there not a time to remove or even vomit her out? All you wrote evades what to actually do when a wife will not submit chronically, defiantly and repeatedly. Wilson is better than many, butstill not biblical in refusing to correct the sin of a wife.

Jesus

Jesus, first I think I should frankly acknowledge that my practice of having letters signed with just a first name has come into tension with the common practice in Latin America to giving boys the first name of Jesus. Still,it makes replying awkward, especially in disagreement.

That said, some of what you say is right. If she has cheated, he may divorce her. If she won’t stop overspending, he can take measures to adjust their income. But we have to distinguish what a husband may do when a society backs a husband’s authority, and what he may do when it doesn’t.In the latter case, which is where we are, his practical options are limited,and he has to be creative. But before that, he needs to run a robust spiritual inventory to make sure he is not the problem.   

Take me instead Fascinating look at taking responsibility. I would be greatly blessed to hear how that same posture may be lived out in pastoral ministry. Thanks

Pat

Pat, yes. I want to develop something along those lines, but haven’t done it yet. Moses prayed that way for his people, and the apostle Paul did the same. I think there is something there.

Dear Pastor Wilson re: Take Me Instead. You wrote, “Do I then embrace patriarchy? Yes, I do. I accept that the Scriptures teach father-rule. But this is to be distinguished from a cheap knock-off, what might better be tagged as lunkhead-rule, about which more later.” I miss No Quarter November already.

Bill

Bill, thanks.

Novemberage

Three things. First, I am a frequent reader. Second, except for the free e-books at the end of each post, I couldn’t tell a difference between November’s posts and your normal blog posts. Now this is not a criticism, because I think that the other 11 months are already overflowing with plenty of no-holds-barred writing. There was never a need for you to be more direct in your writing, because that dial is already turned all the way up. So keep up the great work. Third, I think there’s another category of your readers, of which I am a group. I actively read, but as general practice, don’t share articles of any kind. It’s not that we’re scared of being shamed by your writings. It’s that we don’t see value in sharing articles on twitter or Facebook.

Roger

Roger, thank you. I can assure that there was a difference because it really was hard work keeping the qualifications out. I will grant that there are plenty of times throughout the year when I am on a toot, but almost always that post will have a paragraph crammed full of ameliorative balms.

The Couch Thing:

I watched the trailer several times, and showed it to friends, with hearty enjoyment. My big question is: How? How did you time the speech to the conflagration? Did you need an accelerant? Did you do several test burns? Did you estimate the rate of engulfment via combustion theory? Did you adjust the length of your speech on-the-fly, informed by the glow in your peripheral vision? Or, did you employ some post-production digital juju?Inquiring minds . . . Oh, I also enjoyed the articles. Hard to pick a favorite,but quite possibly “Against Justice.” The whole “Serious Person” thing reminds me of a saying I first heard attributed to Colonel John Boyd, fighter pilot and originator of Energy-Maneuverability theory used in analyzing fighter jet performance, as well as the famed OODA loop. He said, “You can be Somebody, or you can Do Something.” Just so.

Matt

Matt, here’s how the couch thing was done. First, I sat on the couch and talked for a bit, cameras fixed and rolling. Second, we soaked the other end of the couch with lighter fluid, which was pretty much worthless because of how safety conscious our national bureaucrats are. So there was a nearby fire pit, just a going, so they put a burning log under the other end of it. That got the fire crackling, and it got fairly close to me, but not as high as in the video. The third stage was after I departed from the couch, and they filmed it burning away. They then took footage from stage 3 and used to enhance what was going on with the other end of the couch in stages 1 and 2.

I am a teacher at a Christian school and have heard you speak at the Repairing the Ruins conferences the two times I have been privileged to attend. Your work with the Omnibus texts and Canon Press have been extremely influential and helpful in my classroom. However, I had never come across your blog before until a friend sent me the burning couch video advertising the No Quarter November posts, and I simply wanted to say thank you. They were refreshing to read and find someone who is not afraid to tell the truth in a world where truth has become a hated thing. On a side note, please encourage your son to write more books like Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl and Death by Living. They are two of my favorite reads.

Tyler

Tyler, thanks much.

