Arrogance, humility, Doug Wilson, and irony

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My paraphrase: “Hey, we’re not the ones calling Rob Bell a heretic: it’s God. Through us, naturally. As Paul said, ‘We do not preach ourselves, but [our own doctrine masquerading as the very truth of God].’ If someone questions our dogmatic understanding of the Bible and resents being called out as a heretic, it is that person who is arrogant, not us.”

Not helpful, Doug.

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  • As if conservatives and non-postmoderns cant be arrogant! give me a break!

    • What you call “arrogance” they tend to call “confidence in the Bible.” 🙂

  • Schmoosemeister?
    I gather that Wilson is kind of a big deal in neo-Reformed circles. How can someone so shallow and unthinking be respected as an authority? He has no idea.

    • Doug Wilson is one smart guy: his ideas on education are great (Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning) and he encourages a broad curriculum of classics and modern literature alike. But when he starts speaking about theology I often find myself cringing. I can’t bear to watch the video of the debate between Wilson and Hitchens on whether Christianity is good for the world.

  • atimetorend

    I have long been unable to consider *any* of Wilson’s teachings as helpful, I am willing to throw out any (possibly) solid teachings with his dirty bathwater. There are enough good teachers out there that I don’t need the frustration of weeding through his stuff. :^)

    [A preacher] has no business to tinker with the message. And if he tinkers with it, he’s arrogant.

    Wilson apply’s that to Rob Bell, but would he also apply that to “heralds” of other religions. I wonder how Wilson would apply his definition of arrogance to a Muslim citing the Koran authoritatively? The Muslim, in his perspective, would be more humble than someone trying to use their own ability to reason to figure things out?

    I do not like how he goes on to attribute motives to this “arrogance,” that the arrogant he is describing is looking for flatterers to surround them, etc. He is just saying that anyone who does not submit to his interpretation of the bible is arrogant, unwilling to submit to God. Dumb. He is really defining what it means to suppress your own thoughts and submit without question.

    • Agreed on all counts. When I first encountered Wilson it was through his information on classical education, and I was duly impressed. It was only later that I began to see him pop up everywhere as one of the arch-Calvinist gatekeepers for orthodoxy and apologetics. Thankfully, as you intimated, there are plenty of others who advocate classical education!

      • lac

        I have not read Wilson but I was uncomfortable with the promotional videos of classical curriculum from the Logos school. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a copy of the Well-trained mind that encouraged me to reconsider the classical approach!

  • Steve, I myself part company with Doug Wilson on his disagreement with Rob Bell. Of course, he and I disagree with Bell for entirely different reasons. I disagree with Bell because he flirts with universalism while I am convinced that the Bible teaches that indeed everyone is going to heaven.

    However, though I part company with Doug on some issues, he is absolutely correct in his characterization of how humility and arrogance are backwards in the current culture, church world included. He says it well and I’m disappointed you didn’t acknowledge his point.

    You should have acknowledged his point and then simply said that you disagree with his interpretation of the Scriptures. You could even have said his point about humility and arrogance was a non sequitur in the discussion – because it was. The point isn’t whether Wilson is being arrogant to criticize Bell, rather it is whether he is right or wrong to criticize Bell.

    Your weak view of the Scriptures pushes you towards a relativistic worldview in which no one can declare truth. Alas, you are living in the world Doug was describing: where anyone who boldly declares God’s truth is considered arrogant. This is indeed a world where Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel would be considered arrogant.