Douglas Wilson’s ‘spiritual takeover’ plan roils Idaho college town

"The church website explains the church’s mission further. 'Our desire is to make Moscow a Christian town,' it reads, ' … through genuine cultural engagement that provides Christian leadership in the arts, in business, in education, in politics, and in literature.'" - RNS

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

RNS isn't being fair, of course, but Wilson & co. are also not framing their relationship with the town very well, looks like to me.

Classic case of confusing the mission of the church with the mission of the Christian citizen. Individuals (and parachurch entities) engage culture. The church engages individuals. The difference matters, because the purposes Christ gave to His church don't include "taking over" anything, or even "engaging culture."

Joel Shaffer's picture

Here is Christ Church of Moscow's long mission statement on their website.  

"Our mission at Christ Church is summed up by the phrase “all of Christ for all of life.” Under the grace of God, this means that our desire is to make Moscow a Christian town through faithful and robust covenant renewal worship on the Lord’s Day, through proclamation of the gospel to unbelievers, while training additional evangelists who will continue proclaiming that gospel, through teaching men and women how to live together in harmonious Christian marriage, through establishing a family-friendly culture of Christian education in which well-loved and well-disciplined children will learn to stay the course, through outreach that brings people to church, accommodating them where they are while seeking to bring them into maturity in a structured way, through genuine cultural engagement that provides Christian leadership in the arts, in business, in education, in politics, and in literature, and through a regular series of church plants on the Palouse as we have gifted, trained and ordained men, willing congregants, adequate resources, and available facilities. And we seek to do all of this in gladness and simplicity of heart, as we pursue love for God and love for our neighbor."

 

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Wilson's statements in the article are where he frames things in unfortunate language... you never know what they've done with context in these pieces, but there's always some risk in talking to the press I guess.

The mission statement really does muddle the spheres of the Church's relationship to society. Parts of it belong to the the church, parts should belong to various civil-society entities, parts to individual believers. Some great language there, from a Christian worldview standpoint... for a local church, though, it definitely has a focus problem.

pvawter's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

Wilson's statements in the article are where he frames things in unfortunate language... you never know what they've done with context in these pieces, but there's always some risk in talking to the press I guess.

The mission statement really does muddle the spheres of the Church's relationship to society. Parts of it belong to the the church, parts should belong to various civil-society entities, parts to individual believers. Some great language there, from a Christian worldview standpoint... for a local church, though, it definitely has a focus problem.

Isn't Wilson post-mil? It seems like that would be pretty consistent with the church's mission statement. Having a wrong view of the kingdom is inevitably going to lead to a wrong view (or at least a muddled view) of the mission of the church. 

Jay's picture

...Under the grace of God, this means that our desire is to make Moscow a Christian town through faithful and robust covenant renewal worship on the Lord’s Day...

...The mission statement really does muddle the spheres of the Church's relationship to society. Parts of it belong to the the church, parts should belong to various civil-society entities, parts to individual believers. Some great language there, from a Christian worldview standpoint...

It muddles the spheres because Wilson is a theonomist, and has openly said that some criminal matters should not be handled by the courts but rather adjudicated by the church itself. That, combined with this news report and a whole truckload of other baggage, keep me from reading or recommending anything of his, and I actively steer people away from his various businesses and 'ministries'.

I don't think this has been a new idea for Doug, but rather the culmination of a decades-long journey to suborn the town to his control; you'll note that he mentions this was a vision of his father's.  From what I see, it's working.  Wilson is also a 'paleo-confederate' so he has extremely strong views on the way government ought to work.

I'm also incredibly tired of the 'he writes well' defense.  If you read his material and don't buy on the headfakes of "Well this is wrong but of course I don't believe that", what he says is incredibly problematic if not outright wrong and unbiblical. If he wrote as well as he claims, he wouldn't be constantly embroiled in some controversy or issue.  But I think he does that - he admits to being an agent provocateur - because it gives him opportunity to sell his books, content and lifestyle.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

TylerR's picture

Editor

All I know about Wilson, or have time to know, is what I read from some of his blog articles. Many people seem to hate him. I don't know or care why. He inspires the same kind of consuming hatred that Beth Moore (et al) do in certain circles. Those who despise him always seem to be ready with links, blog articles, book excerpts and allegations of evil. Their fervor makes me question their objectivity and their accuracy.

Doesn't mean they're wrong. It just makes me cautious about accepting their version of Wilson.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

josh p's picture

Part of the reason that Wilson gets so much opposition is his advocating a doctrinal platform that has been officially judged to be heresy by many (most) reformed denominations. All the other baggage really amounts to little in comparison to that. I do think that some hate him for representing things that are actually biblical as well but that’s just the way it works I guess.