Gah! Boom. Mic drop. I loved No Quarter November, and I thank you for your unvarnished generosity in both word and deed (those free books, tho). Please make this an annual event? Or just continue writing this way without the warning flags? Maybe you should publicly post to your blog whilst lying on your side for a year? Maybe that’s a little too far, but this was good stuff. Thanks,

Whitney

Whitney, thank you very much.

Merry Christmas! I just want to let you (Doug) know you are very appreciated. Your No Quarter posts have been deeply satisfying, edifying and have been the grounds for many a good strong scriptural conversation. Further,thank you for all the free books. That’s mighty generous of you. I hope you know—and with a lot of satisfaction—how much good you are doing with all the blog writing, books, media, sermons, conferences—all the mountains of godly output you provide. Though beyond repayment, I should owe you a few beers, and a handshake or two. If I ever get to stop into Moscow, I’ll make good on that if you allow it. The Lord be with you!

Tim

Tim, thanks very much.

I wanted to say thanks for all the free Kindle Books. My wife and I have been downloading furiously this week. We have shared quite a few laughs reading Flags Out Front,which got me thinking: have you ever considered writing some short stories? I am thinking in the vein of the “Father Brown” mysteries, but with your simple,down-to-earth Reformed Baptist pastor-type. Thanks for all that you do on the blog. Blessings,

Kyle

Kyle, thanks for the suggestion. But my short stories always seem to me to be kind of stiff, like a board left outside through a Wisconsin winter.

Thank you for all the free books in November. That was generous and my family and I are enjoying the gift. I’m a pastor too and in my own small way I have dealt with (and am dealing with) controversies. I have been truly helped by your example of grace, humour and back-bone in the face of opposition. My question is this, how much sleep do you get at night? It’s a serious question. I’ve done the math and I just don’t understand how you get done what you get done. I understand that we have all been given different levels of gifting and we’re accountable to God for that which has been entrusted to us. But seriously, any tips for us one-talent pastors. Thank you.

Jason

Jason, thanks for the question, but I am afraid that any tips I might have aren’t related to losing sleep. I usually get 7-8 hours.

Federal Vision Clarification

I hope you can help my troubled spirit. In your Dec. 4 Letters to the Editor, Nathan wrote “Sermons which warn of the dangers of hell for covenant children are hard to come by in my circles. We like to think that those Federal Vision people are in deep danger, but we need to remember not to just call Federal Vision people to believe in Christ but also ourselves.” To which you replied “Nathan, thanks and amen.” I have never taken sides in the Federal Vision controversy—I could never wade through all of the blog posts arguing for or against some position or another within Federal Vision. But I have found myself genuinely appreciating many of the (I guess you would say) “pro-FV”authors. I have enjoyed their insights and their love of Scripture. In all of this, though, I never thought that their teaching would earn them eternal damnation—or even the danger of it. I know you are an “amber ale” with regard to FV; should I avoid reading the “oatmeal stout?” I am not trying to be flippant, but are we generally concerned that there are those in the “pro-FV”camp who are leading other people into eternal damnation? The same could be said for the “O’Doul’s” authors, who only look to scripture for easy life lessons (best obtained from The Message Bible). The reason I write is that as a layperson, I am trying to do my best in being taught by other faithful Christians. I did not imagine that there was that much peril in “pro-FV” thought. Am I being led astray? It leaves me confused, especially as it seems that so many people I have respected seem to have been compromised by or have capitulated to the Spirit of the Present Age—pro and con FV. Hopefully you can clarify your response to Nathan.

David

David, sorry I didn’t make myself clear. I was not referring to FV advocates being damned for being FV advocates. I was talking about the relative efficacy of different pastoral strategies. Assuming that covenant children are saved come hell or high water leads to a spirit of complacency in those children—just as the assumption that all covenant children are just vipers in diapers leads to a crisis of assurance for many of them. There needs to be balance.

