Doug Wilson Reenacts The Prayer of Jabez

There are many different ways of bringing people into His kingdom. I have therefore learned to be cautious in my judgment. CS Lewis @CS Lewis Daily

a storm of comets_NASA picture of the day
A Storm of Comets-NASA

In my last post, I tried to stress my reason for being, to use the Calvinista's term, “missional.” In fact, when I first heard this term emanating from every corner of the Calvinista globe, I experienced a momentary euphoria. I thought I had finally stumbled upon something we can agree upon. We may have differences on how we view predestination, gender roles and authority, but we can all agree that the Gospel needs to be spread. But, I must confess, I have felt some uneasiness about this word “missional” especially when it is paired up with the words ”gospel” and “biblical.” These are all words that I have loved for all of my Christian walk so why would I be concerned?

The Bible is taken seriously at TWW

For our new readers I want to reassure you that we take the Bible very seriously and consider it the infallible Word of God. We have studied it, dissected it, discussed it, read commentaries, taught it etc. In fact, today marks an end and a beginning. At the bottom of each blog post, you will see some Bible verses. If you joined us about 1/½ years ago and read those verses, as of today, you have read through the entire Bible. However, do not fear. We will begin again tomorrow. Just click on the verse and the reading will pop up for you.

To our detractors, we say, how many of you defenders of the Bible have made reading it a priority? How many of the Calvinista blogs help their readers to read through the Bible? This is our strongest defense. We love the Scriptures.

What is a missional attitude?

But, I wonder if we all mean the same thing. Recently, I received the following email from a high profile Christian individual who said “I find someone who calls herself an agnostic offensive.”  My first thought was “Wait a minute. Isn’t that what the Great Commission is all about?  Isn’t that the perfect opportunity to dialog, to seek to understand, etc.?  Or could it be that I don’t have it right? Is there something I am missing?"

Two science fiction books that get missional more than many Christians.

Recently, I finished the second of two fictional books, which moved me deeply. Mary Doria Russell wrote them both. Here is an excerpt from her biography found on Wikipedia. Link

"She earned a Ph.D in biological anthropology at the University of Michigan. She was raised as a Catholic but left the church at age fifteen, and her struggles to figure out how much of that culture to pass on to her children fueled the prominence of religion in her work."

Wikipedia goes on to briefly mention the two books to which I am referring.

“Two of Russell's novels — The Sparrow and its sequel Children of God — have as their subject first contact with aliens. Within the two works, she explores how one can reconcile the idea of a benevolent deity in a universe filled with pain and evil.”

The Sparrow

The first book is The Sparrow link. I shall do my best not to spoil either book’s twists and turns. I also want to emphasize that if one is looking for traditional evangelical doctrine, this is not the book for you. However, it presents a worldview which challenged me to think more deeply about my faith and how I view others.

Earth picks up the sounds of glorious music coming from a planet nearby. The assumption is made that such a civilization would have much to offer Earth. The Jesuits, along with some scientists, etc. launch a spaceship to visit this planet called Rakhat.

This is part of the synopsis by Publisher’s weekly at Amazon

“Father Emilio Sandoz, (is) a Jesuit linguist whose messianic virtues hides his occasional doubt about his calling. The mystery is the climactic turn of events that has left him the sole survivor of a secret Jesuit expedition to the planet Rakhat and, upon his return, made him a disgrace to his faith. Suspense escalates as the narrative ping-pongs between the years 2016, when Sandoz begins assembling the team that first detects signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and 2060, when a Vatican inquest is convened to coax an explanation from the physically mutilated and emotionally devastated priest.”

This first book leaves the reader devastated as the source of the music is discovered to have its roots in other than beauty.  Father Sanchez returns to Earth a broken man who no longer believes. Yet, he continues to wrestle with faith. This is not a spoiler because you learn this up front. I mentioned this book in a previous post and a reader urged me to read the second and final book, Children of God link and I am so glad that I did.

Children of God

Once again, here is short review from Publishers Weekly at the referenced link. 

"Russell follows her speculative first novel, The Sparrow, with a sequel that will please even readers new to her interplanetary missionaries. Having returned from a disastrous, 21st-century expedition to the planet Rakhat, Jesuit Father Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor of the mission, faces public rage over the order's part in the war between the gentle Runa and the predatory Jana'ata’s fury more than matched by the priest's own self-hatred and religious disillusionment.

In the sequel, he is forced to return to Rakhat with a new expedition more interested in profits than prophets. When they discover the planet in turmoil and the Runa precariously in power, the temptation to interfere is more than they can withstand. As in her first book, Russell uses the entertaining plot to explore sociological, spiritual, religious, scientific and historical questions. Misunderstandings between cultures and people are at the heart of her story. It is, however, the complex figure of Father Sandoz around which a diverse interplanetary cast orbits, and it is the intelligent, emotional and very personal feud between Father Sandoz and his God that provides energy for both books.”

This book turned my assumptions based on the first book on their head. There were grave misunderstandings, that, when seen in the full light of day, bring wonderful insight into culture and faith. I kept thinking that this book would be a great read for someone who is interested in thinking “missionally.” In the end, an entire planet was changed and the lost faith of a lonely and abused Jesuit is…well, I’ll let you read it for yourself.

Three concerns

The first thing I want to address is those who do not believe, struggle to believe, or have lost their faith and continue to struggle. You all matter here at TWW, even if you never believe again. May you know that those of us who still cling to the faith value you. Your thoughts and concerns matter to us and we hope you find here some Christians who actually care about you and are not offended by you.

Secondly, I am fed up with many Christians who complain they are being persecuted whenever they get criticized. They have an ego a mile wide and view any disagreement, however mild, cause for church discipline or screeds about the immanent destruction of the faith. This faith lasted through the horror of the persecutions of Nero, the stupidity of religious leaders throughout the ages, through attempts to eradicate it by killing the faithful in China, the Middle East and the old Soviet Union. If one studies the lives of the early martyrs, we didn’t hear them complaining about their lot. They went to their deaths singing hymns, and in so doing, changed a world.

Today, fragile egos in the pulpit and on elder boards overreact when someone deigns to say they disagree with doctrine or some new church mandate. If the Coliseum was functioning today, some of these guys would be dragged into the arena, bawling their eyes out and whimpering about violations of Matthew 18.

Thirdly, every encounter with another human being matters in the light of eternity. Instead of a screed or an insult, what would happen if a pastor actually responded thoughtfully and kindly?  Wade Burleson modeled his strength in a recent post. Why do I get the feeling that men like Doug Wilson and many members of The Gospel Coalition would not have responded this way. Calvinistas-Read this post by Wade. You could learn a lot from Lessons in Dealing With a Disgruntled Church Member link

However, I do not hold my breath for changed attitudes within the Calvinista camp. Instead, we get more and more posts on authority, leadership, and discipline. In fact, I have a growing concern about the numbers of comments that I read in Neo Calvinist blogs which state that love should take a backseat to doctrine and authority.

And before there is moaning,  let me reassure you that I take doctrine very, very seriously. That is not what I am saying. Love has become a dirty word in Neo-Calville and I am tired of it.

Conclusion: Missional appears to mean something different than I thought.

Here is my conclusion. Missional, in Calvinista terms has nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection and everything to with secondary doctrine. We must do it their way-complete with predestination, TULIP, “know your place gender roles, and authority, authority, authority, ad nauseam.

How do I know this to be true? It is quite simple. If Doug Wilson and his daughters really believe that Rachel Held Evans is a heretic, they would use this opportunity to reach out to her in love. They would kindly explain their beliefs, hoping that their response would turn her to the faith as they see it. They might take the opportunity to use the Calvinista buzzword, ”winsome.”

