(New) I’ve always wanted to ask Doug Wilson…

Do you have a question that you’d like to ask Pastor Wilson? If so, we’d love to hear it. While we don’t anticipate being able to get to them all, we’ll grab selected questions each week and see what he has to say. The more your question asks for principals (rather than situation specific advice), the more helpful it will be to a broad audience and therefore the more likely we are to throw it at Doug. So go ahead, ask by submitting a comment to this post (and feel free to leave the contact info blank – it is not required)…

 

52 Comments

  1. Dane Wilson says:

    (Re-posting a failed ask we received on the last Ask Doug post)

    I’m looking for Biblical wisdom on living with folks / friends who have left orthodoxy or left Christ altogether. That is, wisdom on living in this messy modern world, where America is secularising so quickly.

    Specifically, as a father and a husband, I’m trying to work out — when is it ok to break bread together, use a house as a rest stop on a road trip, continue friendly email communication, etc. with a wandering or lost friend or when should we be drawing the wagons re heresy?

    Three (of many) examples (if you do answer, please don’t include these specific details):
    a) husband and wife with whom I was very close friends, where she has since became a priest in an Episcopal church, and he actively teaches in Barth’s tradition, discrediting the inerrancy of Scripture and asserting the divorce of truth and fact.
    b) husband and wife with whom both my wife and I were very close friends, where both have become Eastern Orthodox, and given up on some very basic tenets of our reformed faith.
    c) a male friend who admitted to struggling with homosexuality years ago, and has since given up the struggle and is living openly as a homosexual, and left Christ because of it.

    One more thing – in all of these cases, we’ve been clear about what we believe to be true – trying to do it in a loving way. But the question remains — what kind of interactions with such folks are wrong, if any?

    On a recent trip, we stayed the night with the folks in example b, but deliberately didn’t stay the night with the folks in a, b/c of the issue with teaching something false.

  2. Zachary Kamin says:

    I was introduced to Pornography When I was extremely young, between 4-6
    I was in bondage to it from 10yo-18yo
    The Lord freed me from it when I was regenerated at 18
    I recent in the past 3 years have gotten married and soon after this Pornography returned.
    The Lord has put us in an EPC congregation that is constantly reminding me of the Gospel and calling me out privately about this issue.
    my wife is aware, and is understandable distraught about the whole thing.
    we have a Daughter and another daughter due in May.
    I am terrified of the type of husband I have become and terrified of the type of Father I will become if this continues.
    I have read your book on Fidelity and Am curious if I should abstain from The Communion till This Habitual sin is out of my life?

    So the question is, Should I Abstain my self from taking communion due to being Sexually Unchasten.

  3. Kyle P says:

    Would you be willing to discuss Matthew 24:31 and I Thessalonians 4:17? Are they describing the same event or a different one?

  4. Tom Burton says:

    I am a Christian as is my wife, and we are Doctrines of Grace, monotheistic in our orientation.

    One of our children is not walking with the Lord, and is not professing faith. In praying for him, we often wonder if there is any Biblical ground or promise regarding his salvation. In other words as we pray asking for sovereign grace to reach him (we are content to pray this way), is there additional promises for his soul we can “fight the good fight to believe” on his behalf?

  5. Jacob says:

    John Piper in his book “Let the Nations be Glad” emphasizes the need of reaching unreached people groups. Although I agree that unreached people need to be reached because they aren’t reached, I’ve seen this applied in such a way that makes God’s mission seem like a check list. God is checking off nations – Goths check, Saxons check and so on. So, a whole slew of questions: Is this the case? How much does eschatology play in your perception of missions? If a local church is not actively involved in reaching (through missionaries, money, prayer) “unreached people groups” are they in sin? What is the local church’s role in raising up and sending out missionaries? Should the American church refocus from recovering the ruins of America to reaching nations that haven’t ever heard the gospel?

    • Jacob says:

      I would highly appreciate hearing your input on this. Our church is currently wrestling through these questions.

  6. Nick says:

    Ask Doug: How do I explain to someone the objectivity of beauty? Can you lay out some of the arguments for that belief? And are any books helpful on this subject that you can recommend?

