Let Doug Wilson be Doug Wilson

July 18, 2012

It is usually John Piper who blurts out some nonsensical slip of the pen and the whole darned blogosphere is rocking. This time, it is that “controversial and colorful” Doug Wilson that  has branched out into relationship analysis. It is all about the newest and steamiest romance novel 50 Shades of Grey. Yes, everybody is worked up about a romance novel. Let me add that this is not the kind of reading material that should fall into the hands of adolescents.

Well, I do have adult friends who have read the book in questions, but the class I am taking on exegetical tools takes up so much personal time that there is none left – even for spanking stories! I must add that, when they publish a romantic novel about pirates or cowboys, exegetical tools will go straight out the window.

Is it possible that the same kind of people who operate radio stations also run the Gospel Coalition blog. What other excuse could there be for a peculiar over-reaching need to be “hip.” Yes guys! We know you keep up. Yes, you are on the cutting edge. Every seminarian and mega-church staffer should be devoutly reading every word you publish every single day.

Scot McKnight’s excellent and always reliable Jesus Creed blog gives quite a bit of play to Wilson’s poorly conceived opinions. This will have to be on of the very rate occasions when I think Dr. McKnight is very mistaken. Gospel Coalition should not remove Wilson’s post. A lengthy background as a civil libertarian informs me that terrible ideas demand to be heard. This is an important part of the social mechanism for figuring out what is “normal.” In this sense, Doug Wilson’s mangled and misguided handling of a delicate subject is a necessary contribution to the conversation.

Doug Wilson is a brother in Christ, and he deserves to be treated with some consideration. He seems not to understand the ability of words to do great harm or good. We know that God spoke the world into existence. We know that belief comes by hearing the spoken word. God’s law demands truth. The language we use matters a lot. This is a lesson I am still learning, so, if Doug Wilson is to be stoned, somebody else will have to toss out the first bounder.

The language of Wilson’s commentary is troubling. While men and women who take Scripture as an authority attempt to comprehend and successfully live within the notion of male headship, we also understand that, since Jesus has come into the world, things are changing. Now that Christians are dead to sin and alive in Christ, the ill effects of the fall are less prevalent. Led by the Holy Spirit, we have a new life in Christ. Christian men and women should seek to end the competition that has beset us since being evicted from the garden. It should hardly be necessary to comment further on Ephesians 5:22-33.

Yes, wives should submit to their husbands. Paul also points to the husband’s love being patterned after the deepest love Christ had for his church. It is a love that submits to death so that the church may be presented as a beautiful bride. Remember that our Savior is fully human and fully divine. He endured a horrible too real human death. That hardly lends itself to images of Wilson’s “conqueror.” Christ’s death is a total submission to the eternal plan of salvation.

It’s pretty deep. Paul says the mystery is profound, Human relationships may not be easily simplified or reduced to any outdated human code.


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