Tullian Tchividjian Takes SGM and TGC to Task

"Give me a break. These people, they're family. Of course he knew," Tchividjian told The Christian Post. "C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn't made aware of, so for anyone to say, 'Well he didn't know,' that's totally naive."

Tullian Tchividjian

501px-Tullian_Tchividjian

Tullian Tchividjian

There has been a flurry of activity on both the internet and Twitter in the wake last week's Morales verdict, and no one has described it quite as vividly as the Phoenix Preacher who wrote:  

It was like a swarm of gnats attacking an elephant on Twitter…bloggers, lay people, victims, and one courageous reporter all demanding answers and relentlessly pursuing truth and accountability from Sovereign Grace Ministries and The Gospel Coalition.

The big boys were unyielding.

Then someone showed up with an elephant gun.

The one with the proverbial 'elephant gun' was none other than Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. 

Five years ago, leaders of The Gospel Coalition (TGC) approached Tchividjian about moving his blog to their newly established website.  Dee and I had been blogging for just a short time, and we remember when this occurred. 

In recent years Tullian Tchividjian has written some posts that challenged what other TGC bloggers were saying.  The most recent example involved a post by Jen Wilkin entitled Failure is not a virtue.  Tchividjian contested Wilkin on his blog, and it caught Dee's attention.  She discussed this controversy in a recent TWW post – Grace and Obedience: Why I Agree With Tullian Tchividjian and Not With Jen Wilkin.

On May 13 (the same day TGC's Council assembled in Louisville (SBTS) for its biennial meeting), Kevin DeYoung wrote a post detailing what they agree and disagree on with regard to sanctification.  Near the end of that three-day meeting (we still find it 'providential' that it coincided with the Morales trial), Tchividjian was informed that The Gospel Coalition was changing its web format and that his blog would no longer be featured.  They expected him to transfer five years worth of posts to another website by the time TGC's new website went live (which occurred just two days ago!).  Apparently, they agreed to give Tchividjian until Thursday (5/22) to complete the transfer.  How generous!

Last Blog Post on TGC's Website

Yesterday morning Dee and I were surprised to learn that Tullian Tchividjian's blog would no longer be featured on TGC's website.  We read with great interest his final post which was aptly titled “I’ve Come To Set The Captives Free”.  Here are what we consider to be the highlights of Tchividjian's post:

As many of you know, I and my “rascally” band of ragamuffins have been hard at work launching and developing a ministry called Liberate. Through an annual conference, a content based website, a pastors network, radio, writing projects, and soon-to-be television program, Liberate exists for one very specific reason: to connect God’s inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world.

Our plan for the past year or so is that we would eventually move all of my “blog” content from The Gospel Coalition site over to Liberate. I had informed The Gospel Coalition of my plan to make this transition in August when the new Liberate site is launched, but was informed on Thursday that certain members of The Gospel Coalition wanted the transition to happen ASAP. I was disappointed and a bit confused. We would’ve loved to have had more time to get things ready on our end and I have always been open to having any conversations with any of the staff at The Gospel Coalition who had any questions whatsoever about the content I was posting. I would’ve been happy to answer any questions they may have had and provide robust clarification if needed. None of the powers that be, however, ever mentioned anything to me (either by email or phone) before Thursday when I was simply told that the transition needed to happen now. I know I have had some differences with some of the other contributors to this site but my goal has always been to do nothing but preach the Good News with every post, to bring relief to the burdened and broken, and rest to the weary and heavy laden by fixing the readers’ eyes on the finished work of Jesus. You’ll have to judge for yourself if I succeeded or failed in this regard. So, even though the circumstances are less than ideal for me and my amazing Liberate team, we have managed to pull things together on our end and will have all of my content transferred over to Liberate by Thursday of this week.

I have long admired the original mission of The Gospel Coalition to be a hallway where Christians from all denominational backgrounds who may disagree on non-essentials could gather and rally around the Good News (hence, the name “Gospel Coalition”). But, in my opinion, the messaging of The Gospel Coalition has morphed over the last seven years and I find myself much more aligned with the very specific message of Liberate. So, now is the right time to pull the trigger. In fact, it’s probably over due…

For the past 5 years I have been primarily blogging at The Gospel Coalition and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. But the ministry of Liberate has grown to the point where I really need to focus all of my attention and efforts over there rather than here.

So, thanks to The Gospel Coalition for asking me five years ago if they could host my blog. It’s been fun. I wish you well…

“Here I stand…I can do no other.”

Semper Reformanda!

The Christian Post

News travels fast in the 21st century, and it didn't take long for The Christian Post to report on the story.  Here are some excerpts from the CP article that was originally published at 5:57 p.m. yesterday:

Tullian Tchividjian is slamming Sovereign Grace Ministries for its handling of a sex abuse scandal, while announcing this week that his participation with The Gospel Coalition will unexpectedly end on Thursday.

Tchividjian, whose brother, Boz, is the founder of Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment, a group that investigates sexual abuse in churches and ministries, spoke out against TGC's actions in light of the Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse scandal.

C. J. Mahaney, who founded the SGM, along with other ministry leaders, was hit with a civil lawsuit last year alleging that they conspired to "permit sexual deviants to have unfettered access to children for purposes of predation and to obstruct justice by covering up ongoing past predation."

While the lawsuit was thrown out due to statute of limitations, Tchividjian said that unlike many of those connected to TGC who considered Mahaney a friend and claimed that he had "been the object of libel and even a Javert-like obsession by some," he saw the situation differently. In his eyes, given that Mahaney's brother-in-law and fellow former pastor at Covenant Life Church had confessed to knowing about sex abuse claims and withholding that information from police last week, the SGM pastor was guilty.

"Give me a break. These people, they're family. Of course he knew," Tchividjian told The Christian Post. "C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn't made aware of, so for anyone to say, 'Well he didn't know,' that's totally naive."

Tchividjian added that he was "pretty disturbed" when Don Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor published a statement on TGC website in May 2013 which defended Mahaney, saying that it looked "like the good-old boys club covering their own." . . .

Speaking about his departure from The Gospel Coalition, Tchividjian said his departure came with little warning, though he explained that he made the decision eight or nine months ago to leave in August…

Last week, Tchividjian said he was informed via a friend on TGC's council that the group's leadership wanted his blog posts removed "ASAP." According to Tchividjian's contact, TGC leadership was hoping to have his content removed because the website was relaunching on Monday, but noted that part of its decision seemed to "be personal, some of it theological."

Tchividjian told his friend to inform TGC leadership that he already intended to remove his content in August, but that his site was not ready yet; after talking with leaders, his friend told him he had until Monday. TGC leadership ultimately gave him until this Thursday…

What makes this CP article even more fascinating is that it was online for about thirty minutes — then it vanished!  It's a mystery why it disappeared, but we have some theories… There was such an outcry that it resurfaced on the internet at 5:49 this morning.  Did the CP editors pull an all nighter discussing whether to re-publish this article?  Hopefully, we will receive an explanation as to what sort of 'glitch' occurred.   

Janet Mefferd

We were extremely pleased to learn that Janet Mefferd, who hosts a Christian radio program, would be interviewing Tullian Tchividjian about these recent events.  Tchividjian traveled to Chicago last night to speak at a conference over the next several days, and Janet was able to break into his busy schedule and interview him by phone. 

Prior to airing the fifteen minute interview, Janet spent a few minutes providing background information about the various players and organizations involved.  For example, she explained the connection between The Gospel Coalition and Sovereign Grace Ministries (because of C.J. Mahaney's involvement in both organizations); the crux of the class action lawsuit against SGM, et al that is out on appeal; the TGC statement made a year ago by D.A. Carson, Kevin DeYoung, and Justin Taylor; the sudden removal of Tchividjian's blog from TGC's website; and The Chrisitan Post article discussed above. 

You can hear Janet's remarks, along with her interview of Tullian Tchividjian, here.

With regard to being given the left foot of fellowship from The Gospel Coalition, Tullian explained that…

“I was just minding my own business, going about my merry way, when all of this exploded.”

He went on to explain that his brother Boz has been playing a central role in this. 

I really appreciated Tullian's great concern for the victims, which he expressed numerous times during the interview.  He said that the whole thing is incredibly sad and that lives have been ruined.  Then he remarked:

I’m glad it’s finally coming to light and that justice will be served it seems.

Tullian provided some historical information by explaining that he had been there when TGC was launched.  He really liked their gospel-centered focus.  Then five years ago he was asked to move his blog over to The Gospel Coalition's new website.   Although he had never served as a Council Member, he had done break-out sessions at their biennial conferences in addition to allowing TGC to host his blog. 

Tullian went on to express his deep concerns about The Gospel Coalition.  Initially, the group's focus was recovering the centrality of the gospel in the life of the church.  TGC was missional and the message had a brighter more positive vibe to it.  In recent years, however, the culture and tone seemed to be morphing a bit and seemed to be moving away from the original intent, according to Tullian.  Over time TGC leaders became more critical and were quick to point out theological error here, there, and everywhere.  They seemed more focused on what they were against, rather than on what they were for.  As the vibe changed, Tullian explained that he fell out of favor with certain individuals (which he knew nothing about until late last week).

Tullian spoke briefly about his ministry called Liberate, which he began about two years ago.  It now has a well-resourced website, a pastors conference, etc.  He had notified The Gospel Coalition that he would be moving his blog over to the Liberate website by August.  Of course, that plan changed as of last week.  Tullian then told Janet:

I wished that the leader of TGC would have picked up the phone for clarification on any questions they had. 

Unfortunately, he wasn’t given that chance. Tullian explained that he didn’t know there were rumblings or personality conflicts with anyone at The Gospel Coalition.  He said that over the last five years he had some back and forth disagreements with other TGC contributors, but it was all cordial.

Janet asked Tullian about The Gospel Coalition's statement last May supporting C.J. Mahaney.  She specifically wanted to know why those who objected to it did not come out and say it at the time.  Tullian explained that he called his friend Justin Taylor (one of the three signatories) and said that it was misleading and did not reflect the feelings of others associated with TGC.  He further told Justin that it was premature, insensitive (to the victims), and that the timing was terrible.  Apparently, the Addendum was added shortly after Tullian got off the phone with Justin.  Here is that Addendum:

This statement reflects the views of the signatories and does not necessarily speak for other Council members, bloggers, and writers for The Gospel Coalition

Janet then asked him if these circumstances are damaging the YRR movement, to which Tullian responded: "Yes".

Toward the end of the interview, Tullian explained that no one knows for certain what Mahaney knew. He said that Mahaney's brother-in-law was involved in staff meetings where the abuse was discussed.  Then Tullian said:

But it’s hard to believe the leader, the pope of that movement, knew nothing. 

Dee and I absolutely agree.  Mahaney established an authoritarian leadership structure in the 'family of churches' that has come to be known as Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Now that Grant Layman, Mahaney's brother-in-law, has testified UNDER OATH that he knew about the sexual crimes of Nate Morales decades ago and did not report him to the proper authorities, it seems highly unlikely that Grant would keep this information secret from the one who was at the helm of Covenant Life Church (CLC), his brother-in-law C.J.  Remember, Mahaney didn't turn over the reins of CLC to Joshua Harris until 2004.

Final Remarks

We have so much more to discuss regarding these recent developments.  In our upcoming post, Dee will be addressing the difference between the Puritan and the Continental Reformed position on assurance and how it was likely a contributing factor in The Gospel Coalition's decision to send Tullian packing (but probably not the primary reason for giving him the boot). 

We have been committed to standing up for the victims since we began blogging over five years ago, and you can be certain that Dee and I will continue to follow these developments closely. 

Lydia's Corner:   Ezekiel 37:1-38:23   James 1:19-2:17   Psalm 117:1-2   Proverbs 28:1

Comments

Tullian Tchividjian Takes SGM and TGC to Task — 447 Comments

  1. If his views on sanctification were that controversial why has he stayed on that site for 5 years? I don’t think that is what got him removed in a timely fashion. I think it has everything to do with his comments about SGM. Tim Keller and Tchvidijian have very similar views on how the gospel impacts ones life.

    It all goes back to backing up CJ. Does that man have something on all these guys?

  2. @ Robin:

    Your last question is definitely thought-provoking…

    We now know (after many years of silence) what Mahaney did to Larry Tomczak.

  3. Robin wrote:

    If his views on sanctification were that controversial why has he stayed on that site for 5 years?

    They had to present some plausible explanation for eliminating Tullian, but I seriously doubt the problem had anything to do with doctrine.

    I think it had more to do with Tullian's brother, who challenged the T4G guys (Dever, Mohler, and Duncan) on Facebook.  Of course, Dever, Mohler, and Duncan are also TGC Council Members.  😉

  4. After reading this post, it’s obvious that TGC co-founders Tim Keller and Don Carson have a lot more explaining to do. I read their post, “On Some Recent Changes at TGC,” and find it woefully inadequate, especially after reading what Tullian Tchividjian had to say.

  5. Dr. Fundystan,

    I finished Prodigal God two days ago so I was SHOCKED when I read what Tim Keller had to say about all of this. It is quite confusing.

  6. Isn’t it absolutely shocking that they send Tullian packing on short notice, but didn’t send CJ anywhere and he is still scheduled to speak next month at the TGC-sponsored Anchored conference in Arizona: http://arizona.thegospelcoalition.org/events/event/9/anchored-conference/2014-06-20

    (Yea, I know CJ voluntarily left, but whatever, they didn’t ask him to leave and they should have.)

    Oh, rats, ya’ll, missed the special they were having for the conference:

    Use the code “TGCAZ” for the special registration rate of $125 until May 1st!

    SICK, SICK, SICK!!!! @@ – rolling eyeballs

  7. Kids are getting abused, leadership is covering for it and they’re concerned about obscure points of dogma? The Gospel Coalition seems nice.

  8. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    Tullian must have said three or four times in that short interview that these kids' lives have been ruined and they need to be cared for (or something to that effect).

    What have Tim Keller and D.A. Carson said about the victims of Nate Morales?

    Move along, nothing to see here…

  9. Just as an FYI – I sent an email to TGCAZ when the verdict was announced and again when Mahaney disappeared off TGC members page asking about his inclusion as the #2 listed speaker. No response as yet.

  10. @ Deb:

    Well said, Deb.

    Not a single person on the council, nor administration, nor even a contributor have said a word, either.

  11. I have some good news. My father woke up from the fugue state (that’s the best way to describe it) and was watching baseball on TV in his hospital room when my brother went by after dinner. Dad knew where he was, he wanted his dentures, he wanted food and he also wanted his clothes and shoes so he could go home. That last is notgoing to happen right yet–you can tell where he got bruised up on his face, apparently from a fall yesterday morning. My brother brought over the dentures but left the clothes in the car. I went and saw my dad at 9 pm and he knew who I was.

    Thank you everyone who prayed!

  12. muzjik wrote:

    Just as an FYI – I sent an email to TGCAZ when the verdict was announced and again when Mahaney disappeared off TGC members page asking about his inclusion as the #2 listed speaker. No response as yet.

    If you hear anything, please let us know. I really hope TGC/TGCAZ (I think the separation is something of a fiction, considering this conference is being administered by a church in Kansas) asks C.J. not to show up. It would be highly inappropriate to give Mahaney an honored platform from which to speak considering he has yet to answer questions regarding his actions in the early 1990s regarding Nate Morales. (To say nothing about the general attitude towards child abuse in SGM in general, which Mahaney led for over two decades.)

  13. Albuquerque Blue wrote:

    Kids are getting abused, leadership is covering for it and they’re concerned about obscure points of dogma? The Gospel Coalition seems nice.

    So much is “Gospelly” except for “the least of these.” Hmmm.

  14. former Sojourn member wrote:

    Not a single person on the council, nor administration, nor even a contributor have said a word, either.

    My hunch is its tied to money. Yet another way SGM members were deceived was about the use of donations and Mahaney’s attitude toward money. He routinely claimed he didn’t know what was going on with the money like it wasn’t at all his focus, and that he didn’t even have a clear sense of what he was paid. There was no transparency. Members weren’t invited into the process, weren’t given voting rights or the ability to approve of expenditures, etc.

    CJ’s generous donation to the SBTS came as a surprise. Who knew? How nice of Mahaney to assume complete ownership like that over large amounts of SGM money and use for his personal gain? Who in SGM saw the SBTS as a Mission Field?

    What has that donation done, what came from it? Let’s see…

    1. It purchased Al Mohler’s support and allegiance. That’s obvious.

    2. It purchased an automatic in road for Bob Kauflin and his SGM Music to set up shop at the SBTS and establish an influence. The Seminary’s band “Norton Hall” is led by Devon Kauflin, Bob’s son, and all the SBTS band members traveled with Bob Kauflin on an SGM trip to the Phillipines where they went to “share the gospel” and strengthen SGM ties to the Phillipines. Funny thing about that trip: they were in Bohol & Cebu when the huge, devastating earthquake struck and we’re surrounded by destruction. Did they flesh out the gospel, stay and help, ask SGM to wire money from the Mission Fund they apparently had? No. Seems their only thought was for their own lives and they got out of there ASAP.

    3. Al Mohler is a founder along with Mahaney of T4G, which has provided Mohler with a steady revenue stream, not to mention the others.

    Mahaney’s contribution to the SBTS is only one such contribution we know about.

    How much SGM money did CJ generously give to TGC? Do these people understand CJ gave away money while functioning with no accountability and treated that money like it was his personal wealth, and him to give away in order to buy himself favors?

    Don’t these people realize we can tell Mahaney purchased their favor with SGM donations and only he, personally, is benefitting by their continued support? Meanwhile, how is the church benefitting from the money Mahaney gave them?

    Is there some kind of statute of limitations, or was there an agreement attached to the money Mahaney donated to his “friends” – like they have to support him for at least 2 years and if so, he’ll give them more lol?

    I say it has to be the money talking through these men and their ongoing support. It sure isn’t the Lord.

  15. ps. I forgot to add (I believe ed. note) that it purchased internships for Mahaney friends and family members, the ones that fled with him to Louisville.

  16. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I have some good news. My father woke up from the fugue state (that’s the best way to describe it) and was watching baseball on TV in his hospital room when my brother went by after dinner. Dad knew where he was, he wanted his dentures, he wanted food and he also wanted his clothes and shoes so he could go home. That last is notgoing to happen right yet–you can tell where he got bruised up on his face, apparently from a fall yesterday morning. My brother brought over the dentures but left the clothes in the car. I went and saw my dad at 9 pm and he knew who I was.

    Thank you everyone who prayed!

    Praise God! Thanks for the update.

  17. “Toward the end of the interview, Tullian explained that no one knows for certain what Mahaney knew”.

    Isn’t this sentence the crux of the matter? It’s what makes it so difficult to discuss because this isn’t known. It is neither possible to defend nor accuse Mahaney. It is only possible to marshall evidence for or against what is more likely to have been the case. Apart from that, it it down to Mahaney’s integrity.

    I’d like to second the comment that there may be more important things to discuss at the moment than minute differences over sanctification. Perhaps it might help to actually try to be sanctified in general first, and worry about the details later.

  18. Paula wrote:

    My hunch is its tied to money.

    I think that for some, position is more important than money. These guys sing the same tune even though some don’t have big bucks. Money and position offer power.

    Plus it is hard not to think that one is superior when people hang on one’s every word and avidly follow all that one does, voicing complete approval for every little thing.

    Once given up, though, it is a relief. There are no better or worse persons, no kewl or krass by reason of beauty or brain, but we are peers, all of us, equally treasured/valued, children of the King.

    The sooner these guys learn this lesson, the better.

  19. Good reporting Deb. You may be interested in some of the links I sent earlier this morning.

  20. Unless something out of the ordinary was going on, there is no way that CJM did not know. He knew every detail about the organization and what was happening there. It is why his relatives were in positions to control things and report to him. It was a very hierarchical organization and CJM was at the pinnacle. Nothing was done contrary to his directives and without his approval. The very structure of the organization means the cover up of abuse lies at his feet. A good investigator and DA could easily prove that up in court if witnesses don't lie or conveniently lose their memory.

  21. I think that many, many Christian leaders, churches, and organizations fail to understand and to apply this passage to themselves:

    Mark 10:42-45 [NIV], “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    TGC, SGM, CLC, Mahaney, Harris, et al are prime examples, but this problem goes much further afield than just them.

  22. The Tchividjian are doing a great job as a very small minority of big-name Christian* leaders who speak the truth and stand up for what’s right. Gives a salty skeptic like me some hope that there is some truth in Christianity*…though most of the leadership in “church” does a good job of placing doubt in the truthfulness of their “gospel”…TGC demonstrates the ugly side of “church” and why many run from it. If you can’t speak the clear truth about child abuse, then you can’t be trusted as an honest broker on anything else.

  23. I'm still waiting for blogdom to wake up to this. I've not read Challies for some time now, but I used to visit now and again and quite like it. So I paid a visit:

    "Tullian announces that he has left the Gospel Coalition site as his blogging platform. Question for my readers: Do you understand the context behind this? Do you understand the law/grace distinction behind this battle? I’m thinking of trying to clarify it in my own mind and perhaps write about it."  (link)

    Still asleep …

  24. @ Alex:

    Great to hear from you! I pray one day that your skepticism will dissipate. 🙂

    Also, I'm praying fervently for the truth to be revealed in this debacle…

  25. Thanks Deb! You guys are doing good work as usual. Thanks for covering these issues. When I read Joe Carter threatened you, it made my blood boil. He has no business trying to intimidate folks like you and Dee and Julie Anne. What a jerk.

    My skepticism is tempered with knowing that there is some good in the church and Christianity* even if it is a minority position as the Church* Incorporated and the majority of Big Name Leadership is not really the Good Jesus of the Gospels…more an example of the nature of mankind and man’s problem with getting power…it is always corrupting.

    @ Deb:

  26. Robin wrote:

    It all goes back to backing up CJ. Does that man have something on all these guys?

    Darn good question. We have reported that he gave at least $200,000 to SBTS, Mohler's kingdom. is it money? It certainly isn't his speaking style or sophistication or the "research" he puts into his lackluster sermons. So, it is usually money, sex, or power that drives such devotion.

  27. On the skepticism aside, I have been encouraged recently by my personal studies of the historicity of a literal Jesus Christus or Chrestus. Very little doubt that Jesus walked this planet and was executed by Pontius Pilate. The Annals by the Roman senator and historian Tacitus, along with quite a few other extant works, corroborate some basic and key claims of the Gospel accounts regarding a person of Jesus and of Pilate and of the execution.

  28. @ singleman:
    I will be discussing that post, along with the Christian Post article that featured my debate with Joe Carter on Friday. I believe they knew that a controversy would be brewing and the Joe Carter was tasked with attacking the bloggers. He did it so poorly.

  29. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Yes, absolutely. Prodigal God, for example, seems to say exactly what Tullian is saying.

    Yet, Keller is speaking out strongly against Tullian’s views. Keller has shown that his moderate approach to his Calvinist beliefs is merely a ruse. He is far more hardline than we could have predicted.

  30. Dee and Robin, in my extensive experience with the Calvary Chapel system of churches…it is Loyalty Dynamic AND these guys do know each other’s skeletons…and often the others are guilty of the same things.

    When I took a personal stand against Child Abuse and corruption in Calvary Chapel…I was ignored and the Leadership broadly rallied against me and protected my pastor step-dad.

    After dealing with the issues for many years now and going all the way to Chuck Smith…and making many new friends and enemies along the way…I have learned the inner-secrets of many of the CC Pastors…and many are guilty of the same things…

    It is probably the case that others who support CJ Mahaney have similar issues they have dealt with…and they are afraid they might be next.

  31. Julie Anne wrote:

    Use the code “TGCAZ” for the special registration rate of $125 until May 1st!

    You, too, can spend $125 of your hard earned money to listen to CJ discuss sports and act silly while staying quiet on the SGM scandal. How wonderful….

  32. @ Julie Anne:
    He also tweeted a statement about the Keller/Carson gravest and called a “good” statement. Good should be written like good™ just like when the mention the gospel™ or a coalition™. It is all a game or words.

  33. I am finding out that child abuse has gone on in the ranks of Evangelicalism and other Christian* sects for many years…just like it did in the Catholic Church.

    Previous to Sandusky and the blogs and the RCC child abuse scandals…many Pastors and churches simply swept the stuff under the rug, didn’t report and often counseled families to not press charges and handle the issue in-house…especially when the Abuser/Criminal would cop to the abuse and cooperate.

    Now these Pastors and Churches are scared to death b/c they know that if a Victim comes forward and lawyers up, they are in big trouble b/c they know they did wrong and will suffer loss.

    I am aware of many stories now where this has happened…and I am confident it is more pervasive than most think. The Trend of sex abuse lawsuits and even criminal actions against the Evangelical Church is in the early stages.

  34. Deb wrote:

    What have Tim Keller and D.A. Carson said about the victims of Nate Morales?

    Deb! Joe Carter claims The Gospel™ Coalition has spoken out vigorously on child sex abuse…”Brave New World” TGC™ style.

  35. muzjik wrote:

    No response as yet.

    I hope you have gotten on with life as you await their answer. For example, you could cure world hunger and still be back in time to continue to wait for the answer. 🙂

  36. An Attorney wrote:

    The very structure of the organization means the cover up of abuse lies at his feet. A good investigator and DA could easily prove that up in court if witnesses don’t lie or conveniently lose their memory.

    My point exactly. The buck stops with the leader. Funny how, for all of Mahaney’s talk about gender roles, he is not acting like a man that he would describe. He is acting like a wuss.

  37. As I have mentioned here before, CJ, publicly rebuked the the upper high school boys for some sort of ungodly behavior, on a Sunday morning. This was in approximately 1993. I remember this because I had two of them at the time. I didn’t know what the heck CJ was talking about. Now I do. (I now believe that-ed.note)yes, CJ knew about the abuse. Plus, he blamed the victims.

  38. Alex wrote:

    TGC demonstrates the ugly side of “church” and why many run from it. If you can’t speak the clear truth about child abuse, then you can’t be trusted as an honest broker on anything else.

    Well stated.

  39. @ Alex:
    Hey Alex, your comments in this thread are fantastic, & I couldn’t agree with you more that if someone can’t speak the clear truth about child abuse why should we trust them on anything? It is so obvious & yet seems to pass some by.

  40. Ken wrote:

    Do you understand the law/grace distinction behind this battle? I’m thinking of trying to clarify it in my own mind and perhaps write about it."

