The Microsoft Thou Gavest Me
I believe that some afghans would make a room more comfortable, but for most people, Afghans, unless carefully chosen, would not.
Jane, I need to tell you I did it right the first time, but Microsoft gave me a red, squiggly line, and there were no other alternatives offered to me, and it was dark, and they were big, and so I don’t think that I should take all the blame. Only some of it.
On C.J. Mahaney Getting the Treatment
This is in regards to all of your recent posts interacting with the SBC and SGM: I am a son-in-law of one of the SGM pastors who has been slandered, maligned, and publicly lied about recently by Rachael Denhollander. I’ve watched my wife and her mother suffer emotionally from Denhollander’s slander, and watched my in-laws have to make some difficult financial decisions, as ministry opportunities have been rescinded. It is sad to watch this woman ravage families: harm wives, mothers, and daughters, while on her unregulated crusade. All of that to say: thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a true friend, a brother in Christ, a faithful minister of the Gospel, and more interested in pleasing God than pleasing man. I don’t know if I will ever have the privilege of meeting you in this lifetime, but you have cared for my family. So again, thank you for having the courage to stand for the truth.
Noah, you are most welcome. And remember that God is in all of this, and He has His glory in view.
As a SGC member, I am a bit concerned about the tone of this article. The article addresses a very serious concern in a very serious time and it makes some great points. But, I do not believe that the tone of the article reflects the tone that Christ would use when the church is being attacked and Scripture is being threatened. I know that people can use mocking tones to make a point, but I do not believe that this is the time to use such strategies. Douglas Wilson can write whatever he wants but I would like to suggest that this is not broadcast through the girl talk website which represents our church. I want to stand with our church in this battle, knowing that my leaders will rise above the schemes of those who are attacking it. I want to show the maturity and wisdom that comes through resting in the Lord and depending on Scripture. Let’s take the jokes out of this serious discussion. It is a discussion worth having. If girltalk wanted to write their own article that addresses the same facts without all of the mocking jokes, I would fully support such an article. Thank you for taking the time to read this. As a member of SGC, I pray for you all often and care for you all deeply.
Stacy, thanks very much for your input and for your perspective. I would only say that the humor is there, not because I am not taking this seriously, but because I am.
On the Letters Section Itself
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to answer letters on your blog. I’m certain you are busy, but you still allow us to have access to you. I have benefited extremely since you have instituted this program. Your answers to mine and others’ questions has really helped me work biblical ethics into the cracks of the difficult matters of life. Thus it has brought a lot of peace into my life. Certain matters in the Christian life are not unsophisticated and you have been a help in gaining understanding. Sin complicates things but “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning one from the snares of death.” The main point is that I hope you keep this feature running on your blog for a long time to come. I really appreciate it.
Rope, thanks very much, and that is the plan.
17 at Pentecost?
How do you arrive at 17 nations present at Pentecost? Perhaps it is staring me in the face, but I don’t arrive at that number. Many thanks,
Brian, in Acts 2:9-11, I count seventeen.
The Three Stages of Resistance
Yesterday (4/19), on the Briefing, Al Mohler pointed out an article by a journalist in which it was said that religions should no longer be exempt from being held to the same standard of tolerance as everyone else, and further, that religious people do not have the right to teach their children to be homophobic, etc. Do you believe that this view is going to take hold (in practice) and that children will be taken away from parents who supposedly “abuse” them by teaching them the truth about God, creation, gender, and marriage? What do you think Christian parents should do now and in the future if that becomes a reality? Go underground or move to Africa or defend themselves? Thank you.
Jess, yes, that is the plan they have now set in motion. The strategy of resistance hammered out by the Reformers was 1. Testify against the evil, 2. Flee from it, and 3. Resist the evil by means of defensive arms. In my view, we are still at #1.
A Young Earth?