The Wilsons appear to be self-centered examples of The Prayer of Jabez

But that is not happening whatsoever. Instead, the Wilsons appear to be acting out a scene from The Prayer of Jabez. (1Chronicles 4:9-10 NIV)

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

It appears that this all about them. If it were not, the responses would be different.

Their own words betray them

Here are some examples. Please go to their blogs and read the whole sorry mess.

1. The Politics of Outrage-Doug Wilson link

“You will also understand how homosexual marriage has been mainstreamed, how creationists get themselves exiled to Dogpatch Bible College, how women wound up deployed in the Sixth Fleet, why the nation is deep in trillodebt, and how it is that the new bishop is a lesbian dyke from Ecuador. The only arena where the leftists have not executed this strategy effectively has been with the pro-life issue.

They deny the authority of Scripture, they accept as dialog partners advocates of every abomination that Leviticus contains, they attack those who are seeking to be faithful servants of Christ, they call the holy wars of YHWH genocide, and so on, down the street and around the corner. Other than that, they are good Christians.”

Note how Wilson demeans those who disagree with him. I guess this means that I am not a faithful servant of Christ as well.

2. One daughter missionally writes “A Note for Rachel Evans link 

"I am all for a heated discussion when there are differences of opinion on Scripture and how it plays out in our lives, but as far as I can tell, that was never your point. You demonstrated more concern that the pro-S&M crowd could feel stung by some of the discussion than concern for the rampant slander you set blazing against two ministers of the Gospel."

3. Another daughter lovingly reviews Evans in Splashing Into It Again link.

"Rachel Held Evans is a feminist egalitarian who, among other things, refers to God in the feminine, is defensive of homosexuality, and whose forthcoming book involves her taking all the biblical commands to women, following them as literally as possible and then showing how ridiculous they all are. She’s a woman who has made her name by being a bit of a shock-jock. She talks rough and tough, and gets all crass on the guys she’s going after. But here’s the thing. She also makes her living by professionally getting her feelings hurt."

4.The worst review of all is by this  well-raised daughter. Thems Fighting Words link“I’m afraid that the Furiously-Righteous-Evans has transitioned into her squeaky voice, and we all know what happens when a woman gets squeaky. (And to be perfectly frank, this is a level of squeak rarely caught on camera since the Temperance Movement.)”

“If a condescending man was to pat her on the head and say, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about things. You leave it to the men to do the intellectual stuff,” I imagine we would see quite a Furiously-Righteous fireworks display and a lot of smoke coming out her ears. So it would have perhaps been better for her cause if she hadn’t gone quite so public with a blog post that makes it clear to the meanest intelligence that she can’t follow an argument to save her life, and her ability to research appears to be completely nil. I mean, if you don’t want people to think you aren’t as gifted intellectually as the men, then for heaven’s sakes don’t give them blog posts in which you demonstrate your inability to think your way out of a paper bag. Just sayin’ . . .”

Note: Our readers need to know that said daughter now claims that this was just a satire. I do not believe her for one minute. I think this reveals just a bit of what goes on beneath the cutesy surface.

I want to end this on a comment made on the last post. You tell me if the missional spirit of the daughters came through.

A sad, final example

A comment from Hannah July 19, 2012 at 3:48 am

"Ah, so THIS is the Christian idea of brotherly (or sisterly, in this case) love. Oh, it’s not? Well, then I was unaware of the fact that spite and malice were fruits of the spirit. Wasn’t it Jesus who said that when an “evil person” strikes you, you are to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39)?

This is my first time reading material from both you and RHE. And, really? “Just give me one sec while I put on my pointy stilettos, my biggest rings, and call my sister . . . and then we can step down the alley here”… Because that sounds Christian AND ladylike. You’d think that a woman educated in the ways of both logic and rhetoric would be able to come up with a better way to address a challenger than use such logical fallacies as ad hominem, straw man, and red herring.

So thanks A TON, Rebekah, for reminding me why I made the transition from Christianity to Atheism. I was starting to wonder for a little bit but this amazing display of restraint and Christian principles really solidified it for me. Peace.
"

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. If this post has upset any of the Wilson clan or their supporters, let me reassure you. It was all just a satire…

Lydia's Corner: Malachi 3:1-4:6 Revelation 22:1-21 Psalm 150:1-6 Proverbs 31:25-31 We begin again tomorrow!

Comments

Doug Wilson Reenacts The Prayer of Jabez — 92 Comments

  1. If you don’t think the Wilson Klan (spelling intentional) has issues with other races, then take a look at Doug’s most recent post….strip away the fancy language and equivocation and you’ve got nothing more than a racist white man craving power and doing everything to keep the help down.

  2. In fact, I have a growing concern about the numbers of comments that I read in Neo Calvinist blogs which state that love should take a backseat to doctrine and authority.

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  3. Pingback: Doug Wilson Reenacts The Prayer of Jabez | The Wartburg Watch … | Christian Dailys UNITED STATES

  4. @Hug … the expanded quote from the book, which is I think is even more creepy.

    “[Lord Voldemort] is with me wherever I go,” said Quirrell quietly. “I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.”

    ~ Professor Quirrell, *Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone* by J.K. Rowling (page 291)

  5. Regarding that last comment: I find it really sad…and logically questionable…when I must be concerned that someone’s eternal life or death hinges on whether or not I offend their delicate sensibilities.

    I refuse to accept that. Telling people that you are condemning them to hell because you don’t like their TONE?!

    Well, you know, sorry we’ve gotten to that point. Sometimes speaking the truth in love means speaking it loudly; and when spiritual tyrants are coming after everyone’s rational mind in service to their own “authority”, I’m sorry, I’m not expecting Rachel or any other Christian to “turn the other cheek”. As with almost all of them, that is just another verse that people distort in service to their own preconceived judgments or to justify their quest for power.

  6. “The first thing I want to address is those who do not believe, struggle to believe, or have lost their faith and continue to struggle. You all matter here at TWW, even if you never believe again. May you know that those of us who still cling to the faith value you. Your thoughts and concerns matter to us and we hope you find here some Christians who actually care about you and are not offended by you”.

    I reposted this whole paragraph because this is the spirit of The Wartburg Watch. Thank you Dee & Deb.

  7. Dee–you do know that Mary Doria Russell converted to Judaism?

    I’d also note that reading The Sparrow and Children of God was one of many, many factors that helped push me out of Christianity. Yeah, they’re fiction, but they pose some very hard questions.

    And finally, I love you all, but…I’m glad I’m not hamstrung by having to conform my thinking to a set of documents written/compiled in a time when women had few, if any, rights. It’s unfortunate, but Doug Wilson and his buddies have the weight of tradition*** on their side–women WERE treated like dirt legally, socially and religiously until the beginning of the 20th century in Western countries, and it wasn’t Christianity that secured my civil and legal rights, it was women willing to go to jail who did.

    *** Tradition yes, but that may not have been what Jesus taught.

  8. “You will also understand how homosexual marriage has been mainstreamed, how creationists get themselves exiled to Dogpatch Bible College, how women wound up deployed in the Sixth Fleet, why the nation is deep in trillodebt, and how it is that the new bishop is a lesbian dyke from Ecuador.”

    1. Many creationists are “exiled” to Dogpatch Bible College because they are scientific frauds. Not all of them, but many of them. Also, perhaps Mr. Wilson should note especially well that many Bible “colleges” are frauds too.
    2. I’m not even going to touch the trillodebt thing, but I’m pretty sure egalitarians weren’t the main cause. Unless he’s going to go down the “women only vote for expensive safety net measures because they’re emotional, so let’s take away their right to vote” road, in which case I’ll have a lot to say. I do, after all, have this thing called a right to free speech under this thing called the Constitution, no matter what Doug Wilson thinks.
    3. “Lesbian dyke”? No. Just no. Now you’ve descended to level of “God Hates Fags.”

