Christianity,  Sermon,  Theology/Bible

The Serrated Edge of Doug Wilson

In a message to my church on Sunday, I gave a biblical evaluation of the so-called “serrated edge,” which Doug Wilson defines as the use of biting and satirical speech that sometimes includes obscenities and vulgarities. You can download the audio here, the manuscript here, listen below, or read below. Please be advised that the manuscript version of this address does contain quotations of obscenities and vulgarities, although I have tried to use asterisks in some of the offensive expressions.


The elders have set aside the last couple weeks in the Sunday School hour to address and confront post-millennialism and theonomy. If you haven’t heard those talks yet, then I encourage you to listen to them. They have been linked in the last two church newsletters and will be linked again in tomorrow’s.

My assignment today, however, is a little bit different. The elders have asked me to address neither post-millennialism nor theonomy but one of the major purveyors of these themes, Pastor Douglas Wilson. In particular, the elders have asked me to give a biblical assessment of his use of vulgarities and obscenities in his public writings and speaking (see the “Appendix” below for a long list of examples). You may already be aware of this, but if not then some explanation will be in order as to what he has said and why it is even relevant to us at Kenwood Baptist Church.

I confess that as I have been preparing this message, I have been at a little bit of a loss as to how to describe his speech without having to give voice to these expressions myself in explaining them to you. So I am going to do my best communicate this as indirectly as I possibly can, but please know that I am embarrassed to even undertake this for reasons that will soon become clear.

Examples of Obscenities, Vulgarities, and Vile Epithets

Pastor Wilson not only uses but has defended the use of what he calls the “serrated edge”—sharp and biting satirical speech. He has in fact written an entire book defending the proper Christian use of satire—A Serrated Edge:A Brief-Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking (Canon Press, 2003). I could probably do no better to describe the book than to read to you from the publisher’s description:

Satire is a kind of preaching. Satire pervades Scripture. Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness. But if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his “insensitive” and “unloving” behavior. Yet Scripture shows that the central point of some religious controversies is to give offense. When Christ was confronted with ecclesiastical obstinacy and other forms of arrogance, He showed us a godly pattern for giving offense.

In every controversy godliness and wisdom (or the lack of them) are to be determined by careful appeal to the Scriptures and not the fact of people having taken offense.

In this book, veteran satirist Douglas Wilson explains his rationale for why so much of what he says gets people upset and yet he continues to speak as he does, for the sake of the gospel.1

When you read the book, it becomes clear that Wilson really believes biting, caustic speech to be a tool that Christians need to use in their conflict with the world. He argues that the Bible uses satire, and that it is a basic issue of discipleship for Christians to use satire as well.

Wilson really means for Christians to use what he calls “biting, bitter, angry… take no prisoners” language (p. 15). He argues that the Scripture teaches us to speak this way, and even Jesus himself models this for us. Indeed, he says that it’s wrong to imitate Jesus’ gentler speech but then to refuse to imitate his biting satirical speech (pp. 94-95). For Wilson, Jesus used “biting, bitter, angry… take no prisoners” rhetoric, and we should imitate Jesus in this.

Now I do not dispute that satire can be used in a godly way and that it can be found in the Bible. What I am disputing is the idea that “A Serrated Edge” in our speech ought to include obscenities and vulgarities and evil epithets. Wilson not only uses such expressions, but he defends them. What do I mean?

In the book A Serrated Edge, Wilson explains Jesus’ reaction to the Gentile woman who asked for him to heal her daughter (Matt. 15:22-28). You may remember that Jesus told her that it is not good to take the children’s food and give it to dogs. Wilson interprets it this way:

Put in terms that we might be more familiar with, Jesus was white, and the disciples were white, and this black woman comes up seeking healing, for her daughter. She gets ignored. The disciples ask Jesus to send her off. She comes up and beseeches Christ for healing. It’s not right, He says, to give perfectly good white folk food to “n*ggers” (p. 45).

Wilson not only uses N-word (without the asterisk), but he attributes this kind of expression to Jesus himself. He says that since Jesus spoke with such words, we should as well. His logic would make it a matter of discipleship for all of us to use expressions like the N-word.