    Ho hum…maybe he might could get around to it. Problem is, he can't use Wikipedia to help him write this one.

  41. An Attorney wrote:

    Unless something out of the ordinary was going on, there is no way that CJM did not know. He knew every detail about the organization and what was happening there. It is why his relatives were in positions to control things and report to him. It was a very hierarchical organization and CJM was at the pinnacle. Nothing was done contrary to his directives and without his approval. The very structure of the organization means the cover up of abuse lies at his feet. A good investigator and DA could easily prove that up in court if witnesses don’t lie or conveniently lose their memory.

    I completely agree – there is apparently some uncertainty over what CJ knew, but I think the evidence is very strong that nothing of that magnitude would get past CJ given the type of knowledge & reporting systems he set up as a Senior Pastor. And that he let it slide, or anyone did, let alone cover it up, makes them culpable.

  42. dee wrote:

    The buck stops with the leader. Funny how, for all of Mahaney’s talk about gender roles, he is not acting like a man that he would describe.

    So Mahaney micro-managed his family to the point that he found it his responsibility to 'approve' what clothing his wife and daughters would wear out in public; yet he knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about criminal activity going on with CLC members.

    I may have been born on a Tuesday, but it wasn't last Tuesday!

  43. @ dee:

    I also think this crowd is extremely loyal to Mahaney because I believe he taught them how to make bank on conferences.  That does appear to be the bottom line… 😆

  44. Alex wrote:

    When I took a personal stand against Child Abuse and corruption

    Alex wrote:

    It is probably the case that others who support CJ Mahaney have similar issues they have dealt with…and they are afraid they might be next.

    I hear “corruption” in the first quote. Not just child abuse but also corruption. In the second quote you talk about “similar issues” to CJM’s. So we have been assuming that child abuse is the issue, but that may not be the only problem. In fact, it might not even be the main issue. And perhaps an investigation regarding child abuse coverup might indeed reveal other stuff that the rest of the gang might also be guilty of. I was having trouble thinking that all those other folks would be in favor of child abuse cover up.

  45. dee wrote:

    Julie Anne wrote: Use the code “TGCAZ” for the special registration rate of $125 until May 1st! You, too, can spend $125 of your hard earned money to listen to CJ discuss sports and act silly while staying quiet on the SGM scandal. How wonderful….

    Let's not forget the additional $$$ spent on travel, hotels, and food, not to mention all those BOOKS!!!

  46. An Attorney, Beakerj

    I am under the impression that, if the civil suit goes forward, evidence would be submitted as to what CJ knew. 

  47. Alex wrote:

    I am finding out that child abuse has gone on in the ranks of Evangelicalism and other Christian* sects for many years…just like it did in the Catholic Church.

    Child abuse is endemic in our culture, both sexual abuse and non-sexual abuse. If one looks at sexual abuse by priests in the catholic church one finds that the actual percentage of priests who abused is small compared to the priests who did not. I am not making excuses for cover up and mismanagement at higher levels, but I am saying that the entire picture is relevant before we start maligning every catholic priest on the planet. Likewise for evangelical pastors. The bad boys need dealt with, but let us not think that every evangelical pastor is a potential criminal.

    Just saying.

  48. Joy wrote:

    As I have mentioned here before, CJ, publicly rebuked the the upper high school boys for some sort of ungodly behavior, on a Sunday morning. This was in approximately 1993. I remember this because I had two of them at the time. I didn’t know what the heck CJ was talking about. Now I do. (I believe that-ed. note)yes, CJ knew about the abuse. Plus, he blamed the victims.

    Thanks for this.

  49. I just commented on Tim Challies’ A La Carte blow post yesterday, the combox of which is mainly talking about Tullian’s position on grace/law and his being given the boot.
    We will see what happens of it. I made it clear that my opinion is that he was given the boot because of his position vis a vis the SGM abuse.
    Of course they’d rather discuss the finer points of law/grace than deal with something real, and deal with real hurting people (which is supposed to be the point of the Gospel, but I digress)…

  50. I am so glad! “He knew who I was”. What precious words. Thanks for letting us know.

    mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I have some good news. My father woke up from the fugue state (that’s the best way to describe it) and was watching baseball on TV in his hospital room when my brother went by after dinner. Dad knew where he was, he wanted his dentures, he wanted food and he also wanted his clothes and shoes so he could go home. That last is notgoing to happen right yet–you can tell where he got bruised up on his face, apparently from a fall yesterday morning. My brother brought over the dentures but left the clothes in the car. I went and saw my dad at 9 pm and he knew who I was.
    Thank you everyone who prayed!

  51. “We have so much more to discuss regarding these recent developments. In our upcoming post, Dee will be addressing the difference between the Puritan and the Continental Reformed position on assurance and how it was likely a contributing factor in The Gospel Coalition’s decision to send Tullian packing (but probably not the primary reason for giving him the boot).”

    I am looking forward to this. I don’t know as much about the Continental tradition as I do about Presbyterianism, so this should be interesting. Something I noticed in the comment thread over at the Liberate blog after TT’s post was how many had made the switch to Lutheranism via the LCMS, and I wonder how that compares theologically to Dutch or German reformed protestantism.

    Nancy wrote:

    “So we have been assuming that child abuse is the issue, but that may not be the only problem. In fact, it might not even be the main issue. And perhaps an investigation regarding child abuse coverup might indeed reveal other stuff that the rest of the gang might also be guilty of. I was having trouble thinking that all those other folks would be in favor of child abuse cover up.”

    This would not surprise me in the least. Like with the Gothard case, where there was one form of verified abuse, it turned out there were all sorts of abuses taking place under the umbrella of authority where Bill’s unchecked power was wielded.

  52. Part 1 of2

    Back to the Tullian T. thing and the doctrinal differences. No. this does not seem to be the only issue. I am not saying that. And no, I do not think they got rid of him at this very instant over doctrine. I am saying, however, that this is an issue that must not be ignored.

    I gather from some comments that some people do not think that the doctrinal wars over grace and law are much of a big deal. I am not a theologian, and if some theologian comes along and says that the two positions are not that far apart, they may not (or may) be at the specific explanatory level for theological debate. But the way they work out in churches and denominations can be huge. The idea of christian perfection. Even if people say that perfection cannot be attained but that one should work/strive toward it. Whether one is talking about the holiness concept of a second work of grace which is then followed by a highly restrictive rule-driven life, or whether one omits any second blessing and goes straight to the rules, the resultant life style is very similar. Think IFB on steroids.

    This may not (yet) be such a big issue with SBC and other calvinista-influenced groups, but there are signs that this may be coming. Increasing rules for how to live in practically every area of life. Ideas of separation from those who do not live by those specific rules, including but not limited to some homeschool curricula. Has it, or has it not, come to women with either doilies or bandanas on their heads, for example? Which books to read, or not. Resurrected battles over beverage alcohol and the tithe. Where to go to school, or not. Raging preoccupation with certain specific moral issues in society. Neglect of important issues (child abuse, unemployment, single parent homes and such) in order to focus on certain favorite issues like which one of a married keeps the books . The list goes on.

    This is all part of the idea of christian perfection or the striving for perfection which is at the heart of the sanctification battle.

  53. Part 2

    In my present church tradition it is an issue, based on the “problem” of the holiness movement in the past. A few years ago, for example, the recently appointed pastor at my United Methodist Church, right from the get go announced that he was “Wesleyan” and an uproar started. There were other issues also, some related and some not. Anyhow, within the first year the DS had to get involved, the pastor had to go see the bishop and he was moved and cautioned to shape up or risk being dropped from the list of ordained elders in this area. Or so we were told.

    So, I mean, this thing of an association between any idea of christian perfection (by any name) and the issue of law/rule driven living continues to be a hot issue in some places. IMO this will heat up in evangelical circles also.

    Again, this is directly related to what one believes sanctification to be and how it is to be understood and lived. These are different ideas of sanctification put into practice. This is divisive.

    FYI, I am with Tullian on this one.

    And I have read this over all I am going to. If there are errors and typos, it is no longer my problem. I disavow perfectionism in any form.

  54. Ken wrote:

    “Toward the end of the interview, Tullian explained that no one knows for certain what Mahaney knew”.

    Isn’t this sentence the crux of the matter? It’s what makes it so difficult to discuss because this isn’t known. It is neither possible to defend nor accuse Mahaney. It is only possible to marshall evidence for or against what is more likely to have been the case. Apart from that, it it down to Mahaney’s integrity.

    I’d like to second the comment that there may be more important things to discuss at the moment than minute differences over sanctification. Perhaps it might help to actually try to be sanctified in general first, and worry about the details later.

    Ha, good comment. And what’s the matter? I mean what is preventing the proponent of biblical manhood from manning up? Lack of courage? Testosterone?

    Meanwhile he’s MIA “has anyone seen CJ Mahaney in the flesh lately?”

    Maybe he’ll use the same excuse of his wife’s birthday that he used last year (I’m surmising) to avoid mingling with some regular folks in an uncontrolled environment – that of his wife’s birthday which occurs on June 1st.

    CJ always uses his family as though it’s always a legitimate reason for him to do something, as though the importance of his family were on per with the Lord and His will similar to the importance Catholics place on “church tradition.” So, he thinks spending time with, or doing something for his family, will always exonerate him. Heck, he is totally dependent, always has been, on his family to provide him with his “qualified to lead” cover. Now he’ll use them more and more for his “I wasn’t available for comment” because of some family need or function, when in truth, he still sees himself as completely unaccountable to anyone for his actions.

    Unaccountable to anyone other than his wife. What’s her name again? Dorothy Sandusky-“Mahaney?

  55. Maybe he’ll use the same excuse of his wife’s birthday that he used last year (I’m surmising) to avoid mingling with some regular folks in an uncontrolled environment – that of his wife’s birthday which occurs on June 1st.

    I forgot to add: "Maybe he'll use the same excuse of his wife's birthday to avoid mingling with some regular folks in an uncontrolled environment like at the wedding if Al Mohler's daughter last year…"

    I'm of the opinion the Mahaneys avoided what would otherwise have been a huge social event for them to have attended, where they could have been honored with people not only in Louisville, but with those he knew through his connection to Mohler…

    Mark Dever was there. And interestingly enough, Dever spoke at Mahaney's church the weekend of the big wedding (was it not?) and shared with the church how he had "overheard people gossiping" at the reception about CJ and the whole situation. So he got closer in order to hear better and what Dever claims he heard were these people praising CJ for the way he's been handling things so far. Really Mark? What were you sipping on at the reception? Kool-aid?

  56. dee wrote:

    @ singleman:
    I will be discussing that post, along with the Christian Post article that featured my debate with Joe Carter on Friday. I believe they knew that a controversy would be brewing and the Joe Carter was tasked with attacking the bloggers. He did it so poorly.

    Thanks, Dee. I’m looking forward to that.

  57. It is so clear that, at TGC, this has nothing whatever to do with doctrine or morality – it’s all about circling the wagons around CJ and attacking anyone who criticizes him so they can get CJ back on the conference circuit. Child abuse in churches? pffft, they couldn’t care less. TGC has no moral authority at all because they’ve amply demonstrated that they have no moral compass and TGC leadership will not stand up against one of their own regardless of the moral issues involved.

    The TGC kahunas have no cajones.

  58. @ NJ:

    I have worked with churches where there was an issue of inappropriate sex (more often with an adult employee or congregant). When you find sexual misconduct in the pastorate, you will generally find other misconduct, including financial misconduct, and also issues about abuse of authority, taking over authority beyond that provided by the church organizational documents. The three go hand-in-hand, and rarely do you find one with out at least one of the other two. And if you find inappropriate sex, you will almost always find both of the other two.

    A note on that. That CJ had the money to give to SBTS suggests financial abuse of the church. That CJ acted to remove Tomzak etc, suggests abuse of authority and/or organization. And we know about the enabling of sexual abuse.

  59. @ Ken:
    Tim Challies had his own share of controversy recently. He recently wrote a post depicting Teresa of Avila as a false teacher and quoted extensively from a Wikipedia article on Teresa without citing it. He has since amended the post, but only after getting called out by Warren Throckmorton and Collin Garbarino. Not only that, but Challies’ comment moderator, David Kjos, called Garbarino a “contrarian troll” and blocked him.

    Evidently Tim Challies learned little, if anything, from the Mark Driscoll plagiarism scandal. As for David Kjos, perhaps he’s learned too much from Joe Carter.

  60. dee wrote:

    Joe Carter claims The Gospel™ Coalition has spoken out vigorously on child sex abuse…

    And we can only admire them for it. Likewise, I hereby speak out vigorously against the sexual exploitation of women. It is unChristlike and I hope you all have taken note of my staunch disapproval of the sin of sexually exploiting women, which I condemn in the most righteous terms possible.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy some pornography.

  61. As I listened to the Janet Mefferd show and the interview with Tullian, I was shouting yes, finally! I applaud Tullian for his stand, although it may and has cost him, it was the right thing to do. It’s sad to me that doing the right thing among Christian organizations costs just as much or more than doing the right thing in a secular setting. That is something I will never be able to accept.

    The Gospel Coalition preaches on the law and doing things to please God, but yet they have helped to hide CJ, helped him continue in his lies, and are still apparently doing so. That is insanity at it’s height.

  62. http://vimeo.com/m/67520542
    @ Paula:
    Btw, here is the video of Mark Dever speaking at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville last year on June 2nd.You only have to listen to the first minute, in particular starting at the 50 sec Mark, to hear what Dever says about the “leaders he overheard gossiping” at the reception.

    Sounds like CJ was in attendance. Pretty sure I heard him laughing.

    So, his wife’s birthday was the day before, the day of the wedding. They didn’t attend because instead, the whole clan had a big family function to celebrate her birthday. And it wasn’t like they were all flying in from out of town because everyone knows the kiddos live right there, in the same back yard, with their parents. Couldn’t the celebration have waited a day? Or would Carolyn have been miffed for her special day to have been overshadowed by Al Mohler's daughter and them being there at the wedding instead?

    No, I’m sure they avoided the wedding in yet another effort to avoid the truth. Of course people are talking. Hello? Read the blogs lol But the truth is, the light shining on the Mahaneys isn’t a favorable one. And they would have felt the stares and the cold shoulders. No, best to avoid all that and stay safe, surrounded by the cocoon of your family.

  63. @ JeffT: I was thinking, too, that their support of Mahaney is serving this one purpose, and that is its becoming clear CJ has dug (edited to correct spelling 🙂 ) his own grave. These guys certainly can't be blamed for that.

  64. Paula wrote:

    its becoming clear CJ has dung his own grave.

    Dung? Was that deliberate, Paula? 🙂

    We have here an expression to p1ss on one’s chips (“chips” being the correct term for “fries”), which is a cruder and occasionally funnier version of to shoot oneself in the foot.

    But to dung one’s own grave is better still – is there any way we can make this go viral?

  65. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    We have here an expression to p1ss on one’s chips (“chips” being the correct term for “fries”)…

    Lol I love the expressions you Brits use and yes, mustn’t say “fries” especially because the word “French” is often closely associated with it, right? 😛

    But to dung one’s own grave is better still – is there any way we can make this go viral?

    But seriously, they’ve throw CJ plenty of rope. Just listen to Dever! If Mahaney can’t climb out of his hole with all that rope, then I guess he’ll have to get himself out on his own merits.

    Kinda tough for a guy who, um, doesn’t have any of his own original thoughts!

    ps. I’ve enjoyed your “In other news” items, so I may add my own which wouldn’t be completely unrelated because one could make application, having to do with “dunging your own nest”. I’m sure you’ll be completely mesmerized!

  66. @ singleman:
    He also didn’t read her writing, which basically means that he probably heard that she was a mystical Catholic woman and decided she must be a false teacher. Because we all know that religion is all about cold hard facts and logic, and women are by definition incapable of teaching.

  67. Paula wrote:

    I love the expressions you Brits use and yes, mustn’t say “fries” especially because the word “French” is often closely associated with it, right?

    Nah – we have French fries too. They’re thin chips, basically. Which is the point – they’re A Thing in their own right.

    We may have spent 150 of the last 400 years at war with France, but actually it’s a myth that we don’t like les Français. I love their attitude to rules, for instance – especially EU legislation. And there’s no denying it; traditional English-cooked beef is like cardboard.

  68. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    And there’s no denying it; traditional English-cooked beef is like cardboard.

    On reflection, I should take it further. It was an English comedy writer who said that to the English, food is merely an obstacle to good table-manners. This is both true, and a national embarrassment.

  69. In Other News – yet somewhat related…

    Earlier 'Ive shared about how a Cowbird laid an egg in the nest House Finches built on my front door. You can see some pictures of the nest with the Cowbird and Finch eggs, although after they hatched I've only taken videos. The nest is now lined with dung (I’ll add a new pic asap) which I shall explain to everyone’s delight I’m sure: https://twitter.com/thebirdiesnest

    Little background: The brown speckled egg in the nest is that of the Brown-headed Cowbird, which is parasitic and lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. It doesn't incubate or feed its young. In my case, the Cowbird apparently didn’t survive because hatchlings need to be fed a diet of insects to survive. The House Finch feeds its young on seeds & vegetation only. Anyway…so they hatched. They’re totally cute and will soon leave the nest. I've been sharing pics with my kids and one of my daughters mentioned all the poop that’s now lined the side of the nest. It is kinda gross. Some of it has dripped down on my front door. But whatever. It’s nature. And we all poop.

    In response to my daughter's comment about all the poop (I send pics and video updates to my kids (and vice versa) having created a Group Chat that’s always open using Whatsapp – I recommend it!) I did a little research and discovered this: http://10000birds.com/what-do-nesting-birds-do-with-all-that-poop.htm

    Don’t miss the short little video at the end in the above link. It’s a must see.

    So, now you know some ‘types’ poop on their own nest; some ‘dung their own’.

    Oh snap! Full circle!

  70. *correction to the above comment (awaiting moderation – probably because of the word “p*op”) “It DOESN’T incubate or feeds its young.”

  71. Nancy wrote:

    Child abuse is endemic in our culture, both sexual abuse and non-sexual abuse. If one looks at sexual abuse by priests in the catholic church one finds that the actual percentage of priests who abused is small compared to the priests who did not.

    This is an important point. I read (I think at Triablogue) that up to 2011, around 6% of Catholic priests had been found to be involved in abuse. That means about one in twenty. But nineteen out of twenty had not, but to hear some atheists talking you would imagine virtually the entire church was guilty of this.

    In the late 90’s, it is estimated that some 15% of children going through the avowedly secular American education system had been subjected to abuse.

    There is a tradition of abuse running through the British public (that is, private, non-state) education system.

    Theodore Dalrymple (actually Anthony Daniels, a former psychologist) has also written of the systematic abuse and neglect of children in secular Britain, often in the form of the breakdown of the ‘traditional’ family, sometimes aided by the State itself.

  72. An Attorney:

    “I have worked with churches where there was an issue of inappropriate sex (more often with an adult employee or congregant). When you find sexual misconduct in the pastorate, you will generally find other misconduct, including financial misconduct, and also issues about abuse of authority, taking over authority beyond that provided by the church organizational documents. The three go hand-in-hand, and rarely do you find one with out at least one of the other two. And if you find inappropriate sex, you will almost always find both of the other two.

    “A note on that. That CJ had the money to give to SBTS suggests financial abuse of the church. That CJ acted to remove Tomzak etc, suggests abuse of authority and/or organization. And we know about the enabling of sexual abuse.”

    Definitely. Although the first example that came to mind was wondering how with other issues of criminal abuse. I mean, does anyone here know how SGM ever dealt with situations of domestic violence? I can’t believe in a denomination that size that they never had this come up.

  73. Deb wrote:

    @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I was going to let the misspelling of ‘dug’ stand, but I took the high road…

    That still doesn’t mean you don’t have to be careful where you walk ….

  74. An Attorney wrote:

    @ NJ:
    I have worked with churches where there was an issue of inappropriate sex (more often with an adult employee or congregant). When you find sexual misconduct in the pastorate, you will generally find other misconduct, including financial misconduct, and also issues about abuse of authority, taking over authority beyond that provided by the church organizational documents. The three go hand-in-hand, and rarely do you find one with out at least one of the other two. And if you find inappropriate sex, you will almost always find both of the other two.

    A note on that. That CJ had the money to give to SBTS suggests financial abuse of the church. That CJ acted to remove Tomzak etc, suggests abuse of authority and/or organization. And we know about the enabling of sexual abuse.

    This is an important comment that bears repeating…

  75. Nancy wrote:

    The bad boys need dealt with, but let us not think that every evangelical pastor is a potential criminal.

    They already think that every Catholic priest is a more-than-potential criminal.

  76. Paula wrote:

    So, now you know some ‘types’ poop on their own nest; some ‘dung their own’.

    When I was in school, and early in the days of concern for the mountain gorilla, there was much talk of the fact that these gorillas has started to defecate in their night nests. This was taken to be a dire sign that the species was in danger of extinction.

  77. @ Deb:
    I created the Twitter account for @thebirdiesnest because it was tweeting so much, it deserved it’s own account! 😉

  78. dee wrote:

    Yet, Keller is speaking out strongly against Tullian’s views. Keller has shown that his moderate approach to his Calvinist beliefs is merely a ruse. He is far more hardline than we could have predicted.

    There is no Christ, there is only CALVIN! CALVIN! CALVIN!

  79. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    traditional English-cooked beef is like cardboard.

    Sorry to hear that. But have you taken a good look at what the French supposedly eat? I used to watch the Julia Child french cooking show. If she was correct, the French eat animal body parts that we do not eat and would not eat. And do it with a flair and charge a lot for it. Go figure.

  80. Deb wrote:

    dee wrote:

    Julie Anne wrote: Use the code “TGCAZ” for the special registration rate of $125 until May 1st! You, too, can spend $125 of your hard earned money to listen to CJ discuss sports and act silly while staying quiet on the SGM scandal. How wonderful….

    Let’s not forget the additional $$$ spent on travel, hotels, and food, not to mention all those BOOKS!!!

    Assuming three days stay and an out-of-area con, you’re looking at high three figures/low four figures for travel, hotels, and food. The low three figures assumes special convention discounts on the hotel and cheap coach flights reserved months in advance. “All those BOOKS!” are a wild card, but judging from my own time in SF & Furry cons’ dealers’ rooms, you’re looking at an additional low three figures — more if you have a fanboy’s sales resistance to his obsession.

    So let’s assume total costs between one and two thousand if flying in from out-of-area, under one thousand if driving or in-area.

  81. Nancy wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    traditional English-cooked beef is like cardboard.
    Sorry to hear that. But have you taken a good look at what the French supposedly eat? I used to watch the Julia Child french cooking show. If she was correct, the French eat animal body parts that we do not eat and would not eat. And do it with a flair and charge a lot for it. Go figure.

    And northern Chinese say Cantonese will eat anything and everything on four legs except the table (and they’re not too sure about the table).

  82. One question I have is this….why is Matt Chandler missing? He’s the darling of the neo-Cals. Even CJ Mahaney knew that. Remember that public prayer with CJ praying over him. When my father had a brain tumor would any of these clowns give a rat’s behind about praying for him? Or was the issue the fact that my Dad thinks differently and isn’t publishing books and riding around on other people’s endorsements or coat-tails.

    But why was Matt Chandler removed? I would like to know. As for me Tullian is someone who I respect. My view of him goes up substantially. I would like to know who else will be separating from The Gospel Coalition. Time to take screen shots and compare and see who’s blogs start to disappear!

    Maybe Tim Keller (Deebs!! You need to do a post on Keller one of these days!) was designed to work in a third world dictatorship in South America. After making people disappear in THE Gospel Coalition he could make people disappear in Argentina. He could then write a book, “The Prodigal Dictatorship”
    Looks like he has a promising career ahead of him!

  83. dee wrote:

    mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    It would be highly inappropriate to give Mahaney an honored platform

    Inappropriate? Since when has inappropriate mattered to this crowd? They, after all, hold the keys to the gospel™.

    Because there can be NO Salvation outside of TGC and SGM (HUMBLY, of course).

  84. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    They already think that every Catholic priest is a more-than-potential criminal.

    I don’t know what catholics think about the celibacy requirement for catholic priests, but some protestants find that idea hard to deal with. That probably contributes to the idea that potential sexual deviancy might be more common in that population. This in one area that is so different from protestantism than there can be serious misunderstanding.

    Add to that generic anti-catholic bias and these ideas could be difficult to deal with.

    Sorry about that. We all have a long way yet to go.

  85. @ Ken:

    Do you understand the context behind this?

    The better question is (as you basically said), does Challies?

  86. At what point do we begin to call these movements–YRR and TGC, et. al–what they really are: neo-fundamentalism? That's certainly not what I signed up for when I became a Christian.

    Dr. Fundystan Proctologist wrote:

    Keller has shown that his moderate approach to his Calvinist beliefs is merely a ruse. He is far more hardline than we could have predicted.

  87. @ Paula: Like! 🙂

    The wildlife in my backyard is spoiled!  I love watching the bluebirds feed their babies my homemade suet.  Pretty cheap entertainment as I blog… 😉

  88. Patricia Hanlon wrote:

    At what point do we begin to call these movements–YRR and TGC, et. al–what they really are: neo-fundamentalism? That’s certainly not what I signed up for when I became a Christian.

    Neo-fundamentalism is such a good thing to call it. That is great. Not your parent’s fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for a new generation. Cool fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for the (choose one of the following): authentic believer, discerning believer, committed believer, theologically-minded believer, elect believer, covenant believer, spiritually mature believer, bible-believing believer, set aside and sanctified believer, god fearing believer, etc.

    $19.95 gets you the T shirt and a set of multicolored bible markers.

    How many people would rather have that than Jesus?

  89. dee wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote: Yes, absolutely. Prodigal God, for example, seems to say exactly what Tullian is saying. Yet, Keller is speaking out strongly against Tullian’s views. Keller has shown that his moderate approach to his Calvinist beliefs is merely a ruse. He is far more hardline than we could have predicted.

    That thought has occurred to me….the cynic in me thinks if he showed his true stripes (this is supposition, to be fair, I don't know his true stripes), the progressive New Yorkers would be leaving the pews. NYC is the reason the rest of he neocals tolerate his theistic evolutionary views (believe al mohler said something along the lines of that if you hold this view, you almost deny the gospel)..to have a guy that knows how to reach New Yorkers is a coup for them. My opinion only…

  90. Nancy wrote:

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:
    traditional English-cooked beef is like cardboard.
    Sorry to hear that. But have you taken a good look at what the French supposedly eat? I used to watch the Julia Child french cooking show. If she was correct, the French eat animal body parts that we do not eat and would not eat. And do it with a flair and charge a lot for it. Go figure.

