“Doug Wilson doesn’t want to fight. What he wants to do is be known as a fighter among the members of the Judeo-Christian Ladies Luncheon Society. So he blames gay marriage on Christian fathers, making himself out to be the only real man in the room. He also loves to bloviate about how everything in America is the Church’s fault, and issue vague calls for “repentance” of nothing in particular, and then condemn to Hell any Christian who points to the people who actually are causing so many of our problems as “anti-semites” and “racists.” It’s hilarious that he can write this article without a glimmer of awareness that he’s describing himself.”
F. H. Glastonbury
When Doug Wilson and Doug Jones first showed up on the Reformed scene I lapped up their Credena Agenda with my PCA minister friend up the road. We howled together as Wilson and Jones lampooned every sacred cow on the planet. All that to say that there was a time when Wilson ranked very high in my pantheon of good guys.
Those days are long gone.
Now I think that Doug Wilson is an impediment to the Reformed cause if only because the fact that he still often gets a great deal right it makes it easier for people to accept the great deal he gets wrong. In that way Wilson is even more dangerous than a Tim Keller or a Russell Moore. With Keller and Moore and J. Ligon Duncan, and Sean Michael Lucas, and Al Mohler, and Matt Hall, and David Platt, and J. D. Greear, and Mike Horton, and R. Scott Clark, and Joke Harder, and ad-infinitum for much of the rest of the Reformed of “conservative” world people can just say to themselves when one of these guys pops up; “Yep, just one more dumbass statement coming from the piehole of the Evangelical – Reformed Clergy.”
But with Wilson it is different. People actually listen to this guy and they (unfortunately) take the chap seriously. It is precisely that which makes Doug such a danger to the handful of the genuinely Reformed people left out there. I know, for example, that many young Reformed ministers see Doug as a kind of “last guy standing.” Sorry … I’m not buying it.
This article elucidates a few reasons why. Keep in mind this is only intended to be a kind of “Whitman’s Sampler,” or if you prefer, “Doug’s Greatest Hits.”
1.) Of course we all know about Doug’s time on the “Pale Ale” Federal Vision bar stool. This was error that was (and is)so serious that if we lived in sane times Doug would have been defrocked. Doug escaped that because the people who were criticizing him the most (the R2K boys) were even more heterodox than he was. Since then Doug has said that it was all a big mistake and he’s sorry. You can find at least a couple of articles here on Iron Ink of me taking Doug to task during his halcyon Pale Ale Federal Vision days.
2.) Of course Doug Wilson butted his nose into the R. C. Sproul 2.0 case giving Sproul a pass after another Reformed denomination didn’t give Sproul a pass. The lack of wisdom on that move came out sometime later with the news of Sproul’s subsequent oopsie daisies.
3.) Can you say … “Steven Sitler?”
4.) Can you say “plagiarism?”
5.) Then there was Doug Wilson’s 2015 article on appropriate government actions concerning vaccines and forced quarantines;
“If a person has decided personal convictions about the contagious disease he is carrying, the society in which he lives has an equal right to have decided and contrary convictions about that same contagious disease he has. And if there is an outbreak of such a disease, and the government quarantines everyone who is not vaccinated, requiring them to stay at home, the name for this is prudence, not tyranny.”
2015 … Pre-Deep State Virus
Even in 2015, given the nature of our Federal Government Doug should have given some kind of clever codicil about being suspicious about pronouncements of the Federal Government. Instead what we got was the kind of pronouncement one might have expected from a minister who was certified by Reichsminister for Church affairs.
6.) Then there was this gem from Doug;
“In the brewing culture wars, we ought not to stand with those seeking to ban same-sex marriage (or with those seeking to impose it).” “So we openly accept homosexual marriage in the civil realm as God’s means of undermining that civil realm, and we accept that He has done this in judgment for wicked fathering within the Church.”
Here the culture was on the brink of a full-on Luciferian assault against God, country, and family and Doug steps up to the mic and before God in heaven and man on earth instructs God’s people to openly accept homosexual marriage in the civil realm because like the prophets of old Doug has a pipeline to God and so knows that to resist same-sex marriage would be a mistake because Doug knows that God has visited us with the scourge of sodomite marriage because of wicked fathering within the Church.
Now, every minister can say that whatever comes into the lives of a people is providentially from the hand of God but no minister should suggest that he knows why God is providentially doing X, Y, or Z because of reasons A, B, C. No minister can crawl into God’s filing cabinet to get a definitive “this is that” reason. I don’t disagree that there is wicked fathering in the Church. I protest that Doug can make macro pronouncements about the mind of God concerning God’s providence — I protest Doug’s assumption to be a kind of Christian version of the Oracle of Delphi. Maybe God, in His providence, visited us with the scourge of sodomite marriage in order to punish us for hammerhead ministers making wild arse guesses about why God does this or that.
