Doug Phillips Torpedoes Reconciliation With Epsteins

With Frank Vance’s recent departure things have been a little slow lately.

I just checked on our comments and noticed that there had been about twenty pingbacks that came in this morning, all from Mark and Jennifer Epstein’s blogs! Here I thought things have been quiet for them too, and then blammo! Obviously they’ve actually had a lot going on behind the scenes, and they just couldn’t talk about it.

The latest word from the Epsteins is that Doug Phillips torpedoed the Peacemaker Ministries reconciliation that they were trying to get him to participate in with them. Phillips apparently told the Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA) elders, “This is not about reconciliation; this is only about the Epsteins repenting” and “There is only one way for the Epsteins to be reconciled with me; they must come to me and repent fully without any equivocation of everything that we excommunicated them for, and they also have to repent for blogging about me.”

I don’t thnk that anyone should now have any doubts about the true nature of Doug Phillips. I remember that in one of Jen Epstein’s early stories that she said that Doug Phillips told her, “You’ll pay for this!” Phillips was true to his word. He made the Epsteins pay, and three years later he’s still making them pay.

It must have taken a lot of effort for the Epsteins to arrange for that peacemaking, and it must be a huge disappointment to have Phillips arrogantly rebuff the offer. But one good thing about it is that the Epsteins have just further confirmed what Doug Phillips is really all about. Doug Phillips is a vengeful, self-righteous, unforgiving man.

Here’s a copy of an email I just received from Mark Epstein:

Dear Ministry Watchman,

We appreciate your cooperation with us in honoring our request to take your articles about Doug Phillips down while we sought to enter into Peacemaker Ministries reconciliation with Doug. We know that you were all very concerned for us, and that you believed that the prospects for reconciliation were remote. Your scepticism was well justified. In spite of your scepticism you still agreed to cooperate with us by taking the articles down, and we appreciate it.

Last week we were informed that Doug Phillips refused the efforts of Faith Presbyterian Church to facilitate reconciliation on our behalf. We’ve posted articles on our blogs describing what happened at:

Doug Phillips Refuses Reconciliation With The Epsteins, and

Doug Phillips Refuses Reconciliation.

Doug told the FPC session, “This is not about reconciliation; this is only about the Epsteins repenting.” He also told them that there was only one way that we could ever be reconciled to him. We’d have to come to him and repent of everything that he’s accused us of. That’s simply not possible for us to do. Doing that would mean that we’d have to lie and bear false witness against ourselves. We’d have to lie because what Doug demands is that we confess sins and beg forgiveness of things:

  1. That we’re not guilty of and that no one can provide any evidence that we’re guilty of.

  2. That we committed years before we even became a Christian, and that we confessed and repented of years ago.

  3. That are so vague and ambiguous that we can’t possibly comprehend what they even are.

  4. That in the case of the few charges that we were guilty of, we confessed and repented of those things, but Doug excommunicated us any way.

We’re disappointed but not surprised. We’re also disappointed with the FPC session. Doug did everything that we expected he would. We didn’t however expect that the FPC session would cave in the way they did. Three of their elders are “Certified Christian Conciliators” with Peacemaker Ministries. In our estimation they could have done much more than they did. Nevertheless, the FPC session isn’t the issue and we’re unlikely to discuss them or respond to comments about that issue, unless we’re forced to. Our focus will remain on Doug Phillips.

We won’t be making any more attempts at reconciliation. We’ve done everything that we possibly can.We request that you put the articles back up that we previously asked you to take down.

Thank you for everything that you’ve done for us.

Mark and Jennifer Epstein

I never much liked the idea of taking down all our Doug Phillips articles, but I also didn’t want to get the blame, or give Phillips any excuses for not meeting with the Epsteins for their reconciliation meetings. In the end it didn’t make any difference.

So Mark and Jennifer, as soon as I post this I’ll start reposting all our Phillips articles (look for pingbacks comin’ back at ya!).

22 Comments on “Doug Phillips Torpedoes Reconciliation With Epsteins”

  1. Mark Epstein says:


    Just saw the pingback from this post. Thank you for all of your considerations and kindness in this ongoing blemish on the purity and peace of the church.

    Make no mistake, as clearly demonstrated by his own actions, Doug Phillips is not about peace, purity, shepherding, or anything close to humble behavior; Doug is all about Doug or, to quote a refrain from the secular world, for Phillips “It’s all about me.”

    What’s been a real eye opener for Jennifer and me, however, is the number of people Phillips has hurt over the years. We knew of a number of others that had been hurt by him, but we really did not have a clue as to how many there actually were out there.