  7. Andrew Donth says:

    First off, thank you for bringing this back. I glean so much wisdom from Doug and have missed them. My question is this: we are a young church that has seen great growth within it’s first 6 years. Though we are growing in the age and diversity of our congregants we still tend to have younger crowd. Couple that with the fact that our church (like most) have more women than men we end up with many single women. The issue is that many of them struggle to open up and feel cared for by the elders in our church due to the male/female relationship. Many of the elders wive’s reach out but there is only so much they can do being wives and mothers themselves and the fact that they did not sign up to be elders. What would you recommend improving on to care for all the women (but especially our women without husbands) well?

  8. Bill Peacock says:

    How does a Christian respond to the wisdom of the world in the arenas of science, public policy, the arts, or biblical criticism? While it is clear that unbelievers can know a great deal about the world through common grace, can they actually have wisdom? While they can produce works that contain beauty and truth, will they always fall short of the work of a Christian of equal talent or skill because they don’t know He who is Truth and Beauty? Should Christians always be skeptical of the wisdom of the world because the world is ultimately opposed to and seeking the destruction of He is true and beautiful?

  9. Ward says:

    I’ve recently read Jordan Cooper’s “The Great Divide”, regarding the differences between Lutheran and Reformed theology. One interesting, and I must admit, rather convincing critique he offers of many, at least modern voices, in the Reformed camp is that we are often admonished to examine ourselves on the basis of our works as a ground of our assurance, whereas the Lutheran is told to look to Christ as He is presented in the sacraments for assurance. I know this isn’t entirely fair or exhaustively accurate, but as a generalization it does seem to cast a net that does catch a fair few broadly reformed fish. My question is this: Where does the christian look for assurance that he is, indeed, among the elect?

    A secondary question would be, “Have you read Cooper’s book, and, if so, what did you think of it?”

  10. Rick says:

    Would you consider preaching a sermon series on the Book of Job?

  11. Mark Lickliter says:

    What is discipleship in the CREC or according to Reformed folks in general? I can’t find any books written from a Reformed perspective addressing this issue. Why? Us Reformed folks have seemed to de-emphasize personal relationship and spiritual disciplines in favor of composing a robust doctrine of the Church, but have personal piety, spiritual disciplines and discipleship fallen by the wayside?

  12. Brandon says:

    I’ve often been fascinated with the lessons and parallels seen in the lives of the Kings of Israel/Judah. However, there is one particular king who perplexes me–Josiah. In many ways, I imagine that our times for the USA are similar to what Judah must have been like at that time. His courage and strength in what was probably a very hostile environment is inspiring, but I must confess, I’m not sure of what to make about his death, particularly since there are so many parallels between his death and Ahab’s death. Did Josiah fail by not heeding the warning from the Egyptian king? Why would God speak through pharaoh–is this because the priests/Levites were corrupted? What can we learn from Josiah’s life in recognizing where he misstepped so that we might avoid the same pitfall?

  13. Andrew Roggow says:

    You have previously said that theology has fingers and toes. It acts. It is not just ideas. When evaluating the theology of a church is it fair to say then, that the actions of the church are a better “dipstick” than the doctrines which they formally adhere to? For example, would you rather join a church that was formally Arminian but acted Calvinistic? Or would you still prefer to join the church that was formally Calvinistic? What about a church that was formally premillennial but in music, teaching, preaching, and spreading the gospel behaved more like a postmillennial?

  14. Nathanael says:

    I’m a pastor at a small church in Canada. After just over 3 years at the church I’m starting to introduce preterist/post millennial theology and it’s causing some (mostly pretrib dispensational premils) to leave… do you have any advice for pastors who are trying to teach an optimistic eschatology to their churches where dispensational pessimism runs deep?

  15. Laura says:

    Is there a problem with a young Christian husband to go and get massages?

  16. n/a says:

    What is your take on Romans 11 and whether or not the nation of Israel is waiting to see promises fulfilled?

