Saturday, March 29, 2008

DUMB & Tan: Excursus

Yesterday I quoted from the comments thread to Dr. Clark’s excellent post “(Reformed) Christianity and (Quasi-Reformed) Revisionism”; today I want to republish another subthread from the thread that got lost in cyberspace, where a woman named Robin took on the Fearless Leader’s doubtful moral qualifications to hold the office of pastor after his little Southern Slavery scandal during the years 2003–2004.

You will recall that in October 2003 the Palouse discovered via a front-page headline that Douglas Wilson co-wrote (plagiarized) a booklet that defended the antebellum South’s peculiar institution as a biblical practice. This ridiculous proposition led to even more ridiculous propositions that completely turned history on its head and created a fantasyland fiction where the poor Southern masters were noble men who treated their property (i.e. “slaves,” or human beings) well and who history has slandered because of the vast Unitarian conspiracy of abolitionists who hated the Word of God and beat the drums of war to persecute the God-fearing South. (Please note: this is not a distortion, a misrepresentation, or a fabrication; you have to read the book to believe it. My favorite part is where Wilson and Wilkins allege that the Southern masters treated their slaves so well that they actually devised a profit-sharing plan.)

Needless to say that in an academic environment where two state universities are situated less than seven miles apart the Fearless Leader’s thesis did not go unnoticed. Let’s just say that after living unchallenged and unaccountable in the land of DUMB (Doug’s Universe of Make Believe) for roughly a decade, he came face to face with some pretty bright lights who had issues with his preposterous worldview (more on that below).

Here is the subthread in entirety (there’s a reference in here about “Dad Rod” that I cannot decipher; [UPDATE: “Dad Rod” refers to Rod Rosenblatt, co-host of the White Horse Inn radio program]):

Don’t both FV and “traditional” views believe that faithfulness is required in “some sense” for final justification (maybe works is the evidences of the Holy Spirit). And a like wise, doesn’t FV believe that baptism unit us to Christ in “some sense,” but not in the sense that guarantees salvation (baptismal regeneration). The impression I get is that FV wants to be pastoral (maybe biblical like Paul??) in the way they talk, that is, they want to say someone, who is baptized is a Christian, without qualifying it and saying you have to persevere in faith . . . etc., or your not a Christian. — Dan

Predictably, FV creates their own meanings of words. The clear, Biblical distinctions have been put in the “Grace-o-matic” blender along with man’s ideas: whirrrrrrr and viola! a tasty, synergistic-smoothie!

Dad Rod’s confrontation is useful here “If you died in the arms of a prostitute, would you go to heaven?”

I would love to hear Mr. Wilson’s answer to that one.
January 3, 2007 | Robin

Dan and anyone transversing FV waters,

Prudence dictates that we also consider Mr. Wilson’s character (as far as is known firsthand.) Please review carefully the comments and reasons for them from Letters to the Editor, and decide for yourselves. Red flags flailed all over the place when I saw this.

“. . . must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” (1 Tim. 3:7)
January 3, 2007 | Robin

Robin, two things. First, that slavery business up here involved the importation of so much slander that they had to bring it on six eighteen wheelers from out of state. A good reputation with outsiders is a qualification for office that has to be consistent with being a “glutton and a wine bibber.”

And second, with regard to your question about the prostitute, it would depend on who it was having the heart attack at that inopportune moment — Samson? Judah? Lecherous Larry? In short, if the person was elect and therefore regenerate, they would go straight to Glory, with (I trust) a suitably abashed countenance [sic]. If they were not regenerate, they would go to their judgment.
January 3, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

I’m not taking sides on Wilson’s race scandal thing . . . yet. It just begs questions of WHY/HOW a Christian pastor would ever be in such a predicament, in the first place? If Christ’s ministers were called to educate pagan culture about the “niceties” of slavery, Paul would have given precedent.

I saw the video of Moscow’s townhall meeting. Locals expressed fears of being taken over by Christ Church. The conflict appeared to be about power — having nothing to do with Christ. What is THAT about? What is ANY Christian pastor doing in such a place? The apostles suffered for preaching the cross while living quiet lives in culture. (Dave, give us a break, OK?)

FV guys, please, with due respect, don’t pull a Rick Warren and misapply your “persecutions” with Christ or his apostles. Some of us do know our Bibles. Where is Walter Martin when you need him? I’m certain he’d be updating his magnum opus.
January 3, 2007 | Robin

And Robin, when unbelievers come after you for the sake of the cross, do you think that they will SAY that this is why? Christ was attacked for being a carouser, not for being the Messiah. He was attacked for teaching His disciples that they could dispense with the hand washing, not for the gospel proper. Paul was attacked for being wishy washy about travel plans, for not having an imposing presence in his personal appearances, for teaching that we ought to sin a lot to get more grace, and so on. On another occasion, the believers were attacked for saying that there was another king besides Caesar. In other words, when the cross starts getting to the kingdom of the father of lies, his counter-attack is unlikely to be composed of the whole truth about the “real issue.”

The church here in Moscow has a long way to go, and we have a lot to learn. But we have received the grace of being disgraced; we have obtained the honor of being dishonored; we have received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.
January 3, 2007 | Douglas Wilson


And you have the humility to behave like a martyr. . .
January 3, 2007 | KBennett

Mr. Wilson — you may not understand this, but I have no need to compete with you. The summary of your communications on this blog continue to reveal the true nature of your arrogance against Holy Scripture and Jesus Christ. It is surprising to view the lack of Scriptural skill especially when you assert such easy to refute (blasphemous) ideas like our Lord’s condemnation was due to being a “carouser.”

“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.” (Mark 14:6–64)

I love the part where Jesus not only affirms their question but ups the ante by leaving no doubt whatsoever with the reference to Daniel. I took the trouble to post if only to reassure those like Dan (& lurkers) who are still trying to make sense of it all. My heart is with them as I trust the Bishop of Souls for their welfare.

How dare you, Sir, even hint at sharing the same persecution of Jesus Christ? Real pastors are servants. You have no humility. I am horrified to imagine your destiny and gripped with the fear of God. The sweetness of Jesus is not detached from his valour in defending his name and honor.

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Jude 5)

You might counter with you DO believe. Yet the “Jesus” you embrace seems to be wholly other. You need to be afraid, Doug Wilson. (Not because I say so.) There is no fear of God in you. Meanwhile, recall the purpose of this blog is NOT to fuss with you. You’re not important. The time for honoring yourself will soon be over. The bones are rattling even today. (Ez. 36) Resources like this blog are a sign the Kingdom is marching forth via the proclamation of the Gospel.

I pray God will grant you grace unto repentance before it’s too late.
January 4, 2007 | Robin

And Robin,

I shouldn’t need to say this, really, but I was not accusing Jesus of being a carouser. I was saying that His enemies threw whatever rocks they could, and one of them was the accusation that our Lord was a glutton and a drunkard, to be distinguished from John the Baptist, who was accused of having a demon. I was saying this to refute your notion that enemies of the gospel should be trusted by any of us in determining whether a minister is suffering “for the gospel” or not.
January 4, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

This thread requires some brief analysis: Notice how Robin offered documented evidence to support her charge that Wilson did not have a good reputation with the community. She cited one of thousands of letters to the editor that citizens wrote expressing their horror that anyone could hold Wilson’s position, let alone a minister of the gospel.

The Fearless Leader countered, however, stating, “that slavery business up here involved the importation of so much slander that they had to bring it on six eighteen wheelers from out of state.” Notice that, unlike Robin, he offered no evidence to prove his falsehood. He offered no evidence because there is no evidence. No one trucked anything anywhere. Wilson wrote a book that defended the capital offense of manstealing, which incidentally required slave traders to export their cargo (i.e. human beings) via slave vessels that were a tad bit more uncomfortable than a Mack Truck — eighteen wheels or six — and Wilson slandered the Holy God of the Bible in the process.

Robin retorted by citing yet more proof: she saw the video of Wilson’s “This Is ‘My Town’ Hall Meeting” and she made the distinction between a true Christian suffering for the cross and a land-grabbing minister getting exposed for his geo-political ambitions. Wilson immediately blurred the distinction between his empire building and the kingdom of Satan and referred to the “real issue,” scare quotes and all. And notice the “real issue”:

The church here in Moscow has a long way to go, and we have a lot to learn. But we have received the grace of being disgraced; we have obtained the honor of being dishonored; we have received the great compliment of being significant enough to lie about.

