Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Only Thing Worse than a Church Full of Women Reading 50 Shades of Grey Is a Church Full of Men Reading Fidelity: What It Means to Be a One-Woman Man

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…

“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."
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):
"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.


EMSoliDeoGloria said...

It isn't a new book (published 1999) and it is par for the course for Wilson on issues of sexuality, if a little more blunt than usual because he warns the delicate females off reading it w/out their husband's permission.

Nicholas said...

Jared Wilson endorses Wilson's book, but not the entire Gospel Coalition.

Wade Burleson said...


Is Jared Wilson related to Doug?

Wade Burleson said...


Thanks! I will correct my post.

Landon Coleman said...

I agree that both books are trash. However, I don't understand your bashing of the entire Gospel Coalition. I looked at thier website, and I found Wilson's blog post, but I failed to find any sort of endorsement from the GC or Wilson. Maybe I missed it, but I just a post where Wilson quoted part of Fidelity (and the part he quoted wasn't too outlandish, like a broken clock that's right every now and then). Again, I share your disgust with both books in question, but your post comes across like you are looking for a reason to bash the GC as a whole instead of taking issue with the fact that one blogger made a positive reference to a book that is largely trash.

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

I think I first read this in my college library when I was a sophmore.

If Christian marriage were defined out of Moscow ID, I decided I didn't want it. Thankfully, it's not and my husband has shown me that there are godly men who don't take their cues from Doug Wilson and Mark Driscoll.

Nicholas said...

I don't think they're related. On second thought, Wilson may be popular with some of the GC crew.

Landon, Jared favorably quoted the very passage from Doug Wilson's book that Wade is discussing here.

Nicholas said...

Doug Wilson also holds to a heresy called "Federal Vision." This teaching compromises justification by faith alone.

Wade Burleson said...


You write: "I agree both books are trash. However, I don't understand your bashing of the entire Gospel Coalition."

Fair statement. First, if "bashing" is calling for Gospel Coalition to apologize for the endorsement of Wilson's views, then I am guilty.

Second, the GC movement has increasingly made the subjugation of women to the inherent authority of men a "gospel" principle. Meaning, John Piper and Mark Driscoll and others have all said that male authority (as in "Christianity has a masculine feel") is essential to an understanding of the gospel. That's hogwash. I respect the soteriology of the GC, but the warped and unbiblical gender viewpoints of the GC is affecting my ability to trust the gospel they proclaim.

Third, the blog in question REPRESENTS the GC's official position. They should take down the post or remove their name from the top of the blog if it doesn't.

Wade Burleson said...

"Landon, Jared favorably quoted the very passage from Doug Wilson's book that Wade is discussing here."

Nicholas, thanks. You nailed my point with a sure word.

Landon Coleman said...

Just read a few of the comments below Wilson's blog post, and clearly he's trying to defend the whole book. Still not ready to write of the GC for this post alone. Clearly there are other issues and more history behind Pastor Burleson's distate for the GC.

Nicholas said...

Here is Doug Wilson's blog: http://www.dougwils.com/

Bridget said...

Jared Wilson posted that quote from Wilson's book on a short blog and has gotten serious pushback. He claims that most everyone commenting has poor reading comprehension and is not able to grasp what Doug is saying. He even suggests that if you read the entire book (Fidelity) you would understand. My goodness, even if that were true, why post a quote like that which is obviously controversial and sick in my opinion, and then act like everyone commenting lacks reading skills! If these are the types if pastors that TGC is supporting then I want nothing to do with them. When asked where in scripture they can support that quote, Jared did not give an answer. He told me I need to read more scripture :) You really have to go read the comment section at the blog. Doug Wilson even weighed in . . . not that it helped much.

Wade Burleson said...


"Clearly there are other issues and more history behind Pastor Burleson's distate for the GC."

On the contrary, the sole issue for me with the GC is their unbiblical, anti-Christ view of women.

I have held back criticism of the GC BECAUSE of the good work that they do--but their fall down the slippery slope into the subjugation of women by ENDORSING Wilson's views, have led me to finally speak out.

Landon Coleman said...

By "other issues and more history" I simply meant more than just this one post, ie, your broader concerns with their gender views. As someone who does agree with the GC on most issues, I do want to be clear that Doug Wilson's book is unclear at best and untrue at worst. I also think most complimentarians do not have an "anti-Christ" view of women as you suggest.

Bridget is right, the reference to the book is foolish, and Jared Wilson should stop telling people that the problem is their reading comprehension. The problem is a lack of clarity, possibly by Doug Wlson, definitely by Jared Wilson.

