Dedicated to Doug Wilson:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves link
“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.” – Sidelights on New London and Newer New York link
I have always admired people who are great writers. If you have read this blog for awhile, you know the next question to ask. "What does Dee mean by a "great writer?' A great writer is not one who is bogged down in peculiar meanings of words and correct sentence structure. Great writers are those who communicate their ideas in such a way that those who read their words understand exactly what they are saying.
The Deebs care about victims of abuse. We also keep our eyes on churches and church methods that we believe can lead to abusive behavior on the part of church leadership. It brings the two of us great joy when someone writes and says "That's exactly what happened to me and I felt the same way. I thought I was the only one." We want to convey that those who have been hurt are not only not alone but are also believed and cared about.
Imagine our dismay if those who visited out blog thought our writings reflected that we don't care about those who have been abused. Even worse, can you surmise what we would feel if someone who visited our blog thought we were beating up on the abused? It would break our hearts. If that were to occur, we would do our best to rethink how we are communicating and go our of our way to apologize. We have had to apologize on a number of occasions when our words hurt someone in a way that we did not intend.
Doug Wilson and the propriety of rape debacle.
Here is the quote that started this current dustup. Here, Doug Wilson is quoting himself in a post called Rachel Held Evans and the Anvil.
And of course, I say (and think) nothing of the kind. The wispy support for this allegation is said to be found on page 13 of Her Hand in Marriage, where I said this:
“But women who genuinely insist on ‘no masculine protection’ are really women who tacitly agree on the propriety of rape. Whenever someone sets himself to go against God’s design, horrible problems will always result.”
Rachel Held Evans had this to say about that quote.
Wilson is incensed that Evans would think that he meant such a thing. In that same post he said:
So then, I do not say that women who are unsubmissive deserve to be raped. Why would I say that when I don’t believe anything like that? I say that women who reject the protection of men will find themselves, at the end of the day, unprotected by men. This is not what they thought they were signing up for, but the results are destructive just the same. They will find, when their world comes crashing down around their ears, that it is easier to get many men to stop being protective than it is to stop many other men from being predatory. This is not what they thought they were doing (I said “tacitly agree”), but they have helped create a world in which it is easier for unscrupulous men to get what they want than for honorable men to do what they ought.
No problem, right? Except, if one read the large number of tweets and comments surrounding the words *propriety of rape* one would assume that many people believed that Doug was saying exactly what RHE though he said and that includes me. However, Doug makes the claim that all who didn't understand his intent *can't read.*
The vast anti-Reformed wing conspiracy.
Wilson then changes direction in the post and goes after Nate Sparks and his open letter to The Gospel Coalition which we republished at TWW. Note how Wilson cloaks himself with Piper, Candler, CJ Mahaney(!), etc. See, he's merely one of the good guys, unlike the rest of us who do not understand what he (and the rest of his dudebros) are saying.
In this post, he calls upon the members of the Gospel Coalition to form a circular firing squad, and methodically take care of one another, one by one.
In this post of his, an array of men associated with The Gospel Coalition are accused of a long list of dirty deeds. The list includes John Piper, Matt Chandler, Al Mohler, Voddie Baucham, CJ Mahaney, Denny Burk, and of course, me.
Doug Wilson admits that he has been told he is a *bit too exuberant* by his own BFFs. However, he doesn't seem to take them too seriously.
In our corner of the Reformed interwebs, one of the points that has been made more than once is that I draw the animus of the egalitarian intoleristas because of the exuberance of my writing. If I would only tone it down, it would become evident that complementarians are thoughtful, engaging people, and that they do not use flamethrowers in debate. But please note. I have been making the point repeatedly that the thing that makes us the enemy is any kind of principled resistance to the sexual revolution.
The difficulty in understanding Wilson
In this instance, he seems to be saying that a woman is at risk for rape if she refuses some sort of protection from a male. What exactly does he mean? Is he talking about walking you to your car in a parking garage in the city or does he want you to be a stay at home daughter like Geoff Botkin and his girls?
As a public health nurse, I traveled on the Navajo Indian Reservation by myself and also worked in some tough areas in a couple of cities up north. I learned how to protect myself and when to call for help. Does this mean that I am tacitly agreeing to the propriety of rape and engaging in the sexual revolution?
Missionary women have long put themselves into harm's way to serve others. Elisabeth Elliot, for example, ventured into and served in the same native tribal group that murdered her husband, Jim. Was she agreeing to the propriety of rape? Was Elliot's service to the Quechua Indians caving into the sexual revolution?
Doug Wilson believes that the opposition is concerned that he is getting in their way.
Does Wilson actually believe that anyone who disagrees with him is concerned that he is making things harder for them? Is he making this into some sort of war? Here is Wilson's problem. We do not agree with Rachel Held Evans on a number of things. We are not in her camp and we are not engaged in some sort of war with Doug. Our goal is simply to tell people what men like Doug Wilson believe and let them make up their own minds.
What matters to them is simply this — are you effectively in the way? If you are in the way, they will try to take you out of the way, by whatever means necessary.
You know he is getting rattled when he uses the the word slander and invokes the name of CJ Mahaney.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post that I believe helps all of us to wrap our heads around words like slander: Slander or an Inconvenient Truth?. Here is where I am getting to the heart of my critique of Doug Wilson. I explored Bible verses and ended with this summary of slander based on the Bible.
It is vital to the discussion to understand that slander is an act of making a false statement in order to damage another's reputation, etc. It is a big fat lie, and the person making it knows it, just as Satan knows it.
Here is what Wilson says about slanderous accusations. If I were him, I would not put myself in the same camp as Mahaney but birds of a feather…perhaps?