A comment on the last few posts: I am a Physics professor, and it’s probably true that Physics, since it is concerned with the fundamental rules of science, is actually the least directly impacted by debates about the age of the Earth and such. You could get a four year degree in Physics from a public institution and be taught almost nothing (from your Physics professors anyway) a young earth creationist would have a problem with. That said . . . I know many Christian science professors who have some affinity for some kind of intelligent design (at least in the sense of believing systems are too complex to have a purely natural explanation). In my experience, Christian professors are also more likely to be skeptical of whatever the latest intellectual fad may be (global warming is going to kill us all!). But I actually know very few Christian science professors who believe the Earth/universe is young—in a paradigmatic way, there just seems to be too much data out there indicating age. Just one example—in an integrated science class I teach, we talk a little bit about the Hawaiian islands. As you probably know, the southeast-most island is volcanically active, and the chain extends from there to the northwest. You may not know that, if you continue northwest, there are actually many more “islands” in the line underneath the surface of the water, and the chain then eventually turns north (and is then called the Emperor seamount chain), actually extending quite a distance across the floor of the Pacific. The standard scientific explanation is to say that all these islands were formed by the same process. There is a hotspot, stationary in the mantle (and currently undernearth the southeast-most island), and the tectonic plate very slowly slides over that hotspot. At times the hotspot is more active and throws up a lot of magma, forming an island. Therefore as you go northwest, the islands get older, and you can calculate (based on the speed of plate motion) how many millions or tens of millions of years old the oldest islands in the chain are. So that’s all a nice tidy picture. Being curious though, I poked around the Answers in Genesis website to see what the young-earth explanation for the island chain was, and to my surprise, found that AiG basically accepted the standard explanation, except they wanted to say everything just happened much faster. Yes, a tectonic plate moved over a hotspot, but the plate motion used to be MUCH faster and the hotspot activity level used to be MUCH higher. The standard explanation is fine, but compress the time scale by a factor of around 100,000! Just felt like a weak response to me. And there are many things like that in science. So just . . . like I said, I know very few Christians in science who hold to a young earth position.
David, thanks for the feedback. You are right that I hold to a young earth position, but don’t recall anything I have posted recently that relates directly to that. As to your argument, I find that many “reconstruction” arguments are mere consistent with what might have happened, not what we can show did happen. There are just too many unknown variables.
More Davidson Issues
Re: Davidson. My name is David. I have three sons—Michah, Samuel, and Daniel. I had no desire to name any of them David, Jr., because I did not want them to be me. But all three have the same middle name “Davidson” because I did want them always to remember that they are my sons.
Alas, It is True
At a recent professional learning day event two or three of my teachers complained of having to look up several words they found in your book The Paideia of God. They said they found you a bit arrogant and bombastic. They suggested that you use language more recognizable by the common man or woman on the street. How should I respond to them?
Christy, tell them that I am an acquired taste.
The Fire at Notre Dame
Longtime reader, first time “submitter.” Thought I’d share with you something I found that my 14-year-old son (he’s a freshman in Logos online) wrote to his friends in an email thread where some of the sentiment being kicked around was basically, “It’s just another old building.” “Notre Dame is one of the foremost examples of the splendor of Christendom and of Gothic architecture (personally I think that most churches today focus more on functionality than beauty, which is an important aspect of a church.) To have all that burn to the ground is certainly not something to be taken lightly. Yes, we can rebuild it, but it will not be the same. It is one thing to remember, it is another to truly see what comes out of the optimism of Christianity: beautiful buildings, towering spires and glorious art. Even in it’s majestic beauty, it is only a feeble glimpse of what is to come. Yet it is a glimpse nonetheless. There are very few badgers in this world (in Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis which I hope you all have read, the badgers had the best memory of all the creatures. They remembered the golden age and Aslan.) In time people’s memory will fade, and the fire of Notre Dame de Paris will be a blot of ink on some dusty old history book. That is why this fire is such a great tragedy: a glorious image of Christ’s kingship is being destroyed. In light of the coming holiday this should give us hope. Christ is risen, indeed He has risen. Christ will come again and make all things new; no more will fire destroy in the world. So solemnly mourn the loss of this great work of Christian culture-redemption, but let the mourning bring you to hope in the great goodness of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. In Christ, the world will be renewed to eternally incorruptible perfection.” The crew at Logos Online is having a pretty great influence on my family. What a blessing to have this tool available to families like ours. Thanks,
Nathan, that’s just great.
RE: Our Lady of the Deep Metaphor This was wonderful. Thank you.
The Cathedral had become like a gold ring in a pigs snout—a beautiful women without discretion (Prov. 11:22). She may have been first built to point heavenward, but she had become a painted lady with all her gaudy jewelry (i.e. relics and icons). We can admire the God-given craftsmanship that built it, but should weep that that same craftsmanship has been used to obscure the gospel and point away from Christ and to another gospel.
And Robert, that is also true.
And Now a Question about the Jews . . .
With all this talk about the deep-state and “woke” cultural constructs, have you considered engaging with E. Michael Jones’s book The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit?
Joshua, I have read a number of books by Jones, and learned a lot from him. He has a lot of good things to say. I also subscribed to his magazine for a bit, but after a time his Jewish jag got more than a bit tedious. I hope to write more about this in the future, but the basic Pauline strategy was to provoke the Jews to jealousy, which is 180 degrees out from being provoked to jealousy by them.
Well, Technically . . .
Re: “One or the Other” Neither time nor chance can act upon matter. Time is not a force, is not energy, and has no substance that can act upon matter. And chance is nothing at all. All of which strengthens your argument that the universe is here because God put it here.
Steve, okay, okay. “Time” and “chance” “acting” on “matter.” How’s that?