Wade Burleson said...


Well said.

I see what you are saying and agree.


Anonymous said...

"Wilson's blog post, but I failed to find any sort of endorsement from the GC or Wilson."

Doug Wilson's blog is on the GC blog roll.

A cursory look shows that Taylor, DeYoung, Anyabwile, Tchividjian, Starke, and Wax all quote or link to Doug Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burleson, thanks for your post. As I have already learned my lesson in that explaining what has been posted matters not, I won't do that again.

But as WW did not appear a hospitable environment for a dissenting opinion -- indeed, I was being accused of all manner of things there -- I hope you won't mind if I attempt at clearing up a few things in your space.

First, when commenter Bridget says I did not answer her question about Scripture references, she is wrong. I don't know that she's lying, but she is mistaken at the least. Here is the link to my reply which clearly answers her call for biblical references:

Now, those might not persuade her or be suitable for her purposes, but that is not the same as saying I failed to answer her call for references, a claim she's made now multiple times.

Secondly, my blog is a part of The Gospel Coalition blogs, but it is not "the official Gospel Coalition blog." This might seem like a niggling point, but it is nonetheless more accurate.

Finally, contrary to what many continue asserting, there is no orchestrated Gospel Coalition effort to "promote Doug Wilson." It's possible we all just find quotes of his and teachings of his we find compelling and worth sharing. You could find similar widespread quotings of that anti-semite Martin Luther. But it has been suggested some sort of conspiracy to foist Doug on our audience. I had no idea Justin was posting a Douglas Wilson excerpt the same week I was, and he had no idea I was doing same. We don't coordinate about such things. It is just a coincidence, and an unfortunate one from most's perception obviously.

All of that said, I am past the point of caring about those who question my intelligence, my manhood, or my salvation. But I only request they use true things to do so. Assumptions and imaginings do not become any who claim the cause of Christ.

Again, thanks for your space.
Peace to you all and blessings in the gospel always.

-- Jared Wilson

Wade Burleson said...


Thanks for your comment. I did not mention your name in my post, and appreciate you coming to this blog.
I would suggest that you take down the blog endorsing Wilson's views on this subject. Of course, it is your perogative to keep it up. We are both proponents of free speech.

I am not sure that you or the Gospel Coalition fully appreciate the continuing damage coming your way in terms of Christian reputation because of Doug's theonomist views. I realize the GC speaks of submission, authority, etc..., but what Doug has written in terms of the Christian norm of marital sex is far more than just "submission" or "authority."
The language is of subjugation and domination. He may plead innocent, but we both know communication is both what the writer intends and the reader understands. I'm not dumb nor naive, and I understand precisely what is being said.

That's what is scary.

I realize that Mr. Wilson is making the case in this particular chapter of his book that RAPE is fantasized by both men and women because the understanding of biblical submission of women toward men (in the marriage bed particularly) has been lost in our society.

I think his rationale lacks support exegetically, brings condemnation culturally and causes trouble personally.

I am often on the receiving end of criticism, so let me be the first to thank you for coming and commenting.

My suggestion is you take down your blogpost and let Doug stand on his own.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Burleson, thanks for your reply. I disagree with your conclusions and will not remove the post, but I am grateful (more than you likely know) for your gentleness and tone in response.

Blessings again, in Christ's gospel,

jared wilson

Wade Burleson said...

I understand Jared. Again, thanks for commenting.

The ensuing discussion should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

“A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.”

Which Talibani or Commander of Gilead from The Handmaid's Tale is being quoted?


“True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity.”

Instead of "Authority", that really should be "Dominance", just like the title of that Blue Oyster Cult song: "Dominance and Submission".

Which I believe is also the theme of 50 Shades of Grey -- Dom & Sub.

Well, ever since 50 Shades hit the best-seller lists, I've been expecting the Christianese Bandwagon Knockoff to appear. Never thought the first entry in "Just like 50 Shades of Grey, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!" would be titled Fidelity...

Victorious said...

Wade, I'm glad you referred to these views as "dangerous." I'm truly fearful of conditions I can foresee for women in the not-too-distant future if these teachings are not strongly confronted. Where is the outrage by the Christian body at large?

Mary Ann

Anonymous said...

Wade, let's call these guys what they are:


And Fidelity and similar books and preaching what it is:


Bridget said...

I posted the response below at Jared's blog. I hope it clears up some confusion.


Jared -

In reference to your comments on Wade's blog:

I asked above -- "Show me where in scripture that sexual intercourse is even described as Doug Wilson describes it above. His premise might be wrong."

