Over the years I have dialed back on giving written criticisms of what fellow Christians write, say, or teach. My current pattern is to write on my perspective of truth, trusting that if what I believe (and write) is sound, then those in error will be captivated by the Spirit. Christians personally and publicly criticized by name, especially on a blog, often are so blinded by the thick fog of humiliation that even the strongest rays of truth are unable to enlighten the mind. Very few of us possess the uncommon grace needed to respond to criticisms with humility, grace, and when appropriate, corresponding correction. We often fancy ourselves gatekeepers of the truth, thinking that we must attack our opponents to protect what we defend--forgetting that the lion of truth has never been caged in the first place and is in no need of guardians.
With that caveat, this post is out of the ordinary for me in that I am identifying by name Doug Wilson and The Gospel Coalition in order to register my vehement opposition to their views on sex and marriage. My friends Dee and Deb (Wanda) at Wartburg Watch are doing extraordinary work for the Kingdom through their writings. I do not spend a great deal of time reading blogs, but these two delightful deipnosophists are worth reading every day. Even better, their eclectic commentators have amazing insights into culture and Christendom. As I perused the comments at the end of Dee's article Doug Wilson: Fashionable Calvista Has Disturbing Views on Slavery, I came across the following comment by Jeannette Altes regarding Doug Wilson's views on sex between a husband and a wife:
"He (Doug Wilson) believes the part of the whole ‘biblical roles’ packages is the concept of ‘authority and submission’ and he makes no bones about what he is talking about – sex. He equates the ‘authority and submission’ of ‘the marriage bed’ with the law of gravity. I’m sorry if the following quote makes some squeamish, but it is straight out of his book…I was shocked when I read the comment above. I thought Jeannette might have misunderstood Doug (or misquoted him), so I did a little research myself, and lo and behold, I discovered that Jeannette is not only accurate in her assessment of Doug Wilson's writings, she is almost too kind in her critique of his views. Below is what Doug writes about sex and marriage in his new (correction: 1999) book Fidelity: What It Means to be a One-Woman Man (emphasis mine):
“A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”
“True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity.”
Does anyone else here see in this the implication that sex itself was designed to be a violent conquering act and women were designed to submit to it? This man is sick. He is justifying rape. How is this supposed to mirror the relationship between us (God’s children) and God? I wonder if he really see God in that way?
I have to say that if that is his view of sex, I pity his wife."
"When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.
I think I am going to be sick. I now write to Mr. Doug Wilson, the author of the above paragraph: "As a Christian man who believes the Bible is inspired and infallible, who holds steadfastly to particular redemption and the exclusivity of Christ, and who will never compromise on the gospel truth--I find your words offensive. What you have written is unbiblical, anti-Christ (in its truest sense) and harmful to anyone who seeks to have a marriage that reflects the grace of God by loving one's spouse as Christ loves the church. Grace never ends in subjugation. Grace always compels through self-less love." There, I feel better. What may ultimately be even more revolting for me is the knowledge that the Gospel Coalition's official blog actually praises Doug Wilson for his views.
I have given the benefit of the doubt in the past to the Gospel Coalition for multiple reasons. Things have changed. Until the Gospel Coalition recognizes the extraordinary and dangerous views of Doug Wilson regarding sexual subjugation of women by men, and until the Gospel Coalition apologizes for their official endorsement of Doug Wilson's unbiblical views regarding the husband/wife sexual relationship, I will consider the Gospel Coalition to be an entitity that poorly reflects"the faith once delivered to the saints" and will discourage any and all participation or cooperation with those involved.
The pornographic book 50 Shades of Grey is revolting to me. The only thing worse is Doug Wilson's views on sex and marriage in his book Fidelity, views endorsed and praised by The Gospel Coalition.
It seems to me that both books have been set on fire from hell.