Category Archives: Doug Wilson

Wilson’s Quadruple-Speak: To Doug Wilson’s Defenders

The greatest difficulty in demonstrating the dishonesty of Doug Wilson lies in the very thing he does so well- speaking out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand he teaches plenty of things that tickle the ears of right-wing Christians. Fathers rule the home, and their wives should submit. That all sounds Godly and Biblical because it is. So, when someone comes along to appropriately point out how he undermines those things on a regular basis like some feminist-Christian, the typical reaction is disbelief or automatic dismissal. This article should hopefully lay it out for his readers as to why people like myself see him that way.

Continue reading

If Your Husband is a Godly Man, Submission Will Be Easy!

Such is the message that continues to be preached to Christian women by other Christian women who should know better.

Back in 2010, Nancy Wilson published her book Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married? and Other Useful Comments. Earlier this year she published Single and Satisfied: A Grace-Filled Calling for the Unmarried Woman. According to the Amazon description, this new book is actually the second edition of the first book.

This is the second and revised edition of Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married?

Any regular reader of mine won’t be shocked to learn that Nancy Wilson delivers the same poisonous lies about wifely submission today that she did ten years ago. The following quote appears in both books, almost on the same pages:

The Bible requires wives to submit to their own husbands, so a woman ought to marry a man that she respects. If she respects him, she will be able to freely submit to him. If he is the kind of man who is eager to please and obey God, she should not have trouble following him. The Bible also requires wives to respect and honor their husbands. So it follows that a woman should marry a man that she can easily look up to. Respect and honor are far more easily rendered to a respectable, honorable man.

Page 71 of “Single and Satisfied: A Grace-Filled Calling for the Unmarried Woman”, and page 73 of “Why Isn’t a Pretty Girl Like You Married? and Other Useful Comments”

Nancy Wilson doubtless has more experience being a Christian wife and mother than your average woman. In spite of all that, to this day, she is still preaching feminist falsehoods, laying the seeds for marital strife in the minds of single Christian women. Paragraphs like these demonstrate why even older Christian women shouldn’t be allowed to teach anyone at all unless they are well and thoroughly vetted by their male spiritual leaders first. Let’s walk through it and explain where she goes wrong:

The Bible requires wives to submit to their own husbands, so a woman ought to marry a man that she respects.

True.

If she respects him, she will be able to freely submit to him.

A. Being able to submit “freely” is not a biblical prerequisite for submission, nor can it be. Slaves couldn’t “freely” submit to their masters, but that didn’t stop God from commanding their submission.

B. Who says a woman can’t submit, freely or otherwise, to a man she doesn’t respect? Those commands of submission in the Bible go out to women across the board. That includes women who are already married, which would include women married to men they didn’t respect. Could they not submit to their husbands then? Is that something they are simply unable to do, in Nancy Wilson’s mind?

If he is the kind of man who is eager to please and obey God, she should not have trouble following him.

Completely and totally false. Incorrect. Unbiblical tripe that no older Christian woman should be caught dead preaching. Remember, this is from Nancy Wilson, an experienced wife and mother, and a woman who has given marital counselling. She has a great deal of personal interactions with women who struggle in this area. Apparently none of it has clued her into the struggles Christian women have in following their husbands.

The desire to disobey your leader is one all humans experience, from young to old. We are sinners that love our sin. It’s an evil, perverse desire of ours that we will experience whether or not the one in charge of us is eager to obey God. That’s our lot in life. Disobedience feels good. We don’t need our parents/bosses to be unbelievers before we experience a desire to disobey them. We’ll want to disobey them with or without their help. A Christian woman will still want to disobey even a Godly husband. She will have plenty of trouble following him because she herself is a sinful human who loves to sin for its own sake. Thus, Christian women will always have trouble following even a man who loves and obeys God.

The Bible also requires wives to respect and honor their husbands. So it follows that a woman should marry a man that she can easily look up to. Respect and honor are far more easily rendered to a respectable, honorable man.

