Doug Phillips-Homeschooling Guru and QF Proponent

"Those that hate goodness are sometimes nearer than those that know nothing at all about it and think they have it already."
–The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

"The worst attitude of all would be the professional attitude which regards children in the lump as a sort of raw material which we have to handle."
–On Three Ways of Writing for Children (100) C.S. Lewis



Today is a solemn one for me, for it was on this day 37 years ago that I was involved in a horrible crash that claimed the lives of a friend's parents.  My friend had invited me to join her family for a weekend at Myrtle Beach.  I was twelve years old, and it was my first time ever away from home without my family.  Tragically, we never made it.  An intoxicated woman hit us head-on at 60 mph, which was the same rate of speed we were traveling.  My friend's parents were thrown through the windshield of their GMC pick-up and killed instantly, while she and I were pinned inside.  It took several hours for rescue workers to cut us out of the mangled truck.  It’s incredible to realize that I could have be the one who flew through the windshield into eternity had the oncoming vehicle struck closer to the driver side, instead of our side.    

Divine providence is the sole reason why I'm alive today.  Every time I notice my facial scars (I've had plastic surgery three times!) or feel the deep indentation above my forehead from a serious skull fracture, I remember how my Heavenly Father spared my life, and I'm so grateful!  I believe He allowed me to live for a specific purpose — so that I could use my gifts and talents to do His work.  This ministry, The Wartburg Watch, is providing the opportunity to do just that.  While Dee and I know that not everyone is ALWAYS going to agree with our opinions, we are diligent to document what we present to the best of our ability.  Then we extrapolate from that information to establish our own theological viewpoints.  This is an open forum, and we invite both supporters and dissenters to comment.  Thank you for reading.



We are continuing our investigation into the modern-day Quiverfull Movement by focusing on an individual who appears to be in the forefront of the movement — Doug Phillips, Esq.  Doug is a friend of Bill Gothard, and he strongly supports the QF position.  Last summer when we first began to focus on issues impacting Christendom, Doug was one of the first individuals we researched.  We now believe that divine providence is what impassioned us to focus on him.  One of us has spent countless hours trying to discover the truth about this man who is having some degree of influence in certain Christian circles.  What we have uncovered has been shocking!    

I (Deb) heard Doug Phillips speak at a homeschooling conference in the late 1990s.  At the time I knew absolutely nothing about him.  I found Doug to be a passionate speaker who "appeared" to show great concern for Christian values and American ideals.  I homeschooled my daughters for four years (when they were in the elementary grades), and then my husband and I enrolled them in a wonderful Christian school.  We have never looked back.  Little did I realize that the homeschooling scene has changed quite a bit over the past decade.  

When I began investigating young marriages, I kept coming across Doug Phillips' name.  Finally, I decided to find out who he is and what he believes as a Christian.  Before I get into that, let me share with you Doug's biographical information on the Vision Forum Ministries website.  Here’s the link:



About the President

Doug Phillips is a sinner, saved by grace. God was pleased to place him in the home of Howard and Peggy Phillips, two outstanding parents who loved him and poured their lives into him. His father personally discipled Doug for much of his life, taking Doug with him around the country, such that Doug had traveled with his family through 49 of the 50 states by the time he was 18. His father — a former candidate for President of the United States who served as Acting Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under Richard Nixon — faithfully read both Old and New Testament to him at the dinner table, taught him constitutional law, public policy, and communicated to Doug a remarkable passion for history. They listened together to more than 2,000 audiocassettes on history, books, and theology.

As a young man, Doug was also discipled by Robert Gifford, a great preacher of the Word and pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, who communicated to Doug a passion for Christian apologetics and the sovereignty of God. Because of his father’s work as a statesman, Doug had the opportunity to spend time with, and learn from, many of the great Christian leaders of the last 30 years. It was during this time, however, that Doug came to realize that the greatest witness a man could offer for Jesus Christ was not what he knew, but how he lived his life as a father and a husband. It was at this time that God began to build a vision in Doug’s life for seeing the restoration of biblical manhood, godly femininity, and the Christian home.

While running a Christian newspaper in college, Doug met Beall, a young woman who ran a ministry to unwed mothers called “Alternatives to Abortion” (interestingly enough, Beall herself had been adopted). Five years later, on “the happiest day of my life — except for every day after that,” Doug and Beall were married. Doug attended law school for the purpose of developing skills that would help him defend home educators and Christian parents from State tyranny. He graduated from George Mason School of Law, where he studied under judges Robert Bork and Doug Ginsberg. He served for six years at the Home School Legal Defense Association in multiple capacities including staff attorney and Director of the National Center for Home Education.


