Special Fourth of July Letters

Right, Right

It’s a minor point, but in several places, especially in sub-headings, you say “Prophesy” when you mean “Prophecy.” Prophesy is a verb. Prophecy is the noun.


Sam, that’s what I get for typing with time’s winged chariot at my back. Thanks, and it is all fixed now.

“The apostles and prophets are the concrete workers, pouring the foundation. We don’t need them alive with us today for the same reason that you don’t pour concrete while you are framing out the attic, or while laying shingles on the roof. Foundation work is once and done.” It seems to me you are saying here that prophecy no longer happens, which I hope is not the case—1 Corinthians 12 directly addresses that cessationism is false, if the testimony of so many fellow Christians who have direct experience of the Holy Spirit’s gifts—including prophecy—doesn’t count. Although certainly it is true that prophecy today references existing Scripture for a specific context rather than extending Scripture as the prophets of old were doing.


Ian, I am a cessationist in that I don’t believe that any speaker today is inspired and infallible. Otherwise, we would have to start including scriptural appendices.

Receipts for Donations?

I listen to you a lot. My name is Angelo and I am from the Philippines. I would like to ask a question, here it goes . . . “What do you think about the practice of giving Official Receipts to all tithes given by the Church Members?”

I’m the Church Treasurer and I feel like giving ORs does more harm than good. I hope you can give an opinion on this.



Angelo, it depends on the reasoning behind it. As a regular custom, it seems consistent with doing things decently and in order, as a manner of keeping all the church’s financial transactions above board. But there could be circumstances, depending on your nation’s law, where it would not be a good idea.

Daily Wire and Neutrality

I’ve benefited greatly from Doug’s ministry. There are various video blogs that have offered clarity and shaped my Christian worldview. One clear refrain has been “neutrality is a myth.”

As I was listening to Daily Wire’s most recent Backstage episode, I was surprised and encouraged by what I heard Ben Shapiro say. I want to bring it to your attention in case there is interest in covering it in a video blog.

Referring to cultural Christian values, Ben says the following: “It was in the air, in the society in which we lived. What the people on the left said is ‘That’s not natural, it is a civilizational imposition, it’s a set of values and if it’s a set of values then why should those values predominate while our values do not predominate?’” The right, because the right is inherently stupid, said, ‘Oh, all you want is neutrality.’” And what they failed to recognize is that there is no neutrality. You’re either in water or in air, there is no water-air combo that ends up being neutrality. The neutral space ends up dominated by someone. When you take the 10 Commandments out of schools, what replaces it is not neutrality toward religion; what replaces it is antipathy toward religion. That is exactly what has happened in the public schools.”

God bless and thank you!


Matt, that’s a great way of putting it. I think good things are stirring over there.

Boyhood Rambles

Saturday morning and coffee in hand reading Douglas Wilson’s Boyhood Rambles.

Wow. What a way to start the day by remember many similar memories. In fact they were VERY similar. Did we grow up and hang out together, Doug?

I believe they help make the man, or even the woman. When my wife and I were deciding on a home to buy, 30 yrs ago, one of the desires was at least a creek and woods behind the house. Well, God blessed us with the desire, even in a small town with few woods and only two cricks.

Our kids, who are now adults, loved this area of property behind our home. The stories they now have to tell helped mold them too. By God’s grace even into godly adults.

We thank Him that though our house was somewhat small our yard and beyond was big enough for many life changing and life remembering joys. There were many lessons under the sun and many lessons for the future spiritually-minded children that would become men and women for Christ’s kingdom and glory.

Give thanks to the LORD for He is Good!

Always, Always appreciate your insight and wisdom Doug.



Rob, thank you. Done right, playing the woods is a bracing player in the development of mental health.

The Dating of Revelation

I have enjoyed “When the Man Comes Around” very much. It certainly gave me a new perspective of what is arguably the most hotly debated subject in the Western church. I have a question, if I may: You make the statement in the book that you see the book of Revelation largely about events which took place before A.D. 70. If that is the case, then it assumes the book—surely—was written by John before that date as well, doesn’t it? This seems to fly in the face of the generally accepted date of circa A.D. 95? While tending towards postmillennialism myself (after copping out for many years as a panmillennial). And thank you for your clear and provocative thinking, and stand for the absolute authority of scripture .


Gary, you are correct on both counts. My view requires an early date for Revelation, and you are also correct that the majority view favors a late date. But in my view the arguments for a pre-70 A.D. date are compelling. This includes the internal evidence (five were, one is . . .) and good reasons for discounting the external evidence that comes from Irenaeus.