Women should definitely marry men they can easily look up to. No question there. The lie comes from what came before; That obeying, showing respect, etc. will all be easy if the right steps are taken. This is false. It’s never going to be “easy”. Christian women should marry a man they can look up to so they can reduce the intensity of the difficult struggles to come. Nancy Wilson fundamentally denies this. Yes, she does say respect and honor are “far more easily rendered”, but immediately prior to this she was saying that, “If he is the kind of man who is eager to please and obey God, she should not have trouble following him.” There is a basic expectation that a woman’s struggle to obey and honor her husband can be made easy, or even dodged altogether. Again, this is simply false, and it’s something that single Christian women should never be taught. They’re going to have enough difficult obeying their husbands and calling them Lord in the best of circumstances. The last thing we need planted in their heads is the thought that if their husbands are doing their job, they won’t want to undermine him. Rebellious women are already chomping at the bit for excuses to justify their disobedience and disrespect. You think they won’t seize upon teachings like this, when they in their sinful rebellion are looking for some way to tear their husbands down while still appearing to be the good guy? Of course they will.

The Dreadful Prospect of Calling Their Husband “Lord”.

In his 2012 sermon The Willful Submission of a Christian Wife (Ephesians 5:22-24), John MacArthur preached on I Peter 3, and when it came to verse 5, he had this to say (35:27-36:08):

Holy women have always done this. Holy women, women who hoped in God, this means redeemed women, this is how they’ve always adorned themselves, by being submissive to their husband. Illustration: Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. Now, don’t get carried away, Men. Please. But you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

https://youtu.be/4VNlRzWhf90?t=2128

MacArthur’s warning to the men in his audience was met with laughter by the congregation. Whenever a pastor has to preach the text as written, he can bet money it will produce anxiety in the minds of the women listening. The condescending exhortation for men to get over themselves is meant to dispel this anxiety from the ladies’ minds. The laughter you hear is not one of humor, but of relief. “Oh, thank God. For a minute there I thought I had to call my idiot-husband lord. Ha! Like that’s ever gonna happen.”

But let’s say John MacArthur went in the other direction and said something like the following:

Ladies, there is no mistaking what God has commanded of you. Your husband doesn’t simply sit in the place of Christ in your marriage, but you’re to address him as lord. He isn’t The Lord God, but, he is your lord. And I gotta tell you, Ladies, I’ve never heard of a marriage ending in divorce after the wife started calling her husband Lord.

These statements would also be met with laughter, only it would be one of nail-biting anxiety. Pastors know full-well that women cannot abide being corrected for their failures in a relationship. In 2016 Doug Wilson wrote that he (and his wife in an unquoted portion of the article) encounters this phenomenon when counselling married couples:

Even though the world gets conviction of sin all wrong, this climate does mean that the simple message of repent and believe is one that can still be delivered to men. The men usually expect it, which is good, because they deserve it.

But that is not the case anymore with women.(…) Now I know that some women have done awful things to men also, and I take it as a given that this can and does happen. I do not assume that the man must be the worst offender. But in the counseling I have done over the years, the thing that usually wrecks the woman’s joy is not the fact that her sin is equivalent to the man’s, or greater than the man’s, or less than the man’s, but rather the fact that her sin is untouchable. We are dealing with a culture-wide insistence that women not be held responsible for what they do. This assumption has crept into the church, even into the conservative wing of the church, and has now been weaponized.

https://dougwils.com/the-church/peril-zero-sum-counseling.html

This obviously poses a problem for women when they’re confronted by 1 Peter 3:5. On one hand, the Christian church has taught them to demonize anyone who would dare criticize their failures towards their husbands. But then, the Bible does say that wives should call their husbands Lord. This naturally makes them worried, because a daunting truth is looming on the horizon. “Uh-oh… But if the Bible does teach this, doesn’t that mean I’m the bad guy?”

