He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man….
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
(Tim, w/thanks to many) Like Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, Jim Dobson's breakout book, Dare to Discipline, was rejected by many publishers before one gave it a try--in Dobson's case, my father-in-law's Tyndale House Publishers. Later, Dad Taylor gave money to Jim to do a radio show, and the rest is history.
I am not ashamed of Dr. James Dobson. Rather, I've long expressed my deep gratitude for Jim's work on the air and in print. Few men have contributed so much Biblical instruction to my flocks. When the history of the late twentieth century is written, it will become clear Jim was one of the most courageous warriors for truth and mercy and justice in these United States.
You may have noticed on this blog that I've never mentioned the name of that publication in Wheaton calling itself Christianity Today. One reason is their sotto voce attacks on Jim Dobson. Among Wheaton's detelligentsia, it's hip to smirk when Dobson's name comes up, and CT has taken its cue and place among the pea-shooters.
This has been very discouraging for Jim; it's hurt him, his wife Shirley, and their children.
I can hear the exclamations: "Hello! How does Tim Keller feel about your criticism, dude? Something about the splinter and the log!"
Let me simply point out that it's been the hatred of our cultural elite showered on Dr. Dobson I believe has caused Wheaton's best and brightest and CT to distance themselves from him. Meanwhile, Tim Keller's been the toast of the Eastern seaboard's chattering classes. And both Evangelicalism and the Submergent church have joined the fawning over him.
Beyond that are little signs Biblical vision and discernment may help us pick up on: for instance, Dr. Dobson stands at the gaps in the wall and opposes the forces of Hell. Unlike others, you won't have to look closely to see and hear his relentless attacks on the normalization of sodomy and feminism and pornography and the slaughter of our unborn children and the state-enforced starvation of our feeble and frail.
Yes, he's a Nazarene. But like Job, he's a righteous man:
When I went out to the gate of the city, When I took my seat in the square, the young men saw me and hid themselves, and the old men arose and stood. The princes stopped talking and put their hands on their mouths; the voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to their palate. For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, and I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I investigated the case which I did not know. I broke the jaws of the wicked and snatched the prey from his teeth. (Job 29:7-17)
Wheaton isn't alone, though, in sniffing at Jim Dobson. If we believe the spirituality-of-the-church brothers, we'll understand good pastors avoid the places where righteous men like Job break the jaws of the wicked and snatch the prey from his teeth. Or, from the redemptive-historical camp, David Van Drunen puts it this way in his "Biblical Theology and the Culture War" from Kerux: "Most important of all, it (his brief look at Biblical theology) teaches us the culture war rages in Babylon, not in the Promised Land."
Seen a reformed man at your baby-slaughterhouse, recently, crying out to those on the highway to Hell to repent and turn? Offering to feed and clothe and pay for the medical care of the baby's mother as she takes her first fledgling steps of faith?
No. That's the calling of Dr. Dobson. And Clarence Thomas. Let the Southern Baptists do it--they have no theology, anyway, and serve so nicely as Presbyterians' Sabbath goyim.
But I digress...
After decades at the lists, the Good Doctor is getting too old to carry the banner. Focus on the Family is trying to cut the umbilical cord from its aging founder and I'm guessing this year's much-hated Tim Tebow ad is partly Focus on the Family's response to a financial crisis that led, a couple months ago, to the elimination of 200 positions. The ad is said to have cost $200k to produce and $2 million to run, but some estimate it will pay off well, providing FOTF upwards of $10 million in exposure.
In the midst of the baby-haters' sturm and drang over the national announcement of Tim Tebow's mother's love for life and repudiation of murder, FOTF announced it would be running several more ads in the lead-up to the Super Bowl's kickoff.
On the sad occasion of the resignation of Jim and Shirley Dobson from Focus on the Family effective February 26, 2010, God bless Jim Dobson. And as we turn to the future, God bless Mrs. Tebow. And her son, Tim.
God bless all those men and women who still believe that "pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
* * *
For one of the more passive-aggressive attacks on Tebow mother and child, check out this forwarded to me by son Taylor.
And if you'd like to join my wife and me in sending a letter of appreciation to the Dobsons, please address it to:
Appreciation for Dr. James Dobson; Focus on the Family; Colorado Springs, CO 80995-1234.