Categories
Enjoying the Process

A Compliment with Charisma

The following paragraph is just the bees knees. The entire article is edifying, and it includes the newest phrase I’ve added to my commonplace book. But it’s like this particular quote smacked me in the head and left me rolling in the aisle laughing out loud.

The only exception that I have ever run into—from a high-profile evangelical Bible teacher, that is, the kind with something to lose—is John MacArthur. I just finished his recent book Slave, which was very good. And as I listened to it, it almost induced me to abandon my dearly-held cessationism. There he was, out in public, being honest with the slavery texts. It was a miracle.”

Categories
Every Thumb's Width

Theonomic Terms

C. S. Lewis argued that God doesn’t find man’s desire for pleasure too strong, but too weak. I think it’s also true that God doesn’t find the Christian man’s interest in politics too powerful, but too pathetic.

I know that the “Idol of Politics” is a favorite model of rented car for preachers to abuse who say that Christians act like politics and politicians can save them. Recently the beat-sticks have come out against so-called Christian Nationalists. But I have never met a Christian who actually thinks that the government is the Savior.

Most of the preachers who fear some Inevitable Compromise from Christians who spend too much time talking about politics are not more spiritual, they are ignorant. They may know how to speak accurately about the gospel, but they do not know how to disciple their people to obey all the Jesus commanded, which is the Great Commission, which includes how to obey Jesus when we live together with our neighbors in a city, state, and nation. I’ve had to repent from this sort of naivety and ignorance myself.

Jesus is Lord. We should believe it, and we should live by faith like it. And, what is surprisingly controversial question, shouldn’t we want the laws in our land to honor Him as Lord?

Here is a 17 minute video by Douglas Wilson on General Equity Theonomy. He’ll define theonomy, but it basically combines theos-God and nomos-law, and there is always a God/god of every law. He asks and answers some plain questions, and it’s really valuable whether or not you’ve asked the Westminster Confession of Faith into your heart.

A couple years ago I took a stab at explaining why Christians are allowed to, and should be expected to, think in theonomic terms. My notes for that talk are here, but there’s video, too.

Categories
Bring Them Up

On Wanting More

I appreciate this video, not just for how much thankfulness it communicates in two minutes, but for two more reasons. First, the reason to start things like schools/colleges and to do work for our kids is not mostly because we’re fearful but instead because we know that there is more. Jesus is Lord of the cosmos. He created it all, and He cares about it all. Those who are growing up in His image should also grow in their capacity to care about what Jesus cares about, and that means our non-government education efforts have more to do with what we’re running toward rather than what we’re running from. We’re not necessarily wanting to be safe, we want much more than a gun and drug free campus.

The second part I really appreciated was the testimony of starting with what you have and going from there. Call it iteration, call it persistent revision, call it growth. Don’t wait for perfect, don’t expect there won’t be problems, and also don’t panic while addressing the problems. Need to figure something out? Well, you know, try to figure it out. Isn’t that what we want our students loving to learn to do themselves? We are not handing down the final answers from on high, we are “straining forward to what lies ahead” by faith and showing the way by example of learning more ourselves.

Wilson says near the end:

“Twenty-seven years ago we took the plunge. We didn’t know then what we know now, but what we did know we decided to act on. And as you act on what you know, one of the usual results is that God in His grace gives more light. Faithfulness requires no less….” [The work is] “because we wanted something more for our children.”

Categories
The End of Many Books

Ecochondriacs

My wife just finished listening to this and loved it. I liked it. I enjoyed the spy-like suspense, the climate-change jabs, and the idea of a Hummer running nonstop outside of an office building. I cared about the main characters, and it also seemed like there were a lot of characters to keep track of, especially since I read it in pieces as posted on Blog and Mablog over a couple months. The story could have been a lot longer, especially as the plot wrap-ups were finished like the ink was running out. Overall it was more good, hearty, fun fiction from Mr. Wilson.

3 of 5 stars

Categories
The End of Many Books

Beowulf

A New Verse Rendering by Douglas Wilson

I had only read Haney’s translation, and it was good though I knew no alternative. Wilson’s rendering was different, with more alliterative snap, and also good. The whole thing is epic, poetic dragon slaying at it’s best. Wilson’s essay at the end of on “Beowulf: The UnChrist” is also worldview-gold.