But this anxiety is a great opportunity for a preacher. He could take that very opportunity, knowing the fear that has been stirred in the hearts of the women listening, and say,

“Ladies, most if not all of you have failed in this area. You don’t respect your husbands, and if I bet money, none of you have ever dreamed of calling your husband lord. You may even hate your husband, but if you’re a Christian woman, your duty is clear. Obey your husband and call him Lord. I know, I know, you hate what I’m saying. Right now you may be thinking, “I won’t. I can’t. It’s just never going to happen.” That’s true, but only without God’s help. Maybe you’ve disrespected your husband for years, and you’re thinking it’s way too late to turn things around now. I’m telling you right now- it’s never too late. I’m confident that if you make it a regular point to beseech the Lord for his help, you will not just call your husband Lord, but your attitude towards him will change, and you will respect him like you never have before.”

This is the kind of preaching that women need to hear. This is the teaching that will help a disrespectful wife grow and mature in her faith. MacArthur’s approach is to stunt that growth, and to encourage women to snort at the idea that they should obey 1 Peter 3:5. We again see why the Christian church is feminist in nature. MacArthur has been preaching for a loooooooooong time. If he still can’t get this right, then it’s no wonder most of us are getting it wrong.

Doug Wilson Plays the Motte and Bailey

Last Friday, Doug Wilson came onto The Gospel Truth to discuss his book Reforming Marriage.

At 30:15, the host, Marlon Wilson, brought up a question I’d typed in the form of two chat messages. Unfortunately, he brought them up in the wrong order. Here’s what I said:

After reading the question, Marlon first asks Doug if what I said was true. I think it’s interesting that Marlon first asked to confirm if Doug really did write what I said he wrote. The easy answer should have been, yes, that’s true.

Instead, Doug answered thusly at 30:50 (I’ve tried to cut out extraneous words, ums, uhs, stammering, and other things to make it more reader-friendly):

The word “despot” there is the word that Paul uses, “despotes”. And so, those statements from “Reforming Marriage” and from “How To Exasperate Your Wife”, harmonize. And they harmonize this way: The wife is the executive of the home. Alright. So, when I was in the navy, I served in the submarine service. The captain was the captain of the ship, but every ship had an executive officer, the XO. And the captain was the final authority in the home, but the executive officer was like, in a company, you’ve got the CEO, and then you’ve got the chief operating officer, the COO. My understanding is that God’s pattern in marriage is that the husband is the protector and provider for the home, and he’s the captain, the head of the house. But, when it comes to the management of the house, like, what goes in the dishwasher when. “Don’t put paper plates in the dishwasher,” Mom says, right. Or, since Mom is the one keeping everything clean, she says, “I really want everybody (to) kick your shoes off by the door, by the front door.” You know, things like that. She’s the executive of the home, and she’s running the home. And that can happen without the husband relinquishing his headship or his authority. So, if she says, let’s say it’s a rinky-dink kind of thing, where she’s the one that does the grocery shopping, she stocks the fridge. I remember when our kids were teenagers, and Nate was moving into the age where he would drink lots and lots of milk, Nancy’s impulse was to, “I just went to the store yesterday, I just bought that! Limit the milk!” And I said, “No, our kids can drink as much milk as they want.” So, I make an occasional decision as the head of the home, this is what we’re going to do. But when it comes to the running of the house, that’s her area of expertise. That’s what she does. Now, if she thinks that I would have any question about something, Nancy runs it by me, but I believe that… Wifely submission is something we believe and practice, but, in 43, coming up on 44 years of marriage, actually, we’re coming on 45. 45 Years of marriage(…)So, um, coming up on decades of marriage, the instances where Nancy and I differed about something, and I made a decision and she needed to submit to it, has probably happened less than ten times. Everything else is just ordinary (lack?) together, talk-it-thorough, that sort of thing. Submission is assumed in everything we do. Headship and submission is assumed. But, if you are having a showdown every other day, and you’re pointing to the Bible verse in Ephesians 5, and you’ve got bigger problems. You’ve need to go get counseling.