    “If a condescending man was to pat her on the head and say, ‘Don’t you worry your pretty little head about things. You leave it to the men to do the intellectual stuff,’ I imagine we would see quite a Furiously-Righteous fireworks display and a lot of smoke coming out her ears.”

    …Which would be a perfectly appropriate response, BTW, so I fail to see the problem. That must make me a feminazi.

  9. Southwestern Discomfort –

    Not all women have been treated like dirt, and Jesus did not treat women like dirt even though he lived at a time and in a society when most women were considered property. Jesus also did not come to mainly set us free from a physical condition, though he often does this, He came to address our spiritual condition and our spiritual separation from God. I am glad that we, women, are being set free from so much

  10. “Secondly, I am fed up with many Christians who complain they are being persecuted whenever they get criticized. … This faith lasted through the horror of the persecutions of Nero, the stupidity of religious leaders throughout the ages, through attempts to eradicate it by killing the faithful in China, the Middle East and the old Soviet Union. If one studies the lives of the early martyrs, we didn’t hear them complaining about their lot. They went to their deaths singing hymns, and in so doing, changed a world.”

    This is slightly off-topic, but I get frustrated about this every Christmas, when all my Christian friends start the obligatory evangelical whinefest about the commercialization of Christmas. They can’t just have a joyful, Christ-centered Christmas that shows the love of Christ to everyone whose Christmas DOES center only around presents. They have to carp about stuff and Santa and atheists taking away nativity displays and…ARGGGHHH. Don’t get me started. : P

  11. I LOVE those books — but then I love things that stretch my faith, force me to abandon empty clichés, and take me deeper into who God really is. It has only just occurred to me that I first read those books when I was in the (long) process of rejecting Calvinism .. wonder if they played a part?

    That last Wilson-daughter blog you quoted would have to rank as the most mean-spirited thing I have ever read. I don’t remember anyone in the school playground ever being that nasty. If that is the fruit of their system and education, then I feel like crying for them. It all sounds so much like the desperate screeching of abandoned sheep who have never found rest for their hearts in the Shepherd’s tenderness.

    Anyone who thinks their personal truth-system is more important than the command to love has totally missed the heart of God

  12. 3. “Lesbian dyke”? No. Just no. Now you’ve descended to level of “God Hates Fags.” — Hester

    “Your dog is a Gay Homosexual.”
    — Cartman from South Park

    “FAAAG! FAAAAAAG!!! FAAAAAAAAAG!!!!!”
    — Townsman from Lenny Bruce skit “Masked Man”

  13. This is slightly off-topic, but I get frustrated about this every Christmas, when all my Christian friends start the obligatory evangelical whinefest about the commercialization of Christmas. — Hester

    Well, after October 31st they can’t do the obligatory evangelical whinefest about The Devil’s Holiday(TM) they’ve been doing since October 1st. Especially if it isn’t a Presidential Election Year.

  14. Which would be a perfectly appropriate response, BTW, so I fail to see the problem. That must make me a feminazi. — Hester

    No, Hester, to be a Feminazi you’d have to be as Female Supremacist (my preferred term) as Wilson and his “penetrating, conquering, planting” ilk are Male Supremacist.

  15. @ HUG:

    “Well, after October 31st they can’t do the obligatory evangelical whinefest about The Devil’s Holiday(TM) they’ve been doing since October 1st.”

    Hell house, anybody? : ) Personally my family never really did Halloween, but we were never the sort to beat people over the head about it. It’s also pretty funny when Christians who do celebrate Halloween say things like “Halloween teaches us about death, like when Jesus died.” But isn’t that what Good Friday is for?! Oh wait – they’re Baptist. They don’t use that evil liturgical calendar (except for All Hallows’ Eve).

    And lest anyone fear that I’m a rabid anti-Halloween crazy, last year we took a family trip to Salem, MA the weekend before Halloween to do witch trials research and watch all the costumed folk. Let’s just say we were rewarded, and have lots of photos.

  16. Hester – your trip sounds like a lot of fun; did you mention your 1st name to any of the costumed folk? : )

    Dee – *so* glad you read the 2nd book. She turns a lot of things inside out, upside down and backwards, kinda like a Möbius Strip. I got irritated with some things in the 1st book on 1st reading, but the 2nd book changed that… although I didn’t really “get” some of the things she was talking about until I re-read both books a few years ago. (Come to think of it, I might want to do a re-read soon… they’re both books that seem to reward over time, not just on 1st reading.)

  17. Oh, and… the level of vitriol in those excerpts from the Wilsons’ blogs is enough to fuel a rocket ship to Saturn!

    I guess we’re ALL “feminazis” now.

  18. Hester

     I grew up and lived in Salem Massachusetts for 25 years. I hope you enjoyed my home town.

  19. Dee,

    I just wanted to say thanks to you and Deb for your tolerance regarding all who comment here at TWW, even a quasi-heretic like myself. The first of the three concerns in your above post pretty much spells this out. TWW is a place where even the cast out can congregate. Long live TWW!

  20. @ Numo and Dee:

    Yes, as you may have guessed I’m a big fan of Hawthorne…thus the name I use here. But it’s an appropriate name for a forum where issues of patriarchy, gender, Calvinism and spiritual abuse are discussed, don’t you think? : )

    And yes, Dee, rest assured, I enjoyed your hometown! Probably too much. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re into literature, history and religion. I picked up the day-by-day chronicle of the witch trials while I was there and, let’s just say, ouch. Not the brightest moment in American history…or religious history. Of course that didn’t stop some of the homeschool parents I know from looking surprised when I informed them of the (obvious) fact that none of the people who were hanged were actually witches…

    Also, isn’t it ironic that with all those Biblical/Puritan names floating around in the patriarchal circles, that the name Hester is conspicuously absent? After all, we wouldn’t want our budding “maidens of virtue” to be associated with THAT.

  21. I really like this post — well, I like a lot of your posts, but I really like this one. Thanks. I read the blogs of the likes of the Baylys and the Wilsons of the world and I have to wonder if they know how cartoonish they are. I keep expecting to see Wile E. Coyote and Foghorn Leghorn in the comments. Is it just me?

  22. “Thems Fighting Words” was absolutely horrific. 🙁 The comments too. If language can be violent, that was it. My heart sank with disbelief as I read – let her scorn me for the aching, I don’t care. I’d venture to say Christ mourns more than I for such behavior. Would she like to scorn him too? And her with her chorus of callous replies of “You’re just being Christ-like.” Yes, mean, hateful man that Jesus was, driving those out of the temple who would take advantage of the poor; criticizing religious leaders who would make the pursuit of God a heavy burden. His anger was driven by love… hers? Was clearly not.

    I agree, Dee, that love is on the back burner for these folks. I have been a part of the Reformed crowd for years. I burn with shame when I read things like this, because I vaguely recognize myself in it before the Lord wrecked my world with tragedy and showed me what grace really is. Before that, “love” was one of those words that I became programmed to automatically bristle at because it translated “emotionalism/compromise” in my mind. It is redefined, repackaged, and stuffed into parentheses somewhere. Just like the Holy Spirit. Just like women. Just like the whole hurting world.

    God is Love. If Love is rejected and mocked in their eyes, then how do they view God? How can they love him? I couldn’t. I couldn’t even bring myself to pray to him the whole time my faith was bound up in such thinking. I just could not do it.

    If these folks, these religious elite, are the picture Christ has offered the world of his love for them, then what an ugly thing love must be! It is no wonder they turn away. 🙁 It is no wonder I very nearly did.

  23. Douglas Wilson has instructed his daughters well on how to write in his bombastic and name-calling style.

  24. Hester

    Did you go to The House of the Seven Gables where Hawthorne wrote? When I was a kid, the museums in Salem allowed free admission to school kids. So, I spent my Saturdays, and many summers, palying in the Essex Museum and others, much to the dismay of the guards.

