17 January 2013

A. W. Pink: glorifying God by disobeying Him?

by Dan Phillips

I realize that A. W. Pink is a hero and beloved saint to many. His books, particularly The Sovereignty of God, have been very helpful for decades.

For my part, I've never been a huge fan. I've tried reading him, and generally been defeated by his verbosity or his fanciful exegesis. I've other books that do a better job of what he tries to do, so they take up my time instead of Pink.

HSAT, I'm reading through a book called Bible Interpreters of the Twentieth Century: A Selection of Evangelical Voices, edited by Elwell and Weaver. The chapter I just finished was devoted to A. W. Pink.

From a whole-Bible, sufficient-Scripture perspective, it's not a particularly happy story after the opening bits. Pink had been a Theosophist, but was soundly converted whilst in the middle of his activities, and instantly preached Christ in a Theosophical meeting at which he was to be a speaker.

But after that, Pink's life goes south in a number of ways. He eschews any kind of apprenticeship or training, too devoted to himself and his own endeavors. This will yield mixed fruit: the intensity of his studies will indeed give Pink some good material to give away. However, this isolation is constantly and roundly warned against in Scripture, which commends instead humble exposure to the reproof and counsel of others (e.g. Prov. 10:17; 12:1; 13:18; 15:5, 10, 31-32; 18:1-2; etc.). As anyone who reads and believes the Bible could have predicted, baleful effects follow foolish choices.

Pink attempts to pastor, but ends up careening from location to location to location. Pink prefers talking to people from a great distance (i.e. writing), and ends up devoted to that activity solely, in complete isolation from any personal contact with Christ's church or the means of grace. Which brings me to set these two passages in contrast.

First:
He labored faithfully for his remaining twelve years of life, writing and producing the periodical while he lived in virtual isolation, not even attending a local church. He justified this behavior by explaining that the admonition not to neglect the assembling of ourselves together does not mean that the sheep of Christ should attend a place where the goats predominate or where their attendance would sanction that which is dishonoring to Christ. On Sundays he spent his time pastoring his flock of faithful readers by writing letters answering their questions concerning the Bible and theology. Would-be visitors who had traveled great distances to Stornoway were discouraged as they were usually turned away, not being allowed to see him. The townspeople knew little about him, except that each day at a certain hour he took a walk through the town. 
[Elwell, W. A., & Weaver, J. D. (1999). Bible interpreters of the twentieth century: A selection of evangelical voices (138). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.]
Second:
Pink also believed in, practiced, and preached holiness of life, including sacrificial living for his Lord. He longed to do the will of God, whatever it might be. He searched and searched, prayed and prayed, waited and waited to learn the will of God, and finally surrendered to do what was unmistakably God’s will—the use of his pen. [Ibid., 140.]
These passages in juxtaposition give us an opportunity to consider what I've hammered on again and again, just about every place I have a chance.

Consider:

The second passage tells us Pink was holy, and committed to "sacrificial living for his Lord," doing the will of God heroically, surrendering to "what was unmistakably God’s will—the use of his pen." But the first passage had told us that Pink had no time for pursuing the second most important thing in the universe according to Jesus: love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40).

Now, like all religious people, Pink worked out what the biographer calls a "justification," which as always is nothing but a rationalization. And the biographer gives Pink a pass, because he was such a splendid writer. So because of Pink's (and the biographer's) writing, Christians are once again urged to the fiction that one can seek and do the "will of God" in direct and continued disobedience to the Word of God.

Because the second passage is utter nonsense, to a Biblical Christian. Disobeying God's direct, unambiguous and insistent commands to be personally in community, under the oversight of elders, is not "holiness of life," and it is not "sacrificial living for the Lord." It is indulgent and arrogant living for oneself. It is someone who didn't seem, in any way, to "get" what it means to live and think like a slave.

In fact, mark the first passage. Not only was Pink too good to associate with imperfect saints (where he is not in charge and running things his way); he would not even accept visitors. And while he wrote very critically and insistently upon evangelism, and how everyone else was doing it wrong, "The townspeople knew little about him, except that each day at a certain hour he took a walk through the town." So according to this, Pink "practiced holiness" by neither actually obeying the Word of God, nor even through practicing what he literarily preached.

Instead, here once again this ugly specter of a mystical, individual will of God that in fact trumps the written Word of God rears its devastating head. The writer is content that God had a will for Pink that trumped the revealed will He inscripturated for all times and all places. God's inerrant and unchanging and living Word is packed with "one-anothers" to be lived in the fellowship of the local church; but to A. W. Pink, we are given to think that He whispered, "Not you, Arthur. I want you to disobey what I told everyone else to do and stay at home, isolated and distant, practicing none of the graces of the Spirit, lecturing others about their responsibility. You just write; and in your writings, urge others to the obedience and holiness from which I am hereby excusing you."

So you see, like many who have tried to ply their wares in our metas, Pink imagined he had a "note from God" excusing him for actually obeying those commands God addressed to lesser beings. And the biographer apparently confirms that note.

You want to say Pink wrote some helpful things? If you say so. You want to tell me he's a model of Christian holiness and sacrificial living and integrity?

Yeah, I don't think so. In walking after Christ I constantly struggle (cf. Gal. 5:17ff.), I too frequently fail, I am at unceasing war with my own inconsistencies and inadequacies. The human knack for rationalization is an ever-present risk and fear.

The last thing I need held up for emulation is a man who found a way to avoid that whole struggle by pious-sounding excuses.

How about you?

Dan Phillips's signature


91 comments:

DJP said...

Waiting to see whether one-star hater's also a big Pink fan. Because that would totally make sense.

Zorro! said...

I whole heartedly agree, Dan. I often have this same temptation, to sit back in seclusion from the rest of the world and disregard the "one anothers" - and I would do it too, because I "feel" better, but the love of God constrains me. By the Word of God, the Holy Spirit convicts me, continually.
I want to point out, that some may attempt to walk out the letter and not the spirit by "attending" a large "church" that asks no hard questions and allows one to be functionally secluded as part of a crowd.
I am thankful that the scriptures are clear on this, and that teachers like you can speak it clearly and help draw out the implications and applications.
Have a nice day!

Kerry James Allen said...

Dan, like you I have read very little Pink. I did, however, read Iain Murray's length bio of Pink last year. I would say it is a very good book and quite an interesting read. He was indeed a strange duck who seemed to fit almost nowhere, but as I think of Pink and myself, I am reminded of Spurgeon's statement: "We are poor tools."