Second, I would say this to those who love and admire the men on that list. You may be more thoroughly acquainted with some more than others, but here is the takeaway lesson. When you read slanderous accusations against someone whose ministry you know, this should help inform how you weigh that same source when they make accusations against someone you don’t know. The post in question, if you find it, contains a farrago of slanderous nonsense directed against me. Check what you don’t know against what you do. I know how these people treat evidence when it comes to situations I know about, and so that helps us understand what is likely happening when CJ Mahaney gets “the treatment.”
Dear readers: you are the problem since you misunderstand his obviously clear and talented treatises.
It could appear that Doug Wilson believes that since he is such an effective communicator that we should know exactly what he is saying. Furthermore, it appears that, when a number of readers believe he is saying something than different than what he claims he meant, the readers are slanderers. Here is the time for me to say BALONEY! No Doug, you are the one who is not clear and it is not our fault.
It appears that only Doug Wilson doesn't get Doug Wilson.
I wish I had taken a screen shot of a tweet which I believe was written by Governor Pappy. He said something to the effect that "Only Doug Wilson doesn't get Doug Wilson." That struck a cord with me and caused me to consider that this tweet was the best synopsis of the underlying problem that is Doug Wilson.
Doug Wilson is an unsual man.
I believe that Wilson thinks that most of us who do not agree with him are slanderers and are out to get him because he is *getting in our way.* Let me try to explain this in a way that some people hiding out in the kirk might understand. Doug Wilson is not a threat to the sexual revolution. Most people outside or Moscow, Idaho, certain homeschool cliques, and The Gospel™Coalition know nothing about him.
Wilson is a bot of a character. He appears to fancy himself an Oxford Don. He set up a church, which he calls a kirk, that he fashions after the church of Scotland in Moscow, Idaho. His web address is http://www.christkirk.com
The Kirk is an informal name for the Church of Scotland, the country's national church. The Kirk of Scotland was in official use as the name of the Church of Scotland until the 17th century, and still today the term is frequently used in the press and everyday speech, though seldom in the Church's own literature. However, Kirk Session is still the standard term in church law for the court of elders in the local congregation, both in the Church of Scotland and in any of the other Scottish Presbyterian denominations.
It was observed by a commenter from Moscow that a number of Wilson's students in his college called New St Andrews (of course) are often seen wandering around Moscow wearing bowler hats, black robes, and sporting canes apparently channeling their leader's Oxford don obsession. Do you all remember Doug Phillips who also used to play dress up? Remember the *Indiana Jones in the Amazon* get up? Remember all Mahaney's followers who shaved their heads in solidarity. (We called them mini-Mahaneys.)
The bowler hat, also known as a bob hat, derby (US), billycock or bombín, is a hard felt hat with a rounded crown originally created in 1849 for the British soldier and politician Edward Coke, the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester. The bowler hat was popular with the working class during the Victorian era, and later on with the middle and upper classes in the United Kingdom and the eastern United States. Later in the United Kingdom, it would come to be worn as civilian work dress by former officers of the Queen’s Guard. In Bolivia, women of Quechua people have worn bowler hats since the 1920s when British railway workers introduced them there.
Here are a list of issues that Doug Wilson has had to deal with. He appears to get frustrated when people do not see things his way and spends lots of time claiming that we can't read.
- He has disturbing view on slavery.
- He is an HIV/AIDS conspiracy theorist.
He has offensive views on the role of men in the sexual act:
A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.
- His views on classical school education are concerning.
- He blamed the victim in the Doug Phillips scandal.
- He encouraged and presided over the marriage of a pedophile who later had *issues* with his own baby son.
- Plagiarism which wasn't his fault.
Over the past few years we have seen a number of people express concerns over Wilson's views on various issues. His views on slavery are particularly concerning. Tim Fall wrote a post on this today. (Doug-Tim Fall is a judge and most certainly can read.) TWW has received a number of emails from academicians who are also disturbed by his views. One seminary professor told me that Doug Wilson does not represent thoughtful Reformed thinking.
Why in the world does Doug Wilson bother with his blog?
Wilson has a serious problem. Outside of his church, his schools and the admiring leaders and followers of The Gospel™ Coalition, Wilson's thoughts are routinely found to be offensive. If, for a moment, I take him at his word and that he "doesn't mean what we think he means," then why doesn't he apologize and try to make some changes in how he communicates? Instead he comes off as some smarmy Oxford don pretender, attempting to pass himself off as the latest version of CS Lewis and GK Chesterton. However, he does not have the wit, the genius or the vulnerability that both of these men possessed. Instead he comes off as mean and arrogant.
Does Doug want to get his ideas heard in the evangelical marketplace or does he just want to miff people off? Is he willing to accept those who disagree with him as brothers and sisters in Christ? Does he want to share the love of Christ or is he in this just for the notoriety? Does he really like calling people names? Does he think this is how Jesus would treat people? Does he know how to turn the other cheek?
Let me leave you with this following Doug Wilson quote and a thought. Is it any wonder that people like myself find it hard to see the love of Jesus in Doug's words? Does he really think he will change anyone's thoughts with this sort of approach.?
Doug: You ain't some paragon of rugged handsomeness. People who live in glass houses should not throw insults at others. Your house is liable to come crashing down all around you. Instead, try loving those who you believe are persecuting you. Also, if you have to write two posts to explain one sentence, you have failed to get your point across and that is your fault; not the fault of those who read you. Finally, try emphasizing love a bit more. I think this is the root of your problems. (2/13) Remember what CS Lewis said:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.” CS Lewis: Weight of Glory