    Did some of the home-schooling group actually think they hung witches? That amazes me. Of course, the current vogue is to quote the Puritans. Perhaps they do not believe that Puritans could have been superstitious and unBiblical along with being landgrabbers? Many people accused of being witches were owners of good land. If they went to jail, after a perios of time their land could be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Yep, Puritans were greedy as well. 

  25. Jumiper

    The very first post we wrote on this blog dleat with our dismay of the currcent situation in the evangelical church. I felt I had entered the Twilight Zoen, starting with a brief stint in Ed Young Jr.s church in Dallas and then a local church here in the Triangle of NC.The faith has been changing over these past few years and the leaders are becoming rabid about their authority and their doctrine. Many of them love the Puritans. They are turning out a lot like the ones who ran my hometown of Salem. And that is not a pretty picture. Imagine if Doug Wilson had the same power of Calvin. I would probably have been hung by now.

  26. Jan

    All thinking people question when terrible things happen. I believe the book of Job is there to encourage us.

    The Calvinistas have made a business, however, of rarely questioning tragedy except to tell us why we are being punished. It goes like this- the earthquake killed 3 million people because they allowed prostitution in X  country. But, why is Amsterdam still standing and why do the brothels of Nevada continue to rake in the cash? Fools believe they know the mind of God in this matter. They lead many astray with their supposed “wisdom.”

    I believe that underneath it all is fear that they are not one of the elect. So, they show that the “undesrtand” why God allows tragedy to happen like Piper and the tornado. Others, like one poor, poor man with disabled children who came here and said he has no problem not knowing if his 5 handicapped kids might be saved. He follows a God who would destroy those who are helpless?

    The only explanation I have for this beyond simple fanaticism is that, underneath it all, he fears he is not one of the elect. he lives daily in fear that he will not see God so he must choose an extreme position in order to prove he is saved. My word, such a bleak and fearful life! 

    We serve a gracious and loving God who wishes none would perish. If we come to Him, He is faithful to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. We are free and we are loved, dearly!

  27. Teri

    I am gald you brought that up. One of them went on and on about taking logic classes and history, etc proving her father is wonderful. As she was writing, she inadvertently gave us a window into her upbringing. Everybody, except for the true believers, can see it. In some way, if they weren’t so harmful, they could be amusing. They have given us all a window into the “Kirk.”

  28. @ Dee:

    I’ve been the House of Seven Gables twice – once on our trip last year, and once before on a trip we took earlier that same year when I was researching The Scarlet Letter for a presentation. It’s a cool place (though it’s not a good idea to take your claustrophobic friend up the hidden staircase by the chimney…).

    Every Calvinist should be required to read The Scarlet Letter and honestly assess how their theology is written into the story. The book is actually pretty historically accurate, and fraught with religious themes/lessons. It’s sad that most conservative Christians’ reaction to it is to assume that Hawthorne was trying to destroy the institution of marriage, which is so indescribably wrong. I’m kind of a nerd about that book, so maybe I should just stop talking before I fill up the comments. : )

    Sadly, I think there are some Christian homeschoolers who do think that the people who were hanged in Salem were witches. Of course, these people have never actually studied the trials. I think they assume something like “Puritans good + witches bad = Puritans made right decisions regarding witches.” Overreaction to Harry Potter doesn’t help either. One of the elders at the Presbyterian church I attended at the time looked just about shocked when I told him that there were no witches, and I know Vision Forum has a CD about them (which I would LOVE to get my hands on – I’m sure it would be extremely telling).

    From what I’ve read? The only people who we actually KNOW practiced witchcraft/folk magic were the ACCUSERS. Which should be enough to discount the entire episode as a farce on its face.

  29. dee

    I appreciate your explanation of “Missional” when someone believes differently then you…
    “They would kindly explain their beliefs, hoping that their response would turn her to the faith as they see it.”

    And – for a different sound about “Missional” – Blogs – and dealing with differences of opinion….

    Here is Ray Ortland today explaining why he removes comments from his Coalition Blog.
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/

    ——————–
    Comments

    Thank you for checking into my blog. My purpose here is to serve the Coalition and you by looking at Jesus from various angles of vision, for all that that means. There’s a lot to him.

    Your comments are an important part of this blog. Thank you for them. Well, most of them.
    I will delete all comments like these:

    1. Blasphemy.

    2. Unfairmindedness

    3. Hijacking

    By “hijacking” I mean a comment that would take a post off in a direction I did not intend or that would set a tone I cannot approve of. The purpose of a comment thread is to interact with the post, not to use the post as a platform for advertising something of your own choosing. You are free to do that on your own blog.

    The upward call of God in Christ (Philippians 3:14) is an upward call, not a downward drag. It raises our standards in everything we do and say.

    This blog, like all the others here at the Coalition site, is worship, witness and encouragement. As such, my conscience is highly active as I blog. This is for Christ. Thank you for sharing that sensitivity with me.

    —————

    Ray sure has a pleasant way of saying things – that seem to make sense.

    BUT – Ray just deleted two of my comments – one yesterday and one the day before…

    And I was in agreement with him about – “The Religiously Wounded” needing to be healed.

    I guess he didn’t like the idea of – Protecting the wounded –
    By – first checking out the Pastor/Leaders to see if they qualify to be elder/overseers. 🙂

    I could be wrong – BUT…
    It seems – Helping ‘The Religiously Wounded” by questioning, and confronting “leadership”…
    Must sound like “1. Blasphemy.” to this crowd.

    If I remember correctly – the only ones Jesus gave a hard time to were “The Religious Leaders.”
    Snakes – Whited sepulchres – of your father the devil – Heavy weights on shoulders…

    Jesus loved – the least of these – the feeble – the less honorable – the ignorant and unlearned…
    The broken hearted…

    I like Jesus – a lot…

  30. To A. Amos Love:

    What contributed to this today is that I re-posted your comment on the ‘All I Want’ post, like this (please keep reading all the way down):

    Mr. Ortlund,

    I’ve read many things on your blog (and only commented a couple of times before, I think). Many times I appreciated quotes you offered, which ministered to my soul and really blessed me. I’ve read books by your parents and loved any stories you shared about how you knew them to be… their passion for Christ and their joy.

    I’m greatly puzzled now. I’ve read this comment below which I learned that you removed twice from this post. There is nothing in it that I can see which is unbiblical. There certainly is no personal attack against anyone. Why would you remove it? An era of shalom would start when people are not afraid of telling and being told the truth. *Then* they can heal. Your removing the post makes it look as if the very idea of holding church leaders accountable to the what the Scriptures say would be a threat to you, or to the system you are part of. Why would it?

    I would *very* much appreciate it you would post this, instead of deleting it. Thank you very much!

    Blessings,
    Monica [Monica’s another name of mine]

    —–

    Ray

    Much agreement when you say…

    “Or at least, the beginning of the end. A new era of shalom must start somewhere. The religiously-wounded must have somewhere to go, some place where they will be safe from attack, where they can heal through the gospel and live again.”

    I would like to see that in my life time. There is NO excuse for Abuse.

    I’ve had the privilege of ministering to many who have been…
    Burnt – Burntout – Kicked out – and – Crawled out – of Todays “Abusive Religious System.”

    One recommendation for those looking to heal…
    Is – To check out those – who say they are – God Ordained Authority.

    “Pastors that Abuse” want you to “obey” – And speak a lot about Heb 13:17
    But don’t spend a lot of time with, or ignore, or twist, other verses.

    Every believer has this right – to check out the Pastor and the Elders.

    And we beseech you, brethren, **to know them**
    which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord,
    and admonish you;
    1 Thess 5:12 KJV

    Every believer is responsible *to know* –
    If your Pastors/Leaders/Elders – Qualify…. To be an “Elder/Overseer.”