Doug said that the word despot is the word used by Paul, which is despostes. In How To Exasperate Your Wife, he didn’t say Paul used despotes. He said oikodespotein. Here’s the quote (bolding is mine):

As the apostle Paul is urging young women to marry, he lets a very interesting comment fall in passing. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14). The word translated here as “guide the house” is oikodespotein. The wife is to be the ruler or despot of the home. This means that when she tells you to take your shoes off at the door, you will take your shoes off—and cheerfully.

How To Exasperate Your Wife (Page 11)

Perhaps Doug has argued for the word “despotes” in another book or article. Or maybe he was thinking of “oikodespotes“.

That aside, my assertion was more than that Doug used the word despot to describe the wife’s authority. I made sure to mention that he meant the wife, as despot, could order her husband around. The obvious point being that Doug, in the book this episode was named after (Reforming Marriage), condemns bossiness on the husband’s part, but allows the wife to do just that in another book (How To Exasperate Your Wife). Doug asserted that the two statements harmonize. But if you look at his answer, he harmonized nothing at all.

Remember, there’s two conflicts asserted by me in my chats. One is hypocrisy when it comes to allowing bossiness for the wife but not the husband. The second is a challenge to Doug to explain how he can allow the wife to order her husband around when he knows full-well that wives are to submit to their husbands. Keep that in mind, and now look over Doug’s entire response. Listen to it in the video. Despite speaking at great length in response, he never even tried to show how he resolved either of the issues I raised.

Instead of harmonizing what he wrote, Doug resorted to professing a completely different view. In How To Exasperate Your Wife, he didn’t write all this nonsense about XO’s and COO’s. He wrote that a wife is a “despot” and proceeded to grant to wives the authority that a despot would naturally have. Several pages later in the same book, Doug Wilson only fortified his belief:

A wife therefore has true authority over her home which no one, including her husband, can take away from her. She must be obedient to him, as this verse states, but this is a clearly delimited obedience.(…)In a certain sense, a husband (as the head of his wife) is an honored and permanent guest, but he should learn to see himself as a guest. He wipes his feet at the door, he eats what is served to him, and he seeks to conform to the pattern established by her

How To Exasperate Your Wife (Pages 17-18)

A husband is a guest in his own home? His wife has authority to tell him to stop in his tracks and remove his shoes? She decides what he eats? He conforms to her pattern? And he better do it with a smile on his face? Wow. It sounds like the wife is ruling over him. Sounds pretty bossy if you ask me. One might even call it despotic, which is exactly why Doug would shrink away from defending it.

However, he doesn’t have to defend what he wrote in How To Exasperate Your Wife. He could always just renounce what he’s written, but he can’t do that. His whole scheme as a feminist-in-patriarchal-clothing relies upon him playing the motte and bailey. In person, he’ll assure you that a wife should submit to her husband, and any authority she has over his household is, of course, subject to his veto. Then you buy How To Exasperate Your Wife expecting to find the same biblical model being proclaimed there, and you find this bizarre monstrosity has taken its place.

But honestly, what else is Wilson to do? Well, if you’re familiar with his work, he talks about masculinity being the glad acceptance of responsibility. If what he wrote is indefensible, then he could just withdraw the book from sale, say that he was wrong in this area, you know, basic stuff a man would do if he were gladly accepting the responsibility for correcting his error. But Wilson simply cannot do that, so the game must go on.

Cozying Up To Canon Press Confirmed.

Yesterday Bnonn & Foster sent out their weekly broadcast email, this one titled “Our notes from 2020 week #49.” In it, they confirm that the book they are working on is going to be published by Doug Wilson’s publishing company, Canon Press.

Our book is due out in Spring ’21 from Canon Press. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement, and we’ll continue to keep you up to date.

Back in September I laid out the evidence for Bnonn & Foster’s desire to collaborate in ministry with Doug Wilson. Foster said on Twitter that he got a contract to publish a book, but he did not say if it was with Canon Press. Now they’ve confirmed for us that it is.

