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.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

Without mitigating the severity of DW's reluctance to obey the Biblical imperative to pursue peace, I wonder if the psychology of his predilection for conflict might be a little more nuanced or complex than you suggest here.

I've noticed that DW seems to like to surround himself with things that evoke the Reformation and other "old things." He renamed his congregation in high church style. The little college he founded is named after an old European school, and the classrooms are named after significant figures in Church history. He has likened S Wilkins to JG Machen, and I have read (perhaps at your 'blog; not sure where) that he thinks of himself as a latter-day Reformer, perhaps a person of as great stature in our day as Luther was in his.

If one grants for the sake of argument that DW imagines himself to be the pivotal figure in a New Reformation of the Church, his obnoxiousness may have some context (without being any more justifiable).

I recently tried to read Luther's "Bondage of the Will" that he wrote in response to Erasmus' tract on free will. I gave it up in dismay after a few chapters; it was painful to read. Luther was not an irenic figure and seems to have preferred the hatred of people with whom he disagreed to their friendship or neutrality. If I remember his biography rightly, he was also hostile to his contemporary French reformers until they acceded to language concerning the nature of the Lord's Supper that was acceptable to him.

That was a hard time and Luther seems to have been a rather hard man. I wonder whether it might be that DW has adopted this hard manner as befitting his own self-conception as a person of Luther's stature with a personal mission as consequential as Luther's.

Another connection is to theonomy. Thomas Roche's amazing survey of the theonomists notes that these people tend to be personally obnoxious. Perhaps that kind of person gravitates to theonomy, but it is also possible that there is something about immersing oneself in the ethos of OT law that makes one less gracious and readier to damn people, metaphorically and literally. DW doesn't call himself a theonomist, but Roche considers that the "spaceship Moscow" phenomenon looks and sounds like theonomy, and probably is (this might account, for example for CC's past reluctance to comply with local ordinances --- it may be that they regarded them as illegitimate since not rooted in biblical law?)

Just thinking out loud. None of this mitigates DW's theological, pastoral or interpersonal behavior. But it might help as one seeks to understand it. And if DW really does think of himself as a modern Luther, that itself is worth recognizing.

For some reason I couldn't log in to my google acct, and so posted as "anonymous".

May God encourage, aid and preserve you,

Sam Conner

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

To elaborate a little further, what I am suggesting is that DW's combative manner (and history) may be "stylistic" or an intentional "stance" (or, less charitably, a "pose") in keeping with his apparent predilection Reformational/Medieval style.

That strikes me as no less alarming than the view you have advocated, that he is at heart a man of violence rather than of peace.


Mark T. said...


As usual, you’re real close if not spot on.

Re names, names and naming play a huge role in Wilson’s theology. Frankly, it can’t be overstated, which is one reason Prince Gog of Magog should horrify believers. I believe there’s a lot more happening there than I indicated and I would suggest that it’s one more evidence of something we discussed by email. If he was any more brazen he would have named his blog “Legion.”

Re the Luther complex, I’ve been waiting to address the psychology of Wilson because it is so unbelievable. In short, he has told a number of people around town, including many former members of the Kult, that he has “the anointing.” This fact is confirmed by his mother as well, who speaks in glowing terms about her son’s “anointing,” though I don’t believe she imputes infallibility to the term. So in addition to his Luther complex, he has this other dynamic driving his self-perception. This accounts for the times he blurs the distinction between himself and key biblical figures, such as St. Paul and Moses, which he has done on a number of occasions. Furthermore, we may infer from his writings that he sees himself as a military leader in front of an army, which is certainly consistent with some of the OT champions, and this may account for some of his hostilities; he may be confusing the Joshua’s conquest of Canaan with some command to conquer Moscow (I haven’t even got near this one).

Re theonomy, Wilson owned it during the slavery scandal in 2003–2004, and I am sure that it contributes to his innate hostility. I have post in mind addressing the awful subject of stoning, which I believe he advocated in an issue of CA. I get the feeling he longs to execute people — especially those who disagree with him — and I’m sure this feeds his “anointing” complex.

In the end, however, I agree with you that it’s all one big act (though you didn’t frame it exactly this way). As you say, he’s posing and posturing, which is another way of saying that he is a Pharisee of Pharisees. How charming.