    I had to learn this the hard way. Many years and many tears.
    Before trusting a “Mere Fallible Human”
    I now recommend the wounded folks to observe, and to ask…

    1 – Are they living examples of – NOT lording it over “God’s heritage?” 1 Pet 5:3 KJV
    2 – Are they living examples of – lowliness of mind? Phil 2:3 KJV
    3 – Are they living examples of – esteeming others “better” than themselves? Phil 2:3 KJV
    4 – Are they living examples of – submitting “One to Another?” Eph 5:21 KJV, 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    5 – Are they living examples of – prefering others before themselves? Rom 12:10 KJV
    6 – Are they living examples of – being clothed with humility? 1 Pet 5:5 KJV
    7 – Are they living examples of – NOT “execising authority” over “Disciples of Christ?” Mark 10:42-43.

    If they don’t like you asking – Run, Run for your life.

    ——–
    He promptly deleted it. So I posted or tried to post a second one:

    Mr. Ortlund,

    You would have something here to learn from, about how to actually show grace when approached with questions: http://www.wadeburleson.org/2009/03/lessons-in-dealing-with-disgruntled.html

    Do you have *any* idea how hypocritical “The religiously-wounded must have somewhere to go, some place where they will be safe from attack, where they can heal through the gospel and live again” sounds, when one knows how you delete a message that quotes something the *Bible* says?? What was so threatening about how people can avoid getting abused? What was so threatening in the idea that people in church leadership themselves are not above what the Bible requires of them? Your reaction sadly only proves the point… The only people threatened by this idea would be those who think they *are* above what the Bible requires of them… or those who know they would come out short. I find it very sad! I loved your blog and respected you, but apparently my respect was misplaced. I can respect people who in all sincerity embrace some theological points I somewhat differ from, or even greatly differ from. I cannot respect hypocrisy – saying you want safety for abused people and then practically forcefully shutting up people who have been abused and have something to say that could help others.
    —-

    I guess his post is the answer.

  31. Many of them love the Puritans. They are turning out a lot like the ones who ran my hometown of Salem. And that is not a pretty picture. Imagine if Doug Wilson had the same power of Calvin. I would probably have been hung by now. — Dee

    No, Dee, you would have been burned at the stake.

    Using green wood, to make it slower.

    And spectators would have been required to PRAISE GAWD! or suffer the same fate.

  32. The only explanation I have for this beyond simple fanaticism is that, underneath it all, he fears he is not one of the elect. he lives daily in fear that he will not see God so he must choose an extreme position in order to prove he is saved. My word, such a bleak and fearful life! — Dee

    “The hard, grey, grim, drab, joyless path of Salvation.”
    — James Michener, Hawaii, background of one of the New England Calvinist missionaries to “Owyhee”.

  33. HUG

    In Salem, the wtiches were hung except for one who was pressed to death. The English burned their witches. I still remember a scene from the Three Stooges  (who made me laugh as a kid). Curly was to be put to death and was given an option of burning at the stake or beheading. He said “I’ll take burning at the stake.” Moe asked why. He said “I’d rather have a hot stake than a cold chop”. Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck.

  34. A Amos Love

    I am concerned that many of these guys believe that thoughtful disagreement is akin to “hijacking.” This is the world in which they live-isolated and protected from the real concerns. While they parse authority, people are being hurt. A good robust disagreement is good for the soul. But, then again, I am just a woman.

  35. From what I’ve read? The only people who we actually KNOW practiced witchcraft/folk magic were the ACCUSERS. — Hester

    Ah, yes. “Spectral Evidence”, AKA “Scrying”.

    Which is still around (“I SEE THINGS…”)

  36. Dee,

    In the previous post, Victorious linked to that NYT article on Wilson. The most telling thing about it, for me, re: disagreement is the following:

    “Evan sees a lack of critical thinking among N.S.A. students, an inability to systematically question their own assumptions. “When I meet these young men who are trying to smoke pipes and talk about Chesterton, and they haven’t put Chesterton through the wringer, all I’ll say is, ‘Look, guys, his good turn of phrase in “Orthodoxy” does not make him a good thinker,’ ” he said. “When I went through college, some of my greatest moments of advancement were with a professor who hated my guts and didn’t agree with any of my premises. . . . Our thoughts exist in broader company.

    …College life revolves around Christ Church and Trinity Reformed Church — both members of the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, a denomination based on “historic Protestant orthodoxy” that Wilson co-founded in 1998. The college handbook forbids students to embrace or promote “doctrinal errors” from the 4th through the 21st centuries, “such as Arianism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, Skepticism, Feminism.” If drawn to such ideas, they must “inform the administration immediately and honestly in a letter offering to withdraw from the College.” Cultural revolution cannot tolerate heretics.”

    I have run into these wannabe-Oxford-dons-circa-1935 types many times and this assessment is spot on. He’s collected a group of kids (which most first and second year undergraduates are) looking for an identity who idolize (or whose parents idolize) a certain time and place (Medieval Europe by way of Lewis) and they are unable to think critically or accept disagreement. There is a lot of posturing with pipes and beer and pubs and Plato and it is not true intellectual or cultural development. But the web is so thick…

  37. One more thought: if you banish anyone “drawn” to feminism, then you can teach about/against and criticize relentlessly a caricature of feminism because you never have to interact with actual feminists…or anyone else who truly disagrees with you. I have it on very good authority (more to come in that email I’ve still got to send to you) that the situation at Southern Baptist Seminary is eerily similar. But we knew that.

  38. Another thought: when you banish anyone “drawn” to feminism, you can teach about/against and criticize relentlessly a caricature of feminism because you never have to interact with actual feminists…or anyone else who truly disagrees with you. I have it on very good authority (more to come in that email I’ve still got to send to you) that the situation at Southern Baptist Seminary is eerily similar…which we knew already.

  39. Caleb: In my opinion, the women issue is the biggest problem with Doug Wilson and his followers as well as the Southern Baptist seminaries and the like. None of these guys interact with women as equals on a day-to-day basis. All the women in their lives are subordinate: wives, daughters, church secretaries, wives of beta males, girl children. That’s why marriage is pushed so heavily, because a woman can’t be outside of a male “covering.” And a woman in authority? Why, they’d never have it. They’d hate my department’s senior manager, who is a married woman. If she were interested in religious issues, she’d eat their lunches. They’re lucky that she’s not, she prefers working through technology issues.

    If I had my way, I’d have all seminary students work for a semester at a lower-class job, preferably under a competent female manager (yes, there can be and are incompetent female managers). That’s just for starters–I personally believe the church won’t be a safe place for all until women are equal to men in authority and are not relegated to obviously second-class positions. Let me be clear: If you’re called to be a wife and a mother, that’s great, but it’s abundantly obvious that the Doug Wilsons in charge do not really value that work. It’s not as important as being theologically right.

  40. “So I am not trying to be the white guy. This is just my best imitation of the apostle John — we should be doing what we have heard from the beginning, which is to love one another.”

    This is the final pararagraph of Doug Wilson’s blog post from yesterday. I’ll not comment on the actual post.

    I am glad he says this, however is this what we saw in practice last week?

    What I see is a man who believes “authority = love” and every time he uses, what he believes, is his God-given “authority” he is really “loving” people as God loves them.

    Jesus, however, says that all authority in heaven and earth belongs to him. With all the authority that Jesus did have, he used it in a much different way than we saw last week with Wilson and Wilson.

  41. Dee, I mean that for Doug. But there are also a lot of ‘young men trying to smoke pipes and talk about Chesterton” in that education movement. They idolize certain english intellectuals of a certain kind from a certain period, and you would think that arts and letters have not developed since then, nor did they exist previously. These mostly young men flock to someone like Wilson and by covering themselves in a veneer of learning they become very arrogant – lacking the self awareness that a good education should cultivate.

