Debunking Doug Wilson

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by bookslover, Mar 9, 2019.

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  1. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    A friend of mine recently told me he thinks Doug Wilson has renounced the Federal Vision theology. I told him that I'm skeptical of that.

    Can anyone recommend a good book or article demonstrating that Wilson has not, in fact, renounced the FV?
  2. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Doug Wilson hasn't renounced anything that he has taught. Here is the blog post that your friend may be confused about:

    Wilson simply isn't going to use the term "Federal Vision" to describe his views anymore because of the different meanings of the term and various doctrines and practices associated with the term that Wilson doesn't own.

    Here's a key portion of the post:
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  3. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Thanks, Tyler. Confirms my suspicions. He still subscribes to Federal Vision views, but you have to read his statement very carefully (avoiding all the slippery language) to understand that. I'll recommend it to my friend.
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    He hasn't. He saw that Leithart and Jordan were going in bizarre areas. He also saw that if he were going to get in on that big Baptist money, he couldn't be associated with FV.

    Specifically, he hasn't apologized for the lives and ministries damaged and churches split because of his teaching.
  5. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    This has become a major red flag in my experience. I used to believe I had to refute a specific philosophical point to be able to question someone's position. I've discovered how critical a person's relationships can be. When there is no fruit in his life, no peace and gentleness, you have at best a barren tree and possibly worse. The destruction gathers over time and can look like the path of a tornado if left to go too long.
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  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    That's an important point when dealing with FVers (or those that say they aren't but really are). You need to make them define every word that they use, since they may have their own secret meaning for the word, and not be using it as it is commonly understood.
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    They are Clintonesque (what do you mean by "is") with the same motivation, to hide the plain truth.
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  8. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    The slap happy use of terminology did more damage than anything. I'm one of the few examples of where the FV/NPP was a bridge from Rome to Geneva and not the other way around.

    Wilson is one of those people I'd like to have an hour with personally in a room. I don't think I can get the info I need to come down definitively on him one way or another. James White, Sye Ten Bruggencate, John Piper, RC Sproul and Jeff Durbin are all friends of Wilson and are rock solid on Justification. They are not soft on RCism. So ultimately I don't know as far as that is concerned. Now his pastoral decision making and overall track record is something else altogether.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  9. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    When it comes to the Federal Vision, Doug Wilson will tell you that he smoked, but he did not inhale. :detective:
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  10. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    It can work both ways. I used the language of "nourishment" in the Lord's Supper when asking a question on the Heidelblog once and I was labeled FV.
  11. Grumman Tomcat

    Grumman Tomcat Puritan Board Freshman

    FV is an onion with the 'Two Tiered election'. He's now trying to wrap it in Christmas paper by not using the FV name. How did he come up with this? It's not even supported by scripture.

    He's saying his beliefs are pretty much the same, he's just relinquishing the name.
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    And they all categorically disagree with Wilson on this point. (Can't say about Bruggencate. His response to everything is, "How do you know?").
  13. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Lol. Ten Bruggencate is solid on it as I’ve heard him say as much.
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Which RC?

    Junior is known for his issues - both theological and otherwise.
  15. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Senior in this case though now that you mention it the friendship with senior might have been because of junior.
  16. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    You should revisit your old opinion. If you disagree with Doug Wilson on a specific position you should know why and how to do so. That's what you would want, that's what you ought to offer.

    As far as your judgment of Wilson's relationships and fruit of his ministry you're wrong. Look at his family and their work. Look at his church. Look at the schools. Take into account the books published, the blog, and the various media (podcasts, videos, etc.).

    To throw the entirety of a man's work out because we disagree on a single issue that rarely comes up is silly. Let's have this board work the same way regarding baptism and see where we find ourselves.
  17. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    All of these things are chaff and don't take into account the serious controversies and scandals that have arisen in his Moscow compound. He's a self-ordained cult leader. Then you have the controversies and damage done and continuing to be done in numerous other orthodox churches by his false teachings which are substantial.

    Additionally, even if it was just one issue, that issue is the article by which the church stands or falls, to quote Luther. That is enough. But it is not just one issue, it is a large complex of important issues we disagree (to put it mildly) with. Covenant theology, ecclesiology, sacraments, law/gospel distinction, worship, etc. He was a signatory of the FV statement and still has not retracted it, though he has tried to sidestep some of the nomenclature. Who cares if he might have some decent materials on marriage and homeschooling? If anything he is the worst of all of the FV'ers because he tries to play both sides of the controversy. The others are clear about their deviations from Protestantism, he hides and disguises his. He is a wolf and perhaps the most dangerous figure in ostensibly Reformed Protestantism.
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  18. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    I didn't expect to sway anyone on a board where Wilson has been damned outright before (Board Rule 3a). What I don't care for is when it's not based on a specific teaching but just because we don't like him and then acting like he's never done anything good. I was responding to a specific post, which I quoted above.

