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12 Responses

  1. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Well … in the PNW realm and adjacent regions anyone else spot this?

  2. Michael says:


    Wow…thanks for bringing that to our attention.

  3. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    When the Vice article first hit Wilson seemed to be “aw shucks, whatever, liars will lie”. It didn’t occur to me that Christ Church Moscow would lawyer up with a high profile law firm that specializes in complex defamation cases.

    I’d thought about mentioning it earlier but I did want to see if literally anyone else besides Doug Wilson included it as coverage in the news cycle.

    Having seen how progressive publications ran articles so error-laden I had to carve out time to correct factual errors in every single paragraph of an article Salon ran about Mars Hill I “do” get that many journalistic outlets and journalists are incompetent-to-malicious in covering the topic of religion (in other news will shutter before too long)

    I.e. I get vividly why people with religious convictions would not trust coverage via Vox, Salon, AlterNet, Slate, etc.

    But, on the other other hand, Doug Wilson’s No Quarter November reads like a spiritual cousin to Mark Driscoll’s old Pussified Nation rant as William Wallace II. Even recent books that discuss Driscoll (the largely baleful Oxford University Press book) did nothing to investigate how formative guys like Doug Wilson or Doug Busby were on Driscoll and this despite Mark Driscoll having explicitly named those men as influences.

    It is a bit trippy to see here in 2024 that Wilson has conceded things got bad enough they’ve lawyered up because his initial 2021 response to the Vice piece did not make it seem like he thought anything serious had happened, at least in my reading of that piece from the time at Blog and Mablog.

  4. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    for a brief (for me) summation of what has built up since 2021

  5. Pineapple Head says:

    Moscow is such a beautiful little city. Sad to see it negatively affected by Doug Wilson. The site of St. Andrews College used to be a really great restaurant.

  6. Alan says:

    As a latecomer to Doug Wilson let me just say that he’s about the best Christian troll master alive and his short podcast posts are entertaining. As for what he’s up to, well he isn’t hiding it.

    As for what I fear – probably pain and the hell of aging. But like most of you here I fear the inevitable totalitarianism that has dawned. I just don’t think AT ALL that you perceive the source.

    But of course I’m not suppose to fear such things but, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Gaza show us what hell on earth really looks like.

    So I guess I fear the inevitability of sowing and reaping. The law that never sleeps until the shadow of the cross appears.

    ”He hath not dealt with us after our sins; Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.“
    ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103‬:‭10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

    I definitely fear the LORD.

  7. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Having seen how, to borrow Michael’s term, the DNA of what was once Mars Hill Church came from Driscoll’s open and admitted influence from Doug Wilson I doubt that selling scripts of adulthood (which is what I think Doug Wilson is ultimately doing in this-worldly terms) is finally the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s not that following Jesus doesn’t or won’t influence people to embrace spiritual and social disciplines that will likely lead some to embrace family life, it’s that Wilson seems more a master troll than a competent exegete. I remain unconvinced that the kind of optimillennialism associated with him doesn’t lead him to vocationally troll culture at large.

    To put this another way and to invoke the most twenty-five dollar words for it, if Doug Wilson stakes out that he’s a young earth creationist with a demonology like Merrill Unger’s (and I’ve name-dropped the most significant fundamentalist biblical scholar on that topic whose dissertation was literally called Biblical Demonology) there’s a tension in that stance with embracing a theology of the powers (political and otherwise) that is straight up Walter Wink (exousiology).

    The thing I perceive is that the totalitarian impulse exists across the entire spectra of theology and politics. There are totalitarians on the right but also on the left and even within the center among liberals and conservatives. When people want to dispense with the Electoral College by denouncing it as the creation of racists right up to the point that it might yield them the results they want we’re looking at totalitarians. When people delegitimize electoral outcomes from 2016 and 2020 because the wrong person got inaugurated we’re dealing with a kind of totalitarian impulse.

