“Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”
For most of human history, all published writing had been carefully inspected, edited, and approved. In the last decade, blogging has turned the publishing world on its head. A blog allows you to write and publish anything, from anywhere, and have it be immediately available to billions of people all around the world. This means that blogging is uniquely “alive”, as Andrew Sullivan points out in The Atlantic. I, for one, am happy to embrace the chaos and vitality. link.
Terrified Man who blocks people.
There are so many permutations of back scratching groups within the Calvinista circles today that it is hard to tell the difference between any of them. In fact, I think the members of these groups are so used to treatises and mandates on what to do and what to believe that they think the rest of the world functions in the same way.
TWW wants to clue everyone in on the links between bloggers in our circle of friends. There are no official groups, no joint fundraising and many of us believe different things on secondary doctrines. In fact, I would imagine if we all got together to write up exactly what we believed on issues like gender roles, predestination, eschatology, etc. we would not be able to come to any sort of consensus. And I, for one love it that way. We love and care for one another anyway.
However, we have a few of issues that we feel quite strongly about. These would include child sex abuse, church discipline abuse, and domestic violence. In fact, you might say that we are all quite passionate about theses subjects. I have only met Eagle and Todd Wilhelm face to face. I have yet to meet Julie Anne Smith, Amy Smith, Janet Mefferd, Nate Sparks, Tom Rich and many many others.
Here is an example of how we work.Remember the Karen Hinkley story from The Village Churc?. Amy Smith called me while I was on vacation. She said that this story would cover both the issues of membership contracts and pedophilia. She prefers to focus on sex abuse since she is the Dallas representative of SNAP. However, she knows of my interest in and expertise (9 Marks now trembles) on membership contracts. She asked if we might be able to work together, each of us pursuing our strengths. Neither of us told the other what to say or do because we trust one another.
Justin Taylor and CJ Mahaney: Taylor is CJ's friend, dadgummit.
Recently, there was a dustup on Twitter between Justin Taylor and others. Let's look at some history first. Then, ask yourself the question: What do you think Justin Taylor miffed off about at this time.
1. Justin Taylor, along with Kevin DeYoung and D A Carson wrote a letter calling CJ Mahaney a "friend" after he was accused of covering up child sex abuse.
We are not ashamed to call C. J. a friend. Our relationship with C. J. is like that with any good friend—full of laughter and sober reflection, encouragement and mutual correction. He has regularly invited—even pursued—correction, and we have given him our perspective when it is warranted. While the admission of friendship may render this entire statement tainted in the eyes of some, we hope most Christians will understand that while friends should never cover for each others' sins, neither do friends quickly accept the accusations of others when they run counter to everything they have come to see and know about their friend. We are grateful for C. J.'s friendship and his fruitful ministry of the gospel over many decades.
2.. Justin Taylor was upset that Boz Tchividjian said that there is a terrible problem of child sex abuse in the evangelical church. The word slander was used.
Slander is probably the most misused word by the gospel boys. It usually means that they have been called on the carpet about something to do with abuse or lying.
Tchividjian said that child sex abuse is even worse in the evangelical population than it is within the Roman Catholic church. He then decided that this was slandering the church and he seemed rather upset that Janet Mefferd and others repeated that quote. You see, Justin Taylor and many of his BFFs love CJ Mahaney in spite of the numerous allegations of the cover up of child sex abuse in SGM which has garnered the attention of the media, including most recently The Washingtonian. But it is lies, all lies! CJ is a great guy and we love him enough to publish his books and artend conferences with him.
Here is a portion of our post about that: Breaking: Is Janet Mefferd Being Intimidated by the “Gospel” Mafia to Shut Up About SGM? (Oct 8, 2013)
Last week Joe Carter, at The Gospel Coalition, wrote an article, Stop Slandering Christ's Bride. He claims the following steps are slander. Why? Because we cannot know what each and every church is talking about?? This huge post is about a bit of hyperbole? "Everyone is talking about the weather" come to mind.
Step 1: Take an issue of concern for Christians (e.g., abortion, sex trafficking, global persecution, the gospel).
Step 2: Claim that no one in our churches is talking about the issue.
Step 3: Assume the dual role of educator and Old Testament prophet by explaining why the issue matters and why the church must stand up and speak out about it.
Janet Mefferd appears to agree and responds to Carter's post .
You can read "When speaking the truth in love is not slander" here
Again, it is unclear whom Carter is particularly addressing in his admonition to “Stop Slandering Christ’s Bride.” I am not saying his intended target is Boz Tchividjian or anyone else who has decried the silence on evangelical sexual abuse, since his article is virtually detail-free. But regardless of the issue, Carter’s article is an unwarranted scolding that could discourage discerning, faithful Christians from speaking biblical truth on any widespread issue of neglect — sexual abuse or otherwise — simply because they lack Carter’s stated requirement of “omniscience” and the title of “a prophet or a son of a prophet.”