  17. William Duff says:

    Pastor Wilson,

    I can’t remember which sermon it was (it’s in a lot them actually), in which you were telling American Christians to stop bowing to the idol of statism and to stop holding their hands out to this idol aka the federal government.

    Would taking out an FHA mortgage be an example of something Christians should not be doing?

    I ask because I’m not entirely sure how it works, but it seems to me that it goes something like this:

    1. A subprime borrower, such as myself, applies for a loan.
    2. The lender would not make the loan to me under normal circumstances.
    3. The government promises to back the loan should I default.
    4. Lender makes the loan knowing that the government will mug the taxpayers and take care of the lender when I default.

    Sounds like slight of hand in which Joe Taxpayer has his pocket picked by Uncle Sam, but I don’t feel bad about it, because I don’t actually see it happen.

    To really get down to it, my wife and I would like to buy a home, but more than that we want to do the right thing. Your opinion on the matter would be highly regarded.

    Thanks,
    Will

  18. TRH says:

    Doug,

    Christians generally do not work on Sunday (aside from ‘ox in the ditch’ necessities). But what do you think about doing things that cause others to work on Sunday like going out to eat, gassing up your car, buying groceries, etc. If nobody patronized these businesses, then the employees could enjoy their Sabbath without work like many of the rest of us do.

  19. Job says:

    While we know all Christians receive a new body, my question is in regards to children, infants and babies who die in the womb:

    What does the population of Heaven look like in the eternal state?
    My default is to think of Heaven being adults and able bodied people. Will there be infants, children, elderly?
    When someone loses a child and they see them and know them, do they see them as they were, meaning if they died at 3 will they be three years old in eternity? What does this mean for infants who die in the womb?

  20. Gordon says:

    I am listening to the series “Saviour of the World” and am delighted with the insights and perspective I am gaining. Can you give me some resources , including academic level resources, to continue study and reading further along this line?

  21. Roger says:

    Doug,

    What is appropriate attire for church? Should it vary on a culture-by-culture basis?

  22. Ellen says:

    Do you agree with the WCF Chapter 23, Paragraph 3, ‘Of the Civil Magistrate’. If so, what would free speech look like under such a magistrate? And if not, where and why do you differ? Thank you.

  23. Duane Triplet says:

    Will the United States, in the future, need to break apart into smaller nation states. People have a right to self-determination. At present, we are living in a one size fits all style democracy and it’s not working.

  24. Tyler says:

    Given this question keeps arising because of Trump’s statements……Pastor Doug, is it ever morally justifiable to conduct torture ( waterboarding keeps being mentioned)?

  25. Jeremy says:

    Do you think that there is too much ambiguity and “broadness” in today’s preaching? When a preacher says something like, “Be assured, if the joy of Christ is not within you, you are not Christ’s.” This can be very troubling to a new Christian (who may be going through a dark night of the soul) or an overly introspective soul. What do you think is the best remedy to this problem?

  26. Aidan McGuire says:

    Are you a Theonomist? If so are you a Christian Reconstructionist? If not, why not?

  27. Jake says:

    What “other name” did CS Lewis have in mind to call Father Time after the destruction of Narnia

  28. Abby says:

    What is your position on bodybuilding and fitness competitions? Can a Christian participate in these activities and still Glorify God?

  29. Mark says:

    Doug,

    What do you think about the organic movement (aka. non GMO food, ‘healthy’ cleaning supplies, etc).

  30. Mark says:

    Are Christians obligated to be conscientious consumers? Should we pay attention to whether our coffee is free trade or our clothes have been made in sweat shoppes? How responsible are we for knowing the affects of our purchases?

  31. Johnnywhiskey says:

    Does the first generation in the desert was saved? If no, how to deal with Hebrew 11.29?

  32. Johnnywhiskey says:

    Can we pray for the destruction of our ennemies as David was doing it? Or we should first pray for their repentance?

