Thursday, June 05, 2014

The sanctification debate, and TGC

While I was away first for vacation, and then for graduation, quite a lot of things have happened it seems. TGCTM have decided that Tullian Tchividjian should move on from TGC, supposedly because the sanctification debate he is involved with is "was becoming increasingly sharp and divisive rather than moving toward greater unity." Tchividjian was not exactly pleased with the statement TGC put up concerning his shift from the coalitionTM, and hit back at the statement, calling the statement "misleading and a flat-out lie." He later apologized, sortof, although it is noted what the apology did say, and what it didn't.

Now, I do not claim to know exactly what Pastor Tullian actually holds to on sanctification. Believe it or not, I have better things to do with my time. Chris Rosebrough's interview with Pastor Tullian seem to show that Tullian is orthodox in his view of Law and Gospel, holding on to all three uses of the Law. What I would like to focus here concerns the continuing embarrassment that is The Gospel CoalitionTM.

It wasn't that long ago that I wrote about TGCTM engaging essentially in damage control, seen especially in the Elephant Room 2 fiasco. Now, such things do happen quite regularly of course, but they happen regularly in the outside world, and are not supposed to happen in Christian circles, where all things ought to be open. Christian leaders ought to love the truth and do all things in the light. To engage essentially in corporate tactics found in the outside world is to be of the world, using the world's strategies in managing an organization.

In the outside world, typically any damage control statement is set against a backdrop to behind-the-scenes agreements including possible payouts, and a change of status from being fired to being "honorably discharged," or whatever agreement is to the mutual benefit of all. After all, you just might face that guy later on, so why antagonize him or her if you don't have to? Who knows when that guy might backstab you or create trouble for you later on if you offend him now? Since it is for mutual benefit (not necessarily equal), it is in both parties' interest to not exacerbate the situation further.

This way of operating it seems is typical of TGCTM. Unfortunately for them, Tullian does not know how to keep his mouth shut. One can just imagine Carson and/or Keller, or whoever wrote the official TGC statement, facepalm if or when they read Pastor Tullian's statements to the Christian Post, which exposes their spinning of facts and telling of half-truths, and Tullian's statements were never retracted I might add.

If this episode, and everything leading up to it, does not conclusively prove the utterly worldly nature of TGCTM, nothing else will. TGC's statement is so blatantly hypocritical I am almost speechless as to its audacity. Keller invites NPP proponent NT Wright to speak at a center connected to Redeemer Presbyterian = OK (not divisive). Keller attacks the foundation of the Gospel by promoting theistic evolution = OK (not divisive). John Piper invites Federal Vision heretic Douglas Wilson to the 2009 Desiring God conference = OK (not divisive). Piper subsequently invites semi-Pelagian revivalist Rick Warren to DG10 = OK (not divisive). But Pastor Tullian teaches on the Law/Gospel distinction and a particular view of sanctification = being divisive? So let me get this straight. One can promote a heretic who denies the Gospel, one can attack the foundation of the Gospel, but one cannot teach on the Law/Gospel distinction? I guess TGCTM is really the GospelTM CoalitionTM, where the Coalition is everything, and the Gospel important in name only.

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