Wilson argues that context is everything. An expression that may be a vulgarity in one context might be godly speech in another context. If you’re just cussing for cussing’s sake, that would be wrong. But if you are using an obscenity in order to confront a pagan, then that could be righteousness.

In a 2019 article titled “That Lutheran Jezebel Lady,” Wilson pillories Gloria Steinem and a liberal female Lutheran pastor named Nadia Bolz-Weber for their obscene idolatry. So he fights obscenity with obscenity. He writes:

Here we have two feminist women, created by God to be the image and glory of man, and in high rebellion against that glory one of them makes a symbolic idol out of purity rings, in order to celebrate impurity

So let me tell you what this symbolism really means. This is what they are saying. They are shamelessly declaring to the world that they are just a couple of c*nts (source).

After people complained about his use of this epithet for these two women, Wilson sat for an interview in which he defended his use of the C-word.

If someone is reading my blog and that [word] pops up, you can be assured that I’ve thought over it, I didn’t just wing off and do it. It’s a deliberately placed, calculated move… The issue is “is it righteous,” not would it have offended my great, great Victorian grandmother. Is this a biblical, godly use of this kind of language. And given the occasion that I used that word, if that were not an appropriate occasion to talk that way, I cannot imagine what would have been (source).

His argument is that no word is absolutely forbidden to us. There is a time and a place for every kind of obscenity and vulgarity. Our job as Christians is simply to discern the situations in which it is wise and godly to use expressions like the C-word.

That is why he has written and entire essay defending the use of terms like “faggotré,” “fudgepacker,” and “faggot” for people who arrogantly flaunt sodomy. He says that those kind of people deserve “rough treatment” with this particular variety of F-words (source).

In another essay he writes:

But then there are the gaytards. These are the people — homosexual, straight, and whatever Justin Bieber is — who are the ideal receptacle for the cultural propaganda served up by our duly appointed thought managers (source).

Wilson argues that coarse jesting in the service of exposing sinners is biblical righteousness. There are multiple examples in his writings of his using obscene expressions to refer to homosexual sexual acts (e.g., “circle jerk,” source, source, source). But they are all written in a spirit of jokiness. Just another flash of his rapier wit that we are all supposed to be impressed by.

And I haven’t even mentioned the numerous degrading expressions he has used with respect to women and their bodies. I’ve got them written down right here, but I am not going to read them out loud.

“small-breasted biddies,” “the b**bs of a wet nurse,” “jiggling your b**bs,” “a couple of big b**bs,” “make her t*ts bigger,” “stacked that committee like… some blonde in a tight dress,” “as stacked as Dolly Parton after her new implants,” “pert French breasts,” “dyke,” “lumberjack dykes,” “ecclesiastical dyke,” “b*tches,” “b*tchstate”2

Again, keep in mind that Wilson defends these kinds of expressions with the claim that the Bible speaks this way, so we can speak this way too.

One more example. On pages 64-65 of A Serrated Edge, Wilson comments on Paul’s words in Philippians 3:8:

I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ (CSB).

Wilson claims that English translations have softened this term because of “latent-Victorian sensibilities” (p. 65) that have nothing to do with the Bible. He says,

As a result we simply cannot imagine the lofty sentiment of this wonderful passage… functioning in the same sentence with dog sh*t. But there it is–Paul has scraped all self-important, prim and proper, fussy-tidy religion off the bottom of his shoe. Why? That he might win Christ (p. 65).

If you are bothered by his use of the S-word, too bad. He goes on to reprove Christians who are more concerned about his use of the S-word than they are about false religion. He writes,

Modern evangelicals will be far more upset with my use of a certain phrase in the passage above than they are by the fact that many of our popular religious practices, customs, and superstitions smell like that phrase (p. 65).

Think about his logic here. Would you accept this from your child? Your 12-year old child opens an e-mail from his teacher saying that he has flunked a test, and your child exclaims the S-word. You get angry at the vulgar expression, and he responds with, “Aren’t you ashamed that you are more concerned about my use of the S-word than you are about my failing the test!” How would you respond to that? Would you say, “You know you’re right, Son. I have been so foolish. Carry on with your cussing because I have more important things to worry about.”

No, that’s not how you respond at all. You don’t respond that way because any sane adult is going to be concerned about both the cussing and the flunking all at the same time. You can’t justify evil by appealing to degrees of outrage. That’s not an argument but a deflection. The key moral question is whether or not using such expressions is biblically justified. And I want to argue that they are not.

