Why Do It Then?

Sharing Options

The other evening our elders had a special meeting with our parishioners to go over some of the details of the recent controversies. The meeting was fantastic, but my point is not to get into all that. Rather I wanted to simply to respond more fully to one of the questions, one that went something like this: “Are you aware of the difference between you on the blog and you in person?”

The implication of the question is that my blog persona is more combative (in the minds of some), and that my in-person persona is jollier. I think it is an astute question, and I actually agree that such a difference is noticeable, and is not at all imaginary. And after acknowledging that some folks are not too keen on me in person either, I went on to explain how I think this is a feature, not a bug.
Mulling over this a few days after, I would like to add some additional comments.

When smiling, and drawn by a friend, and run through a watercolor filter, I clean up real nice.
When smiling, and drawn by a friend, and then run through a watercolor filter, I clean up real nice.

The rules for person-to-person communication are very different than the rules for mass communication. The same person, doing the same thing, comes off in a completely different way in a personal conversation, in a Bible study with twenty people in attendance, in preaching to a congregation of 200, in preaching to a congregation of 1,000, in preaching to a nameless audience on YouTube, while posting a blog, and in writing a book.

In order to achieve the same effect in these different settings you have to do completely different things. And I ought not to say “same effect,” but rather a “similar, approximate effect.” The goal should always be to communicate, not miscommunicate, and to do so effectively with the majority of whatever audience it may be. If someone ever gets to the position where shutting up would advance his cause greatly, then he should shut up.

Now it happens that the more people you are addressing, the greater the number of those who “don’t get it.” You could say something in a room to twenty people, and all twenty get it, and then communicate the same truth to 20,000 people in a blog post, and the number of people who radically misunderstand the point you are making — 200, say — is ten times greater than the number of people in the room who first understood you. Well, why do it then?

You do it because of the ratios. You do it for the sake of the opportunity to get something across to the 19,800 people. Out of the 200, 20 are trolls and we need not worry about them. They have dedicated their lives to misunderstanding things, and we frankly cannot keep up anymore. But what about the 180 who could have understood you, and who would have understood you had you been able to speak to them face-to-face? Isn’t that unfortunate? Yes, it really is unfortunate. But while I hate to sound callused about it — and if you were here in person you could see that I hate to sound callused about it — it remains a necessary part of the cost of doing business.

When this kind of issue arises, one of our first reactions should be to ask if this kind of problem is one that the Bible addresses. Are we given our priorities in this kind of decision? And the answer is yes, we are. There are numerous examples, but I will just cite two.

“I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Gal. 4:20).

Paul acknowledges that if he were present with the Galatians, he could do a better job clearing up misunderstandings. He knows that. But that doesn’t prevent him from writing Galatians. The epistle cannot get down into the corners the way a personal visit could. But it can do some important things, and that is why he wrote it.

“That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” (2 Cor. 10:9–10).

In the case of the Corinthians, the comparison between Paul in print and Paul in person was disparaging to Paul in person. His letters were impressive, but his personal charisma not so much.

Paul knows all about how letters and visits, mutatis mutandis, need to be evened out. Sometimes the “evening out” is done by the spoken word and sometimes by the written. But in either case, he knows that the Paul in both instances is the same man, with the same goals, driving toward the same end.

“Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present” (2 Cor. 10:11).

The necessary consistency is to be found, therefore, in character and mission, and never in technique. Would Paul have used Instagram? Not an easy question to answer, although I think he probably would have. But if he had used that tool, he would done very different things, but as the same man. Semper constans, numquam praedici. Always consistent, never predictable.

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Susan Gail
Susan Gail
5 years ago

I have noticed the difference, and as such your blog posts are easier to stomach than before we met and talked and I saw you interact with your flock.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Gail

Ooff. Just to be clear, you mean that as an insult, right?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

I don’t believe so. If you read Susan’s other comments, they are pretty favorable toward Doug.

Susan Gail
Susan Gail
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Quite the opposite.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Gail

Awesome–glad I asked.

Reality
Reality
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan Gail

I would also comment that most of the other blogs have changed also. I think wisdom went out the door for a lot of them. They solicit monies, yet do not feed, clothe or educate the living; failing stewardship. Then they harass, intimidate, threaten and breach the absolute Civil Rights to Freedom of Speech and Religion that belongs to others; with resources created from solicited funds. More importantly, they squelch the Spirit and hate the BIBLE or anyone that posts scripture; to promote their individual ideologies, that they attempt to impersonate Religion. This is all detailed as warnings in the… Read more »

Evan
Evan
5 years ago

“If someone ever gets to the position where shutting up would advance his cause greatly, then he should shut up.”