Great post.

Zorro! said...

Yeah, broken, dull, rusty tools! Glory be to God, who can use a Phaeroh, adonkey, A.W. Pink, Giglio, and perhaps even myself to bring glory to His name!

DJP said...

As to your first comment, Sr. Zorro, thanks.

φίλιππος said...

Thanks for this. As an introvert with strongly held convictions my natural tendency would also be to avoid being bothered by those who don't meet my standards. Being overseas and working in an international church (with lots of leaky canon charismatics) and now trying to finish my MDiv in a foreign culture seminary has stretched me. I'm thankful God has more patience with me than I usually have with others.

DJP said...

...and we have our answer: one-star hater = lover of pious disobedience.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Interesting perspective. He sounds like he was a hermit/kook of some sort.

Pink also believed in, practiced, and preached holiness of life, including sacrificial living for his Lord.

I wonder how anyone could know this, if he was a recluse and seldom took visitors? The ultimate "paper pastor" to use a Dan-ism.

DJP said...

I hadn't thought of that, Nash. That's a very good point. When I coined the term, I had in mind (mostly) godly men who practiced what they preached. Here is a man in rebellious isolation, probably being read by people in similar rebellious isolation.

Paper pastor to paper saints.

Tom Chantry said...

Dan,

Interesting Read.

I agree entirely with your premise. That said, there is much to be said about Pink - none of which invalidates any of your criticism, but which clarifies why he played a significant role in history.

That said, I'll just relate this: when Richard Belcher, one of Pink's biographers, was researching him, he set up a meeting with some of Pink's rare friends. On the way to meet, he had the horrifying thought, "What if they are people like Pink? I won't be able to interact with them at all!"

When Belcher told this story, I saw the people in question convulsed in laughter. They explained later that Pink was not in most ways a man to emulate - for all the reasons you state here. But he played a role - a significant role.

I have to take my kids to school - more later.

DJP said...

So'd Balaam.

φίλιππος said...

DJP, why is it that most of the evangelical heroes of the last 100 years or so had glaring theological and personal problems that typically get swept under the rug?

And part two, do you think 100 years from now people will be celebrating Warren, Hybels, etc. as heroes of the 21st Century?

DJP said...

Oh, I don't know. Mostly I just hope that, if I'm remembered at all, I'm positioned next to a really big rug!

(c:

Tom Chantry said...

So'd Balaam.

And that, I think, borders on inappropriate. It certainly implies ignorance of exactly what Pink did that was so significant.

And again, I agree entirely with your analysis of him as a man.

Tom Chantry said...

Pink was not the first person in history to be led astray by a conviction that he lived in the last times - nor was he the last. In fact, the similarities between Pink and Camping are striking. Both looked at the doctrinal collapse in the churches and were overwhelmed by it. Both could not imagine how the situation could be recovered. Both failed to search and discover the godly leaders who were in the church. Both, in other words, had a certain arrogance about them. And both concluded - falsely - that God was done with the church, but that it didn’t matter because Jesus was coming again. Both got it in their heads that the thing to do was to sit in a spiritual bunker and await the apocalypse. Both told their followers to abandon the churches.

In three ways Pink was different. First, though not a great exegete, he wasn’t so foolish as to read the Bible as a secret code which only he could interpret. Secondly, he didn’t presume to know the day of Christ’s return. And thirdly, his followers mostly ignored him and remained in the churches - although they continued to read his newsletters.

It’s an utterly tragic story, and one which makes every point which you are driving at: the sufficiency of Scripture, the necessity of church, the need for formal education, etc.

So what was it about Pink that nevertheless had an impact?

Remember the times. Modernism had entirely overtaken the churches in some places. Fundamentalism held on in certain parts of the South and in certain cities, but biblical Christianity had entirely disappeared from much of the country. Today internet “Christians” avoid church altogether because they can’t find one that is good enough. Then, there were no churches. In 1950 in the rural Pennsylvania county where I grew up there was not one church - not one! - which held that the Scripture was true, except for the closed congregations of the Mennonites. Everything else was thoroughly liberal. I’m not saying there weren’t good preachers, or that there weren’t reformed churches. It was worse than that. No Bible believing churches could be found.

Pink went to people like that - he met believers who had read and trusted the Scripture but who had never heard a preacher proclaim it - and he stood for certain things. He insisted that the Bible was the Word of God and therefore true in all its particulars. He taught the gospel of personal salvation from sin by the blood of Jesus, not societal salvation by the example of Jesus. and he insisted on the sovereignty of God in salvation and in all of life. The people to whom Pink ministered had never heard such things before. There were no biblical churches in their areas, and there was no Christian publishing industry to speak of. This was before P&R - before Banner of Truth even.

The thing about Pink was that for all of his imperfections and in spite of the sins which became so obvious in his life, he was a voice. It wasn’t that he was the best voice or the strongest voice or the most uncompromised voice - it’s just that he was it. He was the only voice - at least among the people to whom he ministered.

That doesn’t excuse his sin, and it doesn’t make him a great role model. It does explain why he mattered.

I wouldn’t call him “Balaam.” He was more of a Samson. He was every bit as much a product of the sinful age in which he lived as anyone, but he killed Philistines when no one else was bothering to try.

DJP said...

Thanks for the pushback.

I just received a private correspondence from someone who (unlike me) is an authority on church history. He noted that the Isle of Lewis, where Pink ended up, was very doctrinally orthodox and Presbyterian in the best sense. Pink wouldn't have anything to do with them.

My sole point in likening Pink to Balaam is that in both cases, it would equally be a mistake to cast aside what they said because of the sinfulness of their lives, OR to cast aside the sinfulness of their lives because of what they said.

Tom Chantry said...

Agree completely.

Pink on the Isle of Lewis was living in rebellion against God's word. There is no getting around it, and the people who were his friends in America sort of thought he was and eventually became convinced that he was.

It's why Pink had no influence there, and relatively little in the South, where he lived for some years. His lasting influence was in rural Pennsylvania and New York - places which hadn't seen anyone with Pink's (good) convictions in a century.

DJP said...

BTW, for any newcomers who wonder whether this is a walk I just talk:

For years I attended a church that left us feeling unloved and unchallenged, unconvicted and un-encouraged — because it was the best, doctrinally-soundest church we could find, and because none of that gave us a "note from God" to detach ourselves.

