Sometimes Really Agitated
Tut, tut. He gets us.
“The reason we drift into presenting “Christ the option for your felt needs” instead of “Christ the risen Lord” is because this latter approach, being biblical, creates moral obligation. And when this happens, people get agitated.“
Jeff, yes. This broadens the scope of “he gets us,” does it not?
Red Pilled Is Not the Best Way to Describe It Though
10 years ago, I would have read this and thought, “Doug isn’t being loving” and I’d probably side with French, though I wouldn’t say it out loud of course. I’d be neutral. You know the stuff the Martyrs are made of. Today, my eyes are open to what’s actually happening. God is giving up people to their sins. This is terrifying.
I’ve seen a glimpse of what happens to a Christian when he goes down the road of one foot in and one foot out in my own life.
God saw fit to allow me to repent. But Pastor Doug, it was hand over my mouth terrifying once I did repent, truly. I couldn’t see it fully when I was in sin. David seems to be in this same place.
We live such fleeting lives. Our lives are but parables being played out. Mercy and wrath types parables with real consequences. I pray God allows him to see and repent. This is no game. While the effects of his views have a real consequence in our lifetime here on earth. It pales in comparison to meeting King Jesus on that day. Now praise God for his mercy on that day for vessels of mercy. But Scripture tells us not everyone will have that same meeting by saying the name of Jesus. Fruit must be borne and our abiding in Christ is critical to this.
Anyways, 10 years ago I wouldn’t have seen the value of this article. Today, I see the value of it as one would see the value of an OT prophet. Truth must be told, regardless of the outcome. Truth must be told, because we are told to tell it. I’m genuinely sad over what’s happened the last decade plus. I’ve only been a Christian 20 years. Haven’t experienced all that you have been allowed to experience. But I can say, mercy is so sweet once you are allowed to have it.
I know you have people praying for you to not fall into that same trap. You can count on me for another prayer for you and David once I’m done typing. You need it if you keep poking the dragon.
Take care, Pastor Doug.
Freddy, thanks very much.
You seem to have spent a lot of time, and patience outlining the terminology around Christian nationalism. In my opinion the agreement around terms and definitions regarding CRT is just as messy, if not more. Some definitions and working ideas seem perfectly in line with biblical foundations, and others not at all. So can you either point me in the direction of where you’ve discussed this at length or maybe put it on the docket for future posts? My guess is that if you asked 100 people to outline the argument for or against this topic your answers would be all over the place. So its just hard to place your rage into proper perspective without more info . . . And I’m guessing that if you can’t come up with anything charitable to say about CRT we likely are not using the same working definitions or you shouldn’t be trusted on the topic. Thanks for your time
James, yes, I am sure I will be developing it more in future posts. But the basic metric is the antithesis between oppressor and oppressed, with additional intersectional points garnered when someone belongs to two or more oppressed categories. Take me, for instance. I am both white and male.
The Jordan Peterson interview with Dave Rubin was good as you said. I was struck by Dr. Peterson’s praising of truth and its pursuit, while the man next to him, currently one half of a sodomite mirage-fresh off a uterus rental, shook his head in agreement. That kind of irony would make the authors of Greek tragedy envious. Stand fast.
Brian, yes. We live in bizarro-times.
You may have asserted that the hard left is running a game on us, that they know we know, and that they will rub our face in it whenever they please. If you haven’t, then maybe you should.
It doesn’t get clearer than this situation about a witch being the grand jury foreman to opine on the legality of Trump’s assertion that the 2020 presidential election vote in Georgia was rigged.
Not only a witch, but unemployed and giggly. They literally have a witch leading a witch-hunt.
It’s as if the Babylon Bee were writing the news. On the other hand, maybe that’s where the left gets ideas
John, yes. We need to stop saying “now I’ve seen everything.”
I appreciate your ministry and have been encouraged by your teaching. Thank you.
How might the “rules” of gender ideology be applied to the DEI initiatives?
Not sure which article or book it’s from, but I’m thinking specifically in terms of making your opponents adhere to their own rules.
