Doug Wilson on the Wisdom Needed for Giving Sharp Critique

I have my disagreements with Doug Wilson (baptism for example). But I have my agreements as well and they are many. I really like reading his material because he will at least give you something worth disagreeing with! You will not be bored and where he sees truth he will press it with fervor.

I have just recently read his book on satire, A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2003). There are still significant questions about when and how satire can be profitably used, but I enjoyed his book.

My point here though is to cite a passage which contains significant wisdom for the internet discussions taking place currently. As an advocate of satire, Wilson comments here on who is and is not qualified to wield such a sharp sword.

“Of course, in saying all this, there are a few caveats of the ‘don’t try this at home’ variety. I believe that true biblical balance in such things is the fruit of wisdom, and that such balance is not usually found in hot-headed young men who do not know what spirit they are of (Lk. 9:55). Consequently, prophetic rebukes should come from seasoned prophets, from men called to the ministry of guarding those people who belong to the Lord. The work should be done by men of some age and wisdom, and not by novices, firebrands, and zealots. The work should most certainly not be done by the kind of man who practices on his mom, wife, or kids. Satire is a weapon to be employed in the warfare of the kingdom, not an opportunity for personal venting. A man who has a need to cut others is a man who ought to be silent.” (p. 105)

This is a good word.

One Comment

  1. I like Doug Wilson's writing, too. I've thought about purchasing "A Serrated Edge" before (I've read several excerpts from it on his blog), so with your recommendation, I may just have to go ahead and do it. Hope you and the family are well, Ray.

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