A Question for Wilson Fans

[Update: Some have questioned whether or not it’s accurate to say that Wilson is self-ordained. I have added a quote from Wilson on how he became a pastor. Many thanks to the reader who shared the quote with me.]

There are many articles right now about Doug Wilson and his role in the court cases and subsequent marriages of two pedophiles who attended New Saint Andrews in Moscow, ID. This is not the first controversy that Wilson has faced, and many of his supporters are adamant that he has done nothing wrong. I know that there are many people who are members of CREC churches who have chosen to align themselves with Wilson and his denomination. This question is not particularly for them.

My question is for those in the Reformed, Presbyterian world who say they really like or appreciate what Wilson says/has written/teaches on various subjects. My question is: what exactly do you like about Wilson?

Is it his credentials?

Doug Wilson is self-ordained, has never been to seminary, founded his own denomination, publishing house, university, seminary, and classical school curriculum. He is the head of his denomination. He is under no authority but his own.

Wilson’s explanation of how he became a pastor:

Having written this book, I must now apologize, at least in part, for how the book came to be written by someone like, as the Victorians used to say, the present writer. At the time of writing, I have been a minister of the Word for twenty-three years. But how that came about contains more than a few ecclesiastical irregularities.

I came to the University of Idaho in the fall of 1975, fresh out of the Navy, and ready to study philosophy. My intention was to study various unbelieving philosophies and to then get involved in some kind of evangelistic literature ministry in a university town somewhere. Right around the same time, a church was being planted in our town by an Evangelical Free Church in a nearby community. The fellowship was successfully planted, but this new church never affiliated with the Free Church. This was not due to any doctrinal or personal differences; it was due mostly to the fact that it was the seventies. I was at the organizing meeting for this church and wound up as one of the guitar-playing songleaders. The best way to describe this would be to say that it was some kind of “Jesus people” operation.

After about a year and a half of meeting, the man who had been doing the preaching (ordained by a Baptist denomination) announced that he had gotten a job elsewhere and that he was moving. We were on our own the following Sunday. As I said, it was the seventies. The idea of going into pastoral ministry had not occurred to me, but when it did, I didn’t like it very much. Nevertheless, as things turned out, I was up in front with the guitar. That was my call to the ministry; I knew all the chords. I began to preach.

Our church had been planted by an established denomination, but we had no constitution, no doctrinal standards, no established leadership. I started what we called a “responsible brothers” meeting to fill the void of leadership — ad hoc elders. We knew from the Scriptures that we needed to be governed by elders, but we didn’t have any. We received some teaching on elder qualifications from the pastor of the Evangelical Free church that had established our church, and as a result different men among the responsible brothers removed themselves from consideration. In this situation, I presented myself to the congregation and asked them to bring forward any objections to my holding office of elder within the next few weeks. If no one did, then I would assume the office. As it turned out, no one did, and I have been working with this congregation of faithful and longsuffering saints ever since.

All this, as I said earlier, was highly irregular, and I would rather be dead in a ditch than to go back to that way of doing ecclesiastical business. . . . (Douglas Wilson, Mother Kirk [Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001] 267–268)

On the formation of Christ Church:

In early 1993, Doug advised the elders of CEF of a shift in his understanding of the nature of the church, of the means of entry into the New Covenant, and of the proper subjects of baptism. Those views became what he now calls the “Federal Vision.” After many months of joint discussion and study, the elders of CEF concluded that Doug’s emerging hyper-federalism contradicted the CEF Statement of Faith and Constitution at key points, and that, according to those documents, Doug was no longer qualified to hold office at CEF. In early December 1993, Doug was informed in writing of the conclusion regarding his qualifications, and advised of the following choice; either return to fidelity to the CEF doctrinal and constitutional standards, or be removed from office in three months. The families of the congregation were also informed, of this course of action. The elders of CEF called a meeting for December 10, 1993, to discuss the contents of the letter, answer questions, and receive comments from the men of the congregation. Almost to a man, those in attendance at the meeting rejected the conclusions and leadership of the CEF elders, and affirmed their confidence in Doug Wilson and intent to follow him. At this point the CEF elders could have simply changed the locks on the door, removed Doug from office, and continued to meet as CEF, with an albeit smaller congregation. Instead, they chose to yield, with  Bob Callihan and Terry Morin resigning office and leaving the congregation, and Fred Kohl remaining in office in semi-retirement. New elders, supportive of Doug, were installed to take their place and the CEF Statement of Faith and Constitution were revised to eliminate the confessional and constitutional issues.

Is it his views on slavery?

In 1996, Doug Wilson published a pamphlet, Southern Slavery as It Was, with Steve Wilkins, a former board member of the League of the South, a Southern nationalist organization. The pamphlet generated a good deal of controversy. Here are some quotes from it. (HT: Libby Anne)

Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. The credit for this must go to the predominance of Christianity. The gospel enabled men who were distinct in nearly every way, to live and work together, to be friends and often intimates. This happened to such an extent that moderns indoctrinated on “civil rights” propaganda would be thunderstruck to know the half of it.

Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.

With the slave trade, the vast majority of the slaves had already been enslaved in Africa by other blacks. They were then taken down to the coast and sold to the traders. The traders transported them, usually under wicked conditions, to those places where a market did exist for their labor, but where the civil leaders had repeatedly and consistently tried to stop the slave traders. One of those places, Virginia, had attempted on no less than twenty-eight occasions to arrest the slave trade, but was stopped by higher (non-Southern) authorities. If the slaves were not sold in the South, they were taken on to Haiti and Brazil, where the condition and treatment of slaves was simply horrendous. The restoration of these slaves to their former condition was a physical impossibility. Now, under these conditions, was it a sin for a Christian to purchase such a slave, knowing that he would take him home and treat him the way the Bible requires? If he did not do so, nothing would be done to improve the slave’s condition, and much could happen that would make it worse. 

Is it his plagiarism?

The other controversy over Wilson and Wilkins pamphlet on slavery was over plagiarism:

As they prepared Southern Slavery As It Was for publication, Douglas Wilson and his co-author, Steven Wilkins, plagiarized extensively from Fogel and Engerman’s “Time On the Cross,” a book that was highly criticized by historians of the South.

Another source explains:

Professor Robert T. McKenzie, a civil war expert at the University of Washington and a member of a sister Christ Church in Seattle, urged Wilson to withdraw the book for another reason other than its ugly, unsupported thesis. McKenzie knew Time on the Cross very well and he was able to determine that about 20 percent of the slavery booklet had been lifted from the book.