Then for years we attended and enthusiastically supported (as best as I could) a Presbyterian church that had wonderful preaching and wonderful fellowship, as well as obviously a number of areas of doctrinal disagreement — because (again) it was the best church we could find.

Kerry James Allen said...

I think one of Pink's problems is like many Christians today, he had a hard time discerning negotiables and non-negotiables in choosing a church, either when he pastored or as a member. So what if the only church within a hundred miles of you isn't exactly like you? Go nowhere? When is that the better option because you don't like the (choose one or more) Bible version, church polity, dress standards, etc. I'm not saying these issues are totally irrelevant, I'm only saying we must be plugged in somewhere, and Pink never got that. The only church I've ever been in where I agreed with everything is my own for one main reason: I started it! Unless you are willing to start your own it always becomes choosing based on what are the issues I can live with or what are the issues I cannot live with. Murray's bio showed Pink in many situations where if he hadn't been so rigidly dogmatic things would have gone better. And the sheer number of moves in his life is staggering. Again, read Murray's bio for a very thorough understanding of the man in the good and bad, and be reminded if our bios were written they would be a mixture of good and bad.

DJP said...

Oh! bios!

I'm just hoping mine has a happy ending.

Kerry James Allen said...

As the big boy would say, "We are not out of danger until we cross the river and are out of the gunshot range of the enemy." KJA paraphrase, but pretty close since I don't have that quote right in front of me!

DJP said...

...

Did you just call Spurgeon "The big boy"?

Whoa.

Kerry James Allen said...

Don't worry, he and I are tight. I had the same kidney disease he did when I was younger and I'm frequently depressed as he was! And if you reach your happy ending anytime soon, please don't let anyone other than close family know where you are buried lest a certain someone defile your headstone by chiseling one star into it as a final comment.

DJP said...

No; my tombstone's probably the only thing that would get five stars out of the poor sod.

Kerry James Allen said...

!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks Dan. Serves as a kick in the pants for when I am tempted to adopt similar attitudes.

Frank Turk said...

I just can't read Pink. I would rather read Paul. He's less-convoluted.

Kerry James Allen said...

Here is the quote I alluded to earlier, and I think Pink himself could have profited from the advice in the full statement.

"You may your change your position o’er and o’er again, but you will always be exposed to the temptation. Until you get beyond yonder azure sky, you will never be out of gun-shot of the devil. Evil spirits molest every rank in life. The poor man is sore beset with grievous hardships, and the
rich man is encompassed with seductive snares. He who toils with his hand may have some cause to complain, but he who toils with his brain will become the victim of a sorer complaint. Should you fly to the utmost verge of the green earth temptation would still pursue you. Everywhere, while you are in the body, you must keep guard, for temptations and trials are the common portion of all that on this earth do dwell. Be not in hurry, therefore, to fly from one scene of temptation to another. If God ordains that your lot should be altered, be it so. It is yours to accept his allotment
either with resignation or with gratitude. But be not hasty or heedless in running from one place to another, lest in yielding to the impulse of a
moment you forfeit the comfort of a life-time." CHS

Rachael Starke said...

Like the kerfuffle over Propaganda's expose of (some) Puritans' sordid past with slavery, this post is a comfort (God can still use me) and a warning (what sin-borne blind spots do I have that are hindering my effectiveness?).

Maybe this truth also applies to, ahem, 3-letter acronymed organizations, and the folks who love to not love them?

Rachael Starke said...

Oh wow. Was that my outdoor voice? ;b

Mwansa Ndemi Mbewe said...

This is a bit weird because I just finished reading Pinks biography by Murray an hour or so ago, then I stumble over this. Anyway I'm not excusing Pinks eccentricities but he had this idea of being a better help to people through his writings than his physical presence and he ran with like a mad man, forgive the metaphor. It was not the most biblical idea he ever had and it did have a bad effect on his life but I sort of see it as God using us no matter how "blunt" or "weirdly shaped" we are as tools.

I also find him hard to follow at times but then again I do relish the challenge but then again that could just be youth talking

Tom Chantry said...

Whatever opinions one might have about Pink’s writing style, the fact is that he had a huge influence in the lives of many who read him beginning around the middle of the last century. He did have a way of addressing biblical truth which spurred people to think about truths they had never before considered. He was not always right, and both his logic and his style is weak compared with the great Reformed writers. However, just as his was the only voice which many ever heard standing for biblical truth, he was the the author which many read who presented a biblical and Reformed perspective.

In the early half of the twentieth century publishing was entirely in the hands of the liberals. Machen made a splash in some circles and was read. The Dutch were publishing in Michigan, but were only read by other Dutchmen. No one published the Puritans or other old Reformed writers. A book - any book - written from the assumption that the Bible is an absolutely true record and arguing a sovereign God was a drink of cold water to Christians stumbling about in a wilderness. Pink unintentionally became the author of those books.

Oddly enough, his decision to influence people by writing did not mean that he published books. Pink’s impatience with others led him to conclude that in each place where he had ministered there was only a tiny remnant; they could never be gathered in one place. So he retired, and he wrote regularly to the lot of them - scattered though they were. He never intended to write books. When some of his friends urged him to publish, he responded that there was no market for his books (he was right) and that there was no point, since Jesus was about to return (again, not-so-right). If Pink had had his own way, nothing he wrote would ever have gone beyond his tiny circle of friends.

Many who hold him up against the light of earlier and later writers - all of whom are easily accessible today - may think this would have been a good thing. But in actual fact, had Pink’s books not been compiled and published, there may never have been a revival of the old Calvinistic books - not in America, at least.

I.C. Herendeen, the Williamsport, PA bookseller who first published Pink, discovered that he had been right - there was no market for his books. Herendeen didn’t care. He compiled Pink’s essays and put them into book form, printing them at his own expense and, when they didn’t sell, giving them away. For years whenever he heard of anyone in Pennsylvania or New York who was remotely evangelical (an oddity in his day) he would travel to meet them, listen to them preach, and then start giving them free books - his own compilations of Pink. For most it was their first introduction to the doctrine of the Reformation, and for many Pink’s writing was a turning point.

