“Is this (the conclusions in Stephen Wolfe’s book) really the direction we’re to be pushed by the gospel? Are we really to pursue a social ordering on earth so different from that which is present in heaven? Are we really so sure that our love for people like us and our ostracism of people unlike us are God-given inclinations and not fallen ones?”
1.) If Jesus is the Gospel than I’d say that, “yes” Wolfe’s book is really the direction we’re to be pushed to the Gospel;22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
This passage teaches the great grace of the Lord Christ to all men. It teaches the necessity to be importunate in prayer. It teaches the centrality of faith. And by today’s standard among the “clergy” and the Church in the West it demonstrates that Jesus was a racist and that He understood the idea of properly ordered affections. Keep in mind that “dogs” is a pejorative term that is not loaded with any expression of kindness.
2.) DeYoung misreads the book of Revelation thinking that Revelation teaches that Heaven is an amalgamationist paradise, when in point of fact the book of Revelation teaches that the Saints are present in the New Jerusalem as belonging to their Nations (See Rev. 21).
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
The New Jerusalem is not inhabited by atomistic individuals but by people as still belonging to their respective nations. Heaven is inhabited by the Church as that Church belonged to their respective nations. Thus, the New Jerusalem finds nations remaining yet distinct, yet together united in their worship of the great and magnificent Lord Jesus Christ. This is the concept of the One and the Many incarnated into the Church in the New Jerusalem.
DeYoung’s ham-fisted reading of Scripture, interpreting it to be a place where “all colors bleed into one” is irresponsible, and in this climate, criminal exegesis.
3.) I’d love to see a quote from Wolfe’s book where he is insisting that we need to ostracize people unlike us. Am I ostracizing people when I spend my paycheck providing for my wife and family? Am I ostracizing other women when I don’t bed them while only bedding my wife?
The “Conservative” Guru of the PCA writes,
Likewise, Wolfe’s argument doesn’t reckon with the way the Bible relativizes our sense of family (Mark 3:31–35), tears down dividing walls between people groups (Eph. 2:11–22), and presents a multitribal and multilingual reality (and hoped-for future) as a heavenly good (Rev. 5:9–10).
1.) I dealt with DeYoung’s eisegesis in #2 above.
2.) Next, the Ephesians passage. I am working here to expose why DeYoung shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a pulpit;
The dividing wall in Ephesians is a reference to the Mosaic Law. Christ tears down the “dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances” (Eph 2:14b-15a).
When Christ died, God no longer imposed on Jews the rules that once separated them from Gentiles. The purpose of those aspects of the law has now been fulfilled. The laws that specifically divided Jew and Gentile are now done away with. It is not just the ceremonial laws that are now gone, but the old covenant to which they were intricately attached has been replaced by the new covenant. Under the new covenant God no longer imposes these expectations on his children. This arrangement grants Gentiles wide open access to enter the kingdom of God as Gentiles. Gentiles don’t have to become religio-cultural Jews in order to become Christian.
Further, in Ephesians Paul is not talking about generic ethnic divides but specifically the aspects of the law-covenant that divided Jew from Gentiles. Therefore, someone cannot impose ethnic distinctions onto Paul’s words. The apostle has something uniquely covenantal in mind.
Second, the dividing wall was originally the will of God. To take the word “hostility” in and apply it to racism is dangerous. The dividing wall to which Paul is referring is the Mosaic Law, and the Mosaic Law was God’s idea. He made the wall; then he removed it in Christ. The division that stood between Jew and Gentile in the Old Covenant was God’s will, not the by-product of human sin. “Racism,” (where it can genuinely be found) on the other hand, is the result of human sin and never is the result of what God commands. By applying Ephesians 2:14 to ethnic strife today you effectively turn God into a “racist.”
Third, did Christ remove, by his death, the various differences between cultures today? Not at all. Before Christ’s death, one culture may prefer beer. Another culture may prefer wine. After the death of Christ the first culture still likes beer and the second culture still likes wine. The death of Christ was not intended to move the needle on these types of cultural differences (except for the aspects of man’s culture that are sinful). Nor did it overturn other aspects of human relations grounded in creation, biology, and nature.
(Note: — The above 5 paragraphs were largely crafted by a chap who is now in hiding from the Stalinists cancel culture maniacs.)
Similarly Christ’s death did not remove the tendencies that belong to different ethnic peoples. Before Christ’s death Cretans were liars and gluttons. After Christ’s death Christian Cretans doubtless had to battle the besetting sin of lying and gluttony. The death of Christ does not destroy nature. For centuries McAtees have been hopelessly stubborn. I have been converted for decades now and a sinful stubbornness/defiance remains a besetting sin (ask my wife). The same is true for my children. It was true of my Father and it was true of his parents. This trait is in our genes. It is a characteristic long associated with the Scots. Peoples remain different, even after conversion. There is no sin in acknowledging that. Did Christ remove, by his death, the various differences between ethnicities today? Not at all.
(Note: In the previous paragraph we see why contra Doug Wilson that race/ethnicity is not merely about skin.)
We have the words of an OT scholar Martin Wyngaarden that bears on this issue. Please Rev. Dr. DeYoung listen to Calvin Seminary Dr. Professor Martin Wyngaarden from the 1960’s on Isaiah 19;
Now the predicates of the covenant are applied in Isa. 19 to the Gentiles of the future, — “Egypt my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance,” Egypt, the people of “Jehovah of hosts,” (Isa. 19:25) is therefore also expected to live up to the covenant obligations, implied for Jehovah’s people. And Assyria comes under similar obligations and privileges. These nations are representative of the great Gentile world, to which the covenant privileges will therefore be extended.”
Martin J. Wyngaarden, The Future of the Kingdom in Prophecy and Fulfillment: A Study of the Scope of “Spiritualization” in Scripture (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2011), p. 94.
“More than a dozen excellent commentaries could be mentioned that all interpret Israel as thus inclusive of Jew and Gentile, in this verse, — the Gentile adherents thus being merged with the covenant people of Israel, THOUGH EACH REMAINS NATIONALLY DISTINCT.”
“For, though Israel is frequently called Jehovah’s People, the work of his hands, his inheritance, yet these three epithets severally are applied not only to Israel, but also to Assyria and to Egypt: “Blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands, and Israel, mine inheritance.” 19:25.
Thus the highest description of Jehovah’s covenant people is applied to Egypt, — “my people,” — showing that the Gentiles will share the covenant blessings, not less than Israel. YET the several nationalities are here kept distinct, even when Gentiles share, in the covenant blessing, on a level of equality with Israel. Egypt, Assyria and Israel are not nationally merged. And the same principles, that nationalities are not obliterated, by membership in the covenant, applies, of course, also in the New Testament dispensation.”
Wyngaarden, pp. 101-102.
3.) Now the Mark 3 passage
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
DeYoung insists that the passage above relativizes our sense of family. I’d dearly like to hear DeYoung explain what he means by “relativizes.” If he simply means that the family can’t be raised above our union with Christ or that loyalty to family/people can’t rise above our loyalty to Christ who could ever argue? However, if “relativizes” means that family does not remain a priority, in its proper place, DeYoung has to deal with;
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Clearly, our Great Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, does not relativize family/people to the point that somehow they become eclipsed in our responsibilities to them.
Then there are the words of God that teach that family most certainly is not over relativized;
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
DeYoung and many like him are creating false dichotomies in order to avoid a Nationalism that is ethno by definition.
DeYoung is not a wise man on several matters. This is but one.
But why should he be the only clergy who is not wise in this regard?
I may have more in a future entry to say about DeYoungs misfiring in his analysis of Wolfe’s book.