Envy and Economics

In your article “In Hell Where They Already Have It” on Nov 30, you said: “But whether or not you think it is politically feasible to address the problems with any form of economic redistribution(which is simple theft, fueled by envy), the envy is still there, doing its destructive work.” I agree with the main point that envy is often the fuel and it needs to be killed. I notice it in myself sometimes, and it has deeply infected much of the UK where I am from. BUT: Is all economic redistribution theft? I get that impression listening to evangelical Americans, and I am so glad you stated it baldly like that. But what about the land redistribution laws of Leviticus 25? If the law wasn’t in Scripture, I could just imagine an evangelical American condemning it, or like a Southern slaveowner who finds his slaves are about to be freed, yelling ‘Theft!’ (see same chapter of Leviticus). The underlying theology is that God owns each person, and he also owns the land. He owns the rest of the economy too. There is ownership but not absolute ownership: at very least certain kinds of accumulation are forbidden. Obviously these laws are a million miles away from the welfare state, but isn’t there some possibility of further application in the modern world? The Economist tells me that Americans used to care about this stuff too; they even used to encourage land redistribution around the world: https://www.economist.com/asia/2017/10/12/for-asia-the-path-to-prosperity-starts-with-land-reformCould it be that secular state socialism is winning because the church is not teaching the whole truth?

Andrew

Andrew, sorry, I don’t think so. First, it has to be remembered that the land laws were tied to the coming of the Messiah. But even with that recognized, the land laws for Israel were in fact an instance of hyper-private property. Apart from property in the cities, land could only be leased for a stipulated time, and never sold. The results were the opposite of redistributing.

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demosthenes1dJonathanThe Commenter Formerly Known As fpadad0Katecho Recent comment authors

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Robert
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Robert

Regarding allegations of sexual abuse and biblical Justice. How should a church respond if a leader is accused?the police have arrested him, but he is acquitted? Or the case is pending?

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I think that we can take the general principle of a leader having to be “above reproach” and apply it here. Those in the church who are tasked with making leadership decisions need to do their best to investigate, AND take the investigation of the civil authorities into account. If the church finds it likely that something wrong has been done, and the leader is unrepentant, then he should be relieved of his position regardless of the result of the civil process. If the church finds it likely that something wrong has been done, but the leader is repentant, then… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

“I think that we can take the general principle of a leader having to be “above reproach” and apply it here.”

This would be very persuasive if the apostle Paul hadn’t said exactly the opposite.

demosthenes1d
Member

Nathan,

Huh? What do you think 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1 mean?

Nathan James
Member

Jonathan suggested leaders must step down if they are accused in the absence of corroborating evidence or multiple witnesses. But note:

1Ti 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I said nothing of the sort. I said specifically that if he has the appearance of being beyond reproach then he can continue despite the allegations. I just said that there are circumstances where that would not be wise. An example that comes to mind would be the recent Catholic sex abuse scandals. Imagine a priest being accused of sexual conduct by a teenage girl, and there is no corroborating evidence that the priest did anything sexual with the girl, nor other witnesses. However, the priest knows that while he didn’t sin sexually, he had engaged in a relationship with… Read more »

Lindagist
Guest

I agree with your response to Robert’s question, but I am stressing this part of your response to be the ultimate: ‘ General principle of a leader to be above reproach’

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

In my mind there is a difference between “general principle” and “ultimate principle”.

I wasn’t saying that there is an “ultimate principle” that all leaders must resign under all allegations, just that there is a “general principle” of beyond reproach that could lead to resignation being a wise decision even when the leader is innocent of the specific misconduct.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

If the leader is accused, he should be judged by the biblical standards. To do anything other than that is to subject ourselves to some type of autonomous judgments, which would be disastrous.

But one thing to note is that physical evidence should be considered as part of the process. Too many folk are relying on simply eye witness evidence. The Bible clearly authorizes the use of physical evidence in criminal procedures. Exodus 22:11-13 specifically names physical evidence as a “witness.”

Ted Ryan
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Ted Ryan

I think an important point with regard to multiple witnesses to abuse is that fathers should be doing far more protecting than they do. What the average American Dad allows with regard to unregulated time their daughters spend alone, with males not closely related to them, is a contributing factor in case of abuse. This is one reason I am thankful for women doctors for my wife and daughters.

Robert
Guest
Robert

The average American dad isn’t even living in the same house as their kids, at least not a full time basis. This does diverge from the initial question. Maybe a follow up question should be, have the Churces of Mablog readers had to deal with this? What did your church do?