Wilson first explained that it was sloppy editing on this part, but Wilkins finally came clean and admitted that it was his entire fault. …

The original slavery booklet was republished as it was (the footnotes were fixed) in The War Between the States: America’s Uncivil War(Bluebonnet Press, 2005), John J. Dwyer, general editor.

Is it his Federal Vision beliefs?

In 2007, Wilson co-authored and signed “A Joint Federal Vision Profession.” There have been numerous articles and books on the Federal Vision. Nearly every NAPARC denomination has a statement on it explaining why it’s contrary to the Bible and to the Westminster Standards. For this article I’ll focus on two crucial points, the denial of justification by faith alone and baptismal regeneration. Because Federal Visionists deny the distinction between the law and the gospel and because they teach that all who are baptized are united to Christ, they deny justification by faith alone and teach baptismal regeneration.

The denial of justification by faith alone:

This means that every proponent of the Joint Federal Vision Statement denies sola fide. They will, of course, claim the opposite. And they will also claim that denying the distinction of law and gospel in the text of Scripture does not mean that they deny sola fide in justification. This will have to be a difference between them and me. For if there is no difference between law and gospel in the text of Scripture, then faith is no longer what the Reformers said it was: which is opposed to works in justification.

Baptismal regeneration:

Baptism formally engrafts a person into the Church, which means that baptism is into the Regeneration, that time when the Son of Man sits upon His glorious throne (Matt. 19:28).

Many might wonder what in the world this means. Happily, they define this “regeneration” elsewhere:

In establishing the Church, God has fulfilled His promise to Abraham and established the Regeneration of all things. God has established this Regeneration through Christ — in Him we have the renewal of life in the fulness of life in the new age of the kingdom of God (p. 4).

This “regeneration” is the renewal of life in Christ. That’s what all the baptized receive at baptism.

Is it his teaching of paedocommunion?

Connected to the Federal Vision teachings is the belief in paedocommunion. Because baptism unites a person to Christ, and babies are baptized, then why deny young children, toddlers or even younger, their place at the communion table?

Wilson writes:

We cannot argue for paedocommunion, urging that little children be allowed to come to the Table that disciplines us all, and then protest if when this discipline starts to take effect. Just realize that it takes effect, in this instance, with the parents. Bringing your children to the Table involves far than bringing them to bread and wine. It means bringing the whole family, heart and soul, hugs and swats, mom and dad, the whole fam, to the Lord Jesus, and He receives us here. So come and welcome.

And:

My toddler grandchildren coming to the Table have true faith — but it is blade faith. We’re not anywhere near done.

Is it his views on patriarchy?

Wilson says patriarchy is “inescapable“:

Patriarchy simply means “father rule,” and so it follows that every biblical Christian holds to patriarchy. The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23), and fathers have the central responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Children are required to obey their parents (both of them), and since the wife is to follow the lead of her husband in all things (Eph. 5:24), this means that the father is responsible to provide for and protect his family. Father rule. That’s the good part.

The point is that patriarchy is inescapable, and our only choice is between men being faithful, for blessing, and men failing, for humiliation and chastisement. The thesis is not that men are good, but rather that men are crucial. When they are crucial and selfish, a lot of bad things happen. When they are crucial and obedient, a lot of good follows.

Is it his views on marriage?

Wilson has written several books and numerous articles on marriage. Valerie Hobbs and I wrote an article looking at way Wilson addresses husbands and wives in wedding sermons. Here are some other Wilson quotes on marriage:

He has created us as male and female in such a way as to ensure that men will always be dominant in marriage. If the husband is godly, then that dominance will not be harsh; it will be characterized by the same self-sacrificial love demonstrated by our Lord—Dominus—at the cross. – Wilson, Douglas (2009-04-01). Reforming Marriage (p. 24). Canon Press. Kindle Edition.

Nevertheless, the dominance of the husband is a fact; the only choice we have in this regard concerns whether that dominance will be a loving and constructive dominion or hateful and destructive tyranny. – Wilson, Douglas (2009-04-01). Reforming Marriage (p. 25). Canon Press. Kindle Edition.

Second, wives need to be led with a firm hand. A wife will often test her husband in some area, and be deeply disappointed (and frustrated) if she wins. It is crucial that a husband give to his wife what the Bible says she needs, rather than what she says she needs. So a godly husband is a godly lord. A woman who understands this biblical truth and calls a certain man her husband is also calling him her lord. It is tragic that wholesale abdication on the part of modern men has made the idea of lordship in the home such a laughable thing. – Wilson, Douglas (2009-04-01). Reforming Marriage (p. 80). Canon Press. Kindle Edition.

A man may not be a vocational theologian, but in his home he is still the resident theologian. The apostle Paul, when he is urging women to keep silent in church, tells them that “if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home” (1 Cor. 14:35). The tragedy is that many modern women have to wonder why the Bible says they should have to ask their husbands. “He doesn’t know.” But a husband must be prepared to answer his wife’s doctrinal questions, and if he cannot, then he must be prepared to study so that he can remedy the deficiency. – Wilson, Douglas (2009-04-01). Reforming Marriage (pp. 40-41). Canon Press. Kindle Edition.

The first time the dishes are not done, he must sit down with his wife immediately, and gently remind her that this is something which has to be done. At no time may he lose his temper, badger her, call her names, etc. He must constantly remember and confess that she is not the problem, he is. By bringing this gently to her attention, he is not to be primarily pointing to her need to repent; rather, he is exhibiting the fruit of his repentance. He does this, without rancour and without an accusative spirit, until she complies or rebels. If she complies, he must move up one step, now requiring that another of her duties be done. If she rebels, he must call the elders of the church and ask them for a pastoral visit. When the government of the home has failed to such an extent, and a godly and consistent attempt by the husband to restore the situation has broken down, then the involvement of the elders is fully appropriate. ‘Not Where She Should Be

Is it his views on sex?

Another area that has drawn controversy for Wilson is his teachings on sex. Here is one of the most frequently quoted passages:

In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed. But we cannot make gravity disappear just because we dislike it, and in the same way we find that our banished authority and submission comes back to us in pathological forms. This is what lies behind sexual “bondage and submission games,” along with very common rape fantasies. Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless. – Wilson, Douglas (2011-03-07). Fidelity (Kindle Locations 978-985). Canon Press. Kindle Edition.

Is it the way he treats women who disagree with him?