From there, men began to look for other books, and old Puritan volumes were turned up in used bookstores and libraries. A mini-revival of Calvinism started in a place where there had not been any evangelical witness just a few years before. There is a reason why the Susquehanna Valley and Western New York were dotted with Calvinistic Baptist churches - and the reason was the writing of A.W. Pink in the hands of I.C. Herendeen.

Tom Chantry said...

One of the trips made by I.C. Herendeen in the early 1950s was to Carlisle, where a new evangelical church - Grace Chapel - had just taken shape. The story there was like many other places - there had not been a single Bible-believing (non-Mennonite) church for many miles around, and some believers pooled their resources to begin one. The pastor they called was not a Calvinist, but Herendeen traveled to hear him preach, tried to encourage him, and passed out a few copies of his books.

The pastor never responded, but two of the young leaders in the church - brothers and partners in a construction business - were entranced. Pink wrote about the Bible as they had never heard before - every word of it was true and it revealed a God of sovereign majesty. Pink was not the best Reformed author they had ever read; he was the only Reformed author they had ever read. Although he was on his deathbed, his words were influencing them in much the same way they had influenced the earlier circle of friends. Only they began a life-long search for more - more literature, more fellowship, and more Reformed preaching.

The younger of those brothers was John Reisinger, who became one of the most remarkable evangelists in that part of the country. John’s theology developed differently from the church and eventually took him out of it, but he remained a staunch promoter of Calvinism, and much of the strength of his preaching grew directly out of the lessons learned from Pink.

The older brother had a much more remarkable influence. Ernie Reisinger struck up a friendship with I.C. Herendeen and began to search through bookstores for solid literature. Largely through his influence the Carlisle church became Reformed, and then the center of the Confessional Reformed Baptist movement. Meanwhile, Ernie plunged everything that he earned in construction into a crazy idea to collect and reprint Puritan books. He didn’t get too far, but he did manage to take over a small house in a Carlisle alleyway and turn it into a warehouse for books. When he came to the attention of the newly formed Banner of Truth publishers, who were looking for an outlet in North America, they proposed a merger, and the new printings of the old Calvinist literature of England and Scotland began to pour into the United States.

Ernie himself, of course, stands at the fountainhead of three endeavors which have played a role in the development of the modern Reformed landscape. He was the first leader among the Confessional Reformed Baptists. He was an early trustee of Banner of Truth and was largely responsible for bringing their books to America. The Founders Movement among the Southern Baptists was also his brainchild.

None of this challenges a word that Dan wrote in this post, but Ernie was who he was because Herendeen handed him copies of Pink’s writing, and it changed his life. Deeply flawed man though he was - and not someone to be emulated - Pink’s right commitments were dearly held, strongly expressed, and powerfully effective. That’s why he’s a “hero” - not because of who he was, or even what he did, but because of what God did with his writings after he had died.

Nash Equilibrium said...

There were no bible-believing churches distributed throughout Pennsylvania in the 1950s, other than Mennonites? I'm probably in the minority, but I find that hard to believe. Let the slings and arrows be unleashed.

Jeremiah Greenwell said...

You can't throw out the message just because you don't like the horse.

If anything I find this post and Chantry's comments highly encouraging, because even though Pink's disobedience does not excuse any areas of sin in my life, God used a man who was living a willing banishment from the church to build the very church he was hiding from. His lifestyle may not be one to emulate in this area, and I don't find what I've read of him particularly exceptional either, but that God uses sinners so in spite of their failure's speaks volumes of the power in His gospel communicated in whatever form and his love and grace toward us.

Tom Chantry said...

@Nash,

I’ll stand by what I said, which was this:

In 1950 in the rural Pennsylvania county where I grew up there was not one church - not one! - which held that the Scripture was true, except for the closed congregations of the Mennonites.

…and later:

His lasting influence was in rural Pennsylvania and New York - places which hadn't seen anyone with Pink's (good) convictions in a century.

…and finally, speaking again of my hometown:

The story there was like many other places - there had not been a single Bible-believing (non-Mennonite) church for many miles around, and some believers pooled their resources to begin one.

I know for a fact that there were many good churches in parts of both of those states. Philadelphia had many faithful Presbyterian churches, for instance. But in the outlying areas, once the mainline churches died, there was nothing left. It was not like the South.

Understand, too, that I do not agree with anyone who, like Pink, therefore argued that there was no obligation to worship with other Christians. Pink was worse; he urged people to leave imperfect churches, which of course turned out to be all churches. But some of his friends and many of his later readers knew that he was wrong about this, and it was advice which they ignored.

My point was merely to say that in many parts of the country at that time no one ever heard preaching from a Bible believing preacher. There wasn’t an evangelical church in every town. That context is necessary if one is to understand the influence that Pink had there - even though it was one area where he never personally pastored.

Bill said...

Kerry hit a great point; most folks are confused as to what is a negotiable and what is a non-negotiable. It's easy to say "In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity," until you define what is essential. The quick answer is: getting the Gospel right is essential. Do we dare assume most folks actually know what the Gospel is? On Pyro, most could define the Gospel; your average so-called evangelical church, not so much. I think Kerry's point is the topic of a future post, thoughts?

R.C. said...

Dan I love watching you pummel the dead horse of leaky canoneering as much as I hate watching people riding the hobby horse of leaky canoneering. How many different ways will we fools find to obey the god of our own making and disobey the plain teaching of God's Word?

Nash Equilibrium said...

Tom
Since Pink's writing career preceded 1950 by a fair margin, and since he was encouraging the faithful remnant to leave churches in rural PA (and cease being salt and light at those local churches), why is it not just as plausible that instead of rescuing the church in PA, he actually contributed to its demise?

Five Solas said...

Pink's eccentric behavior seems to be characteristic of Asperger syndrome (AS), a form of autism that—unlike other forms of autism—retains basic linguistic and cognitive development. Those with AS tend to be extremely awkward in social interactions and very introvertive, are often quite intelligent (especially in more things like math and science), have highly focused and singular interests, prefer a strict daily routine, etc. If Pink didn't have AS, he does seem to have the classic characteristics of AS.

Now, having said all that, I must emphatically add that if Pink did have AS, that would in no way excuse his rebellious, sinful behavior.

We cannot use our personality type or disorder like AS as an excuse for our sin or to relieve ourselves from our responsibilities as Christians and ministers of the gospel. ...and that would include the excuse, "Well, God made me this way."

Tom Chantry said...