    This year is the centennial of the Indian Citizenship Act. My dad’s ancestors were not even counted as citizens at all until a century ago. People can be salt and light even if they don’t have the legal rights or status of citizenship and there have been Native American Christians for some time. Fear of totalitarianism can paradoxically go hand in hand with a totalitarian mentalilty. Ellul warned that what propogandists like to do is impute to their political enemies the moves they are themselves preparing to make and take.

    The Lord punished the Israelites when they asked for a king like other nations had by giving them such a king. I was just reading Jacob L Wright on the judicial tenure of Deborah the prophetess and he pointed out the Book of Judges not only doesn’t regard that period as bad, it tells story after story of women like Jael killing Sisera with a tent peg or ann anonymous woman killing a self-selected king with a millstone and Delilah seducing and subduing Samson. The mighty men of valor turn out to be incompetents who are easily deceived and defeated by women. The men who think themselves fit to be kings are shown to be thugs. Barry Webb pointed out in his commentary on The Book of Judges that while Gideon seemed to start off with promise his de facto kingship devolved into conflating the call of the Lord into license to wield his power to settle personal grudges.

    Doug WIlson, the more I read him, comes across like a Gideon. Maybe he was fighting a valorous culture war in his mind at some point but there are Jehus who, as Jacques Ellul put it, may have received a summons from the Lord who transform that summons into license to serve their own interests and call it the Lord’s will.

    That’s not totalitarianism but it doesn’t seem especially praiseworthy to me. As I still live in Seattle I don’t think I have to deal with a binary in which I have to embrace Wilson because I don’t care for Sawant.

  8. Michael says:

    Totalitarianism is coming from the extremes on both sides…it’s folly to ignore either.

    Three years ago, before my heart surgery I had little fear…I was prepared to die.

    I survived…and I’m not sure why.

    The ravages of age on myself and others has taken a toll…I fear the sound of a strong wind now…but I especially fear the loss of autonomy.

    I fear the future my godson will live in…where there is no truth and little opportunity to be truly human.

    I take comfort from my cats and my vision of the eschaton…

  9. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    An older guy told me in 1992 that the two party system had been hijacked by radicals and reactions and he was not afraid to name names by saying that men he regarded as hucksters and demagogues like Jesse Jackson and Pat Buchanan had derailed the possibility of bipartisan collaboration. His warning was that my generation would live to see these kinds of people destroy the possibility of genuine statecraft and effective policy-making and it made him said.

    32 years later … yeah, that friend pretty much called it.

    I know that comment I made was a really long comment but I’ve been thinking a lot about Wilson’s influence on Driscoll in the last ten years and how most writing that purports to attempt to understand Driscoll has pretty literally ignored where Mark continually said he got his ideas about men and women and sexuality and gender. Jennifer McKinney’s Oxford University Press book on Driscoll doesn’t even bother to quote Doug WIlson EXCEPT via Kristen Kobes du Mez. Crawford Gribben made a point of quoting Doug Wilson statements straight from the source. In that specific way I can agree with Doug Wilson that there’s a big difference between a Gribben and the usual academic/liberal presentation on Moscow.

    Having seen marriages from the Mars Hill years fall apart across two decades I remain unconvinced that the cultural mandate/culture war idea that “we” will prevail by outbreeding our enemies is a compelling Christian witness. We’re hitting the 30th anniversary of Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and it can be easy for progressives, for instance, to forget that Noll included progressive evangelicalism within his critique.

    Trolling meme-lordship is not being salt and light whether it’s coming from a Jon Stewart or a Tucker Carlson angle.

    I’m not a parent and I don’t anticipate being one but I hope to write about music at Wenatchee The Hatchet in a way that can show the kids of my relatives and friends (quite a few of whom I met through Mars Hill) could choose (IF they want to) to write sonata forms drawing upon blues, ragtime, jazz and rock vocabulary. Showing that the boundaries erected by partisans of art-religions highbrow and lowbrow are journalistic and scholastic constructions and that in the end these are all the kinds of powers and principalities Christ overcame at the Cross is the direction I have been trying to go in my writing since Mars Hill collapsed. So when I read Doug Wilson’s message continues to be that cultures win culture wars I don’t see him demonstrating through what he actually writes how he really thinks his postmillennialist “theocratic libertarianism” is creating a culture.