I was referring to what Doug Wilson wrote -- "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."

Your scripture references of 1 Cor. 7:1-5 and Eph. 5:22-33 did not answer my question.

I did not mean to infer that you did not give me scripture references. I'm sorry that I stated that poorly. What I should have said is that you did not give scripture references that answered my pointed question.

I do hope you are feeling better.


I'm hoping this is understood :)

Bridget said...

I follow this thought process, because I can read, but it does not make sense to me:

"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."

DW seems to be saying that because of the offense to egalitarians (huh?) our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and sumbission in the marriage bed, and because of cultures rebellion we (the Church?) have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission in the marriage bed.

To begin with the concept I see in the marriage bed is not the concept of authority and submission, it is mutual submission as stated in 1 Cor. 7:1-5.

Secondly, our culture is dead to the Truth because they are not redeemed. Only the Spirit of God can redeem. The Church all having the same belief or practice regarding authority and submission will not change the culture. That is not the "Good News."

I searched the word "authority" in the NT a few months ago and the only time it came up was in reference to Jesus having authority. I searched because of the many times I keep hearing this word being used by leaders in reference to a leader's authority in the church and a husband's authority in the family.

Jesus had much to say and live out regarding this concept.

Jeannette Altes said...

Wade -

First, I'm glad you chose to investigate whether my comment was accurate or not. I read some of the comments in that thread and did the same thing - pulled the book up on the internet and read the chapter (yes, the whole chapter) - which led to my comment.

When I read the quote from your post over in the comments at TWW, I was interested to hear you thoughts. I have to admit to being startled at find myself quoted. :-)

The bottle line: no matter how many big words Doug Wilson uses or how well he is able to string words together to sound logical or educated (to some), it does not change the fact that the chapter entitled "Rape" from his book Fidelity, 1) promotes the view that God uses rape to punish, and 2) promotes the idea that the marriage bed is supposed to look like rape and the women are supposed to just put up with it.

It is no less sick and twisted than the words of those that molested me as a child - and, in my opinion, for the same reasons.

Wade Burleson said...


You, Mary Ann and Bridgette (plus Dee and Wanda) give me incredible hope. You are Christian women who believe Scripture, love Christ, and are unafraid to speak out against such incredible and awful teaching.

Thanks for your comments.

I understand what you are saying clearly.

Anonymous said...

The bottle line: no matter how many big words Doug Wilson uses or how well he is able to string words together to sound logical or educated (to some), it does not change the fact that the chapter entitled "Rape" from his book Fidelity, 1) promotes the view that God uses rape to punish, and 2) promotes the idea that the marriage bed is supposed to look like rape and the women are supposed to just put up with it. -- Jeanette Altes

Ever wondered if that might be Wilson indulging his own sexual fantasies in writing?

Wanda (Deb) Martin said...


I appreciate your bringing attention to this important matter. May more Christian men look to you as their role model.

Matt Richard said...

1 Corinthians 7:4?????

Jeannette Altes said...


Thank you - the compliment is. It means more than you know. :-)

As to my previous comment - argh! auto-correct....

The second to last paragraph should start: The bottom line...

Anonymous said...

Now we have poetic ears like three feet of tinfoil, and need to retake our ESL classes!
Wade, since both Doug and Jared give the Song of Songs as proof, but neither one adresses SOS 4:9, maybe you can give your take on a bridegroom whose heart is captivated or ravished by his bride? Sounds too close to egalitarian pleasuring to my poetically-deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. Your words are eloquent, well-understood, and speak blessings to women. And the way you stand up and speak out, smells like Jesus to me.

Anonymous said...

Wade -- I read that Doug Wilson passage on male and female to my roommate. His exact words:

"That is a guy who is HEAVILY into BDSM."

Headless Unicorn Guy

Steve Martin said...

Glad I went to an L.A. City public school.

I can only read books with big pictures and small words.

Looks like Dr. Suess wins out again.

Anonymous said...


To compare Doug Wilson's book to a pornographic fairy tale strikes me as deeply uncharitable at best and downright irresponsible at worst. Wilson is your brother in Christ, the author of 50 Shades of Gray is not. Wilson is trying to posit a biblical view of fidelity. I have no problem disagreeing with his views, but to categorize it with 50 Shades of Gray seems extreme to me.

Joe Blackmon said...

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.

Well, considering your obvious left-ward drift over the past 6 years (which was likely really just a "coming out" party--finally owning up to what you really believed all along) this is really no surprise.

The man's word choice was about as poor as I've read and I don't find his ideas helpful at all, but any reasonable person with an ounce of sense recognizes that he is NOT advocating rape. Duh

Anonymous said...