  42. Those are great points, SD.

    Failing the job under a female manager, they could try my situation: I’m a PhD candidate in history and two of my three committee members are female. Gasp, they are teaching me and guiding my intellectual development! Of course, their being female is only remarkable in this kind of context….a discussion of Calvinista gender politics.

  43. @ Caleb:

    Oh yeah, I’ve seen my fair share of that. Lewis, Tolkien and Chesterton are the Big Three in literature in homeschool circles (maybe George MacDonald too if they’re really “up” on their history). This is especially true in Christian debate/forensics clubs, which are basically pipelines (in many cases HSLDA-sponsored or -funded) to Patrick Henry College, New St. Andrews and other Christian colleges. Lots of Christian literature curricula look like they were competing to see who could pack the most Lewis into their book list.

    Of course, these same homeschoolers also denounce Catholicism, even though Tolkien and Chesterton were both Catholic and Lewis was Anglican (which is pretty close to Catholic). Go figure…

  44. Hester – I’ve had some exchanges of opinion online with a man who graduated from Patrick Henry and who is a huge Chesterton fan.

    Not so coincidentally, he avoids women writers, women historians, etc. and refers to adult women as “girls.”

    He’s in his late 20s… and I so hope that he wakes up and smells the coffee (to quote Ann Landers) before he gets too much older. He seems as set in his ways as a 90-year-old. (Though maybe that’s a bad analogy; lots of elderly people can be flexible in their thinking.)

  45. Caleb
    You mean “I may not be an Oxford don but I play one in Moscow, Idaho?” — Dee

    I thought Oxford Dons had more class.

    He’s in his late 20s… and I so hope that he wakes up and smells the coffee (to quote Ann Landers) before he gets too much older. He seems as set in his ways as a 90-year-old. — Numo

    You’ve heard of hardening of the arteries?
    This is called “Hardening of the attitudes”, and twenty-something is very early for it to kick in — unless you’re a True Believer or grew up in a totalitarian Youth Brigade.

  46. HUG – I know, I know, but you have to keep in mind that Patrick Henry is an incubator for far-right homeschooled kids, specifically meant to groom them for politics and the like.

    otoh, this same person has also admitted to really liking Glee, though I don’t know if he still watches it.

  47. Poor Patrick Henry. The iconoclast from the wrong side of the tracks would be spinning his grave.

  48. Fantastic post ladies…will look out the books, they sound excellent. How nice to be on a site that encourages the intellectual endeavours of women, and affirms the true humanity of non-evangelicals 🙂

    As to the post by Doug Wilson’s daughter Bekah – well, speaking as an exceptionally sarcastic Becka myself – I felt if anyone was shrill, it was her. A loud whistle blown straight into the ear along with a mouthful of lemon juice would sum up how her rant made me feel. And, despite her fantastic logic-filled education she seemed to entirely miss the point that her personal experience of her Father & his work give her a private linguistic key into how he uses words (that normally mean very different things), which none of the rest of us, let alone RHE had. So totally blind, & totally self-righteous. Nothing said by RHE was as bad as the stuff she’s called by our neo-reformed brethren, I don’t know how she stands it.

  49. Great post, Dee.

    Yes, those femina posts did exactly what the Wilson women DIDN’T want them to do – give us a window into how they were raised, what they were taught, the behavior and system they enable, and the sadness and anger in their hearts.

  50. Bridget said of Doug Wilson:

    “What I see is a man who believes “authority = love” and every time he uses, what he believes, is his God-given “authority” he is really “loving” people as God loves them.”

    Anybody remember Harold Camping? (This may seem like a sidetrack, but I am going somewhere with this.) He is famous for his specific — but false — predictions about Christ’s return, dates he claimed came from his close study of the Bible. He thought he was more right than anyone else, that he had found important truths the rest of the Church had missed. He was absolutely sure he was right, and his strong preaching persuaded a group of hard-core devotees to forsake all and follow him in proclaiming the end of the world. The more his notions were attacked, the more he and his band dug in, accounting that they were being persecuted by enemies of God for righteousness’ sake.

    Even before he went senile (or just mentally off the rails), he was zealously dogmatic. His parents were both Dutch, having been born in the Netherlands, and he was a life-long member of the Christian Reformed church, a N. American offshoot of the old Dutch Reformed Church. We have already discussed on TWW the role of Dutch Reformed settlers in the injustices of apartheid in S. Africa, notably how their interpretation of the doctrine of election justified their sense of superiority and their subjugation of dark-skinned people.

    For decades, ‘Brother Camping’ ran Family Radio, a California-based radio station group. It started small, never grew much beyond a niche ministry built to Camping’s specs. It never made too much of a splash until he and his followers went so far ‘off’ that his crazy talk began to leak out and become a laughingstock to the rest of the world.

    Most of what Family Radio aired in the early days was pretty normal for mainline Christianity, though notably old-fashioned and out of touch with the times. Some of their programming was good, like straight-up Bible reading, some sound preaching, etc. The oddest program was Harold Camping’s own call-in show, the Open Forum. He would often have a short message, but most of it was question and answer.

    What I remember was how poorly he connected with people on a human level. He showed little discernment, compassion, or mercy. Sometimes needy people would call in with deep hurts and serious issues, and he either wouldn’t ‘hear’ it or didn’t know how to respond with anything other than cold, hard, cerebral doctrine. Maybe somebody’s infant had died, or a loved one who professed Christ had committed suicide, or the caller was struggling with sin and looking for victory. Camping might reply that babies are not automatically saved, that not everyone who professes faith is necessarily saved and suicide showed unbelief, and that the one who is struggling might also still be unsaved (since one cannot know for certain if he or she is one of the Elect) and should call out to God that perhaps He might have mercy and save them. He would blow past the hurting human as he expounded Scripture in support of total depravity, unconditional election, perseverance of the saints, and so on.

    He wrote an entire book developing the idea that proclaiming God’s truth = loving people. He expounded and connected Scripture after Scripture in such a convoluted way that love had little or nothing to do with any spark of feeling, any inclination of mercy or kindness or pity, any concerns for the feelings or circumstances of others. No, in his view, love meant simply the action of teaching what the Bible says so that the Elect might hear and be saved from eternal damnation. (Oh, and giving to support Bible teaching and missionaries is love, too.)

    The point I am making is the similarity between Camping in those days and Doug Wilson in these.

    I will start with the assumption that both men are born-again brothers in the Lord and both started with sincere intentions as far as they knew. (Maybe I am wrong, and Camping says that we can’t know for sure.)

    I will also say that I imagine that both strive to be men of integrity who practice what they preach and are willing to pay a price to do so.

    I also expect that both love their families and are loved in return.

    In other words, these men are not monsters who know themselves to be so. They are, at least in their own minds, sincere Christians, even if I and others believe them to be sincerely deceived.

    – Both were hardline, old-school Truly Reformed.

    – Both were smart men, well-educated, middle-/upper-middle-class American white men, ‘men of privilege’ in a belief system that places them at or near the top.

    – Both were sure that their interpretation of the Bible is more right than most.

    – Both placed having ‘correct’ doctrine above having a Christ-like spirit.

    – Both held themselves out as teachers, writers, and Biblical authorities with minority – but correct — views.

    – Both started their own ministries to propagate their views.

    – Both had little, if any, accountability to others. They were unchallenged at the top.

    – Both saw fruitfulness, conversions, apparent success, and favor upon their labors.

    – Both were kicked out of their denominations for aberrant doctrines.

    – Both were not dissuaded but, rather, dug in harder, denouncing the churches that dismissed them.

    – Both gathered a vocal and devoted group of followers who would move, give all, change their family life, put the teaching above all others, carry their message, defend them, etc.