And to say that “we openly accept sodomite marriage?” What was the man smoking that day? Maybe God intended, contra Saint Doug, for Christians to rise up and resist magistrates who want to foist upon us the acceptance of sodomite marriage instead of just accepting it?
And now Trannyism is upon us. I can just hear the Oracle of Moscow now;
“In the brewing culture wars, we ought not to stand with those seeking to ban men in our women-folk bathrooms (or with those seeking to impose it).” “So we openly accept Trannys in the civil realm as God’s means of undermining that civil realm, and we accept that He has done this in judgment for not enough Christians agreeing with me about not resisting sodomite marriage.”
I can’t wait for Doug’s next “from on high” pronouncement on the coming pedophilia outbreak, not to mention, what God tells Doug about how Christians should resist the routine bedding of farm animals in the civil realm.
Note here that this positioning of Doug on these issues puts him functionally in the same exact camp as the R2K lads. The R2K lads would absolutely salute Dougie’s reasoning here.
7.) Here is Doug’s pearl of wisdom on voting;
“So you should vote in a way that you can in good conscience ask God to bless … But I’m planning on writing in Ben Sasse because that is a vote I could in good conscience ask God to bless. I don’t expect anyone to count it, but I do want to ask God to bless it.”
Now this one was a weird confluence of the stars. I say this because Ben Sasse was the idee fixe of the R2K fanboys — who routinely hate Doug Wilson with the might of a thousand exploding yellow stars. Yet, here was Doug getting in bed with an R2K acolyte (Ben Sasse). That one left a permanent crick in my neck my head whiplashed so badly upon reading Doug’s endorsement.
However, Doug’s support of a Ben Sasse is perfectly consistent if you read #6 again because that is the same exact policy that a Ben Sasse would follow.
On these scores, both Sasse and Wilson are following a uber-Libertarian kind of political reasoning. Uber-Libertarianism is not particularly Christian.
8.) “Christians must learn to distinguish sins from crimes. If God reveals His will on a matter, disobedience is sin. If God reveals the civil penalty which must be applied, then it is also a crime. But without wisdom from Him on the civil penalty to be applied, the civil order must leave enforcement of God’s law to the church, family, or the providence of God….when pornography is made and distributed, it should simply be used as evidence — of the adultery or of the sodomy, etc.”
The Short version here is that Doug would have agreed with the landmark 1973 SCOTUS Miller vs. California case which loosened up the ability to traffic in pornography. Again … all of this is to boggle the mind and is the essence of Libertarianism.
The rumor is that when Doug made this pronouncement from on high that Larry Flynt wined and dined Doug at a 5-star restaurant. (That’s a joke Son.)
For centuries the West criminalized the production of porn but here Doug steps up to the mic and announces all of that was; “Our bad. Sorry.” Can anybody imagine the Westminster Divines saying; “Yeah, porn is a sin but we are powerless to recommend any civil penalty for porn producers. (?)”
9.) Then there was Doug’s media tour with Christopher Hitchens hawking Hitchens’s new atheist diatribe. Doug got face time on all kinds of media as he served as a kind of human punching bag for Hitchens to assail the God of the Bible on National Television.
10.) Most recently Doug writes articles about the dangers of antisemitism in the Reformed Christian community that he never defines or gives examples of. I note this because it has been a long-used tool by the enemies of Christians to scream anti-semitism every time someone commits the sin of noticing and points out an inconvenient truth about the strangely disproportionately high percentage of Jewish people in this or that desultory industry, revolution, or culture influence position.
11.) Then there is Doug’s continued insistence that race is a social construct. Who could have guessed that Franz Boas’ influence would live through Doug?
Now, I understand Doug buys his cyber-ink by the barrel and that he is voluminous in his writing. I further understand that Doug has done some fine work for he which he should be saluted.
However, the kind of stuff above at least should make us realize that Doug can’t be accepted without being interrogated on all he says.
I hope people see here that I am not punching right. I am punching left on a guy who scads of people think belongs to the conservative element of the Reformed world. If Doug really was on the right I wouldn’t be punching.
In the end, Doug Wilson is to the Reformed movement what Wm. Buckley was for Conservatism for a generation, and that is Doug with the Reformed world like Buckley with the conservative world makes sure that Reformed Christianity doesn’t get outside the banks of a nice predictable river.