Let me further clarify the challenge for supporters of Doug's reasoning. Not only is the burden to show a logical, causal or biblical connection between corporate repentance and cultural surrender, one must additionally overcome the blindingly obvious reductio ad absurdum to the thesis.One of the things TBR seems to miss is that I am not so sure the Jones/Wilson essay actually makes a coherent point, but at the same time we should address our criticism to what Jones/Wilson have actually said and not a caricature of what they have said.
Another of the things that the Banty one seems to miss is that Wilson is not calling for cultural surrender. I really have no idea how he makes the connection that “upholding marriage to the biblical standard inside the church and repenting from ungodly views of marriage and parenting” translates into “giving up to the prevailing culture.” He tries to make that connection by saying that Wilson’s position that we should let secular authorities do whatever it is they do rather than force them (by political means one has to hope) to do what the church is not actually doing equals surrender, but this view ignores what Wilson is actually calling the church to do in fact.
What Wilson is actually calling the church to do – by his view of the covenant – is to end the surrender that the church is habitually practicing by ending its reliance on secular means to accomplish spiritual ends. When the church gives over its right and responsibility to call to repentance and to preach the Gospel and to reconcile men to God through that Gospel, the church has surrendered in a way that, apparently, TBR cannot comprehend.
Now here’s the real good part:
If Doug's argument logically follows, then we must, of logical necessity, reason in this fashion:I would tell you, Rooster, that I think that Wilson would argue that abortion is also a failure of fathering and husbanding, not of a failure to “mothering” – but I’ll leave that up to Wilson to correct you if he is reading.
Abortion is a failure of Christian "mothering." The culture's sin is our sin. We must repent. Therefore, we should not support those who want to pass laws against abortion.
However, to say this is also to say that Wilson’s solution is not merely to curl up in a sanctified fetal position and suck one’s holy thumb. Wilson’s solution to abortion (applying the argument he has already made to this hypothetical) is (cue the choir, please) biblical, godly family models which obey God’s commands for sexual activity and parenting, starting with a husband and father who seeks Christ-likeness. The question Wilson is addressing is that the church should not seek to get from the secular government what it will not do for itself.
This issue is underscored pretty intensely in your next example:
Theft is a failure of Christians not practicing or teaching respect for private property (8th Commandment). The culture's sin is our sin. We must repent. Therefore, we should not support those who want to prosecute and punish thieves.The really crazy thing is that you cannot make the case for “Christians not practicing or teaching respect for private property (8th Commandment)” – because even in the most informal churches, when someone is caught stealing he is exposed and disciplined. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if Wilson were reading your blog and responding to your post, he’d tell you, “Rooster, if the church took divorce and adultery as seriously as it takes pilfering from the poor box, the definition of marriage would not be in question and the divorce rate inside the church would heap hot coals on the heads of secularists who were trying to destroy God’s institution of the family.”
But even if Pastor Wilson would not say that (he might have a more pithy comeback), you cannot make the case that Christians by-and-large are disrespectful of private property or are thieves. See: Wilson’s case regarding homosexuality as a curse hinges on the fact – and it is a fact of statistics and census – that Christian families fail at the same catastrophic rate that non-Christian families fail, and homosexuality is afflicting the church at the same rate that it is afflicting the secular world. For you, your “logic” here has to overcome the fact that Christian discipleship has been proven to lower the likelihood of criminal acts in the first place, and lowers the recitivism rate of criminals over the long-term.
Somehow the church has ownership of property down pat. Thus the real-life underpinnings of your “logic” looks more like the chasm between two peaks, not a bridge.
Premarital sex is a failure of Christian parenting. The culture's sin is our sin. We must repent. Therefore, we should not support those who desire to curtail and prevent premarital sex in our social order.When you have to give up all the facts to try to make a glib remark, you ought to go back to the drawing board. It is exactly Wilson’s point that the church’s job is to influence apart from legislation. When you have to go from “Wilson says we should not opposed same-sex marriage legislation” to “Wilson says we should stop bringing up our children in a godly manner,” you have not only gone into far left field but you have actually run through the fence and find yourself in the parking lot looking for your car.
BTW, premarital sex is in fact contributed to by a failure of Christian parenting. That’s not the only cause (although in the world you are painting to make you point, you might only be seeking one cause), but it is certainly a major contributing factor – and again, we can go to the sociological studies which prove out that “girls who do” are girls who have been under-parented by their fathers, but that would assume you are open to taking established facts and working them into your world view.
Drug abuse is a failure of Christian practice and teaching about contentment. We must repent. The culture's sin is our sin. Therefore, we should not support anti-drug laws.If drug use is as prevalent among Christians as it is among the general population, you can then start your organ and prod the monkey to dance.
The reductio can be overcome if - and only if - A) homosexual "marriage" is a special case (please outline the reasons why), or B) one wishes to affirm the above arguments.They are, in fact, all bunk – but not only as stand-alones. They make no impact on Wilson’s original argument and exhortation because none of them approach the foundations of Wilson’s argument or the conclusions that Wilson draws.
But I think they're all bunk.