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Archive for the ‘Doug Wilson’ Category

Persuasions A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief Wilson

 

Good sketches of what apologetics dialogue from a VanTillian perspective might look like with various kinds of people. I believe we need more books like this that illustrate what apologetics dialogue practically look like. If you enjoy Doug Wilson’s other work you will likely enjoy this one too with his wit and wordsmith ability. Somewhat like C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters and Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, this is a semi-allegorical “vision” of “Evangelists” talking to various kinds of people about the Gospel. For instance, “Evangelist” talks to a feminist, atheist and a New Age follower. I particularly enjoyed “Evangelist’s” discussion with the Reverend Howe, a theologically liberal Minister offended at the Evangelist ‘ignorance’ of modern scholarship. With the evolutionist it was standard Presuppositional argument against a materialistic chance driven worldview. Wilson presents several good illustration for one’s own apologetics encounter; for instance, in regards to the hypocrisy objection against Christianity, Wilson gave the illustration of whether someone still use currency even if there are counterfeit ones out there. Wilson also note how only things that are valuable will be counterfeited since no one makes counterfeit brown paper bag. Surprisingly, Wilson also have a chapter on Evangelist discussion with someone who denies Lordship salvation and is a believer. Here Wilson makes a good point that Lordship does not depend our work but our Work depend upon the objective Lordship of Christ and he further illustrates this truth with the analogy of his fatherly authority over son despite his son’s sin, but it’s also because of Wilson’s fathering his son that give him the authority to discipline his son (70-71). If I am not mistaken this is one of Wilson’s first published work—or at least first published work in Christian apologetics. One can see the growth of Wilson’s apologetics over time. Nevertheless it is a good book that provide sketches of apologetics dialogue.

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Her Hands in Marriage Doug Wilson

Once again Doug Wilson hits a home run with this book. Here is a work that addresses Biblical courtship in the Modern world. The book is filled with Wilson’s insight from Scripture, practical wisdom and instructional humor, and applicable for all who read this whether you are the guy, the girl or the parents involved with Christian courtship. I appreciated Wilson pointing out that courtship takes place with the authority of the daughter’s parents which is the subject of the first chapter. As I have a young daughter at this time, it’s a sobering admonition for my wife and I to consider in our daughter’s future. Here in chapter one Wilson brings some relevant Biblical passages including those from the Old Testament that I’ve never thought about it before. Chapter one alone is worth the price of the book. In the second chapter Wilson addresses the topic of preparing sons for courtship in which the big points I took away from it was to prepare sons by modeling it in the family by the father, teaching on sexual purity and being a gentleman. A plus for his insight on young men and the issue of self-control. The third chapter then focus on preparing daughters for courtship including the discussion of modesty, biblical femininity and parental protection. This is followed by two other chapters on courtship itself and a beautiful allegorical story as an appendix that hallmarks Wilson’s desire to communicate Christian truth through great literature and other literary forms. There is too many good things I’ve learned from this book to share in this review (I’ve read this work together a devotional with my wife and we highlighted so many parts of the book) but he takes the topic of courtship beyond just the guy asking the father’s permission to court his daughter. If more Christians were to read and apply this book, we would see a dramatic turn for the better of Christians and sanctification when it comes to the family and purity rather than the current recreational dating patterned after the World. Excellent work, I highly recommend it and give a five star. It’s a work I plan to re-read in the future or at least thumb through the highlighted portion.

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This is a good work on the biblical use of satire. As always, the author Doug Wilson delivers with wit, wisdom and humor along the way. As it is indicated throughout the book, this work was prompted as a defense against some who charge Doug Wilson and the contributors of Credenda/Agenda with sinning in their use of satire. The book begins by first defining satire, notably it’s four necessarily components (object of attack, vehicle, tone and norm) and making the distinction between Horatian and Juvenalian satire by it’s tone, the former being more subtle and the latter being more biting. Since those who use satire is often attacked as arrogant, this is the subject of Wilson’s second chapter in which he notes the two different standards the world and the Bible has in measuring humility and arrogance. One sees humility as focusing on self, while the other preaches Christ; one sees arrogance as believing you have the truth while the other see arrogance as an attack on God. This is followed by a biblical survey of the use of satire by Jesus, the Old Testament prophets and the Apostle Paul. After this survey, Wilson explores some of the reason why satire is needed and answer some anticipated objections. I thought his explanation of the reasons why American Evangelicalism is an appropriate target of satire when they are unbiblical is worth pondering carefully over. Towards the end of the book Wilson also add some caveat that satire ought to be used carefully and only during certain situations in particularly towards false spiritual leaders and fools. He also mentioned (which I’m glad he did say) that those who love to practice satire on their loved ones ought not to be encouraged to practice this and that such a person is being unbiblical. Overall a good book I recommend, and it should make Christians aware of not assuming Victorian prudish expectations to be the same thing as Christian ethics. I’ve highlighted and written all over my copy of this book as I was reading it–especially the principles given and the witty remarks and illustration. They get my mind fired up to adapt, discover and invent more witty sayings and illustration to make the point more forcibly for use in the pulpit and during evangelism and apologetics.

