Doug Phillips: Man, Pracitce, and Ideology
I have now read Ministry Watchman’s first post on the Doug Phillip’s story, a story that will likely expand its territory over time given what we have seen in the Wood so far. The comments up so far in this post’s thread are covering some good ground; I particularly recommend the Watchman’s reply to the common “two or three witnesses” complaint. This complaint is something I have experienced unrelentingly from the leadership of Christ Church; we have covered this terrain a good deal already, and so have others, and so I will not replay it here (most of our posts on this can be found here). However, I did want to note that we have been provided further evidence that this “two or three witness” complaint will only come from tyrants who want to protect the lack of accountability that they enjoy. Those who want to merely silence all criticism use this complaint to silence truth seeking, discussion, or even cogent and sincere replies to allegations. Folks like RC Sproul Jr, Tim Dick, Doug Phillips, and Doug Wilson assume a level of authority that refuses to even straight-forwardly deny allegations. Those who are sincerely seeking truth seem to never be interested in such shenanigans.
Consider: If you were an innocent man, publicly charged with something, wouldn’t you want to make a sincere, honest, and sufficient answer to the false charges? In what sort of situation would you not want to reply in this way? And why not offer some public humility wherever the complaints might have touched down in some way? Why not show in practice that you are a just man who receives accountability? Do some introspection into your own heart – this is fairly a priori stuff. But I have watched Doug Wilson reply to my own sincere questions—and then challenges—with nothing but ad hom attacks, threats, belittling, harassment, subterfuge, and sage-like imprecatory innuendo. I even got a police report filed against me about a used condom found in his mailbox! Likewise, Doug Phillips was offered to provide his own side of the story and refused. Why is a sincere and honest rebuttal so difficult for men like this? Well, I think the answer to this question is being progressively revealed at Ministry Watchman.
One other immediate thought came to me after reading this new article. One might take this article as a defence of the “theology” while criticizing “the practice” or the “man.” There are reasons to reject this interpretation of the article, but there are also reasons that might persuade the reader that this indeed is the aticle’s thesis. However, just from my one investigation into a talk given by Doug Phillips and a perusal of Phillip’s blog and web site, I would want to say I have good reason to believe that Phillips is cranking out an ideology that extends far beyond his personal character and the practices in his own church. If we find out that he is in practice as corrupt as his ideology is corrupt in abstract, then all the better confirmation of our worry. However, even if I was to think that Phillips was generally a good guy and his church a pleasant enough environment, I would still have full motivation to expose what his ideology will likely produce down stream. Was Hitler a dangerous man? Sure. But Hitler’s direct and immediate influence was fairly mild compared to what the spreading of his ethos and ideology was able to produce. And folks, Doug Phillips’ teaching on women, home, culture, and church is not really all that far from this kind of threat. It is dishonest, counter-civilization propaganda. It is a seductive drug that gives you a controllable world of ignorant bliss, hierarchy, and dehumanizing beauty (not to mention American apple pie served by white girls in pretty fluffy dresses). But the drug only creates its illusions for so long; in the end it gives us moral, cultural, educational, and political regress. Fluffy dresses where fine back when fluffy dresses were just dresses. But in today’s world, they are not just dresses. Phillips’ teaches a seductive tail; given the kind of moral and legal progress we have had, and given what the real world is like today, this seductive tail only gives progress superficially, in small short lived cloisters that will ultimately only speed up relativistic, postmodern back lashes to all kinds of manly metanarratives.
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