Should I or other government employees self-identify our race according to whatever has been decreed by the DEI overlords? Or, what kind of tactics ought to be used to apply the “rules” consistently?
If identity for our rather binary DNA is fluid, why not the race spectrum as well?
I imagine a groundswell of new “self-identities” would have interesting implications.
Sam, the tactic is from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals—make the enemy live by his own rules. But in order to do this kind of thing from within Corporate America, you need to have a lot of money and time to burn, as well as a sense of humor. That said, the rules would basically be the same as Calvinball.
An Unhappy Sitch
I attend a dispensational bible church pastored by one of the foremost proponents of that theological system in the country. It is a wonderful church and the Lord has blessed us with many dear brothers and sisters in Christ, but after a long season of study I have finally become convinced of the truth of Post-Millenialism, Theonomy, and Covenant Theology (thanks in large part to you, as well as James White, James Durbin, R.C. Sproul, Greg Bahnsen, and Gary Demar).
I need help with two things:
1. How do I pray about remaining or leaving our church? We are deeply connected there as a part of the early adulthood group (married couples with their first kids) and the teaching is solid as far as it goes on primary issues but I find myself longing to be part of a Reformed congregation and to raise my daughter (and one on the way) in that tradition as well. It is the first church family my wife and I have ever known together and I’m grieved by the thought of leaving.
2. In the meantime, I am still a novice, and am trying to back into a few centuries of thought without any (human) guidance beyond YouTube and my own reading. Can you suggest an organized course of study that I might follow?
Matt, here would be my advice. God bless your openness, and your studies. First, don’t lurch. Don’t make any decisions about which church you are going to be part of in the first flush of new theological convictions. Give it a year before you even think about it. Second, in the meantime be respectful of the theological convictions of your current church. Don’t hide what you think, but don’t be disruptive either. And last, going back to the top, read lots of books, especially those written by those who got you into this jam.
While we have different congregational backgrounds, I very much appreciate your content. It is a refreshing respite from the madness.
I recently got into a heated (online) discussion with one of my older brothers concerning revival. I expressed heavy reservations about the “revival” meetings that have been popping up in my area, based on the general obsession with emotional catharticism. He became very upset by this, citing the “lack of unity” being perpetuated by condescending and judgmental church people like me. I showed him your article on “The Authority of True Revival,” which I thought would be unassuming enough for his palate. To that, he cited a hit article on you that was done in response to your views of women voting and said he cannot listen to someone with those views.
My brother and I have generally been able to have very good discussions about almost anything, but lately, we have not been on the same page at all, whether in person or online. I’m twenty-four and have experienced a linear change over the last several years favoring classical theology. He has experienced a similar linear change in the opposite direction. It is somewhat discouraging for me to watch my relationship with my favorite brother change. It seems as though no one in my family is on the same page theologically anymore. My parents are somewhere out in left field with QAnon, and now two out of four of my brothers are steadily headed over the progressive abyss.
I’m troubled by the tone that my relationship with my brother has taken, and I’m wondering what (if anything) I should do about it. I know it’s normal to outgrow your younger heroes sometimes, and I’m wondering if that’s the case here. I’m not close to my father or particularly close to any of my other brothers and would be sad to lose this male figure in my life. I am married to a man that I deeply respect and who shares the same values as I do. Have you had similar experiences? I’m ashamed to admit that I’m having difficulty not obsessing over it, as I do anytime conflict arises between myself and anyone. How can I learn to be unbothered by these growing pains and do you think it’s time that I veer slightly away from my family and burrow further into my household with my husband to find rest there instead?
Elle, unfortunately the Lord said that faithfulness to His Word would be disruptive to families. The one thing you want to make sure of is that you are not contributing to the disruption in any unnecessary way. But that is not measured by a complete absence of tension.
Church Government, Always a Fascinating Topic
I am reading Frame’s Systematic Theology. In his section on church government, he states that Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Congregational systems are (1) all supported in Scripture and (2) all function the same in best-case scenarios (as in, the Bishop seeks checks and balances, the presbytery respects local congregations, etc.). Seeing the CREC accept a differing ecclesiastical structure, I was wondering your thoughts here.
