Talk:Douglas Wilson (theologian)

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I took out the section on the current scandal because, as much as Wilson has his failings, and as much as he should not be a pastor of a church due to his behaviour and false doctrine, the scandal in question is too horrible a crime - committed by somebody other than Wilson - to put it on his article page, even though he is in the midst of it for his role as a pastor, and his failings in that role regarding it. Also, the events havn't played themselves out yet, so... Christaan T. 11:37, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

That's the right move. The Wikipedia is not for reporting current events. --Flex 13:34, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
The Steven Sitler pedophile case has proven to be a major scandal in Moscow, Idaho. It's significant and historic. The Sitler case is unlikely to have ever become a public scandal had Doug Wilson never gotten personally involved. Like any other community Moscow has had other sex offenders to cope with. Other sex offender cases have been politely discussed in private company. But the Sitler case is probably the first which could be classified as a full blown "scandal." Wilson and his personal legal intervention on behalf of Sitler is more hotly discussed than Sitler himself. Particularly offensive to the community, as well as some former members of his church, is the fact that Wilson made no mention of Sitler's predations to his church for eight months after Sitler's arrest. At least one former Christ Church member has covered this issue extensively. Those in the community have also had much discussion on the community bulletin board Vision 2020.
If seems to me that this is every bit as much a "controversial" issue as Wilson's position on slavery, and in some ways perhaps even more so. If the one is deemed worthy of inclusion here the other probably should be as well. Although the pedophile scandal is still very much being discussed, particularly in Moscow, at what point does it cease being a "current event"? I would argue that at this point Doug Wilson's personal involvement in the Steven Sitler scandal has passed from "current event" into the biographical, in the same way that Wilson's slavery controversy is now biographical. --Frame-work 15:31, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Anyone who believes a word of what Joan Opyr has written in the New West should read Doug Wilson's rebuttal at his blog. Any attempt to use this encyclopedia to present a one-sided biased presentation of supposed facts concerning the scandal will be removed. However, if an unbiased report of all the facts concerning the history of the scandal is written and properly reviewed and edited, it may remain. But I wish that, for the sake of the victims, everyone with an ax to grind against Doug Wilson will let well enough alone. Not every molestation that takes place at a church is worthy of an entry in an encyclopedia. However, if such an entry could exonerate the man, to show that Mrs. Opyr was wrong when she said that Rev. Wilson knew about criminal activity for two years and never reported it I would welcome this. Rev. Wilson and the staff of Christ Church reported the criminal activities to the authorities with in hours of him being caught. In the counciling that followed, the dependent confessed to crimes going back to 2005. These crimes were also reported promptly to the police. If Rev. Wilson was complicit in criminal activity, he would have been charged with a crime by the authorities. Furthermore, Rev. Wilson and the Christ Church session did not cover up the incident but followed proper and prudent means in order to inform all that were involved in a manner both responsible and with respect for the victims and their families. Such respect was allegedly not to be had by those at New West and on the Vision 2020 forum who only wished to take a shot at Doug Wilson at the expense of the families involved.--Rclose 21:52, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
It seems that the wikipedia entry should be amended to include Wilson's views on the reform of paedophiles, with his own references to 1 Corinthians, and in the context of the Sitler case and his support of Sitler. He has written extensively about the Sitler case, and both the Sitler's case and the Wilson's letter in support of Sitler are a matter of public record. We should only state the facts, give proper citations, and allow the reader to draw his own conclusions. What would be a good, impartial heading?

