Doug Phillips

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LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Here it is:

What problem do any of you have with Doug Phillips? Curious. Also explain any parts where you are in agreement with him, please. Trying to understand due to terms such as "hyper Phillipism" and "hyper Uniting Church and Home".
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Unlike Jonathan Lindvall or Doug Wilson, All who I have problems with. Doug Phillips I am ok with. He does not seem to be in any heresy. He might be abit Idealistic since his upbringing with his father was wonderful and great. He tends to think that since his relationship with his father was great that they must all be like that. Forgetting that the fathers can sin greatly too.. But his principles are good. Of all the Patriarchal advocates out there Doug Phillips and Mark Chanski of Holland Reformed Baptist Church of Michigan are the best.

Michael

Here it is:

What problem do any of you have with Doug Phillips? Curious. Also explain any parts where you are in agreement with him, please. Trying to understand due to terms such as "hyper Phillipism" and "hyper Uniting Church and Home".
 
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jenney

Puritan Board Freshman
Subjectivity Warning! Whoop! Whoop!

I just don't like his catalog very much!

It comes across as pompous to me and seems to have a sort of siege mentality.

I don't like how all the fun stuff is in the "boy" section: old coins, zip lines, rockets and shooters, etc. The "girl" section is full of pewter sewing kits and tea sets. Now, my girls love dolls and tea, but we also love to camp, hike and shoot at things! And the girl stuff isn't super practical or fun for the most part. It just seems to be decorative.

I know that is just totally subjective, but i can't help that whenever I get one of those VF catalogs I have to roll my eyes at the little boy all dressed up in some $120 colonial soldier outfit complete with tri-cornered hat and drum defending his sister's honor. Like the world was a lovely place before indoor plumbing and if only we could return to those noble days, we'd all have big families that happily cavort in a pastoral meadow during an eternal springtime. I find myself half expecting for it to say that we can "live forever in paradise on earth"!

Honestly I know nothing about his doctrine. I figure he's reformed and baptistic, but I don't know. I'm just really turned off by his catalog.

It seems odd that I wouldn't like him: I'm a conservative, reformed, credobaptist, homeschooling mom of six children in my mid-thirties. Don't I seem like their precise demographic? :p

I'm curious why some people really dislike him, too, because there seems to be some anti-phillips vitriol around here that must have a doctrinal root, not just hokey feelings like mine!
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
He is aleast Reformed Baptist.... :judge:

I just don't like his catalog very much!

It comes across as pompous to me and seems to have a sort of siege mentality.

I don't like how all the fun stuff is in the "boy" section: old coins, zip lines, rockets and shooters, etc. The "girl" section is full of pewter sewing kits and tea sets. Now, my girls love dolls and tea, but we also love to camp, hike and shoot at things! And the girl stuff isn't super practical or fun for the most part. It just seems to be decorative.

I know that is just totally subjective, but i can't help that whenever I get one of those VF catalogs I have to roll my eyes at the little boy all dressed up in some $120 colonial soldier outfit complete with tri-cornered hat and drum defending his sister's honor. Like the world was a lovely place before indoor plumbing and if only we could return to those noble days, we'd all have big families that happily cavort in a pastoral meadow during an eternal springtime. I find myself half expecting for it to say that we can "live forever in paradise on earth"!

Honestly I know nothing about his doctrine. I figure he's reformed and baptistic, but I don't know. I'm just really turned off by his catalog.

It seems odd that I wouldn't like him: I'm a conservative, reformed, credobaptist, homeschooling mom of six children in my mid-thirties. Don't I seem like their precise demographic? :p

I'm curious why some people really dislike him, too, because there seems to be some anti-phillips vitriol around here that must have a doctrinal root, not just hokey feelings like mine!
 

Casey

Puritan Board Junior
I just don't like his catalog very much!

It comes across as pompous to me and seems to have a sort of siege mentality.

I don't like how all the fun stuff is in the "boy" section: old coins, zip lines, rockets and shooters, etc. The "girl" section is full of pewter sewing kits and tea sets. Now, my girls love dolls and tea, but we also love to camp, hike and shoot at things! And the girl stuff isn't super practical or fun for the most part. It just seems to be decorative.

I know that is just totally subjective, but i can't help that whenever I get one of those VF catalogs I have to roll my eyes at the little boy all dressed up in some $120 colonial soldier outfit complete with tri-cornered hat and drum defending his sister's honor. Like the world was a lovely place before indoor plumbing and if only we could return to those noble days, we'd all have big families that happily cavort in a pastoral meadow during an eternal springtime. I find myself half expecting for it to say that we can "live forever in paradise on earth"!