I doubt this is the only work they’re planning on doing with Canon Press. Sadly, it appears as though their influence is only continuing to grow.

Maybe they’ll partner up with the Kendrick brothers to make another husband/father-bashing flick. They’re also fond of pretending to care about masculine dignity for husbands and fathers. Who knows?

Why I’m Still Suspicious of the IGTBAM Project.

I occasionally scan over Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant’s Twitter feeds. They both say a lot of good things about marriage that a patriarch like myself can agree with. Did I have these guys wrong or something? Are they really the defenders of biblical masculinity they claim to be? Was I wrong to be suspicious of them early on?

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: After all the work Dalrock did exposing the war Doug Wilson wages against biblical masculinity (see here for all of Dalrock’s posts related to him), no patriarch worth a dime would call him a bright light. Maybe a quick refresher is in order to explain why: Continue reading

The DWC Files #2: Wilson VS. Genesis 3:16

Remember in Genesis 3:16 when God told Eve that her desire was going to be for her husband? Do you remember being taught that her desire for her husband was the same as the desire that Sin had for Cain later on in Genesis 4:7? If you’ve read most conservative books on marriage, that’s usually what you’ll find. You’ll also be told that this desire is not sexual or affectionate, but one of a possessive, dominating desire. Doug Wilson is a man who taught that for years in print form, and who knows how many sermons and lectures.

Back in 2017, in his article called The Feckless Evangelical Bridge, he announced that he was reconsidering “the standard interpretation” of that verse. A more correct way to say it would be to say that he was reconsidering his standard interpretation. It’s one that he had taught less than a month prior to his reconsideration. But to say it like that would be too close to admitting you seriously misled your audience, something Wilson would never do. So, I decided to challenge him in the comments. I have altered the formatting with some bolding and italics to make it easier reading.


Prince Asbel #203268
“On the other hand, Foh’s interpretation is a novelty. Prior to this fairly recent attempt to parry the feminists, the standard interpretation was simply that the woman would be oriented toward her husband, and therefore subject to him.”

So, Douglas Wilson, is her interpretation false? Is Calvin’s true? I can tell that you’re undermining Foh passively, but you won’t say straight-out that her interpretation is false. In fact, your mere assertion that it’s not standard hardly persuades me that Foh’s is wrong. The standard interpretation you’re proposing isn’t any more true because it was the typically accepted interpretation. I want a man who has penned as many books as you have to give us a direct definitive answer void of flower commentary. Is it false to interpret Genesis 3:16 as a curse upon the woman that she would seek to rule over her husband? Yes or no?

Douglas Wilson #203274

Prince, I am not ready yet to reject Foh’s approach outright, although I am currently leaning against it. My point was that we can capitulate to feminism either way we go, and so we have to be careful.

Prince Asbel #203416

“Prince, I am not ready yet to reject Foh’s approach outright, although I am currently leaning against it.”

So you are undecided on this. You have written entire books on marriage, and you’re not sure you reject Foh’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16. That’s incredibly confusing to me. Given that you’re a man who has written books on marriage, I knew you must have interpreted this verse before. I doubt you had some wavering undecided opinion to offer your readers, so I did some digging into your books on marriage. What you’re saying now is a bit odd in light of the following quote from your book, For a Glory and a Covering: A Practical Theology of Marriage, page 75:

“As we have seen from Genesis, part of the curse for the woman was the desire to master her husband (Gen. 3:16).”

If I were to determine your position on Genesis 3:16 from what you’ve written in this book, it doesn’t seem to me that you’re undecided at all. Your interpretation is the same as Foh’s. Here’s the entire paragraph from which I extracted that quote, lest anyone think I’m taking you out of context.