A Cross Necklace?

I recently had an interesting discussion with my Pa, where I stated that I’d like a pretty cross necklace, as I’m now a Christian. He thinks that it would be unwise to wear a cross necklace because of the persecution of the church; he thinks it will get me killed (he can be very dramatic).

I said that almost makes me want to wear one even more. Not that I want to be persecuted/killed, but I don’t think the kind of persecution I might receive for wearing such an emblem in the current state of our nation (Canada) is any worse than I’ve already gone through for refusing to be COVID-coerced at a few of my previous workplaces . . . . and because if somebody is going to kill me they’ll regret it, eventually. Besides that, aren’t we supposed to boldly proclaim Christ’s lordship over all things? What better accessory (besides a Bible) might prompt a conversation or debate?

I realize I don’t need the necklace to “do the thing” (Great Commission), but because of what it represents I found this to be an interesting objection from a guy who professes faith.

I was wondering whether you had any thoughts or insight.


Kate, in the abstract, I think identifying with the cross, especially in times like ours, is a good thing. At the same time, as it is a secondary thing, I would do what you can to honor your father’s wishes.

More From Canada

I’d like to thank you for your ministry, all the way from Ottawa, Canada. Yes, there are still some of us up here . . .

My question relates to unbelieving family members. Particularly, how do I show grace and love to my unbelieving sister while balancing that with bold proclamation of the truth, not allowing her unbelief and liberalism to pollute our family gatherings?



Duncan, I would suggest that you propose something like this to her. If she wants to talk about various issues, you would be delighted to do that with her, along with anyone else who wished to join. But if she wanted to hold forth at the dinner table, with everyone who wanted food held hostage, you would simply register polite disagreement there, but then you would drop it, and not turn a family meal into a battleground.

Helpful Resource

More than once I have heard you mention that you once searched out all the OT quotes that show up in the NT, and read them in context IN the OT. I thought some day I would create that list for myself, when I found this:

Maybe there are others who would also appreciate it.


Laurel, thanks very much.

Superlative Glory

Ret Eve in Exile (book and documentary) and the 1 Corinthians 11:3-12 passage:

The “glory of the glory” idea makes a lot of sense to me. We know that God does not call women, in general, to submit to men, in general, but each wife to her own husband.

It looks like 1 Cor 11 is referring to headship/submission/glory in the context of marriage. Is the Christ-like submission of an equal to an equal the starting point of the glory of women? Or is it just the chief glorious task that married women are able and commanded to perform?

What is said in Eve in Exile about women’s innate ability to glorify makes so much sense to me from experience and from the Bible making it clear that women are different from men. I’m confused though how we get there from 1 Cor 11.

I’d really appreciate your thoughts.


Donné, in 1 Corinthians 11:7, it says that the man is the “image and glory of God,” and then he says that the woman is “the glory of man.” Instead of taking this as the woman representing a sub-par glory, Bekah puts those two things together that brings the Hebrew superlative come to mind. She is the glory of the glory.

A Strong Book Recommendation

Firstly, I am LOVING CanonPress. Thank you so much for the Wodehouse on tap, and Peter Leithart, and, and, and etc. Getting flesh and blood books in my literary backwater (as far as pricing and shipping goes) of Australia isn’t easy. Again, thank you! I have one question and one recommendation. The question is—Is Canon Press planning on working through and publishing all 7 books of The Faerie Queen? And if so, is there a schedule?

The recommendation is for all and sundry—I have a ravenous appetite for all manner of books, but don’t find many novels edifying these days—especially in my role as a busy mother-at-arms with many children. If I don’t have the brain for something meaty, I don’t want to relax with trash. However, I have become an ardent lover of Charlotte M. Yonge. Do you know her work? She wrote all through the Victorian era, she ran serials for Dicken’s magazine, she was an institution. She wrote in many genres and I have enjoyed everything I have read, but if anyone is interested and wants to start somewhere, my top recommendation is ‘The Daisy Chain’. It is the most warm-hearted book I have ever read. I am convinced that she was a genuine believer (in a CofE kind of style), and any woman who would love to be genuinely encouraged in her role at home (as a mother, or daughter, or sister) would do well to have a read. She must have been a formidable woman to know- I would have felt like I had no secrets from her. She is so sympathetic and sharply insightful about human nature. If your wife or daughters haven’t been acquainted yet, I suspect they would find a new bosom friend.


Lauren, first, your question. Yes, Canon is planning on publishing the rest of the Fairy Queen, but what with the press of other business, it not currently on the front burner. And I don’t believe that I or any of my people have ever heard of Yonge. Thanks for the recommendation.