I resemble that remark unfortunately. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
5 years ago

Paul also wrote Ephesians 4:29, which of course applies to all three.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago

This is helpful, but I would appreciate a little more detail on how and why you choose specific words in your writings, but refrain from using them in person. Calling homosexuals “poofters” in books etc., but refraining in person seems odd to me still. I saw you address this on a video, but did not quite get it.

Ian Miller
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

That is an interesting point.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

It also works in reverse. Many Reformed Calvinist types believe that the number of Jews who died in concentration camps has been greatly exaggerated. By a factor of 20-30. Yet, for some reason, that never comes up in the blog or in the comments on the blog, even though, statistically speaking, since so many Calvinists are holocaust skeptics, and the readership of this blog is predominantly Calvinist, a large percentage of the readers and commenters are surely among those who deny that Hitler killed six million Jews. They’ll talk about this in person, one on one, but they won’t mention… Read more »

Mackenzie
Mackenzie
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I find this interesting too. Could you clarify your use of the word many? I have been a reformed Calvinist for over 20 years surrounded by a wide range of people who share that faith and this is the first time I’ve heard that ‘many’ of us are holocaust skeptics. It was certainly not taught me by my parents, teachers at my Christian school, or church leaders. Nor have I ever been in any conversation where it was even hinted at. I’m interested to know where your claim comes from.

Rick Davis
Rick Davis
5 years ago
Reply to  Mackenzie

Yeah, same here. Long time Calvinist. In a Calvinistic church. Never met a holocaust denier/skeptic in my entire life.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Mackenzie

Thirty years here, and ditto.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Conserbatives_conserve_little
5 years ago
Reply to  Mackenzie

The problem with the 6million Jew argument is that it dismisses all of the other people who were killed in the Camps. 3 million Poles around a million Gypsies etc. the number killed is closer to 14 million. We only count the Jews because they were the largest group.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

True, but making that point is not what StoneCranium is talking about.

Duells Quimby
Duells Quimby
5 years ago

And don’t forget the 20 Million that died in Russia. Truly the forgotten ones if there ever were some.

John Minter
John Minter
5 years ago
Reply to  Mackenzie

35 years here, and I have never met one either…

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

“…statistically speaking, since so many Calvinists are holocaust skeptics…”

Please publish the supporting data for this assertion.

Kelly M. Haggar
Kelly M. Haggar
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Include this Methodist in on the request for source material as well. In fact, but for David Duke 40 years ago in college, I have never personally heard an anti-Semetic rant.

Kevin Bratcher
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

You make the craziest generalizations. I’ve decided that you must be a comedian, and so I don’t have to take your words seriously.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

That’s an extremely odd reply if you believe in the holocaust of six million Jews. Kind of a non-denial that sounds good, but actually doesn’t say a thing. Why would you bring up something you believe in order to contradict it? And where did I accuse you of doing anything like that? And who said you publicly claim you believe something which you deny believing? I certainly didn’t. I said I suspect you mentally roll your eyes at much of the holocaust stuff, but you don’t talk about it publicly. I never said you believe in the holocaust but bring… Read more »

Duells Quimby
Duells Quimby
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

This is where someone needs to step in and ask if you are off your meds… Are you serious? You’re so silly thinking this is a thing.

I might as well as if you still beat your wife/girlfriend/kick your dog/punch walls/kick the side of your car over and over after a bad day… There are any number of good beers that can remedy this situation.

katie
katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I know, right!? They never mention all that puppy-eating they do either, and everyone knows that 11/16ths of all Calvinists do it. Statistically speaking.

Jim Hale
Jim Hale
5 years ago
Reply to  katie

Oh…did you HAVE to bring up the puppies? I didn’t get lunch today and now my stomach is growling. Have some compassion!

jigawatt
jigawatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Many Reformed Calvinist types believe that the number of Jews who died in concentration camps has been greatly exaggerated. By a factor of 20-30.

Your assesment has been greatly exaggerated. By a factor of 20-30 at least.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Reformed Calvinist here…Can’t deny the Holocaust…

But the moon landings, Elvis’ death, Obama’s birth cert…none of that is real.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

But ‘restlin’ is real! (right?) ; – )

jesuguru
jesuguru
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

You forgot Area 51 and JFK (and their possible relationship).