@Nash,

It's an interesting hypothetical, but it didn't happen that way. Pink began writing his newsletter to his friends in the late thirties. He didn't have many friends in the region in question - so far as I know only one. Herendeen met him at a conference in the South years before.

The cause of the collapse of gospel churches is well-documented. The mainline denominations fell to modernism one by one in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and when they were gone, nothing remained in many places. It wasn't like the South, where many congregations had distrusted the mainline denominations ever since the rift over slavery in the 19th century, and where consequently modernism moved more slowly. Fundamentalism never got a foothold in the Northeast. There were some notable Reformed denominations, but they were small and geographically isolated. Pink's writings came into this situation; they did nothing to create it.

Now, in light of Dan's proper criticism, it should be noted that Pink did nothing to change this situation. He didn't urge Christians to work for reform in the churches they had. He didn't urge Christians to band together and form new churches. He just told them to hunker down and wait for Jesus. In this he was wrong, so just as you can't say he contributed to the demise of the church, neither can I say that he rescued it.

In fact, Pink's influence was not in establishing churches at all; it was in introducing Reformed thought to fledgling evangelical congregations. And again, that influence was unintentional; it was Herendeen who had the vision.

Thankfully he, and several others of Pink's friends, ignored his advice regarding churches. They read his newsletter as the best Bible teaching they could get their hands on, but they didn't give up on their churches, either. In Herendeen's case, he didn't give up on the idea that there could be many churches preaching the truth, and to a large degree he was used of God to bring about exactly that result.

Kerry James Allen said...

He may have also had "pink eye" about which Wikipedia states
"conjunctival infections are passed from person-to-person," which would explain his extreme aversion to people.

Sorry, Nash is rubbing off on me and I couldn't help myself.

Aaron Snell said...

One interesting takeaway for me from this discussion is a recognition of one of the characteristic blindspots of our age (of the sort Lewis warned against). I don't think we appreciate today exactly how circumscribed people of the past were by mere geography. That a man in rural Pennsylvania could have gone his whole life a hundred years ago without encountering a Bible believing church or biblical preaching seems hard to believe to us. Or maybe that Pink was such an influnece in his circle in part because of where they lived (and didn't live, e.g. the South). But the world was much more regional.

Also, I always get excited when I see the tag "Merciless Beatings."

Mike Weaks said...

As much as I appreciate your ministry, it seems you too much enjoy "ripping" on others way too much even when you are mostly right. Even when you are mostly right, is it worth it? We are all flawed, so what will they say of your writings 10-15 years from now. Is not presenting authentic truth sufficient in of itself? I am not a hater..., but concerned.

Tom Chantry said...

...and you read Dan's heart...how?

Tim said...

Was Spurgeon "disobedient" in that he did not preach or teach that God created all things in heaven and on earth in six literal days?
How many have been led away from Christ and biblical churches as a result? I don't know, but I just wonder.

Donn said...

Jay Adams wrote this 25 years ago:

How about an Island in Scotland?
by Jay E. Adams

Did you ever get to the place where you said, “I guess I just don’t belong anywhere! I don’t agree with this, I don’t believe in that. Either I’m a downright misfit or a very difficult person to please!” Well, I am happy to tell you you’re not the only one who says such things. I’ve found myself uttering such statements from time to time, and I’ve heard others (even people who seem most easy to get along with) say the same as well. I guess we all reach that point at some time or other if we have any convictions at all.

What can you do about it? Recognize that there are others who have not bowed the knee to Baal. And then go on. You must stand for matters of principle and compromise only on matters of expediency. You must fellowship with all genuine Christians, but you cannot assent to their errors or cooperate in enterprises that you believe to be unbiblical. You must learn to walk the razor’s edge that keeps you from becoming sectarian while firmly maintaining your stance. That’s not easy, and it takes effort and skill to do it well.

One of the saddest books I have ever read is the biography of A. W. Pink who, it seems, withdrew more and more from the fellowship of others and eventually ended his life on an isolated island in Scotland, where he fellowshipped only with his wife and by mail with a few other devoted followers in various parts of the world. His story exhibits the ultimate degree of the problem. Read Pink’s biography. While you’ll grieve, it probably will do you good, serving as a warning to keep you from drifting too far down the road to isolation.

The tendency about which I am writing is a kind of monasticism. I guess that there is a bit of the monk in all of us. You begin to see it when you reach that point where you just want to turn your back on it all and walk off the edge of civilization.

Well, perhaps you don’t have any idea about what I’m talking. You’ve never experienced the phenomenon. So much the better for you—I guess. But can one who has many convictions about many things have never felt himself out of kilter not only with the world but also with the church? I doubt it. So I‘m not sure that it is “so much the better for you.”

At any rate, we look forward to the time when our great God shall make all things new. It will be a time when “we all attain to the unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:13). That is our hope. And in the light of present confusion, error and problems of almost every description, it is a wonderful hope that should sustain us. Indeed, those present problems should make us appreciate God’s promise all the more. Take heart! We’re all in this together-with Christ. He knows us and all our errors and problems and He still puts up with us (even with you and me) and fellowships with us. Thank God He hasn’t gone off to an island in Scotland!

Darrel said...

Wow!!! Nothing better to do. Heaven forbid that anyone should disagree with the pedestal sitters, mounted by their own strength and mental prowess. Just wondering if some blogger will be as kind to you guys as you have been to Pink. So tell us ignorant, helpless sheep which of Pink's works are worthy to be read by you, 'cause if you don't recommend them they must be trash/heresy.

Please get a good night's sleep and come back tomorrow and re-read all this tripe again, maybe you'll come to your senses and remove the whole post before you embarrass yourself futher. If this is the kind of pastoral guidance issued in your church, Dan, I would leave just as Pink did.

Kerry James Allen said...

@Tim

"There is nothing said about long ages of time, but, on the contrary, 'the evening and the morning were the first day' and 'the evening and the morning were the second day,' and so on." Spurgeon

The greatest fight in the world, page 32

Kerry James Allen said...

@Darrel

Have you read Murray's bio of Pink (the new and updated version)? If you have not, I would suggest you do before you embarrass yourself further.

R.C. said...

It would be interesting, would it not Dan, to see how many of your critics on this post are members in good standing at local churches. When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps is likely the one you hit. Should have said in my earlier comment not only are you a knight in shining armor in fighting leaky canoneering, but you are a knight in defense of being under the authority of local elders, both of which are present here in this piece.