“Being unprepared for real leadership. Many a wife desperately wants her husband to be a “spiritual leader,” but only to the extent that he leads where she thinks he should be going. But if man and wife agree, submission is really a non-issue. If you think that your husband is making the wrong decision, or is not acting when he should be acting, that is really the only time that submission (or obedience) could ever become an issue. As we have seen from Genesis, part of the curse for the woman was the desire to master her husband (Gen. 3:16). But in Christian circles, how would such a desire manifest itself? The husband has to be critiqued in very “spiritual” terms. “He is not very much of a spiritual leader. I would be submissive if he would start leading right.” And the whole thing can be couched as a prayer request to a number of sympathetic friends who are in the same boat.”

I understand you wrote this book in 2006. If all this means is that your views are changing and that you’re considering abandoning what you have said in the past, then okay. However, the more I read that paragraph, the more I liked it! You demonstrated exceptionally keen insight into the passive mock-pious manner in which a Christian wife would attempt to take authority over her husband. And do so to sympathetic ears whilst making a prayer request even! Most writers wouldn’t even dare to suggest such a thing, even though it’s exactly how it would happen in real life! I liked it so much that I read it aloud to my younger brother, and he heartily agreed that you’re right on the money.

But now you’re not sure your interpretation of Genesis 3:16 was right to begin with. In fact, you’ve gone out of your way to undermine it. I think that’s a regretful course of action for someone undecided at the moment. Why pre-emptively undermine an interpretation that helped give you such a keen eye for sinful rebellion if you’re not sure you weren’t right the entire time?

I look forward to your reply.

Prince Asbel #203614

To follow up my most recent comment, you also agreed with Foh’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] here as well:

“The prophecy that her “desire shall be for her husband” was not speaking of romantic getaways, but rather predicting that there would be a struggle for mastery. So instead of trying to gain mastery over her husband, she should struggle to gain mastery over this besetting impulse within herself.”

https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/21-theses-submission-marriage.html

Prince Asbel #203615

That previous quote from your 21 theses on marriage was published a month ago, so therefore, you didn’t just hold to Foh’s interpretation eleven years ago. You held to it as early as last month! Also, from page 29 of your book Future Men:

“Part of the curse in Genesis is seen in how the woman desires to have mastery over her husband. When God tells Eve that her desire will be for her husband (Gen. 3:16), this was not referring to romantic getaways. The phrase is virtually identical to the one found in the next chapter, when God warns Cain that sin wants to have mastery over him (Gen. 4:7).”

I’m sure if I did some more digging I can find more. But it is quite clear what you have believed and what you have taught. It’s well documented. Again, I look forward to your reply whenever you get around to it.

Katecho #203855

Prince Asbel wrote:

That previous quote from your 21 theses on marriage was published a month ago, so therefore, you didn’t just hold to Foh’s interpretation eleven years ago. You held to it as early as last month!

Asbel doth protest way too much.

Wilson never said he didn’t hold to Foh’s interpretation. He even said he wasn’t ready to reject it, implying that he still holds it. However, he said he was “leaning against it”. That’s not a statement of having reached a conclusion.

So Asbel shouldn’t jump to conclusions on Wilson’s behalf, or try to rush him into one.

Wilson has changed his understanding on several important doctrines throughout his ministry, and I believe that has been to the better, and a blessing to many. I find it evidence of significant humility, especially when he shares his reasoning for the change.

Prince Asbel #204031

Wilson never said he didn’t hold to Foh’s interpretation. He even said he wasn’t ready to reject it, implying that he still holds it. However, he said he was “leaning against it”. That’s not a statement of having reached a conclusion.

This is gobbledygook. If he is presently leaning against it, then that implies he DOESN’T still hold to it. Talk about twisting words to no avail.

Also, if he hasn’t reached a formal “final” conclusion, big deal. He has concluded ENOUGH to go out of his way to undermine his own teachings in this article.

So Asbel shouldn’t jump to conclusions on Wilson’s behalf, or try to rush him into one.

He’s rushing into one just fine all by himself.

I find it evidence of significant humility, especially when he shares his reasoning for the change.