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  jesuguru

JFK wasn’t real?

ArwenB
ArwenB
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Of course not. The concept of JFK was invented and spread by the lizard people, for what reason, we know not.

jesuguru
jesuguru
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Right, thanks for playing.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Silly Stoney, you are lying again, and you continue to prove yourself the oppisite of this post.

Jesus: Always consistent, never predictable.

Stoney: Never consistent, always predictable.

Stoney, you also prove out one of the other significant points of the post:

“If someone ever gets to the position where shutting up would advance his cause greatly, then he should shut up.”

You would advance your cause greatly by being silent.
I added another line to my goad / blessing poem for you! Here goes:

Stone mind.
Stone heart.
Stone kirk.
Stone jerk.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Calvinists, you sneaky rascals! Had me hoodwinked, what with your never mentioning what your really believe in any of your blog comments. What else are withholding?

Krychek_2
Krychek_2
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I’m not a Calvinist but I was raised Calvinist, and I don’t recall ever hearing anyone deny the Holocaust. On one or two rare occasions I heard someone say the Jews deserved it because of what they did to Jesus, but I doubt most Calvinists would agree with that either.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

OK, now even I am going to call you a troll. American Christianity including Calvinism no longer have ANY taboos as strong as that against skepticism about the holocaust.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

OK, then. Turnabout’s fair play, so now I’m going to call you a holocaust denier.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

McDivit/Shazbot, is that you?

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Uh, no. Is that your long lost imaginary friend from childhood? Why does he have two names? Did he have to go in the Witness Protection Program?

Kelly M. Haggar
Kelly M. Haggar
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

For some reason he changed his name to Reverend Shaz-something-bat. Left his avatar the same. Pastor Doug threw several people off the board a month or so ago, and McD/Rev Shaz was one.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Stoney boo boo, you forgot about the puppies!
In addition to denying all kinds of things, isn’t Barney also mean to puppies?

Stoney, for a guy who did not have much game in the first place,
being off your game….well…let’s just hope it gets you closer to stopping your game.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I imagine you are basing this speculation on the writings of Rushdoony and Gary North, his son-in-law. Yes, they unfortunately engaged in some forms of holocaust denial, largely by saying that the numbers were grossly overstated. What makes you think that these poisonous points of view were warmly received by other Calvinists? Professor Trueman of the Westminster Theological Seminary said about Rushdoony’s holocaust writings: “His sources are atrocious, secondhand, and unverified; that he held this position speaks volumes about this appalling incompetence as a historian, and one can only speculate as to why he held the position from a moral… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

The topic makes for a nice illustration that Christians have not abandoned enforcing morality through social shaming and ostracism through any advancement in theological understanding. What they have done is respond to social programming defining what transgressions may or may not be policed in this way. A topic such as this which may not be discussed has pretty strong religious implications. If I told a Christian that I don’t believe that Jesus was the son of God it would kick off an hour long discussion where he attempted to present all the evidence. If I said that I didn’t believe… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

You’ve nicely demonstrated that we don’t react viscerally over enough things. I hope you don’t think that this in itself indicates that we react viscerally over the wrong things, though.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I can just imagine Jesus walking around viscerally shocked every 5 minutes covering the ears of the disciples…

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Is that sarcasm? To be viscerally shocked does not imply a panicked, avoidant response. However, some things should shock us to the core (viscera), if we understand the real nature of evil.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Well I guess it gets real semantic here, but “shock” is closer to panicked to me than decisive and calculated. Shocked seems more like react instead of act.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Well, then it’s semantics. And why should we not react? We should not react in an uncontrolled fashion, but when confronted with that which is an affront to God, we needn’t be Vulcans about it. We can (and should) be revolted by that which revolts God. Doesn’t mean we have to fly off the handle, but we should “feel” disgust at that which is objectively disgusting, like sin and unbelief (whether in ourselves or others.)