    Oh, that Johann Sebastian Bach had been a real postmillennialist rather than the usual amillennialist confessional Lutheran with literally autocratic political sympathies that he was! A legacy from the Cold War I have wrestled with is what Christian apologetics writers have called “ideas have consequences”. There’s a Marxist variation of this, too, which was how Adorno contended that American popular song and dance music wasn’t even really art (later paradoxically and ironically taken up and refined by the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton). If you have the wrong ideas you are automatically not making art. Hayao Miyazaki went from being a Marxist to a pantheist and I have never endorsed either metaphysic but I still admire him as a filmmaker, storyteller and artist. Within the Reformed tradition (and others) there’s this idea of common grace and that through the created order (nature) people can know things about the Lord whether they know Him or not. Through generations of Cold War polemic it seems too many Christians have lost or abandoned this aspect of Christian tradition at the level of popular books (I’m not talking about Anglicans like David Brown or Gavin Hopps or even Jeremy Begbie, still less about people in the Dutch Reformed tradition like Rookmaaker, Wolterstorff or Gerardus van der Leeuw).

    It’s one thing to troll the “woke joke folks” who object that much of what passes for “civilization” was defined by and founded upon white supremacist ideas and it’s another thing altogether to recalibrate the purportedly fixed traditions toward new humane and humanistic ends. After decades of reading music history and theory my sense is that what we have too much of is a propensity to read history through aetiological myths, specifically that the results of the long 19th century of European arts was the creation of “the greatest cultural heritage the world has ever known” on the one hand and that everything about the world we live in over last five centuries was and is predicated on self-serving white supremacist impulses. These aetiological scholastic supermyths both fail to give us new options moving foward. Diagnosing the demons that dominate the thought lives of worldly empires has its place. I am still going through my 85 book reading list on exorcism, spiritual warfare, diabology and 2nd Temple Jewish apocalyptic, but diagnosing who is controlled by what demons (whether they are defined by Christian fundamentalists or Marxists assessing the influence of the demon/power/principality of global capital) or even Afro-pessimists describing what whiteness does to blackness) is not the same thing as being salt and light. Adolph Reed Jr has complained with some cause that leftists can fixate on presenting the racist history of the United States and forget precedents of inter-racial collaboration.

    Not even Doug Wilson thinks it’s bad when inter-racial marriages happen and flourish, though many of the writers who take aim at him might not realize this. But he does have a self-created problem in that for any time he invokes Wilburforce as a hero he’s also got his open admiration for R. L. Dabney. If he weren’t so prone to poisoning the well by indicating a Tim Keller has capitulated to worldly thought by being an old earth creationist, for instance, he might discover that Christians have had more room to differ on those issues than he allows for. It might be a crowning irony that it was through guys like Tim Keller that Dutch Reformed thought gained more traction in the U.S. it’s just annoying to me that North Americans latched on to what they think they can get in political theology from the Dutch Reformed tradition more than they seem eager to learn from the wealth of theological aesthetic reflection available in that tradition.

    It can be too easy to gravitate toward one simplistic narrative or another. Some people I knew from the Mars Hill years have gone more true blue than I have and one of them mentioned that he noticed the PNW seemed really white “and then I found out why”. Sigh … yes, Oregon was founded by white supremacist separatists and blacks were denied citizenship in its constitution but, as a friend of mine noted, Centralia was founded by a black man. The trouble is that both traditions of racial separatism and collaboration flourish in the Pacific Northwest. I exist because a Native American man married a white woman, the kind of thing that was going on for centuries in this region. Our history is no more but also no less messy than anywhere else.