Job Direction

Thanks for all of the content you create, we have found your work a blessing. I am weighing a couple of job change options, and trying to determine if one of the choices would be closer to God’s will. Both options are technology focused. One option is in the medical field and seems more directly benevolent. The other option is in the financial field and is useful, though will probably save no lives. The financial option pays somewhat more.

I have been praying for discernment regarding the choice. The medical option is appealing to me due to its direct helpfulness, and perhaps working in a more directly benevolent role would be a good example for our kids. The financial option would give somewhat more buffer in providing for my family, though we will be ok either way.

I was wondering if you might have any advice about how to approach such a choice from a biblical perspective, or how to discern if God has a direction he wishes me to go. Any advice or reading suggestions would be much appreciated.



Andrew, not knowing you (or your gifts), I couldn’t really begin to answer your question. Both are lawful vocations, and depending on the circumstances, either one could be the right choice—medical for Smith and financial for Jones.

Open Air Preaching

I have a question about open air preaching. I had heard you say somewhere that you preached in the open-air on a college campus before. It seemed you had thoughts on how it ought to be done, and so that is my question to you. What are your thoughts on how open-air preaching ought to be done? Gratitude,


Joshua, because you are not preaching to a congregation gathered in the name of Christ, the assumption should be that it is an evangelistic message, and you should make a beeline toward the gospel. Your manner should be open, warm, and inviting, and you need to be prepared to field questions in all the obvious areas.

A Spanking Question

In response to “Pride and Paddywonking”, what would you say the role of the father vs. the mother should be in disciplining children? I’m inclined to think that if the child misbehaves when only one parent is present, that parent should discipline the child, but if the child misbehaves when both parents are present, the father should take the initiative in disciplining the child. However, what would you say in the case of a wife who acknowledges the necessity of spanking in principle and would not object to her husband spanking their future children when it is called for, but does not want to do it herself (due at least in part to memories of heavy-handed punishment she received as a child)? Is it okay for the father to be the only one who disciplines or is it important for the mother to be willing to do it when the misbehavior takes place while the father is not there? If it is important for her to be willing to do this, how can a husband help prepare his wife for this while they do not yet have children?


Will, I agree with you about the basic set up. The parent who is present should be able discipline. If this is not done, the kids will figure it out pretty quickly. If there was harshness in the wife’s childhood, she is in a good position to make sure it doesn’t happen again—and having the kids walk all over her is not a good option. Sometimes, if there is a showdown going on, the father might need to come in to back his wife up. And I once heard a stand-up comedian say that his mother would tell him that they were going to wait until the father got home because she wanted him “to see this.”

Hello. In recent years some of my family and friends have gotten heavily into these YouTube “prophets.” It comes up a lot in conversation and it makes me think of what you’ve pointed out in the past: that people get all excited about predictions, but that we are supposed to wait around for the outcome, etc.

I’ve been told by those close to me that “many” of the things these prophets have said have come true. I tell them in the Bible ALL of what prophets said came true, and if any of it didn’t, it was false prophecy. I’m always met with frowns, shaking heads, and a look like I’m just trying to spoil the party.

Sometimes I’ll ask about these prophets, and many times they turn out to be women (some married) who run their own churches, etc. That kind of thing only solidifies my feelings toward it all.

Here’s the real issue, though: I find myself increasingly bothered by all this, to the point that sometimes I can sense anger rising up inside of me when these prophets and their predictions are mentioned.

I know per the NT we aren’t supposed to “treat prophecies with contempt,” but I can’t help but think all this stuff is hogwash. I even secretly find myself hoping none of the things these people say will come true, just so those close to me can move on from it all.

I can’t help but think I’m wrong on at least some level. I don’t react out of my anger, but I wish it didn’t bother me so much.

What do you think of these “prophets” and how would you respond if those close to you were following them?


JW, anger is appropriate, just so long as it is not an unrighteous or spiteful anger. And yes, we are not supposed to treat prophecies with contempt—but the anger is because false prophecies are the thing that is holding true prophecy in contempt. Rejecting a counterfeit gold piece is not holding gold in contempt, but is rather the opposite.

John Piper’s Article

Re: “Which Is Why We Were Instructed to Pray for it to Come”

Pastor Wilson,

This letter has 3 parts, please:

1) introductory comments

2) an informal logical fallacy question

3) a “criticism” question

(1) When I read John Piper’s article, I had these thoughts:

* Pastor John had some form of “Christian Nationalism” in mind when he wrote the article.