Fact Check King (talk) 03:45, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Wilson's views on the reform of paedophiles can and should be included if they are covered in reliable, independent, sources. Wilson says a lot of things about a lot of things - how we we decide what goes in the article? Well, it's a matter of editorial decision a lot of the time, looking at what he writes on book as opposed to merely blogging about, etc. But most of all we look at what the secondary sources say. StAnselm (talk) 04:18, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
I would propose that, in this case, the controversial nature the subject, his unconventonal interpretation of 1 Corinthians, his recent public back and forth with Dreher in The American conservative and on his blog, and the amount of attention that the Sitler case has received in the press, and which Wilson has commented on, would merit a small inclusion in his section "On Family". Since he has written extensively on the subject, this would be an important inclusion. This would address concerns of undue weight, and also concerns about sourcing, that you very reasonably pointed out were issues in my last edit. I do believe that this could all be done in several hundred characters or less.
I understand your reluctance to such an inclusion because the paucity of secondary sources. However, I think that the facts being that Moscow, Idaho, is rather isolated, and there is only one small newspaper in the area, that large spikes of activity in internet traffic and posting is, in 2015, indicative of something being a newsworthy topic, and the fact that Wilson has commented on the subject extensively in his own blog, ought to be considered against the necessity of extensive converage in secondary sources. Fact Check King (talk) 17:00, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, you say "in 2015", but the fact is - wikipedia is inherently conservative. We don't accept any social media, really. Anyway, googling "Doug Wilson" and "1 Corinthians" indicates that his views on 1 Cor. 7:28, for example, have been more prominent. StAnselm (talk) 19:00, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
It seems that the issue comes down primarily to citations and the relative weight of sources. Though wikipedia is by its very nature conservative, it nevertheless operates within a world in with technology is rapidly changing the nature of communications. This has accelerated within the past decade, and especially within the past five years. It seems to me that social media reports should be treated not unlike conference proceedings. They are current and up-to-date, but have not been peer reviewed, so references to them should be qualified, but they should not be outright disqualified because of the platform on which they have been published. Primary accounts, such as Wilson's blogs, should be allowed if the edit is specifically about his views. For example, his blog is the only instance in which he references his application of his intepretation of 1 Corinthians specifically to the Sitler case. That this blog post has not been cited in a secondary source other than by Dreher should not be grounds for its disqualification as a reference. He does interpret 1 Corinthians here, but it is manner in which his writing about "Forgiveness is Complete" and "Consequences and Accountability" is applied to the Sitler case, both as reported by Dreher and in Wilson's own blog, that is important and noteworthy, and that I believe can be considered "controversial" under any application of the reasonability criterion. Fact Check King (talk) 20:30, 11 October 2015 (UTC)
Being a noob to wikipedia, I'm not sure that a consensus has been reached. Please tell me If there is any reasonable objection to my editing the entry to include, in the "On Family" section, several hundred characters about his interpretation on 1 Corinthians, with reference to his work published by the Canon Press, above, as cited (which gives as an example a hypothetical case of a teacher caught with child pornography), and the the application of this interpretation to the Sitler case (with just a short sentence describing Sitler's legal situation, to give context,) including his letter written on behalf of Sitler to the presiding judge, and his officiation of Sitler's marriage, and his subsequent defense of his decisions, again citing 1 Corinthians. Thanks. Fact Check King (talk) 21:17, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
I would oppose such an addition, because of their reliance on primary sources. We would need to prove that Wilson's views on 1 Corinthians are well-known and significant. The introduction of Sitler still seems like a BLP violation: WP:BLPPRIMARY says "Do not use trial transcripts and other court records, or other public documents, to support assertions about a living person." StAnselm (talk) 21:46, 12 October 2015 (UTC)
What would be considered proof or evidence that Wilson's views on 1 Corinthians are well known and/or significant? Re. reference to the court documents of the Sitler case, I feel that these would be permissible as an auxiliary source, since they are refered to by Dreher ( in a trusted secondary source. Wilson's views re. the case are written on his blog for all to see, and I believe that reference to specific sections of his blog as pertain to his views of the Sitler case and 1-Corinthians would be allowed under the guidelines about using the subject as a self-published sources, since they only speak to his views, and do not make any claims about facts of the Sitler case.Fact Check King (talk) 04:13, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Dreher is not a trusted source. Evidence of Wilson's views on 1 Corinthians being significant, would be interaction/refutation in a published book. StAnselm (talk) 08:05, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I see. I would expect that a report published in a regular newspaper, the Moscow Pullman Daily News (, which contains direct quotes from Wilson, would be considered to be a reliable secondary source. and that the connection between Wilson and the Sitler matter have been extensively commented on not only by himself, but by prominent organizations like the SLPC ( and the Aquita report (( be evidence this edit on Wilson would be significant and noteworthy in his biography, and perhaps not just on 1 Corinthians, but on the treatment of sex abuse cases, and his appeal to 1 Corinthians in his decision making process? There is also an ongoing inquiry, but the above happend in 2006, nearly a decade ago, and at this point should be considered biographical. Fact Check King (talk) 15:42, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
First of all, the Aquila report is not a reliable source at all. Secondly, I'm still not sure what you want this article to say. Neither of the references you give mention 1 Corinthians. It sounds like you want to smuggle the Sitler story in through the back door, per Wikipedia:Coatrack. StAnselm (talk) 18:57, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Having said that, I notice the Aquila website is referenced about twenty times on WP. StAnselm (talk) 20:10, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Just so we don't get ridiculously threaded, I am starting nearly anew. I trust that readers in the future will be able to follow this discussions just fine. I certainly believe that the Sitler case is central to this significant edit. However, this is not coatracking. Wilson's interpretation of 1 Corinthians is notworthy precisely because of the way it is applied to the Sitler case. A lot of pastors and theologians write about 1 Corinthians. Not too many of them are covered in the press because of the way they apply it. The specific context is very important in the case of Wilson's biography. I want to write a mention of Wilson's involvement in the Sitler case, and note that it is predicated on his understanding and application of 1 Corintiahs.
I didn't mean to reference Aquila as a reliable source, just as evidence that the matter is of significant and noteworthy, having merited comment by various prominent groups. Fact Check King (talk) 02:13, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
No, and this is exactly where the problem lies: Wilson's interpretation of 1 Corinthians is not noteworthy. His interpretation of 1 Corinthians has not been covered in the press. StAnselm (talk) 02:40, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

