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Christ and Culture, Round 3: Doug Wilson

This marks the beginning of the third and final round of our Christ and Culture series. We have sought to bring together several different perspectives on the subject and today we share the final remarks from Doug Wilson. Mr. Wilson is pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, and faculty member at New Saint Andrews College.

Participants: ,


Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.

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Chris E

9 years ago

I’ll re-iterate my comments from the last post:

It occurs to me that one reading of his comments would render him more charismatic than the charismatics – he seems to be saying that the reasons that we can’t conceive of ‘christian car mechanics’ or ‘christian architecture’ or ‘a mature Christian culture’ is essentially because Christian understanding hasn’t progressed that far – in which case he seems to posit a continuing stream of fresh revelation that have a redemptive purpose.

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t say it is special revelation in any way, but a progressive understanding of Christian truth. Take for an example covenant theology. Though the reformed take it as thoroughly biblical, it was a nascent system of doctrine as recently as 500 years ago and has developed much in [relatively] recent history. However, your point about this knowledge’s redemptive function is something worth considering.

Chris

9 years ago

So if Doug Wilson is right about everyone who does not affirm a non-2K “Christendom” (i.e., theocracy) is out of sync with the very first Reformed confessions, then who most deserves the title of “Repristinationist”: R. Scott Clark or Doug Wilson?

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

It is interesting how the American Presbyterians altered the Westminster Standards. I’m of the conviction that it was for the better.

Chris Caughey

9 years ago

I absolutely agree, Camden. But that assumes that a General Assembly (or, for continentals, Synod) can revisit the question “What do we believe the Bible teaches about topic X?” and that they could actually change the Confession/Catechism(s) if necessary.

I’m not sure that presbyters/delegates today have the will to do anything like that. Certainly, some give lip service to the idea of writing new confessional documents. But would anyone really dispute that the prevailing mentality among presbyters/delegates is that neither the Westminster Standards, nor the 3 Forms contain anything that is SO esoteric that we shouldn’t be confessing it? In other words: we should draft new confessional documents, but there is nothing wrong with the ones we have, because if there were, we wouldn’t subscribe them.

Camden, do you believe that the civil government of any place and/or any time, outside of OT Israel, actually has the divine mandate to protect the Church? I can’t find any biblical support for that idea. I grant that while Calvin was no theonomist, theocracy was still the environment in which 16th and 17th century Europeans lived. Why is it so horrible to say that the Reformers were wrong about theocracy? We don’t think it was wrong for the Reformers to take some parts of Augustine’s thought and leave others.

That is just one example. I think there ought to be rigorous, exegetical debate on the floor of GA/Synod about these kinds of things. Instead, the stock phrase is, “The Confession says…” Well, yes it does. But is it possible that we have misunderstood what the Bible teaches on that point?

Tim H.

9 years ago

For what it’s worth, T. David Gordon has compiled a list of quotations under his heading “Theonomy Not Reformed”:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.tdgordon.net/theology/theonomy_orthodox_view.doc

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