* Maybe he had Pastor Doug Wilson somewhere in mind.

* Although not totally surprised, I was disappointed and frustrated that he seemed to glaringly mischaracterize what I understand you to believe regarding this issue.

* AND I was REALLY hoping you would address this article . . . which you did.

(2)So I thought Pastor John was guilty of a “Strawman” fallacy (setting up an argument/opponent that doesn’t exist and refuting it).

But you never mentioned anything about a Strawman fallacy in your response.

Question please: Was Pastor John’s article indeed guilty of the Strawman fallacy or am I miscategorizing it?

(3) You seemed to imply that freedom of speech for non-Gospel/Biblical truth was an inalienable God-given right . . . not a government granted privilege.

Now I am happy and thankful our government was built on the premise that freedom of speech IS an inalienable God-given right . . . but where in the Bible does it say that freedom of speech for non-Gospel/Biblical truth is a God-given right?

It seems like that is basically the same thing as saying: Anything that is not forbidden in the Bible is an inalienable God-given right, and therefore I can “lawfully” do anything I want no matter what the government says.

Would you please set me straight on this?

Thank you,


Robert, yes, I think John was refuting a strawman. But I believe he is a man of integrity, and was not doing it deliberately. I believe that he has a pietistic paradigm that he has not clearly identified in himself, and it makes him think we are saying things we are not saying.

As for your final question, I do believe that—within certain guardrails—a citizen has a God-given right to be wrong, even if the error is a sinful one. The sin will be addressed by God at the last day. But the main problem is not the sinfulness of the citizen, but rather the sinfulness of the magistrate who sets himself up to monitor how many erroneous things the citizen may say. When the government says things that are wrong or blasphemous, the damage is far greater than when individuals do.

Go, Fight, Win

I pray this letter finds you well-suited in grace as you continue serving the Good Shepherd in overseeing His blood-bought flock.

My name is Rodney Chand, and I am an elder (currently the only one) at Grace & Peace Fellowship Bible Church in American Samoa.

My purpose for writing (I wish I could send the accompanying pictures) was to thank the Master for your redeemed life which has influenced our small covenant community of believers (25 in all) in many ways. Last Saturday, we held our first graduation for Grace & Peace Academy (GPA), an extension ministry of our congregation to educate our children. We are not accredited, and after looking into ACCS, we weren’t in the position to take that route two years ago. Yet despite all the challenges during COVID, our congregation never once shut its doors (the only church in American Samoa to stay open) as God held us fast, took our children out of public schools, and started to bow to what God’s Word teaches us.

After years of preaching covenant principles and relying upon His mercy, three families agreed to venture into this unknown realm. In three weeks, we started the school with a rag-tag bunch of parents with an unqualified headmaster (looking in the mirror). We desire to encompass the full-orbed classical model but must build up toward it. We had one parent from each of the families commit, and both my wife and I also got into the rink with the parents and their children.

There was great amazement in the air on Saturday as we held our first graduation ceremony (once again, I wish I had a way of sending pictures), where one 8th grader and one kindergartner moved on to their next phase of education. We’ve got a long way to go as our students range from 1-16 years old. Yet the glorious sight of seeing and living out the Shema has affected all of us greatly. The kids sang “To the Word” sea shanty during the graduation. It was indeed something.

We’ve subscribed to Canon+ App (3 families so far) and started a new ministry before service after the ladies watched Eve in Exile. The men are growing in their faith as covenant heads of households, and overall we are being fitted for our modern-day Reformation in large part by you all. My wife has fallen in love with Mrs. Nancy as I have with your writings. Thanks so much for the free books during November (Don’t worry, we’ve purchased many also). We missed purchasing 20 sets of Mere Christendom because of trying to collect enough funds, and by the time we were ready, the Billboard offer had expired. We still purchased one, which should ship after the second printing.

Sir, I can keep going, but I just wanted to express my deep gratitude as a fellow elder and soldier for Christ and tell you to keep doing what you all are doing, as our Master is using it for His glory. We are the only Reformed church in American Samoa, but we are going full force in reaching others but building within and declaring to all the only Savior while teaching the Lordship of Christ’s rule. Please pray that people don’t look at the Pacific Islands as just a flyover for their next vacation but as a harvest field for God’s elect. This is our station in life, and we want to serve here faithfully. So as we await the imminent return of the Savior, we continue to build for the next ten thousand years as all of life is truly to be lived to the Glory of Christ


Rodney, may God continue to richly bless you all. Keep on keeping on.

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