Peter Lumpkins picks up on Mefferd's post in Janet Mefferd on Joe Carter's 'stop slandering Christ's bride' corrective–'an unwarranted scolding discouraging Christians from speaking on issues of neglect'
This is where it gets ugly and this is when I start getting mad. Carter makes the boneheaded decision to comment at Lumpkin's blog post. Here is an illuminating selection of Carter's "gospel" admonishments. Please read the entire context of his comments on Lumpkin's blog.
- Mefferd's grasp of history is not much better than her understanding of logical fallacies.
- Mefferd has merely shown that she doesn't understand much about logic.
- She's merely using my article as a whipping boy so that she can defend the reckless and counterproductive assertions made by Boz Tchividjian.
The Carter Tweet
He sent out a ridiculous tweet that is easily misunderstood to mean that Mefferd is justifying "bearing false witness."
So @Janet Mefferd thinks bearing false witness is okay because people understand hyperbole? Not a very biblical position.
He comments at Lumpkins post:
No, I did not claim on Twitter that Mefferd was "bearing false witness" for daring to respond. The way you toss off such falsehoods, Lydia, is shameful and unbecoming of a Christian.
Sorry, Joe, that's what it sounded like to me so I guess I am shameful and unbecoming as well.
Carter goes after Boz Tchividjian as well, calling him reckless.
He continues his "gospel" admonishment with this comment:
In her article she defends Boz Tchividjian's reckless claim that evangelicals are actually worse than Catholics when it comes to staying silent about sexual abuse in our churches. What evidence does she present to defend such a claim? None. Does she explain how such a claim could even be substantiated? No, she doesn't. Instead, she merely claims that evangelicals are covering up sexual abuse in a way that equals the thousands of cases that were reported in the Roman Catholic Church.
What I think this thing is really about? TGC and the SGM sex abuse lawsuit.
Stop the presses! It does seem that Joe is very concerned about the perception of the evangelical response to child sex abuse. Oh yeah, that's right. He is a blogger for The Gospel Coalition which maintained "gospel golden silence" about the SGM sex abuse lawsuit for 178 days. Look on the sidebar of our blog. We were keeping track of this situation.
Janet Mefferd responds to Carter's comments and drops the proverbial bombshell.
In Why speaking the truth in love isn’t ‘slandering Christ’s Bride’ (Part 2) she says the following. Pay close attention to the highlighted section!!
Though Carter denies that the “issue” he had in mind was “the silence over rampant sexual abuse in evangelical churches,” there’s a message he’s sending that comes through loud and clear: “Shut up, Christian.” Don’t you non-omniscient, non-prophets dare tell the rest of the church what it should talk about. Don’t accuse anyone else of not speaking or deliberately being silent when he should speak up. Don’t exhort; it’s not your place. (I do also wonder how many readers stopped to consider whether or not Carter even has the standing or biblical authority to lecture us in this way! He has no authority over any of us.)
But why is this significant? As I previously mentioned, The Gospel Coalition kept silent for many months about the Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse lawsuit, in which 11 plaintiffs claim to have suffered heartbreaking sexual abuse and also allege conspiracy and cover-up. TGC has an association and stated friendship with lawsuit defendant C.J. Mahaney, and that means — even if Carter didn’t intend it — when he says, “don’t slander Christ’s bride,” a whole lot of people, rightly or wrongly, are reading that statement through the Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit lens. And they’re remembering The Gospel Coalition’s silence.
I won’t share the details, but there also has been an effort within this general camp of individuals to try to intimidate me into not talking about this case on my radio show. It will not work. I will wait for the outcome, just like everyone else, and I will not rush to judgment where the individual defendants are concerned. But I will cover this case as new developments arise. And I must state that, based on all I’ve taken in on this case so far, I am not at all convinced that those 11 plaintiffs are liars with nefarious motives.
Wherever there are true victims of sexual abuse anywhere in the church, I will stand with the victims. Whenever there is sexual abuse in the church, anywhere, we all must grieve and get angry. What evil. What a blight on the gospel. What a blight on the name of Jesus Christ!
We must love the little lambs and protect them. Jesus said, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-7) In John 21, Jesus told Peter that if he loved Him, he would “Take care of my sheep.”
And the last thing we need — in the current context, at this time of rampant sexual abuse in evangelicalism and the relative silence about it in our churches — is someone at The Gospel Coalition trying to tell us not to rebuke the church for its apathy on any issue.
Justin Taylor and Janet Mefferd: Taylor calls for a boycott of Mefferd's show.
Janet Mefferd should be credited with being the first person to expose Mark Driscoll's plagiarism during an interview with Driscoll on her show. TWe wrote the following post to document the history of Taylor's support of another discredited Calvinista leader, Mark Driscoll. You see, Janet committed the unpardonable sin of calling Driscoll to account for his published words and Taylor was fuming mad.
Justin Taylor of Between Two Worlds and a Gospel Coalition blogger calls for a boycott of Mefferd's show. Why?
