This anti-Wilson post doesn’t have anything to do with the sex scandals. Still, he accurately sees where the historical winds are blowing, and he rightly sees that they aren’t in his direction. We shall establish his thesis and then see if his points address them.
Thesis: I want to outline five reasons why I believe this [Putin = Constantine] is not the case, but first I want to put an important disclaimer up front.
Disclaimer: he realizes that some of his points are more anti-EO than anti-Putin.
~1. Doesn’t actually say what’s wrong in this point. Remember, his thesis is that Putin is not Constantine. He merely asserts that Putin is “farther down that cul-de-sac.” Okay, how so? Silence.
~2. So Constantine is an imperfect ruler, what of it? Wilson comes close to an actual argument when he claims that the Russian state specializes in “kennel-fed church dignitaries.” This is a misleading half-truth. The post-Petrine church in Russia (say around 1700-1825) was a department of the state.
This is not so today. Admittedly, we can’t always find clear lines of separation, but Putin knows that the church provides him with moral legitimacy. If he alienates the church he loses that legitimacy. He knows that. The church knows that. Every scholar of Byzantine history knows that.
~3. This point is hard to distill. He begins by decrying caesopapism, but that seemed more relevant to (~2). He then moves to iconoclasm, but it’s hard to see how the two points are related. He concludes this point by lamenting the thuggish nationalism in Ukraine.
So, exactly what do I say in response? I’m not sure. He didn’t actually focus around a single topic so I can’t respond to a single topic. I have my own thoughts on icons and Ukraine (so, does he support Right Sektor and the child-slaying Banderans?).
~4. This is nothing more than a summary of a Ted Cruz speech. If al-Assad were indeed a “secular government with a Muslim culture,” then why are all Muslim cultures trying to kill him? Why are Christians at the top level of government and military? If Assad falls, as Wilson seems to hope, then thousands of Christians will drown in blood.
~5. This might be a legitimate theological criticism. But it’s just plain bad history. And a logical fallacy. Watch this.
If p, then q.
Basic Modus ponens. Here is the fallacious form of it.
If p, then q.
If Icons are bad, then Muslim invasion.
Therefore, icons are bad.
And Wilson teaches logic.
Gary North once said that when your career begins to embrace sin and scandal, God will impose sanctions on you by making your writing very bad. This happened with Rushdoony. It is now happening with Wilson. He used to be a good debater. I’m not much of a debater but this wasn’t that hard.