  33. Andrew says:

    Pr. Doug,
    What biblical counsel would you give someone who has real difficulty maintaining concentration, whose behavior is attributed to “ADHD” by psychiatrists, but realizes that his behavior is attributed to foolishness and laziness in the Proverbs, and does not really know where to begin in getting a handle on self-discipline, impulse control, or getting a grip on disorganized, sometimes racing thoughts which seem to run ahead of the ability to process them? What counsel would you give for dealing with the underlying sin issues and what counsel would you give concerning the taking of stimulant medication which does help the disorganization/mental racing, but does come with its own set of negative consequences?

  34. Johnnywhiskey says:

    Is armed resistance biblical in some situation?

  35. Johnnywhiskey says:

    Is it biblical at some point to stop pay taxes to the government?

  36. Johnnywhiskey says:

    Can you explain what the word «spiritual» mean? Is there a contracdiction between spiritual and earthly?

  37. Rachel says:

    Can you explain the meaning of Exodus 4:24-26 (and Genesis 17:14) and how they relate to infant baptism in the new covenant? Are Christians who have not baptized their children yet cut off from the covenant somehow?

  38. Jake says:

    I was wondering if you could address the issue of inappropriate content within classic literature. Where does a Christian draw the line? I know that the Bible itself gives us sex scenes and even instances of homosexuality and incest. But what if we are reading something in which immorality is not shown in a negative light? What if the book is more recent, like from the 1940s or 50s? My basic question is: In the attempt to become read-read in classic literature, is it wrong for a Christian to read books with sex-scenes in them?

  39. Nick says:

    What do you think of this definition of the Federal Vision: ” The federal vision is a scheme of salvation by works, both moral and ceremonial, set within the framework of a conditional covenant that depends on the covenant faithfulness and perseverance of the baptized for its efficacy and for their final justification.” – Dewey Roberts

  40. Tyler says:

    Pastor Doug,
    could you summarize your fundamental reasons why YOU are not going to vote for Trump. I assume then you do not want Christians to vote for him either? I hear many people say they are going to vote for him because of the supreme court issue. What do you make of that?

    Thank you

  41. Will says:

    What do you think of the American Redoubt concept? Is it a good idea for christians to start doomsday prepping off grid in the mountains?

  42. Elizabeth says:

    Ask Doug question: Can you describe what situational ethics means from a biblical perspective,giving an example on how it plays out in our culture today?

    Thank you,

    Elizabeth Hutchinson
    Thunderberrygrace@gmail.com

  43. Damaris says:

    Pastor Doug,
    Is there any good reason to not tell your wife or husband that someone is trying to seduce you? Here an example: Suppose that a wife’s sister o friend tries to seduce the husband, do you think it may be wise for the husband to confront her and tell another man as a way of accountability, to not create division, or do you think that it would be unfaithful not to tell the wife, even when it hurts her relationship to her sister / friend?

    • Brian Marr says:

      We have put this on Doug’s list of questions to answer, but it might take a while. The husband should tell his wife and his pastor ASAP. Seduction is serious and whatever divisions are created are not as important as the possible division between a husband and a wife.

  44. Jonah Barnes says:

    Do Christian ethics allow for a minister to use violence to protect the congregation under his care?

  45. Jonathan Platt says:

    What is your view of mindfulness?

  46. Sylvia says:

    Hi Pastor Doug,
    My family found out today that the father of a very close family to ours has become apostate.
    (Posted a 3 paragraph apostate letter on Facebook)
    How do we proceed to not abandon him or push him away, but not act as though we approve either?
    Thank you for your time and wisdom!

  47. Pastor Doug,

    I hope you’re doing well. I’ve recently discovered you and I feel like a prospector in the hills who’s found himself a hefty load of the good stuff! I tell all my friends, believing and not, about you. I appreciate your work and wisdom.

    I’ve got two questions. I love movies and am actively pursuing a career in screenwriting. Some of my favorites are Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Spur, O Brother Where Art Thou, and Whiplash. I’m curious what your favorite movie is and why?

    Also, I think that there aren’t enough Christians cranking out quality work in the filmmaking industry. What advice would you give someone who wants to make quality films for the masses but also abide by their Christian principles?

    Thank you for all you do.

    Cheers,

    Z.P. Lovelace

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