Chambers Fisks Wilson On The Same Issue — Not good for Wilson


The fact that civil leadership by a woman is not part of the general creation order (which it is not), and rule by women generally is treated by Scripture as a curse, which it is (Is. 3:12), does not mean that any given instance of a woman ruling has to mean that the woman is disobedient,


That’s right. Deborah didn’t install herself as judge, nor was she elected by her constituency. Have we been called to assist God by electing Sarah Palin?


and/or that the men around her are wusses. The Bible never says that.


It’s a reproach and contrary to the creation order. The reason behind the reproach is irrelevant.


In other words, outside the Church, a woman in a position of authority over men ought to be treated as an anomaly, not as a sin or a disgrace.


Certainly Deborah was neither sinning nor disgraceful. But Israel was sinning.


A woman pastor is not an anomaly; it is disobedience.


That’s right. But pastors are called, hired or appointed by men who have no business acting in a manner contrary to Scripture. Prophets and judges were not hired, elected, or appointed by men. False dichotomy Doug.


But a woman who runs the household of her quadriplegic husband


Did she maim him in order to gain ascendancy? Since she didn’t it is a non sequitur Doug to suggest that because a woman can run the household of her quadriplegic husband, therefore Christians should vote for a female magistrate to be head of a nations political household.


But such a virtuous action on her part does not keep it from being anomalous.


But no more anomalous than a single father raising his children. The point proves nothing. Inane point Doug.


And to use the kind of example I have used before (and which no one in this debate has answered yet, incidentally), can a father or husband leave an inheritance to a daughter or wife if that inheritance includes the laboring jobs of males? Can a Christian woman inherit a factory that employs fifty men? The answer is of course.


It has been answered and his is no proper comparison. Employees are free to leave the company. Her authority over what rightfully belongs to her doesn’t affect my house, my church, my role in society. The role of magistrate is categorically different. She will be party to decisions about how my taxes are spent, whether or not we will go to war, how my children will be educated in the public schools and every other area where the gov’t has taken authority whether legitimate or not. Perhaps a better question would be whether the inheriting daughter should maintain control of the company after she’s married? What say you Doug?

Anomalies exist. God, in bringing them about is exercising his right of ownership. God takes life whenever he chooses. The murder of a righteous man is an anomaly. What personal behavior can we justify with that? God’s actions don’t validate our acting in ways inconsistent with Scripture — such as voting against God’s creation order by voting for a female magistrate.

Fisking Wilson On Women In Office

I know very few people who are as good at argumentation then Doug Wilson. In fact, I admire Doug’s ability on that score. Doug’s brilliance is especially seen when he is arguing a weak point. Nobody is better then Doug at making a weak, indefensible point look like the Rock of Gibraltar. Doug goes very slippery when he is arguing a losing hand, but for as slippery as Doug is when he is arguing a losing proposition, I think we will try to use some vice grips to hold him still long enough to see the weakness of his point.

Doug continues to try and suggest that it might be Biblical for Christians to vote for women magistrates in the article located here,

I am fisking the whole thing below.

Just a few things right out of the starting blocks. First, I agree with Tim Bayly’s argument on the creation order and women in civil leadership. Second, I don’t really agree with Geoffrey Botkin’s argument that the Sarah Palin move on the part of the GOP is the mother of all sucker plays. I agree with Botkin that it could be that, but I don’t believe that it is by any means self-evident yet.

First, I agree with Wilson that Bayly’s argument on the creation order was excellent. The only exception I took from Tim Bayly’s fine article was when he ended by saying that he hadn’t ruled out voting for Palin.

Second, Wilson’s willingness to believe that Palin isn’t the mother of all sucker plays makes him Charlie Brown to the Republican Party’s Lucy who continues to promise Doug that she’s not going to move the football this one time, after moving it every time previously she promised Charlie Brown (Doug Wilson) to hold it still so he could kick the ball. Republicans have consistently played the evangelical crowd for suckers. What makes Wilson think that anything is different this time? When one looks at Wilson’s suspension of belief it almost seems like he is practicing wish fulfillment.