James, I go along with Frame if he is saying that three forms are lawful. But I don’t think we can say that all three forms are right. One of them has to be closest to how the churches in the New Testament were governed. So every man should be convinced in his own mind. I find myself convinced by the fact that the archangel Gabriel was a Presbyterian. Not many people know this.
A Creedal Question
I was looking through the CREC documents and I noticed the CREC does not include in their affirmations the Definition of Chalcedon or the Athanasian Creed. Is there a specific reason for this?
Devin, the problem with the Athanasian Creed is not the doctrine, but rather the fact that it pronounces on the eternal destiny of anyone who doesn’t get the creedal formula exactly right. But the CREC does have the Definition of Chalcedon as one of its foundational statements, and all CREC churches have to have the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, and Chalcedon in their approved documents.
Daily Timewaster Question
First of all, I and my family really love your blog, especially the humour, and I have a Canon+ membership and really enjoy all of the content there. That should put what I’m about to ask in context ;-). I was wondering about the Daily Time Waster images you regularly include in your ‘Content Cluster Muster’ posts. The blogger in question sometimes includes images of women in somewhat questionable poses and attire. I really enjoy many of his other posts, especially the humourous ones, but I wonder if it’s a good idea to promote his blog, even if it’s just with a link next to an interesting ‘Friday Open Road’ picture, seeing that he *does* have inappropriate content on occasion.
I’m asking for a friend. 😉 Keep up the Lord’s work, by-the-way.
Mark, reasonable question. I link to his Open Road features and not the blog generally—but as he sometimes has cute girls in trucks, I try to be careful there. I hadn’t thought of the blog more broadly—although I hasten to add there is no raunch there.
Polygamy Once More
Regarding polygamy, there are pastors in countries where this is a live issue. I once spoke with an Indonesian pastor who had a case where a man converted who had multiple wives (he had previously belonged to a religion that allows up to four). The way this particular pastor handled this, was he required the convert to divorce all his wives but the first one, but to continue supporting the others and their children. (He would also have new converts renew their vows in a Christian marriage—essentially get remarried—when they joined his church, but that’s a conversation for another day.) I have heard of thorny cases in Africa where high-status men have multiple wives living in their housing complex, and are required to be chaste with them if they want leadership in the church. The problem is that this creates an intense sexual temptation and sets these men up for a fall.
I don’t have a proposed solution. Just observing that some of our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world may have done some thinking on this issue that we could benefit from.
Jennifer, thank you. Yes, the issue is going to be on our doorstep pretty soon.
It was opportune for me to find letters you responded to about polygamy a couple of weeks in a row on Mablog this month. A Sunday school class at the PCA church I am a member of recently went over the Of Marriage and Divorce section in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), and this sparked a discussion outside the class about what does and what does not constitute marriage. I read your comments on this section in your Westminster Systematics book as well as an old blog post entitled What Polygamy Can Teach Us About Marriage you published back in 2016. If you’ll indulge me with another whack at this dead horse, I have a question I’m still trying to find an answer to. First, a qualification, polygamy has no weird autobiographical interest for me—I’m happily married x1. With that out of the way . . . As far as I can tell from reading my Bible and trying to put things together, when the USA legalizes everything as marriage and lawful polygamous families become a thing then these unions should be recognized as marriages by faithful churches since God recognized polygamous marriages as marriage (Exodus 21:10), but the husbands in these polygyny marriages should not aspire to church office (1 Timothy 3:2) since polygamy is not the ideal (Genesis 2). If this is the case, did the divines overstate the case when they wrote?: “neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife […] at the same time.”
Just to clarify, am I correct in thinking polygamy is unwise and not the ideal, but not a sin if it is permitted by the civil magistrate? This seems similar to slavery in the Bible in that slavery is not a good institution, but it is not in and of itself sinful for someone to have slaves and slavery should—in time—go away with the spread of the Gospel.