In the Fall of 1998, Doug and Beall founded The Vision Forum, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas, devoted to producing books and tapes to help build up Christian families. Later, they founded Vision Forum Ministries (non-profit 501[c]3), a ministry designed to communicate a vision for the restoration of the Christian family and the rebuilding of culture for the glory of God. Much of Doug’s time is spent teaching with the hope to spur on Christian manhood and sacrificial fatherhood, and to see dads turn their hearts to their wives and children.

In addition to editing and writing numerous books, Doug founded the Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy, The Christian Boys’ & Men’s Titanic Society, the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches, the All-American Boy’s Adventure Catalog, the Beautiful Girlhood Collection catalog, and the Vision Forum Family Books and Media catalog. Doug has appeared on numerous radio and television shows and has spoken at more than 100 home school conferences in 42 states. Along with Dr. John Morris, Doug is pleased to be the featured speaker at the Back to Genesis conferences hosted by the Institute for Creation Research, where he holds the title of Professor of Apologetics with their adjunct faculty. Doug is privileged to serve as one of the shepherds at Boerne Christian Assembly, a local church work which boldly proclaims the sufficiency of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, the continuing relevance of the entire Word of God to all of life, the priesthood of the believer, distinctively Christian education, and the importance of family-reinforcing local churches.

The greatest joys in Doug’s life are his wife Beall and the eight children that God has graciously given to them: Joshua, Justice, Liberty, Jubilee, Faith Evangeline, Honor, Providence, and Virginia Hope. May the Lord’s name be blessed forever!

What an incredible bio!  Doug Phillips sounds like a phenomenal Christian leader, husband, father, and “shepherd” at his church!  But is that really the case?

Here’s a satire written by an unknown individual explaining what Doug Phillips and Vision Forum Ministries represent.  If you’re not familiar with Doug and his “ministry”, you probably won’t understand why these satirical statements are being made, but here goes anyway…

Life In Vision Forum Land
“Somewhere there is a place called Perfect.
Where parents offer their children anything, from meeting Titanic survivors to buying almost the entire set of G.A. Henty books for only $1,400.00.
And it is only $700.00 when on sale.
Where there is family integrated church.
With a potprovidence meal afterwards.
Where the children are seen and not heard.
And so are the women.
Where, after the sermon, father enjoys debating and discussing issues with other men.
And the women are taught by Jennie Chancey.
Where vile American Girl dolls are banned.
And girls play with the Beautiful Girlhood dolls.
Where the men vote for the household.
And women do not vote at all.
Where the girls are content to let the boys have all the fun; while they sit using their pewter thimbles, sewing scissors, and needle cases.
And then have a tea party.
Where the girls serve their fathers.
And can always recite the words of the Botkin sisters.
Where the young men and women are taught all about courtship and held to the highest standards of Emotional Purity.
And the young women plan their weddings in detail and dream all sorts of swooning romantic dreams, just like Elsie Dinsmore.
Where the pretty girls marry Vision Forum interns.
And the not-so pretty ones stay home with Mother and Father.
Where Doug Phillips officiates.
And gets a bird’s eye view of your first kiss.
Where college for anyone is frowned upon.
And women don’t need schooling at all.
Where people talk and write like a walking 1865 dictionary.
And use words that Shakespeare didn’t.
Where having a baby is referred to as Militant Fecundity.
And you name your child Modeste Perseverance Truth.
Where families must have at least six children.
And only a few exceptions are made.
But since you aren’t anywhere near perfect; there’s Vision Forum. Open every day, sometimes 24 hours. Where you can buy whatever you need to try to make your life perfect and like ours–because we know it isn’t.
That’s life…this is Vision Forum.

If you aren't familiar with Doug Phillips and what he believes, this satire is a fairly accurate description based on our extensive research.  Doug and his fellow patriarchs believe:

         Husbands are in charge, even in their “family integrated churches.”

         Women are not “allowed” to vote independently of their husbands.  He instructs her how to vote.

         Wives are to be silent in the church and in general.

–          Children are a blessing and arrows in the hands of their mighty warrior fathers.

–          Daughters are to be trained to perform their godly calling as “keepers at home” period!  College and careers are absolutely forbidden!

–          A daughter is to remain under her father’s “covering” and serve as his “helpmeet” until she marries, at which time she will be placed under her husband’s “covering”.  She must follow the model of the Botkin sisters (to be discussed…)

–          “Courtship” is the only option, and the first kiss happens on one’s wedding day.

