28 January 2011

Updated: Mike Horton responds

by Frank Turk

Mike Horton has posted a response at the WHI blog, and I’m grateful for it – even if it does miss the mark on a couple of items. By no means to they owe me a response, and the fact that they took the time to do as much as they did is generous because it shows they are seeking to engage and not merely snort and scoff. My thanks for that.

One of the unexpected items which has seasoned this discussion is the CT article which, frankly, I thought was laughable. It could get a whole open letter on its own from me (and may), but talk about too little, too late, too obtuse. Of all the things CT has promoted in the last 20 years, to say MLJ and WHI are somehow wrapped up in “heresy” is just the icing on the cake for their credibility – they should just now change their name to “The Religious Opinion Times” (the ROT, for short) and stop pretending they have anything distinctive from “O” magazine to offer the Christian culture. Translation: I think Dr. Horton & Co. were definitely the subject of some crass and unfair criticism this week, and when they read my comments as somehow related, I can empathize.

That said, Dr. Horton’s brief reply to my open letter, I think, does miss the mark. He said there that in the same way I don’t take responsibility for everything said in the comments of TeamPyro, he doesn’t have to take responsibility for everything said in regards to what they discuss at WHI.

Really? I don’t think he has to go on a Batman-like crusade to nullify all the nut-jobs (like Charlie in the comment thread) who are about as confessional as PostSecret.com, but it is sort of incongruent, I think, to chastise some people (of a completely different tradition and theological value system) for being sine confessionem, but then sort of wave a hand at those who are allegedly hot for the confessions who are ruining the brand as they functionally deny the confessions with their general ecclesiology and alleged pastoral concern.

One of the things Phil takes a lot of heat for at TeamPyro is the fact that we call out people who, frankly, want to be “of Johnson, of Phillips, of Turk” and don’t impress us with their approach and practice – because it is seen as unwarranted “friendly fire”. My exhortation to our friends at WHI is that they take the same approach – because we aren’t making any headway if, at the end of our Gospel disambiguations, we have made people who are more like the young Saul who did God’s work with a sword rather than people like aged Paul who was ready to pour out his life like a drink offering for the sake of the Gospel and the lost.

That's all. Be in the Lord's house on the Lord's day with the Lord's people this weekend.