One interesting thing that occurred to me while thinking through this polygamy hot potato is how scandalously it highlights the distinctions God made between men and women, i.e., a man can marry more than one women and it can still be called marriage (albeit a fallen example), but a woman cannot marry more than one man and call it a marriage (Romans 7:3). I’d imagine this disparity will grate on modern egalitarian sensibilities like nobody’s business.
Sam, I would call polygamous marriages sinful, but not at the same level that adultery is. I think Westminster was assuming a Christian law order, in which polygamy would in fact be against the law. If the magistrate allows it, I don’t think that the church should just follow in lockstep. For example, under those conditions I would admit a polygamist to membership, but only on the condition that he would never add another one—no matter how legal it was.
Moral Therapeutic Deism
I am writing with a question I cannot clearly articulate because the issue I am having is thinking clearly about something specific. Therefore forgive the imprecision; I hope you can see what I’m driving at. I live in the UK and am an elder of my church. Wider discourse here has become ‘theraputised’ (my word/not a word). By this I mean ideas of broadly/ill defined “harm” being pervasive and a near reverence for the standing of people who “have mental health” (not my phrase/means the opposite of what it says).
Both in the culture and the church there is an apparent desire to act with compassion towards people reporting these experiences. Fair enough; compassion is a good thing. That is, actual compassion is a good thing. An externally-visible, virtue-signalling, being-seen-to-be-compassionate compassion is not a good thing. This latter I see more in the culture; in churches it is godly men and women struggling to know what kindness looks like because they can’t see the water they swim in.
We end up exceptionalising particular people with particular experiences (mental ill health, experience of abuse, children with various disorders like ASD, ADHD, etc) to the point where their life and choices are unassailable. They are the unpastorable class not only because (in some cases) they won’t be pastored but because the “caring” and “compassionate” onlookers view any challenge to or critique of these folks, their view of themselves, their condition, their decisions and their sin as attack on the vulnerable. In some of this I can see clear links back to wokeism et al (special classes of people beyond impeachment, victimhood, etc).
So my questions are these—what are the battle lines here? As you might have it, is a play being run? I can’t quite get to the roots of the thing in terms of the error at the heart of matters and how therefore to respond. Any wisdom/suggested reading would be deeply appreciated. I dearly want to respond with true Biblical compassion towards those who need it but true Biblical compassion is all truth and all love with a ditch on either side of the road; it’s not the hugs and affirmation breakfast, lunch and dinner that our culture would hand out to these folks.
With thanks for your work and ministry,
MC, yes, a play is being run. I don’t think you can fight it by responding to a particular case in the church, but rather by trying to alter the climate of the church generally. I would suggest starting a book club that works through books like Idols for Destruction, and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self.
Following up on Resistance to Tyrants & Obedience to God and getting your kids out of government schools. I am grateful for your emphasis on that point over the years. I’d be interested to see a blog post or Doug reacts video to this Gospel Coalition “Good Faith Debate” on public schools. It is an hour long so I don’t mean to give you homework but Wilkin is a big name amongst evangelical women. Thanks!
Samwise, thanks for the suggestion.
I’m currently listening to “Wordsmithy”, and you said something I thought was very helpful. You encouraged getting your writing and speaking voice in line. I have noticed that my writing voice is much clearer than my speaking voice. Practically, how can I go about making my speaking to be as clear as my writing?
Thanks in advance,
Chaz, I think the best discipline for this is the writing itself. The more you write, the more you form sentences that way, even when you are just speaking.
A Gluttony Question
What advice do you have for men or women seeking to determine whether or not satisfying their appetite for food is gluttony? Is a second helping of dessert gluttony? Is eating more when you’re full gluttony? What is gluttony, and how do we know? What does the Accuser sound like versus the Spirit as it pertains to this sin?
Many thanks for your ministry.
GH, in Scripture gluttony is always found in orgiastic company (Prov. 23:20-21; Deut. 21: 20; Luke 7:34). Gluttony is the drunkenness of food. It is not another dab of mashed potatoes. This doesn’t make extra eating a good idea, or ideal stewardship. Just like a second glass of wine is usually not a good idea, but is not drunkenness, it is the same kind of thing with food.
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