This statement constitutes an even greater fantasy than the original fantasy — Southern Slavery As It Was — which triggered the scandal. Wilson disgraced himself when he revised history to fit his perverted vision of nobility. Wilson dishonored the Scriptures when he defended slavery as biblical. And Wilson repeatedly lied about God when he kept this issue on the front page of the paper for over four months, insisting that he was doing the work of the gospel.

As I’ve already noted, the fallout from the story continues to this day. Wilson utterly and completely scandalized the community with his reprehensible revision of history and his equally reprehensible behavior. Here is a documented bullet list that shows just some of the damage that Wilson did to the gospel during those four months:
  • Douglas Wilson and Christ Church refused to acknowledge the book’s thesis, insisting that he wrote a book condemning the Civil War as a means of abolition.

  • Christ Church ran a PR blitz in all of the local papers (including the college papers) to deny that Southern Slavery, As It Was, defended slavery. The same ads contended that the book condemned the Civil War as a means of abolition.

  • The presidents of the University of Idaho and Washington State University published open letters repudiating Christ Church’s revision of history.

  • Over 1000 people signed a public rebuke to Douglas Wilson for his revision of history and published the rebuke in two full-page ads in two local papers.

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center identified Steve Wilkins’ League of the South as a “hate group.”

  • Christ Church sponsored a website called “Hatesplotch,” which Wilson used to insult, offend, and harass his detractors in the community.

  • The website “dougsplotch” went up, in response to Hatesplotch, to tell the story of Wilson’s casino woes.

  • Two historians from the University of Idaho published an angry response to the booklet, which they titled Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t: Professional Historians Respond to Neo-Confederate Misinformation. The University of Idaho freely distributed hard copies of the response and made the pdf available on their website.

  • Wilson wrote a letter to the interim presidents of the University of Idaho threatening the university with a defamation suit.

  • Wilson wrote a letter to the governor of the State of Idaho, asking the governor to make the University of Idaho stop harassing him.

  • Wilson went ballistic on the Moscow–Pullman Daily News, demanding that they apologize for misrepresenting his “history conference.”

  • Douglas Wilson was a regular contributor to the local electronic bulletin board, but after this scandal broke he contradicted himself so much that he could no longer post without getting blistered from any number of people. So he ceased posting using his own name.

  • Douglas Wilson returned to the listserv under the guise of multiple pseudonyms, mostly to defend his reputation. He presently uses the pseudonym “Glenn Schwaller” (someone needs to do a website telling this story; they should call it “The Edna Files”).

  • Hundreds of citizens protested Christ Church’s three-day “history conference,” which was the original pretext for the story.

  • About a year later, the community discovered that Wilson and Wilkins plagiarized most of the booklet from a book titled Time on the Cross, and that they completely misrepresented the authors’ conclusions from that book.

  • About 75 academics from the Palouse signed a petition publicly rebuking Wilson for committing plagiarism.

  • WORLD Magazine ran the plagiarism story, which sent Wilson over the edge.

  • Douglas Wilson alienated himself from the community so badly that two attempted land deals for Christ Church collapsed because the sellers wanted nothing to do with the man, which forced Christ Church to retain a proxy to purchase land on their behalf in a recent real-estate transaction.
In short, Douglas Wilson — the Great Protector of all that is unholy — ruined completely his reputation; endeavored with all his might to ruin the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; and he managed to do this without the help of a single eighteen wheeler.

Thank you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Memory Lane, or First Impressions

You can’t host a fully documented anonymous attack blog (FDAAB) unless you’re an information hog, and since I host an FDAAB, I am an information hog. And one of the benefits of hogging information in the age of cyberspace is that sometimes you capture data that eventually gets lost.

For example, last year I grabbed the comment thread to Dr. Clark’s post “(Reformed) Christianity and (Quasi-Reformed) Revisionism” (which everyone really should read) because I believed that one day it may prove helpful, which it’s a good thing because you’ll notice that the comment-counter to the post states “READER COMMENTS 123,” whereas you’ll also notice that there’s only 20 comments to the thread. Cyberspace has black holes too.

This brings me to a recent post by Pastor Lane Keister of Green Baggins, where he compiled an “Index of RINE Posts” to help his readers glean through his review of “Reformed” Is Not Enough and the subsequent blog exchanges with the Fearless Leader. And if I’m not mistaken, I believe it’s possible that Pastor Lane met the Great Protector in this very thread on The Heidelblog, in a post where Dr. Clark called it quits.

So I present these exchanges to you on my FDAAB not because I care about the Fearless Leader’s then-stated position on the visible/invisible church; he will say anything at any time as long it will keep him in the center of attention. I present these exchanges because I want you to notice the personal dynamics at work between Lane and Wilson. More specifically, notice how Wilson misrepresents Lane to put Dr. Clark on the spot — to pit them against each other because Wilson had a vendetta against Dr. Clark (which, beware, remains to this day) and he needed to isolate him, much like a wolf isolates his prey before he pounces on it. Leave it to ol’ Beelzeblog, you can be sure he’s always sowing discord among the brethren. He does it because he loves God so much.

You also need to notice how casually Wilson misrepresented Lane in order to obtain his prey. Anyone reading this exchange can see that Lane is a hardcore WCF man who holds firmly to the divines’ exact words. Despite this, Wilson just lied, matter of factly, not because he respected Lane but because he thought of him as just another TR schmuck who didn’t have a clue. Or maybe I have this all wrong; maybe this was an instance where an FVist didn’t personally contact a TR before he represented him in public. No, I doubt it.

So, here it is, the fully documented introduction to Pastor Lane’s “Index of RINE Posts”:

Douglas Wilson, do you affirm the inner/outer distinction as, say, Clark would affirm it, or are you equating “militant/eschatological” with the inner/outer distinction?
January 3, 2007 | Lane Keister

Lane, perhaps you could tell me in what sense I am using the external/internal distinction. Here is a quote from “Reformed” Is Not Enough, which incidentally has quotation marks around the word Reformed.

This might be called regeneration, theologically considered. A man is either regenerate or he is not. When the word regeneration is being used in this sense, we are talking about an invisible operation performed by the Spirit of God, who does what He does when and how it pleases Him. And when we are talking about what might be called this “effectual-call-regeneration,” we have to repudiate every form of baptismal or decisional regeneration. We do not control the Spirit of God at the baptismal font any more than we control Him with our spiritual laws booklets. (p. 39)

I would add that I see a strong parallel between a true Jew, who is one inwardly, according to St. Paul, and a true Christian, who is right with God in the same way. I make that point on page 18.
January 3, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Douglas Wilson, thanks for the courteous response. To be honest, I don’t have your book (actually I don’t have Mother Kirk either), and so was asking a genuine question. Right now, what’s in the back of my mind is your article in Federal Vision on the visible/invisible church distinction. In your opinion, is the distinction between the eternally elect and the eternally non-elect to be defined in merely “militant/eschatological” terms, or is there an ontological distinction with regard to regeneration? The quotation from your book would seem to favor the latter. However, the article in Federal Vision confuses me as to your position. Maybe another way to ask the question is this: how would you interpret John 15? What I’m getting at is that “militant/eschatological” is not the same thing one bit as the visible/invisible distinction. The former is a distinction based on time. The latter is a distinction based on the ontological difference between those in the church regenerated and those in the church not regenerated.

I have had a rather extensive conversation on John 15 over at my blog: “John 15 and the Federal Vision”
January 3, 2007 | Lane Keister

Lane, I hold that there is an ontological difference between a covenant member truly converted and one who is not, and that is what I was referring to in the quote. For more on this, you can check the archives of my blog under the heading Life in the Regeneration. And this ontological difference is not related (except obliquely) to the historical/eschatological distinction I made in the Federal Vision book. This is not something I have failed to say, but it something that many of my critics have refused to see. . . .
January 3, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Mr. Wilson, thanks for the reply. My next question is this: if you do believe in an ontological distinction within the church, then why not call that distinction the visible/invisible church distinction as the WCF does?

How would you respond to this blog entry of mine? “Methodology and Double-Speak”

What I’m getting at in that blog entry is that many FV guys *say* that they believe in the 5 points of Calvinism, the imputed righteousness of Christ, the visible/invisible church distinction, and other highlights of Reformed thought. But do they take away with one hand what they have given in the other? To me there is no question that most of these guys affirm Reformed thought in some place or other. That is not the question (something FV guys usually miss about the critics are saying). The question is whether or not the FV guys consistently hold to it. The critics are saying that they do not hold to Reformed teaching consistently, and that the “extras” wind up denying Reformed teaching implicitly. I am not necessarily accusing you of this, Mr. Wilson. But it is an issue with which all the FV guys need to wrestle.