Now having said that, I admit that Palin may indeed be a case where the Republicans have been to smart by half. But given Republican history I seriously doubt it and so should Doug.

While I don’t differ with anything in Tim’s post, there might be a possible quibble down the road — picking up on a comment made by someone else on his post. The fact that civil leadership by a woman is not part of the general creation order (which it is not), and rule by women generally is treated by Scripture as a curse, which it is (Is. 3:12), does not mean that any given instance of a woman ruling has to mean that the woman is disobedient, and/or that the men around her are wusses. The Bible never says that.

First, Doug says that “rule by women generally is treated by Scripture as a curse.” Can Doug give any example where Scripture explicitly states that being ruled by women is not a curse? Doug says it is generally a curse, as if Scripture communicates there are times when it is not a curse. What times in Scripture do we find it was not a curse?

Second, I agree that “any given instance of a woman ruling” does not have to mean that the woman is disobedient. I’m not sure about the idea that the men around her, in such cases, aren’t wusses. I’m still undecided on that one. But all because a woman is not disobedient because God has thrust leadership upon her doesn’t mean that God’s people can be disobedient to the creation order that God has established by voting for a woman to be leader. It is God’s prerogative to raise up non disobedient woman leadership. It is not our prerogative to use what God has ordained in His eternal counsels as a reason to disobey what God’s word clearly teaches regarding the creation order. This is a point we will return to time and again.

In other words, outside the Church, a woman in a position of authority over men ought to be treated as an anomaly, not as a sin or a disgrace. A woman pastor is not an anomaly; it is disobedience. But a woman who runs the household of her quadrapalegic husband would be in disobedience if she refused to do that. But such a virtuous action on her part does not keep it from being anomalous. That is not the way it usually goes, but it has to go this way in this instance — and not because her husband is abdicating either. In short, the oddball situations here and there that result in a woman holding political office or occupying the position of leadership in a family don’t bother me at all, not even a little bit. And to use the kind of example I have used before (and which no one in this debate has answered yet, incidentally), can a father or husband leave an inheritance to a daughter or wife if that inheritance includes the laboring jobs of males? Can a Christian woman inherit a factory that employs fifty men? The answer is of course. That’s not feminism. It is not egalitarianism. It is not common, but life is funny sometimes (Num. 27:7), and we should all of us just loosen our shoelaces. This kind of thing can happen without anybody being disobedient.

I’m glad to affirm that when God creates anomalies we should be at peace with that. I seldom tie my shoelaces so I’m good there. However, Doug can’t use this reasoning to say that since God creates anomalies we are therefore sanctioned to create those anomalies by disobeying God’s revealed Word.

Second, it was an oddball situation that resulted in a true anomaly when a King died without having sons and so the regency was passed onto a daughter. It is not an oddball situation that resulted in a true anomaly, in the same way, when in a Republic, God’s people contribute to the creation of the anomaly by disobeying God’s creation order by voting for female magistrates. The first is an anomaly that we can pin on God’s eternal counsels. The second is an anomaly that, while still according to God’s eternal counsels, came about, in part, because of those who violated God’s clear teaching on the created order. It is difficult for me to see how Doug isn’t arguing that we should do evil (voting for a female magistrate) that good (the end of abortion, somehow in some strange way connected to the person of Palin) may come.

And this brings us to that poor warrior Barak, just one of many giants of the faith who ran afoul of modern sentimental pieties. The Bible describes as righteous a number of men and women who are dismissed by us in the most cavalier way — Jacob is the premier example, but this also applies to Tamar, and Jepthah, and Barak. And in the one place where Barak missteps, it is not because he was subservient to a woman. His problem was that he refused to do what a woman required of him — just like some people on the Internet stoutly insist they would also do. But even so, the Bible describes him as a man of faith (Heb. 11:32), and not as some kind of pencil neck.