    While we’re on the subject, I’m in the process of making tonight’s “Toad-in-the-hole” – sausages baked in a flour/egg/milk batter. I know what’s in the roast potatoes, the roast parsnips, the greenery (peas and French beans), the garlic mushrooms and the red wine jus.

    But I’ve no idea what’s in the sausages. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

  91. I was stunned to realize that one of the “hipster” professors at the college where I work (in marketing) belongs to an Acts 29 church….

  92. @ burnrnorton: The fact that Tim Challies used Wikipedia as a significant source for his post, whether properly cited or nor, reflects poorly on his research. After all, this is the same man who sanctimoniously lectured us how to think "biblically" about C.J. Mahaney and SGM.

  93. I am not going to invest too much energy in trying to prove CJ knew. Of course he knew way back in 1992. But Layman may come out and swear that CJ didn’t know.

    CJ was the Apostle of SGM. He was in charge of its doctrines and practice etc. he is responsible for the things done at CLC.

    Also, he knew of all the stories and reports over the years that were in the public. He could have dealt with this years ago.

    He allowed this to drag out, allowed or urged his supporters to discredit victims etc.

    I don’t believe he ‘has’ anything on others, and I don’t believe $200,000 is enough to buy anyone.

    People back their friends, and when their friends get shown up, they feel attacked, too. The defensive reaction is understandable, but the more facts tumble out and the more public opinion continues to move on this, the more that defensive reaction may wane.

  94. Acg116 wrote:

    dee wrote:
    Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
    Yes, absolutely. Prodigal God, for example, seems to say exactly what Tullian is saying.
    Yet, Keller is speaking out strongly against Tullian’s views. Keller has shown that his moderate approach to his Calvinist beliefs is merely a ruse. He is far more hardline than we could have predicted.

    That thought has occured to me….the cynic in me thinks if he showed his true stripes (this is supposition, to be fair, I don’t know his true stripes), the progressive New Yorkers would be leaving the pews. NYC is the reason the rest of he neocals tolerate his theistic evolutionary views (believe al mohler said something along the lines of that if you hold this view, you almost deny the gospel)..to have a guy that knows how to reach New Yorkers is a coup for them. My opinion only…

    This just depresses the h-e-double-hockey-sticks outta me 🙁 Keller has been, for me, the one lone voice in this movement I’ve been able to listen to up until now. No longer. Prodigal God was awesome. But I can’t imagine buying any more of his books.

  95. But I’ve no idea what’s in the sausages. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

    “There are two things you never want to see being made–one is sausage, and the other is legislation.”

    –some famous politician whose name I’ve forgotten

  96. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Assuming three days stay and an out-of-area con, you’re looking at high three figures/low four figures for travel, hotels, and food. The low three figures assumes special convention discounts on the hotel and cheap coach flights reserved months in advance. “All those BOOKS!” are a wild card, but judging from my own time in SF & Furry cons’ dealers’ rooms, you’re looking at an additional low three figures — more if you have a fanboy’s sales resistance to his obsession.

    So let’s assume total costs between one and two thousand if flying in from out-of-area, under one thousand if driving or in-area.

    The hotel rooms average ~$150 a night and it’s three nights. The light rail to / from the airport costs $2 each way. And given that the hotel is just across the street from Symphony Hall (which is part of the Convention Center complex), it’s mere steps away from the actual Convention Center.

    It’s entirely possible the rooms are heavily discounted as it’s June in Phoenix, not exactly a heavy travel time, and over a weekend. I suspect whatever portion of the convention center that has been rented may have been slightly discounted** –again, it’s really hot here in June and out-of-towners probably don’t want to be walking around.

    And don’t be fooled, this is big money we’re talking about here. According to the convention center site, the Anchored Conference is expecting *4000* people. If all those people bought tickets at the heavily-discounted $125 price, that’s $500,000, at a minimum (and that’s before books, CDs, etc.) It could go up to $800,000 if all the tickets were purchased at the street price of $200 (currently, the ticket purchase price is at $175). There are seven speakers (including C.J. Mahaney and Bob Kauflin). I have to wonder what their honorarium is!

  97. @ Anonymous:

    Thanks for your input. I'm praying that if Grant Layman is called to testify again (should the amended lawsuit move forward) that he will tell the truth.

  98. Anonymous wrote:

    I am not going to invest too much energy in trying to prove CJ knew. Of course he knew way back in 1992. But Layman may come out and swear that CJ didn’t know.

    CJ was the Apostle of SGM. He was in charge of its doctrines and practice etc. he is responsible for the things done at CLC.

    Also, he knew of all the stories and reports over the years that were in the public. He could have dealt with this years ago.

    He allowed this to drag out, allowed or urged his supporters to discredit victims etc.

    I don’t believe he ‘has’ anything on others, and I don’t believe $200,000 is enough to buy anyone.

    People back their friends, and when their friends get shown up, they feel attacked, too. The defensive reaction is understandable, but the more facts tumble out and the more public opinion continues to move on this, the more that defensive reaction may wane.

    You’ve somewhat sealed the deal for me re: CJ. I’ve never been a huge fan of the “he had to know” idea when impugning someone, because the stakes are too high for conjecture. That being said, let’s assume he didn’t know concurrently. He’s known for as long as the blogs have been around. I think he’d have done himself and his ministry a huge favor to begin meeting with these people right then and there, and then make whatever restitution he could, pledge to cooperate with civil authorities, and publicly repent (I don’t expect joe small town preacher to do this, he owes me nothing, but when you make yourself out to be a model church, and you sell books, and you tell everyone else how to be a Christian, you forgo IMO the right to be private about big areas of sin).

  99. As I have written elsewhere, Tim Challies’ blog has never been all that discerning. He may need to start looking for other employment…perhaps the painting business with Grant Layman or maybe as a sacker at Whole Foods in Gaithersburg…so he could serve the other pastors who feel the need to sell their homes in order to move closer to said grocery store (under the auspices of helping migraines…presumably caused by gluten instead of maybe the stress of covering up abuse).

  100. @ Deb:

    Hey, I leave food out for Pogina the Possum. (Yes, I have named her.) She gets the stuff I don’t want my dog to get, e.g., the bony parts of the leftover chicken. Possums have 55 teeth; they can eat anything!

  101. Patrice wrote:

    Paula wrote:
    My hunch is its tied to money.
    I think that for some, position is more important than money. These guys sing the same tune even though some don’t have big bucks. Money and position offer power.
    Plus it is hard not to think that one is superior when people hang on one’s every word and avidly follow all that one does, voicing complete approval for every little thing.
    Once given up, though, it is a relief. There are no better or worse persons, no kewl or krass by reason of beauty or brain, but we are peers, all of us, equally treasured/valued, children of the King.
    The sooner these guys learn this lesson, the better.

    I agree. I think the authoritarianism is a huge part of it, which somehow they derive from their reading of the New Testament? Go figure.

  102. @ Nancy:

    I have had what are called “Rocky Mountain Oysters”, Sliced, breaded and fried parts that are removed to make a bullock a steer. Served with cocktail sauce. Rather good, flavor between good veal and a good steak that’s a little overcooked, e.g, medium well.

    People who grew up in the depression would eat the whole hog or beef, or sheep or goat, including the organ meats, sometimes with the less popular parts made into soup or stew. And that is likely how the French got started eating those parts, poverty and hunger, over centuries.

  103. I call B.S. on the CJ statement. If he knew at any point during his tenure as a leader in ANY capacity at CLC or SGM that Morales had molested children and he did not report, he conspired. Period.

    I’m actually starting to believe that he believes his own B.S. And if he is lying, I pray that evidence will surface to directly refute his lies.

  104. @ Still Soarin’:

    Even in that short two-para post, Mahaney cannot resist a dig at those who’ve made his life uncomfortable. Right after expressing grief for the victims, he writes: “I’m saddened, too, by the confusion and damage that has resulted from public comments and speculation about these events.” And then he conflates the two “griefs” by saying he will rely on God to fix these injustices.

    Even when he’s trying, this guy is so full of himself that he confuses his knee scrape with someone else’s rape.

  105. Nancy wrote:

    Neo-fundamentalism is such a good thing to call it. That is great. Not your parent’s fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for a new generation. Cool fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for the (choose one of the following): authentic believer, discerning believer, committed believer, theologically-minded believer, elect believer, covenant believer, spiritually mature believer, bible-believing believer, set aside and sanctified believer, god fearing believer, etc.

    Theologically and sociologically unsophisticated (uneducated? uncaring? tolerant of pedophilia?) believer.

  106. @ Beakerj:

    Alex said, “If you can’t speak the clear truth about child abuse, then you can’t be trusted as an honest broker on anything else.”

    Beaker said, “Hey Alex, your comments in this thread are fantastic….”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    yes, they are. but Tullian talked too much in that janet mefferd interview. he didn’t answer the question of why didn’t he or anyone speak up sooner.

    Yes, Tullian, why didn’t you speak up sooner? Behind the scenes stuff was good I suppose… at least it was good for you that the CJ endorsement didn’t necessarily speak for you.

    but you sure could have spoken yourself for yourself LONG AGO about your convictions. i’m not all that impressed.

  107. NJ wrote:

    “There are two things you never want to see being made–one is sausage, and the other is legislation.”
    –some famous politician whose name I’ve forgotten

    I have seen both, written legislation and made sausage. Depends on who is making it and what they want to put into it.

  108. “Even with those constraints, however, let me be clear about this: I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit.”
    –C.J. Mahaney

    Ok, it appears he has thrown down the gauntlet. We’ll see what Layman, et. al. have to say. I should go check Brent Detwiler’s blog.

  109. See any similarity between a post by Chad Mahaney mentioned on TWW by Patti on 5/16, under an earlier post, and the gist of his father communiqué posted today?

    Patti on Mon May 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM said:

    One of Chad’s very few FB posts. So sad.

    “The deepest need that you and I have in weakness and adversity is not quick relief, but the well-grounded confidence that what is happening to us is part of the greatest purpose of God in the universe – the glorification of the grace and power of his Son – the grace and power that bore Him to the cross and kept him there until the work of love was done.” – John Piper

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/05/16/nathaniel-morales-found-guilty-on-all-charges/#comment-143526

    CJ Mahaney, 5/22:

    Still, my trust remains in the Lord, who comforts the brokenhearted and promises in his justice and in his time to right every wrong.

    They’re both unbelievable.

  110. Personally, no one should listen to anything Mahaney has to say unless he FIRST removes himself from the position of being a “pastor.” But that’s obviously not going to happen because he’s in denial.

    He can deny all he wants until the cows come home. He’s not going to be able to create his own truth and expect others to follow it this time.

    Sorry Pal, you’re only fooling yourself this time.

  111. I must revise my statement about 4,000 attendees at the Anchored Conference next month. Additional information provided by VisitPhoenix.com indicates the organizers only expect 750-800 persons. So the baseline is reduced to $93,750. Apologies for misstating the numbers, but they did come from the Phoenix Convention Center’s website.

  112. C.J. Mahaney needs to man up and stop hiding behind contradictory statements, lawyer weasel words and the statute of limitations. Additionally, the people who supported Mahaney all these decades, the people who have provided cover, they need to come out and tell what they knew, when they knew it and when they told Mahaney. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…” 1 Peter 4:17a

  113. That stomping and creaking you hear is the sound of wagons circling, and kicking out anyone who doesn’t show total loyalty is part of this process. Classic move for hard-line ideologues of any stripe, particularly when the sounds of legitimate criticism get louder and more compelling and widespread. There will be more of this before it’s all over. The outcome will not be pretty no matter what, but this kind of behavior will just make it worse and uglier. I do hope we will see justice when all is said and done.

  114. NJ wrote:

    “Even with those constraints, however, let me be clear about this: I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit.”
    –C.J. Mahaney
    Ok, it appears he has thrown down the gauntlet. We’ll see what Layman, et. al. have to say. I should go check Brent Detwiler’s blog.

    Fact is he never cared about the children or the predators.

    What he conspired to do is protect his organization.

    And how does this wash with what is contained in Brent’s docs and what Mahaney said while blackmailing Larry Tomzcak?

    Was CJ concerned about the victims? Was he concerned about Larry’s son or dealing appropriately with confession of sin that had been shared in confidence with him? Was he concerned about the victims' families, or did he express concern for the lives of others in the church?

    No. He did not. He was only concerned about protecting his self-interests. Which is all this statement is about, too.

  115. Does anyone else feel like I do, and that you want to arrest the words “gospel” and “Lord” out of Mahaney’s mouth, and prevent them from being uttered by him ever again??

  116. So what is charity fraud, and how does that relate to PDI/$GM/CJ?

    Perhaps the FBI/IRS can shed some light on the subject…I know it is way above my head. Facts and figures, real people getting abused, real people covering it up, dates, places, historical facts. Now you can do your best at micro-managing BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, there are just to many variables over time.

    That pesky money trail is so hard to hide. I can feel the energy of people, task force(s), spending time putting the pieces of this puzzle together. Can you feel the heat?

    And, PDI/$GM/CJ, when you least expect it, BUT GOD! (Ps 2:4)

  117. Now that Mahaney has spoken, the sycophants can sign up for the Anchored Conference and feel really good about themselves.

    Everyone at the conference will laugh and have a jolly good time. Maybe Jonathan Rourke will impersonate C.J. again. 😆

    WARNING TO ANCHORED ATTENDEES: Be sure you're anchored to Jesus Christ and NOT these fallible leader.

  118. Still Soarin’ wrote:

    Not sure if anyone has posted this yet.
    http://www.sgclouisville.org/blog/post/a-statement-from-c-j–mahaney

    So let me get this straight. Mahaney never conspired to protect a child predator, according to him. But there is a tape that exits that has Mahaney demanding Larry Tomczak do something that CJ wants done or Mahaney will reveal what Larry’s son shared in confidence to him. There is the NM situation. There were other cases of pastors supporting perps in court and not supporting victims.

    Is it all in the semantics, the wording – conspired — child — predator?

    Does the amount of times it happened not matter?

    Even if there is not conspiracy(?), how does a pastor not see the harm that these actions have inflicted over and over again? Add to this, the horrific counseling that many people endured from SGM pastors regarding domestic abuse and mental health issues. Is there nothing that Mahaney and other leaders in SGM need to repent of?

    I believe some leaders from PDI/SGM have repented. I believe many have not, and simply don’t believe they have done anything wrong. I hope they see the light soon.

    Big question – Is Mahaney loving his neighbor as himself?

  119. @ Deb:
    That would be great however, could this statement be seen as evidence Mahaney has received assurances that his brother-in-law will not implicate him? If not, what would embolden him to offer this denial when we all know it can’t be true.

  120. aaaaaaand now JohnFreakingPiper enters the fray with this tweet from hell:

    “John Piper ‏@JohnPiper 3m

    Abishai: David, shall I strike your enemy? David: No. The Lord will strike him. 1 Samuel 26:8-11 = Romans 12:19 = 1 Peter 2:23”

  121. An Attorney wrote:

    Theologically and sociologically unsophisticated (uneducated? uncaring? tolerant of pedophilia?) believer.

    Good one. You have done it again.

  122. Patrice wrote:

    @ Still Soarin’:
    Even in that short two-para post, Mahaney cannot resist a dig at those who’ve made his life uncomfortable. Right after expressing grief for the victims, he writes: “I’m saddened, too, by the confusion and damage that has resulted from public comments and speculation about these events.” And then he conflates the two “griefs” by saying he will rely on God to fix these injustices.
    Even when he’s trying, this guy is so full of himself that he confuses his knee scrape with someone else’s rape.

    Exactly. I think these thoughts of his aren’t “original” in the sense they aren’t stemming from Mahaney’s personal convictions or his relationship with the Lord. Instead, I think Mahaney has been provoked by Tullian Tchividjian who has stated, “Give me a break. These people, they’re family. Of course he knew,” Tchividjian told The Christian Post. “C. J. was, for many years, the micro-managing head of the organization and nothing happened under the umbrella of Sovereign Grace that he wasn’t made aware of, so for anyone to say, ‘Well he didn’t know,’ that’s totally naive.”

    This is simply one of Mahaney’s false smear campaigns, in my view. I think the motivation behind his denial is to make Tullian’s words to seem like an “accusation,” a word CJ used in his statement. That’s the “between the lines” message here.

    Wonder if he emailed his buddies and said, “Hey guys, I’m posting a statement. Please saddle up the horses and get ready to circle the wagons for me again. Much appreciated.”

  123. Paula wrote:

    @ Deb: That would be great however, could this statement be seen as evidence Mahaney has received assurances that his brother-in-law will not implicate him? If not, what would embolden him to offer this denial when we all know it can’t be true.

    I don't see Grant Layman being the fall guy now that he has resigned from the pastorate and is no longer under his brother-in-law's thumb. How many states currently separate them? Just my opinion…

  124. TJY:
    I Sammy 26:10
    And David said, As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, “OR” his day will come to die, “OR” he will go down into battle and perish.

    I Sammy chapter 31 for the final answer, notice, Jonathan (Saul’s son) was collateral damage…

    HOWEVER, we are on this side of the cross and Romans 13 is a fact, OuchCaBible, enjoy everyone!

  125. An Attorney wrote:

    And that is likely how the French got started eating those parts, poverty and hunger, over centuries.

    @ An Attorney:

    Some of my ancestors subsisted on mostly potatoes sometimes, i hear. Maybe some cabbage and onions. Actually, just a good ole plate of white beans with chopped raw onions is not bad food. But I guess if you get hungry enough you would eat anything.

    In NC there such a thing as a pig pickin, mostly in the eastern part of the state. You kill a pig, slice it down the middle front to back and clean out the insides. Clean it up, naturally, and I don’t know what else. Then you slow roast it over a wood fire preferably. There is a thing called a pig cooker which can be used for this. It is served whole like that and people pick some meat off the carcass whatever they want. It is a little disconcerting to see a pig/half pig lying on the table like that, but the meat is utterly deliciousl

    We also have barbecue wars here-pork barbecue. But the war is between the east where the Deebs live and the west where I live, so I won’t go there.

    I tell these tales because I think that some of the people here on TWW are civilized and do not know these things. (wink)

  126. Oh, oh! I am in moderation. I gave away the secrets of a pig pickin and haplessly mentioned barbecue. IMO my epistle will never see the light of day. I will be fortunate to not get banned for life. Mea maxima culpa.

  127. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I must revise my statement about 4,000 attendees at the Anchored Conference next month. Additional information provided by VisitPhoenix.com indicates the organizers only expect 750-800 persons. So the baseline is reduced to $93,750. Apologies for misstating the numbers, but they did come from the Phoenix Convention Center’s website.

    Not a problem. I'm actually encouraged by the low number of attendees. Maybe that's why Mahaney finally broke his silence.

    Hey, it's not too late to register since the deadline is June 1st.

  128. @ Taylor Joy:

    So who’s the enemy Piper’s referring to? SGM victim supporters? Anti-SGM bloggers? Tullian Tchividjian? All of the above?

    And per the 1 Peter reference, I’ve seen quite a bit of “reviling in return” from Neo-Calvinists about this situation, so Piper might want to turn the spotlight on his buddies.

  129. Hester wrote:

    @ Taylor Joy:
    So who’s the enemy Piper’s referring to? SGM victim supporters? Anti-SGM bloggers? Tullian Tchividjian? All of the above?
    And per the 1 Peter reference, I’ve seen quite a bit of “reviling in return” from Neo-Calvinists about this situation, so Piper might want to turn the spotlight on his buddies.

    . . . and on himself!?

  130. I’m sitting here at work reading all of these comments when I should be working. But I can’t make myself focus on anything other than this tragedy. It’s horrible.

  131. I couldn’t help it: “Taylor Joy Young ‏@TaylorJoyYoung 13m

    @JohnPiper Except when the Lord DOESN’T, and then more kids get abused. 1 Cor 5:12-13 seems appropriate. #IStandWithSGMVictims”

  132. Sara wrote:

    I call B.S. on the CJ statement. If he knew at any point during his tenure as a leader in ANY capacity at CLC or SGM that Morales had molested children and he did not report, he conspired. Period.

    A most excellent comment!

  133. An Attorney wrote:

    Nancy wrote:
    Neo-fundamentalism is such a good thing to call it. That is great. Not your parent’s fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for a new generation. Cool fundamentalism. Fundamentalism for the (choose one of the following): authentic believer, discerning believer, committed believer, theologically-minded believer, elect believer, covenant believer, spiritually mature believer, bible-believing believer, set aside and sanctified believer, god fearing believer, etc.
    Theologically and sociologically unsophisticated (uneducated? uncaring? tolerant of pedophilia?) believer.

    I don’t think that sociologically unsophisticated or uneducated people rank with the rest of those characteristics. I’m not sure what exactly is meant by those connotations, but I know many people who might fall into someone’s definition of those two categories, but I wouldn’t say they are bad, evil, or sinful. Many of them might be much wiser, kinder, and loving than some of the most educated and socially sophisticated out in the wide world.

  134. NJ wrote:

    An Attorney; ever had haggis? How about chitlins?

    YEP. And collards, kale, chicken livers and gizzards, calves liver, the worst of the wurst, and pate’ de fois gras. And caviar which I think is the stupidest thing ever to put in one’s mouth. OH, and crawfish, squid, octopus, eel, squirrel, wild and farmed rabbit, squab, venison, bear. And most of those, I will never touch again.

  135. Patrice wrote:

    And then he conflates the two “griefs” by saying he will rely on God to fix these injustices.

    Cee Jay is as right as rain on that one. Karma & her sister Comeuppance are relentless. They are like James Cameron’s first T-1000 model. They will not pause nor will they stop until Themis’s balances are reset.

  136. Patrice wrote:

    @ Still Soarin’:
    And then he conflates the two “griefs” by saying he will rely on God to fix these injustices.

    As far as the victims go, nevermind that, as far as the REAL Gospel is concerned, CJ, along with every other Christian, is supposed to act as the hands and feet of God in bringing that justice about. But not CJ, he gets a pass and can just continue to hide and let God do all the work.

  137. Bridget wrote:

    I don’t think that sociologically unsophisticated or uneducated people rank with the rest of those characteristics. I’m not sure what exactly is meant by those connotations, but I know many people who might fall into someone’s definition of those two categories, but I wouldn’t say they are bad, evil, or sinful. Many of them might be much wiser, kinder, and loving than some of the most educated and socially sophisticated out in the wide world.

    Those were optional alternatives, not a composite. And some of those fundamentalist preacher boys do not seem to have the common sense sociological sophistication of my 80 IQ friend. I was not putting down the people, but the way their pastors seem to think of them.

  138. @ An Attorney: That plus farmers not wanting to waste anything.

    My hunch is that in farming areas, lots of these “unwanted” parts are consumed (true here, I know). And a lot of soul food started as poor folks’ food, after all…

  139. CJM statement is just semantics. That or he’s clueless to what the accusations are against him. Did you know about the abuse or not? And did you or did you not work prevent such information from being reported to the authorities? Yes or no.

  140. @ Nancy: Nah, a lot of the local cuisine from where you live has been successfully exported to other parts of the country. We have people with pig cookers locally, and they do a booming business for picnics and parties.

    Also, pulled pork barbecue has become A Thing here, which amazes me – though I’m not complaining!

  141. @ An Attorney: That’s the dilemma for CJ supporters: he was a micromanager, and therefore it will be very hard to establish that he could not have known about these abuses.

    If you’re going to be the micromanagy control freak, then when things go really bad, you own it.

    It was his church, his handpicked leaders, his culture, his tactics that carried the day. The issue is not an abuser; the issue is many abusers, and a systematic institutional disregard for basic ethics that allowed abusers to operate, and also denied justice to victims.

  142. @ Deb:
    That’s not Christianity Today. It’s Christian Today, a UK news outlet. Never heard of it, but maybe it’s big over there.

  143. You know what strikes me about the response from so many of the leaders and churches involved in hiding abuse, abusing or ignoring the problem, is that they don’t really seem to believe in the god they worship. The Christian deity has been described as knowing everything, seeing everything, and they still ignore Luke 17:2’s directions. The God of the Christians seems to get really peeved about people messing with kids, at least in that verse, yet not one of them really seems to even consider that.

    Hmm. Makes you think.

  144. A quote from the Beverly Hillbillies:

    “Vittles is ready!”

    Tonight wes havin (those playin) Possum.

  145. Greetings Dee and Deb,

    I was perusing some SBC pastor blogs today to see if a mention of ANYTHING Mahaney since there have been crickets for past several years. Lo and behold, SGM was actually mentioned– but not in the way I expected. Those pastors dance around it, you know. Even more interesting was one of the blog moderators mentioned TWW. I thought you might be interested in your SBC Reformed notoriety:

    Dave Miller May 22, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Adam, I disagree with Rick on a regular basis, and am often unhappy with his mode of presentation – no surprise to Rick, I’m sure.

    But I share his concern.

    If 10% of what I read about SGM and the formerly affiliated churches is true, I want absolutely nothing to do with that ministry. The culture of oppression against victims of abuse presented in the court filings is disgusting.

    Of course, that is one side of the issue. Only one. And many of the folks who blast SGM have an axe to grind and are in no way unbiased. Links in this comment stream to Wartburg Watch are a case in point. Their accuracy is most definitely in question.

    Just because I don’t like SGM much is not justification to believe every insinuation lobbed against them by the WW people.

    So, I am deeply disturbed by what I have heard about SGM but I don’t know the details.

    However, I can say this. I have heard enough that I don’t want an SBC entity to formally partner with them.

    I don’t know exactly what is going on here. I’d like an answer to Rick’s question, which I think is fair.

    Facts are our friends and I’d like the facts. I’ll go back to disagreeing with Rick on his next post – See more at: http://sbcvoices.com/one-simple-question/#sthash.VxekMq4g.dpuf

    Oh the agony poor “Pastor” Miller must be feeling. Just not long ago, SBVC were very pro Mahaney because they are pro Mohler in all things. But, not one word about the victims, of course, because “he does not want to know details”. Too negative, I suppose.

