Tag Archives: Douglas Wilson

Husbands and Headship: The Art of Dying

We live in a culture that views headship as abusive. In the Bible, however, headship is central to the stability of the home. Protestant and evangelical men need to see this headship in the context of the great covenant responsibilities that come with that role. The man who views his headship cavalierly views his role in the home with un-biblical eyes.

I have met many men who come to see the need for headship in the home and have made the necessary changes to their husbandry. Some of these men came to these convictions late in life, and therefore, the changes occurred too quickly; especially for their families. They went from rarely reading the Bible themselves to requiring family devotions with a 45-minute sermon. Dad went from barely feeding his family spiritually to stuffing his family. Children grow up dreading the evening “services”, and the wife, on the one hand, gives thanks to God for the change in her husband, while on the other, wondering if God misunderstood her prayers.

God knew all things, of course. The problem is sinners have made an art of over-reacting. Pastors need to watch out for these types and bring their enthusiasm to a proper balance.

But the Church is not suffering because of over-zealous husbands/ fathers; she is suffering for the lack of any zeal in husbands/fathers.

In particular, husbands are called to meet the needs of their wives. He is the provider, sustainer, and the one called by God to make his wife lovely. The wife is lovely when the husband beautifies her. Jesus is the head of the Church and part of his ascension task is to make his bride beautiful (Eph. 5). He comforts her with words of affirmation. He protects her from physical and spiritual abuse. He is her Boaz and David; a redeemer and king. The home serves as the castle. Pastors usually know when he enters a home whether it is being beautified or whether it has lost its beauty. I am not referring to neatness and tidiness; I am referring to the grace of a home. When that pastor leaves, he may have just left a pretty tomb with dead man’s bones. Grace makes a home, and the husband is the grace-giver. How he speaks, how he communicates, how he rebukes, how he seeks forgiveness; all these things demonstrate and encapsulate the type of headship he is embodying.

The husband is a resident theologian. He may not be a vocational theologian, but his actions and speech are the word and deed that his family will hear most often. When the husband lives a life of constant hypocrisy, his lectures will become dull and lose meaning. When his life demonstrates humility and the virtue of repentance, then his lectures, even the boring ones, will sink deeply into the fabric of the home.

The evangelical husband is a lover of truth. Truth keeps him from abusing his headship; truth keeps him from prioritizing his friends over his own family; truth keeps him from isolating himself from the Christian body; truth keeps him from turning headship into abuse. He must be, as Douglas Wilson once observed, “a small pebble that somehow by the grace of God pictures the Rock that is Christ.”[1]

The responsibility of being the head of the home is the responsibility of many, but the practice of some. Headship implies dying for your wife, and many prefer to see their spouse die than themselves. So men, let’s die together for our wives, and let’s show the world that death brings life.

[1] Wilson, Douglas. Reforming Marriage, 39.


General Council of the CREC in Lake Tahoe, 2014: Brief Comments

I am finally back to my lovely city and to my delightfully welcoming family. What a tremendous joy to gather with brothers who share a mutual passion for the glory of God over all things, especially over the Church.  Chesterton’s powerful hymn, sung a few times at Council, describes the general sentiment among my fellow co-laborers:

Tie in a living tether, the prince and priest and thrall;
Bind all our lives together, smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation aflame with faith and free,
Lift up a living nation, a single sword to Thee.

We are grateful for the efforts of the host church who provided a spectacle of hospitality and abundant life. Not a day went by when I did not stop to reflect and meditate on the artistic beauty of our God. Lake Tahoe was simply magnificent.

As we concluded our Council with a Covenant Renewal Worship on Wednesday night, the thought that came to mind again and again was, “What a joy to be included in the proclamation of this glorious Gospel of reconciliation.” The spirit of unity was seen and demonstrated as brothers ate and drank together at the lamb’s high feast.

I can say that it was a tremendous honor to represent the Athanasius Presbytery as one of the fourteen delegates to the CREC General Council. I was intimidated, while at the same time grateful to be a part of such an illustrious group of men, many of whom have shaped and continue to shape my thinking and have affected my ecclesiology in profoundly positive ways.

I wish to express my thanks and admiration to our former Presiding Minister, Jack Phelps, who served our Communion of Churches for these past six years with grace and humility.

My deepest respect and prayers for the newly elected Presiding Minister of the CREC, Rev. Douglas Wilson. May God richly bless his labors as he guides the CREC into this new phase of its history. Thanks be to God.

(You may wish to read Doug’s comments on his election here)

Resurrection as Proof

Douglas Wilson interacted with Christopher Hitches on a number of occasion leading ultimately to this documentary. Over at this blog in 2009 he spent some time adding to his interactions. Here is an example:

Christopher said somewhere that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. This is quite true, but Christopher misses the point of it. He thinks the resurrection is the extraordinary claim, when actually it is the extraordinary proof. You should not listen to a man who claims to be God (the extraordinary claim) unless He does something like come back from the dead. The resurrection is God’s declaration that Jesus is the Son of God (Rom. 1:4), and when we preach the resurrection, as we are charged to do, we are preaching the proof, not something that needs to be proven. God adds to the proof by anointing all such faithful preaching with His power, testifying to the testimony. It is the power of the Spirit that will convert the world by this means.