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Doug Wilson Andrew Isker

Doug Wilson, Andrew Isker Debate Modern Judaism, Antisemitism

Doug Wilson is one of the thought leaders in Reformed circles and he sat down with Andrew Isker to debate the “Jewish Questions” that Christians have been debating for centuries. They also debate the nature of antisemitism. Both Doug Wilson and Andrew Isker are arguing from a Reformed perspective, therefore not dispensational. Doug Wilson introduces categories of hard and soft supersessionism in which soft supersessionists believe in a futurist view of Romans 11 and hard supersessionists believe in a partial preterist view of Romans 11. The debate, really more of a discussion, was titled Right Wing Twitter vs Doug Wilson (feat. Andrew Isker) Joe Rigney and Jared Longshore were also in the conversation.

Wilson articulates that dispensational theology lends itself too easily to Dual Covenant Theology, a term he described but did not use. But he argues that Reformed Christians have long held a futurist view of Romans 11.

Acknowledging Both Sides

Doug Wilson has a jolly approach to the issue which is to acknowledge the arguments on both sides and string them together for a coherent theology on the topic. For instance, he has no problem acknowledging the good contributions of the Jews as well as the bad contributions which mentioning gets one canceled.

This logic falters when Doug Wilson talks about the Talmud. He states that there’s a lot of good in the Talmud as well as bad, mentioning that he has a chapter on both. Yet this is not a deferential treatment that would be extended to Muslims or Mormons. So it’s equal weights and measures to hold the Modern Jewish Scripture in the same contempt as the Quran whose Christology is less offensively bad than that of the Talmud.

The second part where Doug Wilson’s approach to the argument doesn’t necessarily hold water is when he attempts to triangulate this tension when he tries to argue that we cannot know whether the good done by brain surgeons is outweighed by the evil done by pornographers.

Andrew Isker disagrees and says we can. Isker alludes that Jewish Americans being a very Democratic voting bloc with high institutional control answers this question.

Trans-Judaism

Doug Wilson has an expanded definition of the Jew. Isker points out that Palestinian and Levantine Christians have the most ancient Hebrew DNA, as opposed to Askanazis. Doug Wilson grants this point. To Doug Wilson, being a Jew is a matter of identity rather than genetic lineage. 

Radical Materialism

Doug Wilson uses the term “high performance people” to describe Jews. Yet what he describes as high performance could better be described as radical materialist. The pursuit of high-income careers is not unique to Modern Jews. Indeed this is seen with Asian Americans also.

Doug Wilson wants to combat the envy he believes this causes but Isker pushes back, arguing that it’s not a matter of success but what’s done with the success that people have a problem with. Radical materialism paired with conscious or semi-conscious adherence to group interests which are often in conflict with (a Christian) leads to movements that are secular because non-Christians would want secularism in a Christian society, Isker argues.

Conclusion

Overall, Andrew Isker definitely wins this debate. More importantly, this was a necessary conversation to have had. Isker wants people struggling with these ideas to be able to talk to their pastors rather than bottling them up.

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