Tim said...

@Darrel
"But if you will look in the first chapter of Genesis, you will see there more particularly set forth that peculiar operation of power upon the universe which was put forth by the Holy Spirit; you will then discover what was his special work. In Ge 1:2, we read, 'And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.' We do not know how remote the period of the creation of this globe may be—certainly many millions of years before the time of Adam. Our planet has passed through various stages of existence, and different kinds of creatures have lived on its surface, all of which have been fashioned by God."
Spurgeon

At best, it seems he was ambiguous.

DJP said...

R.C., thanks for your kind and encouraging words. But boy, do I wish that "leaky canoneering" were a "dead horse"! The sad thing is that even folks like Pink and (presumably) the Blackabys, who affirm a closed Canon de jure, end up advocating and living along leaky Canon lines de facto.

Donn, thanks so much for that. Very apropos.

R.C. said...

A dead horse in that you have thoroughly killed it, a living horse in that people continue to mount it

Nash Equilibrium said...

I personally know several people who for years have ordered their lives around their own assumption that we're living in the last days (and maybe we are, maybe we're not - different subject). They have slowly become more and more hermit-like and cut off, unable to deal with garden-variety churches and preferring home "churches" instead, where they can be an authority unto themselves and avoid correction that would lead to balance.

I'd stop short of saying it's some sort of Last Days Syndrome, but there are a LARGE number of people out there in that particular boat. Sounds like Pink was one of this large number, perhaps they exist in every age, not just this one? The lesson I've taken away from watching them is that it's good to be aware that Jesus could return at any time, without becoming obsessed with that fact.

DJP said...

Nash, the irony is that sinning in the name of The Last Days is like an auto-condemnation of one's interpretation. Because according to the apostle, a correct view of eschatology promotes greater holiness, not less of it (1 John 3:3).

Darrel said...

It's nice to see that you, Dan, have all your trained ducks in a row quacking along behind you in lock step. What's the real issue here, Dan, is it Pink's work "The Sovereignty of God" or is it the fact that God is sovereign? I wonder if you would extend the same kind words to Paul as he was isolated in the desert for three years and to John as he was on Patmos? Is Spurgeon next 'cause he smoked cigars?

Perhaps it would be good to remove the beam in your own eye so that you may see clearly to remove the speck in someone else's eye. What was the good that you intended for the Church @ Pyro to gain from this rip of a dead guy? Can we get a list of the names of the elders that you are subject to here? Is the real reason for this diatribe because thinking people have left your new pastorate due to similar rants? Just sayin'. All of this edifies the Body of Christ HOW?

I see where you have been reading in Proverbs-that's a good thing. Perhaps it would be good to revisit Prov. 6:16-19; 8:13; & 16:18 'cause I don't think the Lord Jesus is too fond of arrogance.

Repent or quack.
Quack or repent.
Difficult choices.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Cogent point, Dan. If a person's interpretation of Scripture in any area leads them to sin, then there's something wrong with their interpretation!

Nash Equilibrium said...

I wonder if you would extend the same kind words to Paul as he was isolated in the desert for three years and to John as he was on Patmos?

The key difference is, John was sent against his will to Patmos. You knew that, right? But the larger error you're making is that a teacher's teachings can be viewed in isolation from what those teachings led him to do, which in this case was to eschew fellowship. Dan's saying that these teachings of his were in error, don't follow them. I think that advice does edify the body, don't you?

Jared Queue said...

@Darrel,

As someone who has struggled with Team Pyro's tone and choice of writings in the past (I know, here come the tone police), I can identify with your jump to judgment regarding Dan's intent or seeming joy in "[ripping] a dead guy." However, the longer I've stuck around and ignored my perception of their tone and simply considered the point of their writings, 1) not only have I been edified by many of their posts, but 2) I've come to realize they are less like a haughty armchair theologian, and more like a surgeon that cannot concern himself with how this will hurt the patient when they wake up from their stupor, but must, out of good conscience, cut the cancer out of their body because they can see it and have the means to, while the patient does not.

I.e. I really do not think they pride themselves in ripping anyone or showing their flaws, but are simply telling the truth straightforward with as much conviction as they can in order to shed light on some blind-spots of the church they in particular have thought a lot about. I have not read much of Pink, but I am very glad to know about this aspect of his life and thinking, so that when I do, I can more appropriately examine what he teaches against what the Word of God teaches.

Dan himself has said more than once that we must examine both the man's fruit and his teachings, recognizing as well that we all need the grace of God. It's no different here. But what service would he be doing us in ignoring the glaring inconsistency in Pink's life? Others have already done that. Besides, the Bible agrees with Dan's warning, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgement" (Pr 18:1).

Kerry James Allen said...

Darrel, it sounds like you too have "Pink eye." Since your Blogger bio shows nothing, perhaps your insistent defense of Pink reveals two peas in a pod. Where do you attend church? How regularly? What is your contribution there?

Many of us here are pastors. I don't think any of them would disagree with what I am about to say. Any parachurch movement, book, or leader that steers you away from the church which is the pillar and ground of the truth is questionable at best and heretical at worst.

Again, have you read Murray's bio of Pink? Nothing Dan has said has been outside of the revealed facts about A.W. Pink.

Tom said...

Also, methinks Darrel hasn't read anything on this blog except this post, given that he thinks that Dan has a problem with the sovereignty of God.

DJP said...

"...except this post..."

Petitio principii.

Kerry James Allen said...

And since some folk here are trying to inject Spurgeon into the argument defending Pink, there are dozens of documented instances of his convalescing trips to Mentone, France where he regularly met with believers there in groups of ten to twenty for preaching, song, prayer, and the Lord's Table. He had his faults but absenting himself from regular assembly wherever he was wasn't one of them.

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine.

SamWise said...

Only a pietist would worry about his cigars!

Darrel said...

Gee, Dan, those really weren't tough questions, so why do you let your quackers do the talking for you? Here's another 'tuffy': If Pink's work on the sovereignty of God is discarded because he didn't attend church according to your standards, how about his work on the attributes of God or his treatise on regeneration? Let's have a Pink book burning party, is that what you want.

