Matthew Lee Anderson on the Dust-Up

Matt Anderson has some good thoughts on the dust-up between Rachel Held Evans and the Wilsons. He argues that the larger point Jared Wilson was making about 50 Shades of Grey has been lost in arguments about authorial intent and trigger words. He writes:

What strikes me as tragic in all of this is, well, that Jared’s worthy intention to object to a cultural trend that is doubtlessly present in our churches has been entirely and completely superceded. There’s an important lesson here for communicators, as when the jot and tittle gets away from us then it’s the substance of our point that loses.

For what it’s worth, I don’t care for the martial imagery either. When cooler heads are prevailing, a discussion about the merits and demerits of its use seems entirely in order. Having said that, it’s entirely out of order to accuse the Wilsons of being “overtly misogynistic” or of “advocacy of rape” or of hating women or of promoting a “rape culture”. If you want someone to consider unintended connotations of their words, hurling those kinds of accusations seems a poor way to do it.

Read the rest of Matt’s post here.


  • Kim Shay

    As a woman, I did not find Doug Wilson’s language overly offensive to me. I caught the imagery he was trying to go for. I’m not surprised people objected, and there are likely other allusions he could have chosen. But then, I’m a complementarian “housewife,” and in the eyes of many of Wilson’s detractors, I’m probably just uninformed and subjugated 🙂

  • Austin DeArmond

    What I found interesting was that Doug Wilson’s language was not solely complementarian. Dan Allender, a noted Egalitarian counselor-psychologist, used the language of “penetration/ruling/reigning/conquering” in reference to Adam and men a few years back at one of his conferences. I did not think the sexual metaphor was out of place or misogynistic when I first heard it. This was blown out of proportion by professional bloggers who need the controversy for the blog traffic.

  • Jason Kates

    Doug Wilson is an acquired taste.

    The first few months of my reading his blog were often spent re-reading posts to try and figure out what it was at which he was driving. Now that I’ve read him a bit, I appreciate his use of our language and didn’t even notice a hint of scandal when Jared posted the quote.

    It’s a shame that in our rush to opinion/judgment/response, our society often misses the point entirely.

  • Kamilla Ludwig

    The sad fact of the matter is that what Doug Wilson writes and his manner of writing (including the martial imagery) are only an “acquired taste” because we have been swimming in the feminist sewer for too long.

    Read any literature lately? Stuff written before 1900? Understand the point in showing the sheets from the marriage bed? What about the so-called bodice rippers many women secretly indulge in? Taming of the Shrew, anyone?

    Forget that and just remember those getting in high dudgeon over Doug Wilson’s words are some of the same people who helped put “50 Shades” on the bestseller list.

    • Denny Burk

      I have gotten a chance to look at Wilson’s book since writing this post. After reading the offending passage in context, I am less concerned about the martial imagery than I was before I read it.

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