On: Sin of being white or black . . . 2 related clips (about a minute each), sorry about the swearing on the end of the 1st one. On being Woke: here https://vimeo.com/276940268 On disagreeing: here. And, unrelated, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkUOwBCt_0g unrelated, on Christians in a job interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_jzDGv0KKw Actually, these are almost the only funny things that she’s done.
Darren, thanks for sharing.
Oh, I hope I can’t blame my alma mater for this one, although I did have my contentious moments with Edmund Clowney’s son, who had very liberal tendencies. And when Keller starts talking politics it makes me nervous, so Westminster isn’t immune. From this woman’s website: “As one who is passionate about sound theology, Ekemini has a fierce commitment to biblical orthodoxy and its implications for issues pertaining to racial injustice, anti-black racism, and white supremacy.” I would argue that these things are mutually exclusive. In fact, the latter will always end up distorting the former because lies always obscure truth when ideologues are on the prowl. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Alisa Childers, but she came out of a church environment that went “progressive,” and she’s passionate about exposing its unbiblical presuppositions and conclusions. She addresses this quite a bit on her podcast. May your suggestion be heeded! Thanks.
Mike, thanks for the recommendation.
RE: In Which I Paint with Some Bright Yellows (Kentucky Kim circa 2015). I am trying to think rightly about a recent and oft repeated scenario where Kim Davis is dragged into the gay parade and is accused of applying a double standard concerning her keeping the county from sin. She was not letting the county sin by refusing to sign homosexual mirage licenses but she had no problem signing the heterosexual sin licenses to unequally yoked couples, underage couples who did not have parental approval, couples who’d been divorced (for reasons other than adultery) and were taking another go at it. I see God’s law, in varying severity (from abomination to “plain” ole’ sin) speaking truth to the lies and calling what is wrong by its proper name and so I want to think rightly about the application of a standard and not allow this “double standard” accusation (which is already 4+ years old and still being paraded) to distract from a necessary conversation with the purveyors of this present pestilence.
Jamie, I would not describe in terms of abominations and plain old sins, but rather use the biblical distinction between sins and crimes. Covetousness is a sin, as is lust, but nobody wants the covetousness police. So when Scripture attaches a civil penalty to something, then that means it should be treated as a crime. Adultery proper was a crime, while unlawful divorce and remarriage was tantamount to adultery (in God’s sight), but there was no civil penalty attached. Moses permitted it because of their hardness of heart. But God will judge it as adultery in the last day, the same way He will deal with lust.
“The first two circles are just simply jammed with non-biblical standards, expectations, and value judgments. Woke to White Perception? We are talking about how millions of people assume that millions of other people are thinking about them, and so it is obvious that someone must curate all these perceptions, and reduce it all to a single usable ethical perception—that we are then to overlay with scriptural terms, and submit to as though it were Scripture.” There is a great amount of truth in this statement. It reminds me of my older brother (Hispanic) who would stop at the corner store after a long day of framing houses with no shirt on (beach town) and buy two 24 ounce beers, complete with their paper bag cozies, open one on the way to the car, radio blasting, drinking, driving and hollering (shouting profane sexual innuendo) at random women out of the window, and when he would be pulled over by the police for drinking and driving and shouting out of the window he would declare it to be because he was “Mexican” ( Many Hispanics in south Texas don’t know that Mexican is a nationality.) My brother typically held this perception of what the police and white folks thought of him. But occasionally he would admit that he was a rascal. Please keep telling this truth. Grace and Peace,
Any discussion of Awakening the Sheeple must include this cartoon: https://xkcd.com/1013/
Thomas, I quite agree. It must.
Sin of being white I don’t think Mr. Mason was wrong to refer to the blacks being sold as “his people” except that he would have condemned a Frenchman who referred to French being murdered by blacks in Haiti as “his people.” It seems that having special concern for one’s ethnic group, or family of nations, is a good thing as long as one accepts that it is good for others to have that concern for theirs and does not hold their race to be better than others. (Paul almost wished he could sell his soul to save the Jews in Romans 9) I do agree with the main point of your article, though, that many of the crimes committed against blacks are by blacks. (And that is often true in the case of whites as well.) And every race has done something against another race at some point in history. One could condemn the Japanese for their conquest of China, the Moors for their invasion of Spain and France, and the Mongolians for their conquest of most of Asia and parts of Europe. The Arabs could be condemned for starting the slave trade that maritime white nations joined in on in the age of exploration, and the Ottomans for their mistreatment of various Christian peoples in Europe and the Middle East. No one tries to make them feel guilty about that, and I don’t think they should at this point. The problem with wokeness is that it is non-white supremacy—they act like whites are worse than everyone else, and apply a high standard to only one race
James, thanks. Yes. It turns out that all of us have been bad.
After reading your post on “The Sin of being ‘White’ or ‘Black’” I did what I only knew would ease my pain, which was listen to some Charlie Pride.
Ron, and what a great note to end on!