Early Church Communism?
Some say that Karl Marx’s statement “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” sounds similar to Acts 4:34-35. How do you respond to someone who’s trying to make Marx the 14th Apostle?
Thank you for your ministry.
Shimar, the issue that distinguishes the two is not the amount, or where it goes. The issue is whether it is given or taken. The Christians give, and the commies take.
Interacting with “Conflicted Feminism,” “Feminism Rips off Women,” and Future Men.
When it comes to feminism, you have written about how feminism hates both men and women. In Future Men, you show how feminism degrades women by exhorting men to treat women dishonorably. I agree; that’s a cruel hatred. I’m wondering about the extent of that hatred, and so my question is in regards to the quantity of feminism’s hatred of women. Does feminism hate women entirely? Or maybe a better way to ask: does feminism hate womanhood entirely?
I don’t ask as if I’m trying to find some good in feminism. I’m trying to link feminism’s exhortation to men to dishonor women in/with their bodies as a mechanism in a much bigger hatred machine.
Charlies, I think the culprit is egalitarianism, of which feminism is simply a subset. And I think that the central object of the egalitarian’s hatred is the fact that the universe is hierarchical, and that we are assigned a role or station within that hierarchy.
Calvinism in Mississippi
I am a 23 year old Non-denominational Christian from the great state of Mississippi. I started my discipleship for Christ a year and 1 month ago. I have been listening to Pastor Wilson and Canon+ for a while now and the platform has helped me through the thick and thin of the transition from spiritual infant, to more of a whiny toddler.
When I learned that Pastor Wilson and his church were Calvinist (from my understanding) I became intrigued and looked into it and it has since sent me down the rabbit hole that is church history. Anyways, let me get to the point. I don’t know how I feel on predestination. From my readings, there is more that points to it (Eph.1, Rom. 8) than doesn’t. But, I grew up in a more “freewill” side of the country. I see God as a loving, inviting, all are welcomed God. The more hardcore side of predestination makes it seem that he’s already picked his flock and the rest are damned. I thought it was more of the fact that he already knows who will accept him since he is all knowing. In that case, would any of my actions really matter when it comes to other’s salvation? Since the people that are predestined to go to heaven already picked out, what is the need for missionaries, or at least me to go since it’ll happen anyways? I am not trying to disprove it, just trying to see where the logic in it all fits. It is a new concept that me and my fiancé don’t know where we would like to stand on. I also understand that my opinion vs that of God’s on what truth is, is ever so slightly insignificant. I would love to hear ya’ll’s take on it and to advise me through this theological speedbump of mine.
Thank you for your time,
Ethan, first let me reccommend a book for you, and then give you a short answer. The book is Easy Chairs, Hard Words. The brief answer is that God ordains the means as well as the end. He doesn’t just predestine Smith’s conversion in some detached way, He predestines Smith’s conversion because Murphy prayed for him, and Jones witnessed to him.
I’m writing to you from Nigeria. Life has been hard in the past 2 years. I am a pastor’s kid like you with a few differences;
1. I am younger.
2. My Father passed in 2021.
I do have a longing to be pastor. I have always had since I was young. And with my father’s passing my longing has been mixed with urgency.
But pastor Doug, I struggle with porn. I love the Lord so much and my struggle with porn is affecting my fellowship with God.
I really need help sir.
AT, it is good to recognize that you need help. The crucial thing is to seek out the help where God says to get it. Find a church to join, and then ask the pastors to help you with this struggle, and to help you find a godly wife. I would shelve the idea of being a pastor until you get this resolved.
More on Antisemitism
Where are you finding reformed gentile Christians who are jealous of unbelieving Jews? Also where are you finding Jews that have so called Deuteronomic blessing?
Dale, I think you have misunderstood my argument. It is that the Jews are not receiving any Deuteronomic blessing, having been cut out of the olive tree. Detached from grace, they have accomplished remarkable things through the dint of sheer effort. But it is law, not grace. And the jealousy of professing Christians for the accomplishments of Jews comes out in virtually every comment thread on this blog when the subject comes up. But the people don’t say “oh, how I hate the Jews for being better than I am.” They can’t hide it, but they hide it better than that.