Duh? I don't think so. I would like to understand how in the world “the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party” can possibly be explained away so that it would *not* mean that sex inherently is not or is not meant to be pleasurable for both the man and the woman? (My husband would strongly disagree – for him it’s pleasurable if I feel loved and find pleasure as well.) How can you make that quote mean something other than what it plainly says?


Wade Burleson said...

Joe Blackman,

If you consider my "driftward left" of your views offensive, then all I can say is thanks for the compliment.

Anonymous said...


I have read the post over at the Gospel Coalition and I have read other information about Doug Wilson, particularly his views regarding slavery. As I understand things, he first co-authored a book with a guy who is on the fringe of the Southern Pride and White Supremacy movement, then when problems with the book were discovered, he reissued it in a pamphlet form under a new title.

What we are dealing with here is very sad. We have brothers at the Gospel Coalition who are citing a man who is both unreliable as a scholar, and who is promoting things about sexuality and the issue of slavery that are patently untrue.

The sad thing is that these views are being connected to the Gospel.

The Gospel Coalition has done such good work and has promoted so many good things. Why must it involve itself with such a fringe character?

I saw the video from Piper where he says that Wilson "Gets the Gospel Right", ergo, he invites him to speak, cites him etc.

Can't we all agree that there are many people in this world who understand the Gospel, but that are deficient in understanding the implications of the Gospel or otherwise have what we might call "strange views" on other things.

I mentioned in another post the killer of the abortionist a few years ago. By all accounts, that guy got the Gospel right, but his mind was so twisted that he thought getting the Gospel right meant he should protect the unborn by shooting an abortionist.

Most Christians I know decry that action, and would not hold that person up because he "got the Gospel right."

How is it that such a signifcant number of Christians fail to see the utter lack of judgment and discernment involved in linking up with a person who would write the things that Wilson has written?

The "seeker movement" would never do this kind of thing. Too many of them crave approval of the world so much that it would scare them off from issues like this.

But there are some in the Reformed crowd who apparently crave the feeling of becoming more and more eccentric to prove their spiritual bonafides.

I say this as an elder in an SBC church that is considered to be on the Reformed side of things (this description, however, is a bit overblown) and a person who holds a complimentarian view.

The damage that can be done by associating with crack pots, or serious people who hold some crack pot views, is incalculable. It damages the organization because it will be seen as moving into an eccentric cultural niche.

But more importantly, here, it is an offense to the Gospel.

All Christians should take that seriously.

To equate the Gospel with an approval of or apology for/defense of slavery or the description of the male/female relationship here is offensive - to the Gospel.

This is not about questioning the sincerety, manhood or salvation of anybody.

It's about questioning people's judgment.

Thanks for posting this. My pastor is doing a series on sexuality this summer, and I am going to send him this link immediately.


Anonymous said...

Wilson is your brother in Christ, the author of 50 Shades of Gray is not. -- Anonymous Wed Jul 18, 02:05:00 AM 2012

So we circle the wagons with One of Us against the Other?

Just like all those Muslims who closed ranks with their fellow Muslims in al-Qaeda after 9/11?

Headless Unicorn Guy

Anonymous said...

To equate the Gospel with an approval of or apology for/defense of slavery or the description of the male/female relationship here is offensive - to the Gospel. -- Louis

Because it makes God the God of the Slaveowners and ONLY the Slaveowners. Or the God of Male Supremacists and ONLY Male Supremacists.

Or, more generically, it makes God the God of the POWERFUL and ONLY the POWERFUL.

Headless Unicorn Guy

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

I appreciate what Louis said:
"This is not about questioning the sincerity, manhood or salvation of anybody.

It's about questioning people's judgment."

I can assume the best about someone's intelligence (and I think Wilson is intelligent) while disagreeing with them (not sure Wilson extends his critics the same courtesy).

I agree that Wilson isn't advocating rape (not sure where that idea came from) but I question his judgment / wisdom / theological perspective when he consistently reduces sexuality and gender issues to a matter of men being on top. In Reforming Marriage, he likens men to a sledge hammer and women to a delicate tea cup. Here it is the penetrator and penetrated that we are reduced to. And, if you have a problem with his emphasis on male dominance, Wilson has a conclusion about you:
And even with the qualifications, it is probable that a number of readers havereacted negatively to the earlier use of the word "dominance."
The fact that this is so is simply another testimony to how much the Christian Church is influencedby the propaganda of feminism—whether the man-hatingsecular variety or the sanitized “evangelical” kind. Nevertheless, the dominance of the husband is a fact; the only choice we have in this regard concerns whether that dominance will be a loving and constructive dominion
or hateful and destructive
Arguing with the fact of thehusband’s headship in the home is like jumping off a cliff in order to quarrel with the law of gravity."
(Reforming Marriage, Ch 2)

Well, there you have it. Arguing with Wilson's view of marriage is like arguing with gravity - just ask him!