Why Address This?

But before doing that, we need to think about why any of this should matter to us in the first place. After all, who cares what a pastor in Moscow, Idaho is doing. What in the world does that have to do with us here at Kenwood Baptist Church? Why don’t we just mind our own business and get on with our own work in our own field of ministry?

The reason is because Wilson’s field is getting into our field. Over the years, we have heard from folks in our Kenwood field who have been influenced by these arguments for using vulgarities, obscenities, and evil epithets in their speech.

Yes, we are a long way from Moscow, Idaho, but none of us is far from the internet. And Moscow, Idaho has been blasting out this content to the world through its Canon App, websites, podcasts, and books. Their influence has only been increasing over the years, and it has reached us. And in this case, it’s a certain kind of teaching that has reached us—a teaching that we as elders believe to be contradictory to scripture. Our calling as shepherds is to…

Titus 1:9 “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”

And we believe there are important contradictions to biblical truth in this teaching that we cannot ignore. We have had private conversations about these things over the years, but we believe it’s time to make this a matter of public instruction for the congregation.

Someone will say, “Okay, but is this really a big deal? Aren’t the folks in Moscow doing a lot of good things that we should be thankful for?” The answer to that is yes. Of course they are doing some good things that we can be grateful for. Nevertheless, obscenities and vulgarities and vile epithets should be no part of the work that God has called us to here at Kenwood, and we want to address those who may be persuaded otherwise.

Don’t underestimate the power of your words and the impact that they have on others.

James 3:5-6, 5 The tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

Do you want to start fires in your life that you can’t put out? Do you want to alienate people, start pointless controversies, and destroy your influence for the gospel? Then just let your tongue loose. Just start using your speech like the thrusts of a sword, and see what happens. How we speak can undermine all the good that we are trying to do not only as individual disciples of Christ, but also as a church. We don’t want a church culture that encourages obscenities, vulgarities, and vile epithets. No, we want to be like Jesus in Luke 4:22 who caused people to be amazed at the gracious words that were falling from his lips.

Also, don’t forget that what you say reveals what is inside of you. Your words are a window into your character. Proverbs 23:7 says that “As a man thinks within himself, so he is.” What does it reveal about a person’s character if their words are a fire-hydrant of obscene and vulgar rhetoric? I would suggest that such words reveal something that is deeply wrong.

So I want to use the rest of my time to explain two points: (1) Wilson’s Defense of Vulgar/Obscene Speech and (2) the Bible’s Teaching on Obscene/Vulgar Speech (Eph. 5:4).

Wilson’s Defense of Vulgar/Obscene Speech

So how does Wilson defend this kind of speech, and does his defense match up with what scripture says? Wilson explains his view in a 2011 online essay titled “Understanding Bad Words” (source). He rearticulates this argument in the interview I referred to earlier when he was defending his use of the C-word.

Wilson argues that there is no list of prohibited words in heaven. Words become obscene or vulgar mainly by usage and convention. In English, we have four categories of inappropriate words:

1.    Cursing (calling down harm of some kind upon someone or something, Eg. “Damn you”)

2.    Swearing (swearing by _____,  taking an oath, using the Lord’s name in vain, Eg. “God is my witness,” “Oh, God”)

3.    Vulgarity (a “crass” reference to bodily functions, Eg. “S-word”)

4.    Obscenity (a “crass” reference to sex, “F-word”)

Wilson argues that the Bible both prohibits these kinds of expressions and uses these kinds of expressions.

1.    The Bible prohibits cursing (Rom. 12:14) and uses cursing (Gal. 1:8–9)

Romans 12:14, Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Galatians 1:8, But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

2.    The Bible prohibits swearing (James 5:12) and uses swearing (1 Thess. 2:5; Deut. 6:13)

James 5:12, But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation (ESV).

1 Thessalonians 2:5, For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed– God is witness (ESV).

Deuteronomy 6:13, It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear (ESV).