–          Above all, a quiverfull of kids is MANDATORY!

It’s important to realize that we’re not talking about the religion of Islam here – this is a form of Christianity being practiced right here in the United States.  There are certain “patriarchs” like Doug Phillips who claim to know better than anyone else how the Christian life is to be lived.

Now let’s take a look at a few of these specific beliefs held by the patriarchs. 

First, let’s look at voting rights for women.  Incredibly, there are some patriarchs in the 21st century who are adamantly opposed to women having the right to vote.  Here's the link to a disturbing article entitled "Biblical Patriarchy and the Doctrine of Federal Representation" that we encourage you to read, along with an excerpt.  It will give you insight into the minds of these radical Christians:

"By the 20th century, American Christians saw the “height” of Christian activism as … affirming a woman’s right to vote … God never gives women the “right” to vote (cf. 1 Tim 2:11ff) … In regards to a woman’s right to vote; if husband and wife are truly “one flesh” and the husband is doing his duty to represent the family to the wider community, then what PRACTICAL benefit does allowing women to vote provide? If husband and wife agree on an issue, then one has simply doubled the number of votes; but the result is the same. Women voting only makes a difference when the husband and wife disagree; a wife, who does not trust the judgment of her husband, can nullify his vote. Thus, the immediate consequence is to enshrine the will of the individual OVER the good of the family thus creating divisions WITHIN the family."

In the near future, we plan to address each of the extra-biblical teachings by the patriarchs like Doug Phillips, but since we are currently discussing the Quiverfull Movement, we'll keep the remainder of today’s post focused on the topic at hand. 

So where's the connection between Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips?  While we don't know specifically how Bill may have influenced Doug Phillips in his formative years, we do know that they are linked together.  Here's an excerpt from Doug Phillips’ June 10, 2003, blog post that confirms his admiration for Gothard which can be found at this link:



Doug writes:  "All of this brings me to Knoxville. If there is one simple principle embraced by Bill Gothard and the ministry of IBLP that has left the greatest and most positive impact on our nation, it is their vigorous, uncompromising, unequivocating view of children as a blessing and birth control as a perversion of God’s design for husband and wife. Today, there are thousands of precious babies walking the earth because their parents heard this message from the IBLP ministry. For this I am grateful.  Mr. Gothard was the perfect host, making sure that all of his speakers were well cared for, and visiting with us on multiple occasions to pray and share his heart for the event." 

In case you're interested, there's a photo of Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips in Doug’s June 10th post at the link provided.

Why were Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips together in Knoxville?  Doug explains in his June 6, 2003, post which can also be found at the above link:

"Never to be forgotten was my experience this Wednesday offering a keynote address to a capacity crowd of 10,000 to 12,000 home educators in the massive auditorium of the University of Tennessee as part of the 2003 Knoxville convention sponsored by the ministries of Bill Gothard.  For the last twenty years this annual conference has attracted thousands of home educators participating in Advanced Training Institute, a unique character driven, unit based approach to Christian home education."

Now let's focus on Doug's advocacy for the Quiverfull Movement.  First of all, Doug and his wife Beall seem to practice what they preach because they have 8 children, as you read in Doug’s bio.   

Secondly, Doug is listed as a "Notable adherent" in the Wikipedia article on the Quiverfull Movement.  Here's the link:

Thirdly, Doug invited the the Duggar family to the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival (which he founded) several years ago and glorified them with these words: 

“The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival is pleased to welcome the Jim Bob Duggar Family as featured speakers as part of its third annual Film Festival to be held in the Alamo City on October 19-21. The Duggars, stars of the Discovery Health Channel’s number one hit-special, “Raising 16 Children,” will give a behind-the-scenes look at their popular television documentary sensation as part of the three-day event to be held at the Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio.

‘One of the most remarkable events on cable television took place recently when hundreds of thousands of viewers watched as the Duggars — a Christian home school family with sixteen biological children — worked together and managed a happy, orderly household to the glory of God,’ observed Doug Phillips, founder of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. ‘The Duggars have been a bright light for Christ in the public eye, and we are delighted to have all eighteen members of the Duggar family as our guests at our third annual festival.’”

If you watched the “Charmed Life” video in last Friday’s post, you’ll remember that it begins with the Duggar family coming on stage.  That promenade took place at the San Antonio Film Festival.

If you think the Quiverfull Movement is only about having lots of “blessings”, think again…  You might be startled by the “hidden agenda” of QF proponents like Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard.

Tune in tomorrow when we'll explain that "what you see isn’t necessarily what you get …"    

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