Request for expansion[edit]

I put the NPOV tag on and added three links from the SPLC. There is considerably more controversy considering Mr. Wilson's doctrines and teaching than this article would lead one to believe. While I don't think the current article is particularly biased, it does lack a basic discussion of the aspects of Wilson's thought and work that seems vital to note. Dieziege 18:14, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Added some more links and two sentences which make further mention of the controvery surrounding Wilson. Dieziege 01:33, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

NPOV is not the right tag. Request for expansion would be better, IMHO, and I've adjusted it as such. --Flex 01:37, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
It would be helpful to know what the other controversies are so that information could be included. Would it be possible to list them? Chart123 17:28, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Another is the "Federal Vision" controversy, which is related to the New Perspective on Paul, but from the links, it sounds like Dieziege has in mind Wilson's unorthodox views on American slavery and some abuse apparently perpetrated by two students who were part of the college and seminary Wilson helped start. Unlike the Federal Vision stuff, I don't consider the others a major focus of Wilson's attention or thought, and they really seem incidental to what this article should be about. (That's not to say they shouldn't be mentioned, but rather, they shouldn't be given the same amount of space as the other points and controversies.) --Flex 12:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
But what more is there to add about either the Federal Vision controversy or the slavery controversy? And the link to the sex abuse scandal is sufficient. I see the "expand" tag is back up -- but unless there's more to add, I see nothing to expand. Whoever has put up the tag should do the expanding. Chart123 14:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I am not an expert on Mr. Wilson, so I feel a bit disingenuous expanding the article in any major way. My interest in the topic comes from being born and reared in Moscow, Idaho (where Wilson and New St. Andrews are based), and having friends and relatives who still live there. As such, I know for a substantiated fact that a Wilson, his church, and his college are major issues to those who live in Moscow. For example, currently, the town is attempting to deal with what they claim to be the variety of illegal boarding houses used by the college, the city council has considered whether the New St. Andrews buildings are properly zoned, and land-owners have refused to sell to the College. I think it's fair to say that there is considerable antipathy to Wilson and his institutions in the Palouse area. This antipathy may or may not be general or be held by the majority, although I would guess that it is. We can argue until the cows come home (a little Idaho idiom) about liberal this and conservative that, but I don't think that benefits the article. I added the criticism links because these controversies are a persisting part of Wilson's legacy in Northern Idaho and, as such, they need to be addressed in some way in the article. To soapbox for a minute, if for example Mr. Gier is correct that Wilson displays the Confederate flag in his office and has his K-12 kids celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday (I have no idea if this stuff is factual, however Mr. Geir is a respected scholar who is published by SUNY Press and taught Mr. Wilson at the University of Idaho), well then perhaps all this is worth noting in that the Confederate flag has a somewhat different set of associated values in Idaho that it does in South Carolina. Mr. Geir has noted Mr. Wilson's 'bad faith' responses to a series of questions posed to him, and they certainly seem bad faith to me. All of this to say, an article on Wilson needs to take account of the consistent controversy that surrounds him and present both Wilson's side and the side of critics.Dieziege 17:27, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Honestly, I think most of these concerns may be a bit too parochial for inclusion in the Wikipedia. (Again, that's not to say that they don't deserve a mention or a link at all, just that they are of lesser importance in terms of discussing who Wilson is, what he is about, etc.) What do others think? --Flex 19:52, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Flex. The particular controveries seem like mini issues -- no need for an expansion tag. Chart123 20:21, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, I won't argue the point and this is why I've kept such things on the talk page rather than in the article. However I would say that the SPLC's involvement parlays these issues beyond solely parochial concerns. Indeed there is an argument to made that Wilson and the NSA are at the forefront of a currently expanding national movement, and this bears examination. Let us say, as some do, for the sake of argument, that Wilson is a slavery apologist. If this is the case, it would be appear to be vital to make mention of it or least to fully explore the issue. Now, if an "influential" cleric were a Holocaust denier, we would make mention of this would we not? Or, for example, look at the Martin Heidegger article on Wikipedia. A rather large portion of this article is dedicated to a discussion of Heidegger's Nazi affiliation, as it should be. Now, I am not comparing Wilson to Heidegger (in any way) or to an Holocaust apologist. BUT the previous article made little mention of Wilson's opponents who are many. And Wilson's doctrines have gotten him into trouble. This needed to be acknowledged, and was. Perhaps the need for expansion has been filled, and I am satisfied with the article as it currently stands. I think, though, that if a person who has no knowledge of Wilson looks up an article on him and only passing mention is made of what appear to be questionable beliefs, then Wikipedia has failed in that it presents, effectively, only Wilson's side of the story.Dieziege 23:37, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the slavery controversy is adequately and neutrally covered. (Well, except perhaps for the sentence: "However, Wilson has ties to the League of the South through Steve Wilkins, a group that has been linked to Neo-confederate thought." That seems like guilt by association.) Do you disagree? I expanded the rest of the article to mention some of Wilson's other contributions so that controversy doesn't seem like all he is known for. (In fact, he probably wouldn't be known in most of those controversies at all if he hadn't been well known for classical Christian education, family roles, etc. first.) I also removed some of the external links in accord with WP:EL. --Flex 01:41, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I deleted that objectionable sentence but put the reference to the League of the South elsewhere. It seems more neutral to me that way. --Flex 13:57, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Removed "Bancroft prize winner" from in front of Genovese's name. Genovese's award can be noted on his entry, it has no place here but to add credibility to Wilson's case and it is thus, imo, NPOV. This is a small example of bad faith as well, since Genovese's prize was awarded nearly a decade before his controversial swing to the far right. Therefore, the prize seems to have little to do with Genovese's current political beliefs which would seem to have very much indeed to do with his statements concerning Wilson's work. Dieziege 21:23, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