3.    The Bible prohibits vulgarity (Eph. 4:29; 5:4) and uses vulgarity (Isa. 64:6)

Ephesians 4:29, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 5:4, Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Isaiah 64:6, For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment [menstrual garment]; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

4.    The Bible prohibits obscenity (Eph. 5:3–4) and uses obscenity (Ezek. 23:20)

Ephesians 5:4, Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving (NIV).

Ezekiel 23:20, [She] lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses.

Wilson argues that the Bible is not contradicting itself. Rather, this means that there is some cursing that’s good, and some cursing that’s bad. Some vulgarity that’s good, and some that’s bad. Some obscenities that are good, and some that are bad.

It’s kind of like anger. The Bible says the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20), but it also says be angry and yet do not sin (Eph. 4:26). This isn’t a contradiction but rather an indication that it’s good to be angry at some things and bad to be angry at others.

In the same way, Wilson argues that it’s good to use vulgarity and obscenities in some situations while wrong in others. If you are using vulgarity and obscenities in order to expose the darkness or sin, then that’s a righteous use of such expression since we see such expressions used in scripture.

That’s the gist of his argument, but there is a fatal flaw in it. The flaw comes directly from his misreading of scripture. I am not so much concerned with his comments about swearing and cursing. Surely, we see examples in scripture of cursing and swearing that are good, and other examples of cursing and swearing that are bad. My concern is with Wilson’s contention that the Bible models vulgarities and obscenities. He argues that the Bible uses obscenities and vulgarities in certain situations, so we can too. But is it really true that the Bible makes use of such language? No, it isn’t.

Wilson claims that the Greek word translated as “rubbish” in Philippians 3:8 is the equivalent of the S-word in English. There is no evidence at all for such a claim, and indeed Daniel Wallace has written an important essay debunking that claim.3

Also, what Wilson claims to be obscene and vulgar in Isaiah 64:6 and Ezekiel 23:20 actually isn’t that in the Hebrew text. Indeed, both texts appear to be using euphemisms in order to avoid being too explicit in describing what would otherwise be an obscenity or a vulgarity.

A euphemism is substituting a cultured or less offensive term for a harsh one. We typically use euphemisms when referring to bodily functions, sex, or death. So when someone dies, we say that they “passed away.” When someone commits adultery, we euphemize it with “they had an affair.” When nature calls, we say, “I have to go to the bathroom.” No one actually reports explicitly about what they are about to do in the bathroom because that would be vulgar and offensive. So we euphemize. We often see this in scripture, and it occurs in the very verses that Wilson uses to justify vulgarities and obscenities.

A literal rendering of Isaiah 64:6 says that “all our righteous deeds are like a garment of the times.” The author studiously avoids direct mention of menstruation, much less of any obscene reference to menstruation.

Likewise, a literal rendering of Ezekiel 23:20 would refer to “her lovers… whose flesh was like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses.” Yes, it’s a reference to horses and donkeys in heat, but the author avoids referring directly to the sexual anatomy of these animals and instead uses the euphemism “flesh.” Indeed, HALOT (the standard lexicon of biblical Hebrew) says that this word is a euphemism in this very text.4

Yes, the authors are using provocative prophetic expressions. But contrary to what Wilson claims, the authors are going out of their way not to use any obscenities or vulgarities. These verses give us no basis for using terms like the C-word, the S-word, the F-word, or any other vulgar or obscene expression. If anything, they teach us to do the opposite!

The Bible’s Teaching on Obscene/Vulgar Speech (Eph. 5:4)

Despite protestations otherwise, Ephesians 5:4 is not attenuated. It is an absolute prohibition on filthy speech. And when read in context, it is easy to see that the injunction appears in a string of prohibitions that are not proverbial expressions that allow some exceptions to the rule. Look at the text:

Ephesians 5:3-5, 3 But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

If the preachers commending foul language are going to make the argument that “filthiness” and “coarse jesting” are sometimes allowed, wouldn’t they also have to conclude that immorality, impurity, greed, and idolatry are also allowed in some circumstances? But of course, immorality, impurity, greed, and idolatry are never permitted under any circumstance. On what basis then does Wilson argue that “filthiness” and “coarse jesting” are allowed?

In other words, the argument that says “sometimes this language is allowed, and sometimes it isn’t”—that argument doesn’t really hold water with the actual argument of the text. Anyone who argues that the apostles and prophets use the very language prohibited in this verse cannot avoid the conclusion that Bible is contradicting itself.