Which of you would like for a 24/7 video of your life, mind and thought life to be up on U-tube for examination by all those you seek to dazzle with your supposed brilliance. You are so intent on putting Pink in his rightful (according to you) place because you claim he didn't attend church to your specifications. Who set you up as judge in this matter? Please understand that I am not defending Pink-his works do a fine job of that. I am pointing out the despicable attack on a brother in Christ by those who claim to be His also. Again, what good is this for the Body of Christ? The quackers can't figure that one out, how about you Dan? Or will you sit high above the fray and remain untouchable---how Christ-like of you.

DJP said...

Because of Phillips' Axioms, ##4 and 26 Darrel.

Did you want your questions answered? They've been answered, pre-emptively in the post itself (including the articles to which it links) and by others who actually read it.

Did you just want a personal fight, perhaps a distraction from the post's contents? Then that is your issue.

You will not continue to insult the folks who actually do read both the post and the Bible, Darrel. Each time you do, your comment will disappear. Do it three times, and you will be banned.

Kerry James Allen said...

Holy cow! I didn't realize DJP had a TV show named after him!

"Duck dynasty."

Tom Chantry said...

Oh well. We had a good discussion yesterday. I see it's reaching the silly stage today.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Onestarhater's secret identity, perhaps?

trogdor said...

The meta:

This reminds me of this old Carl Trueman piece about our tendency to whitewash history for our heroes, which he applies to the extremely-flawed judges listed in Hebrews 11. How can they be listed as faithful despite glaring sins? Certainly applies to Pink: how can we rightly discuss his faithful and significant contributions, even while his sin regarding the church is so obvious?

Trueman's conclusion:
"Second, we must understand what the writer of Hebrews is doing. If you know your judges, you know the faults of the men listed; and you therefore know that, whatever else the writer is doing, he is not commending these men as heroic examples of moral action. Instead, he commends them because, despite the fact that they were at best deeply flawed pieces of morally shattered humanity, they were blessed because it was not ultimately about them. Rather, it was about the kingdom and the Messiah to whom they looked. The writer of Hebrews is not rewriting history to suit his audience; he is pointing to the fact that, reprehensible though these people were, in Christ they were conquerors. And that should be far more encouraging to us than anything our own instinct to whitewash our heroes might produce."

Pink was seriously flawed, as are we all. His particular sins may have been more obvious than yours and mine, and if so, it's only by the grace of God towards us. That doesn't undo the good he did in Christ's name (and I don't think anyone is suggesting it does). Neither do we do anyone any favors by pretending it wasn't a truly significant problem.

DJP said...

Right, Trogdor.

And no one could read this meta and honestly say "Come on! Nobody would defend Pink as a role-model in this sinful behavior! Straw man!"

trogdor said...

The post (there was one, after all):

It strikes me that those who defend morally-binding unverifiable extrabiblical revelation insist at every opportunity that "of course, we always check it against the Bible, and it's only valid if it agrees". Here's a case where the 'will of God' clearly contradicts scripture.

Leaky canoneers: would one of you like to draw the obvious conclusion, and show that you actually believe your own line?

Nonna said...

I recall reading a blog article from the Internet Monk several years ago that addressed this problem with A.W. Pink. It was titled, "Stop Me Before I Turn Into A.W. Pink." Mr. Phillips you have hit the nail on the head. The all-I-need-is-Jesus-&-me attitude is quite popular these days. They self-identify as Christians without a connection to the Body of Christ. All those other Christians out there are faithless Laodiceans who are not fit to be in the presence of the True Worshippers. So the T W's stay home and worship. I know some strict Calvinists who stopped attending church some time ago and stay home on the Lord's Day reading Calvin's Institutes. They are pretty much done with the church. Is not the church a hospital where sinners receive healing and are strengthened by the administering of the sacraments and hearing the Holy Gospel? If I think myself too "holy" to attend church then perhaps I'd better take another look at the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. Lord, keep me from becoming like A.W. Pink!

Nonna said...

....he had this idea of being a better help to people through his writings than his physical presence..." Pink was deceived in this regard. The Christian faith is incarnational as attested to by our Lord, Who took on flesh being consubstantial with humanity. (read St. Athanasius' On the Incarnation) We are meant to be Jesus imitators to our neighbor - those within and outside of the Church. How can we suffer with those who suffer or weep with those who weep if we don't even know who they are? So the words and teachings of A.W. Pink are significantly diminished in light of our calling to "Love one another as God in Christ has loved us." His words are diminished in light of the sheep who "did it to one of the least of these my brethren."

Jeremiah Greenwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

@Kerry James Allen,
Someone who has "injected Spurgeon" in this conversation is me.
I did read Murray's biography on Pink several years ago at a critical point in my ministry when I believe that God had opened my eyes to the truths of Genesis 1-11 and then tried to have an influence in my mission group and church regarding these things but found that my attempts were not welcomed. In brief, my experience was painful. Reading of Pink's experiences was encouraging to me as I sought to develop a long distance teaching ministry over the internet.
Frankly, I have been blessed by the writings of both Spurgeon AND Pink. But the reason I injected Spurgeon is because I believe that there is the tendency in this blog and among regular commenters to honor one teacher over another, because Spurgeon pastored a church and sought the fellowship of believers and the Pink pastored people long-distance and did not seek fellowship in a local church in his later days. But is Pink's disobedience worse than Spuregon's, in that the latter failed (disobeyed?)to clearly and faithfully proclaim the truths of Genesis 1 and the age of the earth as taught in Genesis 1-11? Who has done more damage to Christ's church? We will one day learn.
We all have clay feet. Is one's clay more brittle than another's?

Tim said...

@Nonna
According to what you have written it would seem to me that the apostle Paul can be of no real benefit to us through his writings.

Poustman said...

Really devastating insight in your 2nd para. I've been guilty of just that. I repent.

Nonna said...

Tim, you're missing my point. I have no doubt that if St. Paul were alive today, he would be directly involved with people in the preaching of the gospel and building up the Body of Christ. Paul the Apostle in his words and example taught us to love by being concerned with the interests of others within the Body of Christ, the Church. He didn't live in isolation away from the world and other believers & didn't instruct others to do so either. Thus, his teachings reflect those of Christ, Who instructed us to love one another. Such love requires a self-denial and a giving of self for the upbuilding of the Church.

Tim said...

Nonna,
Yes, I did miss your main point and I do agree with you about Paul.

Solameanie said...

Wow. This one's getting linked and tweeted.

city said...

thanks for share.

Trey J. said...

I'm reading the Attributes of God for a study in church. Never new anything about Pink and found this on Google. Thanks...the blog and comments were helpful.