Armin
Guest
Armin

Your statement about “American dads” is too generalized. If you were referring to “dads” of color, you would be correct: 77% of black children are born to unwed mothers vs. 30% of whites.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/77-black-births-to-single-moms-49-for-hispanic-immigrants

lndighost
Member

In Armin’s rush to make this about race, he hasn’t noticed that ‘average American dads not living in the same house as their children full-time’ would refer not only to unwed fathers (to coin a phrase) but also to fathers who have abandoned their wives and children, been abandoned themselves, or been forcibly ejected from the family home.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was a little weirded out by that. What exactly was fruitful in making that about race? Which reader was going to be better off from having read that? It’s similar to my questions about the source of the data, the Center for Immigration Studies. When an organization that’s supposed to be about immigration investigates and promotes a race-based statistic that has nothing whatsoever to do with immigration, you begin to wonder what they’re really about. Then you see that they’re another John Tanton-founded group, though they’ve insisted repeatedly that they’re not a hate group, for what is worth. So… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

I think we can all agree that the black family is in terrible shape, a 70%+ out of wedlock is abominable. But white folks arent immune to this trend. according to the cdc in 1965-69 8.8% of white women’s first births were out of wedlock, in 1990-1994 it was 32.4% (about the same as black folks in the early 50s). The white family is a few years behind – but is a mess. Another interesting thing in the data is that up through the 1970s over 60% of (white) premarital conceptions resulted in a shotgun wedding. It was only 28.5%… Read more »

Johnny Simmons
Member

Re: Christmas. Read Gregory’s epistle to Melitus. It’s a good argument.

John Callaghan
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John Callaghan

Here’s a link to the letter, from Bede’s invaluable “Ecclesiastical History of England” (731 AD). When the letter was written, England was being re-evangelized after it had been conquered by the pagan Angles and Saxons.

A copy of the letter which Pope Gregory sent to the Abbot Mellitus, then going into Britain. [601 A.D.]

Barnabas
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Barnabas

I thought it was very strange that your vision for the federal headship of the husband is totally passive. Job frets over the potential sins of his rowdy progeny like any grandmother. Even though you say that there is more to what you are calling for than taking the blame, you keep coming back to taking the blame. In any authority relationship, the one in authority actually effects the behavior of the one under authority through carrots and sticks. You have presented a passive patriarch who shlould just try to make sure his behavior is the best it can be… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Barnabas wrote: Job frets over the potential sins of his rowdy progeny like any grandmother. Barnabas is suggesting that Job was unrighteous or feminized in some way, yet Scripture gives Job’s intercession on behalf of his sons as an example of Job’s blameless and upright character before God (Job 1:1-5). In other words, Barnabas is setting himself up as an accuser of Job whereas Scripture is defending Job on precisely this act of intercession. To add further irony, Barnabas is still trying to ridicule and misrepresent a pastor who is actually speaking out more than almost any other on the… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I went down the rabbit hole of specific examples of what a husband can do to enforce his authority in the home on Dalrock’s blog comments several months back and the peanut gallery there lambasted me claiming my advice would get a husband thrown jail for breaching the Duluth standards. In many cases, they were correct that I breached those ridiculous standards, but the point here is that many on Dalorock’s blog contradict themselves in this point. Wilson is cucked, because he won’t suggest physical discipline as appropriate to the husband’s role, yet if someone (pastors don’t do well in… Read more »

Jane
Member

That’s the point — scream that the only way to do anything is illegal, so that you don’t actually have to be responsible, you just get to complain and then decide that if God knew how hard it would be to be proper husband in 2018, He wouldn’t expect it of anybody.

They don’t want an answer that works, they just want to be able to defend their stance that Christian marriage is unworkable in modern society and therefore they shouldn’t be expected to try.