Wilson frequently responds to critics with sarcasm and sharp words. Here are some examples for how he’s talked about women who disagree with him:

the clueless women who blindly liked Wilkin’s article on Facebook, but who are themselves pushy broads, twinkies in tight tops, or waifs with manga eyes ‘Waifs With Manga Eyes

So feminism — smash the patriarchy feminism — wants us to be ruled by harridans, termagants, harpies and crones. That sets the tone, and the pestering is then made complete by small-breasted biddies who want to make sure nobody is using too much hot water in the shower, and that we are all getting plenty of fiber. ‘Smash the Complementarity

Unbelieving women either compete for the attention of men through outlandish messages that communicate some variation of “easy lay,” or in the grip of resentment they give up the endeavor entirely, which is how we get lumberjack dykes. ‘On Why Christian Women are Prettier

The silly women here are perpetual students — bluestockings — and they are constantly learning, but never getting the point. It would be hard to come up with a better modern example of this than the evangelical feminists. ‘Bluestocking Feminism

Is it the way he never apologizes or admits he’s wrong?

Given the number of controversies that Wilson has been a party to, it would makes sense for him to have apologized at times for saying or doing the wrong thing. Everyone makes mistakes. However, aside from a handful of posts that apologize for wording things in an awkward way, Wilson has not apologized.

I know that every man is a sinner and that even my favorite pastors/theologians are almost certainly wrong about something. And we certainly shouldn’t dismiss every author out there because we disagree on a point or two. But is there a point at which the depth or breadth of the problems becomes significant enough that it’s time to rethink defending a man?

To all those Reformed, Presbyterians out there who are willing to look past the recent Wilson controversies, is it time to consider if what you like is worth defending? For anything that he’s written that you’ve appreciated, isn’t there someone else who has said something similar without all the baggage? Are the qualifiers worth it?

77 thoughts on “A Question for Wilson Fans

  1. Carmen S. says:

    Thanks for asking the question. It’s time for his “fans” to answer the question. I’d like to know why anyone listened to him in the first place.

  2. Jason Springer says:

    “There are many articles right now about Doug Wilson and his role in the court cases and subsequent marriages of two pedophiles who attended New Saint Andrews in Moscow, ID. This is not the first controversy that Wilson has faced, and many of his supporters are adamant that he has done nothing wrong. I know that there are many people who are members of CREC churches who have chosen to align themselves with Wilson and his denomination. This question is not particularly for them.
    My question is for those in the Reformed, Presbyterian world who say they really like or appreciate what Wilson says/has written/teaches on various subjects. My question is: what exactly do you like about Wilson?”
    (I think it was one statutory rapist and one pedopile, but who’s counting?)

    Is it his credentials?
    Doug Wilson is self-ordained, ….. He is under no authority but his own.

    Who “ordained” C. S. Lewis? Who “ordained” G. K. Chesterton?
    Rachel, are you “ordained”? If so, by whom?
    Wilson says he is under and submits to God’s authority, aka, not “his own”.

    Is it his views on slavery?
    In Levitical times, limited term “slavery” for Israelites was a means recover and discourage debt. Captives taken in war could be slaves for life.(if not killer instead.)If slaves liked the situation they were in, they could become “bond servants” and remain in that situation. While it can’t apply in the USA today, there is a form of slavery that is Biblically prescribed. Wilson’s views, right or wrong, do spring from the Biblical prescription of slavery. (By the way, some of my family forbearers fought and died for the Union in the Civil War.)

    Is it his plagiarism?
    Wilkins says it was Wilkins plagiarism, not Wilson’s. So no, it apparently was not “his” plagiarism.

    Is it his Federal Vision beliefs?
    Don’t know enough about this one to comment.

    Is it his teaching of paedocommunion?
    1 Corinthians 11 28, Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

    I doubt that babies can give themselves this sort of Word required examination, not to mention that most babies I know are actually pretty innocent in the commissioned sin department. (me, not so much)

    Is it his views on patriarchy?
    The “Father rules” me. Doesn’t He rule you also?

    Is it his views on marriage?
    Wilson advocates that Husbands be as faithful in their obedience to God as they should be in faithfully loving their wives. A husbands obedience to God is where true love for his wife springs from. Everyone wants to see and view this sort of obedience and love.

    Is it his views on sex?
    What about God’s views on marriage and sex? Boy, that God sure is a patriarch!
    Genesis 3
    16 To the woman he said,

    “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
    Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

    Is it the way he treats women who disagree with him?
    Wilson frequently rebukes and corrects all of his critics, men and women. In this respect, he is a bit of an egalitarian. ; – ) The prophet Hosea was much tougher.

    2 Timothy 3
    6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

    16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Is it the way he never apologizes or admits he’s wrong?
    However, aside from a handful of posts that apologize for wording things in an awkward way, Wilson has not apologized.

    Wilson also apologized for being a technological lummox!

    To conclude Rachel, this is one area where you could show the way. Can you at least apologize to Wilson’s wife and daughters, for “finding” in your and Dr. Hobbs’ lexical analysis that Wilson women are “step-stool, silent, invisible and unable to teach?” Wilson’s “public square” writing is part of his “fruit” and the public is entitled to comment on it as you have. The life and life style of Wilson’s wife, daughters and the men and women he teaches are part of his fruit as well. Rachel you and Dr. Hobbs “found” that women, according to Wilson, would be “step-stool, silent, invisible and unable to teach”. Wilson’s wife, daughters and the people he ministers to by teaching are anything but that.

    If you would like to see more humility demonstrated by Wilson, you and Dr. Hobbs are, by Providence, well positioned to lead by example and offer a humble apology to Wilson, or at least his wife and daughters. Your forced, biased, lexical analysis of Wilson’s writing, fabricated a false image of the women associated with Wilson, that is not borne out by the fruit and lives of those women or Wilson.

    I am not right about everything, Wilson is not right about everything, and you Rachel are not right about everything. Can you admit that you are wrong sometimes?

    Charity actually begins within us, even before it appears to begin at home.

    Thanks and Salt, love, Jason

    • Dash says:

      Those are really weak responses to a really strong case, Jason. What does it feel like to be so thoroughly whipped by such a con artist? If you were any further up inside Doug Wilson’s intestinal tract, I bet you’d be able to see out of his mouth.

      • Jason Springer says:

        Dash, bless you for your “really strong(?)” response to none of the points anyone has made. What was weak about my responses? I have to say your response gave a lift to my already up countneance! You sound very expert on the intestinal tract, do you speak from personal experience? That being said your comment does seem pretty dark and unappealing. I hope that by Grace, you find a way to unpack that unappealing darkness you have expressed. It is great to be free of such things, or to work with your analogy, once relived of dark things, they can be flushed away! (with the right kind of water)

    • ericpaz says:

      Jason, what you say in fact shows a huge self-contradiction in Doug Wilson’s doctrines, to the point that your comment itself proves him to be a false teacher. Let’s walk through it.