    THe older I get the more persuaded I am that the path of the trolling meme-lord, whether it’s a Doug Wilson or a Jon Stewart, is finally not a path of wisdom. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones warned back in his day that too many Brits thought they were Christians simply because they were not communists but there were two fatal missteps in this. The first being that the capitalist is as much a sinner needing Christ as the communist and the communist is as much given the offer of salvation through Christ as the capitalist and there’s no reason to surmise the capitalist is “right” simply by using Jesus to underwrite British capitalism. It was from Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, if memory serves. It stuck with me.

    On paper Doug Wilson would agree. In practice … I wonder … .

    On paper Doug WIlson affirms that inter-racial marriages are great and maybe in practice, but it does create problems for him that he keeps lionizing the obviously white supremacist R. L. Dabney on the one hand while poisoning the wells if someone like Eric Mason or other black preachers attempt to take critical race theory seriously. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander but it’s not clear to me that Doug Wilson has really reconciled himself to this reality. That blue state writers and progressives have done to him what he has done to others may be something he gets but lawyering up with Clare Locke LLP has me wondering about that.

    I guess we’ll see what happens next. I’m hardly eager to endorse a book just because Doug Wilson doesn’t like it. 🙂

  10. LInn says:


    I find DW abhorrent, if only because of the way he has handled sexual abuse among his own church members (including a teacher who groomed a minor and a relative who physically abused his wife-you can look those up at Julie Roys).

    I have found that some of the “alternative ” news sources you cited are actually give good coverage of the problems of evangelicaldom because they are not afraid the ask to the hard questions directly and honestly. Vice, for example, holds no punches and I found their article on Wilson accurate, especially considering other articles I read about him from several different sources. At some point I believe that Doug Wilson will cycle out (just like Driscoll did), but the amount of damage done may take years to repair, if it can ever be repaired this side of heaven.

  11. bob1 says:

    I found this to be very inspiring. There’s a Black Christian radio station
    in my vicinity. I’m constantly amazed by the joy and fervor shown by
    the preachers and their shows.

    Biden praises Black churches and says the world would be a different place without their example

  12. Idahoan says:

    Wilson is far from alone among church leaders in wanting to sue his critics. He has spelled out, though, over 9 years ago, his reasons which would make this not just biblically allowed, but commanded. Since this is from an archive, I’ll quote the whole article, from the Mablog of 10/31/2015:
    “In a fallen world like ours, every community must have defenses. Every flock of sheep must have shepherds willing to fight. Every nation must have an army and navy. Every town needs a police force. A church that never disciplines has AIDS. It has no functioning immune system. Churches without discipline cannot fight off the leprosy of heresy or the cancer of immorality.

    So when a church disciplines, it is responding to immorality or false teaching within the ranks. But there are also times when the opposition tries to seize the high ground, and when this happens the elders and pastors find themselves accused. The trick is to defend the ministry without becoming personally defensive.

    Have you ever wondered why the apostle Paul had to defend himself so much? He did this, not because he had an extraordinarily prickly personality, but rather because he was faithful to the message of free grace, which means that he was attacked all the time. And when he was attacked in this way, he never hesitated to defend his ministry through defending himself. To give a complete list of examples would be overwhelming, but the combative apostle does give us a model to follow.

    Jesus tells us that when we are struck on one cheek, we are to turn the other. The apostle Paul teaches us to punch back twice as hard. Furthermore, there is no contradiction. If there is apparent contradiction, we are not to try to resolve it through ignoring half of the evidence.

    “And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just” (“And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just” (Rom. 3:8). “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works” (2 Tim. 4:14). “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:13).

    Given the corruption of the times, it is not surprising that some churches are being attacked. The marvel is why more are not being attacked. Another marvel is why more churches are not responding the way the Scriptures instruct.“
    Personally, I fail to understand the scriptures he quotes as instructing churches to respond by punching back twice as hard — is this due to my biblical illiteracy, perhaps? It’s also likely Wilson has added nuance in the subsequent years, which I’d likely fail to understand were I to read it.

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