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

Precisamente.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Getting into what some commenters say over at Dalrock is changing the uncomfortable subject from what Doug Wilson says here. Either a husband has means to control his wife’s behavior and thus responsibility for her behavior or he has no such responsibility. Five pages of seat of the pants mysticism and word salad doesn’t change that simple fact. The funny thing is that Wilson thinks the State has a monopoly (rightly or wrongly, he’s shifty on this) over coercion of a woman’s actions but he also thinks that the State is powerless to punish a woman for aborting her own… Read more »

Katecho
Member

First, everyone should take note that Barnabas completely ignored my challenge for him to present his top five examples of how a husband can actively wield authority over a disobedient wife. That silence speaks volumes. Barnabas wrote: Getting into what some commenters say over at Dalrock is changing the uncomfortable subject from what Doug Wilson says here. False. Dalrock and Wilson have addressed the same subject, which is why another commenter was able to notice the contrast between them. Barnabas wrote: Either a husband has means to control his wife’s behavior and thus responsibility for her behavior or he has… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

You were correct. Authority that abides by Duluth standards is no authority at all and yes that means that if you marry and live by biblical standards you do it opposition State (and the church). Better to work through that explicitly rather than retreat into the “aroma of godliness” or other nonsense.
It’s also completely understandable if some men chose not to put themselves in that bind.

Katecho
Member

Barnabas wrote: You’ve invented a system to allow you to hammer men for the sins of women because hammering men will bring accolades rather than persecution. This is nonsense. Wilson is simply soaked enough in God’s Word to know, and preach, where Scripture lays the dominant weight of covenant responsibility. In case Barnabas is not aware, Scripture lays it on husbands and fathers and those in authority. Christ was “hammered” for the sins of His woman, for example. Unless Barnabas wants to extend this pathetic accusation against Scripture itself, then he should probably lay off of Wilson. This insistence on… Read more »

adad0
Member

B’, Jesus took “responsibility”, by making water into wine, calming storms, making food for 5000,annnnnnnd, by washing stinky feet. Godly responsibility can be far broader than you think it can be.
Dude.

demosthenes1d
Member

I would have to be convinced of this: “But even with that recognized, the land laws for Israel were in fact an instance of hyper-private property.” Property that you cannot dispose of as you see fit is not “hyper-private.” It isn’t “socialist” either, but we really don’t need to read our economic squabbles back on to the text. The land laws are “redistribution” simpliciter because the land was meant to be taken from its current occupants/owners and distubuted to a status quo ante. Also, I don’t think you can wave the land laws away by saying they are “tied to… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

This is exactly right. Jubilee was an explicit subversion of individual property rights for a common good purpose, the exact thing that Doug Wilson says is always wrong everywhere.

adad0
Member

Matt, I think you just won the “junior Adam Schiff” award for your comment!????
God ordained jubilee years for His glory.

Do you really think that our host objects to what God has ordained?

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Matt is nothing if not full of Schiff.

Katecho
Member

demosthenese1d wrote: Also, I don’t think you can wave the land laws away by saying they are “tied to the coming of the Messiah.” The fact that Christ’s advent was a greater Jubilee, the anti-type of the Jubilee, makes the Jubilee more precious and desireable, not less. Christ is also the greater High Priest, the anti-type of the Levitical priesthood, but that doesn’t make it more desirable to return to a tribal priesthood. So I don’t think it follows that we should seek a return to a tribal division and apportionment of land. The model we are given now is… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho,

Of course Christ’s advent changes things, but we don’t jettison the underlying reality. Christ came as the anti-type, the fulfillment of the Levitical priesthood. But the underlying concerns of intercession/mediation, atonement, purification, etc. are ongoing. The same is true of the Jubilee. I don’t have a particular policy program that I believe would be consistent with a focus on Jubilee, but it is something that pastors and theologians (and laymen) should be considering.

Jubilee may pull against our committments to the liberal economic order at points.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course, I’m quite on your and Matt’s side in this one, especially with the way God frames the decision, “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants.” That doesn’t sound hyper-private at all. Beyond the Jubilee and inability to sell the land, the Israelites were also required to give the land rest every 7 years, to allow the poor of the community and even wild animals to eat whatever grew naturally on the land during the fallow year, to refrain from harvesting the edges of their… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

The Law set up quite a lot of economic institutions that are at odds with a formalist view that economic activities are based on rational (self-interested) choice and value maximization. I think we need a better accounting of human flourishing and a substantivist reading of economic institutions (to use formalism vs. substantivism in wildly anachronistic fashion). As I said before, I don’t have a good plan for what a Jubilee economic order would look like; but I’m sure it would make those who accept the neoliberal concensus (whether Reagan/Thatcher, or Obama/Macron) squirm. I think we should give Georgism a serious… Read more »