  146. Marge Sweigart wrote:

    @ Deb:
    That’s not Christianity Today. It’s Christian Today, a UK news outlet. Never heard of it, but maybe it’s big over there.

    ohhhh, okay, this makes way more sense now.

  147. John Piper really needs to shut up and get off the stage. He’s no different than Pat Robertson. His day has passed its time he exit the stage. This guy is an attention whore. He needs to leave. If its God’s sovereignty to dismantle SGM then why does he fight it?

    That CJ statement is bullcrap. Oh the irony…I can’t say anything but I need to say something. He could end all this RIGHT NOW, if he steps up acts like a man and takes responsibility. It’s foolish, it’s stupid to think he knows nothing. He ran Covenant Life Church in the same way Brigham Young ran Utah. You can’t do anything without his approval, blessing or concurrence. And that includes tying your shoe laces!

    I think what we need to do as bloggers is step up the pressure and twist the pressure another notch. These men are wusses and have no authority at all. Let’s make them run and cry and hide behind their computer screens or churches. Here are some questions I have:

    1.Where is Mark Dever in this mess? He’s the one who calls CJ a great friend. Hell maybe he can open up CHBC and let CJ flee there if he needs a place to hide. He’s already established precedent. Maybe Mark Dever can hold him and they can snuggle as CJ cries into his arms.
    2.Where is Tim Challies. Oh Timmie…..you’re the guru on discernment…can’t you discern CJ? Hell Tullian can practice more discernment that you can. Why the silence? Will you’re statement on CJ Mahaney be plagiarized from another source?
    3.Where is Al Mohler? He’s another attention whore who craves the headlines. I mean he’s always offering his opinion to the Washington Post; surely he has an opinion on this mess?
    4.Where is D.A. Carson? Carson you’re full of crap and a disgrace to Trinity. Not only do you lack character but how can you teach and discipline students on plagiarism when you give Mark Driscoll a pass.
    5.Where is Mark Driscoll in this mess? Heck he was the one who was “mentored” by CJ Mahaney. Given the fact that my dog has more education that CJ maybe this explains Driscoll’s plagiarism?

  148. Here is a response from same blog by SBCPlodder, William Thornton:

    William Thornton May 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I have found The blog articles at Wartburg Watch are well researched, factually based, and reliable. Their commenters are no more or less fact based than here. One might take issue with the keen and relentless focus of WW on CJM and SGM but their history is one of focus on clergy/church based child abuse and hyper-patriarchical and controlling church systems – See more at: http://sbcvoices.com/one-simple-question/#sthash.VxekMq4g.dpuf

    Kudos to William Thornton.

  149. Paula wrote:

    Personally, no one should listen to anything Mahaney has to say unless he FIRST removes himself from the position of being a “pastor.”

    Mahaney missed a great opportunity. Even if he were completely guilty, if he had stepped down at the beginning, and behaved the way we expect a “pastor” to, he would have much more credibility. Furthermore, he could have responded to the Morales trial by saying something like, “This is heart wrenching, and happened on my watch. As the leader, I am ultimately responsible, and I will be reaching out to the victims and assisting the justice department in their investigations.”
    Instead he has displayed actions that accurately reflect sociopathy. Now, even if he is completely innocent, he will always be under a black cloud because he didn’t care about the victims.

  150. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    It’s entirely possible the rooms are heavily discounted as it’s June in Phoenix, not exactly a heavy travel time, and over a weekend. I suspect whatever portion of the convention center that has been rented may have been slightly discounted** –again, it’s really hot here in June and out-of-towners probably don’t want to be walking around.

    I was in Phoenix for WesterCon in July of ’92. Dressed for hot weather so it wasn’t too bad, but what struck me was when I stepped out from the shade of a building into direct sun. I could literally feel the heat hit like a wall had slammed into me.

    $100-150 a night for three-four nights is around the going price these days for a con hotel. Normal occupancy for that price is one to four, but there’s an old fannish trick to sublet the room into as many shares as possible to split the cost. Sometimes this gets ridiculous (as in “crash pads”), but this Gospelly event doesn’t sound like the type to have packed rooms or crash pads. Too respectable for that.

  151. Nancy wrote:

    I don’t know what catholics think about the celibacy requirement for catholic priests, but some protestants find that idea hard to deal with. That probably contributes to the idea that potential sexual deviancy might be more common in that population.

    And a lot of Christians have REALLY dirty minds to begin with…

    I concluded long ago that Christians(TM) are just as screwed-up sexually as everyone else these days, just in a different (and usually opposite) direction.

  152. @ Deb:

    I keep wondering … the money issue raises that possibility that there could be an issue of inurement – where a non-profit’s finances went to the inappropriate benefit of someone. Similar to the issue raised about *Real Marriage* and whether spending church funds to juice-promote a book to NYT Best Seller status is an inappropriate use of funds for a non-profit that was given tax-exempt status for working in the public interest.

  153. NJ wrote:

    An Attorney; ever had haggis? How about chitlins?

    YEP. And collards, kale, chicken livers and gizzards, calves liver, the worst of the wurst, and pate’ de fois gras. <—–

    The gourmands of Chicago salute you.

    And caviar which I think is the stupidest thing ever to put in one’s mouth. OH, and crawfish, squid, octopus, eel,

    Now, you haven't tried everything until you've had geoduck. (Extra points if you know how to pronounce that word.)

    squirrel, wild and farmed rabbit, squab, venison, bear. And most of those, I will never touch again.

    Any ostrich steaks, alligator or rattlesnake?

    Nancy,

    Every time I've ever been to a Renaissance festival there has been a whole pig slow roasting on a spit, along with one already carved and being served up. Almost indulged myself, but had to save room for the steak and kidney pies.

  154. Bridget wrote:

    Theologically and sociologically unsophisticated (uneducated? uncaring? tolerant of pedophilia?) believer.
    I don’t think that sociologically unsophisticated or uneducated people rank with the rest of those characteristics. I’m not sure what exactly is meant by those connotations, but I know many people who might fall into someone’s definition of those two categories, but I wouldn’t say they are bad, evil, or sinful. Many of them might be much wiser, kinder, and loving than some of the most educated and socially sophisticated out in the wide world.

    You make a good point. I am going to have to learn to explain myself better. I am frequently in error, but I do try to not be mean.

    What I read in the original statement by an attorney, however, was something more complicated than what you have said, and a little different from what he has said he meant. Here is my thinking. I see the unsophisticated (naive) and uneducated (in religious matters) as being vulnerable and in danger and as people who might fall into the neo-fundamentalist camp unwittingly. I see the uncaring and the tolerant of abuse as sinful and needing to repent, as per the current conversation on TWW. As for all the other “believer” terms I was trying to sling around currently used buzz words that I could see the neo-fundamentalist leadership using to market their concepts to people.

    I see neo-fundamentalism as a form of religious predation which ensnares a lot of good folks who are just trying to live good lives the best they can. I think the premises of neo-fundamentalism, to the extent that it encourages self-generated works righteousness (each one of those words is significant) as less than the gospel and contrary to scripture. And, based on my own prior experience with that culture in a baptist (not SGM) setting I think that good people can get really damaged and hurt in such a situation.

    There is an opposite extreme out there, also, and I am not proposing what they are calling the new reformation of grace. They are extreme, it seems to me. But I have no personal experience with any of them and have nothing to say other than what I read, so I will be careful here.

    Nowhere have I called any of these people bad, evil or sinful with the exception of the uncaring and the tolerant of abuse.

  155. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Probably so. I hope you do not mind when I tell you stuff that is hard to say. I just do not see any way to cross chasms and heal wounds if we all continue to lie to each other, and about each other. First you got to thoroughly irrigate the wound (wash it out) and then it has a chance to heal itself, I am thinking.

  156. Marge Sweigart wrote:

    @ Deb: That’s not Christianity Today. It’s Christian Today, a UK news outlet. Never heard of it, but maybe it’s big over there.

    Thanks for this correction. I will make the appropriate change to the name of the news source.  At least the hyperlink took you to the right article.  🙂

  157. Mahaney’s statement is understandable on one level, but not persuasive morally for the following reasons:

    1. The abuse allegations and the disappointment with the handling by the church was known for years before there was any lawsuit. He could have spoken all along the way and did not.

    2. The statement merely says he did not conspire and that the allegations against him are not true. He could have known and left it to others to handle. He would still be morally capable as the apostle of SGM and the leader of that ministry.

    3. Again, it needs to be stressed that Mahaney personally discipled these pastors and taught them. What was he teaching? Wasn’t he overseeing them?

    4. If he comes up with some scenario that vindicates him after all of these years, why in the world would he let these horrible events ( lawsuit et al) unfold without providing the simple explanation that would have answered so many questions for so many?

    I have to say that his statement reads like a calculated and unpersuasive plea, but in the event he can describe some factual scenario that shows he was totally out of the loop for 22 years, it will not answer these equally important questions.

    So he will not be shown to have been an active conspirator. But neither will he have distinguished himself as a leader of men or the Church.

  158. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Instead he has displayed actions that accurately reflect sociopathy. Now, even if he is completely innocent, he will always be under a black cloud because he didn’t care about the victims

    My question is, why did he wait 2 yrs. and ignore those who had been urging him to make a statement? I find that odd.

  159. @ Nancy:

    I agree with what you explained here.

    I think you, I, and An Attorney each read the statement slightly differently. Easy enough to clear up with further communication.

    @ An Attorney:

  160. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    He still doesn’t appear to care about them. He lumps them in his prayer along with all the confusion caused NOT by people actully commenting and speculating (as he claims) BUT because of his own actions and lack of actions as a leader of SGM for 30 years. Then he acts like he’s been martyred for the last two years.

  161. @ An Attorney:

    To quote my father: “Squirrel is good eatin’.” (Possum, not so much.) He also loves collard greens, grits and liver. He used to say about his mother after they’d butcher a hog: “She’d can everything except for the oink.”

  162. @ NJ:
    Alligator for sure. Not bad fixed with some blackened oysters and shrimp in a white wine garlic butter sauce over whole grain rice. The alligator doesn’t taste so alligatory! The dish is modified Cajun recipe.

  163. In secular politics and commerce, those in top authority get the highest salaries, have the greatest liberty over their jobs (albeit with significant responsibilities to fulfil) and wield the greatest influence. But when a department beneath them is irrefutably linked to wrongdoing, those with any decency resign. And those without decency are, more often than not, forced to resign.

    I once worked under a congregational CEO who manifestly wanted all the perks of commercial management – though I don’t think he was financially greedy, he could scarcely conceal his craving for authority, status, recognition and control – without the responsibilities. He stressed frequently that he would never put just any man into a position of authority because God had made him, the CEO, responsible for the business (he marketed it as a church, of course) and he took that responsibility very seriously. But if ever anything went wrong with his appointments, it was nothing to do with him.

    To take organisational responsibility is, to some extent, to cede power. And to paraphrase Orwell, the man who seeks power only ever seeks more power.

  164. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    I keep wondering … the money issue raises that possibility that there could be an issue of inurement – where a non-profit’s finances went to the inappropriate benefit of someone. Similar to the issue raised about *Real Marriage* and whether spending church funds to juice-promote a book to NYT Best Seller status is an inappropriate use of funds for a non-profit that was given tax-exempt status for working in the public interest.

    Oh good luck on proving inurement. If the IRS can’t take down David Miscavige (the tiny tyrant of Scientology) based on all the evidence it has been given, it’s not going to go after the likes of the Pied Pipers leading the “young, restless and Reformed.”

    I’m personally of the opinion that churches should be like other tax exempt organizations and make their tax returns public (Form 990).

  165. @ Anonymous:

    in the event he can describe some factual scenario that shows he was totally out of the loop for 22 years

    I’m not sure how his supporters think that this will somehow rehab or save CJ. If he was really that far out of the loop about such a systemic problem, how does that make him responsible, fit to lead, etc.? He clearly wasn’t paying any attention at all in that scenario, or was willingly turning a blind eye. So he’s either clueless, willfully ignorant, or complicit. None of those options are good.

  166.   __

    Cast into a  [Jezebel] bed with C.J. Mahaney, perhaps?

    huh?

    he repented not,
    the  Neo-Cal ecclesiastical industrial complex repented not, as well?

    Is the ‘spirit’ wherewith SGM is lightened, darkness?

    …joy to the ‘void’ da Ceege shall take the ‘stand’?

    hmmm…

    Kind folks,  I know your works, and your great expended labor, and your tremendous patience, and how you cannot bear with them which are evil, and have, as Bereans , examined them which say they are Jesus’ pastors, and are not, and ‘hast’ found them liars…

    Continue in well doing, all you who serve the Lord, you will reap …if you faint not.

    “The Lord has risen!”

    Blessings!

    Sopy

  167. Anonymous wrote:

    I have to say that his statement reads like a calculated and unpersuasive plea, but in the event he can describe some factual scenario that shows he was totally out of the loop for 22 years, it will not answer these equally important questions.
    So he will not be shown to have been an active conspirator. But neither will he have distinguished himself as a leader of men or the Church.

    This is well put.

  168. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    To take organisational responsibility is, to some extent, to cede power. And to paraphrase Orwell, the man who seeks power only ever seeks more power.

    Unless one is committed to democracy (aka priesthood of the believer) and wants an equal share of power with everyone else and no one having more. A church can be run as a democracy as long as everyone tries to keep it that way and no defer to some Man-O-Gawd to make the decisions. It is the church of the laos, the people of God, otherwise known as the laity.

  169. @ Deb:
    When Layman stayed in Gaithersburg and after CLC separated from SGM, I thought that perhaps the scales from his eyes were falling.

    I would have believed this had he not allowed all the fanfare surrounding his depature from the pastorate. He didn’t retire. The purpose, as I see it, wasn’t to celebrate his career. He didn’t leave office because he was “tired.” He left because he knew and Josh Harris knew what was coming. Once the news hit, as it did, that Layman knew, if he had been in office at CLC, it would have made things even worse for the church.

    Josh Harris and the leaders of the church once again allowed the congregation to knowingly participate in a deception, as has happened at CLC on so many occasions it can’t be numbered. Business as usual. Nothing was said about the lawsuit. Layman was honored. He wasn’t leaving due to anything he did had done that harmed everyone.

    If there had been some honesty, some transparency, it would have given me a sense of hope for Layman. As it stands, I think he probably agrees with Mahaney in principle, that he “never conspired to protect a child predator” and that he “looks forward to the day when he can speak freely…to respond publicly and address the accusations.”

    I truly hope I’m wrong. I’d prefer to think he realizes CJ scr*wed people over and that he is one of them. But he’s Carolyn Mahaney’s brother and I’ve seen the way his wife totally fawned over her. So, unless there’s been some kind of huge, miraculous, divine intervention of some sort resulting in a discernible change of mind, I have to think he’s no different and still operating under the same spirit.

    But I will join you in praying for him!

  170. This is just one little comment, but I wanted to contribute a voice of thanks to Tullian and Boz Tchividjian. Very grateful for these men, their positions and for their work. They have truly been blessings to the Body of Christ in the midst of all of this, truly men of God who embody the Gospel.

  171. Sopwith wrote:

    Continue in well doing, all you who serve the Lord, you will reap …if you faint not.

    “The Lord has risen!”

    Blessings!

    Amen. And to you! 🙂

  172. Nancy wrote:

    I don’t know what catholics think about the celibacy requirement for catholic priests, but some protestants find that idea hard to deal with.

    It really shouldn’t be an issue since the Bible asks people to abstain from sex unless they are married, I’ve done it for over 40 years myself.

    It’s not impossible. But a lot of Baptists and Protestants assume anyone and everyone cannot go for more than a week without sex or not past their mid 20s. And no, there is no gifting.

    God did not gift me to resist sex, it’s called self discipline and choice. I have a normal libido, too.

  173. Anonymous wrote:

    Mahaney’s statement is understandable on one level, but not persuasive morally for the following reasons:

    1. The abuse allegations and the disappointment with the handling by the church was known for years before there was any lawsuit. He could have spoken all along the way and did not.

    2. The statement merely says he did not conspire and that the allegations against him are not true. He could have known and left it to others to handle. He would still be morally capable as the apostle of SGM and the leader of that ministry.

    3. Again, it needs to be stressed that Mahaney personally discipled these pastors and taught them. What was he teaching? Wasn’t he overseeing them?

    4. If he comes up with some scenario that vindicates him after all of these years, why in the world would he let these horrible events ( lawsuit et al) unfold without providing the simple explanation that would have answered so many questions for so many?

    I have to say that his statement reads like a calculated and unpersuasive plea, but in the event he can describe some factual scenario that shows he was totally out of the loop for 22 years, it will not answer these equally important questions.

    So he will not be shown to have been an active conspirator. But neither will he have distinguished himself as a leader of men or the Church.

    This is really good, I totally agree.

    Also, what’s tragic to me is what he’s done to his family.

    It appears there’s no truth in him. I honestly think he must be incapable of coming to it.

    Perhaps to some this seems harsh and judgmental, I don’t know. But there’s no denying he ventured into dangerous territory, and has messed with God’s people. There are severe warnings in scripture concerning the people who do the kinds of things with God’s word and act in the ways he’s acted.

    I can certainly sympathize, and I thank God for his grace in my life. But I also am aware of the higher authority of His Word, and there’s nothing my compassion can do to change the truth. I honestly believe that Mahaney is a man in serious trouble and that the Word of God condemns him.

    The sad part to me is he’s taking those he’s gathered around him down with him. In my observation and experience, this is what people like this do. People who don’t/won’t/can’t repent take others down with them as they go.

    What I read in Mahaney’s statement was a deviousness and a desire to take down Tullian Tchividjian by providing a statement that challenges the one he made in which he asserts Mahaney knew.

    Why say something now? What else was it in response to if not to Tchividjian’s article that’s getting a lot of attention?

    And more importantly, why didn’t Mahaney issue any kind of statement directly after the verdict and Morales was found guilty?

    You’re right – he cannot escape the fact he was at the helm of Covenant Life Church, Captain of the Flagship who marketed himself to the world on the basis of his incredible “leadership.”

  174. @ Bridget:

    No one cares about the victims. Its distrubing and these men are morally and spiritually bankrupt. John Piper, Mark Dever, DA Carson and Tim Keller have said nothing about the victims. Why would any person who has been sexually exploited want to attend their church? Or any TGC church? They are spent and corrupt men. I can’t believe that this is how “faith” treats sexually abused and molested kids. If this is what “faith” is about then the sooner “Chirstianity” dies in the United States and disappears from the landscape…THE BETTER!!!

  175. @ Paula:

    Agreed…Tullian’s response gives me hope. I sure hope for the sake of the faith that other people will follow suit. If not then between the SGM saga, Mars Hill saga, Harvest Bible Chapel saga….I see dark times fro Christianity ahead. Divided familes, and friends, and lost faith. Plus it will fuel atheism in many ways. I vew Tullain as Aslan in many ways in what he boldy said, and I hope more people will be inspired to engage and speak out. DA Carson and Tim Keller need a rebuke. comment edited

  176. elastigirl wrote:

    I think they just want one of these hats.

    Nice! If they’d retire, I’d be willing to contribute to a pot to buy them each one. Heck, I’d make them originals with bells&whistles. I’d be fine if they wanted to parade up/down my street weekly in full regalia and trumpets, if they’d only quit their “jobs” and shut up.

    I mean, everyone loves a pretty man who knows his place. And we all want pretty men to look their best.

  177. Muff Potter wrote:

    Cee Jay is as right as rain on that one. Karma & her sister Comeuppance are relentless.

    It’s huuggelly comforting, yes?! The world was made by a just God, so Karma and Comeuppance will get their way, sooner or later. And pious words attract their special attention. w00t

  178. @ Daisy:

    That is probably part of it. There is also the idea that pastors should be married, based on one understanding of that passage in 1 Timothy. That has pretty much morphed into the idea that everybody ought to marry, as you have pointed out in the past I think.

    Frankly, I never did hear much about some idea of people not being able to live without sex. That seems to be what you have heard, but that was not the main emphasis as I heard it. The idea was more about marriage than about sex that I heard. Like the Mohler idea, if I understand it, that there is a responsibility to marry if at all possible. I don’t see that in scripture, that there is some requirement to marry, but some folks have that idea.

    When my husband and I divorced I heard a lot about how I ought to get married again. Ought. Ought. There were some unpleasantries exchanged, as you can imagine. When I made it clear that I had no intention of that, there was the assumption that there was something seriously wrong with me, because obviously nobody would choose not to marry. It seemed to be the act of choosing that was the most disturbing for some folks, because obviously nobody would choose that. I am not sure what it is about marriage and some people, but there it is. But if anybody assumed that I would take up bed hopping, I never heard it.

    And catholic priests have deliberately chosen the priesthood which requires them to remain both unmarried and celibate. That is pretty inconceivable to some people. Not saying everybody thinks that, but the idea is out there.

  179. @ Patrice:

    i’m quite sure they fancy themselves as being immortalized in the anals of religious history as heros of the faith, with their councils & all. a barrel of Constantine jrs. and Anathansius jrs.

  180. @ Eagle:
    Love it, especially your mention of Aslan 🙂 (btw, have you heard of “The Narnia Code”? – interesting discovery: each of the 7 books in the Chronicles are based on a planet!)

    And yes, I think the light be getting lighter and the darkness darker, and I pray the true church will become that Light on a Hill!

    Also, Eagle, I just watched this a short time ago and found this very encouraging:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noJAicb2C6c

    Now, that’s the Gospel.

  181.    __

    Donald Ducks: “Once Again Skipin’ Da Proverbial Pastoral Pavement, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

      “I have never conspired to protect a child predator, and I also deny all the claims made against me in the civil suit…” – C.J Mahaney

    (…hey pal, ya got da wrong dude!)

    http://www.sgclouisville.org/blog/post/a-statement-from-c-j–mahaney

    Has da Ceege presently announced  he would be taking a proverbial  ‘leave of sanity’ (1)?

    http://www.sgclouisville.org/blog/post/a-statement-from-c-j–mahaney

    -snicker-

    hmmm…

    (1) …an ‘extraordinarily satisfying reality’, no doubt, i.e. his proverbial …day job?

    (grin)

    hahahahahaha

    Sopy
    __
    Comic relief: “Donald Ducks?”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VttqPrpU8w

    ;~)

  182. Daisy wrote:

    It’s not impossible. But a lot of Baptists and Protestants assume anyone and everyone cannot go for more than a week without sex or not past their mid 20s. And no, there is no gifting.

    They sound like teenage horndogs.
    “I HAVEN’T GOTTEN ANY FOR TWO WHOLE DAYS!!!!!!!!!”

  183. Deb wrote:

    @ Sara:

    Just made the correction to the name of the news source. Sorry about the confusion.

    Oh goodness, it’s no big thing!!! It actually makes more sense to me knowing that the article was in a UK rag — can you imagine something that bold about TGC in Christianity Today?!? I mean, maybe it’s been done but I sure don’t recall.

  184. Sara wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    @ Sara:
    Just made the correction to the name of the news source. Sorry about the confusion.
    Oh goodness, it’s no big thing!!! It actually makes more sense to me knowing that the article was in a UK rag — can you imagine something that bold about TGC in Christianity Today?!? I mean, maybe it’s been done but I sure don’t recall.

    Though let me take this opportunity to say how much I respect and admire you and Dee for your journalistic integrity — when you realize an error in something you’ve written, you correct it. Openly. That’s awesome and one of the reasons I enjoy (and trust) reading your blog.

  185. Anonymous wrote:

    So he will not be shown to have been an active conspirator. But neither will he have distinguished himself as a leader of men or the Church.

    Nailed it.

  186. Tullian T. is on Fighting for the Faith. This is an interesting interview. Go to fightingforthefaith.com

    It is the first thing that appears on the site.

  187. I find it interesting that Tullian speaks well of several individuals associated with TGC in his Mefferd interview, but speaks critically about "the powers that be." Is he referring to the council? I am really curious to know more how exactly TGC operates. I get a sense that it is very hierarchical in and of itself.

  188. Wait, wait, wait.
    One week after the CRIMINAL conviction of Morales, Mahaney decides to speak for the first time in nearly two years on the CIVIL lawsuit?
    How amazingly coincidental.
    And how amazingly odd that his first statement in nearly two years said absolutely nothing about the most recent trial in which his own brother-in-law testified that he, himself, “conspired to protect a child predator”.
    And even odder that, while Mahaney “prays for justice to be served”, he failed to mention that some the victims of Morales received justice just last week.
    And for one last oddity, unlike Josh harris, there is no mention of his very recent departure from the council page at TGC.

  189. elastigirl wrote:

    i’m quite sure they fancy themselves as being immortalized in the anals of religious history as heros of the faith, with their councils & all. a barrel of Constantine jrs. and Anathansius jrs.

    Oh yeah, and they are making sure of it with their multi-million-dollar stained-glass windows project, unaware that it is an ode to their small-minded pomposity and reaallly bad taste. lol

    At least those hats carried a sense of humor.

  190. Pingback: The current fissure in pop-Calvinism | After Existentialism, Light

  191. Paula…a question for you (and for anyone else to entertain)…do you think that the issues at CLC were a direct result of their reformed theology? As I’ve seen the continuing defense of him, I wonder how much of it is because people are saying “who isn’t a sinner…everyone does something bad, so who are you to judge CJ? You probably looked lustfully at a woman today, so you’re no judge…” (basically sin leveling). I wonder if his view of total depravity was that everyone did something bad, so no one can complain about anything, therefore why should we inform the police?

  192.  __

    Wherein shall da ‘just’ dwell,
    In kind justice prevail �
    After all the church victim tribulations long,
    Shall see golden dayz, 
    A clearing in the haze �
    Da fruitfulness of golden deeds,
    Crown’d with joy and peace triumphing, 
    …And fair truth, what of it �
    Hmmm…
    Da check is in da mail.

  193. One more thing Deebs!! In reading the statement by the Blackmailer in Chief for SGM my BS detector went off!!

  194. acg116 wrote:

    As I’ve seen the continuing defense of him, I wonder how much of it is because people are saying “who isn’t a sinner…everyone does something bad, so who are you to judge CJ? You probably looked lustfully at a woman today, so you’re no judge…” (basically sin leveling). I wonder if his view of total depravity was that everyone did something bad, so no one can complain about anything, therefore why should we inform the police?