Honestly I know nothing about his doctrine. I figure he's reformed and baptistic, but I don't know. I'm just really turned off by his catalog.

It seems odd that I wouldn't like him: I'm a conservative, reformed, credobaptist, homeschooling mom of six children in my mid-thirties. Don't I seem like their precise demographic? :p

I'm curious why some people really dislike him, too, because there seems to be some anti-phillips vitriol around here that must have a doctrinal root, not just hokey feelings like mine!
I've seen a few of his catalogs and this post of yours pretty well sums up my exact reaction to them, too! You may think it's merely a subjective observation, but I don't think it's so subjective. Those silly pictures on the cover are a clear picture of the "agenda" behind the products they sell. To be sure, doctrinally, I don't know much about him. But those images (and you know they aren't limited to the cover) throw up all sorts of red flags in my mind for the reasons you've already mentioned. :)
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
So the problem is the idea that the world was perfect before plumbing or the ideal of men as protectors and women as ladies?

I agree that we shouldn't have rose coloured glasses. The world was just as criminal then as it is now. Nothing new under the sun. But the picture is in the ideals that were held by the Christians of the time. That's what I believe they are aiming for.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Please note I am only answering this post because I happen to have some minutes to spare and I saw this on the forum… There are some things that VF teaches I disagree with, but I would not harass those who chose to live that way.

I believe Doug Phillips and Vision Forum have a lot of good things to say, especially in light of where the unbelieving world is going.

That said I believe some of what they teach on family and gender roles is merely conservative as opposed to truly biblical and while some may not mind this overreaction because of the way the world is going, yet it is still no justification to go beyond scripture. I believe in patriarchy in that God created this as a man's world and he put a man in charge of it, and that the bible emphasizes the role and authority of men in society and the church. I don't agree with Patriarchy, as Mr Phillips, and most of the christians who chose to specifically identify their ministries by that name, would define it.

I agree with Jenney that the whole colonial American thing can be off putting to some believers. I know that they are not, in any way shape or form promoting a you must be American to be christian kind of deal, and they are not wrong to provide these things for Amercians who want to appreciate their heritage, but the emphasis they place of these things still detracts to an extent from their being a ministry that is focuses solely on what the bible teaches.

I am also not keen on the whole idea that they (and many others I might add) promote about the Christian duty to ‘take dominion over the earth’. Yes, Adam was told that, but that language was never repeated in the Law of Moses or in any of the Epistles. The New Testament addresses work five times (Eph, Col, Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter) and never brings up ‘taking dominion’ over the earth as something to be sought after in a christian’s work. Diligent service of a Master is what the New Testament emphasis on work is about. I know this is a minor and nitpicking point, but I think the language is unfortunate and sometimes confuses Christians who are wondering what sought of work they ought to pursue.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Thanks for responding, Mark. That was very insightful. If you have time to check back, could explain what you believe the differences are between Biblical Patriarchy and Phillips' (and like company) Patriarchy?
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
Colleen,

I'am leaving for church soon (its Sunday over in this part of the world) I'll try to respond as soon as possible.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
The catch 22 I see them in, and have been in myself, is the conflict of the first two items. They will either influence in some way or be run off by the church. Granted, they be permitted to follow their conscience, but when they are the few within the church, then there is the pressure for them or their children to conform with the rest of the congregation...thus, they are left with no other choice than to seek like-minded believers. If they influence, which many times happens simply by their presence or others asking them questions, then they are seen as trouble makers. On the reverse, I do understand and have seen extremists that attempt to form a coup (Gothardites).
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
This is the first time I've seen any of his stuff and I think the catalog is totally cool. If I had the disposable income, I'd love for my daughters to have the pewter sewing kit scissors hanging around their neck (with a .410/.22 over/under slung on their shoulders.)

I sort of like the idea of implanting those gender roles in the girls. It means that the world will have to take that much longer to beat them into the goddess/diva mindset. For the boys too; my boys are going to have the "protect your sisters' honour" bit hammered into them quite thoroughly.

I love the roles and ideals, but to hold those ideals without the benefit of indoor plumbing scares me.
 

tewilder

Puritan Board Freshman
I have an number of things by Doug Phillips on my website in the Spanish section. The reason is that the translator found them and picked them as something he wanted to do.