I appreciate the fact that we cannot tell who is elect and who is not (though some people give off some fairly decent indications one way or the other). But does that mean that we shouldn’t use the language of election and distinction in talking about the church? It seems to me that the FV folks look at Eph 1 and similar passages and argue that Paul must be using that language in some kind of true fashion of everyone in the church. What about the judgment of charity? I have yet to see Wilkins deal with this, for instance. He just assumes his interpretation of Eph 1 is correct.
January 3, 2007 | Lane Keister

Lane, to answer your question, it seems to me to be a completely different issue. To affirm the ontological distinction between those who are truly regenerate and those who are not is not the same question of the visible/invisible church (a distinction which I accept, btw, but which I prefer to amplify with other distinctions, like historical/eschatological). Both of these distinctions go back to Augustine, but I don’t have a problem with either one, especially when they are taken in concert.

But the reason I think your question is confusing two things that should be kept distinct is this. The invisible church is composed of the entire company of the elect, throughout all history. That means that the atheist across the street, predestined to be converted next year, is a member of the invisible church. He is elect. But he is also ontologically unregenerate.

Look at it from another angle. The invisible church is made up of all those who are ontologically regenerate (at the eschaton). But if we try to draw a parallel, this makes the visible church . . . what? Unregenerate? I really think they are different but related issues.
January 3, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Mr. Wilson, I appreciate the logic (though disagreeing with it) of your position. The logical end of your position, however, is having the (to my mind) unthinkable situation where a complete pagan, at enmity with God, and spitting on Christ and all His messengers, is *at the same time* a member of the invisible church. Where is the Scriptural support for this idea? The WCF emphasizes the fact that they are *gathered* at various times. From God’s perspective it is certainly true that the number of the elect neither augments nor diminishes. However, from our perspective, surely the church increases, even the invisible church. Is not faith the entrance into the invisible church? Are you doing justice to the divine/human perspective differences on the invisible church?
January 4, 2007 | Lane Keister


No, the invisible church “consists [right now] of the whole number of the elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one.” In other words, the invisible church and the elect are coterminous, right? The invisible church includes now those who shall be gathered into the visible church. In short, Lane, the number of those in the invisible church cannot be increased or diminished. People are not gathered into the invisible church. They are gathered into the visible church. . . .
January 4, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Mr. Wilson, you say “People are not gathered into the invisible church.” The WCF 25.1 says “The catholic or universal Church which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be **gathered** into one.” Are you really saying that the WCF doesn’t say that the elect are gathered? This borders on the non-sensical. Mr. Wilson, you did not answer my argument about the two different perspectives, God’s and ours. This is how I explain the difficulty that has been pointed out by Mr. Wilson, and now by Xon. Yes, the elect and the invisible church are coterminous. I’m not disagreeing with that formulation at all. But the elect are not saved until they believe. Mr. Wilson, you also have not answered the absurdity I pointed out of having absolute pagans being simultaneously members of the invisible church.

Invisible church=/=the elect people in the Church at present.

This is Xon’s phrase, by the way, not Wilson’s. This definition contradicts what you said earlier, Xon. If it consists of those in the church at present, then, humanly, speaking, the invisible church increases, though from God’s perspective the number of the elect never changes. That my interpretation of the WCF is correct can be seen from the way in which “gathered” is used right alongside of the present tense “consists.” Wilkins, for one, denies that the invisible church exists right now at all. That is obviously out of accord with the WCF. However, to say (as Mr. Wilson and Xon are saying) that because the number of the elect neither increase nor diminish means that a total pagan is simultaneously a member of the church is utter absurdity. One must make allowances for the difference in perspective from God’s perspective to our own. Xon, until you acknowledge that this answers your objections to my position, you don’t have a leg upon which to stand.

There must be a difference in our understanding of how the decree works versus how that decree happens in history. This is the point I am trying to make here. From the perspective of God’s decree, everything is nailed down in stone. But in history, things change in a person’s life. By defining the invisible church the way you have, Mr. Wilson and Xon, you have effectively bereft the concept of any meaningful interaction with history. To quote Van Til, there is no transition from wrath to grace in your system. You are misinterpreting the WCF.
January 4, 2007 | Lane Keister

Lane, it is for the purpose of interacting meaningfully with history that I use the distinction of historical and eschatological church. And I agree that it is absurd to talk about total pagans being members of the invisible church — if that is the only thing you say. But the WCF definition of the invisible church includes millions not yet born, and many tens of thousands not yet converted. When these people are born and then born again, they are gathered into the visible church. But they are already in the invisible church, in the intent and decrees of God.

If you want to say that they are gathered into the invisible church, that the invisible church grows, this is out of accord with the Confession. The “were, are, and will be gathered” is referring to the outworking of God’s decrees in history, which is done through the visible church. But the invisible church is made up of the elect, and we agree that the Confession is using the word elect here decretally, right? That means that if there is an invisible church now, then all the members of it have to be in it now. All the elect are members of the invisible church. The invisible church consists (present tense) of those who will be gathered (future tense).

Scott Clark, I am genuinely curious if you agree with what Lane and Christaan have argued here — that the invisible church grows as people are gathered into it. Now, in 2007, does the invisible church only partially exist?
January 4, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Mr. Wilson, you have misrepresented my position in your question to Dr. Clark. I do not believe that, from God’s perspective, the invisible church is only partially in existence today. In eternity, the invisible church is whole and wholly in the mind of God and in the decree. However, in history, the invisible church is not complete. It still has growing to do. I do not understand what is so difficult about this. We acknowledge a difference in perspective between God and man wrt God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility (acknowledging that God’s Sovereignty is primary, of course). But what does it look like to us? It looks like a choice. The same is true for how we view the invisible church as opposed to how God views the invisible church.

If you want to say that they are gathered into the invisible church, that the invisible church grows, this is out of accord with the Confession.

I am saying that this is true from a human perspective: in history, the invisible church grows. But to say that the invisible church is gathered is *explicitly* what the WCF says! It uses the very word. You have still not answered my logic here, Mr. Wilson. I will keep on hammering away at it until you answer, if necessary. To say that you are viewing the church as militant/eschatological is not the same thing as what I’m saying, since militant/eschatological is a diachronic distinction, and I am arguing for a synchronic distinction. So when a person comes to faith, although he was always a member of the invisible church in the mind of God, yet in time he becomes a member of the invisible church when he comes to faith. He makes a transition from wrath to grace. Otherwise, one has to assert that faith only makes you a member of the visible church. If that is true, then there is no guarantee of salvation, since one can then get out of the visible church. If the only thing that faith does is get us into the visible church, then we are in trouble. I cannot and will not accept that position.
January 4, 2007 | Lane Keister

Lane, if you want to have the invisible church existing “in history,” in a way that is distinct from the visible church, then you are out of accord with the Confession. That is because the invisible church “consists of the whole number of the elect.” A partial number of the elect is not the invisible church because it is not the whole number of them. It would make sense to speak of the whole number of the truly regenerate at this moment of 2007, but this is just a partial congregation within the invisible church. It is a subset of the invisible church, not the invisible church itself — just as Christ Church here in Moscow is a congregation within the visible church; we are a subset.

If the invisible church includes the whole number of the elect, then it exists right now in the mind of God. I affirm this, as does Wilkins. If you want it to exist right now in history, then you have to do something about the “whole number of the elect,” which includes current atheists who will be converted tomorrow and saints yet unborn. In short, you cannot have the invisible church, as the WCF defines it, in history. You can have a invisible congregation of the invisible church, but how helpful is that?
January 4, 2007 | Douglas Wilson

Mr. Wilson and Xon, I am going to let Rev. Wes White’s paper on the visible/invisible church be my last word on this debate. He says it quite as well as anyone: “The Church: Its Definition in Terms of ‘Visible’ and ‘Invisible’ Valid”
January 5, 2007 | Lane Keister

Mr. Wilson, I have addressed your blog entry in my comment here. It is the LC 64-67 with which your position cannot deal.
January 6, 2007 | Lane Keister

Things have changed now; the Fearless Leader has backed off Dr. Clark and he has nothing but hugs and kisses for Pastor Lane — at least in public. But I assure you that he disdains Lane no less today than that day in January 2007 when he twisted his words without hesitation in order to bag his prey.

Thank you.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Religious Shyster

Pastor Bordow posted another brilliant comment on GB that really nails it. Each paragraph broaches points that deserve entire posts. Please stop for a moment to contemplate these words:

That is why no matter how many churches DW splits, how many disciplined and defrocked pastors he unleashes on people, no matter how many individuals and families formally under his ministry cry out of the pain he causes. . .