    Exactly! Isn’t it odd how this doctrine of depravity negates depravity altogether? One reason I left Calvinism (particularly as articulated by its “New” proponents) was not because I believed people were “essentially good” but because I realized, ironically, sin could not exist within such a system. All actions and thoughts are essentially one and the same. One cannot blame Mahaney; he is merely playing his role as “part or particle of God.”

  195. @ Daisy:

    Although I can respect your conscience and convictions in this regard, there are many* out here who don’t see it that way and opt for a more pragmatic and responsible approach rather than a black-and-white absolute proscription.

    [*even evangelicals who would never dare to admit so publicly, but nevertheless harbor the same dissenting sentiment privately.]

  196. Recently, I was in a business relationship with a real whacko and while trying to figure her out, I came across an article(s) on characteristics of controlling people and abusers. One is that they "control information". Example: I gave notice to this lady that my daughter will no longer be studying with her. She then emails another teacher that my daughter studies with to let her know. Never mind the fact that she has never met or spoken with my daughter's other teacher, they live an hour apart, and teach different things! I am on excellent terms with the other teacher and have been for years, so she just forwarded me the email. But the controlling, abusive teacher could not let me go on my terms. She had to control the information. I think CJ is showing us a glimpse of himself…a controller and an abuser. He had to control the info, not Tullian. For the fun of it, I'm going to post some of the other characteristics of controllers and abusers: Will not be doubted, criticized or questioned, aggressive toward critics, demand you behave as they want you to, information from outside sources is criticized and discounted, favor individuals who are loyal, try to destroy your reputation, uses weird and warped logic, deny that certain things were ever said, never accepts blame, manipulates people to become dependent on him, is secretive and self righteous, his word is law, engages in power plays. Any of that familiar?

    @ Paula:

  197. Sensible wrote:

    All actions and thoughts are essentially one and the same. One cannot blame Mahaney; he is merely playing his role as “part or particle of God.”

    For that matter, one can neither access nor articulate truth within Mahaney’s theological framework. TGC prides itself on adhering to doctrinal absolutes, yet how can one defend these if one is perennially unsure of the “inclinations” of one’s heart and faculties? Note how TGC selectively applies this mindset in the case of #IStandWithSGMSurvivors…consistently questioning the motives of the advocates and messengers (but never those of the coalition members themselves).

  198. @ Lisa:

    Agreed!!! What would a theology blog be without HUG? Can you imagine the void? I love reading his commentary and jokes. Sometimes I laugh out loud so hard. We love you HUG!!!! 🙂

  199. @ Eagle:yes, yes! I’m laughing so hard now and it’s really unfortunate because once I start laughing I can’t go to sleep. I have to be up early in the morning and when I’m brain dead by 11am, it will be his fault. By the way, thank you, Eagle for your posts as well. They are Very well written.

  200. Eagle wrote:

    Agreed!!! What would a theology blog be without HUG? Can you imagine the void? I love reading his commentary and jokes. Sometimes I laugh out loud so hard. We love you HUG!!!! 🙂

    Many years ago, I knew a horndog who actually DID complain like that.

  201. Robin wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan,
    I finished Prodigal God two days ago so I was SHOCKED when I read what Tim Keller had to say about all of this. It is quite confusing.

    Try reading his and his wife’s marriage book where he attempts to walk a tightrope appearing complementarian for his TGC buddies while obviously not really believing a word of it. It’s extremely odd.

  202. NJ wrote:

    does anyone here know how SGM ever dealt with situations of domestic violence?

    Someone may have already answered this, but I got lost in all the comments, so here’s a reply.

    In situations of domestic abuse, there were several women whose stories were related on the now-defunct SGMRefuge website, and on SGMSurvivors.com. They were told to go back to abusive husbands, or that they were not allowed to leave abusive husbands. Check out the ‘stories’ portion of sgmsurvivors for more details.

  203. @ Joy:
    How sad, Joy, unfortunately it really is expected. It would take an incredible amount of denial to cover up that behaviour in his church, and not have it work it’s way out into his sermons. It would have been on his mind, even if he tried pushing it away. In order to deflect the guilt and dawning reality, he had to mentally turn the victims into the problem. Otherwise he couldn’t delude himself into thinking he was an anointed teflon leader. When you think you are building an Empire, cracks in the wall need quick patching. Halting production of your glory to fix unsightly blemishes is so beneath one in a position of denomination building. Never-mind what those cracks are being caused by.

  204. @ Taylor Joy Young:
    So Cj is praying for justice?… Wow! He might actually get it. Wouldn’t want to be him when it comes. Let’s see… blackmail, authoritarianism, criminal cover-ups, empire building at the expense of abused children via shepherding the congregation so every action needed approval by the leadership including pressing charges, and forced marriages (well, forced-to-stay-in marriages). Yes, may justice come to the victims of some grandiose-acting leaders who no more spoke for God than the caterpillar in my garden. What did God say about false prophets again? Yikes!

  205. Paula wrote:

    This is just one little comment, but I wanted to contribute a voice of thanks to Tullian and Boz Tchividjian. Very grateful for these men, their positions and for their work. They have truly been blessings to the Body of Christ in the midst of all of this, truly men of God who embody the Gospel.

    Amen.

  206. Did you see at SGM Survivors the other day…someone posted about all the people who committed suicide because they we’re advised not to seek mental health treatment. And how CLC Pastors became an accessory to it?

  207. You know what else gets me…how many blogs are silent on this situation. Look at how the Neo-Cals went after Rob Bell, Greg Boyd, etc…. It was like using a hammer to kill some ants. I’ve done some cruising hoping others would weigh in and discuss and the result is largely silence.

  208.   __

    “UN- Assimilation?”

    hmmm…

    TGC: “Tullian , You are not one of us…”
    “You are not one of us…”
    “You are not one of us…”
    “You are not one of us…”
    “You are not one of Ussssssssss…”

    Un, un, un, un…

    -snicker-

    You have been Un-Assimilatied,  good for you, Tullian!

    TGC plus C.J. Mahaney equals everything?

    (grin)

    hahahahahahaha

    *

    Skreeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    (bump)

    Krash!

    For what is a man advantaged, if he should gain the whole TGC religious world, and lose his soul?

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  209. Paula wrote:

    http://vimeo.com/m/67520542
    @ Paula:
    Btw, here is the video of Mark Dever speaking at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville last year on June 2nd.You only have to listen to the first minute, in particular starting at the 50 sec Mark, to hear what Dever says about the “leaders he overheard gossiping” at the reception.
    Sounds like CJ was in attendance. Pretty sure I heard him laughing.
    So, his wife’s birthday was the day before, the day of the wedding. They didn’t attend because instead, the whole clan had a big family function to celebrate her birthday. And it wasn’t like they were all flying in from out of town because everyone knows the kiddos live right there, in the same back yard, with their parents. Couldn’t the celebration have waited a day? Or would Carolyn have been miffed for her special day to have been overshadowed by Al Mohler’s daughter and them being there at the wedding instead?
    No, I’m sure they avoided the wedding in yet another effort to avoid the truth. Of course people are talking. Hello? Read the blogs lol But the truth is, the light shining on the Mahaneys isn’t a favorable one. And they would have felt the stares and the cold shoulders. No, best to avoid all that and stay safe, surrounded by the cocoon of your family.

    Paula, I watched the first minute or so of that video of Mark Dever speaking at Louisville SGM. His praise of C.J. is sickening. It seems he has wholly absorbed the SGM tradition of eulogising CJ. So all three ‘Christian leaders’ at this wedding were ‘bragging’ about C.G. and his integrity! And the wonderful way in which he has led the Louisville church plant… And Dever believes SGM churches show more fruits of the Spirit than any other church denomination! And the members of Louisville should be so grateful for the wonderful pastor they have…

    Scary stuff, he actually sounds more SGM than the best of them!

  210. May wrote:

    His praise of C.J. is sickening.

    This adulation of CJ is perplexing. This current rallying around him at all costs by his buddies is perplexing. There does seem to be something going on that the rest of the world does not know about-yet.

  211. @ Eagle:

    A few things have been said here lately about “sin-levelling” – we’re all sinners, saved by grace, so nobody should be judging my paedophile buddy here.

    But of course, it’s always different when it’s me, or when it comes to issues that I feel strongly about. Did my good, upstanding buddy who serves in my church abuse children? Well, hey, man, nobody’s perfect. He looks a lot less angry and bitter about it than those children do – who are the real sinners here – huh? Huh?

    Thing is, I’ve yet to read of any case in which someone really used “sin-levelling” to level everyone’s sin. The only way we humans will use “sin-levelling” is, ultimately, to minimise our own sin. You don’t often see “new calvinists” levelling doctrinal “sin” (as they see it).

  212. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Paula wrote:
    Personally, no one should listen to anything Mahaney has to say unless he FIRST removes himself from the position of being a “pastor.”
    Mahaney missed a great opportunity. Even if he were completely guilty, if he had stepped down at the beginning, and behaved the way we expect a “pastor” to, he would have much more credibility. Furthermore, he could have responded to the Morales trial by saying something like, “This is heart wrenching, and happened on my watch. As the leader, I am ultimately responsible, and I will be reaching out to the victims and assisting the justice department in their investigations.”
    Instead he has displayed actions that accurately reflect sociopathy. Now, even if he is completely innocent, he will always be under a black cloud because he didn’t care about the victims.

    Agree. As it stands, even his exit form TGC coalition was nothing to do with the sex abuse scandal – it was mysterious ‘long-standing reason’s (can’t remember the exact mealy-mouthed phrase) that just happened to coincide with the stuff hitting the fan, oh, and as pure coincidence Josh Harris resigned the EXACT same day, but it was pure coincidence, you understand.

    Do these guys – C.J., TGC, think we’re a bunch of imbeciles? I mean, exactly how low a view do they hold of the general public, that they expect us to believe and swallow this stuff??

  213. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    @ Eagle:

    A few things have been said here lately about “sin-levelling” – we’re all sinners, saved by grace, so nobody should be judging my paedophile buddy here.

    But of course, it’s always different when it’s me, or when it comes to issues that I feel strongly about. Did my good, upstanding buddy who serves in my church abuse children? Well, hey, man, nobody’s perfect. He looks a lot less angry and bitter about it than those children do – who are the real sinners here – huh? Huh?

    Thing is, I’ve yet to read of any case in which someone really used “sin-levelling” to level everyone’s sin. The only way we humans will use “sin-levelling” is, ultimately, to minimise our own sin. You don’t often see “new calvinists” levelling doctrinal “sin” (as they see it).

    Nick, that last sentence is telling. They’ve sacrificed common sense and human decency (let alone sacrificial, Christian love) at the altar of doctrine.

  214. E.G. wrote:

    Robin wrote:

    Dr. Fundystan,
    I finished Prodigal God two days ago so I was SHOCKED when I read what Tim Keller had to say about all of this. It is quite confusing.

    Try reading his and his wife’s marriage book where he attempts to walk a tightrope appearing complementarian for his TGC buddies while obviously not really believing a word of it. It’s extremely odd.

    Tim’s got one of the most secular cities in the world to appease, he won’t upset that apple cart.

  215. From his radio interview:

    – Tullian T. believes he’s in the midst of a spiritual battle.
    – He’s only trying to articulate the gospel in a way that sets people free. Theologically, he is orthodox and reformed.
    – He believes it’s a spiritual battle
    – He’s been subject to slander by “a small, loud and seemingly angry group of people” and he “can’t understand what’s stoking their frustrations”.

  216. Nickname:

    “In situations of domestic abuse, there were several women whose stories were related on the now-defunct SGMRefuge website, and on SGMSurvivors.com. They were told to go back to abusive husbands, or that they were not allowed to leave abusive husbands. Check out the ‘stories’ portion of sgmsurvivors for more details.”

    Thankyou for this. I’ll check that out. I wish we could forcibly sit all the SGM pastors down in one room and turn Jeff Crippen loose on them. Sounds like wives in those churches were required to endure far more than just being “smacked around for a night”. When I also think about how SGM was basically quiverfull and pushed homeschooling or church school, there were greater-than-average numbers of children at risk in such situations, along with their mothers who were supposed to just be homemakers with no financial independence.

  217. E.G. wrote:

    Try reading his and his wife’s marriage book where he attempts to walk a tightrope appearing complementarian for his TGC buddies while obviously not really believing a word of it. It’s extremely odd.

    I noticed that as well. Personally, I’ve never thought “complementarianism” was theologically or intellectually robust to stand up to a decent criticism (or even bible study). But it seems there are a lot of Christian groups that have to essentially invent a point of conflict to deflect from weightier matters. We used to call them fundamentalists.

  218. Nancy wrote:

    This adulation of CJ is perplexing.

    It’s more than perplexing. There isn’t a person alive or dead that I would describe in such glowing terms. I’m not even sure i would talk about Jesus that way. It is so fake and so over the top, I wonder how he can expect anyone to take him seriously. Some of us actually, you know, went to college and studied rhetoric, my friend…

  219. One person I know who had children at CLC indicated that CLC Leadership strong discouraged having sleepovers.

    From what I have read, the sleepovers that Nathaniel Morales had at hiss apartment was one of the ways Morales molested these boys.

    Is it any wonder why they discouraged sleep overs? Then Josh Harris issued a statement that CLC Leadership didn’t know about this molesting until many years later?

    I am sure C.J. was the Sr. Pastor some of the time when they were discouraging sleep overs.

  220. In other news, I discovered this morning that due to lax grocery requirements specification on my part, we have run out of Café Direct rich roast coffee.

    Talk about dunging one’s own grave.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh !

  221. acg116 wrote:

    Nick, that last sentence is telling. They’ve sacrificed common sense and human decency (let alone sacrificial, Christian love) at the altar of doctrine.

    As the French Revolution is long out of living memory, ask some survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields just how much can — and did — get sacrificed at the altar of Doctrine/Ideology.

  222. I have just learned that the appeal of the civil suit against SGM will be heard in Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis on Monday, June 9, in courtroom #1. It’s the second case on the docket: No. 00917/13 Jane Doe et al. vs. Sovereign Grace Ministries Inc. et al. I’ve never sat in on court proceedings, but since I live just 15 minutes away from the courthouse, I may try to attend and take good notes.

    I wonder, now that Grant Layman testified that he knew about the abuse and didn’t report it, if that testimony will lend weight to the “conspiracy to cover up” theory.

  223. May wrote:

    Paula, I watched the first minute or so of that video of Mark Dever speaking at Louisville SGM. His praise of C.J. is sickening. It seems he has wholly absorbed the SGM tradition of eulogising CJ.

    Five words: COMRADE DEAR LEADER. NORTH KOREA.

    So all three ‘Christian leaders’ at this wedding were ‘bragging’ about C.G. and his integrity! A

    HUMBLY, of course.

  224. Fighting for the Faith host Christopher Rosebrough says he was ‘disappointed’ with Carl Trueman for ‘grossly and egregiously misrepresenting’ Tullian Tchivijian.

    Tullian comments: ‘What’s so ironic to me is that those who are pushing the hardest for the pursuit of holiness and practice of godliness and all of our action in sanctification are the quickest to mis-characterise, misrepresent, and slander. They are proud, they are arrogant, they come across angry and self-righteous. I’m telling you, some of these guys need a heavy does of the law’s first use.*

    Christopher replies: ‘They need apologise for what they’ve said and for mis-characterising you’.

    * R.C. Sproul comments about the first use of the law: “The law of God reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God. The law tells us much about who God is. Perhaps more important, the law illumines human sinfulness”

    ….This is not some storm in a teacup. This theological disagreement seems pretty big.

  225. Transcript of another excerpt of the Fighting for the Faith interview:

    Christopher Rosebrough: ‘You are the guy who publically challenged TGC about how they dealt with the SGM sex scandal.’

    Tullian: ‘Yeah, the so-called Anti-nomian is the only one who actually laid down the law!!’

    Christopher: ‘My concern is the way this debate has played out, people haven’t actually taken the time to make sure they properly understand a person’s position…’

    Tullian: ‘It’s snarky, insensitive and hurtful…if Jesus really had a concern about something I was saying, how would he approach me with something like that?…[notes that the ‘Failure is not a virtue’ argument on TGC was misunderstanding him].
    [He continues:] ‘Try to be civil, be kind. What happened to love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control? What happened to gentleness? Is there not a way to voice criticism without…giving someone the benefit of the doubt because Jesus gave you the benefit of the doubt?
    [He continues]: ‘How un-sanctified these guys sound – they sound angry, ticked-off, sarcastic…the whole tone of the conversation betrays what they’re trying to push, which is a more serious call to a devout and holy life!’

  226. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    we have run out of Café Direct rich roast coffee.
    Talk about dunging one’s own grave.

    This coffee was ground half an hour ago, and now it’s mud. 🙂

  227. I do agree with Carl Trueman, though, when he says this:

    “One of the big problems with Big Calvinism has been the prevalence of club house rules as the means of operating within the upper echelons. A movement built on big personalities, a consortium of different ‘brands,’ along with their concomitant and often conflicting egos, and held together by the power of the carrot and stick of the promise of big platforms and the threat of total oblivion, was always going to be inherently unstable. Self-policing was at a premium, with criticism only allowed from those standing within the tent and aiming outwards, so to speak. That was shame because the problems of personalities, branding, ego and worse were never really addressed by the tent dwellers.”
    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/another-try.php

  228. May wrote:

    ….This is not some storm in a teacup. This theological disagreement seems pretty big.

    It absolutely is big. And this particular argument has been around since the get go. That is, what about the law? What about the gentiles and the law? What about grace and the law? What, in fact, does sanctification mean and why should anybody care? It is all variations on a theme. There is a good article in wikipedia about antinomianism, which is a term which will be bandied about by these folks from time to time. The article gives a good history of thought in this area.

  229. May wrote:

    Tullian comments: ‘What’s so ironic to me is that those who are pushing the hardest for the pursuit of holiness and practice of godliness and all of our action in sanctification are the quickest to mis-characterise, misrepresent, and slander. They are proud, they are arrogant, they come across angry and self-righteous.

    These are not the only or the first to go down that path and end up with the very sins he accuses them of. This is what that particular path leads to.

  230. @ NJ:

    I wish we could forcibly sit all the SGM pastors down in one room and turn Jeff Crippen loose on them.

    So who’s bringing the popcorn?

  231. @ acg116:

    Its a good thing they are not running a nation-state. Otherwise we would see a sequal to the Cambodian Killing fields. All led by John Piper’s tweets! Sovereing Grace’s conferences. And updates by THE Gospel Coalition.

  232. Something puzzles me. Mahaney removes himself from The Gospel Coalition. OK. It seems he keeps removing himself from something, showing up again, removing himself, showing up. It’s a pattern I don’t understand. He should remove himself from everything. Period. He should not be invited anywhere. Period.

    When will he show up again? It’s like a game with him and he should be doing as his brother n’law and Josh Harris have done. Tell the truth. I don’t believe he is and neither do other people with a brain.

  233. although getting away from this exclusive club may be the best thing Tullian has ever done.

    Oh definitely. The fact that they blindsided Tullian as they did shows just what they are capable of. I wonder if they really think CJ and protecting him is worth it.

  234. @ NJ:

    I wish we could forcibly sit all the SGM pastors down in one room and turn Jeff Crippen loose on them.

    So who’s bringing the popcorn?

    LOL
    Hey, we’ve still got a bunch of Boy Scout popcorn to get through…

    Seriously, I wish these folks would invite Boz Tchividjian and GRACE for some training on the pedophile front, and pastor Crippen for one big conference on preventing abuse in the Church, and how to respond when it is reported. And don’t forget a primer on their state’s relevant laws, court procedures, etc.

    Most of all, I think there would have to be a second conference looking at which theologies and doctrines may have contributed to these problems and need to be reexamined–not only for their faithfulness to the Bible, but how they’ve been applied. You don’t need to be a full-blown egalitarian feminist to take a firm stand against abuse in all forms, or forcing people to remain connected to their abusers because of faulty exegesis of Scripture.

  235. Eagle wrote:

    Great minds think alike

    Alternatively, …

    Humour is one thing, and I am all in favour of it, but I do wish you would stop writing such silly comments, imo it undoes a lot of the hard work put into the articles written here about serious matters evangelicals need to stop hiding from.

  236. May wrote:

    Christopher: ‘My concern is the way this debate has played out, people haven’t actually taken the time to make sure they properly understand a person’s position…’

    Pot meet kettle.

    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/where-the-sanctification-contr.php

    It is Tullian who is not engaging the positions and the concerns of the other side of the conversation. “Yeah, whatever” is not a good answer.

    Also (and I AM NOT defending TGC on the SGM scandal), Tullian doesn’t have any “inside” knowledge of the crimes at SGM (and admits this) so why is he being sought as a source for commentary and, more importantly, if he was SO scandalized by the TGC non-response, how come he stuck with TGC for so long?

  237. “I wonder where he thinks the buck stops?”

    With God, of course, just like he expressed in his prayer. He prays for God to bring justice. Mahaney is an empty shell just waiting for God to do His work. Mahaney does not appear to be a new creature in Christ who has been changed by the law of the Spirit of life; one who would desire to bring justice, peace, and hope to the brokenhearted.

    He appears to be trusting in horses and chariots and not in God’s promises to those who have faith in Jesus and who walk in His ways. Maybe Mahaney believes grace is for other people. Or maybe be believes there is grace for him but he doesn’t like the idea of consequences? In which case, how much does he believe in grace? How much does he really trust God with his future — even if that future might be nothing like Mahaney wanted, desired, or expected?

  238. Eagle wrote:

    AAAHHHHHH!!!!! I just referenced the Killing Fields!!! Great minds think alike HUG!! So is John Piper the new Pol Pot?

    Well, Comrade Pol Pot WAS into Correct Doctrine/Purity of Ideology above all else…

  239. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    And like the NSDAP did with Eugenics and Master Race Theory, the Khmer Rouge took Purity of Ideology for The Perfect Utopian State as far as they could and ACTED on it to the bitter end. Secure in their True Belief that THEY and THEY ALONE were Ideologically Pure enough to Take Back Cambodia and fulfill the predestined Inevitable Dialectic of History leading to the Utter Perfection of True Communism.

    (I understand at the time that Vietnam invaded Democratic Kampuchea(TM), the Khmer Rouge liquidation orders had become to exterminate ALL Cambodians who were not Khmer Rouge Party Members BEFORE the takeover. All others’ Ideology was Impure and their heart motivations Suspect. All this sound familiar?)

  240. Leila wrote:

    I have just learned that the appeal of the civil suit against SGM will be heard in Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis on Monday, June 9, in courtroom #1.

    Thanks for that info, Leila!

  241. Bridget wrote:

    “I wonder where he thinks the buck stops?”

    With God, of course, just like he expressed in his prayer. He prays for God to bring justice. Mahaney is an empty shell just waiting for God to do His work. Mahaney does not appear to be a new creature in Christ who has been changed by the law of the Spirit of life; one who would desire to bring justice, peace, and hope to the brokenhearted.

    He appears to be trusting in horses and chariots and not in God’s promises to those who have faith in Jesus and who walk in His ways. Maybe Mahaney believes grace is for other people. Or maybe be believes there is grace for him but he doesn’t like the idea of consequences? In which case, how much does he believe in grace? How much does he really trust God with his future — even if that future might be nothing like Mahaney wanted, desired, or expected?

    at least you can still buy some killer gospel centered wooden signs from Carolyn…

  242. If Carl Trueman’s answer to Tullian is to challenge him to a debate with he and his buddy over theology and call his interview with Rosebrough as a “strange outburst”, maybe Tullian should just cut all ties with these Reformed guys and let them to themselves.

  243. former Sojourn member wrote:

    maybe Tullian should just cut all ties with these Reformed guys

    Both these sets of people think they represent the true reformed doctrines. Nobody is poised to let that label “reformed” go to the other group.

  244. And in the midst of these recent shocking revelations confirming that heinous sexual crimes were committed against innocent children in the care of a reformed denomination that is feted by Mohler, Dever, Grudem et al, and that those same crimes were hushed up by the church leaders, allowing a depraved perpetrator to continue abusing children for many more years…amidst all of this, what are the bloggers getting all uptight and angry about?

    A fellow brother who is ACCUSED of veering away from ‘correct doctrine’. (ed. at request of commenter)

    Give me strength.
  245. former Sojourn member wrote:

    If Carl Trueman’s answer to Tullian is to challenge him to a debate with he and his buddy over theology and call his interview with Rosebrough as a “strange outburst”, maybe Tullian should just cut all ties with these Reformed guys and let them to themselves.

    Is that really the answer? Tullian is already creating the impression that he believes he is above correction and that his very public teaching is beyond criticism. So he should cement that? The doctrinal debate is a very important one, and time and time again, all we get from him is (literally, on at least one occasion in an earlier interview on FFTF) “yeah, whatever.” You are encouraging him to just hide in a different “tribe” more amendable to his “interesting” views on sanctification.

  246. Nancy wrote:

    This adulation of CJ is perplexing. This current rallying around him at all costs by his buddies is perplexing. There does seem to be something going on that the rest of the world does not know about-yet.

    That’s one of the reasons why I’m going to protest his appearance here in Phoenix next month. The attitude is such that C.J.’s fan club can’t look beyond it and see the devastation behind him. If I wake up one person, I will have succeeded in my goal.

  247. Leila wrote:

    I wonder, now that Grant Layman testified that he knew about the abuse and didn’t report it, if that testimony will lend weight to the “conspiracy to cover up” theory.

    *sigh* I wish I could say it would have impact, but since appeals are based on the prior record and no new evidence is supposed to be introduced, it’s not going to change anything. 🙁

  248. May wrote:

    And in the midst of these recent shocking revelations confirming that heinous sexual crimes were committed against innocent children in the care of a reformed denomination that is feted by Mohler, Dever, Grudem et al, and that those same crimes were hushed up by the church leaders, allowing a depraved perpetrator to continue abusing children for many more years…amidst all of this, what are the bloggers getting all uptight and angry about?

    A fellow brother who is accused of veering away from the correct doctrine.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrades.
    Purity of Ideology.

  249. May wrote:

    A fellow brother who veered away from the correct doctrine.

    That would be the “correct” doctrine (the quotes are important!).

    I don’t want to make more of this point than is warranted, but amid all the new-calvinist talk of correct doctrine it is easy to forget that much distinctively new-calvinist doctrine is itself highly questionable. It’s true that they generally assert the Nicene Creed and similar, but they didn’t write it and don’t own it.