It is against all rules to expose the shortcomings of certain Calvinista boys as we have sadly learned from the SGM saga.
Note the non-specificity of this tweet. I am suspicious. Is he sending a warning to plagiarizing pastors and church leaders to stay away from Mefferd because she will call them on it? What does Taylor know that we don't know? Taylor has not said anything else which means he is sticking with his warning. So, what's he afraid of?
Justin Taylor and Crossway Publishers
Could Justin Taylor have been influenced by his position at Crossway? From TWW Begin Excerpt from Mark Driscoll and D.A. Carson Believe Plagiarizing Pastors Should Resign. Uh Oh!
B. Why did Justin Taylor call for an author's boycott of Janet Mefferd's show? Could it be business related?
Since Taylor has not walked this comment back, we have to assume he is standing by it. Could it have something to do with his position at Crossway? Link
As of August 15,(ed. 2013) Crossway is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Taylor to the position of Senior Vice President and Publisher for Books, held previously by Allan Fisher. Justin came to Crossway in 2006, serving most recently as Vice President for Book Publishing.
“It is my delight,” Lane Dennis said, “to welcome Justin in his new role as Crossway’s Publisher for Books. Justin has already made a tremendous contribution to our publishing program
Here is a link to books written by Mark Driscoll which were published by Crossway. It is always a messy business when you confuse business advice as theological advice. Taylor would be wise to excuse himself on opinions that have to do with any authors who publish under his company's label. At the very minimum, ethics might suggest that he should admit to the financial ties between the authors and his company. This same situation appears to have happened before.
C. Justin Taylor apparently also supported CJ Mahaney this year. Could it be business related again?
Justin Taylor, along with Kevin DeYoung and Don Carson, supported CJ Mahaney during the awful child sex abuse scandal via this statement posted on May 24, 2013
It appears that they received some pushback even, most likely within The Gospel Coalition, forcing them to add the following statement
This statement reflects the views of the signatories and does not necessarily speak for other Council members, bloggers, and writers for The Gospel Coalition.
Justin Taylor was promoted to his current position at Crossway three months after this *courageous* stand on behalf of a man who presided over one of the messiest church situations of the century. Here is a link to CJ Mahaney books published by Crossway. Once again, a simple statement by Taylor regarding his business ties would have been welcome.
Let's get back to the present.
Justin Taylor and Nate Sparks
Nate has given us permission to post his Injustice: Open Letter to The Gospel Coalition. To prevent confusion, I will put his well written article in a separate post this evening. Bless Nate Spark's heart. He had the temerity to question The Gospel Coalition. And Justin Taylor has close ties to TGC since his blog is part of TGC. Interestingly, Crossway is pushed by The Gospel Coalition. Crossway publishes a fair amount of TGC authors. Is this all a coincidence?
Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds.
In other words, the wrath of TGC is about to fall upon Nate and it does in the form of Justin Taylor on Twitter. Now, it is important to realize that I have been after Justin Taylor to apologize for his tweet about authors boycotting Janet Mefferd's show. That has resulted me in being blocked from receiving his tweets. (However, due to my super secret email, I still get them.)
Here is what Taylor tweeted.
- Taylor is correct. He, who also has a watch blog in which he went after those who called Mahaney and Driscoll to account, has NEVER apologized to Janet Mefferd. Take a look at the people who answered Taylor at this link.
- Taylor denies that he was discussing the plagiarism and, instead, was upset that Mefferd said Driscoll hung up on her.
- Taylor claims Mefferd apologized for saying Driscoll hung up on her. She did not. She apologized for her tone.
- Taylor claims he believes Driscoll's version of events. Imagine that! Look what happened to Driscoll after Mefferd called him out on his plagiarism. Who do you think is more trustworthy: Driscoll or Mefferd. Would Taylor answer Driscoll? Good night!
- Taylor claimed that Meffrered contacted the blogs to write about this. She. did. not. We contacted her after the program. The adorable bloggers at TWW are perfectly capable of listening to Mefferd's show (which we did) and drawing our own conclusions. We do not have any sort of coalitions telling us who to listen and what to write about. In fact, if anyone told us what to write about, we would let all of our readers know who felt they could tell us what to do. We also do not get any money from anyone that we write about unlike those in TGC who benefit financially from business deals
- Taylor reminds me of Doug Wilson who says one thing and then denies that is what he meant but I will get to that in my next post.
- Taylor accuses those of us who believe his tweet was about Driscoll's plagiarism as *revising history.* Looks like he understand how to do that as well.
Andrew knows how to read English and makes a great point about Taylor's protestation that he was merely talking about Mefferd's claim that Driscoll hung up. Frankly, I think Mefferd is far more believable than Driscoll but she is a woman and they are not allowed to question gospel™ leaders.
Others see the Crossway $$$$ connection.
To Nate Sparks: Don't worry if you get blocked by The Gospel™ Coalition or Justin Taylor. They have invented a new good old boy network and it involves money, celebrity, and their own version of watchblogging.