Also, consider the logic of this text. Why does verse 4 prohibit filthiness, silly talk, and coarse jesting? Paul tells you why in verse 5: “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” The people who do these things and who do not repent are going to hell. That’s real. It’s not a joke. If judgment and hell are real, why on earth would anyone make light of or make jokes about what sends people to hell? What kind of a Christian does that? What kind of a pastor does that?

I am not a big believer in “What would Jesus do?” speculations. I am much more interested in asking “What did Jesus do?” in his words and deeds recorded in Scripture. And we don’t have any examples of Jesus calling a woman something like the C-word. Nor do we have any examples of vulgarities or obscenities from him.

Can you imagine Jesus calling the adulteress woman at the well the C-word? I can’t either. It’s not only absurd to ask the question, it’s offensive even to suggest such a thing. It is true that Jesus often used sharp, confrontational words, but that is not the same thing as using obscenities and vulgarity.

But what about how he spoke of women who were on their way to judgment? Does he take the gloves off with them and cast obscene insults at them? No, even in prophetic denunciations the closest we get is a term like “Jezebel” (Rev. 2:20). But even here, this is certainly confrontational but hardly an obscenity like the C-word or lewd observations about a woman’s body.

If we really want to account for all the words of Jesus, we can’t limit ourselves to the red letters. After all, we know that all Scripture is coming to us from the “spirit of Christ” (2 Cor. 13:3; 1 Pet. 1:11). On this understanding of Scripture, the entire Bible should be printed in red letters, for all of it—from Genesis to Revelation—comes from the same Christ. If any part of Scripture commends filthy language, then we are faced with a contradiction of Ephesians 5:4. Even when we consider how the Spirit of Christ spoke through the prophets of old, we find explicit language but not the equivalent of the kinds of obscenities and vulgarities that Wilson has used.

My bottom-line pastoral concern is this. Shouldn’t every follower of Christ endeavor to have pure, wholesome speech? Shouldn’t every elder commend that kind of speech in our sermons and public teaching? Shouldn’t we aspire to be like Jesus, about whom it was said “All spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were falling from his lips” (Luke 4:22)? The idea that we need to disciple God’s people in the proper use of profanity seems not only a fool’s errand but also a serious biblical error. For this reason, we would do well to teach God’s people not to loosen their expressions but to restrain them (Prov. 10:19).


Examples of Douglas Wilson’s Unnecessarily Offensive Language

Note that after each quote, there is an endnote for further reading in order to see the full context of every quote.

“Jesus was not above using ethnic humor to make His point either. . . . My understanding of this encounter is that Jesus was pulling his disciples’ chain. This woman was not a Jew, and the Jews had problems dealing with such people, considering them beneath contempt — in a word, dogs. Put in terms that we might be more familiar with, Jesus was white, and the disciples were white, and this black woman comes up seeking healing, for her daughter. She gets ignored. The disciples ask Jesus to send her off. She comes up and beseeches Christ for healing. It’s not right, He says, to give perfectly good white folk food to ‘n*ggers.’ Disciples mentally cheer. But she sees the look in His eye, and the inverted commas around the epithet, and answers in kind. He relents, which was His intent all along, and heals the woman’s daughter. If this understanding is right, then Jesus was using a racial insult to make a point. If it is not correct, then He was simply using a racial insult. In either case, His language is more than a little rough.5

“So let me tell you what this symbolism really means. This is what they are saying. They are shamelessly declaring to the world that they are just a couple of c*nts.”6


“I recall one time in the Navy telling some sailors that they could not see past their c*cks — my point was an ethical one, but not really a delicate one. The Bible describes such men as unreasoning brutes. They do not understand much, and what they do understand, they use to destroy themselves: ‘But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves’ (Jude 10). ‘Dogs can hump. What else can you do?’ Scientific or medical language is not suited for prophetic rebuke.”8

“And so I will do my best and will say that if circumlocutions are required of me, at the end of the day, when all things are considered, in the course of any proffered argument that I might want to advance concerning certain persons who are individual practitioners of that class of actions historically understood as faggotré . . . “Your honor, I didn’t know that was the word. I thought the eff-word law was referring to fudgepacker.” . . . So would I ever taunt a slave of a particular sexual sin with a word like faggot? Of course not.”9