      “Who “ordained” C. S. Lewis? Who “ordained” G. K. Chesterton?” They were laymen, not pastors, and said so frequently in their writings. This means they recognized they were not church leaders, but had the leadership of their churches to guide them. (Anglican and Catholic, respectively. Both of which groups make a very big deal of formally ordaining their clergy.) Mr. Wilson, on the other hand, styles himself a pastor. What authorities does he have to hold him accountable and correct him when he is doing, saying, or teaching something wrong?

      The question is simple: If Mr. Wilson teaches that everybody has to submit to somebody’s leadership, then whose leadership does Mr. Wilson submit to?

      You say, “Wilson says he is under and submits to God’s authority…” But, by your showing, “God” has never once so much as told him to apologize for anything, except maybe the total non-fault of being a “technological lummox.” How very convenient. Seriously, who are we kidding? There is no practical difference between submitting to a version of God who never tells you you’re wrong, and submitting only to yourself.

      As Abe Lincoln once said, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing over slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” Can you really picture Mr. Wilson placing himself on the auction block to become anybody’s slave? (For bonus points, imagine the winning bidder is a woman!) If he isn’t willing to do that, then he shouldn’t say slavery is a good thing. In the same way, if he won’t submit to human authorities, then he shouldn’t say submission, federal vision, headship, patriarchy, whatever, are good things.

      You can’t have it both ways. Either we believe everybody needs to submit to someone, which means Mr. Wilson should humble himself and seek ordination through channels that would offer him a definite structure of accountability for his ministry— and since he is unwilling to do this, he is a hypocrite, and therefore Douglas Wilson is a false teacher. Or, we believe everybody can submit directly to God with no mediator but Christ Jesus— and that proves patriarchy and headship and federal vision are false teachings, and therefore Douglas Wilson is a false teacher.

      • Jason Springer says:

        Eric,
        Again, go to Blog and Mablog and type “retractions” in the search bar. Wilson’s post “Milestone Screw-ups” notes admissions of being wrong by Wilson.
        I don’t know what God has told either you, or Wilson by His Word, His Spirit or directly. I do know that Jesus is Lord over all of us, whether we submit to Him or not. You are in agreement with Bob Dylan (and me) that we all have to serve somebody.
        I am not Wilson’s lord, so I can’t speak for how The Lord directs Wilson.
        Obedient or disobedient, the eyes of the Lord are on all of us, and I do have great confidence in His ability to see and act in all of our lives.

      • ericpaz says:

        Jason— I just read through every “retraction” on Wilson’s blog. He talks about sometimes changing his opinions and making a couple of mis-citations. Again, total non-faults. Can you point us to any place where he says something like this: “I see now that what I did was very hurtful to you, and therefore it was wrong of me to do; I am sorry I treated you that way and I will try never to do it again.” You know… an apology?

        But that’s beside the real point of my comment. Let’s look at it again:

        – “I can’t speak for how The Lord directs Wilson.” Then why does Wilson speak for how the Lord directs me, or you, or Christian feminists?

        – “we all have to serve somebody.” Then who (in terms of realistic accountability structures with real people in them) does Wilson have to serve?

        The point is this: Wilson’s view of authority proves himself wrong. If everyone has to answer to a human authority, then Wilson is in rebellion against his own mandate, and therefore Wilson is a false teacher. If everyone only has to answer to God, then Wilson’s doctrines of federal vision and headship and patriarchy are false doctrines, and therefore Wilson is a false teacher.

      • Jason Springer says:

        Eric, Here are my responses:

        But that’s beside the real point of my comment. Let’s look at it again:
        – “I can’t speak for how The Lord directs Wilson.” Then why does Wilson speak for how the Lord directs me, or you, or Christian feminists?

        Eric, for the same reason you and I do? Although to be fair, I think we all speak of The Lord and of His Word, because we don’t speak for Him unless we are prophets.

        – “we all have to serve somebody.” Then who (in terms of realistic accountability structures with real people in them) does Wilson have to serve?

        Eric, God Himself is a realistic accountability structure, and not just for Wilson, but for you and me as well. What matters of truth and justice I can’t address, God does.

        The point is this: Wilson’s view of authority proves himself wrong. If everyone has to answer to a human authority, then Wilson is in rebellion against his own mandate, and therefore Wilson is a false teacher. If everyone only has to answer to God, then Wilson’s doctrines of federal vision and headship and patriarchy are false doctrines, and therefore Wilson is a false teacher.

        Eric, I believe Wilson thinks God is the ultimate Authority, where human authority is godly, Wilson will give an answer to it, which is not the same as “answerable”.
        Where Wilson, like you and me, are answerable to God, God takes care of that, not you and me, although He may use us as His instruments, often without us even knowing it. In the mean time, we can:

        Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

        As I think we are both doing here.

        Thanks and Salt, Jason

        (Also, thanks for not inserting “intestinal tract” ideas as “dash’ did. While they can be fun to blunt, honest dialogue is my preferrence!)

  3. Baptist wife (Nancy2) says:

    “gently remind her that this is something which has to be done. At no time may he lose his temper, badger her, call her names, etc. He must constantly remember and confess that she is not the problem, he is. By bringing this gently to her attention, he is not to be primarily pointing to her need to repent; rather, he is exhibiting the fruit of his repentance. He does this, without rancour and without an accusative spirit, until she complies or rebels. If she complies, he must move up one step, now requiring that another of her duties be done.” ????????????

    Jason,
    Sweetie, my granddaddy broke mules to work in a fashion very similar to the way Wilson recommends that a husband should go about training his wife! My granddaddy had some mighty fine, obedient mules ….. but they still slept in the barn.

    • Jason Springer says:

      Nanc,

      How did God “break” you? How did God “break” me? How did God “break” Saul? None of us are God, but we are supposed to become more like Him, in the ways that humans can. I don’t think any of us “like” to give or receive rebuke, admonition, correction or discipline, but there is a godly way for people to give these things.

      If Wilson is right per your quote, than I am the one who is the big problem in my relationships. I hope I don’t have to be blinded by God in order to learn what I need to learn. Let’s hope godly admonition by fellow Christians works for all of us, though for all of us, the “flavor” might not be the same.