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

it is still confusing to me. I don’t see Jesus getting revolted at sinners in His demeanor. He did get angry at the leaders and in the temple. But it did not seem like he was revolted at the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the tax collectors, etc. Sinners need to know that there is hope in Jesus, who graciously took their sin on Himself. The world is already condemned. It seems like hypocrites in the church is where most of Christ’s revolt is aimed at.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I kinda sorta think Barnabas thinks that people who think Hitler killed six million Jews aren’t very good thinkers at all, and just repeat what they’ve been told all their lives. I may be wrong, but that’s the impression I’m getting.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I’m pretty sure that’s you, Shazbott. Welcome back. To even discuss this topic is to invite the most extreme public moral sanction. Don’t you think Doug Wilson has seen enough of that as late? I haven’t studied the holocaust since I was an apple cheeked lad that believed everything he read. The 6 million number may be completely accurate but as a wiser more cynical person I understand that its the history of a hated enemy compiled by parties that were not exactly disinterested. I would be surprised if there weren’t inaccuracies. I find its status in the current secular… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I do take some grim pleasure in seeing you troll these people into revealing that they serve two masters but I have some sense of loyalty and protectiveness towards Doug Wilson so I always suspect your motives towards him.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Not sure who you think I am, but it seems to me you’re clearly implying that of course Wilson doesn’t believe in the holocaust, he’s way too smart for that, for for cryin’ out loud don’t force him to either admit it publicly, or lie about it. Am I reading you right?

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

I’m not going to bother walking back your BS.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Who are the two masters they serve?

katie
katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

But if you told a Christian that *he* didn’t believe Jesus was the son of God, we would laugh at you.

Stone Kirk
Stone Kirk
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Sounds like you don’t believe Hitler killed anywhere near six million Jews, Barnabas.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Let me say first that I have absolutely no doubt that Hitler killed six million Jews, as well as millions of other people. The problem with simply questioning the number, as a calm historical exercise, is that it puts one in the company of some raging anti-Semites. Rushdoony said the Jews exaggerate the numbers to libel the German people. Others have said the purpose is to blackmail the Germans into paying reparations. Others have said that Jews just can’t help playing the victim. These views are simply detestable. The Christian in your example will cross himself and pull his children… Read more »

Tim Paul
Tim Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Provocateur.

That be your clan.

But if the MSM reported it…

Bugs
Bugs
5 years ago
Reply to  Stone Kirk

Only folks I have heard of making that claim were neo-nazi or radical Muslim types. Like the others here, I can’t see that your comment is anything better than incendiary.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Just guessing here but how often do you engage in polemics in person? It’s a mode of discourse unsuited to face to face interaction unless both disputants enjoy it. A reader can always close the book if he’s getting his feelings hurt.

Evan
Evan
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

“Just guessing here but how often do you engage in polemics in person?”

My wife and I do it all the time. I don’t think we enjoy it though.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Evan

Heh. I feel you.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

You really shouldn’t be feeling him…just sayin’. ;-)

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Cute. You touch (heh) an interesting subject, about which more here.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Actually, I engage often with the dudes that I work with. Most of them are not Christians. In my industry I know a few transgender folks and a number of homosexuals. If my greatest desire is for them to know Jesus, I think I would damage opportunity by slurring them, Especially if I had a blog or book that they were aware about where I used different language. That said, I would hopefully be clear about my Christianity in relational dialogue.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Part of this is the nature of addressing a public debate. In person you are often addressing the person as well as truth. In public you are talking as much to those who listen. A discussion with a man who happens to be gay is not the same situation as addressing a gay pride parade. Because they are trying to drive the public narrative towards wickedness, helping those who are not part of the public square battles but who may be influenced by them is imperative. For that it may be useful to mock the mockers. It is good for… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

This is a really good point. For example, I have no desire to attack an individual and make anything personal. I do not run around trying to shame gay people. On the other hand, I cannot remain silent when confronting an entire political movement. The narrative is entirely different. A political movement has genuine power, whereas an individual should be handled with some empathy.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

An individual who has assumed an identity as a homosexual is probably a hardened target to apply shaming. The proper process would be for parents to teach children that homosexuality is shameful. Those producing culture, clergy, government officials should teach the same to society. Pretty much the opposite of what we are doing now.

Laura
Laura
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

The gay folks I know are pretty much the opposite of what you describe. They didn’t choose their orientation. If shaming worked at all they’d know it. They’re beaten down by it. If they seem hardened, it’s because they’ve had to get that way, to go on living. If a homosexual person ever trusts you enough to open his heart to you, you’ll see it.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  Laura

One may have same sex attraction or even engage in homosexual sexual activity without adopting a gay identity which is a cultural artifact of our place and time. I do have at least one “gay” friend. I don’t go out of my way to offend him (see my statement above) but I also don’t do him the eternal disservice of signaling my approval of his lifestyle.