    – Both have left hurt, wounded, confused, angry, and offended souls in their wake.

    – Both have brought disgrace to the name of Christ.

    We know that Harold Camping went far, far off the rails, publicly, and in a way that left no doubt as to his error.

    He at least had the decency to repent, recant, humble himself, and step out of the limelight.

    I believe Doug Wilson also to be in error, increasingly so, and increasingly publicly. I believe he is headed for a train wreck, but one which he may not realize on this side of eternity.

    If so, he may never repent of or recant his errors unless and until it all crashes and burns around him.

    Unless something changes, it may end better for Harold Camping than for Douglas Wilson.

  51. Here is a quote from Cynthia Long Westfall, Ph.D. that caught my eye:

    “If it is claimed that some of us (born after 1970) are the unwitting products of a feminist agenda and environment, I can reply that Jesus’ sacrifical death is the product of oppressive institutional terrorism.”

  52. In an article by John Jefferson Davis, Ph.D., he takes a hard look at the culture wars around the topic of the ordination of women. Davis observes:

    “With regard to “culture wars,” cultural conservatives tend to see the ordination of women as symptomatic of a feminist movement that destabilizes the family and society generally; cultural progressives and egalitarians tend to see male-dominant readings of Scripture as increasing the dangers of domestic violence and abuse.”

    Davis goes on to reminisce about how certain beliefs that were held strongly in the church over time but were later reconsidered under duress of the evidence presented and were forced to painfully adjust accordingly:

    “During the Galileo controversy, the Vatican could rightly point to a patristic and later church tradition that was solidly on the side of a geocentric understanding of biblical texts such as Psalm 19, Joshua 10:13, and Psalm 9:1, and yet, as history shows, the church was later to correct its earlier understanding of these texts in the light of new evidence and better hermeneutical principles.”

    Davis concludes that this also may be the case with regard to traditional understandings of the biblical texts regarding the ordination of women.

  53. numo – I wonder who you are talking with. As a PHC grad myself, there is a chance I know him.

  54. NeverAgain, those are good and interesting points about the comparison between Harold Camping and Doug Wilson, although I am not sure either man would be pleased.

    At least the world has the advantage of seeing Camping publicly get it absolutely wrong at least once, as his prophecies were far more high-profile than Doug Wilson’s ministry. Also it is not hard to see how blatantly wrong Camping was in trying to work out the “day and hour” that Jesus Himself said He did not know.

    Re the points about Chesterton, Lewis & Tolkien, we had a movement over here in the UK in the 80s called “Young Fogeys” which were the sort of people that HUG and Numo picked up on. They were young men who looked back to a sort of educated Golden Age and rode about on bikes wearing tweed jackets, etc (my memory may be injecting a bit of satire here, but I think I’m basically right). Some of them like Charles Moore, editor of the Daily Telegraph newspaper at one point, were fairly clever men. A N Wilson was another, and wrote stuff in defence of the Christian faith until something happened to him some years later and led him to a volte-face (I think someone in Private Eye or some other column reported how shocked they were to see A N Wilson wearing jeans all of a sudden!). Wilson subsequently seems to have become a sceptic and has written books such as “God’s Funeral” (history of unbelief in the 19th C). In the early days of the YFs, someone in the Economist magazine reviewed one of their books, about the decline of the Church of England (Anglican church) and trenchantly said it was like three ornithologists chattering excitedly about the plumage when the bird itself is dead.

    All of them as I recall were either Anglican High Church or Catholic (occasionally AHC can be more Catholic than the Catholics).

    Some evangelicals in the more conservative line have actually turned against Lewis and Tolkien, esp Lewis as his influence was probably more high-profile. However Jim Packer wrote a fairly balanced article on him some years back.

  55. I know, but you have to keep in mind that Patrick Henry is an incubator for far-right homeschooled kids, specifically meant to groom them for politics and the like. — Numo

    Ah, Ideologically-pure factory cranking out True Believer Party Members, just like the Red Guard and Taliban Madrassas.

    Back when Alien Nation was on the air, somebody I knew coined the term “(Tenctonese word for “Overseer”) Boot Camps”.

  56. …she seemed to entirely miss the point that her personal experience of her Father & his work give her a private linguistic key into how he uses words (that normally mean very different things), which none of the rest of us, let alone RHE had. — BeakerJ

    Didn’t Screwtape advise Wormwood of redefining/deconstructing words into their “Diabolical Meanings”?

    So totally blind, & totally self-righteous. — BeakerJ

    Using the imagery of my last post, a Good Little Party Member.

    Born and raised a Party Member.

  57. I’m sneaking in a comment while I’m away at high school camp as a counselor. I just heard from my attorney. WE WON!!! Basically found each and all statements “not defamatory” and so never got to “malice.”

    Praise God. Thank you TWW readers for your support!!!

  58. You can file this one under “weird ideas that come to her in the middle of the night”, but it occurred to me that another angle on all of this is the modernist/postmodernist angle. In modernism, authorial intent is an absolute, and the only valid reading of a text; in pure postmodernism what the reader sees is the only meaning that counts. Of course, there are very few logically consistent pure postmodernists, because most of us have no desire to try and function in a world of total subjectivity.

    But I would say that most of us are partial of modified post modernists (my terminology). We see the understanding of a text as an act of communication between the author and the reader, such that if the author claims it means one thing, and the reader sees it as saying something different entirely, the meaning of the text is open to question (you see where I’m going with this?)

    Now fundamentalists of all stripes, and, I think, most Calvinists (let alone Calvinista fundamentalists) are terrified of anything that suggests postmodernism. Their rationale is that it attacks the authority of Scripture — as if our understanding of Scripture hasn’t always been interpretive! Myself, I’m happy to say that the Holy spirit is the true interpreter of Scripture, and that, as we grow, He reveals more truth to us, but, as fallible human beings, we do inject our own understanding into things (and there’s no unique class of pastors who are immune to that (I think I just joined the heretics.)

    So Calvinists have a knee-jerk reaction to anything that suggests that the readers’ understanding of something was different from theirs — one of the unwritten laws of their culture is the objective truth of what the author meant to say. I can’t help feeling that this played into the whole mess — they simply cannot conceive that how someone else reads something has any bearing on what it said .. I de3finitely know people who would denounce any kind of postmodernism as a slippery slope into heresy

    clear as mud?

  59. @ Julie Anne, Thank the Lord! And congratulations to you, your co-defendants, and your wonderful attorney – Linda Williams! That is good news indeed … and I do pray for Pastor O’Neal and those under his care that this serves as a challenge and a change-point for them to reconsider their trajectory and see how they might make major course corrections. May the Spirit use this opportunity for the betterment of the whole of the Church …

  60. I wouldn’t ever recommend modeling your life off of people who lived decades ago, since the world does tend to change a lot, nor do I believe in accepting anyone’s theological musings completely without thought or critical eye.

    That being said, I still love Lewis, Tolkien and Chesterton. 🙂 I suppose the difference is that I don’t just follow everything they have to say like a puppy. I think they had a lot of wisdom, and some of the things they said are pretty glaringly NOT wise, and I try to discern the difference.

  61. @ Lynne:

    Ultimately it still comes down to the fact that Doug Wilson can’t just pick words out of the dictionary and make them mean whatever he wants them to. It’s awfully “subjective” of him, really, so maybe he’s more postmodern than he realizes. : )

  62. I think that’s the thing that used to really frustrate me with some Calvinists I knew. They simply could not conceive that their interpretation was an interpretation — everyone who disagreed with them was subjective all the time, but they had the monopoly on objective truth!

  63. Julie Ann – big congrats on the outcome, the right precedent has been set.

    Kolya @ 6.52pm “(I think someone in Private Eye or some other column reported how shocked they were to see A N Wilson wearing jeans all of a sudden!)”