We need to be more precise here then Doug is, since Doug’s imprecision leads to wrong impressions. To be precise, Barak’s failure was that he refused to do what the Lord God commanded him as communicated through a prophetess. If he had obeyed God, he would have been being subservient to God and not to a woman, who was a only a mouthpiece of God.

Next, we have to keep reminding ourselves that the time frame of Barak and Deborah in Judges is a time-frame that creates oddball situations which in turn leads to all kinds of anomalies. This is a time where the children of Israel were doing evil in the sight of the Lord. Because that is true it is very precarious for us to try and take what is going on in Judges 4 and make it prescriptive.

At the same time, if women are being thrust into positions of leadership generally because everybody is in the grip of egalitarianism, and the assumption is made that men and women should all be doing the corporate and political thing fifty/fifty, what’s wrong with you people?, then that is a clear sign of the Isaiah 3 curse.

And that is just the time we live in now. Sarah Palin was chosen precisely for the reason of that kind of egalitarianism that Doug describes. Nobody with a ounce of political moxie would ever argue that on the basis of qualifications alone that Palin was the best VP choice. Palin was chosen because of identity politics with hopes that she could peel off some of those female Hillary Clinton supporters that were discontent with how Barack had treated Hillary. And now, even in light of that reality, Doug seems to continue to want to wiggle towards advocating that Reformed Christians can vote for a clear sign of the Isaiah 3 curse.

Just a couple of comments about Botkin’s article. First, I was genuinely surprised at his attitude toward football — not just objecting, as every Christian gentleman should, to the travesty of putting girls in pads and out on the field. He also plainly objecting to putting our sons into “organized combat on the football, soccer and hockey circuits.” At Logos, the contact sport is lacrosse, what the Iroquois appropriately “the little brother of war.” This objection to contact sports for everyone was more than a little revealing, in my view.

Yeah, I thought that was goofy also.

And second, Botkin summarized the Plan that usually keeps evangelicals voting Republican. His summary: “The other candidate is a Democrat. He is therefore scary. Be very afraid. Vote Republican.” I actually think that this is a very good summary . . . but we should also note that it is a compelling argument. The Democrats are really scary — that is not a bugbear, but is rather kind of like the truth. While it is customary to say that we have two parties in Washington — the Evil Party and the Stupid Party — the reality is not quite so simple. Twain once said the music of Wagner was better than it sounds, and we have to realize the Republicans are not as stupid as they behave.

First, I don’t agree with Doug’s characterization. Both Republicans and Democrats are evil. Democrats are practical communists while Republicans are practical fascists. Now certainly there are individual exceptions in each party to that broad stroke characterization but in general it holds true. We are not embracing less evil by voting Republican. We are only embracing different evil.

Second, at this point Doug is invoking the “lesser of two evils” canard. Doug is suggesting that it is reasonable to vote for lesser evil out of fear of greater evil. Even if that were true (and I don’t believe it is) what Doug is saying is that we should be governed by our fears. A great part of the problem with this argumentation is that we ought to be motivated by our fear of man. And yet Scripture teaches us over and over that where there is fear of God only there exists no fear of man. As such, Christians who fear God shouldn’t be able to be motivated by fear of man. Christians should fear God and do what is right and let God handle the results. Instead Doug seems to be suggesting that we should fear man and so disobey God by voting for what he perceives to be the lesser of two evils.

I recently read a better summary of the way things are from a friend who detests McCain, but who is planning on voting for him anyway. Why? Because he would rather live under a crime syndicate than under the utopians, a sentiment that I fully share. That is certainly my preference, and that is also what I believe our choices to actually be — the Republican Mafioso or the Democrats of the Shining Dawn. Give me the former every time — far less blood.

Doug is only saying here that he would prefer the fascists to the communists. A Christian stance would be to stand up on two legs and loudly pronounce a pox upon both their houses instead of lending the fascists (Dougs, Mafioso) their strength with their vote. This is as if a wolf and a bear are fighting in order to see who can make a lunch out of Doug with Doug concluding that since being eaten by a wolf would be less painful then being eaten by a bear he’ll vote for the wolf.