As a long time Christian, I have recently began listening to your podcasts which I highly enjoy. Regarding Revelation, I tend to hold a preterist view. However, I was curious what your belief is about the breaking of the seals, the 4 horsemen and the trumpets. Thanks!
Judd, I believe that they are all portents of the successive waves of judgment that fell on Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Thanks from Canada
I’m not interacting with any particular post, except inasmuch as I am commending one of the “Canadian pastors” mentioned in your post “The Changing of the Guard” from August 9, 2021.
This is to encourage you and all your readers. Fairview Baptist Church in Calgary is moving into a larger facility at the end of May to accommodate a growing congregation and to see the Gospel go forth. Here is a call to prayer from our beloved under-shepherd, Tim Stephens:
God bless you and thank you for asking the Lord to act on our behalf!
CR, thanks for the letter, and thank you all for standing fast.
I have a question regarding church membership and unorthodox views. If a member of your church were to advocate for an unorthodox position, such as universalism, but was otherwise a respectful member in good standing, what would the response of the elders be? If they are unrepentant in this view, is this grounds for excommunication?
David, someone in that position would be allowed to remain a member, but would be required not to promulgate his views at all within the body.
For the past several years, I have been reading many things pertaining to God’s Law and Christian ethics, and have been shaped by many of the books and articles you’ve written.
I would be very interested in knowing your thoughts of a new book written by Luke Saint called “The Sound Doctrine of Theocracy” I found it very thought provoking and controversial (in a good way).
For instance, he speaks of the positive effects of stoning as opposed to other forms of capital punishment, that we might think of in the modern age.
Keep up the good work brother,
Blessings in Christ,
Henry, I tend to think of works like this as sort of a poison pill that gets included with mainstream theonomy in order to scare people away from the central idea.
I want to start by expressing deep gratitude for the brilliant legacy you have been carving out for decades. Your ripples will no doubt be felt by generations to come and I consider myself blessed to have found your work.
I have two questions I want to throw on your lap—first, I have been consuming a ton of the masculinity books and talks on Canon+ and learning so much about my calling as a husband and a man in general and seriously loving it. However, my upbringing was totally secular and liberal/feminist. I was raised mostly by women—the men in my family generally did their work and kept their opinions to themselves and the ladies ran the show. This obviously influenced me heavily, and while I totally disagree with the broken worldview I was raised with now, I still see parts of it in myself. Particularly, the sin of niceness/impressionability and in contrast the masculine virtues to be bold, fiercely loving and confrontational when necessary are challenging for me. I want to be the type of man that can take heat and confront evil and not succumb to fear of offending others. I wonder if you have any advice for a young man (28) that desires this tenacity in his leadership?
Secondly, I’m in BC in Canada (back and forth between Vancouver and Prince George). Do you have any thoughts or insights on the Canadian church and where it’s headed? Any churches to keep on my radar?
Thanks so much!
Colin, your last question I will just open up to our readers. Any church recommendations, folks? For the former, I would start praying that God would give you situations, one at a time, in which you might practice between decisive. Just look for one at a time.
I know that you signed the letter to Gary DeMar. Are you planning on interacting with any of his responses in future blogs or podcasts?
Aaron, yes. See yesterday’s blog post, the one right before this one.
Cheer Up, It’s Worse Than That
I am struggling to see a bright future regarding the state of the world. I know of postmillennialism, but I just cannot seem to be able to accept it. The world only seems to be getting worse with the decline of the church, authoritarianism and communism rising, sexual depravity increasing, cultural decline, the looming threat of WW3, etc. I do not see the world improving. I feel too demoralized to start a family and if I did would be in a constant state of worry for them. I feel like the only thing left for us is to leave the world and be with God because we have no hope here in this life. (I am not depressed or do not have any desire to off myself, I just cannot see any good outcome for the current situation).
X, I would encourage you to start reading church histories. Things have been this bad many times before. God does this so that we might not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.