Pastor Jack said...

This is the kind of post that cause me to give thanks for your blog. You are willing to speak on issues that need to be dealt with, but are neglected elsewhere. You are willing to "touch" one who others consider "God's anointed". Some of the responses reveal in glaring fashion how far beyond criticism he is held by them. One who knew him best said, "It was a mercy of God that he had no children!" Consider how sad an indictment that is! Inasmuch as he effectively excommunicated himself by his willful isolation, I have made a practice of returning the favor. Thanks again Dan. Well done!

intohisfullness said...

Dan,
This is my first time to your blog, and I was led here after doing a search to see if there be anyone who was sensing that there were major obedience issues with this man.
I know of a brother who adamantly pushes the teachings of Pink, and I always felt uncomfortable about him lifting this man on such a pedestal. (By the way I never heard of Pink in all my 36 years of being a Christian until this year)
I finally read Pink's writing of 'Christian Fools', and I must say I was not impressed with it whatsoever, and I expressed my concerns why.
In this writing he utilized scripture out of context to back up his understanding in order to support his rebuke of Christians who were slow of understanding. It was a piece of self-righteousness. He belittled people,he lacked grace, meekness, humility, patience, and long-suffering.
There was a sense that he was on a much higher plain than most people, which will lead to an elitist attitude and a separating from all the world due to this so-called "higher plain".
How do I know this? I after being "born again" for about 2-3 months got sucked into a "home fellowship" which was lead by a woman, I can say most assuredly that it was a cult. But we also took on this attitude, we were more "spiritual" so we could not mingle with those who were not there.
It was a nightmare and scared me for years once I left this group.

Pink was deluded, and just because some of his writings held truth, does not mean we need to promote them. If anyone who is in a position of authority such as a pastor, or a teacher and does not walk the talk, then he is not to be followed or supported in any manner.
I have tried to read some of his other lengthy writings, and I will tell you that I could not get through them. There is no simplicity within his writings, most of it is "Head Knowledge" and we are taught in the Lord's word, that knowledge will puff us up.
I will state this, I feel, that Pink was not called to be a teacher or a pastor, most of us are just called to serve our Lord where He wants us and He will guide us, "if" we humble ourselves and wait upon Him.
Sometimes our youthful zest, once we are born again, can be confused for "being led" by the Spirit. But many times it is not. I know I've walked it.
Pink had a very pitiful ending in his life, from what I have read he was in extreme poverty, and died from anemia, which can be brought on due to malnutrition, due to poverty. Why did he not pursue a job to bring in money to support his wife? Was that also too much beneath him?
To sum it up, we are taught in the Lord's word to be careful with whom we associate with and support. If they do not obey the doctrine which was taught by our Lord and the teachings of the Apostles then we must separate ourselves from them. It is stated
1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
2Th_3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
I thank you for allowing me to express my thoughts and concerns concerning this poor deluded man. Though he may have been saved, which I think is correct, he payed a price. For if we build upon the foundation of our Lord that which is of wood, hay and stubble they shall be burnt by fire, we shall suffer eternal loss, but we are still saved.
I shall not be recommending this man to anyone, we have our Lord and His word and the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. We may learn from others here and there, but it should always cause us to cleave unto the Lord in ALL things pertaining unto Holiness, Righteousness and Truth and we are all individually responsible for searching out if these things be true what other teach, and to mark those that walk in disobedience.
The Lord bless you
In His Eternal Love.....

Tim said...

intohisfullness,
Like you I knew little about Pink until I read his biography by Iain Murray. I am not promoting Pink, but perhaps you should read this rather short book available at Banner of Truth to gain more of a perspective on the environment in which Pink tries to minister.
Also, Iain Murray observes of Pink, "the widespread circulation of his writings after his death made him one of the most influential evangelical authors in the second half of the twentieth century."
Also, I am not aware of any substance to the claim that he died in poverty nor failed to provide for his wife. It seems to me that there was a deep love and admiration between them.
Just some thoughts...

R.K. Brumbelow said...

I generally try and prevent thread necro-ing but I had to point something out. Having looked into my own life (and I may be projecting) but I am wondering if A.W. Pink did not have Agoraphobia and Depression. (It is very common for an agoraphobe to suffer from depression). My own life of isolation closely follows his and I can tell you it is not something that is deliberate. In my own case it is caused by a genetic predisposition and continuous damage to the amygdala added to refractory depression (and some other co-morbidities). It is physically painful to be around people. It causes the heart to race, the mind to run and me to break out into sweats. I can leave my apartment perhaps 1-2 times a month and when I do I suffer physically for days after. There is treatment (experimental) now. I am in fact trying to raise funds for treatment and rehab so that this may be the last season I spend alone. But I feel for Pink. At least he had his wife, but the disease that is Agoraphobia II takes away your reason with regards to threats. Everything becomes a hill on which to die for. You live life in terror, not because of your thoughts but because of a series of broken circuits in the brain. I know I had to drop out of seminary years ago, and today I have maybe 2-30 hours a month of human contact, most of that via telephone.

In any case I thought I would just drop in that tid bit.

DJP said...

I'm very familiar with agoraphobia. But please re-read the article. Pink gave a rationale. He didn't say, "I realize that according to Scripture I am obliged to be in a local assembly, loving and serving and overseen by elders; and I've tried dozens of times, but it fills me with dread and terror." He was fine being in church if he could be in charge. Rather, Pink gives a sneering rationalization of why he's too good to be in a church, and isn't obligated to be.

I don't know your situation. However, I would challenge anyone who avoids church and gives agoraphobia as a reason, yet manages to keep a job, go shopping, go to the doctor, and so forth, to reconsider, to find whether the situation is different than he's told himself it is.

Be sure to note the qualifications in that paragraph: if, I say. I know there are varying severities of agoraphobia.

So failing all that, there are still a dozen ways to attach to and support a nearby local church ministry even if one is literally unable to cross the threshold.

None of which has anything to do with Pink's own situation as he and this biographer describe it.

DJP said...

BTW I published the last comment because it introduced a new thought.

I have deleted a half-dozen from folks who don't seem even to have read the article at all, aren't dealing with Scripture at all, and have nothing more to say than "But I love Pink, you hating hater!"

Frank Turk said...

This is one of those essays that, when one reads it a year later, one finds it to be as helpful in the later reading as it was the first time.