Featured Douglas Wilson books on the family

Discussion in 'Federal Vision/New Perspectives' started by Stephen L Smith, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    Hi. I am aware of people in my church circles reading Douglas Wilson books on the family. I was wondering if this was a good trend? Given his links to the FV, is there something on his view of the covenant that would affect his view of the family? To what degree should his books on the family be read with discernment?

    Appreciate any thoughts.
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Bad trend. I'm actually friends with a few old school FV guys and even they are alarmed at what he said (and they had missed).
     
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  3. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritan Board Doctor

    Avoid those books. One of my biggest regrets is spending so much time reading c. 20 books by Doug Wilson between 2006-08. Although I was always very opposed to the Federal Vision, the legalism and shoddy logic in his works rubbed off on me too much. Hence, I was greatly encouraged a while back when I heard that my current minister tells people to avoid him.

    Some will say that Doug Wilson's FV views do not come out in the volumes on the family, but I beg to differ. The Federal Husband book advocates monocovenantalism (in other words, the denial of a prelapsarian covenant of works with Adam), an error that has consistently proved to be a gateway drug to the FV and other aberrations. Moreover, I think it is naïve to divorce the legalism of those books from the self-righteous legalism of the FV.

    Doug Wilson is truly the wisest fool in Christendom, which makes him especially dangerous. He appears to be the moderate voice of the FV movement and has even distanced himself from the label now, but not from the underlying theology. In truth, he is just a lot more slippery than other FVers.
     
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  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm not going to quote it here, but there is his infamous quote on how the nature of a man is to penetrate and the nature of a woman is surrender, receive.

    When I first read Future Men I wondered why there was a question on weed at the very end of the book. It seemed out of nowhere. And then when I read up on the Moscow controversies, a number of FV pastors' sons were smoking weed at New St Andrews.
     
  5. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Wilson's practical books are better than his theological books. However, it seems to me that Wilson over-reacts to feminism with a version bordering on the patriarchy movement. Believe me, no one hates feminism more than I do. However, patriarchy and patriarchy look-a-likes are not the answer either. That being said, Wilson does have some good things to say about marriage and family.
     
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  6. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    There are far too many good things to read than to indulge anything by Mr. Wilson. Made up my mind a long time ago that his thoughts, expressed anywhere or in any way, are not a necessity for the Christian life. If he has anything good to offer, that good can be found elsewhere without having to indulge him.
     
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  7. Bill Duncan

    Bill Duncan Puritan Board Freshman

    Ditto to other's statements. I fell into doctrinal (FV), and paedocommunion error by following a homeschool friendly crowd that read his stuff. He called it Covenant Communion, so I bit. I was very gullible. Caused me years of difficulty. Subtle but dangerous traps. Actually kept me off of this board because I took exception to interpretation of LC 173 for many years. Didn't like my children lumped in with the ignorant and scandalous, which was lingering damage from this journey down Wilson's path of reasoning.
     
  8. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    My wife and I were some time ago in a CanRC church that used a lot of his books. His book on marriage was the primary text for our pre-marital counselling. I was aware of his FV issues then, but I tried to give his other books a chance. What drove me crazy about his practical books was that Wilson tends to take intriguing counter-cultural positions, describes them colorfully and winsomely (thus their appeal) but then defends them with shoddy exegesis or no exegesis at all and still practically applies a "thus saith the Lord" to them. He knows nothing of good and necessary consequence.

    Even if you agree with some of the positions he takes in the realm of family, manhood, marriage, etc., he's not a useful guide to them because of how he gets there. It's easy to see his appeal to otherwise well-meaning folks, and I wish we had more communicators as gifted as him among the orthodox, but it's still not worth it.
     
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Exactly. He takes what could be considered a legitimate, specific application of a principle and makes it the law of the Medes and Persians.

    And to echo Lane above, some are going to take Wilson's anti-feminism stance as "He is strong on biblical values," and then caricature all of Wilson's opponents as Butch Feminists
     
  10. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks everyone. Good food for thought.
     

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