      • Baptist wife (Nancy2) says:

        Does God “break” us by penetrating, conquering, colonizing, and planting??? ( Does He force Himself upon us, or does He ask that we voluntarily follow Him??? )

        Is my husband my “godly lord”? If I don’t do the dishes tonight, should my husband report my failure to church elders? If I do get the dishes done tonight, should my husband demand that I wash dishes and do the laundry tomorrow ~~~~ the more I do, the more my husband should demand that I do???

        That is Wilson’s philosophy on marriage. Is it yours?

      • Jason Springer says:

        Nance, If God “breaks” us, it is great if He only has to do it once. He frequently asks questions per Acts 9. You and I, like our Father ask questions as well.

        Acts 9“Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 6 Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”

        With Saul, it seems like God used more “force” than He used with me. What about you? I was not physically blinded before my heart was broken.
        I think it would be helpful to separate God “breaking us” from God disciplining us. Godly Discipline is a life long process which we either cooperate with (the easy way) or balk at (the hard way). Between parents and their children, the chain of authority for discipline is more accepted. Between adults or consenting adults, the chain of authority is often in dispute, apparently and especially with regard to Christian marriage. Wilson does tend to speak in extremes, I think, with the intent for people to land in the good middle between them. Any way, Rachel asked the question, “what exactly do you like about Wilson.” I think that depends somewhat on how one hears him. Nance, while we may always hear Wilson differently from each other, can you see at all, that as others hear Wilson differently than you do, that is where their “like about Wilson” comes from?

  4. ericpaz says:

    “The first time the dishes are not done, he must sit down with his wife immediately, and gently APOLOGIZE FOR NOT DOING THE DISHES.”

    Fixed that for ya, Doug!

  5. Serving Kids in Japan says:

    Who “ordained” C. S. Lewis? Who “ordained” G. K. Chesterton?
    Rachel, are you “ordained”? If so, by whom?

    Lewis and Chesterton never claimed to be ministers or pastors. Neither does Rachel, as far as I know. Wilson, on the other hand, does call himself a pastor, and claims to have authority over people (and especially women) in his “kirk”. If he weren’t self-ordained, it might be easier to take him seriously.

    Wilson says he is under and submits to God’s authority, aka, not “his own”.

    That’s all well and good, but then what remedy do his flock have if he starts abusing them? To whom to they appeal, and how? Are they supposed to just pray and wait for God to toss a few boils his way?

    • Serving Kids in Japan says:

      Apologies to all. My first comment was intended to be a reply to Jason Springer. Sorry for any confusion.

    • Jason Springer says:

      “Kids” All Christians are under God’s Authority and all Christians have a measure of authority as Christians, within the body of Christ. I don’t think Wilson has any special authority over you, me or women in general. However, you, I and Wilson speak with whatever faculty, authority or humility we think is appropriate to ourselves.
      I do think ordination has some value, but it also has its’ human limits, as in “Who ordained Al Sharpton?”
      I do think Wilson is accountable to God, The Word and to the elders of the church he pastors. I do think those elders are accountable to God,The Word and the Church.
      Church elders are the earthly “remedy” for a church’s possible complaints about it’s pastor.
      Beyond any elders, we “appeal” to God, who we should appeal to in the first place. Whether or not God “tosses as few boils” on people we disagree with is not ours to decide.
      “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch over the evil and the good.”
      There are plenty of times where I wish God would go with my plan, but I think He chuckles and keeps going with His plan. God does have more game than I do. We do need wisdom and faith!

  6. Elizabeth Kraus says:

    How is this guy still in charge of anything? Appalling. No wonder the ‘world’ wants nothing to do with Christianity. This guy is as far away from the Savior as any self-proclaimed atheist.

  7. Trent says:

    I have always been wondering why Wilson is touted. I guess its the enemy of my enemy thing. After all “he’s strong on complementarianism” (read Victorian era patriarchy!). Yet, he’s a Federal visionist! He denies sola fide! I wouldn’t touch him with a thirty nine and a half foot pole!

  8. Tim says:

    With Mr. Wilson it really is a matter of one thing after another. Those who support him are denying the reality of his awful doctrine, teaching and practice.

  9. Sergio says:

    I feel so dumb.

    I never liked Doug Wilson per se, I just found his Federal Vision theology to be an eccentricity and, sure, he had some bumps here and there, but at least he was amusing to read. Heck, I even bought one of his books (Serrated Edge).

    I mean, part of the reason I liked him is because he was speaking in a such a way that I wish I could speak in. It was cathartic, almost.

    However, first it was Federal Vision. Okay, so he’s not Reformed. But then I saw his sexism, especially due to the help of Dr. Hobb’s and your work. I can’t support a man like that. Finally, the sexual abuse broke me. I have friends who have been abuse by the church. I can’t support a man who will not side with the victims. Jesus said to suffer the little children. I don’t know how anybody can support Mr. Wilson in light of that.

    Thank you Ms. Miller (and Dr. Hobbs) for your work in the Reformed churches. As a seminarian, this helps me serve any congregation I might be a part of, especially those most at risk. God bless.

  10. Jason Van Bemmel says:

    This is very well done and a compelling case, Rachel. Thank you! I have been intrigued by Doug Wilson at various points over the years because he has written some brilliant things, but his overall lack of character, credentials, discernment, etc. is just too troubling to ignore. Thanks for compiling so much of the evidence in one place in a comprehensive and compelling manner.

  11. Dan says:

    As a member of a Presbyterian Church who has followed and appreciated Wilson for over 10 years now I take myself as the target of this article. Personally, I have appreciated him as someone who is “worth disagreeing with” for many reasons.

    1) His high regard for scripture.
    2) He doesn’t dance around issues but attacks hard topics and tells you what he thinks.
    3) His clearly formed and well thought through positions.
    4) His powerful defense of Christianity against unbelief.
    5) I have seen the positive effect of his teaching on people’s lives.

    Why do I appreciate him in spite of all the criticism? Mostly because the vast majority of the criticism is not well done and based on misrepresentation, this article included. To disagree with someone you must first be able to state their position in way they would recognize.

    Here are some brief thoughts on each one of your statements:

    Is it his credentials? – Why would anyone like him because of his credentials? I think Wilson would agree that his path to ministry and the formation of his church were not ideal. You don’t seem to be criticizing where the church is and has been for many years. I think it has been very clear that the currently he works with and under the authority of his elders/presbytery.

    Is it his views on slavery? – He has updated & clarified his views on this many times. He even has apologized for much of this https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/sincere-public-apologies.html

    Is it his plagiarism? – Not his plagiarism but his coauthors.