  250. Nancy wrote:

    Both these sets of people think they represent the true reformed doctrines. Nobody is poised to let that label “reformed” go to the other group.

    Like Stalinists and Trotskyites.
    Like Leninists and Maoists.
    Which is TRUE Communism?

  251. Nancy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    All this sound familiar?)
    You betcha.

    What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?

  252. @ May:

    Absolutely. The big thing with the Calvinistas is that Tullian and his compatriots are striking at the very understanding of scripture that they have used to give them the power which they wield. And with that power is the money and prestige and, they seem to think, the privileged standing with God himself. And they (at least the SBC calvinistas have clearly stated) are on mission to convert everybody to their way of thinking, believing themselves commissioned by God to do just that. And apparently if there is collateral damage in the process, well so be it. The issue of abuse seems to be to them unavoidable collateral damage and therefore not that important compared to the bigger issues. This is just my take on the situation, and I could be wrong about the collateral damage part, but I think I am right about the rest.

  253. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    It’s true that they generally assert the Nicene Creed and similar, but they didn’t write it and don’t own it.

    Baptists, including calvinista baptists, do not “do” creeds and proud of it. They think it is part of tradition which they eschew. (Living dangerously here–did not look up that last word.)

  254. Chris Calloway wrote:

    May wrote:
    Christopher: ‘My concern is the way this debate has played out, people haven’t actually taken the time to make sure they properly understand a person’s position…’
    Pot meet kettle.
    http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/where-the-sanctification-contr.php
    It is Tullian who is not engaging the positions and the concerns of the other side of the conversation. “Yeah, whatever” is not a good answer.
    Also (and I AM NOT defending TGC on the SGM scandal), Tullian doesn’t have any “inside” knowledge of the crimes at SGM (and admits this) so why is he being sought as a source for commentary and, more importantly, if he was SO scandalized by the TGC non-response, how come he stuck with TGC for so long?

    I agree. I don’t think either side has taken the time to properly engage and understand where the other is coming from. Both sides are misrepresenting the other.

    To a certain extent, Tullian is reacting in anger and hurt. Still, I happen to agree with his assessments of SGM and TGC. He stuck with TGC because, I believe he said on his last blog entry there, he was unaware of the extent to which his theology was offending some of the ‘right-ons’ as they never confronted him personally. Totally immature behaviour.

  255. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Like Stalinists and Trotskyites.
    Like Leninists and Maoists.
    Which is TRUE Communism?

    Absolutely. And like particular baptists and general baptists. For that matter like eastern NC barbecue and western NC barbecue!!!!

  256. May wrote:

    This is not some storm in a teacup. This theological disagreement seems pretty big.

    There was a time, when I was in my 20s, where I read hardcore theology AVIDLY. I’ve mentioned before that I read Calvin’s Institutes as “light reading” during law school. (In retrospect, I should have done Harlequin Romances, like my classmates.)

    I stopped reading theology after I came to the conclusion that it was a lot of a word I can’t use here. People arguing over arcane readings of Greek, over parsing John Calvin’s Institutes (in Latin or French, take your pick), over Luther’s writings, over whatever theological great of their religious tradition who had been set up as The Authority, etc. etc. And then there was the cutting off of people who didn’t perfectly agree down the line, which I’m seeing again with TGC giving the left foot of fellowship to Tullian T…and which has resulted in hundreds of religious divisions even among evangelical Protestants.

    Among the Calvinists, I find that the divisions are over ideas that Joe and Jane Average Pew Sitter can barely conceptualize. I have the intellectual tools and a fairly decent background to understand these things, but it gives me a headache. And I’ll give you a couple of reasons why.

    * It’s not “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Others will differ with me, but I think all this theologizing gets away from the heart of the Gospel (and not whatever the heck the Gospel Coalition thinks is the Gospel).

    * I am an imperfect human being and I absolutely know that I cannot hold even from moment to moment the absolute, unheretical, whole truth about God in my fallible gray matter. I have to trust that God is going to understand that I don’t understand very well at all.

    I could go on with reasons, but they’d get more and more snarky, so I will spare you.

    My point is that I think all this dividing and unpersoning is a real distraction from the core of Christianity. As Jesus said to the disciples when they asked him to chastise a guy who was performing healings in Jesus’ name: “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50).

    But don’t listen to me, I’m your closet heretick.

  257. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    May wrote:

    This is not some storm in a teacup. This theological disagreement seems pretty big.

    There was a time, when I was in my 20s, where I read hardcore theology AVIDLY. I’ve mentioned before that I read Calvin’s Institutes as “light reading” during law school. (In retrospect, I should have done Harlequin Romances, like my classmates.)

    I stopped reading theology after I came to the conclusion that it was a lot of a word I can’t use here. People arguing over arcane readings of Greek, over parsing John Calvin’s Institutes (in Latin or French, take your pick), over Luther’s writings, over whatever theological great of their religious tradition who had been set up as The Authority, etc. etc. And then there was the cutting off of people who didn’t perfectly agree down the line, which I’m seeing again with TGC giving the left foot of fellowship to Tullian T…and which has resulted in hundreds of religious divisions even among evangelical Protestants.

    Among the Calvinists, I find that the divisions are over ideas that Joe and Jane Average Pew Sitter can barely conceptualize. I have the intellectual tools and a fairly decent background to understand these things, but it gives me a headache. And I’ll give you a couple of reasons why.

    * It’s not “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). Others will differ with me, but I think all this theologizing gets away from the heart of the Gospel (and not whatever the heck the Gospel Coalition thinks is the Gospel).

    * I am an imperfect human being and I absolutely know that I cannot hold even from moment to moment the absolute, unheretical, whole truth about God in my fallible gray matter. I have to trust that God is going to understand that I don’t understand very well at all.

    I could go on with reasons, but they’d get more and more snarky, so I will spare you.

    My point is that I think all this dividing and unpersoning is a real distraction from the core of Christianity. As Jesus said to the disciples when they asked him to chastise a guy who was performing healings in Jesus’ name: “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50).

    But don’t listen to me, I’m your closet heretick.

    great, great comment. my mom is an immigrant from a third world country, came to this country in her thirties, and barely has a GED. Her eyes would glaze over if you started talking to her about these issues. However, she is more of an example than any of these guys when it comes to living out the gospel in both love and truth.

  258. Chris Calloway wrote:

    It is Tullian who is not engaging the positions and the concerns of the other side of the conversation. “Yeah, whatever” is not a good answer.

    These people have been “engaging” on these issues repeatedly over the last few years. I would suppose that neither side is really cognizant of how much their differences have slipped by the general public. There is a thing going on now which some people call the “new grace reformation” but which its proponents call the “grace reformation” because they deny that it is new. There are books for and against (one of which I have been reading) and there are blogs and sermons and churches etc. None of them seem to be baptist or methodist so I was not aware of it until the past few weeks, but it is out there and apparently thriving enough to stir up opposition. Under “hyper-grace” (another word used in connection with this) there would not be any way to set up an authoritarian legalistic system. A system of some sort, I suppose, but not like the calvinista system and not based on the same ideas. It is an interesting controversy, but at the same time I think that it is important, whether interesting or not.

    I think that Tullian seems to have the personality more often seen in evangelists than in theologians, and I think he was bush whacked and is defensive. But he was setting up his own site and his own conferences and writing his own stuff for some time now. And he is far from along in his thinking. I plan to read a lot more on this issue ASAP.

  259. NJ wrote:

    You don’t need to be a full-blown egalitarian feminist to take a firm stand against abuse in all forms, or forcing people to remain connected to their abusers because of faulty exegesis of Scripture.

    Great comment NJ. People are more afraid of being labeled a “liberal” than doing the right thing.

  260. Muff Potter wrote:

    there are many* out here who don’t see it that way and opt for a more pragmatic and responsible approach rather than a black-and-white absolute proscription.

    Thanks for stating this so clearly, MP.

  261. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Leila wrote:
    I wonder, now that Grant Layman testified that he knew about the abuse and didn’t report it, if that testimony will lend weight to the “conspiracy to cover up” theory.

    *sigh* I wish I could say it would have impact, but since appeals are based on the prior record and no new evidence is supposed to be introduced, it’s not going to change anything.

    Well, rats. I figured new evidence WOULD be allowable.

  262. Nancy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Like Stalinists and Trotskyites.
    Like Leninists and Maoists.
    Which is TRUE Communism?
    Absolutely. And like particular baptists and general baptists. For that matter like eastern NC barbecue and western NC barbecue!!!!

    Don’t forget Memphis, Texas, and Kansas City BBQ. Almost as many BBQ styles as Protestant theologies and the debates are as intense- although the BBQ debates are much tastier!

  263. Chris Calloway wrote:

    former Sojourn member wrote:
    If Carl Trueman’s answer to Tullian is to challenge him to a debate with he and his buddy over theology and call his interview with Rosebrough as a “strange outburst”, maybe Tullian should just cut all ties with these Reformed guys and let them to themselves.
    Is that really the answer? Tullian is already creating the impression that he believes he is above correction and that his very public teaching is beyond criticism. So he should cement that? The doctrinal debate is a very important one, and time and time again, all we get from him is (literally, on at least one occasion in an earlier interview on FFTF) “yeah, whatever.” You are encouraging him to just hide in a different “tribe” more amendable to his “interesting” views on sanctification.

    Well, hey, Driscoll’s,,Piper’s, Mohler’s, and many others’ teachings seem to be off limits to criticism? According to Tullian, he wasn’t given much of a chance to explain anything.

    As I said elsewhere, I may not agree with everything TT teaches, but I’m thankful he spoke some truth about Mahaney/SGM. He’s not sticking his head in the sand or writing articles about Penn State’s abuse problems while giving his friend (in the same position as Paterno) a pass.

  264. NJ wrote:

    because of faulty exegesis of Scripture.

    I certainly agree with your comment. But let me again point out (I am on a crusade here I guess) that the primary issue for them is whether or not it is faulty exegesis. If that does not get solved, then they will just consider themselves to be suffering for Christ and nothing will really change. Finding a few guilty of making decisions, even wrong decisions, does not change the fact that they think that the scripture gives them the authority to be the ones to make those decisions in the first place. Nor would it change the fact that they may think that they have applied scriptural admonitions in those very decisions, regardless of the outcomes and regardless of the secular laws.

    So then they could play the religious game of “jail for Jesus.” “I was right in what I did; sorry it did not work out.” I am thinking that having this religious controversy flushed out and played out and having people become informed of the arguments is about the only way for people to be able to protect themselves from bad situations, ugly as this is probably going to get before it is over.

  265. May wrote:

    amidst all of this, what are the bloggers getting all uptight and angry about?

    A fellow brother who is ACCUSED of veering away from ‘correct doctrine’.

    @ mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort:

    It’s the elevation of soulless eggheadery over real, live, hurting people, period.

  266. @ JeffT:

    Heretic. 🙂

    Even bringing up those … other places … in the same breath as “Carolina BBQ” calls for a burning at the stake. A meaty, smoky, porky stake, granted, but nonetheless … the supremacy of the Carolina style must never be questioned.

  267. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?

    Somebody with up to date knowledge of animal populations and their associated dynamics correct me if I’m wrong, but when I sat in a lecture hall way back in the Jurassic age, we were told that they die off. We can only hope eh HUG?

  268. Leila wrote:

    but since I live just 15 minutes away from the courthouse, I may try to attend and take good notes.

    That would be awesome – and I have to say, you live in an absolutely gorgeous part of the country. My grandparents have a farm out in Anne Arundel.

  269. Bridget wrote:

    Well, hey, Driscoll’s,,Piper’s, Mohler’s, and many others’ teachings seem to be off limits to criticism? According to Tullian, he wasn’t given much of a chance to explain anything.
    As I said elsewhere, I may not agree with everything TT teaches, but I’m thankful he spoke some truth about Mahaney/SGM. He’s not sticking his head in the sand or writing articles about Penn State’s abuse problems while giving his friend (in the same position as Paterno) a pass.

    But he did “stick his head in the sand.” The crimes have been known for years and he JUST left, having not commented much publicly until now. And I outlined the problems above of using him as “The Official Criticizer.” He isn’t gone from TGC over SGM. That the two events are being conflated is unhelpful, more of a smokescreen to shield him from criticism over his incomplete gospel.

  270. Great quotes from the CP article:

    “Why doesn’t someone just come and out say ‘I didn’t abuse children but to the degree that it happened under my watch I’m sick to my stomach and I will apologize and I will do everything and anything I can do to cooperate with the investigation and serve the victims and their families.’ Period. Signed, C. J. Mahaney,” Tchividjian said.

    “Say that, it still seems like ‘I didn’t do anything.’ I’m just like ‘Oh my gosh man.’ If I was the head of an organization where this kind of behavior had been taking place for years, even though if I didn’t actually perform this kind of behavior, even if I didn’t even know about the behavior, the only thing I would say is ‘I’m sick. I’m sorry. I will do whatever I need to do to help the victims and their families,'” Tchividjian added. “… If The Gospel Coalition would have said that, instead of Don Carson and Kevin DeYoung and Just Taylor, basically writing in the middle of the trial, a defense of C. J. That’s a major blemish.”

  271. Chris Calloway wrote:

    It is Tullian who is not engaging the positions and the concerns of the other side of the conversation.

    That is a blatant lie. Check out his content on Liberate, or listen to his interview on Fighting for the Faith. I don’t know if you are speaking out of ignorance or malice, but I encourage you to get acquainted with the facts before commenting.

  272. May wrote:

    And in the midst of these recent shocking revelations confirming that heinous sexual crimes were committed against innocent children in the care of a reformed denomination that is feted by Mohler, Dever, Grudem et al, and that those same crimes were hushed up by the church leaders, allowing a depraved perpetrator to continue abusing children for many more years…amidst all of this, what are the bloggers getting all uptight and angry about?
    A fellow brother who is ACCUSED of veering away from ‘correct doctrine’. (ed. at request of commenter)
    Give me strength.

    Well, yes. And the more cynical among us believe this is an intentional smoke screen.

  273. TGC statement said: “Earlier in the year our executive director spent two days with Tullian in Florida. Coming out of that meeting, it was decided that Tullian would move his blog. Finally the Council at its meeting last week decided that Tullian should move his blog immediately, and we communicated this conclusion to Tullian.”

    Tullian T. says this is an outright lie. I for one am inclined to believe him. It’s all spin, spin, spin with these guys.

  274. @ Nick Bulbeck: Many of them claim that the Nicene Creed supports ESS, though… so even though they cite it, they do not believe what it actually says.

    Doubt they’d be down with the Athanasian Creed at all.

  275. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    You haven’t dung your own grave until you’ve suffered through Maxwell House…

    Wouldn’t give it to the dog. In fact, it’s almost worth getting a dog so I can pointedly not give the aforesaid chundermix to it.

    The only animal I would give it to is the cat that comes in from we’re not sure where and sh**s on our garden.

  276. numo wrote:

    Doubt they’d be down with the Athanasian Creed at all.

    I can’t say I entirely blame them. The Athanasian Creed has only ever once been printed out in full, whereupon it underwent gravitational collapse and became a black hole.

  277. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I could go on with reasons, but they’d get more and more snarky, so I will spare you.

    My point is that I think all this dividing and unpersoning is a real distraction from the core of Christianity. As Jesus said to the disciples when they asked him to chastise a guy who was performing healings in Jesus’ name: “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50).

    So much agreed! Jesus didn’t give them a 25 page discourse in the theology behind it either.

  278. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Tullian Tchividjian has spoken out again:
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/tullian-tchividjian-calls-gospel-coalitions-claims-attributed-to-tim-keller-d-a-carson-about-his-exit-a-flat-out-lie-120272/
    Tullian Tchividjian says D. A. Carson and Tim Keller’s claims about how his departure from The Gospel Coalition transpired are misleading and a “flat-out lie.”

    Everyone should read this article! Go Tullian!!!

  279. Chris Calloway wrote:

    But he did “stick his head in the sand.” The crimes have been known for years and he JUST left, having not commented much publicly until now. And I outlined the problems above of using him as “The Official Criticizer.” He isn’t gone from TGC over SGM. That the two events are being conflated is unhelpful, more of a smokescreen to shield him from criticism over his incomplete gospel.

    According to TT he didn’t stick his head in the sand. When the statement in support of CJM was put up on TGC website last year, he was one of the ones pushing for the disclaimer that was added to the statement.

    I agree that TT could have spoken out sooner if he felt like this about the SGM issues for several years. That would be a good question to ask him, along with what was the timing of the original article that expressed his views on SGM. Was that already in progress when he was booted? Was the article what fueled the immediate boot? Or, did the statements about SGM only appear because of the boot?

    As to the ‘incomplete gospel’ comment, we’d have to start at the beginning with what your definition is of each of those words and this isn’t the thread for that. Honestly, I’m more interested in seeing all of these theologians walking the walk instead of arguing the talk.

  280. Rafiki wrote:

    Chris Calloway wrote:
    over his incomplete gospel.
    Uh, “incomplete” according to whom, exactly?

    This covers it pretty well: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/where-the-sanctification-contr.php

    Shame that TT won’t confront gracious and substantive critique, but instead resorts to vague claims about “some guys out there somewhere” who are legalists. His “response” to Jen Wilkins’ piece is a perfect example of a non-response response.

  281. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Rafiki wrote:
    Chris Calloway wrote:
    over his incomplete gospel.
    Uh, “incomplete” according to whom, exactly?
    This covers it pretty well: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/where-the-sanctification-contr.php
    Shame that TT won’t confront gracious and substantive critique, but instead resorts to vague claims about “some guys out there somewhere” who are legalists. His “response” to Jen Wilkins’ piece is a perfect example of a non-response response.

    Chris, I did agree with you on an earlier post. However, I take the article you linked to with a pinch of salt. For a start – Tullian says this bit is untrue: ‘Tim Keller and Don Carson have pointed out that these concerns had previously been made clear to Tullian, despite Tullian’s public claim that he has never been informed of any problems.’

  282. Just read one of Tullian’s post over at Liberate. It IS a breath of fresh air. For a start, he talked about ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘gospel-centred’. When was the last time you even heard a New Calvinist leader utter the name of Christ, let along talk about being Christ-centred?

    Also, this quote sums up a lot of what is wrong with the New Calvinist lot: “I’m realizing that the sin I need removed daily is precisely my narcissistic understanding of spiritual progress. I think too much about how I’m doing, if I’m growing, whether I’m doing it right or not. I spend too much time pondering my failure, brooding over my spiritual successes, and wondering why, when it’s all said and done, I don’t seem to be getting that much better. In short, I spend way too much time thinking about me and what I need to do and far too little time thinking about Jesus and what he’s already done.”

    How refreshing to get away from all the sin-focus, which can be, as T.T. articulates here, a mere form of self-focus.

  283. May wrote:

    Chris Calloway wrote:
    Rafiki wrote:
    Chris Calloway wrote:
    over his incomplete gospel.
    Uh, “incomplete” according to whom, exactly?
    This covers it pretty well: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2014/05/where-the-sanctification-contr.php
    Shame that TT won’t confront gracious and substantive critique, but instead resorts to vague claims about “some guys out there somewhere” who are legalists. His “response” to Jen Wilkins’ piece is a perfect example of a non-response response.
    Chris, I did agree with you on an earlier post. However, I take the article you linked to with a pinch of salt. For a start – Tullian says this bit is untrue: ‘Tim Keller and Don Carson have pointed out that these concerns had previously been made clear to Tullian, despite Tullian’s public claim that he has never been informed of any problems.’

    May wrote:

    Chris, I did agree with you on an earlier post. However, I take the article you linked to with a pinch of salt. For a start – Tullian says this bit is untrue: ‘Tim Keller and Don Carson have pointed out that these concerns had previously been made clear to Tullian, despite Tullian’s public claim that he has never been informed of any problems.’

    You reject the entire piece because there is a dispute over who told who what and when regarding the problems at TGC over TT’s view of sanctification? Go ahead and take that sentence from the “preliminary comments” out and it doesn’t change the substance or the power of the critique.

  284. Nick said:

    Mirele said: I stopped reading theology after I came to the conclusion that it was a lot of a word I can’t use here.
    I have long referred to theology as theologianology. I see we’re of the same mind.

    Theology is not truly the study of God. I have long said that theology is more the study of human thinking about God as expressed in their writings (and more recently lectures, if taped). So it is a form of psychology and sociology of those who seem to have time to ponder the nature of God and the relationship of humans to God. And so, most of the time spent by people called theologians is spent reading a parsing other theologians. That generally takes small errors and makes them into huge mistakes, and results in the fatal error: Focusing on the tiniest nit and ignoring the tornado while complaining that the other guy is focusing on the rivulet and ignoring the tsunami.

  285. “When was the last time you even heard a New Calvinist leader utter the name of Christ, let along talk about being Christ-centred?”

    That is ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. And you know that.

  286. @ Chris Calloway:

    OK, perhaps I overstated it – but from these guys I hear so much more about the GOSPEL, or as Dee and Deb would have it, GOSPEL trademarked, than I do about Christ. Seriously, when was the last time you heard the term ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘Gospel-centred’?

  287. Chris Calloway wrote:

    won’t confront gracious and substantive critique

    Won’t confront? Did you read the links? You sure do not have to agree with him, but if there is one thing he does do is confront–in pubic–in writing–with reasons.

  288. @ Deb:

    Here is the most important part of today’s Christian Post article involving Tullian Tchividjian and The Gospel Coalition (in my estimation).  I have put in bold the most important statements for emphasis. 

    Tchividjian, senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, told The Christian Post on Thursday that the statement published by founders Keller and Carson on The Gospel Coalition’s website wrongly characterized a meeting in Florida between him and TGC Executive Director Ben Peays.

    “I told Ben Peays this last night. I called him and I told him, ‘That statement’s misleading and you know it,’” said Tchividjian, “… The way the statement read, it was as if he came down to Fort Lauderdale to talk with me on behalf of the coalition regarding the theological issue that they were having with me. That is categorically false.”

    Tchividjian explained that Peays flew down to Florida as a consultant for the pastor’s new ministry, Liberate, which also picked up the bill for his flight. He added that he (Tullian) initiated a conversation about moving his blog content off the coalition’s website and that “it was never ever insinuated that that’s what The Gospel Coalition wanted.”

    “To cover themselves so they would not look like bullies, they took a trip that Ben took two months ago, turned that trip and made it look like The Gospel Coalition sent him down to cover these concerns — and that’s just a flat-out lie. That’s a lie,” said Tchividjian. “It just calls into question their integrity. Why would they spin it that way? Why did they say it that way?”

    Dee and I would LOVE to get our hands on a copy of that invoice showing that Tullian's ministry Liberate paid for Ben Peays' flight to Florida.   We will be happy to publish it on our blog, along with an explanation of what REALLY happened.

  289. Re coffee: When I had a source, I would buy Ugandan Maragopipe beans, sometimes called elephant beans because of their size. I would keep the green beans in the freezer and thaw and roast only enough for a week or two, in my own apartment oven. Then grind them in a hand crank grinder with very sharp blades (I would sharpen them every time I used it!) Then using filtered water, I would use my glass carafe to make my coffee. Hot coffee keeps best in glass. It was wonderful. No additives necessary. And I was careful not to do the starbucks damage to the coffee of over-roasting it. I even roasted some in my popcorn basket over the fire in the fireplace. Now that is really a great taste sensation.

    Now I buy a good regional brand coffee and drink a pot and a half a day — still in a glass pot though.

  290. @ Deb:

    Agree that that is the stunning of claims by Tullian. Wonder if TGC will respond? It certainly throws a lot more mud their direction. Wonder if they’re worried that some of it will start to stick?

  291. While I am no fan of Tullian, for reasons from several years back, he is the only one of the TGC bunch (present and recent) who is telling the truth. And their complaint about his theology is based on their misunderstanding of what he has said. Which I believe is a willful misunderstanding in order to deflect criticism of their misanthropic dismissal of him for having the gall to call them to task for their support of GJ.

  292. An Attorney wrote:

    And their complaint about his theology is based on their misunderstanding of what he has said. Which I believe is a willful misunderstanding in order to deflect criticism of their misanthropic dismissal of him for having the gall to call them to task for their support of GJ.

    You are perhaps being too gracious to the TGC folks. I fail to see how anybody could actually misunderstand what he is saying, willfully or not. I do see how they would disagree with him, but the article seems to be a bald faced misrepresentation what he is saying. I do not see how in the world I could comprehend what he is saying and trained theologians could misunderstand. I think that is pretense. I think it is an identifiable game that people play.

    In fact, “I don’t understand” as well as deliberate “misunderstanding” are techniques which people are taught how to deal with in assertiveness training classes. It is a control mechanism. The controller keeps misunderstanding, and the patsy keeps trying to explain and the circle goes on and on. The controller then accuses the patsy of not being able to explain themselves and dismisses everything the patsy tries to say at that point. The patsy, having exhausted themselves trying to explain, then gives up in frustration. Game to controller.

    As evidenced by the cited article and links and the comment by Chris. That was a two handed game of the writer who misunderstands, deliberately I think, and Chris who blames that on TT for not explaining himself adequately. Looks like a textbook illustration to me. I don’t know if the players are aware of what they are doing or if they are doing it maliciously. I only see the plays and the players in action.

  293. Rafiki,

    Thank you.

    Nancy,

    In theory they would be willing to do “jail time for Jesus”, although I suspect that if the civil magistrate’s push came to shove about things like reporting requirements, they’d cave in order to stay out of the slammer. Short of that, I’m sure they’d at least imply they were being persecuted by a hostile culture for standing up for biblical truth, as they see it. One thing that ticks me off about stuff like this is the ammunition this provides for certain groups out there that have been calling for the revocation of churches’ tax exemptions. I know there are good arguments for why churches should never have become 501c3 organizations, but if that were suddenly repealed a lot of churches would suddenly be in a bad way, if not go bust altogether.

    Just read TT’s interview. Things are sure heating up, and the TGC has some ‘splainin’ to do.

  294. May wrote:

    @ Chris Calloway:
    OK, perhaps I overstated it – but from these guys I hear so much more about the GOSPEL, or as Dee and Deb would have it, GOSPEL trademarked, than I do about Christ. Seriously, when was the last time you heard the term ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘Gospel-centred’?

    I don’t understand why you object to the word “Gospel” when it is the Good News about Jesus…but let’s play anyway. TGC has this project…http://legacy.thegospelcoalition.org/preaching-christ…for instance. And everyone associated with TGC or the “New Calvinists” with whom I am familiar consistently preaches Christ from their pulpits and in their other platforms. Have you ever listened to Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach? I’m guessing not, otherwise you couldn’t credibly make your claim, even as a bit of hyperbole.

  295. An Attorney wrote:

    Theology is not truly the study of God. I have long said that theology is more the study of human thinking about God as expressed in their writings (and more recently lectures, if taped). So it is a form of psychology and sociology of those who seem to have time to ponder the nature of God and the relationship of humans to God. And so, most of the time spent by people called theologians is spent reading a parsing other theologians. That generally takes small errors and makes them into huge mistakes, and results in the fatal error: Focusing on the tiniest nit and ignoring the tornado while complaining that the other guy is focusing on the rivulet and ignoring the tsunami.

    OH YEAH. You get it!

  296. Nancy wrote:

    As evidenced by the cited article and links and the comment by Chris. That was a two handed game of the writer who misunderstands, deliberately I think, and Chris who blames that on TT for not explaining himself adequately.

    Nancy — Rick Phillips does not say he doesn’t understand Tullian. He is saying that he DOES understand Tullian and that he disagrees with him. And he explains where, how, and why. It is TULLIAN who seeks refuge under the “you don’t understand me” shelter. Mark Jones, Mike Kruger and others have exhaustively cited Tullian’s own words and teachings and have demonstrated, if not error, points of concern that Tullian just blows off (“Yeah, whatever”)seemingly as a man who cannot be corrected. (Next he’ll do a remake of Steven Furtick’s glorious and thrilling “Hey Haters” video.) In sum — you’ve got it exactly backward.

  297. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Nancy wrote:

    As evidenced by the cited article and links and the comment by Chris. That was a two handed game of the writer who misunderstands, deliberately I think, and Chris who blames that on TT for not explaining himself adequately.

    Nancy — Rick Phillips does not say he doesn’t understand Tullian. He is saying that he DOES understand Tullian and that he disagrees with him. And he explains where, how, and why. It is TULLIAN who seeks refuge under the “you don’t understand me” shelter. Mark Jones, Mike Kruger and others have exhaustively cited Tullian’s own words and teachings and have demonstrated, if not error, points of concern that Tullian just blows off (“Yeah, whatever”)seemingly as a man who cannot be corrected. (Next he’ll do a remake of Steven Furtick’s glorious and thrilling “Hey Haters” video.) In sum — you’ve got it exactly backward.

    And yet, as others have pointed out, keller can be a theistic evolutionist without much of a problem, notwithstanding the fact that mohler and crew say that position undermines the authority if scripture and the gospel. There’s a massive double standard at play here….

  298. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Have you ever listened to Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach? I’m guessing not, otherwise you couldn’t credibly make your claim, even as a bit of hyperbole.

    Have you ever heard Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach about one of the biggest, silent unreached people group in America, namely victims of child sexual abuse, victims of the active sex trade in America, and adults who are caught in substance abuse as a result of unresolved incest issues?

    Maybe your men don’t get out much? Mr. Saturday Night?

  299. Acg116 wrote:

    And yet, as others have pointed out, keller can be a theistic evolutionist without much of a problem, notwithstanding the fact that mohler and crew say that position undermines the authority if scripture and the gospel. There’s a massive double standard at play here….

    Agreed. Completely. Emphatically. That is only one of the problems with Keller (from the mouth of a PCA guy).

  300. Marie2

    wrote:

    Mr. Saturday Night?

    Or is it Mr. Sunday Right? I can never tell with people who defend their favorite celebrity preacher – maybe these men are being misaligned for their content, but I have yet to hear someone speak up and defend them for the fact that they truly do help the poor and needy.

    DO they???

    “bless me Lord, Bless me Lord, Oh, that’s all I ever hear.
    No one aches, no one hurts, no one cries one single tear.
    But He cries He weeps He bleeds….
    And He Cares for your needs.
    But you just stay back and keep soakin’ it in..
    Can’t you see it’s such sin, such sin???”

    Keith Green, Asleep in the Light, with perhaps a few lyrics mangled.

  301. CJ has released a statement here:
    http://www.sgclouisville.org/blog/post/a-statement-from-c-j–mahaney

    So many things to say. The first (and most important) is this: Is the good name of your church and helping the victims less important to you than a civil lawsuit? If you are really innocent, why are you not trying to help the victims? Even your statement about the victims is “*I* am deeply grieved”.

    But the facts remain: Either you did know, and you are guilty of a horrendous sin, or you didn’t and have no discernment. In either case, you should not have a position of leadership in a church. In the first case, you belong somewhere else entirely.

  302. Please keep my dear friend Gina in your prayers. She is most likely going Home in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to pretend to understand all of her problems but she is extremely sick and living in excruciating pain. I love my friend and I don’t want her to suffer but I’m also not ready to say goodbye yet. We were both hoping she’d be here long enough to see pictures and video from the wedding in three weeks. I don’t even know what to say. I guess this is just a very bittersweet time, filled with joy for the upcoming events but also sorrow.

  303. Chris Calloway wrote:

    I don’t understand why you object to the word “Gospel” when it is the Good News about Jesus…but let’s play anyway. TGC has this project…http://legacy.thegospelcoalition.org/preaching-christ…for instance. And everyone associated with TGC or the “New Calvinists” with whom I am familiar consistently preaches Christ from their pulpits and in their other platforms. Have you ever listened to Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach? I’m guessing not, otherwise you couldn’t credibly make your claim, even as a bit of hyperbole.

    Chris, I think what people here object to is the mischaracterization of the gospel. Rather than preaching reconciliation with God through faith in Christ and belief in His incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and assentation, many New Calvinists are preaching a different gospel. It appears to many of us that they want to claim the Gospel(TM) as their own proprietary doctrinal blend, and to declare themselves the gatekeepers of Salvation(TM).

    Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

  304. Chris Calloway wrote:

    if he was SO scandalized by the TGC non-response, how come he stuck with TGC for so long?

    The same reason that may people stick with an organization that they once believed in: they hope to make a change in the status quo. I was once in that position and darned if I didn’t try but in the end I left.

    Secondly, I do not believe that this is “just” over doctrine. The SGM matter is in play as well.

    Finally, I am on TTs side in his view on grace as is Wade Burleson and many, many others. The use of the word “gospel” in TGC’s name is silly. It should be “The Gospel according to all how march lockstep with us.”

  305. @ Chris Calloway:

    I got that. The writer claims to understand, but what he seems to “understand” is seriously different from what TT is saying. That is the point. He is “misunderstanding” (perhaps misrepresenting is a better way to say it) whether he says so or not. TT seems perfectly obvious to me, apparently to “an attorney” and to some others on this blog. But the writer comes along and seems way off base as if he just does not get it, regardless of what he says. That is a tip off, IMO, that this is not legit. And note this, “an attorney” called it willful misunderstanding, even though he is no fan of TT. But “an attorney” has a long history of lots and lots of dealing with people in “situations” and he has a good ear for this sort of thing.

    And then TT refuses to play the game. Blows it off. So would I. Who would get themselves tied in knots re-explaining something to someone who already does not “get it?” Especially if you know it is phony. A patsy, that’s who.

    Now understand, this whole theological interchange between TT and the other guys is being played out within a larger context of lots of other folks out there who are saying the same thing that TT is saying. This is not some lone voice in the wilderness. A lot of ink has been used by a lot of people who are saying the same or about the same thing that TT is saying. No way the writer actually did not “get it.” He knows exactly what these people are saying and why. And yet he claims to understand while at the same time he misrepresents TT’s position on stuff. That just does not play well. It sounds phony. It looks like game playing. It is like the person who says “I hear you saying” and then tells you back something you were not saying at all. I am not buying it. This is “religious hard ball” to use someone else’s terminology.

    Disclaimer: I have not thoroughly researched the issues and the arguments, so I don’t know what I think of all of it. I know almost nothing about TT at this point. I am not defending or condemning him. I do think the other guy is being disingenuous.

  306. Acg116 wrote:

    And yet, as others have pointed out, keller can be a theistic evolutionist without much of a problem, notwithstanding the fact that mohler and crew say that position undermines the authority if scripture and the gospel. There’s a massive double standard at play here….

    Oh, you bet there is. TGC has overplayed their hand and they have been exposed for the organization that they are. Gospel? Yeah right. They also have a bunch of incompetent individuals running the show over there. They could have done this differently and easily. Instead, they look the heavy handed authoritarian people I thought they were. I wish I had been wrong.

  307. An Attorney wrote:

    Which I believe is a willful misunderstanding in order to deflect criticism of their misanthropic dismissal of him for having the gall to call them to task for their support of GJ.

    I agree but they will, of course, deny it.

  308. Marie2 wrote:

    but I have yet to hear someone speak up and defend them for the fact that they truly do help the poor and needy.

    Wow, Has anyone seen the latest from Boz T???

    http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/05/23/searching-jesus-todays-church/

    Searching for Jesus in today’s Church…

    Do you see?
    Do you see?
    All the people sinking down?
    Don’t you care?
    Don’t you care?
    Are you gonna let them drown?
    How can you be so numb?!
    Not to care if they come
    You close your eyes,
    And pretend the job is done
    – Keith Green
    This past week I found myself grieving. I learned that a former volunteer of a large church was convicted of sexually victimizing three boys under his supervision.

  309. @ Marie2:

    I grieve that when the parents of one of the boys told a pastor about the abuse, he chose not to report the crime to the police and strongly discouraged the family from doing so. I grieve that the failure to report this dangerous sexual offender gave him two decades of freedom to find and victimize more little ones. I grieve that not even one pastor from the church came to court to support the brave victims who eventually came forward and testified. I grieve that many Christian leaders all around the country who don’t hesitate to express open condemnation for abortion, universal healthcare, and the firing of reality television stars who make derogatory statements about gays and African Americans are suddenly silent when it comes to open condemnation for other Christians who choose not to report child sexual abuse to the authorities.

    – See more at: http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/05/23/searching-jesus-todays-church/#sthash.JCIpAS5L.dpuf

  310. dee wrote:

    Secondly, I do not believe that this is “just” over doctrine. The SGM matter is in play as well.

    I agree. If it were only about doctrine they would not be playing games with the doctrine issue. There would be no need to muddy the waters with misunderstanding/misrepresentation. They could just handle the issues in a straightforward manner. The doctrine thing, while real, is brought out at this exact time as a smoke screen and a diversion tactic.

  311. Marie2 wrote:

    Chris Calloway wrote:
    Have you ever listened to Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach? I’m guessing not, otherwise you couldn’t credibly make your claim, even as a bit of hyperbole.
    Have you ever heard Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach about one of the biggest, silent unreached people group in America, namely victims of child sexual abuse, victims of the active sex trade in America, and adults who are caught in substance abuse as a result of unresolved incest issues?
    Maybe your men don’t get out much? Mr. Saturday Night?

    Wow. If you go to the websites of the churches at which these men serve, you’ll see what appear to be robust spiritual care ministries, local and global missions support, and active diaconates. If what you are getting at is that they have failed in response to the SGM abuse scandal…OK…but what of Tullian who blogged comfortably at TGC the entire time, nearly silent until now “coincidentally.”

  312. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Acg116 wrote:

    And yet, as others have pointed out, keller can be a theistic evolutionist without much of a problem, notwithstanding the fact that mohler and crew say that position undermines the authority if scripture and the gospel. There’s a massive double standard at play here….

    Agreed. Completely. Emphatically. That is only one of the problems with Keller (from the mouth of a PCA guy).

    Fellow pca member, and the goal of the following is not to get into a theological debate (full disclosure, I’m not a young earth creationist). I’m noticing one thing about the coalition….from what I’ve personally witnessed from the pulpit, and from what I’ve seen from the other redeemer pastors is different than on many points than say, deyoung or platt. I’ll go out on a limb and say if keller didn’t have a church with intellectual New Yorkers (whatever that means), some of those coalition guys wouldn’t put up with it. Similarly, if tim got up and have a john piper message consistently, he’d be preaching to about 50% less people. The whole dynamic is confusing to me.

  313. @ Deb:

    You’re right that this is crucial. Someone is lying. It is sad of course, when pastors lie, but it is useful when a premeditated, important, lie is caught because it reveals so much. Whether or not the TGC visit to Pastor T. in Florida was for talking about his theology is important, and, most importantly, outsiders can, with a little extra evidence, determine who is lying and who is telling the truth. Do please get and post that evidence, and, of course, offer the other side a chance to reply and report back that you made the offer and if it was rejected or ignored.

  314. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Acg116 wrote:

    The whole dynamic is confusing to me.

    Me, too.

    The para church thing has given the optics that all the coalition guys are strongly aligned. They obviously aren’t, and people would be better served by laying their cards on the table and letting the actual members of their churches know what they believe. In the absence of that, it’s unfair to give someone the boot over doctorinal issues because it reinforces my first point.

  315. Nancy wrote:

    I have not thoroughly researched the issues and the arguments, so I don’t know what I think of all of it. I know almost nothing about TT at this point.

    With respect, this is a problem. I don’t get how you are able to make your arguments if this the case. If you “know almost nothing about TT” how can you claim that Phillips doesn’t know what TT is teaching when you admit you don’t know his teaching yourself? How do you KNOW Phillips is wrong (a “disingenuous” “phony” even!) when you haven’t researched? How is what TT says “obvious” when you are not familiar with the particulars of the discussion?

    That aside — look at what Phillips says about Tullian’s poor exegesis of 1 John 5:2-3. Are you really saying that Phillips is misrepresenting Tullian’s interpretation? You can’t. You may not like that Phillips publicly corrects him, but isn’t it possible that Phillips is right and Tullian’s is intransigent?

  316. May wrote:

    Just read one of Tullian’s post over at Liberate. It IS a breath of fresh air. For a start, he talked about ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘gospel-centred’. When was the last time you even heard a New Calvinist leader utter the name of Christ, let along talk about being Christ-centred?

    Also, this quote sums up a lot of what is wrong with the New Calvinist lot: “I’m realizing that the sin I need removed daily is precisely my narcissistic understanding of spiritual progress. I think too much about how I’m doing, if I’m growing, whether I’m doing it right or not. I spend too much time pondering my failure, brooding over my spiritual successes, and wondering why, when it’s all said and done, I don’t seem to be getting that much better. In short, I spend way too much time thinking about me and what I need to do and far too little time thinking about Jesus and what he’s already done.”

    How refreshing to get away from all the sin-focus, which can be, as T.T. articulates here, a mere form of self-focus.

    Whoa. Statements like this, for sure, would have put Tullian in the ‘Cross-hairs’ (pun intended) with Mahaney at TGC long before Tullian spoke out against Mahaney. So many things about what Tchividjian writes completely characterizes Mahaney and the kinds of things he emphasized. I suspect Mahaney was part of the grumbling and the rumbling regarding Tullian that happened behind the scenes, and without Tchividjian knowing about it. I’d bet you that Tullian was on CJ’s radar long before Tullian was on his. Thus, I’m not at all surprised that Mahaney came out with a statement right after Tchividjian said something about him and SGM. Mahaney wasn’t interested in clearing the air about anything, instead he was provoked to say something because, by nature, he’s a competitive man. Everyone knows by now (or should know) that Mahaney isn’t a humble guy and since pride is competitive by nature, Mahaney came out looking for a fight – or at least to thrown some fuel on the fire.

    But he’s so weak. I mean the effort was so dispicable. There was nothing manly about it, but Mahaney draws his sense of strength by inflicting injury on others. He likes it when people pay attention to him generally speaking, but especially in negative ways. If he knows he’s offended you it gives him a sense of power. And his statement he issued this week offended more people and he knows it. Does he care? No. Long ago he could have said what Tullian suggested he say, but what good would that have done for Mahaney? What advantage would that have given him over others? How would that have fed his ego?

    CJ came out of hiding in an effort to take a swing at Tchividjian, and he did so by using the suffering of the victims as part of his illiberal statement which, in my view, is despicable. A man who is unbecoming of true honor and dignity like Mahaney cannot but help but act spuriously.

    He’s the king of his own king dung!

  317. Chris Calloway wrote:

    May wrote:
    Chris, the problem here is not with the Gospel itself, obviously. It is with the particular interpretation of the ‘Gospel’ promulgated by these guys where many secondary issues, i.e. complementarianism (plus many more) have been made ‘Gospel’ issues, that is if you deny them you’re really denying the Gospel and probably aren’t a Christian at all. Then there’s the avalanche of merchandising: books, tours etc etc giving ‘Gospel’ views on everything from marriage to money… where, again, it is a very particular interpretation of the Gospel that is put forward & its meaning for various parts of life explained. Many people here, me included, see what is preached as Christ + something (here a very precise Calvinist theology) & that’s why some are using that term(actually the annexation of that term to a certain small proportion of orthodox belief) here in a way you aren’t recognising. It has become like a cheesy catchphrase they use that doesn’t just mean Jesus, but their tight system that makes very many non-essentials central.

    @ Chris Calloway:
    OK, perhaps I overstated it – but from these guys I hear so much more about the GOSPEL, or as Dee and Deb would have it, GOSPEL trademarked, than I do about Christ. Seriously, when was the last time you heard the term ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘Gospel-centred’?

    I don’t understand why you object to the word “Gospel” when it is the Good News about Jesus…but let’s play anyway. TGC has this project…http://legacy.thegospelcoalition.org/preaching-christ…for instance. And everyone associated with TGC or the “New Calvinists” with whom I am familiar consistently preaches Christ from their pulpits and in their other platforms. Have you ever listened to Kevin DeYoung or Rick Phillips preach? I’m guessing not, otherwise you couldn’t credibly make your claim, even as a bit of hyperbole.

  318. Okay… it’s laaaate here in England! Can someone fix -or translate -my mangled formatting 🙂

  319. Chris Calloway wrote:

    That aside — look at what Phillips says about Tullian’s poor exegesis of 1 John 5:2-3. Are you really saying that Phillips is misrepresenting Tullian’s interpretation? You can’t. You may not like that Phillips publicly corrects him, but isn’t it possible that Phillips is right and Tullian’s is intransigent?

    Sounds all too much like “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

    With overtones of “Thou Shalt Break thy Egg at the Most Convenient End.”
    “BIG END! DIE, HERETIC!”
    “SMALL END! DIE, HERETIC!”
    (h/t Jonathan Swift)

    That’s what you get when you have lawyers (like Calvin) writing Theology.

  320. @ Beakerj:

    What you said and how you said it is good. But you are wasting your time with this fellow. I stated something and then came back and explained it in detail and still he comes back with “but wait–but you said” while ignoring what I said and how I said it. Once more let me say, this is game playing. And may I say that in my experience fundies do basically the same sort of thing in a slightly more simplistic way. Considering my history with fundy-ville and my history with a super smart sibling it is a wonder I can function at all.

  321. I am thinking (because I am an optimist) that there is good to be had from this. There must be lots of people who are now aware of ideas like TT’s about grace who may never have heard that before. But following this foo-faw may have introduced them to those ideas for the first time. It may well be rain of some folk’s desert. Wouldn’t that be a fine thing?

    I am so sick of people who preach “Jesus loves you, maybe, sort of, except, more or less.” And I am worn out with the idea of “Thanks for saving me Jesus, but don’t bother yourself further. I can take it from here.” If that is the gospel, makes you want to run right out and sign up, doesn’t it?

  322. Nancy wrote:

    @ Chris Calloway:

    Nice try. Bad reasoning. You can always try again.

    Honestly? You’ve gone on quite a bit here, then you get to “the big reveal” (you are quoted above) and that is all? You “know almost nothing about TT at this point” and yet…

  323. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Chris Calloway wrote:

    That aside — look at what Phillips says about Tullian’s poor exegesis of 1 John 5:2-3. Are you really saying that Phillips is misrepresenting Tullian’s interpretation? You can’t. You may not like that Phillips publicly corrects him, but isn’t it possible that Phillips is right and Tullian’s is intransigent?

    Sounds all too much like “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

    With overtones of “Thou Shalt Break thy Egg at the Most Convenient End.”
    “BIG END! DIE, HERETIC!”
    “SMALL END! DIE, HERETIC!”
    (h/t Jonathan Swift)

    That’s what you get when you have lawyers (like Calvin) writing Theology.

    Not even related to what I wrote. Nice that you remove the quoted portion from its context (Nancy’s admission that she came to the discussion completely unprepared), which matters a great deal. Same tactic Tullian uses in his wanting exegesis of the passage. You didn’t even bother looking into the exchange to which I refer. Instead it’s all fling and sling.

  324. Lisa wrote:

    ag

    “Does any of that sound familiar?”

    Omgosh yes.

    And Lisa, the fact that one teacher emailed the other was weird! I mean, what was the point? I’d say you’re totally right! Sounds like she wanted to control the information and tell the other teacher ahead of her finding some other way for some weird reason.

    I do find it very interesting that Mahaney was provoked out of his hole by Tchividjian. Let’s he’s climbed back in and stays there. But I must say – speaking of ‘information’ – I think his statement was so carefully crafted he labored over every word in order to get the most bang from his buck. ‘Carefully crafted’ in meanly artful way, I should say. I mean, who warmed up to what Mahaney said? Anyone? Hard to warm up to something that COLD.

  325. Not sure what happened there ^ Lisa. I know you said more than ‘ag’ lol

    Here’s what you said in your comment I responded to above:

    Recently, I was in a business relationship with a real whacko and while trying to figure her out, I came across an article(s) on characteristics of controlling people and abusers. One is that they “control information”. Example: I gave notice to this lady that my daughter will no longer be studying with her. She then emails another teacher that my daughter studies with to let her know. Never mind the fact that she has never met or spoken with my daughter’s other teacher, they live an hour apart, and teach different things! I am on excellent terms with the other teacher and have been for years, so she just forwarded me the email. But the controlling, abusive teacher could not let me go on my terms. She had to control the information. I think CJ is showing us a glimpse of himself…a controller and an abuser. He had to control the info, not Tullian. For the fun of it, I’m going to post some of the other characteristics of controllers and abusers: Will not be doubted, criticized or questioned, aggressive toward critics, demand you behave as they want you to, information from outside sources is criticized and discounted, favor individuals who are loyal, try to destroy your reputation, uses weird and warped logic, deny that certain things were ever said, never accepts blame, manipulates people to become dependent on him, is secretive and self righteous, his word is law, engages in power plays. Any of that familiar? @ Paula

  326. Nancy wrote:

    I am so sick of people who preach “Jesus loves you, maybe, sort of, except, more or less.” And I am worn out with the idea of “Thanks for saving me Jesus, but don’t bother yourself further. I can take it from here.” If that is the gospel, makes you want to run right out and sign up, doesn’t it?

    Show me an example of that kind of preaching from any of the men who have been interacting with Tullian’s teaching? If you are “so sick” of the people who preach that, you must have a bursting file of samples.

  327. ME wrote:

    CJ has released a statement here:

    What I love is the trickle of articles coming from those quarters that say something like “I can’t comment on this” followed by comment. And yet nothing has changed, legally, in the intervening space. Sigh. Why couldn’t CJ have expressed hoc *concern* for the victims earlier? Oh, unless…no, I refuse to believe that.

  328. Chris Calloway, your comments have been interesting. Obviously many of us here are comfortable taking the other side of things. Your beef with Tchividjian seems to be with his gospel message that you seem to think is insufficient. You’re honing in on the finer points of the contention that exists between him and others on matters that have to do with sanctification and the differing opinions on that.

    Mainly, however, I would say here we’re focusing on Tullian and supporting him for his stance on child sexual abuse and his opposition to CJ Mahaney and SGM’s handling of the cases against them. That’s how he’s come onto my radar anyway. I had heard his brother Boz, but I was not familiar with Tullian.

    Yet, you seem pretty familiar with him. I’m just curious, have you had personal interactions with him? Were you ever a member at his church? Are you a diehard fan of TGC or something? Your contention seems to be so pinpointed on a specific matter relating to Tchividjian as though it’s a bone you have to pick with him personally. Mind sharing a little more about the genesis of all this?

    Anyway, I’m just one voice, but Im glad you’re reading here and participating. What’s your opinion about this blog and some of the focus here? Thanks.

  329. An Attorney wrote:

    Theology is not truly the study of God. I have long said that theology is more the study of human thinking about God as expressed in their writings (and more recently lectures, if taped). So it is a form of psychology and sociology of those who seem to have time to ponder the nature of God and the relationship of humans to God. And so, most of the time spent by people called theologians is spent reading a parsing other theologians. That generally takes small errors and makes them into huge mistakes, and results in the fatal error: Focusing on the tiniest nit and ignoring the tornado while complaining that the other guy is focusing on the rivulet and ignoring the tsunami.

    This is excellent and accurate.

  330. __

    Has da Ceege got many a neo -cal by da proverbial testis having apparently fead them dough and ‘religious cadmium nonsense’ (r_Cd_n) for years?

      __

  331.   __

    “FUD_TheoCycles (C) : Go Round N’ Round?”

    @ Nancy

    …preach (ed. -ing ) “Jesus loves you, maybe, sort of, except, more or less.” ?

    hmmm…

    Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) [1] is a tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics, propaganda, and 501(c)3 religious environments.

    huh?

    “FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information.” [1]

    What?

    An individual 501(c)3 Religious establishment, for example, might use FUD to maintain leverage over a current church member who could potentially become ‘Biblically Sentient’ (c).

    (sadface)

    Sopy
    ___
    [1] Reference:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

  332. Trying Nick B’s approach.

    On another note… there is a huge meteor shower tonight, and my hubby and I hope to see it. Are y’all staying up late to watch it?

  333. @ Sopwith:

    Oh, my goodness. Read the article, especially the part about non-computer uses, and the referenced article Appeal to Fear. Great information. That is so useful in understanding controlling church environments. The concept of you better…or else, as applied to some made up nonsense not found in scripture or in any half sane human mind—bound to be manipulation, pure and simple. I had just written it off as defective thinking/doctrine/exegesis/reading comprehension. Nah. Intentional manipulation. I can’t believe I missed that one. Thanks. Hey, thanks again.

  334. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    I must revise my statement about 4,000 attendees at the Anchored Conference next month. Additional information provided by VisitPhoenix.com indicates the organizers only expect 750-800 persons. So the baseline is reduced to $93,750. Apologies for misstating the numbers, but they did come from the Phoenix Convention Center’s website.

