Anthony W. Brooks
There has, over the last two decades, been an uproar. No, take that back, I can’t remember the word but it conveys the sound of a thousand yapping chihuahuas. Whatever the sound is it has to do with Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church Moscow ID, editor of Credenda Agenda, former presiding minister of the CREC, and apparent co-conspirator with Lee Harvey Oswald. For his crimes he has been sentenced to life in exile where, aside from his regular pastoral hobbies he pick up trash in the parking lot of a local 7-11. This is what the yapping chihuahuas want you to believe.
I’m not here to defend Doug Wilson. He’s a wordsmith who can obviously defend himself. The tidal wave of emotion that goes against him is intoxicating to some of the Truly Reformed™️ and it’s like a drug that they need rehab to shake.
Having My Differences
I want to lay out my differences, if you will oblige me, between myself and Pastor Wilson. He is from a particular stream of Reformed thought that I agree with, but also a stream within that stream that I don’t. He is a Presbyterian, but a Paedocommunionist. So the river of Presbyterianism flows and there are several creeks that run from that river and we are in different creeks. His church is a smidge higher than mine in worship style, he practices paedocommunion and mine doesn’t, he is an ecclesiastical text advocate and I’m not, etc. so there are several differences. I’m a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and he is a pastor of a CREC. Not withstanding I see him as a great teacher and brother in Christ despite these minor theological concerns. It is arrogant for someone to see these issues as markers of whether someone is a Christian.
Praising the Similarities
Similarly we see some things the same. He and I are both Postmillennialists, partial preterists, theonomists, emphasize the importance of the covenant home, Westminsterians, and I have a sneaky suspicion that we both believe that the Democrats are in cahoots with the Klingons. That being said our similarities are more numerous than our differences, but this does not negate the differences. They still exist and are still glaring, but this does not give me the right to bear false witness against him.
The Ninth Commandment Violation
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” -Exodus 20:16
There has been an effort since the Auburn Avenue fiasco to paint all its speakers with a broad brush. If one speaker believes it then they all do. And we can’t do this. My pastor and I believe differently when it comes to the nature of God’s law and how it applies today, but I am not him and he isn’t me, just because I am in his church and under his rule doesn’t mean we believe the same. How much more different are the views of a group of men who are not ruling over each other, but simply teaching at a conference together. When John Piper called Wilson to teach at Desiring God 2013 did this make Piper a Presbyterian? “bUt THeY mAde A JoiNt StATemEnT…” well, MacArthur and James White both signed the Dallas Statement together but this didn’t make MacArthur a Postmillennialist like White… I’ve read the statement. There is nothing in there that is specific enough to call heresy. If anything it says the New Covenant is objective so we should treat the children in that covenant as true believers. And because it says this people read the heresy into this. If someone does this with the Bible we are the first to point it out.
The Root Cause of the Turmoil
I’m going to pin the fault on one man here and I have no qualms doing so. You all know who I’m talking about. Please let’s not say his name out loud lest he appear, but his name rhymes with Bar Spot Lark. He reacted heavily in the beginning, took a break and started his lurk through the shadows again last year. It was really this article that got the winds blowing again, and oh how they are blowing. But like I said before he owns a porous submarine.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Picture: Douglas Wilson and that face you make when Scott Clark opens his mouth