Here is a man with a well-known and well-documented record of splitting churches, reinstating defrocked & disciplined pastors, providing cover for pastors fleeing discipline, and abusing sheep so much and with such skill that he wrote a “how to” manual on the subject, which he named after the blade of a knife — A Serrated Edge. And in a sick irony, he predicated his thesis for the book on a tortured interpretation of Galatians 5:12, the very epistle written to warn the Church against the Judaizers. I called it ironic because he is the Judaizer troubling the Church and by his sick standard he is the one who deserves to have his giblets sliced off. Despite these facts — and they are facts — the vast majority of the Christian church treats him as a brother in the faith. Frankly, I don’t know what more he could do to demonstrate any more clearly his utter contempt for the Christian church as an institution and for Christians in general as the people of God than what he has already done.

Here is Pastor Bordow’s comment in entirety:


Sorry for the delay. I’m not sure if you are referring to me as a “wacko” — never been called that before! Look, the point is that we in the Reformed community are not immune to our superstitions, just like the Pentecostal or larger evangelical world, and that is what the attraction to DW, Jordan, Sproul Jr., etc., exposes.

Provide an alternative to the often poor education offered in the public schools — wonderful. But scare me into pulling my kids out of the public schools or receive God’s curses, and follow DW’s way of education and receive God’s blessings, that is simply peddling the Word of God for personal gain — no different than what we see Rod Parsley do on television every day (give to the kingdom out of love for Christ — wonderful; give to his station to receive God’s blessings — peddling the Word of God).

DW is all about finding ways to work to secure God’s blessings. How to secure faithful children through “covenantal” nurture, how to secure more of God’s grace by weekly communion and liturgical reform, how to secure God’s blessings on America if the Church only does A, B, and C, etc. . . .

We are not taken in by the Hinns, Olsteens, etc., and we are proud of it. But the prominence of DW types in the Reformed community reveals a similar lack of assurance in the gospel that we find in the broader evangelical community. That is why no matter how many churches DW splits, how many disciplined and defrocked pastors he unleashes on people, no matter how many individuals and families formally under his ministry cry out of the pain he causes, much of the Reformed world continues to treat him as a respected Reformed minister — why? — we are desperate for God’s blessings, weak in the all-sufficiency of the gospel to merit all of God’s blessings, and enticed by a system of blessings and curses based upon our own works.

DW is an old-fashioned religious shyster laughing all the way to the bank as we take him seriously, as we buy his books, etc. If you ever wonder how educated people could sit and listen to these televangelists and their incredible claims of how to secure God’s blessings on your finances, marriage, children, etc., go no further than looking in our own back yard. We are no better; we are no less tempted.

Happy Easter to all! — may you preach the all-sufficiency of Christ crucified and risen to merit all God’s eternal blessings (Eph. 1:3).

Todd Bordow

Thank you.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The End Thereof

Last weekend a dispute erupted over some of Pastor Lane Keister’s comments about Doug Wilson’s doctrinal orthodoxy. Personally, I don’t agree with any judgment that affirms Wilson is a Christian, orthodox or not, but I know that other men do not see with my eyes and they must judge according to the light that God has given them. Nevertheless, I want to consider Pastor Lane’s comments from another angle, by comparing them to statements made by other leaders during this controversy.

For example, in January 2007, Dr. Scott Clark posted an excellent essay on his blog, which included this paragraph:

The bottom line is that I do not believe that I misunderstand Doug. Doug’s on a journey. He was an Arminian. Then he moved into the Reformed orbit. I think he signed the Cambridge Declaration. Now he’s passing through the outer fringes of Reformed Christianity toward another orbit. He’s a talented and articulate fellow and I guess he’ll take some folk with him. My goal is to try to help folks see clearly what’s happening and maybe to keep a few of them from following him to whatever star he’s heading. (“(Reformed) Christianity and (Quasi-Reformed) Revisionism”)

Please notice these three points:
  1. Doug’s on a journey.

  2. He’s a talented and articulate fellow.

  3. He’ll take some folk with him.
Dr. Clark is correct. Wilson is on a journey (from Arminianism to the outer fringes to Guyana and beyond); he is talented and articulate; and he plans to shipwreck as many souls as possible. But notice also that Dr. Clark didn’t pick a fight with Wilson. Indeed, if I read this post correctly, this was his adieu to the Fearless Leader and the Federal Visionists. Please take the time to read it because he makes a strong case for his refusal to engage them any further and, likewise, for warning others against following them.

This takes us to a statement made by Dr. John Piper during a recent interview:

Dr. Piper in your defense of the gospel against N.T. Wright have you found Federal Vision theology of Doug Wilson to be another gospel?

[John] P[iper]: No. No, that’s easy. Doug Wilson doesn’t teach a false gospel. I don’t think N.T. Wright teaches a false gospel, just a confusing gospel. Doug Wilson is incredibly bright, but he has people around him who are dumb. I think Doug Wilson is more consistent than some of his followers are. But I am concerned about the trajectory. (“Text and Context Conference: Q & A Session with John Piper, Matt Chandler, and Mark Driscoll”)

This is an interesting answer and there is much more here than meets the eye. First, however, please notice that Piper echoed Dr. Clark’s points:
  1. Wilson is incredibly brilliant — “He’s a talented and articulate fellow.”

  2. He has people around him who are dumb — “He’ll take some folk with him.”

  3. I am concerned about the trajectory — “Doug’s on a journey.”
Notice also that while Piper didn’t pick a fight with Wilson, his words are unmistakable. It’s no accident that he juxtaposed Wilson’s brilliance next to his followers’ dim wits. The point is obvious. Wilson knows that he has surrounded himself with pinheads. How else can you reconcile his genius with their stupidity? Honestly, Mark Horne has the IQ of a banana peel and there couldn’t be more pudding in two heads than Xon Hostetter and David Gray who regularly advance dishonest and incoherent arguments on GB to defend the Fearless Leader. Does anyone really believe that Wilson doesn’t know their lofts are vacant? Of course he does. But morons don’t ask hard questions because they lack the mental capacity to observe plain inconsistencies. To be sure, they need spin to stabilize their equilibrium. And the Great Protector knows this, hence the reason he blows so often with such vehemence. He has to fill those black holes in his universe.

Piper continued: “I am concerned about the trajectory.” Well, that’s a no-brainer; Wilson’s drift (moral & doctrinal) has not occurred in a vacuum. As Dr. Clark observed, you could chart it. More importantly, he’s going somewhere. Brilliant people don’t just wander aimlessly; they establish goals and make plans to achieve them. And Wilson is no different. This explains why, on the one hand, he pads his writings with enough orthodoxy to hold men such men as Piper at bay, and on the other hand he keeps company with such scoundrels as Rich Lusk and Steven “Machen” Wilkins, even using his confederation to shelter them from ecclesiastical accountability. It’s all part of the plan. You don’t think these historic facts are coincidences, do you?

But where is Wilson’s trajectory pointed? Well, he’s on record saying that he wants to “close the distance” between the FVists and NT Wright: “I am not talking about creating distance with someone like Wright on the basis of what might happen, I am talking about how fast and how cautiously we close the distance — and I do think we should close it.” So while Piper believes Wilson doesn’t teach a false gospel and Piper believes that Wright teaches a confusing gospel, Wilson understands Wright’s confusion well enough that he wants the FV position to get closer to it.

This takes us to Pastor Lane’s comments that led to no small disagreement last weekend, when he wrote:

My problem with Wilson lies in this: although Wilson says many things that are Reformed in a positive sense, he is not willing to reject the errors of the other FV proponents. I am willing to believe that Wilson holds to justification by faith alone, although he is too ambiguous on the aliveness of faith and its place in justification. He does hold to imputation. But he will not distance himself from any error of the FV, no matter how egregious. That is why, if Wilson were to apply for admission into the Presbytery of which I am a part, I could not vote to approve his transfer of credentials. What I have sought to show is that it is not enough to affirm the truth. One must also reject the errors. This is equally important to affirming the truth.

This strikes me as one of those “half-empty/half-full” observations. Wilson says all the correct things (half full) when he affirms justification by faith alone but he refuses to deny all the wrong things, which is where Pastor Lane sees him half empty. Nevertheless, I can’t think of a bigger slam coming from Lane than when he said he would vote against receiving Wilson into his presbytery. Think about it. Wilson positively despises Lane and the PCA while he thinks he and his CREC are one big mighty vessel of reformation. Could Lane say anything more humiliating to the guitar man than he takes him at his word but would not want him in his presbytery? I think not. WHAP! Pastor Lane body slams Dougzilla.