Reading Canon Material Under the Covers With a Flashlight
Thank you very much for all of your plodding and your occasional(?) pyromania. First, some context. I am currently a junior mechanical engineering major at a large private Baptist college. This college has a local PCA congregation with an RUF chapter (I know, not ideal, but you sometimes you have to go with the grain of what is around you.) that I have been able to plant roots in during my three years here. When the Tim Keller fans weren’t looking, I snuck off and read some of your stuff and that began a journey to the Postmill dark side. Mwahah.
My question has to do with ordering priorities.
I am currently single, with no kids. I am 21, so I am currently very much driven to aim for those things in the next three years or so. In theory, this should make it very easy to complete my degree. In practice, I often feel like I am sacrificing time in community because I am constantly grinding out engineering assignments, to make sure they are of good quality, so I can get out of here in four years and get in a position where I would be able to provide and protect. That reality is around a year or two in the future, but I feel like I am also burning daylight when it comes to planning to start a family. Is there a way to rightly order these two responsibilities?
A bit more context: I did not grow up in the church, or in a churchgoing family at all, and became a Gospel-trusting Christian around 3 years ago, so a lot of this stuff is very fresh to me, and I have been playing very much by ear most of my short time with the Lord. The fact that I somehow stumbled my way from agnostic to Christian to slight deranged Calvinistic Baptist to less deranged Presby in that time is both concerning and proof of His working in ways higher than mine.
What advice would you give to a young man in my situation?
RB, I would prioritize your time in such a way as to enable you to marry as soon as possible. Time at church should be worshiping faithfully on the Lord’s Day, at a minimum, and then participating in any church events where you believe she might be.
In relation to your response to a previous question about the 4th command (sabbath keeping) being binding for Christians, I have another question. There are a lot of evangelicals who hold that keeping the sabbath is not binding because of passages like Rom. 14:5-6, Col. 2:16-17, and Heb. 4:9-11. How significant of an error is this in your mind, given that it is one of the 10 commandments? Would you discipline a member of your church who was working on Sunday? Would you want to avoid partnering with a church that didn’t believe keeping the 4th commandment was necessary? And how would you distinguish between professing Christians who differ on the 4th commandment, and those who differ on a commandment regarding something like “loving, monogamous homosexual relationships”? It seems to me most evangelicals are happy to let Christians make up their own minds about the sabbath, but draw a pretty hard and quick line when it comes to differences regarding sexual ethics.
Nick, it would depend on whether it was a conscientious sabbath difference, or simply sabbath laziness. I would not team up with anybody who simply did not care. And if a businessman owned a business that he ran 24-7 (not an emergency care center), he would not be considered for church office.
I recently finished your work “A Primer on Worship and Reformation.” I found it very well structured; it resonated with many of my own sentiments , particularly on liturgy and the Christian Calendar. Full disclosure, I lean more towards Reformed Anglicanism than Presbyterian in my liturgical understandings.
I have found that a strict adherence to the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) does not work. There are always things churches do that are not in Scripture, and the Scriptures themselves show someone like David adding things to the worship of God not directly commanded by Him (i.e. music).
Would I be right in saying that you do not hold to a strict view of the Regulative Principle of Worship à la John Frame? If so, how do you determine what the boundary markers are? For example, is drama an appropriate means of communication in church?
James, I hold to the formulation of the regulative principle as articulated by Hughes Oliphant Old, which is that “worship must be according to Scripture.” If anybody asks why we “do that,” we should be able to show them in Scripture how that thing (psalms, Scripture reading, communion, etc.) is part of Christian worship. So then, no drama.
How should we understand the raising of hands in times of singing during our worship service? Is it a commanded practice or a matter of preference? Is there a time when it is right or wrong? I have often wondered about this question and usually just arrive at “It is a matter of preference and/or culture.” However, I think I might be missing something. I have personally avoided raising my own hands in worship for the sake of not being one who tries in his own strength to muster up some emotional response to the music. Our own church culture is a mixed bag when it comes to how one interacts in the worship singing, but I assume good intentions on the part of each person and trust they are doing what they believe is right.