But some of us have marriages based on mutual love, mutual respect and pursuit of unity. And we seek to practice the one anothers of Christian community within and without our marriage. It's not about dominance but about communion for us and we believe in pursuing this, we see God's grace for marriage being restored to the divine pattern. Oh, we aren't perfect, but our marriage sure can't be fit in Doug Wilson's tiny box.

Wilson's theology and judgment should be questioned - even if he gets the gospel right, which I will assume that he does.

Nicholas said...

I'm not sure that Doug Wilson gets the Gospel right at all. He is a leading promoter of the Federal Vision heresy, which is very close to the heretical New Perspective on Paul: http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=221

Nicholas said...






Rod said...


I am so glad not to be alone in condemning DOUG Wilson's views on slavery and sex. Thank you.


Pege' said...

Wade, There are more than Him who think these things. He just is brave/ foolish enough to put it in writing. The books have sold. So many sisters in the Lord have husbands that do not have a clue what grace in marriage is. So many hurting women living in this kind of relationship NOW..TODAY!!!
Sisters study the word. See what Jesus says about you and your value and your positions as a wife (if you are married) your value as a woman. We have to lovingly, prayerfully and firmly fight back. Across America, even in Colorado Springs there is this false teaching. I stand against it and am considered rebellious, contentious. So be it. I answer to God not man. Wade, keep sounding the trumpet
to the lies. This is not the abundant life God has promised us. This teaching is sin, false and unchristian. Praying for men and women of God to rise up and see the truth of God's word not the teachings of men.

Pege' said...

Wade, I am not gonna dress this pig up and put lipstick on it..... this thinking is....ARCHAIC...UNBIBLICAL
Is this kind of thinking what my girls have to find a LIFE PARTNER with??
if my son ever thot this way....I would hang a sign from his neck telling the girls to run
what is with christian MEN???


HOW..Pease tell me HOW in the 21st century this can be taught let alone published??

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

The "why" is simple.

People are looking for a "solution". They want a formula to make their lives happier, better, more peaceful. This type of stuff gives them that formula, plus a dose of pride in performance IF they are one of those who are able to pull it off half decently on the outside. There is also a lot of internal peer affirmation for those community members who believe and practice these ideas, giving them credibility.

Humans have always been willing to trade liberty for security. In this case, it is primarily females doing so but men lose the liberty to disagree too, and if they dare, they will be labeled "feminist" and worse. And, here, they aren't trading their liberty for security to a government but to religious leaders who claim to have found the formula for raising godly children, having a happy marriage in a well-ordered home, etc.

Needless to say, once you figure out that the formula doesn't deliver or if you have serious problems in living within its confines, the community might reject you - or, if it doesn't, you will be frequently reminded that its all your fault and if you did a better job applying the formula, your marriage would be happier and your kids more obedient, etc.

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

I should clarify that is the "why" for some, including, from my perspective, my family of origin.

It is not the why for everyone and I can't presume to understand the motives of everyone who subscribes to patriarchalism.

Anonymous said...

We have found things work best in the home when all the family recognises that Christ is the head of the house. We are the receivers of his blessings and the supporters of each other, children included. My wife is much engaged in running the Internal Affairs Department of the home, while I am more given to being the Secretary of State for external affairs. Of course, we also share other departments such as Agriculture.But Christ is the head in all things, and to Him we submit and give thanks. Wilson's crude marital bed likeness could never serve as a theological picture for the way we function in our home, because, for one, my wife has a weak back so we have had to.. (I will leave gentle readers to imagine the rest of my story and the point I am getting at).

Pege' said...

EMSoliDeoGloria... very well written and thought out. I was being rhetorical but I do appreciate such a good reply.
It is easier to follow mans opinion or ideas because it does not require you to expose your true self to the examination of God. God's ways are light and his burden is easy. We are joint heirs with Christ. I agree ANON. that marriages are unique to each one. Negotiations... compromise.. working as a team submitting one to another is how a good one works. Seeking the Lord wisdom and following the spirit in love to and for one another. Submission, authority, duty are never even mentioned in this kind of marriage. Trust me I know. I had a BAD performance based marriage and a have a GREAT MARRIAGE based on GRACE...BOTH TO THE SAME MAN!!!
I hurt for the ignorant, misinformed,confused believers who are listening, believing and living this LIE!!!