That's fine by me, but I would note that I was basically quoting the cited HHN article, which is not at all favorable to Wilson or his case. --Flex (talk|contribs) 21:58, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Recent NPOV edits[edit]

I revised these edits by User:Psstile because I didn't think they were inline with WP:BLP, WP:NPOV, or WP:EL. For instance, "Nevertheless, Wilson clearly attributes racism proper to the Lord Jesus Christ, in his book A Serrated Edge (pp. 43, 44)." is obviously a controversial statement, possibly in violation of WP:BLP, which requires immediate deletion rather than the usual seeking of greater clarity first. Greater clarity should be given here, e.g. an extended quotation from those pages that demonstrates unambiguously that the deleted sentence is accurate, and the sentence can be re-added more appropriately if it is proved to be accurate.

  • I checked the source for the book, it is taken out of context. What is being said is that Jesus used characters in his parables that would have gone against the norm of the time. For examples, the Samaritans were looked down upon a lot, and they were though to be morally deformed. So by having a good Samaritan in His stories, he is getting his readers attention. Page 44 clearly says Jesus was using racist comment to get the Jews to re-evaluate their take on none Jewish people. Who ever wrote the comment did not bother to read carefully. ( 03:17, 16 September 2007 (UTC))

I deleted some of the critical external links because they were already linked in the article or were not appropriate under WP:EL (e.g., parodies are not appropriate). Also, there were too many of them, which tends to give undue weight to this particular issue, though it is not what he is best known for. --Flex (talk|contribs) 15:13, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I switched "plagiarism" back to "serious citation errors" because 1) plagiarism has been charged, but never proven (nor is it provable), ergo the word is inflammatory; 2) it's in the context of why Canon Press ceased publishing the booklet, and they certainly didn't think it was plagiarism; and 3) the paragraph goes on to clarify that the errors were "sloppy" rather than "malevolent." Kyriosity 01:01, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Oh, and it's more merely factual than NPOV, but I changed the reference to Wilkins' status with the League of the South from "co-founder" to "then-board member." Although he was an original member of the board when the organization was founded, that does not imply the same thing as "co-founder." I could find no reference to the LoS being Wilkins' "brainchild," but rather Michael Hill is consistently cited to be its founder. The way such organizations work is that somebody decides to found one, and the rounds up some folks to be directors and some folks to be members from the get-go. Although such folks may be known as "founding directors" or "founding members" of the organization, they cannot be called co-founders. Kyriosity 01:16, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Bibliography questions[edit]

