So Much More, p. 1-13 – Part 3: The Black-and-White Cookie


Remember this post, where I compared the views of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC) to a black-and-white cookie? This is also, I think, one of the underlying problems behind So Much More (and really, all of patriocentricity) – black-and-white, all-or-nothing, extreme thinking. Here’s a perfect example (emphasis A&E’s): Continue reading

Why Lourdes Torres’ Consent Doesn’t Matter

If you’re a supporter of Doug Phillips and patriarchy, you might suppose, based on the title of this post, that you’ve found a sympathizer here at Scarlet Letters. Well, I’m (not so) sorry to say that that could not be further from the truth. Hester, the local blogmistress, fully supports Ms. Torres and believes her allegations as put forth in the recent lawsuit filed against Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Ministries and Vision Forum Inc. (see here for full text). So I suppose I owe those of you who may have fallen for that deliberately provocative title up there, an explanation. Continue reading

Hospitality: The Biblical Commands (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

Okay, so I said here that I would review Hospitality: The Biblical Commands around Halloween of last year. It’s now March, so obviously my posting schedule got a little thrown off. But hey, better late than never, right? So let’s get going and take a good, long, belated look the topic of hospitality, as explained by Alexander Strauch. Continue reading

Good (and Bad) News from the Table


So remember that time a few months ago, when Hester completely flipped her lid over Boerne Christian Assembly’s communion practices? (If not, then please go back and read that post now, since it contains essential background for this one.) Well, I won’t be doing that today, because for once I’ve actually discovered some good – but nonetheless revealing – news in the world of patriarchy. Like the revelation about BCA’s practice, it’s not new news; but also like BCA, it seems to have flown mostly under the internet radar. I discovered it by accident while looking up Voddie Baucham’s church, Grace Family Baptist, at this page specifically devoted to their beliefs about communion. Continue reading

The Role of Children in the Meeting of the Church (TBB)

The “TBB” in the name of this post means that it is part of The Big Box series. If you’re new to Scarlet Letters, read the introductory post to see what the Big Box is all about.

It seemed appropriate, after four weeks of parenting lectures by S. M. Davis, to look at this lecture by Doug Phillips about the role of children in FIC churches. There’s not much to say in the way of introduction this week, so let’s jump right in since the first section is largely review anyway. Continue reading

Hester Takes the Gen2 Survey

In December, my mother, who is still on several homeschooling mailing lists even though she’s officially retired from support group leadership, got a notice in her inbox about Brian Ray’s Gen2 Survey. Neither of us had heard of it, though apparently word had been circulating for several months (that’s what you get, I guess, for finally withdrawing, in large part, from the homeschooling community). Ray is the founder of the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), and as you might expect has released many studies of homeschoolers in the past, almost all of which have been criticized for methodological flaws (see here and here). Continue reading

Robert Gifford Speaks Out

Well, at long last, a tiny bright spot seems to have appeared in the deep dark mess that is the collapse of Doug Phillips and his empire. After being out of the loop over the holidays, I decided to check Jen’s Gems to see if any updates had been posted about the final shuttering of Vision Forum Inc. (For curious readers, any attempt to search for products on currently yields only a page titled “Clearance” and the message “No products match the filters you selected.”) I didn’t find anything about the closing, but I did find this encouraging report by T. W. Eston about Robert Gifford, the pastor whom Doug Phillips has repeatedly referred to as his “spiritual father” and mentioned in several of the lectures I’ve critiqued in the Big Box series. Continue reading