You and I don’t know what form Wilson’s final decision will take. If he’s going to demonstrate significant humility, that final decision (article?) will have to include a recognition that he has been teaching people the wrong interpretation of Genesis 3:16 for ages now. In print, and online (not to mention whatever sermons or lectures he has given wherein he said the same thing), and therefore, much of the insight and advice he has given which stems from that needs to be re-evaluated for its truth value, or rejected outright.

That may be humble, or it may be capitulation. At the end of the day, he’s undermining his own credibility. And none of you seem to have even noticed that’s what’s happening here. You say I protest too much- I say you and his other readers are protesting far too little. Acting as if there’s nothing to see here.

Wilson’s Scapegoat for Fat, Unkempt Women.

Back in 2018, Dalrock wrote Modern Christian teachers of the lesson in The Wedding of Sir Gawain. In there he showed us one of Doug Wilson’s most bizarre teachings- namely, that a man who properly loves his wife will cause her to grow in physical attractiveness. This was documented from Wilson’s “Reforming Marriage” book which came out in 2012. I recently discovered that he taught the same thing even earlier in 2006 in his book “For a Glory and a Covering: A Practical Theology of Marriage”.

Dalrock’s critical remarks for “Reforming Marriage” are just as applicable to this older book. Continue reading

The DWC Files #1: Oscar’s Terrifying Questions

Websites get remodeled all the time. Content is often lost in the transition, and that can include comments by the users. For the sake of preserving proof that there are Christians out there fighting against feminism and complimentarianism within the church, I’ve decided to collect some of the comments from Doug Wilson’s blog articles. Douglas Wilson’s comment sections used to be more accessible and less moderated only a couple of years back, and it used to be much easier for critics to scrutinize his material.

Oscar is one user who had the persistence to ask Wilson and his fans for a clear delineation between a husband’s authority and responsibility in marriage, and which of the two does he have? Does he have the power to enforce his authority upon his wife, and if so, how? He asked these questions repeatedly, quoted Wilson thoroughly, and never got a response back from him or his fans. You will see just how insufferable they could be, but Oscar didn’t let up at all. He kept up asking the scary, uncomfortable questions that no one, including the bold, brash, bite-back Wilson himself, has the guts to answer. No doubt his persistence disturbed the minds of the people there, so God-willing, they started to see their incoherent views for what they were. If you want to find these comments, they’re still on Wilson’s website here. (Archive Here.) I included more comments besides his when I found them relevant to the discussion. This is a VERY long post, but I hope you enjoy it.



Oscar #216964

Authority and responsibility are two different things that are supposed to go together.

au·thor·i·ty əˈTHôrədē/Submit
noun
1. the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

2. a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.

Note that authority INCLUDES enforcement. A person who cannot enforce obedience has zero authority.

re·spon·si·bil·i·ty rəˌspänsəˈbilədē/Submit
noun
1. the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

2. the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

3. the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.

If you give a leader (a married father) responsibility for (a duty do deal with) a group of people (wife and children), but deny him the authority to enforce obedience to his orders and decisions, you set him up for failure.

That’s the situation in which Christian husbands find themselves today: all the responsibility, zero authority. Set up for failure. Continue reading

Stop Calling Doug Wilson a Patriarch


Douglas Wilson is an author who has written extensively on marriage for decades. In discussing difficult issues surrounding sexuality and marriage with my family and my church family, I’ve often had to explain why I dislike his material on marriage so much. He seems ever so traditional and patriarchal, and he’s hated by feminists. What could he say or write that would make me distrust him? Is he not a Patriarchal brother-in-the-Lord?

Let me ask the reader: If you’re a Patriarch, then you are unquestionably in charge of your wife and children. Is that correct? If the answer to that question is yes, then let’s follow it up with another question:

Would you expect a Patriarch, one who writes about marriage for decades, to consistently undermine the authority of the husband, and give authority to the wife over him?