As the disagreement grew, Lane wrote this:

I was saddened when Doug Wilson signed the FV document. He should not have done so, in my judgment. However, I do not think that Wilson is consistent between his own teachings, on the one hand, and his signing the document, on the other. Apparently, Sean sees no difference between Wilson and the other FV’ers. I do. That is why I do not see Wilson as speaking for any of the others. . . . I said that rejecting the errors that attack the Reformed faith is equally as important as formulating right doctrine. . . But Wilson has said repeatedly (and demonstrated also, I believe), that, on these two points, he holds to Reformed doctrine. If I am to be attacked for so saying, then so be it. But I have not given Wilson a clean bill of health, doctrinally speaking. (emphasis original)

Notice that apart from not picking a fight with Wilson, Pastor Lane took the exact opposite tack of Clark and Piper. First, contra Piper who said, “Wilson is more consistent than some of his followers,” Lane flagged Wilson’s inconsistencies: “I do not think that Wilson is consistent. . .” Second, contra Clark and Piper, Lane made a distinction between Wilson and his circle of idiots: “Apparently, Sean sees no difference between Wilson and the other FVers. I do. That is why I do not see Wilson as speaking for any of the others.” But Wilson immediately corrected Lane:

As for my signing the FV document, you have to understand that I was in an awkward place. I drafted the document, circulated it, and was the editor who included all the great suggestions I received. For me to have thrown down at the last minute, refusing to sign it, would have been outrageous behavior, even for me.

I don’t know if this surprised Lane, but I am happy that Wilson showed where his loyalties lay. This admission should put an end to any questions about Wilson’s role in this doctrinal disruption in the Church. He is the point man and he speaks for them even if they have not publicly designated him their official spokesman. So Lane called attention to Wilson’s blurry language:

I think Wilson does hold to justification by faith alone, even if some of his language is ambiguous. The trouble we are having here is precisely that. Some of us wish to say that Doug’s ambiguity means that he doesn’t hold to JBFA at all. Others of us think that he does, even if it is not as clear as it should be.

This may be a stretch, but when Lane contrasted Wilson’s inconsistency and ambiguity with his affirmative statements, he essentially marked the path of Wilson’s trajectory. In other words, he identified the doctrinal position that Wilson claims for himself (and gladly said he believes him) and he identified the doctrinal position that Wilson left open for himself, i.e. his general trajectory.

Pastor Lane isn’t stupid. He can see what Clark, Piper, and the rest of the planet Earth sees, but he doesn’t have to force the issue. There’s no sin in pointing out that the Fearless Leader — that veritable fount of illumination — is inconsistent. And there’s no sin in erring on the side of charity by letting Wilson have it both ways. Who looks more foolish? — Lane for graciously conceding Wilson’s claims and noting his self-contradiction? — or Wilson for acting brilliant while he holds the absurd? This is good.

Wilson is a shrewd snake; he knows he’s inconsistent and he knows he’s ambiguous. He also knows that he’s going somewhere. Don’t ignore this: Wilson runs with the FVists for a reason; Wilson wrote the FV PR statement for a reason; and Wilson uses the CREC to give refuge to the FVists for a reason. All of these events are by design and all of them account for his inconsistency and his trajectory — Wilson is one of them; he believes everything they believe.

Douglas Wilson is deliberately lying about JBFA but Lane is making a record. This means that when Wilson finally bares his fangs, which is inevitable because he cannot remain in the closet forever, he will have to account for this massive pile of deceit in addition to his massive doctrinal shift. And neither Wilson nor the devil himself could deceive their way out of that.

Doug Wilson is playing game. He’s playing Lane for a fool and for his part Lane appears content to take Wilson on one side of his word while not making him account for the other. But one day the game must end. One day Wilson’s trajectory will finish its course. And when his journey finds its ultimate destination, which is somewhere past Moscow in between Jonestown and hell, he and his brain-dead disciples will learn what all of his non-Christian cultic forbears discovered — that the just live by faith and God is not mocked. On that day, however, Douglas Wilson will finally understand the meaning of wisdom as Solomon taught it when he wrote, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Thank you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Excellent Comment

This is an extremely well-written and thoughtful analysis that the Reformed church should contemplate because this much is certain: the Fearless Leader and his terrorist organization the CREC do not intend to go away. Indeed, they plan to continue their harassment of the Church by spreading false doctrine and raiding congregations for doug-booty, primarily because the Reformed church prematurely accorded credibility to the Great Protector without ever testing him, which credibility he now exploits to advance his kingdom and build his empire:

The notoriety of a Doug Wilson is an indictment against the entire Reformed community. Even before the FV hoopla, DW found a market in the Reformed community for his wares. He found a community more interested in separation than evangelism, (faithfulness to God requires pulling kids from public education), found men desiring priestly headship over servant-hood (Federal Husband), found a community more interested in political victory than reaching the lost (post-mil theonomy), found ministers desiring the priestly authority of the Old Covenant, as well as ministers willing to compromise sola fide (FV), and found a community open to family idolatry (paedocommunion, God guarantees faithful children if parents obey). All these represent a return to the Old Covenant, to its blessings and curses for obedience, its separation from unbelievers, its dominion theology, its male dominance, and its priestly regulations, all which have been fulfilled in the New Covenant.

Why else would anyone take seriously a self-ordained man with no seminary education who writes books as an expert on ecclesiology, American history, slavery, marriage, Reformed theology, culture, education, etc. . . . if there wasn’t already a market for his Old Covenant take on things? Why else would people who claim to love the Bible allow a man to so easily twist a few Scriptures? (Deut. 6 as a manifesto on who can teach math to your child; II Cor. 10:5 wrenched completely out of context to support his political worldview; Matt 28:19, which obviously commands the church to be an instrument of evangelism and sanctification to individuals from every nation — to a manifesto to teach political entities the laws they must obey to govern.)

In other words, if the Reformed community was busy obeying the Lord’s command to love and reach the lost, and teach the Bible accurately, they would never have taken a man like DW seriously. But as long as there is a propensity among the Reformed to return to the typology of the Old Covenant law, DWs will arise and find a hearing among us. I only admire DW for one thing — the same I admired Bill Clinton for — he is a great marketer — too bad we are the gullible market.

Todd Bordow

Thank you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not Even a Mutt

Last November, Dougzilla blogstomped all over Bob Mattes and, by extension, the PCA for plugging my fully documented anonymous attack blog. I believe that at the time Reformed Musings speculated about the Fearless Leader’s ministerial credentials as well, which compelled the Great Protector to give this account of his ordination to the ministry:

Our church was planted by an Evangelical Free Church in Pullman, Washington. The early leadership of our congregation, which included me, formed under their oversight. So no, not self-ordained and not self-installed. . . . (“Standing Google Commission”)

Not much, I know, but those are his words and that was his story; but I’m not sure if he’s sticking to it because today he posted the following comment on Green Baggins in response to a few hecklers who noted that he has no ministerial credentials:

And, joking aside, I actually have been ordained. I tell the story of that in the back of Mother Kirk, for those who have a need to follow up on it. I was not ordained in accordance with any regular Reformed protocols, and I would describe my ordination as irregular, but there.

The demand for regular ordination (in an all or nothing fashion) coming from Presbyterians is kind of funny. With Calvin, we simply have no record of his ordination one way or the other. But with John Knox, the father of all presbyterial-apostolic-successional ordinations, we know exactly how it happened. A rag-tag “congregation” with no formal identity as a church, holed up in St. Andrews Castle after the assassination of Beaton, called him to the ministry, and so then, Bob’s yer uncle. So in order to be legitimate, you have to be able to trace it back to that, as though the ministry were a line of pure-bred spaniels. I say it again. Heh.

The Fearless Leader’s tip inspired me to rifle through the piles of doug poop in my doug kennel for my copy of Mother Kirk, in order to transcribe the account and save the three people who might actually care about this fairytale the trouble of ordering the book and losing 20 bucks. I found the book beneath a load of doug manure. Here is his story as he told it in 2001:

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)

No honest man could call this act of self-will “an ordination” — not even irregular. Indeed, if that’s ordination then Toto was a flying monkey. Nevertheless, this trail of doug droppings should help everyone understand that words have no meaning to Douglas Wilson. They’re just gusts of hot air blown out of a bottomless pit of deceit whenever the evil one needs to correct another inconsistency.

And the moral of this story is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Serial Pædophile

Today marks the third anniversary of the day when Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow, learned that a serial pædophile ravaged the lambs in his charge, for 18 months, during the years 2003–2005, as he prosecuted his war against the Christian church.