I ask him why. It turns out that Phillips is the antidote to the major problem in Latin American churches, namely that the pastor is everything and the father is nothing, and the fathers only role is to get the family members to church and into all the programs run under the pastor's authority, which is where all the true Christianity is.

So it is an emphasis that corrects another emphasis.

But I have to admit that if I came across a community that actually lived like in those catalogs, I would run away screaming.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Just take the good and leave the bad. Most people want an "all or nothing" approach.

I think the catalogue rocks. Boys training to be manly (even if they overdo it). His Witherspoon series is phenomenal. You can learn more theology and politics there than....I won't finish the sentence.

He is a good antidote to wimpishness. Sure he messes up. So what? We're big kids here (most, anyway) and should have discernment. I find him refreshing on a number of levels. I disagree with him on a number of points, too. Big deal.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Everybody seems to get nervous if so and so doesn't toe the "line of orthodoxy" (always vague and undefined). I used to be like this. But I think Phillips is refreshing, and even when he is wrong, he is refreshingly wrong.

I mean, pretend you are at the mall on Friday night and you see these girls dressed in a way that would make swimsuit models blush. They have earings coming out of their arms, they look like female lucifers and you think, "Is this what the world has come to?"

Then you go home and see girls dressing like ladies and everything looks so wholesome. That's refreshing. We might not like everything Phillips does, but there are worse ways to go wrong with your kids and we can't fault him on that.

PS: He was also very gracious with his time and set aside a few moments to speak with me when he didn't have to.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I am also not keen on the whole idea that they (and many others I might add) promote about the Christian duty to ‘take dominion over the earth’. Yes, Adam was told that, but that language was never repeated in the Law of Moses or in any of the Epistles. The New Testament addresses work five times (Eph, Col, Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter) and never brings up ‘taking dominion’ over the earth as something to be sought after in a christian’s work.
That's the fallacy of argument from silence. Its like saying the apostle Paul didn't believe in the Virgin Birth because he never mentions it. Now, some could be overdoing it in the dominion area (I rather doubt it) and a possible critique could be made, but not using this kind of logic.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
That's the fallacy of argument from silence. Its like saying the apostle Paul didn't believe in the Virgin Birth because he never mentions it. Now, some could be overdoing it in the dominion area (I rather doubt it) and a possible critique could be made, but not using this kind of logic.
I see where you are coming from, but I don't see it as being strictly an argument from silence. It is not that the bible is silent about man's work. It mentions it five times in the NT, and innumerable times in Proverbs and not once is the idea of taking dominion over the earth mentioned. If I am wrong I would be grateful to see the verse. I do not deny that mankind is still in dominion over the earth. I don't see how the bible tells christians to make it an issue in our individual lives and choices.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I don't have to produce the verse. The bible says it in a foundational chapter. I do not accept the quasi-dispensational view that something must be specifically repeated in the NT for it to be binding.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I don't have to produce the verse. The bible says it in a foundational chapter. I do not accept the quasi-dispensational view that something must be specifically repeated in the NT for it to be binding.
OK, Fair enough. Could you then please humour me and in the name of being ready always to give an answer give me a short explaination of how you think this prinicple should play out in the life of a christian person?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
As images of God we are called to image God to the world. Our labor is to be done to the glory of God. All facts bear witness to God. They are already God-interpreted facts and we are to be receptively-reconstructive in how we re-interpret these God-interpreted facts.

As to how it plays out in every specific situation, I don't know. I haven't experienced every specific situation fathomable to man. It would look different for different people.

By "taking dominion" I do not mean having 20 babies, teaching them knitting and log-cutting, and passing that down to the next generation. Taking dominion is to see how the Christian faith informs and transforms my work-environment, my community, etc.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
As images of God we are called to image God to the world. Our labor is to be done to the glory of God. All facts bear witness to God. They are already God-interpreted facts and we are to be receptively-reconstructive in how we re-interpret these God-interpreted facts.

As to how it plays out in every specific situation, I don't know. I haven't experienced every specific situation fathomable to man. It would look different for different people.

By "taking dominion" I do not mean having 20 babies, teaching them knitting and log-cutting, and passing that down to the next generation. Taking dominion is to see how the Christian faith informs and transforms my work-environment, my community, etc.
Alright, thanks.

For what its worth, the having 20 babies thing was never what I had in mind.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Alright, thanks.