Should you read this? The story is required reading, and this edition serves the story well.

4 of 5 stars

Categories
The End of Many Books

The Man in the Dark

by Doug Wilson

Just finished reading my first romance novel. It had lies, envy, manipulation, murder, fornication, suspense, guilt, and gospel.

4 of 5 stars

Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

A Real Crack-Up

Loving our kids and teaching them to respect life has consequences.

“If you pray for Roe to be overturned, and for the issue to be returned to the states, you are praying for the eventual crack-up of the 50 state union. It may happen with a whimper or a bang, but one thing is sure and certain. Respect for life and love of death are incompossibilities. We cannot vote them into a mutual respect and acceptance any more than we can vote to have water flow uphill.”

—Douglas Wilson, The UnRoeveling of America
Categories
Every Thumb's Width

A Kuyperian-Sized Blind Spot

The Effeminacy of Silence is a mettlesome post by Douglas Wilson. It’s sad, and it’s a needed kick in the man pants.

I don’t have any complaints about or disagreements with it at all, though I do want to add an observation.

When I think of “Big Eva,” a dozen plus names come easily to my mind. And when all those names come forward what does not come anywhere near my mind is cosmological Calvinism.

God has greatly blessed me through the ministries of many of the men who occupy prime bookshelf space in Reformed circles. I’ve attended many conferences of shepherds and been together with many Christians who really do love Jesus, the Gospel, and reading the Bible verse by verse. We’re already cut down to a sliver of the Evangelical pie when using the shibboleths of “Calvin,“ or Solas, and our kind of Evas eagerly embrace all of the above in fives.

However, if one of the characteristics of manliness is taking responsibility, many preaching men (and those who listen to and become like them) are limited, by principle, to responsibility in two dimensions. We are Men of the Page, not men of the public square. Our commitment to the truth doesn’t mean that we only talk about truth in private, but the way we hold that commitment means we only know how to swing the sword of truth when it relates to things that are Bible Proper.

The Bible, though, reveals that God is concerned about more things than just the things that are in the Bible. This was an obvious, biblical conclusion that brought me to repentance some years ago after too many years of blindness. Jesus made the world, and He is interested in, and has standards for, all that He made. That includes nations, governments, laws, and courts, as well as cultures, flags, relationships, genders, libraries, and dictionaries. But a certain type of Bible-defended dualism paints over much of the Evangelical scene I’ve seen, and that creates a Kuyperian-sized blind spot. Instead of seeing all the thumb’s-widths of Christ’s domain, we’ve got our thumb covering the lens on the camera.

This isn’t to say that the Big Eva preachers don’t know better. But I’m not sure they know what they don’t know. They should. It’s written in neat serif font in the Bibles they read, teach, and defend. Yet our manliness can only mature so much because we’re taught that we should only take responsibility for so much, which is basically a responsibility for reading the Bible (which, as I’m arguing, is something we’re ironically not even doing well).

So there is an existing effeminacy of silence about all the things the Bible is good for before there is a silence on drag queens in the libraries. I agree with all of Wilson’s “reasons for such silence,” I’m just adding this one. Much of the silence about, for example, the sexual revolution comes from a myopic doctrine of God’s sovereignty. I know that most of my Reformed, baptistic brother-preachers, along with the Big Eva squad, fully believe that they are engaged in the “fight,” but their chosen field of battle has the same size footprint of their calfskin leather Bibles.

Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

An Ambitious Mission

“The pastor’s task is to guide the believer into a full and complete awareness of these infinite riches that have been bestowed on him by sheer grace, and to present that believer to God in full maturity. It is quite an ambitious spiritual mission, but it should be the mission of every pastor.”

—Douglas Wilson on pastoral care
Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

Losing as a Weapon

First, this ought to be a great encouragement to the church:

“Losing does not disturb us; it does not unsettle our faith. This is something the Church generally does really well. Speaking frankly, we frequently lose successfully far more often than we succeed successfully. Losing is our secret weapon.”

Same Sex Mirage, pp. 258-259

Second, this was written by a postmillennialist, but doesn’t it do a much better job of explaining how a dispensational premillennialist can be optimistic about the progress of the gospel and the “success” of the church while still thinking the world is going to hell?