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

“I also don’t do him the eternal disservice of signaling my approval of his lifestyle.”

It’s seems to me that our approval or disapproval should be completely irrelevant. We are seeking God’s approval.

Tim Mullet
Tim Mullet
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Romans 1:32

ME
ME
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I disagree about using shame as a weapon because shaming has caused so much rebellion in the world. Christ went to the cross for us, despising the shame on our behalf. If we wish to heal a broken world, we need to teach the message of the cross, which is salvation, redemption, forgiveness. That is a far more powerful tool then attempting to shame people into compliance.

Barnabas
Barnabas
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

Shall we continue to sin that Grace may abound?

Laura
Laura
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

If shaming doesn’t work, but you intend to do it anyhow, is the shaming about them or about you?

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Well Barnabas (In concurrence with your apparent position), it almost seems as if God has nothing to say about these things ;) “For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” So, they knew it, and as God says in Romans, they know it. By appealing to their own knowledge, he reminds them that this was no doubtful matter. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Some translations use… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Epic. Thanks. Above, bethyada wrote: We see this in Scripture in several occasions. Elijah mocked the the Baal worshipers. Jesus shamed the Pharisees. Paul told the Judaisers to emasculate themselves. Wisdom mocks those who don’t listen to her. So I think one should be careful about mocking. One must be certain he is on the side of truth, it is usually directed against mockers, and one must be careful about his own soul. It seems you have hit on the principle behind the careful bethyada wrote. What about this for a restatement of that principle: “Mockery should be edifying” or… Read more »

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

I still like the understanding that there are different tactics for dealing with different situations; are you speaking to a refugee fleeing from sin, or from a rebellious mocking practitioner and/or their cheerleaders (“…they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.) If you say that you love sheep, you have to willing to hate wolves. In a lot of the pushback, it seems to be a regular practice to use sentiment and personal experience instead of scripture (as in the whole Word of God, not just an out-of-context verse) to determine the proper doctrinal response.… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  RFB

If you have time, could you expound on your John 10:33-35 statement? I make neither heads nor tails of what is being said.

I am dog tired now and the commentaries at biblehub are not clicking with me.

I will be back tomorrow, gotta sleep.

cheers,

RFB
RFB
5 years ago
Reply to  timothy

do you have an offline contact email

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  ME

If we wish to heal a broken world, we need to teach the message of the cross, which is salvation, redemption, forgiveness.

Death and Resurrection are in that message too. asking “Death to what? ” has profound implications for our sexual (and spiritual) orientation and our sense of shame.

The Gospel is far more profound then the ‘make-nice’ pieties of these days.

Steve H
Steve H
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I’d like to see a theology that supports mocking. From my readings, the scripture speaks about mocking and scoffing in perjorative terms. I do this all the time, however. Course jesting about someone’s sin, name calling and the like. This seems to build me up, but my own sin should humble me. My sin and the sin of those around me is sad and crippling. Not sure how mocking helps.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

Steve, you are right that we should be very cautious about mocking. Mockery often the domain of the sinner as we see in Psalm 1. However, mockery is primarily despised by God because of the overt evil; the wicked are not only wrong, they are laughing at the righteous and trying to shame them for their obedience to God. Because of this it seems that God is willing to punish them in the method that they are trying to shame others. If the wicked are willing to shame the righteous for their righteousness, how much more is God willing to… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

I am not certain that satire is the same as mockery, though related. Doug gives good advice for those who would engage in satire, so they do it right, but also for their own protection. It is in one of his books, though he may have posted the chapter on his blog.

eli
eli
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

The creator of Lutheran Satire has a good lecture about the proper use of satire vs. mocking here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrnb7PUmOyM

Tom©
Tom©
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve H

I think I saw the same explanation. Was it the analogy of driving 60 mph on the freeway vs. driving 60 mph on the sidewalk?

bethyada
5 years ago

My pastor says one of the hardest things in preaching to a group is to get to the right people: admonish those who need it and encourage those who are progressing. Sometimes the sensitive folk hear the admonishment and try to double down their efforts, and those needing to repent come away feeling encouraged.

bethyada
5 years ago

One thing you haven’t addressed is that sometimes it is good to be a little ambiguous. This can reveal hearts. It allows the righteous to learn while letting wicked assume the worse. The fact that they cannot understand but think that they can, and therefore accuse wrongly, can be seen by others. It is a way to allow the hypocrites to out themselves.