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I’ve enjoyed this book, it was a fun and informative read. Filled with practical advice for writers (maybe I think they are great because I’ve read very little on writing). I’ve enjoyed Doug Wilson’s other works so I had high hopes with this book to reveal the working of a great writer. Wilson had seven points in the book, which he then breaks down into seven smaller points in a format that he describes as “Seven Russian Dolls.” If you find that clever as I did, you would enjoy other witty sayings Wilson has throughout the book. Practical and helpful advice can also be gleamed throughout the book. I like his advice for writers to be readers, and to read widely. I’ve also enjoyed his encouragement for writers to have a book to take notes of what one reads, or witty phrases one might have thought of, so as to use it for it later. Another source of encouragement for me came from the robust theology that a Christian writer would enjoy from theology proper: Don’t feel that you would run out of good and better things to share if you do not hold back but give it your all: Our good God is infinite and is able to provide even more abundantly. I was very convicted about learning grammar for that has always been a major problem in all that I write. The reason why it was convicting was because communication is an act of love, and Wilson has a good point that we ought to be as clear as possible. Wilson is a masterful communicator and certainly readers will learn something about the art of writing. Even as I was reading this work, as a preacher a lot of what he says is helpful for speaking as well.  For the Christian apologist, this book might be helpful in being more conscious of making the deep contents of theology and apologetics more clear for those whom we serve.

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Here are some links that I found were of interests for those interested in Presuppositional apologetics!

1.) Exchanging Fisticuffs for Gentleness by Doug Wilson (good discussion about doing apologetics before a hostile crowd)

2.) Review on Philosophia Christi of Scott Oliphint’s God with Us by Nate Shannon.

3.)Reformed Forum’s discussion on Logical Positivism with Dr. Lane Tipton

4.) “Atheism is not a Philosophy” a witty piece by Steve Hays.

5.) What One Knows Depends on What There Is: Epistemology Rests on Ontology by Mike Robinson.

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Wow, apparently the whole documentary that I saw on DVD of Doug Wilson debating Christopher Hitchens is now online on youtube for free.

 

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If you have read any of Doug Wilson’s book previously, you would expect his style and wordsmiths to shine through in this work. My expectation was not disappointed. Wilson did a good job tackling this topic of raising up men from a Christian perspective. The work is filled with practical wisdom concerning raising up boys to be men, applications which derive from Scripture. More fascinating to me is Wilson’s attempt to teach on how to even think about raising a boy. The work is written from a Complementarian perspective and thus recognizes the unique differences and difficulties in raising up boys won’t be the same with raising girls (I understand Wilson has also written on that subject). Wilson also grounds his perspective on raising boys to be future men from the position of Calvinism. Wilson ought to be respected for making the conscious attempt to apply his theology to the question of raising up men. Here is perhaps the weakness I find in the book, when it comes to certain things he prescribe to that I disagree with: Padeobaptism, Padeocommunion, sacremental theology and Postmillennialism. However, I think the book has enough food for thought, such as the discussion of “being cool”,the current education system that can cripple and work against young boys, young boys playing war and fighting, etc that are very stimulating and well thought out. I also enjoyed his critique of pop culture which we (and any of our kids) are heavily surrounded by. In my estimation, Wilson’s work reflect the maturity that often cultural fundamentalists lack in understanding the culture around us, and yet he is able to properly critique it beyond the stereotype of “just don’t do ____” without thinking through the whys. I’ve also thought it was the best concise theological effort in grounding manners that boy should have in honoring women that I’ve read. I recommend this book, with the caution of the areas I’ve already highlighted which I disagree with him.

