(Were they Dr. James Dobson's to concede, in the first place?) Read and interpret:
The battles that we fought in the Eighties now, we were victorious in many of those conflicts with the culture, trying to defend righteousness, trying to defend the unborn child, trying to preserve the dignity of the family and the definition of marriage. We fought all those battles and really it was a holding action.
Dr. Mohler mentioned the pornography struggle; we made a lot of progress through the Eighties but then we turned into the Nineties and the internet came along and a new president came along and all of that went away and now we are absolutely awash in evil. And the battle is still to be waged. And we are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?
The world has turned colder for the family in recent years and there is such hostility to anyone who holds to a faith and we're going to take the heat. But I have been assured by the board and by many of you that we're not going to cow, we're not going to be discouraged. We're going to continue to express the love for the Scripture and the principles that we find there and if we are made fools for Christ, that's okay too because our purpose is to serve him and that he be pleased.
My read: the work of Christians is to prepare this world for the next, and nothing -- no matter how many discouragements may accrue -- should stop us (them) from persevering. Evoking Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians, Dobson is resolute in that if Christians "are made fools for Christ," that's exactly as Christ commands.(We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.) I think Dobson is conceding temporary defeat but urging the faithful to steel themselves for even greater battles. Secular readers need to remember that Dobson is speaking prophetically, or in the eschatological tradition. God is in control; Jesus will return; the center will be restored. Not on his time, maybe, but it is, to many premillennialist Christians, inevitable.
So -- yes -- I think Dobson has conceded defeat in the battles we secularists call the "culture wars." I do think he has shifted his mind to a more fundamental conflict...
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