    Is it his Federal Vision beliefs? – Valid places for criticism here, but Wilson’s view is certainly not the same as all Federal Visionists. Most Federal Vision critiques aren’t consistent with what I’ve read from Wilson.

    Is it his teaching of paedocommunion? – I think he is straight up wrong here.

    Is it his views on patriarchy? – It seems to me that he is consistently trying to redefine the term to match biblical standards.

    Is it his views on marriage? – Misrepresentation through selective quotations. His view is much fuller than this.

    Is it his views on sex? – Again, he has clarified this many times.

    Is it the way he treats women who disagree with him? – Yes he consistently uses harsh analogies for both men and women who misrepresent his views. He does not treat disagreement with his actual positions in the same way.

    Is it the way he never apologizes or admits he’s wrong? – He does and has done both. I do however appreciate that in general his arguments are well formed and consistent enough to not need a retraction, even though I may disagree with the conclusions.

    • Jason Wallace says:

      Years ago, Tony Maneri, an elder in our church was charged with slander. Doug Wilson was a personal friend of his and had never met or spoken with anyone else in the congregation. Our plea to Mr. Maneri was simple: bring his charges to the court he vowed, retract the charges, or face charges for slander. He refused and wanted his name erased, rather than having us follow Matthew 18. We refused. He reached out to Wilson, who instructed him in writing “If your going to trial indicates your submission to OPC jurisdiction, don’t go.”

      When Mr. Maneri started making this letter public, the other elders wrote Wilson and challenged his advice. We told Wilson we were trying to regain our brother and such advice was unbiblical. Wilson’s response was that we would have to submit our trial documents to him to demonstrate that we had “risen above the Reformed norm” before he would assume they were legitimate. We were assumed to be “adjudicating every dogfight to General Assembly” unless we proved otherwise. We appealed to Mr. Wilson’s elders. We pointed out that his friend’s charges were either true or false. If they were true, Wilson was advising a shepherd to abandon the flock to a wolf. If his charges were false, Wilson was encouraging the wolf. His elders claimed they did not see Wilson giving any direction in his statement, “If your going to trial indicates your submission to OPC jurisdiction, don’t go.” They said it was an “if/then statement that wasn’t concluded.”

      We proceeded with prayers and tears to trial. Our elder followed Wilson’s advice and did not come to his trial. He was ultimately excommunicated. Eventually, he moved to Moscow. Without ever informing us, much less asking for our trial documents, Wilson and his session prescribed that they would receive Mr. Maneri into membership, if he wrote a letter to our presbytery apologizing for not attending his trial. They seemed willfully ignorant that this was the wrong court and never dealt with the actual sin of slander.

      The irony was that before getting around to doing this, Mr. Maneri turned on WIlson and started slandering him. The Christ Church session then reached out to us, wanting our trial documents, because they said Wilson was “reconsidering” his advice. We asked why they now wanted the documents when they had been able to function so well without them for so long and when Mr. Maneri was no longer seeking membership. We never received a response.

      Doug Wilson showed no Biblical concern for the sheep here in Salt Lake City. He demonstrated no concern for the slander of an elder, nor for the soul of his friend. He repeatedly demonstrated contempt for us and our courts, and only wanted to see our trial documents when he could use them to defend himself. The Presbytery of the Dakotas officially warned all other OPC presbyteries years ago of Wilson undermining other churches’ discipline.

      Doug Wilson is a wolf. He is witty and can make us feel good when he mocks our enemies, but I challenge you as to which list arrogance and contempt best fit in Galatians 5. I challenge anyone to defend his actions in dealing with us. I challenge anyone to defend his actions as a faithful shepherd, rather than a self-appointed pope.

  12. seanwhitenack says:

    Who can argue with your list?

    Let me hazard a response to what I have liked about WIlson.

    As with all things you sometimes have to take the good and get rid of the bad. I’ve read lots of his stuff and found lots of things that were helpful for us for a time. His stuff on marriage helped my wife and I get grounded in some biblical practices, especially because we got married with little idea of biblical roles. She recently reminded ME how helpful they were to us (probably after I was criticizing them). Are there better models? Absolutely. I’ve reread Reforming Marriage and really had a problem with some parts, but other parts my wife and I are thankful for.

    Some of his apologetic stuff is really good, particularly his debates with Christopher Hitchins. He is a sharp shooter. He seems genuinely enjoyable to be around. Yet he is a quick thinker and witty. I enjoyed the dialog and the videos and thought he was masterful. He has spoken at college campuses, and though he is ridiculed he communicates clearly the need of Christ.

    His son Nate has written some good stuff and in his video on Tilt a Whirl he shows a great picture of the family life (sure it could be fake, but I am taking it that this is common family time).

    Wilson has edited and written some very interesting pieces for the Omnibus curriculum for Veritas Press. My kids use it and I LOVE it as I am learning a lot in it as we deal with many books.

    It sounds like I am a follower. I don’t think I am. Wilson is such a mixed bag. I recommend Omnibus but none of his marriage stuff. I was drawn to him once, but moved away in seeing the fruit of his ministry. But I’ve still profited from him. He attempts to stay within Westminster Confessional standards (even if he brings this commitment into question through his Federal Vision doctrine).

    What struck me about Wilson (after I received my email touting the most recent Canon Press offerings) is how enterprising this man is. It’s pointed out in the OP. This guys enterprise, genuinely (I believe) for the sake of Christ.

    We all have our faults, Wilson’s are obvious and growingly so. I notice that many of our greatest leaders have more glaring faults than others. God raises them up. Pride bring them low again.

    But in the meantime, we have to take the good and get rid of the bad. Sadly, not every person gives a black/white verdict. Wilson is this way.

    Anyway, you asked why people like him. As a generally disinterested observer in this matter, those are some of my reasons.

    • semperfidelis says:

      Sean,

      While I share some sentiment of finding Wilson to have been helpful in some areas I don’t share you overall sentiment to overlook the “bad” to argue that the overall work is “for the sake of Christ.”

      Now, can the Lord use false teachers to his glory? Yes.

      We benefit tremendously from the work of Erasmus’ work collecting Greek manuscripts. One could say that the Reformed depended in part on what he did.

      Historically speaking, there were a number of issues that contributed to the success of the Reformation. Had Charles V, for instance, not been so busy dealing with the Muslims then he might have otherwise crushed Luther as had happened in previous centuries.

      Thus, we can say that both Erasmus and the Muslims were useful for Reformed people.