56 years a Baptist, mostly SBC said...


The Gospel Coalition does not preach the gospel that is in the gospels. It preaches a gospel that mandates that a woman have a mediator other than Jesus. That is a false teaching. And it is heresy, plain and simple. They are not Christians in the usual evangelical sense because they are teaching falsehood.

IT is, in realty, a "Pack of Wolves Coalition" of false teachers.

Anonymous said...

Wade. Dang it. You sure write well. :)

The only thing I would like to add to this convo is..

If we really want to conquer women, why don't we follow Christ's example, and just win their heart?

Nicholas said...

56 years a Baptist,

The Gospel Coalition does not preach what you just said. They do not and have never said that a woman has a mediator other than Christ. What you just did is called bearing false witness.

Victorious said...

The Gospel Coalition does not preach what you just said. They do not and have never said that a woman has a mediator other than Christ.

Not in so many words...they don't. That would be too obviously heretical. But when a husband is "over" his wife, he effectively blocks her freedom to seek the Lord's will in any area of her life. Instead, she is expected to ask her husband. We've all seen their interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:3..


Sorry, but I agree with 56 years. Comps are experts are using fluffy, fancy adjectives to camouflage their erroneous doctrines, but underneath the falsehood is there.

Nicholas said...

Well maybe I need to research the matter more. Sorry, 56 Years a Baptist.

Here is a new post on Wilson: http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/07/18/the-real-doug-wilson-encouraged-presided-over-the-marriage-of-serial-pedophile/

peter lumpkins said...

Hi Wade,

Being very much aware of our nemesis relationship over the past few years since we've been on different pages about the SBC, know I agree with your concern here and could not be more disturbed that such despicable language could pass for a healthy understanding of biblical sexuality. Heretofore, I have owned proudly the gender label "biblical complementarian" but hereafter, I'm not so sure. If this is where CBMW is headed, I'll find my branding elsewhere.

Lord bless.

With that, I am...

Joe Blackmon said...

No Wade, I don't find your leftward drift from "my views" offensive. I find your leftward drift of orthdox Biblical theology offensive.

Just to add again, whatshisname that you quote regarding his description of sex seriously needs his mouth washed out with soap. What he said was unhelpful, offensive, but he wasn't advocating or describing rape.

Retha said...

“... it is probable that a number of readers have reacted negatively to the earlier use of the word "dominance."
The fact that this is so is simply another testimony to how much the Christian Church is influenced by the propaganda of feminism—whether the man-hating secular variety or the sanitized “evangelical” kind.”

Or perhaps this is evidence of how much the church is influenced by a guy called Jesus of Nazareth?
The one who said: And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. Luk. 22:25-26, Mat 20:25-26, Mar 10:42-43
Does Wilson want to shake Jesus’ influence from the church too?

Nicholas said...

Joe Blackmon, what are you talking about? Wade is a theological conservative.

Rusty said...

Wade,in reading your blog,I find this discussion most enlightening and helpful but cannot help but feel sad when I read comments from Joe Blackmon ( whom I do not know) but who resorts to political terms such as 'left wing' from those who like yourself express views that are different from his or in his view ,evangelical orthodoxy..whatever that may be.
I have noticed a lot of my friends are tending to become personal when our views on gender or Escatology differ.
Terms like 'unbiblical' are used to avoid discussion over these subjects..
Why can't we remember that while Scripture in its originality is inerrant,interpretation is not...

I resist terms like left-wing.unbiblical...liberal etc which are too often the last resort of folk whose intellect seems to desert them when such subjects arise...

Tom Parker said...


You said to Joe B."Joe Blackmon, what are you talking about? Wade is a theological conservative."

Bless Joe's heart he just does not know what a theological conservative is.

He is just always out crusading against any one he does not feel meets his theological standards.

It is beyond sad!

DLF said...


I agree with your "why". It is about having something to hold on to when the fixed points seem to have all been moved. However, I am reminded of what Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those who desire security over liberty shall have neither." He was talking in the political sense, but I think it applies here as well. Those who insist on male authority over women, (pastoral authority over elders, elder authority over church members, etc) are just showing their own insecurity. Jesus said that "all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me," but he never used it to dominate and demean people. His authority was always tempered with love.

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Joe Blackmon's apparent calling in life is to disagree with Wade Burleson. If Wade said that the earth orbits the sun, Joe would suggest that Wade has bowed the knee to strange science and strayed from the true path of Blackmonian orthodoxy. This has been going on for years and most of Wade's readers are pretty used to it.
It has become rather comical. :D

Pege' said...