In fall 2003, a promising 19-year-old student named Steven Sitler moved to Moscow, Idaho, to attend New Saint Andrews College and to worship at Christ Church. No one knew at the time, however, that Steven Sitler was also a serial pædophile who preyed upon boys and girls, ages 2–12, and who left a trail of victims in at least two other states prior to his arrival in Moscow. The facts of this case are well documented and easy to follow.

As far as we know, Sitler’s history of pædophilia began in his hometown of Colville, Washington, where he attended Emmanuel Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), and violated several children of the congregation. One public record, which the court has since sealed, explicitly describes his rape of a two-year-old girl in Colville and from this document we conclude that Sitler felt comfortable enough with his crime to commit it even while parents and adults visited each other in adjacent rooms. Furthermore, we know that Sitler kept a photo album on the worldwide web that contained photographs of hundreds of children, including many of his victims. (The authorities did not learn about this photo album until a blogger linked to it about a year after the court sentenced Sitler.) From this photo archive we know that Sitler spent the summer of 2003 at R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Highlands Study Center, where he violated more children. However, public records do not document any of Sitler’s crimes in Virginia because according to the Latah County Prosecutor, none of the victims’ families returned his phone calls. Sitler arrived in Moscow in September 2003 and immediately began assaulting Christ Church children. And on March 11, 2005, the parents of one victim notified Douglas Wilson of their discovery, which is where he took control of the loop.

On March 11, 2005, Wilson advised the victim’s family to retain longtime Christ Church attorney, Gregory Dickison, who was a member of Christ Church (you may recognize him as a contributing editor to Credenda Agenda), to accompany them to report the crime to the authorities. (For the record, Gregory Dickison is an utterly incompetent and unethical attorney; in fact, he recently terminated his law practice to begin a career selling real estate.) Unbelievably, while the victims notified the authorities, Steven Sitler whisked his way back to Colville, WA, where his family retained NSA’s attorney, Dean Wullenwaber, who was also a member of Christ Church. (For the record, Dean Wullenwaber is one of the finest attorneys on the Palouse and certainly one of the most powerful; please see the photograph of him posing with President George Bush.) Sitler remained in Colville until his ultimate incarceration on September 26, 2005.

Steven Sitler began confessing his crimes to Douglas Wilson sometime after March 11, 2005, and before July 2005, when Sitler pled guilty to one count of “Lewd and Lascivious Conduct With a Minor Under the Age of Sixteen.” According to his letter to Judge John Stegner, Wilson had a total of six counseling sessions with Sitler during that five-month window. This fact is critical because we have no way of identifying Sitler’s victims apart from his confessions, which he originally limited to Douglas Wilson. Therefore, read it again: Wilson had only six counseling sessions with the serial pædophile during the time he lived in Colville and the court knows no more about Sitler’s crimes than what he confessed to Wilson. This fact is critical for another reason: We know that Sitler didn’t confess everything to Wilson, such as the existence of his photo archive in cyberspace. Even worse, we know that Wilson didn’t relay all the information he learned from Sitler regarding the extent of his crimes to the OPC elders in Colville, who held Steven Sitler’s church membership. For example, when Sitler confessed to Wilson that he violated children in Virginia, Wilson withheld this fact from the Colville session.

Nevertheless, after six counseling sessions with a serial pædophile, Wilson wrote a glowing letter to the judge informing him that Sitler “was completely open and honest with me.” Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how Steven Sitler convinced Wilson of his open honesty, just as we have no way of knowing how he persuaded him that he told the complete truth when he identified his victims. To be sure, we don’t know how Wilson could know that Sitler kept no secrets and suffered no memory lapses, but I suspect this was a case of one sociopath outsmarting another. Regardless, Wilson placed such confidence in the serial pædophile’s apparent candor that he freely told the judge of his “good hope that Steven has genuinely repented.” These facts are disturbing enough. But setting them aside, perhaps the most compelling proof of Wilson’s total incompetence to address this awful providence lies in his admission to Judge Stegner that he believed Sitler’s perversion was rooted in “underlying issues of his discontent.” How deep. Wilson solved the vexing problem of serial pædophilia after six visits — it’s all about discontentment.

Court documents make clear that the only known victims in this case are those whom Steven Sitler identified and that apart from his confessions, no one knows anything. Court documents make equally clear that Sitler leveraged the court with his intimate knowledge of the victims to plea bargain his charge to one count — “I’ll tell you everything if you only prosecute me for one.” This defense tactic clearly contradicted the “objectivity of the covenant” standard advanced by Wilson in this post regarding a similar serial offender, but it also minimized potential PR damage for NSA and the Kult by insuring no scandalous headlines if the story ever leaked, which appears to be the only objective standard that matters to Wilson. In the end, however, we believe that Sitler confessed to violating 13 to 18 children in 3 different states. The bottom line is that we’ll never know. The court sealed the records. Perhaps Sitler’s attorney put it best in one of his briefs that refers to “the volume of Steven’s offenses over the years.”

On July 7, 2005, roughly five months after his discovery, Steven Sitler stood in court and pleaded guilty to one count of “Lewd and Lascivious Conduct With a Minor Under the Age of Sixteen,” and on September 26, 2005, Judge John Stegner sentenced Steven Sitler to life in prison, which he knocked down to about a two years in jail and lifetime probation. Currently, Steven Sitler lives in Moscow, free on probation.

In November 2005, two months after the court sentenced Steven Sitler, Douglas Wilson decided to communicate some information about a pædophile to some of the Christ Church “heads of households,” which he did via a written statement read by an elder to whomever attended the various parish meetings. In other words, Doug Wilson waited eight months to inform his congregation that a serial pædophile lived among them, and even then he never notified the entire flock — only those who happened to attend the monthly meeting. Moreover, when he finally decided to notify the flock, he never warned anyone about the possibility that unknown predation may have occurred, i.e. there may be other victims. Rather, he framed it to leave the impression that this matter concerned a sex offender returning to the covenant community and not the damage he wrought and the constant danger he posed. Afterwards, when called to account for his dereliction of duty by the general public, Douglas Wilson dismissed his abdication as his enemies’ failed attempt to get handles on him, which probably did little to comfort the kirker parents who learned from a web blog that their pastor never warned them about a serial pædophile. Additionally (and quite obviously), Wilson never notified anyone in the community that a sexual predator preyed among them for 18 months, which is another way of saying that he esteems the locals slightly less than his congregation, but not much.

Wilson’s pastoral response to this crisis was the exact opposite of the elders overseeing Emmanuel Orthodox Presbyterian Church, who kept their congregation apprised of the situation, in writing, from beginning to end. Indeed, they immediately declared Steven Sitler a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”; they banned him from the church property; and they notified the flock of God of his egregious violations of the Seventh Commandment. Furthermore, the OPC session resolved that if Sitler ever returns to Colville, they will purchase a full-page ad in the local paper to publish Sitler’s photograph next to the warning “Convicted Pedophile” (I doubt they know that Sitler’s never leaving Idaho).

Steven Sitler represents the most horrible judgment visited upon the Kult to this date, at least the most horrible that has leaked out. You can be sure that if Wilson had his druthers, no one would know about this providence because of his sinful need for good publicity. He believes his kult is the one true almighty kirk that shall reign for ever and ever, and consequently he has no capacity to reflect upon the fruit his ministry — whether it’s teenagers smoking weed and committing immorality; or young adults getting liquored up and gambling away thousands of dollars; or a sexual predator devouring the lambs of his flock; or another sexual predator (a Greyfriars student) devouring a thirteen year old; or a deadbeat dad (another Greyfriar) defrauding his children and their mothers (plural) of food, shelter, and income. These scandals all took place during the years 1999 to 2005, in a church of about 700 souls, which is counting the hundreds of children in the congregation. These wrecked and damaged lives are the fruit of Douglas Wilson’s ministry, whether he admits it or not, and I intend to blog on each of them as time permits, with the hope of warning others to beware of this sadistic beast and his evil influence.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Sean Mahaffey has to lay off the ganja weed before he posts anymore comments on Green Bagginses; it tends to blur his judgment. For example, two days ago he penned the following comments presumably from a bong-induced mushroom-shaped cloud of calitas rising up through the air:

Sean Mahaffey said,
I don’t think that Pastor Wilson would claim to be in the same league as Dr. Bahnsen as an apologist, but I would claim it for him. Wilson’s debates with Stein, Barker, and Hitchens are first rate. His critiques of Harris and Dawkins are devastating. His book Persuasions is the most practical example of presuppositional apologetics I have read. Granted, Wilson is not as precise or relentless as Dr. Bahnsen was. Wilson’s style is more like Chesterton or Lewis, but he is thoroughly Van Tillian/presuppositional and is actively engaged in debating atheists publicly and successfully.

