Controversy Library

My Controversies . . . As Seen in Lefty News Outlets Everywhere!

And brought to you by NBC, The New York Times, Slate, Vice, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and other assorted and sundry rags.

From time to time controversy erupts in my vicinity. Sometimes this is because of something new I said or did, but more often it is because my foes haul something up from the past in order to thwart my ambitions for world conquest.

Whenever this happens, fair-minded people want to hear both sides before deciding anything (Prov. 18:17), but they need a place to go in order to find a response. This page acts as a central clearing house for my controversies, and helpfully aids my defamation attorneys establish the malicious intent of some new slanderer. It’s one thing to be a lazy journalist, it’s quite another thing to willfully ignore a page like this one when writing a hit piece.

For more on one of my defamation actions: A Long Overdue Letter . . .

This will be a work in progress
; items will be added as I find time, or as new ones are generated. Below is a table of contents for what you can find here, indicating what each section will contain. When we are done, this page will have multiple links, various video clips, and summaries of each controversy.

If this page seems underwhelmingly small, fret not. I’m not dead yet, and I’m still preaching the gospel in jihadi clown world, so there are bound to be more, sooner than later.

1. I insist that the Moscow Mood helps to prevent spiritual osteoporosis.

Kevin DeYoung did us the valuable service of naming the “Moscow Mood,” and I would begin by commending an article or two by friends who responded to him. The first, On Satire, Moods, and What We’re Known For, by my friend Joe Rigney, was helpful. Then Jared Longshore contributed The Moscow Mood for DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. I was last, bringing up the caboose. See below.

2. I deny we should be executing people for homosexual acts.

Do I believe in the death penalty for homosexual acts? Am I calling for that? No, this is false. I do not believe in the death penalty for homosexual acts.

Execution of homosexuals?

This post on Old Testament Law provides some background thinking on how the law applies today.

And A Cinder Block in the Goldfish Bowl is about not apologizing for the Bible.

3. I deny that slavery was a positive good.

Am I a defender of the system of Southern slavery as it existed prior to the Civil War? No, I am not. This is a false charge.

“ I would point out mildly, to argue for peacefully subverting an institution until it is stone cold dead and good riddance is not the same thing as defending that institution.”

Leaven in the Flour, where I outline my position on slavery

As Though the Gospel Had Cooties provides a little intellectual background on how slavery got involved in this at all.

Potoked Again has some important interactions with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Slavery and Atheism contains concludes with my summary of the Bible’s teaching on slavery.

When the slavery fracas broke out at Cary Christian, this link takes you to some of my interactions on it.

Black and Tan
Click here for the book

And because this is a controversy that periodically erupts, here is a post that answers the question of whether I still stand by the scary quotes from Southern Slavery As It Was.

4. I deny that secularism has a clue about racial reconciliation.

In 2013, I had a friendly exchange with Thabiti Anyabwile regarding racial reconciliation. Here is enough to get you started, and then some!

In this piece, With a Bit of Menthol, I call for an adult conversation about race.

And here, I wrote More on Race.

5. I affirm justification by faith alone.

Do I deny sola fide, justification by faith alone? No, I do not deny it. Rather, I affirm it strongly.

In 2004 I requested the CREC to examine me regarding my beliefs on faith, specifically those issues pertaining to what has been called Federal Vision.

PART 1: Douglas Wilson Federal Vision Examination

PART 2: Douglas Wilson Federal Vision Examination

PART 3: Douglas Wilson Federal Vision Examination

The Full Transcript of the Examination

The folks over at Theopedia have compiled resources for both the favorable & critical views on Federal Vision here.

And then, as with a final flourish, I explain here why I no longer identify myself as being an FV partisan.

6. I deny that I support child abuse or sexual abuse in any way, shape, or form.

What was your role when it was discovered that Steven Sitler had been molesting young children for some years? My role was to encourage the father who discovered it to report Steven to the authorities immediately, and in subsequent counseling with Steven, to require him to confess to the crimes he had committed that had gone undetected.

An Open Letter From Christ Church on Steven Sitler

And a Sitler timeline culled from our elder meeting minutes, along with other meetings, can be found here.

The Only Kind of Gospel There Is

What was your role when it was discovered that one of your ministerial students, Jamin Wight, had been guilty of sexually abusing a teen-aged girl in your congregation? My role was to support his prosecution, with the caution that it not be done in a way as to make things worse for the victim.

Current status: A Controversy Ended.

And a Greenfield timeline culled from our elder meeting minutes, along with other meetings, can also be found here. Proof that there had been a secret courtship can be verified here. And there is an important update here.

I have also occasionally been attacked for the immoral behavior of Jim Nance, who was once a teacher at Logos School, and an elder in Christ Church. A timeline of what happened in that situation can be found here, as well as in the legal letter linked earlier.