      Does that make them “for Christ”? One can argue that Erasmus wanted to be but he opposed faith alone (as does Doug).

      I would say that Doug Wilson’s greatest contribution to me has been as a warning against pride. I don’t mean this facetiously. I mean I have literally been praying more that the Lord would protect me from slipping into sin to the point that I cannot be corrected.

      • Greg Jaos says:

        Spurgeon of course was reformed, Wilson formed his own denomination he can call it whatever he wants. Ian Paisley co founded his own denomination and called it Presbyterian and back in his day I would want nothing to do with it just as I would not want to have anything to do with Wilson’s.

  13. Eric says:

    “My question is for those in the Reformed, Presbyterian world who say they really like or appreciate what Wilson says/has written/teaches on various subjects. My question is: what exactly do you like about Wilson?”

    While I do not know the man, below are many examples of what I appreciate about Doug Wilson and the Christ Church ministry…

    I appreciate his book “Reforming Marriage”

    I appreciate that he genuinely is engaged in “taking every thought captive to Christ” and endeavoring to equip the Saints and to be Salt and Light in culture.

    I appreciate that he is working to reform Christian education.

    I appreciate that he is involved in equipping young Christians through NSA.

    I appreciate that his debates with Christopher Hitchens and the documentary “Collision”

    I’m really looking forward to his commentary in Darren Doane’s soon-to-be released documentary “Stonewall” that features Doug Wilson.

    For the last 3 years I have been edified and equipped for good works as I have listened to many sermons during my morning and evening commutes back and forth to work. (Never during this time did I ever hear anything that set off any alarm bells in my head with regards to heretical teaching)

    I have appreciated his sermon series “Why Children Matter” especially the fact that he and Nancy held a Q&A session following each sermon. I thought that was really great and edifying. http://www.canonwired.com/featured/1748/

    I appreciate his Youtube channel with a lot of great conversations, interviews, debates….. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgnQidqCmeyLEuXChuNEGmQ

    I appreciate his perspective on eschatology.

    I like his sense of humor and writing style in general, I think it is edgy in a God honoring sort of way.

    I believe that Doug Wilson has a gift of pulling the curtain back on a lot of issues that the curtain needs pulling back on.

    I appreciated his book “God Rest Ye Merry” and celebrating the advent. I like to read it to my kids during advent.

    I have appreciated his writing with regards to talking about politics and thinking biblically with regards to choosing civil magistrates and thinking through important political issues…

    When I watch his videos I do not come away with the feeling that Doug Wilson is attempting to pull a bait n’ switch on his listeners with regards to FV and slavery…. If it is true that Doug Wilson is willfully deceiving his flock and that he holds to a heretical view of Scripture, then I think that is a tragedy, but as of yet I have not been convinced that Doug Wilson is a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing. It may be possible that he has really screwed up with the FV thing, and he now is trying to re-write the past so that he doesn’t look so bad, this is worthy of condemning, but I would say it reveals a pride issue which is a different thing altogether than heresy.

    In reference to a couple of your areas of concern below are some videos that I thought were helpful:

    Conversation with a Federal Vision Pastor:

    What is your view of Southern Slavery?

    That’s probably enough for now.

    I can’t help but wonder if this piece might need a touch more nuance to it, perhaps a bit more charity? Perhaps a bit more context? Being a “Wilson Fan” I know I’m not particularly keen on being labeled as a heretic/cult. I would be willing to bet that those folks who actually live in Moscow, Idaho probably don’t much care for the label either. Especially if its not actually true…

    Sincerely in Christ,
    Eric

  14. Anar says:

    Show me another contemporary Christian that has written satire as effectively.

    (There are certain areas that many neglect and even with all his faults Wilson has at least ventured into some of them.)

  15. ryan c says:

    As someone who has never met him, never heard him speak or never communicated with him, but who follows his teaching (I suppose you could call me a “fan”), I would pretty much agree with Dan.

    The question I have is why do you hate him so much?

    I don’t get all the hate. Any objective outsider can see that most of the “controversies” are not scandalous by any stretch (such as the recent one regarding child abuse).

    • Trent says:

      Hate is the wrong word. Perhaps you should ask “why is everyone into exposing him for what he is?”
      Woopee, he has good rhetorical skills.
      He denies sole fide.
      His views on patriarchy are stunning, and I am no feminist. It is an utter reaction to the worst of feminism. The consequences of which look like a cult.
      His handling of abuse in the church for which he does not apologize and deliberately deflects all criticism and tells the victims its their fault is quite troubling to put it very mildly.
      Its like he runs a little jonestown with his church and NSA.

    • Carl says:

      I don’t “hate” Mr. Wilson, too much useless energy spent. Instead, I continue, as a Moscow resident, to be happier than a skunk eating bumblebees that the dude has absolutely no influence over me, and that I don’t feel a need to “ask Doug” what he thinks of anything whatsoever. I can “ask myself.”

  16. Sarah says:

    Well, if nothing else, Doug Wilson’s views on relationships between men and women have made my fiance look even better by comparison. The first several months we were dating I kept thinking, “I didn’t even know there WERE men like this!”

  17. Hugh Jorgan says:

    What, exactly, is the purpose of this article, Rachel? How does it edify the body of Christ? How does it help our brother Doug? How is it not simply gossip? Where does scripture give you, a woman, the authority to rebuke or chastise any man in public, regardless of his lack of credentials? Where is your seminary degree from? where is your ordination? Perhaps you are one of the “small-breasted biddies” Doug mentions seeking to use an unearned bully pulpit to make yourself feel good. Perhaps your husband needs to grow some testicles and reign you in from your own narcissism and embarrassing public display of female emotionalism.

      • Carl says:

        Sara, I think it’s possible (and I hope I’m right) that the post by “Hugh Jorgan” (pronounce the name, and hear what it sounds like) was satirical, and not intended to be taken as a true defense of the good “Pastor”.

      • Sara says:

        I certainly hope you’re right, Carl. The name does seem satirical now that I actually look at it. But, unfortunately, as Rachel said, this kind of stuff does actually get said to women by many patriarchal men. How sad that we can’t actually distinguish satire from reality anymore.

    • Trent says:

      It wpuldn’t surprise me if it was Doug himself or at least one of his little cronies.
      How hateful of a comment. I hope you answer to God for your misogyny.