For what its worth, the having 20 babies thing was never what I had in mind.
I know. I was trying to be funny. I had a lot of folks, reformed folks where I went to school, make fun of me on this point and tried to make me imply that. That's usually what people think.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
The catch 22 I see them in, and have been in myself, is the conflict of the first two items. They will either influence in some way or be run off by the church. Granted, they be permitted to follow their conscience, but when they are the few within the church, then there is the pressure for them or their children to conform with the rest of the congregation...thus, they are left with no other choice than to seek like-minded believers. If they influence, which many times happens simply by their presence or others asking them questions, then they are seen as trouble makers. On the reverse, I do understand and have seen extremists that attempt to form a coup (Gothardites).
hmmm...

You know, I think this delimma is to a certain extent indicative of a lack of a proper understanding of christian liberty. Christian liberty entails not only our having freedom in those things God has not commanded (subject to all the restrictions Paul puts on it, of course) but also that we ought to give other christians freedom to do anything they want, that does not violate the bible.

If a family wants to do things a certain way, even if it is 'strange' to the rest of the church, the majority ought to back off and let them do what they want, unless there is sin involved. A proper understanding of christian liberty ought to allow brothers and sisters to coexist in peace in a church even if they differ horribly on many subjects because they should realize that if God has not seen it fit to mandate on a subject, that subject is not worth dividing over.

Of course, all this assumes that the issue is liberty and I guess with regards to these family issues many people will not think the issues are liberty but rather matters of obedience. Although, from the context of your comment, I doubt generally speaking the majority really believes that the minority are sinning by being more conservative on family issues.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Also, don't demean Phillips' intellect (not saying anyone is). The man has done an exceptional job in popularizing presuppositional apologetics, 6th day creation, law and public policy. Whether you like him or not or his Vision (no pun), he has a lot to offer.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Everybody seems to get nervous if so and so doesn't toe the "line of orthodoxy" (always vague and undefined). I used to be like this. But I think Phillips is refreshing, and even when he is wrong, he is refreshingly wrong.

I mean, pretend you are at the mall on Friday night and you see these girls dressed in a way that would make swimsuit models blush. They have earings coming out of their arms, they look like female lucifers and you think, "Is this what the world has come to?"

Then you go home and see girls dressing like ladies and everything looks so wholesome. That's refreshing. We might not like everything Phillips does, but there are worse ways to go wrong with your kids and we can't fault him on that.

PS: He was also very gracious with his time and set aside a few moments to speak with me when he didn't have to.
I understand what you're saying about being "refreshingly wrong" and why it is popular with many of us who are reacting against the excesses of society.

BUT

There is a very large danger in "refreshing wrongness". It tends to lead people into Pharisaism - the quintessential example of the conservatives calling people back to "traditional values" and away from the wickedness of the pagans surrounding them.

Is Doug Philips a Pharisee? I doubt it. I hardly know his work well enough and it would be sinful of me to call him such. Let's just set that straight.

Nevertheless, he kind of helps feed a movement among some Reformed that I am just not a big fan of. Forgive me if I have to speak in extremes to make my point.

It seems that when I meet people that call themselves Reformed these days out of the blue there are primarily 3 varieties:
1. The kind that went to a PCA in the States and now are completely at ease worshipping at a Calvary Chapel.
2. The kind that think that being a 5-pointer means you're Reformed.
3. The kind that think that getting a farm and living off the land and churning their own butter and teaching their sons to shoot and their daughters to sew is being Reformed.

It's that third category I have in mind here.

I've been around mothers who intend never to educate their daughters past high school because: "...she doesn't need to know anything more than that in order to be a good wife and mother."

Do they have a right to believe this? Sure but this attitude is kind of fed by catalogs that only sell dollies to girls because that's all they're preparing for.

Some Reformed people remind me of the Society for Creative Anachronisms who like to dress up in medieval garb and talk in "Thees" and "Thous" and fight with swords. Instead of doing it for a weekend, though, they want to go out into the countryside and live that way.

And in a lot of cases, many of them are convinced that this is the real sense of what it means to "...take dominion...."

Newsflash: Paul's ministry of evangelism was primarily in urban settings.

I can get along fine with most people but I honestly find some of these movements to be just a little wierd. Too much energy is focused on externals - a girlie doll and not Dora the Explorer.

Yeah, Dora's parents ought to be ashamed of themselves. They let Dora have to get to a soccer game through a dangerous jungle with crocodiles chasing her, Trolls barring her from crossing a bridge, etc. All so she can use her "Super Soccer Kick" to score the winning goal because a bunch of adult players need the help of an 8 year old child.