    Which of these other important issues do you have agreement with among even the reformed on this board concerning "ecclesiology, sacraments, law/gospel distinction, worship..."?

    He's a cult leader? Really?

    There aren't many in the reformed community who have done as much as Doug Wilson. (Like him or hate him, his influence is far reaching.) Maybe a little charity could be considered?
  19. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    Considering all of those issues are confessional ones (and with sacraments I'm not talking about the credo/paedo distinction) and this is a confessional board, hopefully we have full agreement on them against Wilson. I'm still not sure what "good" he's done. At best he has some books on marriage, schooling, etc. that are themselves not free from controversy and contain advice better found elsewhere and at worst are trap doors into his truly harmful doctrines. N.T. Wright has defended the resurrection too. That's great, but he's still a man whose teachings I would recommend men stay far away from.

    Yes, if you've read anything about his operations in Moscow, he comes off very much like a cult leader. It's a cult of personality run by a man who was not ordained by any church, that strongarms dissent, covers up issues of abuse and scandal, and has legions of fanatical devotees who slander and smear anyone who is bold enough to raise concerns about his leadership. He's charismatic and winsome, but so are most cult leaders.

    I have a great deal of charity towards those I disagree with outside of our camp. It doesn't bother me when a baptist is a baptist (as are many of my friends and family), or an Anglican is an Anglican, or even an Arminian is an Arminian, even while I believe that they are in error and serious error in the last case. When one conceals and misrepresents their beliefs to subvert an orthodox body, however, they receive little charity from me. That is a viper and devourer of the flock. Wilson is, in my opinion, far more dangerous than a Roger Olson. Yes, Wilson's influence is wide, but so was that of Charles Finney or Nathaniel Taylor. That alone doesn't give him a free pass.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  20. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Just curious, what's the good he's done?
  21. Santos

    Santos Puritan Board Freshman

    Amen....and thank you.
  22. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Do Presbytery reports count? I think I can find official documentation for the following:

    1) Condemned as a false teacher
    2) Stealing a church from the OPC and shielding its errant minister from discipline.
    3) Slut-shaming a rape victim and defending the rapist (and there are dozens of pages of court documents and police records).
    4) Threatening the rape victim by releasing her journals.
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  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Yeah, I know that some of the people running the site are Leftists, but they have databases on official documents.
  24. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I've been around long enough to go through the original TR debacle and the formation of micro-denominations. People would write or speak points that were mostly laudable. (Who doesn't want strong families and godly children?) So often, they'd be so "right" they couldn't get along with anyone else.

    The Bible lauds the peace-maker, the one who speaks with discernment. It speaks of the fruitful attributes of gentleness and self control. In church leadership positions a man is to be uncontentious, not self-willed.

    When you can look across the perspective of decades and see churches and Christian schools rocked and a trail of dissension and bitterness, it's worth looking more closely as the well gushing bitter water.
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  25. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Looks like you need to do some homework on the fruits of his ministry.
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  26. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    It would only be right to source documentation now that you've posted this.
    Is this from his own Presbytery?
  27. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

  28. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

  29. Krak3n

    Krak3n Puritan Board Freshman

    So the OPC has problems with Wilson because he advised a man who resigned from the OPC to ignore their call to discipline?

    From the first blog post: "Mr. Maneri’s position is that he had joined another church and therefore was not subject to OPC jurisdiction. This was also the counsel of Doug Wilson to him."

    I'm not seeing the issue with counsel like that.
    1) If the guy doesn't belong to the denomination then it doesn't follow for him to be under their discipline.
    2) I found it ironic that you say Doug Wilson cannot receive justice in his own Presbytery. That is quite the claim and quite the accusation of ineptitude regarding the elders within. (No worries though, it doesn't look like Wilson's church is signed on to the International Presbyterian Court. They'll probably let it slide.)

    Even if the church/denomination the man was a part of says "No resigning once you've been accused." I can't help but think there might be a little confusion between a jilted session (all three leaving/resigning), disagreeable members (12 who forced a vote), and an organizing pastor in a church only two years old.

    How was the situation explained to Wilson? (All the details or, "I'm out, but they keep pestering.")
    Why would he not tell a man who had moved on to another church to ignore the old?

    To me it looks like a case of Proverbs 26:17 in the worst case and off chance.
    "Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears."
  30. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    As someone who is relatively new to Reformed Christianity, I feel a bit out of the loop concerning all this Federal Vision business.

    Douglas Wilson is self-ordained? I did not know that! You'd think that alone should send alarms ringing. It's very much un-Reformed, indeed patently unbiblical.

    But I hear his books on marriage and family are just wonderful...

    But seriously, @Krak3n, I asked earlier about what good Douglas Wilson has done. What is it? It seems to me you are willing to balance it against all of the controversy.
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