Monday, January 14, 2008

“Spaceship Moscow”

The latest Auburn Avenue high jinks furnishes me with an opportunity to plug this email written by Dr. Tom Roche, which I lifted from the BB Warfield list (fully documented anonymous attack bloggers don’t ask for permission to lift emails from public lists):

Re: [bbwarfield] From the Auburn Avenue Lampoon

It doesn’t sound like anything very new — in Credenda Agenda, for instance, Doug Wilson and his associates have long been explicitly noted for using hard, biting satire to respond to critics, often without even any attempt to answer the substantive arguments of said critics, and Wilson has written at least one essay specifically defending and bragging about this policy. Obviously, when you do not have a serious argument to rebut your critics, yelling and screaming at them and making fun of them will do, right?

Dr. Tom Roche
Norton, MA
Member — Lakeville Christian Fellowship

I call this to your attention because one Dr. Thomas Roche wrote an excellent essay called “Meet the Theonomists,” which was his farewell to theonomy and all its fruit loops. I do not know if the same man wrote both pieces, but I highly commend “Meet the Theonomists” because Dr. Roche nailed it eight years ago, predicting with incredible foresight Dougzilla’s mammoth influence on the Reformed world:

It may seem pretentious in the extreme for a self-taught former guitar leader, barely 40 years old, and Reformed for a period better measured in months than years, to start to try to export the Reformed faith, and build a national ministry presence in the Reformed orbit, but that is what Wilson did. . . . Clearly, it is obvious to me that Wilson and his associates not only see themselves as theonomists, but that they are eager to be the new primum mobile of this movement, complete with their visions for courtship, schooling, and church, in the post-Rushdoony era fast approaching. They are not actively hostile to Sandlin and the current Chalcedon crowd, not by any means, but they are rivals. Indeed, in my opinion Wilson’s is a textbook case of how to embrace a worldview and come from out of nowhere to establish yourself as a leading contender for movement leadership and a force that people think of when they consider said movement. As I said above, Wilson and his associates in Idaho constitute a colossos, and they are not going to fall into the sea anytime soon.

If you don’t read the whole essay, which is well worth your time, then at least read the subsection “Spaceship Moscow” for its insight. By the way, the Sandlin reference just kills me.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Fascinating read. I do think he's wrong about Mr. Jordan, though. Jordan is not harmless.

Mark T. said...


I’m curious if you’re talking about this quote:

“All this is not to say he is a bad guy; indeed, he is one of the most gracious and personable characters in the theonomic and related orbits, and his views are not dangerous, even when, as in his Sociology of the Church, or Failure of the American Baptist Culture, they are bizarre or even incompetent.”

I ask because I red flagged this line but for different reasons. I didn’t understand it to mean that Dr. Roche believes Jordan harmless. I read it to mean that he sees him as “gracious and personable.” And I red flagged it because when I called my attorney to obtain legal counsel after Jordan threatened me with legal action, my attorney told me that years ago he was friends with Jordan and that at that time Jordan was an incredibly kind and gracious man. So Dr. Roche’s testimony corresponds with my attorney’s. And both witnesses are consistent relative to the point in time when they spoke of Jordan’s demeanor and neither says anything about the man in the present.

Anonymous said...


You've got the right quote. I was thinking primarily of this part: "and his views are not dangerous."

Mark T. said...


Yes, you are completely right and I completely missed it. The man is a menace to the Church, as witnessed by his latest rant, and his views are dangerous, as witnessed by the fruit of his teaching.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened to see what has happened to Jim Jordan in the nearly 8 years since I wrote the essay in question. He was a bizzaro interpreter for years before that, but still an orthodox reformed teacher, in the main (despite certain errors such as paedocommunion), and he was quick to condemn as 'apostates' various men such as Franky Schaeffer and others who had left evangelicalism conscientiously to embrace Byzantium or Rome. Sadly, it appears his current 'Fed Vis' teaching is openly works-righteousness Romanism in all but name. That is not good. And it may well account for the change in his behavior-- apostasy has over-all negative effects on a man, does it not?

Mark T. said...

Welcome Dr. Roche.