I’m sorry, I will die not understanding that kind of reasoning.

And so the issue is not what I would personally prefer — no question, the Republicans. The issue is what is legitimate for me to vote for. The thing I am working through is whether the Palin choice represents a blundering crime syndicate or a very tricksy crime syndicate. I am leaning strongly toward the former.

What is legitimate for any Christian to vote for is obedience.

And please don’t give me that I’m looking for a perfect candidate. That is just not true. If I were looking for a perfect candidate I wouldn’t vote at all. What I am looking for is a candidate that keeps us from going in the direction of destruction. I would be glad to vote for a candidate that had all kinds of flaws if only they would operate out of a worldview that is other than some kind of socialism.

Doug’s has a weak hand here and he is being slippery in his argumentation. I respect Doug Wilson but I must do what little I can to expose him for the naked emperor he is on this issue.

Behold the Virus

This exchange from Green Baggins

Firearms, theology, and fantasy


I think I am asking questions that mean to get at just what Jesus meant when he said his kingdom was not of this world. Did he mean his kingdom was mostly not of this world or completely transcendent of it?


Few verses are more misinterpreted than John 18:36 as Steve reveals. B. F. Wescott wrote on this verse, “yet He (Jesus) did claim a sovereignty, a sovereignty which the spring and the source was not of earth but of heaven.” Later Wescott offers, “My Kingdom is not of this world” means it “does not derive its origin or its support from earthly sources.” So we would say that Christ’s Kingdom is not derived from this world, because it is of God and is over the world.

Hence, the answer to your question, (which I think I’ve answered before in our delightful conversations elsewhere) is that Christ’s Kingdom, because it is heavenly in origin, transforms the Kingdoms of this World into the Kingdoms of Christ. The way you define transcendent Steve is to make Sovereignty mean “sovereign in the transcendent realm where the Kingdom exists.”

We should follow Bavinck here by admitting that grace restores nature.


From what I can tell so far, you agree with the Liberals that Jesus should come down off the Cross and fix things in the here and now. But remember that Herod had all the male children aged two and under killed. While it might scrape 21st century American sensibilities about the preciousness and innocence of youth, as well as notions of human rights and entitlements (it sure does mine), the Bible never casts infanticide so much the problem as keeping Jesus from his task.


Um … Steve… I hate to be the first to tell you this … but Jesus did come down from the cross and was raised on the third day and then after weeks of post-resurrection ministry He ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father ruling as our mediatorial King over every area of life.

Jesus is one of those guys that can both be about the task of pronouncing reconciliation while at the same time being clearly opposed to the holocaust of the unborn. I know it disappoints you to think that Jesus can both fix problems in the here and now and call in His elect.


I use the term fetus-politics to indicate a form of moralism in the ranks (political to be exact). I don’t have femme-politics, so I don’t use the term the way they do. I get what you mean about inherent human rights for all persons, in- and ex-vitro, and could easily agree to it. But that’s a generally ideological and specifically American argument.


Oh Baloney!

First, all ideology stems from some theology. Therefore you cannot refer to something as a ideological argument without at the same time realizing that it is a theological argument.

Second, thou shalt not murder is not an American argument. It is a Biblical argument.

Third you would give up the form of moralism for a form of immoralism. But, hey who knows, immoralism for one culture may be moralism for another culture. We can never know for sure since different cultures are going to come to different conclusions about the way they interpret natural law.


I want to know what in Calvinism says any particular group of people (unborn or women) has rights that supersede the other. I thought Calvinism said that all deserve death, that no one is righteous, etc.


That scripture teaches that all deserve death doesn’t mean it advocates that all people die. That scripture teaches that all deserve death doesn’t mean its alright to sit by and watch as some are delivered over to death.

Though, I’m glad to agree with you that we would be better served to speak of having duties and not rights. We have duties to God and our neighbor. One of those duties is to love our neighbor. Love for neighbor, would seem to include, creating a culture of life. That sounds very Calvinistic to me.