    I am glad to hear that it is a smaller size conference than you originally thought. I am not sure how much overhead they have with a conference like this but I have heard that sometimes in addition to the conference fee and money from book sales they get back a percentage of hotel room sales or apply this credit to what it costs to rent the convention center space. Thus the the conferences could be netting more than what you estimated.

    Attending the conference could get costly. In addition to a flight and hotel room you need to pay for food which around convention centers usually isn’t cheap. Thus I am sure the cost is more like a low 4 figure cost than a high 3 figure one.

  335. mirele fka Southwestern Discomfort wrote: Additionally, the people who supported Mahaney all these decades, the people who have provided cover, they need to come out and tell what they knew, when they knew it and when they told Mahaney. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…” 1 Peter 4:17a

    YES!

  336. Deb wrote:

    On another note… there is a huge meteor shower tonight, and my hubby and I hope to see it. Are y’all staying up late to watch it?

    Yep! I am!

  337. Pingback: It’s Friday! May 23, 2014 | Jessica Veldstra

  338. @ An Attorney:

    I get it too. I have seen more of Jesus in a little mother beagle who takes in an orphaned kitten than I have in the combined writings of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and R.C. Sproul combined.

  339. Chris Calloway wrote:

    If what you are getting at is that they have failed in response to the SGM abuse scandal…OK…

    OhhhhKAY..

    What I was referring to is the real fact that the SGM scandal is pretty much the tip of the iceberg, from where I see things. I have MANY friends who are adult survivors of child sexual abuse, from many sources – combined with ritual abuse, parents, family members, friends of the family, etc. And they are in various states of fighting for sobriety, dissociating on a regular basis, having multiple personalities, and so on. YES THESE PEOPLE EXIST.

    I don’t know why TT is supposed to compete with his brother, Boz. He has been extremely sensitive to the victims in the past. He was horrified with that statement that came out a year ago standing behind CJ Mahaney.

    If he was just as silent as those folks in the past, well he isn’t now. All those people want to talk about is their nitpicky controlling views of grace.

    Sure, Deacons, missions, and outreach are nice ideas. Congrats on the warm fuzzy people with their kind intentions.

    There just is so much ignorance in mainstream evangelical Christianity about the sexually abused. Do you dispute the fact that at least 1 in 6 people that you meet in your lifetime will have been sexually abused? I’m giving you a conservative number so you don’t balk.

    To be continued….

  340. @ Marie2:

    I will try to plug my nose, and listen to one of your white-bread sermons from your old boy network.

    If you are still around, and can have ears to listen and truly hear, I will give an account of where all of this arguing is completely irrelevant to the world of a trauma victim, UNLESS there is a proper context of empathy and caring. If you have met one abuse survivor, you have met ONE abuse survivor. The behaviors are varied, the healing methods are varied, and they can get extremely hurt and insulted if they are not heard properly and with dignity.

    At the end of Session 3, when I saw this in person, Boz was visibly upset that there are many people who the Gospel might not ever reach, because their view of God has been so trampled upon. Many of my friends are in that condition, and I do all I can to accept them where they are, and not re-traumatize them by forcing them into another belief.

    Can you plug your nose and listen and educate yourself, if not for one hour, just listen to session 3?

    http://www.nhcconline.com/open-your-eyes-conference-video-and-powerpoint/

  341. Chris Calloway wrote:

    “When was the last time you even heard a New Calvinist leader utter the name of Christ, let along talk about being Christ-centred?”
    That is ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. And you know that.

    Please provide links to sermons where Christ is properly honored, by the celebrity pastors of your choice. See my comment above. I want to make sure I listen to some of the “best” that these people have to offer.

  342. I was hoping Wade Burleson would weigh in on this topic, which he now has.

    Tullian Tchividjian, the GOSPEL Standard, the Sanctification Controversy and What It All Means

    I'll share one quote from Wade's post here and encourage you to go over and see what else he has to say.

    "For the record I land squarely on the side of Tullian in this debate. In fact, I don't believe you are really preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ until someone calls you an antinomian."

    Thanks, Wade, for enlightening us on this long-standing debate.

  343. May wrote:

    OK, perhaps I overstated it – but from these guys I hear so much more about the GOSPEL, or as Dee and Deb would have it, GOSPEL trademarked, than I do about Christ. Seriously, when was the last time you heard the term ‘Christ-centred’ rather than ‘Gospel-centred’?

    If you look at neo Calvinist Mark Driscoll – and I don’t blame you if you don’t 😆 – he does mention the name of Jesus a lot (his church likes to print the phrase “It’s all about Jesus” on a lot of their materials), but Driscoll’s behavior is so unseemly it negates all the J-name dropping.

    But your point is well taken. The Neo Cal guys do spend a lot of time using words such as “Gospel” and “winsome” but I haven’t often heard the title “Christ” or the name “Jesus” from them.

    But I think my Driscoll example goes to show even when they do name drop JC’s name, their behavior is so messed up, it doesn’t make much of a difference anyway.

  344. Steven Troy wrote:

    Words like “theology” and “doctrine” are shields for small people.

    Reminding me of Emerson’s “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

  345. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ An Attorney:

    I get it too. I have seen more of Jesus in a little mother beagle who takes in an orphaned kitten than I have in the combined writings of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and R.C. Sproul combined.

    Preach it Muff! Applause from England.

  346. Muff Potter wrote:

    @ An Attorney:

    I get it too. I have seen more of Jesus in a little mother beagle who takes in an orphaned kitten than I have in the combined writings of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and R.C. Sproul combined.

    I just want someone to go up to these guys and call them on it. I’m a lawyer. I recognize the rules lawyering and blind them with BS tactics when I see them. I also recognize the snide insinuations about their opponent’s character and intellect. The difference between them and a particularly slimey opposing counsel is lawyers don’t get to pull out the God hammer.

  347. burnrnorton wrote:

    lawyering

    That is a word they use in eastern NC. Very handy and descriptive. And of no relevance at all, another term they uses is toucheous (sore, tender). Also very descriptive.

  348. Nancy, burnrnorton, and any other lawyers who read and comment regularly. I would like to communicate with you privately. Please ask Dee or Deb for my email address, and send me a note. Please put your blog commenter name on the email. Thanks.

  349. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    That would be awesome – and I have to say, you live in an absolutely gorgeous part of the country. My grandparents have a farm out in Anne Arundel.

    Doc, your grandparents are blessed – farmland has vanished here in this county over the past 20 years. Development has pretty much overtaken it all. There are still a few pretty areas left, though.

  350. An Attorney wrote:

    Nancy, burnrnorton, and any other lawyers who read and comment regularly. I would like to communicate with you privately. Please ask Dee or Deb for my email address, and send me a note. Please put your blog commenter name on the email. Thanks.

    Did you mean me? I am not a lawyer. I would be glad to talk to you, but there may be some confusion here.

  351. Sorry about the misimpression. You are very intelligent and obviously educated. and made some comments that suggested a legally trained mind was behind them, and that is intended as a compliment and not a diss. .

  352. An Attorney wrote:

    Nancy, burnrnorton, and any other lawyers who read and comment regularly. I would like to communicate with you privately. Please ask Dee or Deb for my email address, and send me a note. Please put your blog commenter name on the email. Thanks

    Does this include decidedly ex-lawyers who now work as systems analysts? 🙂

  353. I have a particular interest in attorneys, whether in practice as an attorney or not. So include yourself if you wish. I have two projects in mind that I would like to share with people with a legal background.

  354. muzjik wrote:

    Wait, wait, wait.
    One week after the CRIMINAL conviction of Morales, Mahaney decides to speak for the first time in nearly two years on the CIVIL lawsuit?
    How amazingly coincidental.
    And how amazingly odd that his first statement in nearly two years said absolutely nothing about the most recent trial in which his own brother-in-law testified that he, himself, “conspired to protect a child predator”.
    And even odder that, while Mahaney “prays for justice to be served”, he failed to mention that some the victims of Morales received justice just last week.
    And for one last oddity, unlike Josh harris, there is no mention of his very recent departure from the council page at TGC.

    Ah, yes, it is all VERY “coincidental”. Altogether TOO coincidental. He doesn’t seem to realize that some of us out here in the world of the normal, actually can add 2 + 2 without counting on our fingers.
    One can only hope that his arrogance will sink him; something really has to, & soon. (“When, o Lord, when???”)

  355. acg116 wrote:

    Paula…a question for you (and for anyone else to entertain)…do you think that the issues at CLC were a direct result of their reformed theology? As I’ve seen the continuing defense of him, I wonder how much of it is because people are saying “who isn’t a sinner…everyone does something bad, so who are you to judge CJ? You probably looked lustfully at a woman today, so you’re no judge…” (basically sin leveling). I wonder if his view of total depravity was that everyone did something bad, so no one can complain about anything, therefore why should we inform the police?

    I think its a total lack of empathy, frankly. Now, the theology may have been used as a mental excuse, but the simple truth is, that we are dealing here with a case (many cases) of not having what the KJV of my youth calls “the bowels of compassion”–that being, in the language of its day, considered the physical source of empathy/sympathy/compassion.
    You can see this in the repeated comparisons of the sufferings of a raped child to CJ’s discomfort at not being anymore universally adored in his own little corner of the world; to him, it seems that HE is the one truly suffering…..
    The comparison that leaped to mind as I was typing this: Whilst in jail on trial for the murder of one of her children, & the attempted murder of two others, Elizabeth Diane Downs whined to a fellow prisoner that “I don’t see why they’re making such a fuss. After all, its not like I can’t have more children”. (She was convicted; google for the details).

  356. Way to go, Tullian!

    Now Tim Keller and D.A. Carson need to leave the Gospel Coalition, even if it affects their income temporarily. They simply need to do it for integrity’s sake. The Gospel Coalition is a ship that is sinking. They allow the old-boys-club mentality to supersede the simple Gospel of Christ over and over again.

  357.   __

    “A Race To Da Proverbial Exit, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

      When the Christian faith becomes little more than a set of ‘theological propositions and categories’ [1], you’re in da wrong place…

    huh?

    You search da scriptures, thinkin’ in them they contain ‘ life’, but refuse to come to the Son of God, for healing, and refreshment…

    What?

    Think your theology will save you?

    (crickets…)

    hahahahahahaha

    think again.

    “Lift Up Jesus Get Results” (c)

    (grin)

    Sopy
    ___
    Notes: 
    [1]  http://www.christianpost.com/news/tullian-tchividjian-calls-gospel-coalitions-claims-attributed-to-tim-keller-d-a-carson-about-his-exit-a-flat-out-lie-120272/

    Comic relief: “TGC Theo-Wars: Pastoral ‘Storm-Trippin’ ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SpNHMwwID4

    🙂

  358. Alex wrote:

    I am finding out that child abuse has gone on in the ranks of Evangelicalism and other Christian* sects for many years…just like it did in the Catholic Church.

    Previous to Sandusky and the blogs and the RCC child abuse scandals…many Pastors and churches simply swept the stuff under the rug, didn’t report and often counseled families to not press charges and handle the issue in-house…especially when the Abuser/Criminal would cop to the abuse and cooperate.

    Now these Pastors and Churches are scared to death b/c they know that if a Victim comes forward and lawyers up, they are in big trouble b/c they know they did wrong and will suffer loss.

    I am aware of many stories now where this has happened…and I am confident it is more pervasive than most think. The Trend of sex abuse lawsuits and even criminal actions against the Evangelical Church is in the early stages.

    I think you’re right about the Sandusky connection. And you know what? That’s a good thing, IMO. People-in churches, in schools, in all kinds of places– have needed a good shaking-up for a long time. Sexual abuse of children–and any kind of abuse of children really–has been covered up, or minimized for too bloody long.

  359. zooey111 wrote:

    The comparison that leaped to mind as I was typing this: Whilst in jail on trial for the murder of one of her children, & the attempted murder of two others, Elizabeth Diane Downs whined to a fellow prisoner that “I don’t see why they’re making such a fuss. After all, its not like I can’t have more children”.

    Followed by “But first, LET ME TAKE A SELFIE”?

    You can see this in the repeated comparisons of the sufferings of a raped child to CJ’s discomfort at not being anymore universally adored in his own little corner of the world; to him, it seems that HE is the one truly suffering…..

    “Poor Poor Me — LET ME TAKE ANOTHER SELFIE!”

  360. Chris Calloway wrote:

    Not even related to what I wrote. Nice that you remove the quoted portion from its context (Nancy’s admission that she came to the discussion completely unprepared), which matters a great deal. Same tactic Tullian uses in his wanting exegesis of the passage. You didn’t even bother looking into the exchange to which I refer. Instead it’s all fling and sling.

    Really slick way of dancing around it and nitpicking on details at the expense of and to discredit the main point. Did you take passive-aggressive lessons from my sociopath brother whose skubalon never stinks?

  361. Eric Rasmusen wrote:

    @ Deb:

    You’re right that this is crucial. Someone is lying. It is sad of course, when pastors lie, but it is useful when a premeditated, important, lie is caught because it reveals so much. Whether or not the TGC visit to Pastor T. in Florida was for talking about his theology is important, and, most importantly, outsiders can, with a little extra evidence, determine who is lying and who is telling the truth. Do please get and post that evidence, and, of course, offer the other side a chance to reply and report back that you made the offer and if it was rejected or ignored.

    Hi Eric,

    I’m just now seeing your comments and I’m sorry I haven’t replied sooner. You asked me about my post regarding movies Mahaney has donated to his friends and their organizations right? And thank you for asking for links. I don’t have hard evidence for my assertions, but I think it can be deduced from some info we do have on hand that Mahaney made generous use of SGM money to secure relationships for himself with those outside the ministry he was working on developing – and which as we know developed into partnerships and money making ventures of his own. How much donated SGM $$ made its way back into SGM as Mahaney expanded his career via his speaking engagements & conference appearances, we don’t know. For a man who pretended he wasn’t motivated by money and didn’t keep track of it himself, I’m guessing he has an extremely good idea of what the exact numbers are. Further it should be noted that Bob Kauflin’s career was likewise enhanced through CJ’s efforts, for wherever CJ went, Bob Kauflin was also sure to go.

    I don’t have the link handy but I think Deb provided it here. It was her research that revealed CJ’s donation to Al Mohler and the SBTS. Without double checking, I don’t know if the donation was listed as personal or if it was made in the name of SGM. I also don’t recall the amount, but it was generous.

    I recently posted this video in which Mark Dever talks about CJ’s generosity and his gift giving, and indicated he and his ministry were on the receiving end of Mahaney’s & Covenant Life Churches donations to him and his church. Is it any wonder why he and his wife took shelter at CHBC after leaving CLC, and why Dever took them in? (link to video posted at top where my phone always adds links instead of where I want them to appear like here, at this point, in the comment where it applies. Wonder if there’s a fix for that…)

    Again, no transparency at CLC. Members were not informed about the ways in which their money was being divested, and certainly weren’t encouraged to ask questions because that would reflect a “lack of trust in your pastors and their leadership who were always working to watch out for and care for your souls.” CJ, as we know, operated without accountability and assumed ownership over the whole kit & kabootle. Did the recipients of his gifts ask questions? Of course not. And now that members have been speaking out and revealing CJ’s alleged corruptions, are they second quessing him and feeling like they were given money they shouldn’t have been receiving? Doesn’t look that way to me!

    Btw, I’m with you on your comment about the impression TLC gave regarding their delegation to Florida to visit Tullian. Two conflicting stories there and it appears the version coming out of TLC doesn’t really wash.

  362. Sorry, here’s the video. Dever is at the beginning, sharing about CJ’s humility and generosity. You only have to watch the first couple of minutes:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EbjtwkOUcbM

    Also, I meant to say Debs research is posted here at TWW regarding Mahaney’s gift to the SBTS, and I think it’s included in a comment of hers here in this thread. 🙂

  363. While on this subject and thinking out-loud, if you had been the recipient of monies like, say, Mahaney’s friends have been, and assumed at time that the money could be trusted but then later came to discover it was donated under false pretenses by a less than honorable ‘servant of the Lord’…wouldn’t that put you in a pickle?

    And say, if you were someone (like Mahaney’s friends) who believed your message and your ministry were so aligned with the truth that you assumed you possessed immunity from being played but really weren’t, wouldn’t that serve to undermine a great deal about you and call into question the integrity of your ministry? And what if the problem – the hook – was the same one as is being exposed in your friend? It certainly wouldn’t look good if were revealed you shared in the same sin that caused the devil to fall from heaven, right? And if it was pride and not the Gospel that was the glue in your relationships, is pride still the reason why you’re not coming clean because calling out Mahaney and calling him a fraud would call too much about you and your association with him into question?

    So, no, it seems the best thing to do is ignore the voices of Mahaney’s detractors and those of his alleged victims, and continue to stand with him because really, in doing so, you’re protecting yourself. I guess it would be best to just carry on, business as usual, “cross” your fingers (little pun there), and hope it all blows over sooner than later, right?

    Problem is, the only thing blowing over are the clouds, allowing the sun to shine brighter and brighter on the whole CJ Mahaney/SGM scandal. Those who have sought shelter under the clouds they hoped would shield the sun from shining, are ending up getting heavily rained on and what’s worse, those those clouds appear to be gathering into storms.

    Where can Mark Dever run for shelter if he’s caught in the storm? Can he run to SGCL and take shelter under the wing of CJ Mahaney? And if he did, how would that make him look? Not good, not good. In fact, everyone who goes to SGCL preaching in support of Mahaney comes out looking bad. It looks as those who claim they’re not “professionals” have been bought.

  364. Paula wrote:

    Again, no transparency at CLC. Members were not informed about the ways in which their money was being divested, and certainly weren’t encouraged to ask questions because that would reflect a “lack of trust in your pastors and their leadership who were always working to watch out for and care for your souls.” CJ, as we know, operated without accountability and assumed ownership over the whole kit & kabootle. Did the recipients of his gifts ask questions? Of course not. And now that members have been speaking out and revealing CJ’s alleged corruptions, are they second quessing him and feeling like they were given money they shouldn’t have been receiving? Doesn’t look that way to me!

    Paula, do you know if folks at CLC got to designate their donations to specific ministries, or were all donations dumped into a general fund? I’m not an attorney, but it’s my understanding that if donations went into restricted funds for the benefit of specific ministries it would have been illegal for anyone to use those funds for something else without permission from the donors.

  365. acg116 wrote:

    Paula…a question for you (and for anyone else to entertain)…do you think that the issues at CLC were a direct result of their reformed theology? As I’ve seen the continuing defense of him, I wonder how much of it is because people are saying “who isn’t a sinner…everyone does something bad, so who are you to judge CJ? You probably looked lustfully at a woman today, so you’re no judge…” (basically sin leveling). I wonder if his view of total depravity was that everyone did something bad, so no one can complain about anything, therefore why should we inform the police?

    In my opinion, yes, but only in part. And I say that because the problems in the organization (that are now known but yet were there, affecting the whole, but were kept hidden all along), and the Calvinism later adopted served to further strengthen the Mahaney’s control over SGM after Larry T’s departure (who was opposed to the doctrinal emphasis Mahaney secretly brought in see 2 Peter 2:1).

    I see it more as Mahaney adopting the reformed doctrines because he saw he could use them to reform SGM under him, serving as it did his purposes. But I personally don’t believe Mahaney possesses any conviction himself regarding reformed theology. Ive said this before, but I think it bears repeating, Mahaney didn’t have any of his own original thoughts. This is the one thing he admits about himself that I believe. He would read and study the thoughts of others, and then adopt them or use them to change his outward appearance. I also think his “passion” was an act.

    I hate to use the example of Hitler, but my study of Hitler helped me come to an understanding I hold true for Mahaney and which centers on the issue of Mahaney’s ‘sincerity’.

    Ron Rosenbaum wrote the book, Explaining Hitler and explains that two other authors he read and spoke to (H.R. Trevor-Roper & Allen Bullock) held opposing views as to Hitler’s sincerity. This was eye opening to me as I have pondered Mahaney’s sincerity.

    Briefly, H.R. Trevor-Roper believed that Hitler did not think he was doing anything wrong, that he was convinced of his own rectitude, and that he was a sincere idealist who felt he was serving mankind. Hitler compared himself to heroic doctors like Louis Pasteur and that the Jews were germs and he was treating a plague.

    Comparing this viewpoint to Mahaney, his denials of any wrongdoing certainly seem to point to Mahaney’s belief in his own rectitude. He presented himself as one who was passionate about the gospel and as a servant who began to speak frequently of his “legacy” as though he were leaving behind something great, and that he was great. He’s also been a hardcore complementarian, believing that women were a problem and needed to be purged from leadership, and that feminism was a huge problem.

    Allen Bullock, on the other hand, wrote that he thought Hitler believed in nothing and that he was not sincere. Instead, he put forth his belief that Hitler was an actor, a con-man who just used things like anti-semitism to manipulate the masses.

    Again, comparing this to Mahaney who has said he’s never had an original thought, it would appear Mahaney adopted all of his beliefs without believing in anything himself, using the scriptural definition for “belief.” What he believed turns out to be a reflection of the all the ideas that were popular within the Christian community at the time, that were being promoted to young people, which Mahaney appears to have put to good use. Although has taken a hard line against women, it would appear in his own relationship with his wife, he didn’t apply the same things he preached within his own relationship and that she was given free reign.

    But later Allen Bullock changed his viewpoint and finally settled on the idea that Hitler was an actor who came to believe in his own act. That he was a con-man who used his line of ideology to manipulate others and control them, but that he was actually taken in and possessed by his act – and this “possession”, this “sincerity” within himself is what became his downfall.

    I think at some point Mahaney came to believe that he possessed, within himself, the ideals he taught. That he was the embodiment of biblical manhood, for example. He used to think he was an “apostle” although that changed to a “pastor”, to which he added “athlete” – none of which he really is but it’s apparent he himself thinks this is true about himself. He claimed he was moving to Louisville and would return to the thing he says he’s “really called to do” and that is be a “pastor.” But how much real “pastoring” does Mahaney do? I submit you to he doesn’t pastor because he’s not a pastor – he only thinks he is.

    What he does think he is is a leader, and “leadership” is what he has promoted more than anything. As he got involved in “leadership” he began to teach things that he was smart enough to see people were willing to believe and follow, and he worked to make himself into a model of these things without it stemming, in reality, from true belief. But over time, he came to believe in his own act. He was taken in and possessed by his own teachings and by the person he pretended to be. And now that his works are being exposed it’s become apparent (to me) that he’s not the man he’s claimed to be all along, but since he isn’t willing to believe any differently, he must keep up the act – and thus deny all wrongdoing.

    And that is how I see him, and why I don’t believe a word he says. None of it rings true because I think it’s been an act. He’s never been a believer in reformed theology in my view, rather it was a tool he used to further a culture of sin and guilt within SGM, and thus became a tool he used manipulate people – nothing more.

  366. Jenny wrote:

    Paula, do you know if folks at CLC got to designate their donations to specific ministries, or were all donations dumped into a general fund? I’m not an attorney, but it’s my understanding that if donations went into restricted funds for the benefit of specific ministries it would have been illegal for anyone to use those funds for something else without permission from the donors.

    I do not know what happened after 2001, or if any changes were made. But while I was there from 1989 – 2001 the only time I heard about the money being earmarked for specific things were at Celebration, when the money collected went towards the planting of new churches that were planned and promoted at that time.

    I understand there was supposed to be a Mission Fund, and there was money raised after Hurricane Katrina (was it?). People gave money to his fund after being told it would be used for outreach and for relief in afflicted areas. However, no one has accounted, from my knowledge, of what became of all that money.

    Moreover, Bob Kaulfin was in the Phillipines last year conducting an SGM Music Conference (Worship God) along with SBTS students that were part of the Norton Hall Band when the terrible hurricane hit, causing extreme devastation in Bohol and Cebu where they had gone with the stated intention of ministering the gospel.

    I couldn’t help but think it would have been a perfect opportunity for SGM to put flesh on their gospel-centered claims and work to do more than conduct a conference and perform music, but to actually serve the lives of displaced and afflicted people they found themselves suddenly in the midst of.

    If there had been a sizeable Mission Fund, wouldnt this have been the PERFECT OPPORTUNITY to have these full-time SGM guys (Kauflin & his team) stay there to serve and wire SGM so that they could send them some of that money so they could put it to use??

    But no, that didn’t happen. And no one knows anything about what became of that Mission Fund either.

  367. *correction to my above comment “…when the terrible EARTHQUAKE hit, causing extreme devastation in Bohol and Cebu…”

  368. @ Paula:
    Clarification!

    I should have added to my comment that I am not saying Mahaney comes anywhere near the German leader I referred to, only that I am of the opinion something similar seems to be at work in seed form. We all know there are varying degrees of everything good and evil.

    I meant to include this in my comment but I wrote in under a time constraint and I didn’t communicate my points very well and trusted what i said would not be misconstrued. My apologies to anyone who assumed I was putting both men on the same level somehow.

    To be sure there are perplexing issues at play within the whole SGM saga, many of them centering naturally on its main character. In light of his recent denial of all wrongdoing, and because of the lack of agreement with him by sincere believers who hold to a polar opposite view, it led me to examine my opinions regarding Mahaney, and especially in light of being asked what I thought about him and his use of reformed theology that he introduced by stealth into SGM.

    So, what I’m saying is that in seed form, and on much smaller scale compared to the German leader, Mahaney (in my opinion) didn’t really believe much himself but rather adopted certain beliefs that he recognized other people would believe in and follow, and which he could act out in his own life. Over time I think he came to believe he personally embodied the things he taught, and came to believe in his own rectitude. His family, whom he lavishly rewarded for their solidarity, happily contributed to the impression that Mahaney was a god who functioned on a higher level. Case in point (notice how scripted she is): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGXsOp6r2A
    There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the fact Mahaney developed an unrealistic view of himself, from all the times he mentioned his “legacy”, seeing himself as the embodiment of male leadership and biblical manhood, to being an “apostle” and then a “pastor” who is also an “athlete.” I think he ended up buying into his own act and believing.

    Anyway, I know some of this is redundant but I wanted to add some further explanation for the benefit of those who had read my earlier comment and for those who may have had questions regarding my thought process. And I apologize that I wasnt as thorough and complete as I should have been considering the delicacy surrounding the use of the German leader as an example of the kind of thing I was trying to explain.

  369. Eric

    This blog allows all sides to post their points of view unlike TGC and other groups who deleted comments at will.