Jeanette
Jeanette
5 years ago

Since leaving Moscow, and living in Texas and Virginia,some people sometimes ask how we can support, endorse, enjoy you.and what you write. “I’m sure he means well, but he has such an edge!” At first, I explained that of all the pastors in our life, you are, bar none, the kindest shepherd we ever encountered. We grew and continue to grow stronger in doctrine every year we listen to your sermons or read your books. Our children have been blessed by interacting with you and we will love you forever because you are not the man people who don’t know… Read more »

ME
ME
5 years ago

I tend to cut people a lot of slack on the internet…..up to a point. When they start slinging poo and hyperbole and it’s not a one time anxiety attack, my willingness to try to empathize with what they’re attempting to say expires pretty quickly. Love is a challenging thing to try and pick up on when someone is writing. Generally we rely on tone, facial expressions, intent. You can say something people don’t want to hear, but if you’re saying it with kindness and love behind it, it softens the tone and makes people more willing to listen. When… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago

I tend to read letters, blogs, emails, etc. by imagining the writer’s voice and tonal inflections in my head, like always happens in the movies. But this only works if I have ever met the writer before. I’m glad to have met Wilson once before and heard him speak via video several times. It really does help with the lilt and feel of his writings. Otherwise, I read the text as if I had written it, even using my own voice and inflections…thus, if I would have said something in a kind spirit, then it’s easy to assume that of… Read more »

timothy
timothy
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

I tend to read letters, blogs, emails, etc. by imagining the writer’s voice and tonal inflections in my head,

Gollum in the movies did not sound anything like I had him in my head when reading the books.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Isaiah 52 and 53 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness— 15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Jesus… Read more »

Nord357
Nord357
5 years ago

Thanks Doug.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

Doug, why do you talk about yourself so much? Seriously, I’m genuinely wondering. I have appreciated some writings over the past years, but as I have become familiar with your blog, it has been a quandary to me why you refer to yourself so much.

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

It’s his opponents’ favorite topic. He could probably make a fortune charging for it.

connie
connie
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

So?

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
5 years ago
Reply to  connie

So he graciously gives it to them for free.

D. D. Douglas
D. D. Douglas
5 years ago

Doug is speaking from a speaker’s/writer’s point of view. We would do well to consider the same topic from the listener’s point of view. One on one, a wise speaker will trim one’s words and argument to the specifics, to the extent they are known, of the situation and the individual. And a listener shouldn’t be surprised that: “it is as if he were speaking directly to me”. I mean, what did you expect. In a group of any larger size, the specifics and objectives change accordingly and so does the approach. A listener is obligated to understand this as… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago

Methinks the local sanitation department is sleeping on the job again. Can we get some pickup here?

Benjamin Bowman
5 years ago

Why do it then? My guess, it’s fun.

Sara F.
5 years ago

I have never met you, but I think of you as jolly! I have listened to hours and hours of sermons and read several books by you and your family members. Probably the writings by family members contribute the most to the “happy Doug Wilson” image. :)

scm
scm
5 years ago

Mr. Wilson has often come across to me as jolly and sort of Santa Claus-like, which is one of the reasons I like him. Does the world really need one more frowning sorehead Bible teacher?

And I'm Cute, Too
And I'm Cute, Too
5 years ago

From your tweet:

On the difficulties of being winsome at a distance:

“At a distance”? According to Natalie, you have more than enough problems being “winsome” right in person.

http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.jp/2015/10/the-last-meeting.html

And I'm Cute, Too
And I'm Cute, Too
5 years ago

The other evening our elders had a special meeting with our parishioners to go over some of the details of the recent controversies.

Just wondering: Was this the same meeting where you made the claim that Gary Greenfield was as abusive towards his family as Jamin Wight was to his ex-wife? A claim with which no one in Gary’s family agrees?

http://natalierose-livewithpassion.blogspot.jp/2015/10/when-doug-wilson-called-my-father-abuser.html

Misti
5 years ago

Always consistent, never predictable.

Comma splice aside, those are mutually exclusive. If you’re consistent, you’ll be predictable to people who recognize your consistency. To be entirely unpredictable, you must necessarily be inconsistent.