      • Carl says:

        Well, Trent, I’m starting to believe you are correct. Living in Moscow and having observed the antics of Wilson over the years, my guess is that “Hugh Jorgan”, while obviously using a (clever?) pseudonym, is one of Wilson’s youthful acolytes doing a little “skylarking”, as the Wilsonistas liked to call such things a few years ago. Fake name, but heartfelt message? Disturbing, to put it mildly.

  18. connieburroughs says:

    Personally, I like his writing style, although I have only read articles and blog posts. Most of his posts I liked were on political and culture war topics. I was aware of some theological points we disagreed upon, so I never looked upon him as a source for Bible teaching or theology. I was also aware of his patriarchal frame of mind, and though I am conservative about roles of women in the church I do think they do play a role, and I can’t help thinking that if any of the elders in Wilson’s church had run this “lets permit a pedophile to marry” business past their wives much of the ensuing mess could have been avoided. They almost certainly would have viewed the matter from the perspective of a wife and mother and relayed what a horrendous idea it was. With all that being said, they aren’t the first set of Elders to misjudge people or to err. The role of Elders is so authoritarian in some churches that to question them is equal to failing to submit and thus an offence worthy of church discipline. So the common sense of people outside the Elder bubble doesn’t come to bear on their decisions. Furthermore, the modern rejection of Christian Psychological counseling in favor of Pastors trained in “Biblical Counseling” has led to Pastors believing they have all the answers even to complex psychological problems. God has all the answers, Pastors do not and should consult experts when they are clearly needed. It is alarming how many followers paint him as persecuted in this whole scenario.

  19. J Cilliers says:

    So what about Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones who also didn’t study any formal theology and was completely self-taught? Spurgeon as well.

    • Rachel Miller says:

      Dr. Lloyd Jones was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Wales. Spurgeon, for as much as I love him, was not Presbyterian. He was Baptist. I don’t agree with his decision not to be ordained. But there were church leaders who wanted to ordain him. Neither example is the same as being self appointed as a pastor.

    • JB Aitken says:

      If Wilson held to his earlier Independency model of Church Government, the charge of self-ordination wouldn’t be that inconsistent. Since he pretends (key word) to be Presbyterian, he must be held to Presbyterian standards.

  20. Sandra Koke says:

    Dear Mrs. Miller,

    I am a big Doug (& Nancy) Wilson fan. I don’t attend a Reformed church and can’t comment on the details of his theology, but I have benefited greatly from his writing about education and family relationships, including marriage. I am married with 4 children, whom we homeschool, and I work (but just part time) as a physician.

    I could go on at length, but here are 3 reasons I am a fan.

    1. He thinks highly of women. (This is NOT sarcasm.) Of course lots of quotes can be taken out of context to try and prove the opposite, but a careful reading of his books and blog posts certainly gave me this impression.

    2. The advice he gives corresponds to reality (as might be expected) and makes life better. Here are 3 examples from my own life: (a) After reading about the idea of “saluting the uniform” to show respect to those who should receive it, even if they aren’t behaving in a way that commands it, I tried this and had improvement in a difficult relationship among extended family. (b) I have 3 sons and a daughter. The oldest 2 (boys) are teenagers. After reading in one of his books about “mothers and sons” I started going out of my way to make sure I show my sons how I respect them, and teaching my daughter to do the same. (By the way, we ALSO have it go the other way – my sons have learned to show honour to their sister. They ALL like that. I think it is fair to say that every single member of the family is happier as a result of following this advice.) I could add many, many other examples.

    3. Following on #1, God has used Doug’s work to affirm and bless me and show me that I do not need to feel demeaned or threatened by the Bible verses about women’s roles, submission, respect etc. I’m sure there are many lives the Holy Spirit has similarly blessed.

    Warmly and sincerely yours,

    Sandra Koke

  21. twebb2 says:

    Mrs. Miller, thank you for drawing these threads together and simply showing Wilson for who he is with his own words. I do wish Christians were more discerning these days, and this post can only help people to see the truth.

    Peace in Christ,
    Tim

  22. Carl says:

    I may well be a minority of one here, in that regarding religion, I’m in the “I don’t know what I believe” category, which makes me, in Mr. Wilson’s worldview, a “non-believer”, hence worthy of his withering contempt. Most of my friends, and virtually all of my extended family are pretty devout Christians, my family actually being one of the five founding families (in the 1880s) of a Lutheran church in a town a few miles from my hometown of Moscow. I have wonderful friendships with my Christian friends, and very close familial ties with my Christian family members. I also know that they do not speak or write harsh, judgmental words about folk like me. Mr. Wilson, however, makes his contempt for those like me all too well known. Perhaps I should pretend to be what, so far, I have been honestly unable to be. It’s interesting to me that a man who quite purposefully, knowingly, and gleefully makes himself not only a very public figure, thus subject to “fair comment”, and has fashioned himself to be a lightning rod is, as his followers are, well, “shocked” when lightning strikes.

  23. reformedmusings says:

    Hi Rachel – Nicely done, as usual. The problem is too few Bereans even in the Reformed world these days, as well as too many “go along to get along” types who refuse to discipline their buddies no matter how far off the reservation they tread. You are a blessing – keep up the great work for our Prophet, Priest, and King!

  24. fiddlrts says:

    Hey, you forgot one possibility, Rachel! Maybe it is his AIDS denialism that attracts people? [sarcasm font]

    Great post.

  25. Barbara Roberts says:

    Rachel put forward several possible reasons why so many Presbyterian and Reformed leaders continue giving Doug Wilson a platform: — his credentials, his views on slavery, his Federal Vision beliefs, his teaching of paedo-communion, his views on patriarchy, his views on marriage, his views on sex, the way he treats women who disagree with him, the way he never apologizes or admits he’s wrong.

    I am Reformed in my theology. I believe Wilson is a very dangerous wolf in sheep’s clothing. I suspect that of all the reasons Rachel suggested, the top ranking ones are his views on PATRIARCHY, MARRIAGE and SEX.

    As many readers here already know, I’m an advocate for victims of domestic abuse. Some years ago I read that the prominent leaders of the three main religions in Africa (Islam, animist-paganism and Christianity) all agree on one thing: that MEN ARE SUPERIOR TO WOMEN and WOMEN MUST BE SUBSERVIENT TO MEN.

    I think there is a similar thing going on here. I think that many Presbyterian & Reformed leaders continue giving Doug Wilson a platform and continue to give him a pass on the vile things he says, because they really like his attitude to male-female relationships.

    Unfortunately I can’t remember where I read that statement about the shared beliefs about gender among leaders of African religions. As I recall, it was reporting either some research, or something thing that came out of a colloquium between African religious leaders.

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