Who is a living self-conscious Van Tillian who is publicly debating atheists better than Wilson nowadays?



Sean Mahaffey said,

I agree that there is more to life than CVT, but this thread is about CVT. I am not trying to disparage the contributions of classical or evidential apologetics in theory and practice and I appreciate the work of those on your list, but the particular point was concerning presuppositional apologists who are actively engaging unbelievers in the Acts 17 — refute the gainsayer way. Wilson is very effective at this. In my opinion, his debate with Barker is a close second to the Bahnsen-Stein debate and is better than Bahnsen’s debates with Tabash and Smith.

Perhaps the only thing worse than a monkey boy is a monkey boy strung out on some bad skunk. Dude, you are not the Walrus and Paul is not dead — Koo koo ka choo. Put down the Cheech & Chong and pick up the living word while you have a few brain cells left. You still have hope.

That said, Mr. Mahaffey broaches an issue that deserves a little more attention than most folks think to give it and it’s clear that, notwithstanding his fawning praise of the Fearless Leader, he doesn’t have all the facts. Yes, it’s true that Wilson puts himself forward as an apologist for the Christian faith but he also says he’s a presbyterian. Maybe we could cut it down the middle and say that Wilson is a Christian to the same extent he’s a presbyterian and he’s an apologist for whatever sect of Christianity that condones wholesale misrepresentation in order to promote one man’s personal interests.

Let me illustrate the point. In 2003 the citizens of the Palouse learned that Wilson co-wrote (plagiarized) a booklet that defended Christians in the antebellum South who kidnapped, bought, sold, bred, and owned slaves — fellow human beings — as a biblical practice sanctioned by God in the Scriptures. As noted, this staggering revelation about Wilson caused no small stir among the entire population save 800 lost souls of the Kult. And as the scandal escalated, the Fearless Leader did pretty much everything in his power to exacerbate the situation. In fact, he used the exact same M.O. as we have seen in the Federal Vision controversy, all the way down to him demanding a debate — yes, Dougzilla stomped through the streets of Moscow and insisted that two historians debate the thesis of his tawdry little book Southern Slavery As It Was, which he has never repudiated.

On Friday, November, 21, 2003, exactly six weeks into the slavery scandal, the Moscow–Pullman Daily News published an op-ed by Wilson, which concluded,

I am happy to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to a public discussion/debate on this issue with Quinlan and/or Ramsey. Let’s set a date at our earliest mutual convenience.

The two men targeted by this invitation are historians from the University of Idaho who wrote a withering response to SSAIW called Southern Slavery As It Wasn’t: Professional Historians Respond to Neo-Confederate Misinformation, which the UI freely distributed electronically on its website and in hardcopy to whoever asked. And true to form, the moment someone published something critical of the Fearless Leader, he immediately applied Plan A, i.e., seek to vanquish the critic through debate, hence the above invitation. But Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey knew better and ignored the invitation. To my knowledge they never stated publicly their reasons for ignoring him, but I suppose it had something to do with his profound ignorance combined with his equally profound arrogance. As a rule, academics don’t share platforms with blowhards when they have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Had either of these men caved, they would have given Wilson and his racist position instant credibility while simultaneously losing all theirs.

But don’t miss this point: Wilson asked for a debate because he really believed that his preposterous revision of American history was true and he intended to defend it in a public forum against two professional historians, as if his rhetorical skills could somehow overcome reality and change history. And as you contemplate this historical fact, don’t forget that this so-called minister of the gospel intended to fight on this hill because he believed it critical to the gospel. He really thinks that the Scriptures justify the antebellum South and that the slaves got a pretty good shake from their owners. Honestly, at this point normal people should begin acknowledging that there’s something terribly wrong with the man. Indeed, whatever else may be true, this much is certain: Douglas Wilson is one big can of crazy.

Nevertheless, Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey gave Wilson all the attention due a man of his intellectual achievements — zip, zilch, nada — and he wasted no time switching to Plan B, which calls for persecution, bullying, and harassment of his critics. For example, he posted the following email on the local listserv:

From: “Douglas”
To: “Vision2020”
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 4:07 PM
Subject: [Vision2020] Proposed debate


In my newspaper column a week or so ago, I concluded by inviting Drs. Quinlan and Ramsey to debate. Not hearing anything back from them, I emailed them privately last week to reiterate the offer. After making that second offer I have not heard back either.

I must now take an interesting (and perhaps courageous) step. At the top of their paper is the most interesting copyright notice I have ever seen. After the normal copyright dealies, it says, “Please do not cite, quote, summarize, or otherwise reproduce without permission of the authors.” Not being a professional historian myself, I am unfamiliar with this kind of restriction. I was somewhat surprised that they did not also include “or refer to the existence of” as one of the restrictions.

Here is the courageous step. I am now going to quote from their paper, and I did not get permission. On the second page, the writers say that it “is imperative, therefore, that real historical scrutiny be focused on this unusual performance.” I agree! Well, here is a golden opportunity for professional historians to focus some more real historical scrutiny on my little putt-putt scholarship.

This being the case, why the silence? Perhaps there is an explanation to be found in Ambrose Bierce’s incomparable Devil’s Dictionary.

Valor, n. A soldierly compound of vanity, duty and the gambler’s hope.

“Why have you halted?” roared the commander of a division at Chickamauga, who had ordered a charge; “move forward, sir, at once.”

“General,” said the commander of the delinquent brigade, “I am persuaded that any further display of valor by my troops will bring them into collision with the enemy.”


Douglas Wilson

P.S. Chickamauga was a battle in the War of the Roses, although professional historians take a different view.

Gee, there’s a surprise; the Fearless Leader resorted to Tarzan-like chest-thumping when he called out Drs. Quinlan & Ramsey to oppose him in a debate on the biblical merits of Southern slavery. Apparently he hoped that his cry of the jungle would somehow persuade them to change their minds (please don’t forget that he posted this email to a public list where the majority of subscribers are unbelievers). Perhaps this is his application of St. Paul’s command, “Let your gentleness be known to all men” (Phil. 4:5). Or else this is another example of him believing he’s above Scripture.

Either way, I don’t think it’s possible for a grown man in a position of responsibility to be more detached from reality than this. Not only did he hold an impossible position historically, but he adopted a biblically untenable posture to defend it. And don’t kid yourself that the harassment ended here; he was just getting warmed up (which you can read about here, here, and here). If Wilson ever had any respect in Moscow, he lost it all during this scandal.

Now to point: It’s possible that at some level Wilson really believes that defending the mythological honor of the Confederacy and abusing his critics in public glorifies Christ, but if we’re honest about it, there’s something else happening here. There is nothing noble about economic systems predicated on kidnapping and enslaving other human beings and there is no connection between the integrity of the gospel and the South’s wicked culture.

To be sure, the Fearless Leader’s call for a debate had nothing to do with presuppositional apologetics defending the gospel of grace and it had nothing to do with refuting the gainsayers. In fact, just the opposite was true. This public offense happened because one man resolved to scandalize the gospel with his outrageous statements and sinful behavior; this disgraceful controversy took place because one man defended the indefensible for no other reason than self-will and pride; and this scandal came about because one man rebuffed every effort of Christians who pleaded with him to stand down and shut up (and I know many Christians who did this).

And in the end this scandal provides a glimpse of Douglas Wilson’s true apologetic, which has only one objective — compel the world to see the Fearless Leader’s magnificent genius in any and all fields of study. Douglas Wilson is no more a Christian apologist than he is a Christian. If he happens to defend the gospel in a debate with an atheist, it’s because he managed to grab the spotlight so that others could admire his greatness, not because he wants to glorify the Savior. We see this historical fact demonstrated by his demand for a debate on Southern slavery where he deliberately sullied the gospel in order to make himself appear illustrious. If anything, his apologetic is the exact opposite of John the Baptist’s — “I must increase, but He must decrease.” And the best way to account for this is to remark the obvious: he’s a dougsuppositionalist.