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This work pits New Atheist Christopher Hitchens against Christian pastor Doug Wilson in a debate on the topic of whether Christianity is good for the world.  There are six rounds in the book, not including each of their introduction.  For such a serious and heavy topic, the book is short and concise and yet readers might enjoy this format over a long drawn out debate.  Both Hitchens and Wilson seem to do a good job in stating  their view in a short and concise matter.  Unlike other books that have a debate format, the two author’s personality are wonderful for tackling this topic especially for those who have seen the documentary “Collision.”  Both writers are great wordsmiths and the illustration given to draw analogies of what they are saying are worth buying the book alone.  If readers want to see the combination of wit, humor and profound observation of what a Presuppositional Apologist in action looks like, this is a work worth reading!  I think Van Til and Greg Bahnsen would be proud.

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The folks over at Reformed Forum has an audio podcast review of the Documentary “Collision”

It can be heard here

The documentary itself covers Presuppositionalist (of the Van Tillian presuasion) Doug Wilson and his interaction with atheist Christopher Hitchens

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Great book, this is the third book that Doug Wilson wrote in addressing the New Atheists. This time, Wilson responds to Christopher Hitchen’s work, “God is not Good: How religion poison everything”. In Wilson’s response, he is witty and insightful. In apologetics, attention to detail is important and Wilson has the compacity of analyzing Hitchens. You will be reading this and be laughing. “God is” is a a good source of illustrations for dialogues in apologetics, and a great example of Presuppositional Apologetics applied. Though Wilson is writing this from the perspective of the Van Tillian’s camp, Wilson writes this book without resorting to the typical VanTillian lingo, a breath of fresh air for some and less intimidating for those who might not be as familar with Van Til’s framework. In comparison with the first book Wilson wrote on atheism, “Letter from a Christian Citizen”, in which Wilson responds to the Atheist Sam Harris, I thought this particular work was not just the repetition of a previous book applied to another atheist. Rather, Wilson seem to have taken his literary gift and sore to new heights and original illustrations.

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George Bryson, the director of Calvary Chapel Church Planting Mission, wrote a book several years back against Calvinism called “The Dark Side of Calvinism”. I thought it was funny, that turning to the back of the book, there is an endorsement quote from Doug Wilson of the work. The quote is as follows:

“George Bryson is a very unusual non-Calvinist…His descriptions are fair and accurate, and he clearly knows his subject.”

I started wondering about  what might be missing in the context of the quote, as Doug Wilson himself claims to be a Calvinist.

The original source of Wilson’s comment can be found here: http://credenda.org/issues/10-3meander.php

It turns out that the quote was originally a brief comment by Doug Wilson not about this book (“The Dark Side of Calvinism“), but Bryson’s earlier work, The Five Points of Calvinism: Weighed and Found Wanting.  This quote then is not necessarily an endorsement of The Dark Side of Calvinism itself.

Doug Wilson also wrote:

The first portion of the book, the place where he does all this, is very good. The second, where he turns to refutation, falls in another category.

It does not seem fully honest to use a selected quote from Wilson as an endorsement, when Wilson did not think HALF the book was good, and then that being of another book instead of the one that seem to be “endorsed”.

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In light of yesterday’s entry concerning Driscoll, Song of Solomon and the Scotland sermon in perspective, I thought it was good to address a comment on another blog which states,

I totally agree with you on the need for a biblical theology of sex. It hurts young people and it hurts intimacy in marriage when fundamentalists treat sex as a dirty thing not to be talked about and liberals treat it as a thing of personal conviction without consequence.

Just for therecord, John MacArthur would not fall into the category of fundamentalists talked about, since he made it clear in the beginning of his post on Song of Solomon and Mark Driscoll,

I would be the last to suggest that preachers should totally avoid the topic of sex. Scripture has quite a lot to say about the subject…But the language Scripture employs when dealing with the physical relationship between husband and wife is always careful—often plain, sometimes poetic, usually delicate, frequently muted by euphemisms, and never fully explicit

For this evening’s blog post, it’s important to not just be negatively refuting something but offer something that is positive to address the topic.  I find Doug Wilson’s book to be quite edifying, in the content and the manner he presented the subject.

This book is a breath of fresh air. One of Doug Wilson’s gift is the ability that God has given him to craft his writing in a witty and interesting way. Combine that with the biblical principles Wilson presents, the book proves to be an edifying read, one that is hard to put down. Though it is short in length, it is pack not only with biblical insight but also God-given wisdom of a married couple who has been there, and APPLIED that. A highlight in the book is the theme of the biblical role of husband and wife. It should leave readers with the impression that a good marriage would be hard work, and one that is centered on God according to the blueprint that God has given in His Word. Definitely a recommended resource for couples who are courting and even newly wed. Read it with your partner. I praise God that in His Sovereignty, my Pastor assigned this as a reading in our church’s couple’s meeting!

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