“But then there are the gaytards. These are the people — homosexual, straight, and whatever Justin Bieber is — who are the ideal receptacle for the cultural propaganda served up by our duly appointed thought managers. . . .”10

“I would draw your attention to the last several paragraphs, where the crucial task of telling the gospel story is transformed into a bizarre form of narratival masturbation. The central human predicament, what Luther called incurvatus in se, is transformed into a narcissistic virtue, resulting in a self-righteous circle jerk, only without the sex.”11

“There is a difference between men who love the Lord their God with all their minds, and those intellectualoids who want us to submit the things revealed by God to a peer-reviewed circle jerk.”12

“We are living in a time when there will soon be (if there isn’t already) a circle jerk ‘community’ in the seminaries, and they will soon be pressing to have their sexual identity and choices accepted by the rest of us.”13

“When it comes to the LGBT/QRS foolishness, you must have titanium spines. The world will come to you and demand that you muddle up your binary bathroom situation. In vain you will explain to them that you can only have two bathroom signs—XX and XY—because your bathrooms are at the far end of the science wing. The reporter will come right back at you—but what about that transgender student enrolled there at Classical Christian High? To which you will request the name of said student, so that you can promptly expel his

“So feminism — smash the patriarchy feminism — wants us to be ruled by harridans, termagants, harpies and crones. That sets the tone, and the pestering is then made complete by small-breasted biddies who want to make sure nobody is using too much hot water in the shower, and that we are all getting plenty of fiber. And if anyone reads these words and believes that I am attacking all women by them, that would provide great example of why we should not entrust our cultural future to people who can’t read.”15

“Next time you are in a grocery store check out line check out (no, I don’t mean check out) the partially dressed female on the cover of the nearest women’s magazine, the kind my kids call a day-old doughnut. Right, the one with the fake bake tan, the abs of a sixteen-year-old boy, the b**bs of a wet nurse, and the knock-your-eye out bottle blondisity. The one who was assembled by an ironic and detached photo shop gay guy the same way your kids play with Mr. Potato Head. Oh, and she also has cancer, non-operable and, more to the point, non-photographable. We can therefore afford to overlook that part. That is evangelicalism.”16

“My point is that jiggling your b**bs for a YouTube clip is a response to an ignorant Muslim that works equally well as a response to the apostle Peter, which is to say, not at all.”17

“You see the strategy. Minimize the seriousness of this, but not so that you can feel good about indulging yourself. Minimize the seriousness of it so that you can walk away from a couple of big
b**bs without feeling like you have just fought a cosmic battle with principalities and powers in the heavenly places, for crying out loud. Or, if you like, in another strategy of seeing things rightly, you could nickname these breasts of other woman as the ‘principalities and powers.’ Whatever you do, take this part of life in stride like a grown-up. Stop reacting like a h*rny and conflicted twelve-year-old boy.”18

“Someone might say that these scenarios are not realistic, because nobody in those categories is (currently) demanding to be served. The Moonlight Bunny Ranch guy knows not to call the ad agencies that have that little fish on their web site. Right. But the issue is the principle. Suppose he did come into my little graphics shop, and I am being advised in the back room by Powers and Merritt. They are willing to show me the way Jesus would have done it, had He been a graphic designer. My customer thinks my first draft was okay, but he came back in because he wants me to “make her t*ts bigger.” That’s what draws most of their clientele, he explains. Wait, I say, because I have to do a quick consult on the back room — I fortunately happen to have a couple of experts back there. What, in the column they have written, would give me the right to go back out to my almost customer in order to tell him to put an egg in his shoe and beat it?”19

Large assemblies in part must rely on their committees to do the spade work, and I am not faulting the GA for that. You can’t have high level of theological discourse within the limits that a big assembly necessarily has. That is why it is so important to get the fairness thing right before the GA — in the committee. So I am faulting those who stacked that committee like it some blonde in a tight dress, and who then try to brazen it out after the fact. “What’s this? What do you mean? Perfectly modest attire.”20

“The problem with this second option is seen in the manifest injustice of how the national leaders of the PCA stacked the study committee — as stacked as Dolly Parton after her new implants. If the SJC is stacked similarly, then Steve will just escorted through the motions of a trial, and in the aftermath, there would be no appeal.”21