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Website

U P D A T E : Sean Mahaffey has written several comments that he wants posted on this website but since he has been consistently rude and deceitful I have exercised my editorial prerogative to censor him. Nevertheless, here is a shortened version of his claims quoted directly from his comments; please check the comments section to learn about my two witnesses who furnished me with their narratives:

I wrote the article in an attempt to dissuade people from smoking marijuana. . . . I have never smoked, inhaled, ingested, bought, sold, handled, condoned or recommended marijuana. . . . The Squire was not a school or church newsletter. . . . I started the Squire mailing list from names from the CWSC [Christian Worldview Students Conference] in Virginia. The intended audience was college students and other 18–30 year olds. . . We added the names of friends and family and other names that were sent to us. We only had a mailing list of 400–500. . . . The Squire was under the general oversight of the pastors of the church — at our request they read all the issues before they were published. . . . Pastor Booth was on the school board and taught one class a year at the school (usually Logic). . . . Randy Booth was instumental [sic] in establishing Veritas. Without Randy Booth . . . the school would never have been established. . . . I am not drop-dead certain that no student at Veritas ever received or read a copy of the Squire. . . we printed about 500 copies of each issue and there were some church families on the mailing list. . . . Aaron Booth . . . fell into sin while he was in college. . . . The article was written before the drug scandal. I’m not sure if Aaron read the article, but I know it was sent to a lot of NSA students. . . . I don’t have a copy of any letter about Pastor Booth and I wouldn’t send you anything if I did.

Here’s a new fully documented website named Ganja Vision, which is dedicated to an article written by CREC elder Sean Mahaffey on the biblical arguments for smoking marijuana. Although Mahaffey was not an elder when he wrote this column, he was a teacher at one of the Fearless Leader’s classical Christian schools in the ACCS. Furthermore, I suspect that the incredible irresponsibility he showed in writing this piece for the school paper was the deciding factor in making him an elder.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Prince Blog

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. — Proverbs 16:7

No line establishes Douglas Wilson’s worldview better than the one he wrested from Cotton Mather, who (may have) wrote, “Numquam bella piis, numquam certamina desunt” (Magnalia Christi Americana), which means, “For the faithful, wars shall never cease.” He uses this motto for New Saint Andrews College’s epigraph or, put another way, it is the foundation for the indoctrination that takes place at NSA. War defines his faith just as it animates his person. It is his essence. We see this in NSA’s maxim and we see it in the name of his blog, which you shouldn’t take for granted. Would a true minister of the gospel really name his blog after Prince Gog of the land of Magog?

Think about it. His blog is the familiar medium he uses to communicate with his disciples and he named it to rhyme with the OT’s prince of the Northern hordes that lived to persecute and harass God’s people. I’m sure he thinks it cute and clever. But suddenly it’s not so clever when you consider the fruit of Wilson’s ministry, which he consciously defined by persecuting and harassing God’s people. Indeed, he could have named it “Blogom and Blogmorrah” or “Blogylon” or “Moab is My Blogspot” or “Iscariot’s Place” or . . . you get the picture. He’s a blogolater — a blogomite. This is one reason I call him Beelzeblog; he wants his ministry marked by the names of demonic oppressors in Scripture and I am happy to oblige. But the point is that his soul loves violence; he’s a war child, which leads to the next point.

Green Baggineses has had an interesting thread addressing Scripture’s teaching on the roll of women in the deaconate and how this may affect the PCA. Naturally Douglas Wilson — Beelzeblog, Nimblog, Sanblogit, Alexander the bloggersmith — stated his opinion, which he offered ex cathedra for the reading world to marvel:

Douglas Wilson said. . . . .
One additional comment. Although I believe that a biblical polity permits women to hold the distinct office of widow/deaconness, I also believe that the pressing threat of feminism means that we should forbear exercising that option for the time being until we have defeated egalitarianism in the Church — much like how the Reformers granted that the laying on of hands was biblical, but because so much superstition had gotten attached to it, they skipped it for a while.

He affirms that the Bible reveals “the distinct office of widow/deaconness” (don’t miss the word “widow,” it’s an escape hatch; so is “a biblical polity”) but he repudiates the office “until we have defeated egalitarianism in the Church.” Follow the argument:
  • Scripture authorizes the distinct office of deaconess for women to hold.

  • Beelzeblog believes that feminism and egalitarianism pose a “pressing threat” to the Church.

  • Therefore, the Church must not obey Scripture or honor women by allowing women to hold their distinct office.
Marvelous. Prince Blog believes that his opinion, which is grounded in mere imagination or total madness, overrides Scripture to the point that he can abolish a biblically prescribed office (at least an office he believes the Bible prescribes; the point of this essay is not the role of women in the deaconate) until everyone agrees with him and sees the world through his eyes. In short, the primacy of church government resides in him and his position leaves no room for any authority to challenge him — including Scripture.

Test the argument: Scripture authorizes the office of elder and permits only men to hold it, but since pastoral tyranny represents such a huge threat to the Church we should prohibit men from holding the office or we should refrain from recognizing it until we vanquish pastoral abuse in the Church, as demonstrated by such thugs as Wilson. Makes perfect sense. In fact, we can push the argument further. The Bible teaches justification by faith alone, but since certain men who hold this truth constitute a threat to the Church (think of the regulars on GB), pastors should forbear practicing this doctrine until the Federal Vision has squelched the menace.

In fact, the Fearless Leader’s argument is so absurd that even James Jordan called him on it, stating, “And, if you want to fight feminism, you need to start honoring women and stop treating the church as a boy’s club.” (How ironic that this comment fell from the lips of the most spoiled brat in the boy’s club.) Better yet, a woman caught the Great Protector’s inconsistency and called him on it:

Mary Kathryn said,
BTW, regarding Wilson’s post — if someone really believes that Scripture allows for women to be deaconesses, and that God has both equipped and called some women to do such work, then I think he would be remiss to purposely deny those women the opportunity to perform the work God has given them to do, regardless of the noble ambition to protect the gospel. I believe the gospel can well defend itself. Such hesitations are cowardly, IMO.

Douglas Wilson said,
Mary Kathryn, cowardice is one possible explanation. There are others, pastoral concerns among them — a man who believes we cannot fight all battles at once is not the same as a man who would run from any battle.

Mary Kathryn said,
Doug — I think it’s unfortunate that a person with such convictions would view the situation as a battle. (And a person may be a coward in one situation and not in another.) The opportunity to offer expanded service to a fellow-believer is a wonderful thing. I think, frankly, that we have women in the PCA who have been deprived of service for so many generations that they are now incapable of assuming such a role, even if it were offered them. A man who embraced such an opportunity would be noble indeed. Although I remain undecided on a woman’s role as a deacon/ess, I do think that Christian men in general may have a sharp comeuppance at the judgment, when they discover the things they have denied to their sisters, all out of fear.

This would have stung if Wilson had a conscience; but it didn’t because he doesn’t. Nevertheless, you should take note whenever a woman corrects Dougzilla on a hill he identified as a field of battle; it’s always pure poetry: “Was it not a woman who cast a piece of a millstone on him from the wall?” (2 Sam. 11:21.) And in this exchange Mary Kathryn sees the inherent beauty of serving God; the Fearless Leader sees a field of battle. A servant of God desires to serve; a professed servant longs to fight. Scripture frames Mary Kathryn’s worldview; enemies — and the need to wage war against them — frames Prince Blog’s. The two could not be farther apart. And the terrible irony is that Mary Kathryn and her worldview are the real enemies against whom the Great Protector has declared war in order to defend the Church from . . . well . . . from the Mary Kathryns in the Church, however that works.

Now consider the Fearless Leader’s need for war from another angle. According to his interview with the Moscow–Pullman Daily News, Wilson said he co-wrote (plagiarized) the book Southern Slavery As It Was “to defend the Bible as a whole.” He said, “I did know I was defending an unpopular issue . . . I resolved a long time ago that I would not be ashamed of anything in the Bible.” This is an incredible statement when you note that SSAIW defends the Southern institution of chattel slavery and its subsidiary industry of manstealing, which the Bible condemns as a capital crime. And since Wilson was not ashamed to defend an institution anathematized by Scripture and he was no less ashamed to assert that the Bible agreed with him, a civil war erupted on the Palouse where the enemies he cultivated (he calls them “intoleristas”) and the damage he wrought to the gospel remain to this day.

So in the case of deaconesses, Wilson repudiates Scripture in order to facilitate his war against feminists and egalitarians, and in the case of slavery he repudiates Scripture in order to declare war on mankind in general and the Palouse in particular. In both cases, he turns Holy Writ on its head; both instances torture reason; both positions oppress specific classes of the human race; both cases deliberately provoke, antagonize, and incite hostility; both instances place the Fearless Leader in front of an imaginary army to fight enemies of his own making; and both positions originate in the brain of one who identifies himself with Prince Gog of the land of Magog. “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Rev. 13:4.)

You now have a glimpse into the mind of Douglas Wilson. He has no sense of reality other than what he fabricates to prosecute his ceaseless wars, which for him define his faithfulness to a god of his fantasies — a god revealed in a Bible that means so little to him that he dismisses it out of hand or twists it beyond recognition so that he may continue his fight against his never-ending parade of enemies.

Thank you.