    I love Private Eye ! And I have been regularly catching up on HIGNFY (Have I Got News For You) on You Tube, especially the more recent ones on the Leveson Inquiry. Alastair Campbells’ recent hosting took the cake !

  64. Hi Haitch, I read P/Eye regularly too. I think the only thing to be wary of is that it can make one rather cynical about life! But funnily enough Ian Hislop has got a deep concern for the Church of England.

  65. @ Barb Orlowski

    “During the Galileo controversy, the Vatican could rightly point to a patristic and later church tradition that was solidly on the side of a geocentric understanding of biblical texts such as Psalm 19, Joshua 10:13, and Psalm 9:1, and yet, as history shows, the church was later to correct its earlier understanding of these texts in the light of new evidence and better hermeneutical principles.”

    Davis concludes that this also may be the case with regard to traditional understandings of the biblical texts regarding the ordination of women.

    Thank you for sharing this. The same case might one day be convincingly made for the LGBT controversy as well.

  66. Yay Julie Anne!!! That’s great news!

    Lynne, I’ve heard ‘postmodern’ used as a term of derision by some Sydney Anglicans, sometimes just to say right and wrong aren’t completely subjective (which the vast majority of people agree with, anyway), but also sometimes just as a way to dismiss and difference on the ‘correct’ way to interpret a verse or passage.

  67. Yes they do — often, I suspect, dismissing it without really understanding. Yet the truth is that most people, most of the time, live somewhere between the two extremes — there are certain objective realities we have to accept, but there are an awful lot of things where some degree of personal interpretation is necessary. We all see through a glass darkly

  68. Given this post and thread have already included lots of book recommendations and discussions, I thought I’d share my favourite (it does broadly relate to the conversation). My favourite book is ‘The Fall’, by Albert Camus. The book is basically a monologue to you by a man named Jean Baptiste Clamence, and is a discussion of guilt, innocence, truth, self-righteousness, etc. This quote kind of sums up the philosophy of the book, and is a really articulate description of sin – and especially of those like Wilson who will not stand for disagreement:

    “From this point of view, we are all like that little Frenchman at Buchenwald who insisted on registering a complaint with the clerk, himself a prisoner, who was recording his arrival. A complaint? The clerk and his comrades laughed: “Useless, old man. You don’t lodge a complaint here.” “But you see, sir,” said the little Frenchman, “my case is exceptional. I am innocent!”

    We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.”

  69. Kolya – too late ! (not the fault of Private Eye though)

    Clay Crouch – I suspect you may well be right. I intend to stick around for the next 1,000 years or so to watch it play out.

    Pam – I love how everyone proffers links and book suggestions. Ta – I’ll follow up. I think the “I am exceptional/innocent” example is brilliant.

  70. Dee wrote–

    “How do I know this to be true? It is quite simple. If Doug Wilson and his daughters really believe that Rachel Held Evans is a heretic, they would use this opportunity to reach out to her in love. They would kindly explain their beliefs, hoping that their response would turn her to the faith as they see it. They might take the opportunity to use the Calvinista buzzword, ”winsome.””

    Could not agree more. Great post Dee. (Always is when one can use the word winsome.) We are vacationing at the lake for last week and I have a lot of catching up to do!

    Your paragraph is something I have been thinking about this week and pretty much sums it up for me. Instead of mocking and viewing people as enemies to be rejected, and writing witty/sarcastic posts to solidify the fact that they are indeed oh so superior in their wit and writing ability, these lovers of wisdom, wit and doctrine might consider simply treating others as they would like to be treated. That’s the heart of Jesus.

    Congrats to Julie Ann!!! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  71. @ Brindusa – on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Do I know you? I sure like your style. 😉

    Sure would like to meet you some day. On the net or in person.

    You sound like an Angel sent from God. 😉

    And I would like to know all of God’s special Angels.

    Your two comments to Ray – blessed my heart.
    Your reposting the comment I left – blessed my heart.
    Your willingness to stand up for “The Religiously Wounded” – blessed my heart.
    Your willingness to repost the comment again after Ray removed it – blessed my heart.

    Your willingness to confront someone you appreciated in the past – by saying…
    “Your removing the post makes it look as if the very idea of holding church leaders accountable
    to the what the Scriptures say would be a threat to you, or to the system you are part of.”
    … – blessed my heart.

    And this really – blessed my heart – When you said…
    “The only people threatened by this idea would be those who think they *are* above what the Bible requires of them… or those who know they would come out short. I find it very sad! I loved your blog and respected you, but apparently my respect was misplaced.”

    God’s promise is that ALL things work together for good – for those who love God.
    My hope and prayer is that – what you said would resonate loud and long in Rays thoughts…
    And he might rethink – his protecting “Pastors who Abuse” and The Abusive Religious System.
    And – Instead – Focus on protecting “The Religiously Wounded” and giving them a voice.

    I had to read your comments a few times and even showed your comments to some friends.
    It’s NOT very often I see comments that confirm what I’m seeing at the TGC Blogs.
    Been banned and deleted before – BUT – They have to read it – to delete it. 😉

    And – You said what you said – in such an eloquent and classy style. 😉

    Thanks again Monica. And thank you Jesus.

    In His Service – By His Grace.

    A. Amos Love.

  72. dee

    Was wondering…

    Is there anyway to make sure – Brindusa – on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    AKA – Monica…

    Can receive this thank you note?

    Thanks.

  73. “3. Wilson, who famously has said, in reference to gender equity in the military, that a nation defended by its women is a nation not worthy of defense, is the subject of frenzied-but-feminine-furor from his wife, Nancy, and his daughters, Bekah and Rachel, who together blog under Femina. I wonder, as the smelling salts clear, if a man defended by his girls meets his own standard of a man worth defending.”

    http://www.keely-prevailingwinds.com/2012/07/wilsons-antenna-for-seeking-out-ways-to.html

    More articles at this site for anyone interested.

  74. Diane,

    Thanks for the link. I’m glad I’m not the only one who had a problem with Doug Wilson’s post on Christian love. What a joke! I’m having a hard time letting this go too, but I agree that Doug Wilson is energized by the turmoil he creates. That is a standard hallmark of an abuser. So, the hurt and angst and anger this creates in us gives him more fuel to abuse.

  75. @ Wendy-

    You are welcome. As an eye witness to all things Wilson…I find her posts about him and his brand of Christianity very telling. She is an apt fruit inspector, imo.

  76. Dear A. Amos Love,

    Thank you so much for your kind words… I’ve been away and only saw your message a couple of minutes ago.

    I’m no Angel :-)… but I am glad you were blessed by my comments.

    No, I don’t guess you know me – I’m from Romania. So, you see, I’m not even a native speaker of English. 🙂

    I’ve been ‘lurking’ around here for quite some time, reading just about each post and lots and lots of comments… There’s very much to process and sort out. I’ve certainly learned much by sticking around and am grateful… though it is somewhat painful as well to lose your respect for many people you used to look up to…

    I’m sorry if I came across as impolite, not saying any word of personal introduction as I posted my first comment… I had lurked for so long, I lost sight of the fact that nobody here knows just about anything about me, except for Dee and Deb… and I was pretty worked up about the Ortlund blog thing…

  77. Brindusa

    Much agreement when you say…
    “though it is somewhat painful as well to lose your respect for many people you used to look up to…”

    That has been my experience also.

    Many of my past “Hero’s of the Faith” have eventually disappointed.

    Authors, Pastors, friends…

    The benefit is – All these disappointments – become – God’s Appointments.

    As these “Mere Fallible Humans” disappoint – we have NO place to go – but to Jesus.

    And Jesus is the best – Yes?

  78. Yes. 🙂 And it’s better to know the truth than rely on sweet, deceitful illusions anyway.