“As stacked as . . . Some blonde in a tight dress. . . .”22

“This is why I intend to bring up the stacked nature of the PCA committee every chance I get, for as long as I can remember to do so. Not only will I do this, but I intend to memorialize it with as many metaphors as I can manage to come up with. That committee was as stacked as a double order of buttermilks, as stacked as some blonde in a tight dress, and as stacked as a brick house. The PCA, she’s mighty, mighty.”23

“No matter where you go, people are always just people. The same move is perfected by those unfortunate sisters who want everybody to notice their breasts without anybody seeing them. So they take the girls out for a walk in order to be noticed, but if anybody acts like they saw, such a person is immediately dismissed as Mrs. Grundy’s legalistic aunt, and the responses can be pretty funny.”24

[From a work of fiction] “The physical activity of writing was nothing to him. When it came to pensive reflections of man and his existential condition (as mirrored in the experiences of Robert P.), foreign film reviews that were allowed to make as little sense as the films themselves, extended discussions of how the pert French breasts in those films could not really be deconstructed, Derrida or no Derrida, and long, protracted discussions of how people — particularly food service personnel — misunderstood him, Robert was a machine. If it was narcissism and self-indulgence you were after, he could write like a bat out of the bad place.25

“[God] gives a genuine heart. All our surgeons can do is give fake b**bs.”26

“An insecure girl can get a breast job, and when all is said and done, you have insecurity on heels with b**bs — a bad combination, incidentally. Another woman who receives reconstructive surgery after breast cancer can thank God for His gracious gift. Was that so hard?”27

“Just imagine . . . Thomas Cranmer trying to make it through the homily of the most theologically-minded dyke in the diocese.”28

“The new bishop is a lesbian dyke from Ecuador.”29

“Yes, someone might say. But still. Why you have to use phrases like ‘lumberjack dykes’? It is provocative. Yes, it most certainly is. But the people pretending to be outraged are liars. I put certain things out there as bait, because I know they will take it, and when they take it I have yet another glorious opportunity to not care about their faux-outrage.”30

“Putting on a bishop’s mitre is not behaving like a woman. It is behaving like an ecclesiastical dyke.”31

“We have had publishing events like 50 Shades. We have had raunchy routines from comediennes like Sarah Silverman. We have had rap artists cutting up their b*tches. . . .”32

“The b*tchstate is about to bequeath to us a teeming litter of idiot puppies. You think things are bad now?”33

“Every unprincipled vote, offered o the bitch goddess of the state on the left, or the bitch goddess of pragmatism on the soft right, or the b*tch goddess of ideology on the libertarian right, was simply thrown away.”34

“I know. Let’s worship the b*tch goddess of neutrality. That fixes everything. I think.”35

“We have had publishing events like 50 Shades. We have had raunchy routines from comediennes like Sarah Silverman. We have had rap artists cutting up their b*tches. . . .”36

[Speaking of Phil. 3:8] The King James is better than most, translating one particular word here as dung. The word is skubalon, and means in the first place some kind of animal excrement. And this verse helps show the problem we are in–Paul does teach elsewhere that we are to avoid filthiness in our speech, coarse jesting and so on (Eph. 5:4). But we have taken this and over-refined it, absolutizing it in terms of latent-Victorian sensibilities. As a result we simply cannot imagine the lofty sentiment of this wonderful passage (e.g., the ‘excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord’) functioning in the same sentence with dog sh*t. But there it is–Paul has scraped all self-important, prim and proper, fussy-tidy religion off the bottom of his shoe. Why? That he might win Christ.”37

“For some reason I am reminded of Tolstoy’s comment that the difference between revolutionary repression and reactionary repression is the difference between dogsh*t and catsh*t.”38


  1. This is from the publisher’s description on the book’s webpage on Amazon.
  2. Sources:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
  3. Daniel B. Wallace, “A Brief Word Study on skubalon,” Bible.Org (blog), October 1, 2007,
  4. HALOT, s.v. basar: “euphemistic for the pubic region.
  8. Wilson, Fidelity, 17.
  37. Wilson, A Serrated Edge, 62–63.

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons (color of image slightly altered)