And while this section is on child abuse, let me add one link on spousal abuse, where you’ll
find a short. gallery of statements I have made in the past about the need for the church to take up the cause of the victim, and on our responsibility to teach our daughters not to be played for victims.

And here is an extended reply to a hit piece from Vice magazine on my view of, and treatment of, women.

And in addition, here you will find an FAQ on men, women, and sexuality which addresses some of the greatest hits albums of misrepresentations.

7. I deny that I am a plagiarist.

Are you a plagiarist? No, I am not.

Here is a basic statement on what happened with Southern Slavery As It Was.

And a rundown on the controversy over A Justice Primer can be found here.


In addition to the general statement below, here is a more thorough treatment of the issue by Joseph Bayly. Many thanks to him for taking the time to go through all that.

A controversy about alleged plagiarism in the Omnibus textbooks just occurred, so some of these observations may be expanded and modified as we learn more. I know Veritas Press takes such allegations very seriously and they are looking into them as appropriate. For the present, we can say this much:

1. The overwhelming number of these alleged instances occurred in captions and inserts, which were included in the textbook in the production process, after the edited manuscripts were submitted and edited. Thus the attachment of particular names to these problems was entirely reckless.

2. The process used by Miller to tag such problems is unreliable, and is prone to false positives. If Wikipedia says “Columbus discovered America in 1492,” we are not much edified by a color coded “America was discovered in 1492 by Columbus.”

3. It appears many of the tagged problems were from open-source sites. Since Wikipedia is constantly changing, we will have a hard time determining what came from what. In other words, did an Omnibus contributor lift something from Wikipedia in 2005, or did an Omnibus graduate contribute to a Wikipedia article in 2012? Second, even assuming a problem in the production of the textbook, with open source material it would be more a problem with terms of use, and not copyright. More background information can be found here, here, or here.

4. Any genuine citation problems that Veritas Press confirms will be dealt with honestly and with full integrity.

8. I deny that I am too proud to apologize.

Is it true that you never back down, and will never apologize for anything? No, this is simply false.

“An essential part of a good editor’s responsibility is to anticipate the possibility of this kind of error, and check on it. Accidents do happen, and an editor’s responsibility includes an active awareness of the fact that accidents happen, and to therefore check. I didn’t check, and I should have. Mea maxima culpa. I had not read Time on the Cross at that time, and given the nature of the errors, had I read that book we would have been spared a lot of grief. Further, given the controversial nature of the point we were making, it was absolutely essential that no handles be presented to our adversaries. But those handles were presented anyway, and it was not just Steve’s responsibility that this happened. The responsibility was also mine.” More context here.

“That being the case, and with all this in mind, I would first like to apologize to all the authors whose work was taken into this book and represented as quite possibly mine. I will be following this general public statement up with a letter to each of these writers in order to apologize directly. I would also like to apologize to Canon Press for urging this book project on them. They are the ones who have been financially damaged in very tangible ways by this. And last, I should apologize to New St. Andrews College. Academic integrity is the heartbeat of any academic institution, and even though the board has acted promptly and wisely in accepting Randy’s resignation, I am still distressed by the headache this has caused them.” More context here.

“I should have made my meaning more clear than I did, which I could have done by putting the Texas paragraph first, and linking it expressly to Steven’s offenses. My apologies to any friends who missed my meaning here, and who thought I was trying to trim and be cute on Steven’s behalf. Such a misreading would be my responsibility.” More context here.

“But if I find that my words have also given offense in quarters where I had and have no desire to give offense, I want to be eager to seek pardon or forgiveness, as appropriate. I hope that was clear in our meeting on Friday, and in a conviction that a second coat of good paint never hurts, I want to make it clear again now.” More context here.

And here is some background information on love and loyalty.

9. I deny that I use any language outside the clear parameters of Scripture, and further deny that my words are unnecessarily provocative.

Another accusation that has recently been making the rounds is that I insulted several women (Gloria Steinem and Nadia Bolz-Weber) by calling them the “c-word.” The short form is that I summarized their behavior as amounting to that, which it manifestly was. I was critiquing them for having reduced themselves to that word.

Here is the original offending post, one follow-up post on it, and then the video clip below addresses it as well.

So the handful of times when I have utilized certain verboten words or phrases have been times when I was making very specific points in a very specific context. This, in contrast to my critics, who make a point of keeping those references in constant circulation—from Christianity Today to The New York Times.

I present an argument here on the nature of prophetic language. I also went into that subject in some detail in my response to the elders of Kenwood Baptist.

10. I affirm the necessity of the righteous horse laugh.

Do you believe that you have a right to be rude to everybody? No, I do not.

And Wilson, Almost Suitably Abashed, Responds

A Satiric Voice

Serrated Edge

11. I deny that wives should come under church discipline for “not doing the dishes.”

This one is fairly straightforward, and is one for which I am in large part responsible.

A Few Important Postscripts