    I do not begrudge or condemn their silence in any manner, especially in light of the savage treatment we received at the hands of Phillips’ and his minions. Yet, even the ongoing viciousness we’ve endured did not stop many people from contacting us with their stories of abuse at Phillips’ hands. It certainly provided us a greater understanding of Phillips’ nature.

    May the peace that surpasses all understanding be yours and may our Lord richly bless you and your work.

    Mark Epstein

  2. Lynn says:

    Many reading this remember how, after RC Sproul Jr. was defrocked, he wrote on his website that the defrocking had been done without a trial or even a conversation. This clearly insinuated there was wrondoing on the part of the presbytery he was under at the time.

    Peter Kershaw very quickly came and provided documents, and explanation that when one pleads guilty to charges, as Sproul Jr. had done, a trial is not a requirement, and then he explained that Sproul Jr. begged to be released from the denomination without a trial for the other issues.

    The same, exact thing could be done here. All it would take is for Peacemakers, or the FPC session, to come forward and clearly explain everything.

    I have grave doubts that this will happen in this situation, though.

  3. george says:

    I just don’t see what Philips has to gain by not just giving the Epstein’s his best wishes, reconciling, moving on, and allowing them to as well.

  4. Who said what says:

    I don’t understand either, why won’t Faith PCA say something publicly?

    Perhaps the Epsteins could share part of the communication from Faith to set our minds at ease?

  5. Lynn says:

    “Who said what,” the handwriting is on the wall.

    If there were an obvious explanation which would show FPC to be right and the Epsteins to be in severe error, it could have been shown by now, and from what the Epsteins have said, FPC hasn’t been forthcoming with them as to why, either.

    FPC had to have been pretty dim bulbs to think that Mark and Jennifer would forever keep their story off the internet. I think it was pretty stupid to tell them that the deal was off with no explanation given. That kind of behavior is not up-front and honest, and automatically makes people wonder what kind of dirty pool was being played behind closed doors.

    If FPC did give an explanation to the Epsteins, and if they didn’t but have one, it would be good for them to set things straight. And now.

    Also, Corrie has made a brilliant point.

    Doug Phillips has strange ideas about sinless perfectionism. He never did anything wrong in this situation, and the Epsteins need to repent.

    Apparently he doesn’t think it is wrong to link to a site that is nothing more than a third rate smear. He also doesn’t think it is wrong to breach pastoral confidentiality, which caused great pain for the Epsteins.

    Doug ought to repent for this strange doctrine he is promoting, don’t you think?

    Now, of course that is a reductio argument, but it just shows how they treated Jen in the BCA statement.

  6. CJ says:

    You know, back a couple of months ago, Joe Friday said that Phillips would behave like this.

    Joe wrote,
    ” I really hope I’m proven wrong about reconciliation ever happening between the Epsteins and Doug Phillips. I’m not rejecting the idea that God is capable of making that happen. I know he can. God can do whatever it pleases him to do. But I also think that Phillips has a heart of stone and enough pride to fill the State of Texas. I came to that conclusion after reading the Epsteins’ extraordinarily well documented story on their blogs and then reading Phillips pathetic “response” on the BCA web site. I just can’t see reconciliation ever happening. …………….. I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but I’ll just say that if it were me I’d put a deadline on it. That’s not to try and force Phillips into reconciliation. That wouldn’t be sincere reconciliation. But a realistic deadline that says “We waited as long as reasonable. Phillips obviously isn’t interested in reconciling with the Epsteins. So we’re putting our articles back up. We’re also going to run some stories about Doug Phillips being a racist. He’s accused us of being racists, and conspiring with racists. So it’s only fair that his own racial views and friendships with racists be scrutinized too, and we’re going to use the same standards that he used to judge us.”

    Whatever happened to Joe anyway? He hasn’t been around for a while.

  7. FBGFG says:

    Am concerned that DP is now a featured writer for WorldNet Daily, as credibilty is at stake. I called to voice my concerns this morning, and am hoping that WND will pull his column.

  8. Watchman says:


    Joe submitted several articles for my consideration. I seriously considered posting Joe’s “Doug Phillips Is a Racist” series of articles. I’ve still got them and they’re “locked and loaded.” At I said before though, I thought that Joe’s articles were hitting below the belt, and I still think that. However, I also made it clear that if the Phillips/Chancey/VF Former Interns cabal posted any more of their outrageous conspiracy theory “independent investigations” that I wouldn’t hesitate to immediately post Joe’s articles. So far they’ve shown some restraint.

    Joe told me several weeks ago that he’d like his articles posted regardless of what Phillips does. He’d like to see them posted on Ministry Watchman because of our large readership, and he’d rather not have to start a blog just to post a few articles. So far I’ve told him that we’ll all just have to wait and see.

