Husbands Are Always Preaching A Gospel

I’ve been reading Federal Husband, by Doug Wilson. It has been, far and away, one of the best books on being a husband and father I’ve ever read. It’s challenging, insightful, and convicting. In his discussion of how marriage images the relationship between Christ and the church, Wilson says this:

A man who is the head of his wife is preaching all day about Christ and the Church—his obedience or disobedience will determine whether his preaching is full of lies or not, but the very nature of his relation to his wife means that he is preaching, like it or not.

In other words, how we treat our wives preaches a message about the gospel. A husband who fails to love his wife unconditionally and sacrificially, is actually lying about the character of Christ, because the husband’s relationship to his wife represents Christ’s relationship to the church. Whether he’s doing it well or not doesn’t change the fact that he is representing that relationship. So, when we love our wives as we should, we accurately represent Christ’s love for the church, but when we fail to do so, we are actually saying that that’s how Christ treats the church. We misrepresent the character of Christ by mistreating our wives.

This short book is unlike any other you’ve ever read on godly manhood. I highly recommend every man, married or single, to purchase a copy and take Wilson’s instruction to heart. Get Federal Husband here.

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Warning Signs for Fatherhood

I’ve been reading Federal Husband, by Doug Wilson. It has been, far and away, one of the best books on being a husband and father I’ve ever read. It’s challenging, insightful, and convicting. In his last chapter, on fatherhood, he says this:

So biblically, a man should know he has a problem and needs to learn God’s standards and grace, when…

his children are routinely disobedient…
his children roll their eyes when he tries to instruct them…
he finds himself making excuses for his children to others…
he is exasperated and frustrated in his children…
his children are whiners…
his children are insecure in their masculine and feminine identity and callings, respectively…
his children are lazy…
his children are miserable because he doesn’t love them through discipline…

Now of course, no parents can say they have perfect children in any of these areas. We are all descended from Adam; there is no getting around it. But if any of these are characteristic of a household, then that home is failing in its covenantal obligations.

This short book is unlike any other you’ve read on godly manhood. I highly recommend that every man, married or single, purchase a copy and take Wilson’s instruction to heart. Get Federal Husband here.

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Proximity, Sprawl, and the Importance of Living Close to Your Community

I’d like to recommend a few blog posts that I think you’ll find both challenging and encouraging. The basic themes summarized:

  • We need to do a better job of proritizing our church community
  • Living near the people we want to be close to helps tremendously
  • Putting down roots is essential
  • Proximity matters

To begin, I’ll share an article from The Gospel Coalition. I don’t normally recommend things from TGC. They have slid run full speed into the social gospel and social justice movement, emphasizing progressive socio-political issues and turning them into “gospel issues.” However, depending on the author and topic, they still can have some excellent resources on their blog from time to time.

I recently found this gem of an article in which Nathan Finn argues that we ought to seek to live close to our local church—really close. We don’t tend to think this way anymore; in fact, it’s almost entirely foreign to us now. It goes against everything that we’ve been conditioned to think, but the reality is that proximity matters. We have been duped, with our reliance on cars and communication technology, into thinking that we can live far away from others yet remain just as close to them. Read the article here — Why You Should Consider Living Near Your Church.

Over on Scot McKnight’s blog, Todd Dildine has been examining the causes of the decline of local churches. In his second installment, he has an excellent analysis of what he calls “sprawl”—the ever-expanding spread of homes that makes it difficult to actually have a full sense of community among the church. Again, he’s arguing that, in fact, proximity matters, and the growing sprawl of communities is actually hurting the local church — The Death of the Church 2.

Of course, this church-centric mindset is not just foreign to many, it’s offensive. On that note, Religious Affections recently posted a good article about the scriptural mandate to prioritize our own local church community — How Christians and Churches Prioritize Going About the Doing of Good.

As you’ll notice, especially in the article on sprawl, one’s sense of place is extremely important. The Imaginative Conservative has an article, not relating specifically to living near your church, but rather to the issue of cultivating permanence, and the value of living in your hometown. It’s a convicting and challenging read — Why You Should Stay in Your Hometown.

One last post, another that deals with the need for roots and permanence, is this one from C.R. Wiley — Dying Where You’re Planted. In it, he explains that, even if you don’t stay in your hometown, you ought to take the “conservative risk” of putting down roots and staying put.

In these articles, the authors are noticing the loss of a sense of place and belonging in American culture—especially amongst the younger generations. In our quest for globalization and the goal of making everyone feel like they “belong” everywhere, we’ve actually lost our rootedness and end up not belonging anywhere. I encourage you to take the time to read each of these articles; in the end, I think you’ll find them deeply encouraging.

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Can you answer these questions?

This past school year, I’ve been teaching my nephew and niece U.S. history, with a focus on political philosophy. They are in 6th and 8th grade respectively. As I was developing the final exam, I realized that probably a great number of Americans would not be able to answer even the first 5 questions! Can you?

  1. What is civil government, and how does that differ from family or clan government?
  2. List the four features/values of Classical Republicanism.
  3. What are the four primary forms of government structure?
  4. What are the two fundamental responsibilities of any government?
  5. Define the principle of subsidiarity.

If you’re discouraged by the foreignness of these questions, or want to learn more about history and politics from a conservative, non-PC perspective from a variety of excellent professors, click the banner below to sign up for the Liberty Classroom and start learning!





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Series on How to Compose a Doctrinal Statement

Below, you’ll find links to my series on how to develop and write a doctrinal statement. I’ve geared this toward churches specifically, but I hope it will be of some benefit to you personally as well. This also is my personal statement of faith (adapted for churches of course), so this will let you get to know me a little better as well.

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Michael Bird is quickly becoming one of my favorite theologians (at least of those with whom I largely disagree:). Especially helpful is his analysis of the New Perspective on Paul (on which I largely do agree with Bird, and have benefited greatly from him). In a recent blog post, he explains why he holds to what he calls “monocovenantalism.” The reason I’m sharing this though, is for his excellent explanation of the test of Adam in the garden.

I believe in covenant theology, I think what we call a covenant of grace is God’s plan for taking people from being “in Adam” to being “in Christ.” But I reject the binary covenant of works vs. covenant of grace view, also called bi-covenantalism. So I’d breakdown covenant theology this way:

First, there is no covenant of works which required Adam to keep a law that was a protological version of the Mosaic law and covenant.

The Adamic adminstration was a probationary period rather than a meritorious exercise. Adam could have retained his relationship with God and even gained immortality had he remained obedient to God in the garden during that probationary period in Eden. Adam’s failure was not the failure to keep the commandment as a law, which, if obeyed, would have acquired merit for himself; rather, breaking the commandment meant severing his relationship with God on account of his desire for autonomy from God. Salvation will henceforth mean restoring the ruined relationship between Creator and humanity as opposed to accruing the meritorious law-keeping that Adam allegedly failed to achieve…

I don’t fully agree with the rest of his post (since he still defends the Covenant of Grace), but it’s well worth the read, if for no other reason than to see a respected Covenant theologian question the common interpretation of the Garden as an arena in which Adam had to earn salvation meritoriously. Read the full post here.

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