Back to the topic....
In the curse...from the garden the original harmony and union between man and woman has been ruined, cursed. So in our flesh, there is a natural contention. In CHRIST, however, that relationship is restored to God and to each other. Men and woman who believe or teach anything other than joint submission to one another, unity, freedom in Christ, are sadly mislead. I have been in both camps. I have been taught from a young believer, just out of the gate, submission to male authority in the church and in the home. it has been a hard, painful journey to the truth of God. Thanks Wade....I need to pray more for believers to see the truth of what God says and not to be followers of men.

Wade Burleson said...

Some really, really good comments from all!

Thanks for adding your two cents.

Christiane said...


imonk has a post out today concerning Doug Wilson


I also found Wilson's words to be disturbing, but I was not surprised by SOME of the people who have praised him. There is a whole cult of people who are heavily into a world that treats women and children in ways that range from demeaning to abusive. It is hard to see anything 'Christian' in that world, WADE.

Don Johnson said...

Thanks for bringing clarity to the discussion.

The first point is that Doug Wilson should repent.

The second point is that Jared Wilson and others at the so-called Gospel Coalition need to wise up and figure out what Doug Wilson is doing and stop quoting him (and thereby endorsing his quotes) until he repents.

Anonymous said...

Christiane, it's good to read your wise words.
Also, Wade, for myself, I'd rather be a little to the left than to the right!
Florence in KY

Jen said...

He did remove the post. See link.


Wade Burleson said...


I commended Jared for his apology and the removal of the post. Well done!

Nicholas said...

Looks like Joe Blackmon never showed back up to defend his accusations about your supposed "leftward drift", Wade! :)

Dale Pugh said...

It would now make sense for you to publicly acknowledge Jared's apology in a separate blog post, don't you think? A simple statement in these comments isn't enough, in my opinion (not that that matters much).
Since you are so widely read, and since you called him out on it (and rightly so), wouldn't it be appropriate and pastoral to offer a public response to his apology?
Just a suggestion.

L.W. Dickel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ramesh said...

L.W. Dickel:

It is for the cleansing of my sins. Without blood atonement, this is not possible to be made right with God. The beauty of the Gift is that I do not have to do a single thing to earn it. That is a (the) Godly Gift. Nothing on this earth (universe) can match this Gift.

Wade Burleson said...


Thy Peace has responded with more grace than I. Please be more careful with your language when you post next time.

The Blog bites better than the Bullet. said...

In response to those who feel Wade should issue a retraction of some sort of what he said here, I have to say there is nothing unkind or sinful in anything he has said; quite the opposite.

Wade, thanks for calling a spade a spade and sticking to what you said. I appreciate those who can speak assertively into the Christian world, because sometimes we're all so nicey nicey that nothing gets changed for the glory of God.

It takes courage to say what is on one's heart and it helps others like me to speak out for truth when someone does it grace-fully as well as forcefully.

There shouldn't be a retraction of anything you have said, though Jared is to be commended for removing the post, and I don't think anything more needs to be said by anyone.

Thanks for your post, and please keep it up, because these attitudes in Christian circles need to be challenged, or abuses will continue.

L.W. Dickel said...

@Thy Peace

Blood atonement is, without a doubt, the single most evil, vile, disgusting, sickening, wicked, immoral, pathetically stupid bunch of Neanderthal lunacy that the human mind has ever concocted in our entire history on planet earth.

It is absolutely the domain of deluded insanity.

You are free to allow your poor deluded mind to believe in such cave man absurdity. But what a sad waste of a mind.

Nicholas said...

Wade, please delete the above comment and block this atheist troll from commenting.

Wade Burleson said...


L.W. kept his language clean as I requested. Obviously, I disagree with his theology, but he is free to comment.


Nicholas said...

He insulted Thy Peace, calling her "deluded."

Ramesh said...

Nicholas: I am used to people strongly disagreeing with me.

Kate Johsnon said...

So very sad to see this promulgated yet again.
Do these men who think this is the way it is done not understand the damage it does to the soul of a woman? In addition, I can now see men reading this and telling their wives that it is Biblical for them to be in control of the bedroom and that the woman has to do everything they say. Of course, a woman cannot read this book for herself to find out because, As Wilson sates “I suggest that wives read this only when their husbands give it to them, not the other way around.” (p. 13).

These are the type of comments and instructions that not only defile the marriage bed and subjugate women, but that men use to justify their abusive treatment.