  9. Light says:

    FBGFG, how did whoever answered the phone respond to your concerns?

    In general, I like WND, especially the work they’ve been doing to expose the ridiculous prosecutions against our border agents who were only doing their job.

    But if they are going to back Phillips … I can’t consider them serious journalists anymore..

  10. CJ says:

    I just took a look at WorldNet Daily… given the tenor of the reporting that I saw there, I’d say that Phillips will fit in just fine.

    I find the subject of his first featured article to be rather ironic, though. Phillips complains that “historical revisionism” is taking place at the quadricentennial of the settlement of Jamestown, Va., being celebrated this year.

    Phillips complains that the story of the “real Jamestown – the story of imperfect but remarkable men who were instruments of a sovereign Creator to establish a nation of law and liberty under God” is being obscured by “revisionists” who tell people about unsavory things that took place in the settlement, things like cannibalism, torture of convicts, etc.

    Phillips says:
    “Students can even log on to the official Colonial Williamsburg site for articles that insist that Pocahontas was “forcibly converted” to Christ and that the Jamestown settlers were predisposed toward cannibalism because they craved human flesh.”

    I logged onto that site.

    Regarding cannibalism at Jamestown, it says this:
    “As Percy and other survivors told it, sporadic cannibalism was a manifestation of a partial breakdown in civilized society in the face of inescapable disaster:
    “‘A worlde of miseries ensewed as the Sequell will expresse unto yow, in so mutche thatt some to satisfye their hunger have robbed the store for the which I Caused them to be executed. Then haveinge fedd upon our horses and other beastes as longe as they Lasted, we weare gladd to make shifte with vermin as doggs Catts, Ratts and myce all was fishe thatt Came to Nett to satisfye Crewell hunger, as to eate Bootes shoes or any other leather some Colde come by. And those beinge Spente and devoured some weare inforced to searche the woodes and to feede upon Serpentts and snakes and to digge the earthe for wylde and unknowne Rootes, where many of our men weare Cutt of and slayne by the Salvages. And now famin beginneinge to Looke gastely and pale in every face, thatt notheinge was Spared to mainteyne Lyfe and to doe those things which seame incredible, as to digge upp deade corpes outt of graves and to eate them. And some have Licked upp the Bloode which hathe fallen from their weake fellowes.”‘

    The closest the Williamsburg site ever comes to saying that the Jamestown settlers “craved human flesh” is here:

    “Can we, however, accept Percy’s argument that cannibalism such as Jamestown’s is never universally countenanced, that it is regarded as a repulsive action of last resort? Curiosities in the accounts make us wonder whether the full tale is being told. Reports, composed almost exclusively by the gentlemen among the settlers, say that the “lower orders” were the first to indulge in such acts; social norms were thus preserved in the written record. But who were the individuals who dug up and consumed corpses? They are never named. It is curious in so small a society that any man, wellborn or poor, could have enjoyed the privacy necessary to slaughter his wife and eat her over time, piece by piece. Did he get away with this because so many people were dying—and morale was so low—that one face more or less was not worthy of remark? Or was there connivance of some kind? Observe how the bodies of men, including at least one Indian, are buried before being surreptitiously dug up and consumed. Note, too, how carefully human flesh is prepared: “boiled and stewed with roots and herbs,” “powdered,” “carbonadoed.” This suggests concerted action, perhaps widely beneficial, and perhaps verging on ritual. Is the implication of method and planning a later elaboration, or does it accurately reflect a starving man’s obsession with food?

    We touch on deeper fears: that human meat might prove addictive. One of the colonists, it is said, acquired the taste. He could not be restrained from cannibalism and had to be executed. True story, or a trope on where such bestial behavior can lead? From the Aztecs to the Fijians, history suggests that whole societies can develop a lust for human flesh, and that consumption ritualized keeps the craving within bounds.”

    Really, I’d have expected Phillips to do a better job of misrepresenting the Williamsburg site than that… but I guess I overestimated him.

  11. FBGFG says:

    The young lady I spoke with was very polite and seemed to take the concern seriously.

  12. Mark Epstein says:

    FBGFG, Light, CJ:

    I realized something was wrong when WND failed to remove the pro-Phillips Allosaur story after Phillips pulled the movie from the market place. Does anyone else think something might be wrong when a product that’s almost pure profit is pulled from the catalog? Am I reading too much into this?