The obvious answer is no. In a patriarchal marriage, the husband is in authority over the wife. He tells her what to do, and she obeys, not vice versa. Even an enraged feminist can comprehend that. Douglas Wilson is far and away more intelligent and level-headed than an enraged feminist, so there’s no way he doesn’t understand that better than they could.

My third question is: Then why does he write like he opposes that axiom?

Most people familiar with Doug Wilson do not know how off the rails he can be when it comes to patriarchal authority. Allow me to quote him from his book How to Exasperate your Wife, pages 17-18:

A wife therefore has true authority over her home which no one, including her husband, can take away from her. She must be obedient to him, as this verse states, but this is a clearly delimited obedience.(…)In a certain sense, a husband (as the head of his wife) is an honored and permanent guest, but he should learn to see himself as a guest. He wipes his feet at the door, he eats what is served to him, and he seeks to conform to the pattern established by her

There is nothing patriarchal about this drivel. This kind of thing would never be written by me, and there’s a simple reason for that: I don’t believe it. If I believe in father-rule, then I would never declare the wife to be the ruler of the home, much less the despot. Douglas Wilson wrote the above quotes because that is what he believes. It is not patriarchy, and would never be written by Wilson if he were a Patriarch himself.

From page 11 of How to Exasperate your Wife:

The wife is to be the ruler or despot of the home. This means that when she tells you to take your shoes off at the door, you will take your shoes off—and cheerfully.

That’s right. You WILL take your shoes off. That’s Wilson’s emphasis, not mine (although he used italics). I challenge any fan of his to quote him saying that to women in any context, let alone wives to husbands. Yet he will say it to men, and make sure you know he means business. Wifey orders you around like a kid? Fall in line, and you make sure to smile while you’re at it.

Let’s continue with an excerpt from his 21 Theses on Submission in Marriage blog article:

The Bible does not teach husbands to enforce the requirement that was given to their wives. Since true submission is a matter of the heart, rendered by grace through faith, a husband does not have the capacity to make this happen. His first task is therefore to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He is to lead by example.

Again, more drivel. The husband is the wife’s authority, and he is to teach the scriptures to his family (Ephesians 6:4). The wife is also required to ask him questions at home should she desire to ask a question about them (I Corinthians 14:35). Her requirement to submit to him is just one of many biblical truths he would be required to teach her. And since he would teach, why would he not enforce? I mean, you can’t make your child submit as a matter of the heart either, but a father would never let that stop him from demanding the child do as he is told. So why would a Patriarch, of all people, avoid enforcing his wife’s requirement to obey God’s command to obey him?

As I said before, this sort of thing would never be written by me. The answer to why I would not is the same as it was before: I don’t believe it. The reason Douglas Wilson wrote that is because that’s what he believes. He thinks husbands should lead by example, I.E. not enforce his authority over his own wife. No Patriarch in his right mind would ever teach such a thing.

What makes it even more absurd is that Douglas Wilson is fully-aware that if you are in authority over someone, you are entitled to whatever it is that’s owed to you from that person under your authority (How to Exasperate Your Wife, Pg. 16):

Those under authority owe certain things to their liege-lord, and the one in authority has the right to require it of them.

But when it comes to husbands requiring their wives do as they’re told, all of a sudden, this basic truth about authority is chucked out the window (The Authority of Servanthood):

If you are talking with your wife and requiring something of her because you want something done, then you are wrong.

Doug Wilson can enrage the feminists all he wants. While they’re foaming at the mouth when he pays lip service to the husband’s headship, he’s preaching to rational Bible-believing Christians exactly what those same feminists believe about that headship. How dare you tell a wife what to do because YOU want something done. Who do you think you are, the boss man??

Is the husband the head of his wife the way Christ is the head of the Church? Absolutely. Is he the boss man? Not even close. – How to Exasperate Your Wife, Pg. 18

So please, dear fans of brother Wilson, stop calling him a Patriarch. Just because he riles the feminists proves nothing. He is not a patriarch, never was, and barring a clear, straightforward denunciation of what he has preached for decades, he never will be.