I deal with this on a daily basis with our ministry and the women we assist. As a counselor, I know the damage it does to the soul. Thank God we have men such as Wade who are not afraid to speak up for the voiceless.

Victorious said...

Kate, are women really voiceless? Or do they choose to be? Just wondering.

Mary Ann

Wade Burleson said...


Thy Peace is a friend. He can handle himself better than I.


Dale Pugh said...

@ The Blog Bites Better:
My comment was not a request for a retraction from Wade. I'm not asking him to retract anything. I agree that he was both gracious and forceful in his post about Jared Wilson.
What I AM saying is that, since the post was a public statement ABOUT Jared Wilson, there should now be a public acknowledgement of Jared's apology and retraction. The comment--"I commended Jared for his apology and the removal of the post. Well done!"--given the nature of the issue deserves more substance, but not a retraction.
I hope I've clarified. Wade, I don't know you and would not presume to offer you advice. I just believe that the importance of this issue requires something more. Just my opinion. Follow the wisdom as you see fit.

Kate Johnson said...

Mary Ann,

Women who live under oppression are voiceless, not because they choose to be, but because they have been told to be. It does not feel like there is a choice. It just is the way it is, until you learn differently and are empowered to use your voice. But then, it has consequences, some good, some bad.

No woman is voiceless but not all women know that.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic: The Wartburg Watch > Julie Anne Smith of BGBC Survivors Won on All Counts!!!!

Victorious said...


"No woman is voiceless but not all women know that."

When women become like the Bereans and search scripture to "see if it's so..." they will find their voice. In the meantime, the choice whether or not to search scripture remains theirs.

Kate Johnson said...

Mary Ann,
The choice is not theirs unless they know it is theirs. You can only make a willing choice when you know the choice is yours to make. This is often difficult for people to understand if they have not lived through this type of situation (and this makes no inference on your life journey). People held under oppression (and abusive spouses are oppressing their significant others) have been methodically conditioned to believe they have no voice. I will give you an example. When I was married to my first husband, he was controlling of everything – of what I wore, of who I saw, where I went, etc. His abuse was physical, psychological, emotional, verbal and sexual. He used Scripture to justify a man is the head of the house. His hierarchical views were reinforced in the church setting, so all I knew was this was his “right” to be in charge. It was not for many years (18 to be exact) that I began to see it differently, and yes, it was when I started reading the Bible for myself. But until I knew I had the choice to do so, I believe in the voicelessness of women in the home. The psychological dynamics of power and control / oppressed and oppressor are much more complicated than simply saying they have a choice and choose not to know.
So you can’t know until you know, and you don’t have a voice until you do.

Victorious said...

Hi again Kate,

Been there myself for 17 yrs....that's how I know.

And I worked for 10 yrs. as a Victim Advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault so I'm aware of the dynamics involved. I've heard more women than I care to remember assume the blame for both. But with a little counseling and tender understanding, many were able to place the blame where it belonged and crawl out from under those false misconceptions to complete victory! All advocates had a saying we reminded one another of when a victim refused our counseling advice.... "We can't want more for them than they want for themselves." Sad but true.

Along with that background was an authoritarian father and church following my conversion. After initiating my divorce, I suffered the consequences by being called a Jezebel and shunning from a church where I taught Bible studies for several years.

But one doesn't have to have a ph.d to read the gospel and the freedom it promises. I truly believe some "choose" to remain voiceless for many reasons, not the least of which is financial.

In my opinion, it's imperative that women study the Word for themselves and be willing to suffer the consequences of making their voice heard for change to occur. It's not so much for personal advantage, but for the sake of the sisters throughout the nation.

In summary, I'm not unsympathetic with those who truly believe they are being abused and must continue to subject themselves to that treatment. On the other hand, at some point, the light of the gospel must shed light on the false teachings that perpetuate and justify abusive behavior. What they do with that light is their choice.

Chin-Lee Chan said...

I think sexual relationship is more like the husband and the wife cannot read minds nor cannot open each other's heart. The husband asks thoughtfully the wife to listen to him with and open heart or tells him what is in her heart or mind. He will respect her if for some reason she is not ready to be good listener or to share her feelings or thoughts. So sexual relation, a way of communication of love, should be a respectful request from the husband or an cheerful invitation from the wife that allows the husband to gently delay due to an acceptable reason to the wife. If the husband feel victorious, it should not be about conquer but winning his wife's heart by communicating with his wife's love language. He should feel privileged to be in the temple of the Holy Spirit entrusted to his wife to keep sacred. "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with *someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." 1 Peter 3:7