  13. Watchman says:


    I think that Doug Phillips has raised some valid concerns about politically correct historical commentaries. But Phillips appears to have a recurring problem with challenging things by going to the opposite extreme. Phillips is a reactionary, and reactionaries often are prone to doing what Phillips does. For example, Phillips challenges radical feminism by pushing hyper-patriarchy. Phillips challenges Evolution by offering us his fakeupmentary Raising The Allosaur. Too much of what he offers up is just as much of a lie as the thing that he’s challenging. In the end he does far more to harm the cause of the gospel of Jesus than he does to advance it.

    Every historian writes out of his own biases. That includes not only atheists and pagans who are hostile to a biblical world view and the principles that guided America’s founders, the same also applies to Christian historians who sometimes, in an effort to counter the politically correct historians, start fabricating very creative interpretations of history themselves.

    I wouldn’t call Doug Phillips an historian, per se. But because Phillips spends a lot of time talking about historical events, and putting his own creative spin on them, and because he does command a large audience, he has had considerable influence on the views of history that many Christians hold to. Phillips’ interpretations have often been far less than honest.

    Should I trust a Doug Phillips to give a truthful interpretation of history just because he’s a professing Christian? All we have to do is look to examples of how accurately Doug Phillips retells various events to determine that. After all the outrageous lies that he told in Raising The Allosaur, I for one would have a hard time ever believing much of anything the man says. Doug Phillips’ Raising the Allosaur has done great damage to real Creationists everywhere and the cause of Creationism. Because of his penchant for creative story telling (lying) Doug Phillips has the potential to cause the same kind of harm to the cause of real Christian historians.

  14. Phillips Phraud says:

    Have you seen this?

    Mel Sharps wrote:
    I agree with the comments here about the silliness of all this politically correct collective guilt manipulation nonsense. Where our forefathers erred we should acknowledge it, but that doesn’t make us collectively guilty and liable for their sins (if they did sin), and it doesn’t make us liable to have to repent, or mourn, or turn a celebration into a cryfest, or be ashamed of our rich Christian heritage.

    One thing that does bother me about all this though is permitting a man like Doug Phillips to have such a prominent role. It’s one thing to be proud of our Christian heritage, which Doug Phillips obviously is. It’s another thing altogether to sing the praises of racists and even slavery defenders like R.L. Dabney the way that Doug Phillips does. Phillips’ role in all this could have some very bad repercussions and it could get really embarrassing for Christians to have a guy like Doug Phillips, who’s being exposed as a racist, as one of our leading spokesmen.

  15. Cynthia Gee says:

    On that same site, James Atticus Bowden wrote:
    Mel Sharps: I looked up the references to Doug Phillips making blog references. If they are true, they put him out on the fringe with some very wrong and strange people. I guess you have to do your homework about who someone walks with. Thanks for sharing the information and heads up.
    15/03 21:15:13 ”

    Some very wrong and strange people…. gee, do ya think???

    Somebody ought to share this with Mr. Bowden, and this , and this as well…

  16. TheIronHare says:

    Watchman, please keep in mind my comment elsewhere on this blog about retaliatory arson. Stooping to become like Doug Phillips would not honor Christ.

    And I’ve shown a bit of restraint myself in regard to certain comments from people here in regard to a certain subject if you know what I mean. – Dennis

  17. Robert Perry says:

    I fail to put my finger on the article of Scripture, let alone Matthew 18, which empowers you to air out your difficulties with Mr. Phillipps in public. Assuming that your side of the story is truthful, does not 1 Corinthians 6 point out that we ought rather be wronged than to bring our grievances before unbelievers?

  18. Mark Epstein says:


    The actual verses you refer to in Corinthians say: “But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” (1 Cor 6:6-8)

    Although these verses apply to Ligonier Ministries and its unbiblical lawsuit of Frank Vance, they do not address an illegal excommunication resulting from evil deeds of darkness.

    Douglas Winston Phillips, Esq., lawyer, business man, and self-proclaimed “elder” had plenty of time to deal with the issue privately. He made a conscious choice not to do so and, therefore, he was exposed for the ecclesiastical tyrant that he is.

    Hope this answers your question.

  19. Mark Epstein says:


    A short “post script” if you will.

    If “contemporary believers” are so concerned about airing the dirty laundry of tyrants, what is the response to Paul saying the things he did in the Bible? Do not unbelievers read the Bible? Are we do ban unbelievers from reading the Bible? I don’t think so. Therefore, the argument about airing differences before unbelievers is a weak one.

    If God (using Paul) thought there were certain issues that needed to be aired before unbelievers, then it should not be problematic for today’s believers to acknowledge this truth instead of looking for reasons to excuse a tyrant’s behavior. Furthermore, what makes it right for you to take public issue with a public discussion of a tyrant’s actions?

  20. sane says:

    Y’all need help.

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