I appreciate whatever clarity you can provide, and look forward to your response.
Tyler, we raise our hands all together at the conclusion of the service, during the doxology. Keeping in mind the answer to the previous question, if asked about it, we would point to 1 Tim. 2:8. We do it all together as a liturgical act in order to avoid people using it as their own spiritual cocoon.
A Couple of Talks
Regarding two of your recent posts: 1) David French & the Vapors of Civic Virtue Escaping from a Mystery Box, and 2) This Carnival of Claptrap. I have given a couple of talks at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. One of these is entitled “The Cost of the Enlightenment”—text and video. It focuses directly on the loss of liberty that has come with forgetting God. It was the Lou Church Memorial Lecture, intended to consider the overlap of libertarianism with religion.
Daniel, thanks for sharing.
The Spirit in the OT
I recently read/listened to Against the Church, and I found it very insightful and thought-provoking. I don’t recall much attention being given to Old Covenant conversion, and I wondered if you had developed that somewhere else. What do you make of Saul’s changed heart and his filling with the Spirit (1 Sam. 10)? More broadly, what do you see as the major difference(s) in the conversion of Old Covenant and New Covenant saints? Thanks,
Jimmy, I haven’t developed this anywhere, although I probably should. I think we are going to see Saul in Heaven, although he was a spiritually weak man. I believe that the Spirit departing from him had to do with God’s allowing his dynasty to collapse, and not his personal salvation. David knew that in just the same way he had forfeited God’s blessing on his rule (take not thy Spirit from me), although he was still saved (restore unto me the joy of thy salvation).
Early Stage Christian Nationalism
I was wondering what your advice/strategy would be in the wake of persecution of the sort we face in India where several people are being thrown into jail for having simply shared the Gospel with an unbeliever. What kind of post-mil strategy would you apply here?
How would you envision the bringing about of Christian nationalism in this country?
I’m sure things will be different but I really need help. The Indian churches are asleep. We kill 6-10 times more babies in a year than the USA and have been doing that even before your country ever thought of such a thing. Yet, the Church has done absolutely nothing because we are all afraid that we will lose our life and our near and dear ones if we take a step.
How would you deal with this situation?
Sam, the first step toward Christian nationalism, which in your case is a long way off, is the establishment of a multitude of churches where the gospel is preached, and Word and sacrament honored.
If the Whole Thing is Canceled . . .
Should Josh Butler (who was for years before he moved, a personal friend whose quality, intellect, and faith i will happily vouch for) lose any publishing deals or struggle, I would hope Canon Press would make him an offer. It would grieve me to hear of any success in deplatforming him.
Nathan, if his book deal gets canceled, he should certainly send the manuscript to Canon.
I’m wondering if the Darla letters are ever coming to a paperback book format? You’ve got a buyer here waiting to purchase it (and I suspect many more buyers are hiding around the corners hereabouts too).
Annie, it is on the Canon publication schedule for May/June.
God bless, thankful for your work. During the COVID-craze I had several Arminian friends bring up this type of verse to me:
It is He who changes the times and the periods;
He removes kings and appoints kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men,
And knowledge to people of understanding (Daniel 2:21)
They would say, why are you talking about Romans 13, and trying to reform the political system for Christ, if according to the Reformed perspective, it was God who put these evil rulers in their positions. You should not complain! I have my thoughts on this, but would still love to hear yours.
Benjamin, I say, as I said above in an earlier response, the sovereign God uses means. So if we resist tyranny, and we succeed, it was God who changed the time and the period.
Thoroughly enjoy your videos – particularly the Doug Wilson reacts installments. Would like to suggest a response to Dr. Taylor Marshall on YouTube:
Which could use some annotation from an evangelistic perspective . . .
Perhaps you and Dr. White could tackle together . . .
Might be fun…
David, thanks for the idea.
The post Letter Writing Builds Character appeared first on Blog & Mablog.
Leave a Reply