Got it. Dora's not a great example of what it means to be a kid. When I'm reading the stories to my girl, I embellish them by mentioning that now that she and Diego have rescued the Baby Jaguar and returned him to his family that mommy Jaguar eats Diego and Dora.

"Oh no Rich! You let Anna play with Dora! She's going to be a feminist. She'll hate Christ!"

Says you. The other day. James comes into the room and quietly announces, "I'm Dr. James, come with me...." Anna is lying on the bed with the covers pulled up and Dora laying at her chest. She had just had a baby through her belly button and was "...very tired...."

Look, I don't know if we'll ever get around to teaching Anna and Sophia how to sew. My wife probably knows how to sew as well as I do. I bought her a sewing machine but it's not her thing. Her meal planning has actually improved markedly lately because she found a great website that has a bunch of meals that include what to put on your grocery list.

But you know what: My wife is an outstanding mother and a beautiful Christian woman.

She loves Christ. She respects me. She tries to submit to me. She disciplines her children.

And she has the warmest soul of anyone I've ever met. I can be really mean but everyone loves my wife. She's so nice to everyone.

Oh, and she's actually pretty good with a computer too (married to a computer guy and all).

Yeah, I forgot to mention she has a Master's Degree and won't be under-educated when she's homeschooling our kids through their entire childhoold (if we continue to homeschool).

But we're Suburban or Urbanites. I have no desire to live off the land. I want a fiber connection to the Internet so I can keep this website up for all those people that shun technology but still like to interact on the Internet with others telling them to shun the stuff they're using.

This is a rambling polemic so I'll try to tighten this up in my conclusion:

Our goal in training our children should not be focused on the clothes they wear, the toys they play with, or whether they learn how to shoot and sew. Our focus ought to be on training men to be lovers of Christ, to be providers, to be courageous in their convictions, and to cherish women in preparation for loving a wife as Christ loves the Church. We ought to be training women to guard their hearts, to be excellent in all things, and to never allow a man to woo her that she does not respect as much as Dad or someone who won't love them as much as Dad does.

All the other stuff is nice but the "refreshingly wrong" part of it becomes dangerous because it becomes a point at which some people focus on the externals rather than the heart. Paul's guidance to men and women in the Scriptures doesn't use the words "shotgun, needles, dollies, or fishing" anywhere in the Epistles.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Rich,
About half of your post lost me. I have no idea who Dora is. And my refreshingly wrong comment still stands. If someone goes all "movement mentality" then they got issues. I can't answer for them and I really don't care.

I really don't thnk I will fall prey to such a movement because:
1) I am poor, and movements are expensive.
2) I am a public school teacher.
3) I live in the suburbs.

I view his catalogue like anything else. Again, I say, Reformed people awlays want someone to "toe the line" just like them, don't make them "nervous", etc. SO what if we disagree with him? What is someone reads his catalogue, is encouraged to be more manly, and avoids the extremes? Imagine the horrors in the situation.

And few people have yet commented on the goods his service provides: excellent apologetic and historical lectures, excellent public policy and political resources, etc.

While Reformed people are arguing apologetic methodology, he is taking "apologetics to the streets."
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Rich,
About half of your post lost me. I have no idea who Dora is. And my refreshingly wrong comment still stands. If someone goes all "movement mentality" then they got issues. I can't answer for them and I really don't care.

I really don't thnk I will fall prey to such a movement because:
1) I am poor, and movements are expensive.
2) I am a public school teacher.
3) I live in the suburbs.

I view his catalogue like anything else. Again, I say, Reformed people awlays want someone to "toe the line" just like them, don't make them "nervous", etc. SO what if we disagree with him? What is someone reads his catalogue, is encouraged to be more manly, and avoids the extremes? Imagine the horrors in the situation.

And few people have yet commented on the goods his service provides: excellent apologetic and historical lectures, excellent public policy and political resources, etc.

While Reformed people are arguing apologetic methodology, he is taking "apologetics to the streets."
Fair enough. I'm in one of the manliest professions imaginable. All I'm saying is that I think that some people think the only way to train such principles is to use the obvious props. The props themselves become the focus. The potential "horror" is that you create a Pharisee. They're nice, respectful people but they are whitewashed sepulchres.

I guess what I see is that this seems so consistent with the "uniform" that many Reformed folk think they need to put on. If he has a great ministry, I would just assume he didn't contribute to phenomena that undermine the other good work you say he does. Many people are not sophisticated to distinguish between the principle and the toys. The form of the toys communicates a (perhaps?) unintended idea.

If the rest of his stuff is great then so be it.
 
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