Those are hardly encouraging notions for those who think the Bible implies the Bill of Rights. But I guess since plenty believe they can find Franklin-esque colloquialisms like, “cleanliness is next to godliness” in the Bible it should be not so surprising that others find certain politics there as well.


Actually, Steve, if you were to spend some time reading Witte or Bergman you would discover that much of the Bill of Rights does indeed stem out of Scripture.

But your to busy trying to mock the whole notion of Christian politics, Christian economics, Christian education, Christian family and who knows what else to realize that the Bible does indeed speak to these areas.

Avoid the virus.

Bayly Throws A Rod — More Women In Office Conversation

Whoa … suddenly the train went off the track with a post by David Bayly over at Bayly Blog. I have some issues to take up with David Bayly here.


Those who seek to undermine rules delight in their exceptions. Exceptions are the camel’s nose. But the fact that cars are to stay in their lanes doesn’t mean we should never, ever leave our lanes (to dodge a dog, for instance), despite the fact that lane-agnostics will jump on such departures as evidence that lane systems never work.


Ok, what this sounds like if I am to put the metaphor into the concrete is that the fact that women are not to serve as civil magistrates doesn’t mean we should never, ever vote for women magistrates. If that is part of what this analogy is trying to suggest I don’t think it works.

First of all creation order is the universal principle that we are to be sustaining. Violations to the creation order taken by way of exception should be taken by way of clearly articulated scriptural principles. Does God give us clear parameters when it is proper to disobey the creation order? Clarity is important here. I don’t think clarity is achieved when we appeal to historical descriptions in Biblical texts (i.e.– Deborah). By that clarity I can make the case that casting lots by pulpit committees is a Biblical way to choose potential Pastors.

Second, if exceptions can be legitimately pursued in the civil realm without clear didactic teaching from Scripture then why can not exceptions be legitimately pursued without clear didactic teaching from Scripture in the Church or family realm? Maybe Mary would be a better leader in the home than Fred. Maybe Matilda would be a better pastor than all of her male Seminary classmates.

Now I agree that exceptions occur. But I don’t agree that we are the ones who get to determine, apart from prescriptive portions of Scripture, when to make those exceptions. Certainly we may leave our lane but only with Biblical authorization to do so. God can leave the lanes anytime He pleases as He owns the highway. Indeed, He left the lane by installing Deborah, but we should never violate God’s revealed Word in Scripture (creation order) in order to support what we think God might be doing according to His eternal counsels.


It’s not routinely good for Deborah to rule. Her rule is doubly due to effects of the fall. But rule she did–and with blessing.


Yes, she did rule but the fact that God interrupted His order is no license for His people to interrupt His order by doing something that violates His revealed will as articulated so well by Tim Bayly in his appeal to creation order. If God wants, according to His eternal counsels, a female magistrate (Deborah) or pastor or head of the home (Lydia) let Him do it. All because God raised up Deborah doesn’t mean that we can now vote for female magistrates. There are a good number of dots that have to be connected before we can find some kind of parallel between God violating His creation order and God’s people violating God’s creation order.


Beyond the issue of such clear exceptions to the biblical standard of male authority, there are areas where we might need to discuss whether a position entails the kind of authority Scripture reserves for men. Does every female university professor rule over men? Does every female crossing guard rule over male drivers?


I haven’t seen any clear exceptions except the exceptions that God makes for Himself.

These problems we are having with this issue finds themselves being reduced if we put this in a biblical setting. In the times of Moses or the times of Christ where were women normatively ruling over men in ways that were not exceptions as created and granted by God? Where we find those exceptions is where we should place our exceptions.


The only kind of logic that has a ready answer for every conceivable situation is the logic: 1) of the Pharisee, or; 2) of the rebel.


I don’t have a “ready answer” for every conceivable situation but I believe that there is an reasonable answer that can be eventually found for every conceivable situation.

To the law and to the testimony.

Am I a Pharisee or a Rebel?