I've never done a bibliography before, so I don't know if I've done this one correctly. Should I include publication dates and publishers? Would it be appropriate to link to book excerpts when available? I looked for guidelines on bibliographies, but I couldn't find anything that clarified. Kyriosity 18:48, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes and yes. Compare the bibliography at James B. Jordan, for instance. Unless a comprehensive book list is relatively small, however, I prefer to see a list of the most important books (as judged by some reliable source, some objective metric like sales figures, or perhaps a faculty bio or something along those lines), so that the most important works get their due and so the article doesn't get too listy (cf. WP:LAUNDRY). --Flex (talk|contribs) 14:09, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Biographies of living persons Issues[edit]

"On Women"[edit]

This section includes a paraphrase to the effect that Wilson believes the punishment for rape should be a payment to the woman's father and marrying the victim. However, the only source for this remarkable statement is a single article which provides no further context. The paraphrase reads a lot like Deuteronomy 22:28-29--a Bible passage with disputed interpretations ("rape" in this context could actually mean consensual premarital sex). Anyway, without further context or a direct quote, I think this paraphrase violates the policy for biographies of living persons. Eseymour 18:00, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Several edits[edit]

I undid several of Maiios's edits for NPOV, lack of references, and failure to meet WP:BLP. The article by Mark Potok is contentious, and as it is unreferenced and unsubstantiated it therefore does not meet the standards of excellence for reliability. Plenty of Wilson's own words are available on the Web...look at the primary sources rather than quoting hearsay. While a section under "Writings" called "On race" or "On race and slavery" would be appropriate (though not as the first subheading, as it's hardly a major theme of Wilson's bibliography), "On racism" is inflammatory. The added sections "On women" and "On homosexuality" were also inflammatory and poorly sourced. I would encourage Maiios, or anyone contributing edits on controversial aspects of this article, to read the discussion section before making extensive edits to make sure yours are in keeping with the consensus that has already been reached. Thanks! Kyriosity 02:00, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

"Spanking, etc."[edit]

"He said that cursing one's parents is 'deserving of punishment by death.' 'Parental failure is not a defense.' And Christian parents, by the way, 'need not be afraid to lay it on' when spanking, he says. Indeed, 'godly discipline' would include spanking 2-year-old children for whining."

This seemed to violate the biographies of living persons standards, for it had very little context to be neutral in POV and unverifiable. 112ahern 22:05, 02 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 11:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Please remember that sources must meet the biographical information of living persons standards. They must also provide substantive information about the subject, and therefore it is inappropriate to just put an identical list of links on half a dozen related articles. Please be sure to read the discussion pages of articles before making controversial edits, as a balanced consensus may already have been discussed and reached. Thanks! Kyriosity 10:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)


Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 16:39, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Criticism by African-American Christian Leaders[edit]

I originally had all this material in the body of the article, along with some material by his former professor at the University of Idaho. But, I agree with another editor that it probably gives criticism undue weight. However I think something should be included about the criticism Wilson has received by African American Christian leaders (of the same theology as he). As it is now, there is no such reporting, making it appear as if there is no controversy caused by his "paleo-confederate" views.

entry: The book was criticized by several African-American Christian leaders.[1] Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman and a columnist for the Gospel Coalition, began a series of articles in response to Wilson's book with, "I think [Bradley and Loritts] are both correct to drop the heaviest hammer on such foolishness."[2] Yeoberry (talk) 21:28, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

These are blogs, and are unsuitable for inclusion on a BLP. Please read WP:BLPSPS and stop adding this material to the article. StAnselm (talk) 21:56, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, you're right, then, about the blogs by Bradley and Loritts but the articles by Anyabwile appear in the Gospel Coalition web-site which I believe would fall under this category (from WP:BLPSPS): "Some news organizations host online columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professionals and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control."Yeoberry (talk) 22:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Umm, you realise, don't you, that Douglas Wilson is also a blogger at TGC? See here. It seems to be more of a "group blog" under the terms of WP:BLPSPS. The Gospel Coalition is not a "news organization". StAnselm (talk) 00:22, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you're right but the Gospel Coalition is a prominent web-site, with blog columnist selected by them. This is not a self-published blog but akin to a columnist in a newspaper.Yeoberry (talk) 00:56, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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  1. ^ For example, Anthony Bradley, professor of theology at the King's College, [UPDATED]Jared Wilson, Paleo-Confederate (Doug) Wilson, and 1 Cor 3 Reformed Tribalism: Part 1]", The Institute, and Bryan Loritts, Pastor of Fellowship Memphis, in "The Other", Bryan Crawford Lorits Blog.
  2. ^ Thabiti Anyabwile, "Why Respond Publicly to Douglas Wilson’s “Black and Tan”?", The Gospel Coalition