18 April 2013

"Did you take him to coffee first?" dodge (NEXT! #32)

by Dan Phillips

Challenge: I felt I needed to say publicly that you should have privately taken X out for coffee before publicly taking him/her to issue for his/her public teaching and conduct.

Response A: Yeah... so where's my coffee?

Response B: You're as right publicly to fault my public statement as Paul was publicly to fault Peter's public behavior, and as I was to fault his/hers.

(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature


Tom Chantry said...

Handled brilliantly by Shai Linne in his Open Letter this week. It's basically a less snarky version of "Where's my coffee?"

Speaking of public teaching, you mentioned Matthew 18:15-17 to support the idea that I should have contacted you privately first. The irony, of course, is that you made this claim in a letter that is open for the public to read without contacting me privately first. Why did you choose to go about things in this way? Is it because I came out and said something about ****** ***** publicly and therefore you felt it deserved a public response? If that’s how you thought about it, you would be right. And that’s exactly why I addressed ****** *****’s public teachings publicly.

He sounds like a nice guy saying it, but basically, it's "Where's my coffee?!?!?

The Squirrel said...

Response "A" has the added benefit of possibly resulting in free coffee -- and that's a Good Thing® :)


Tom Chantry said...

Depends on the quality of the coffee, though, Squirrel.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

I read Shai's response to Brad's letter yesterday on the heels of Carl Trueman's podcast yesterday that Frank linked to. I was discussing the whole shebang with my wife yesterday and couldn't help but notice, in reference to Carl's mention of conflating "love" and "niceness", how some think that addressing public error publicly is somehow out of place, or "bad manners" to quote a certain menace.

But then there's men like Shai who takes this one in a respectful and bold tone. Not to mention the exchange between Doug Wilson and Thabiti Anyabwile that while it was on a matter of disagreement between brothers, still showed boldness on the part of both men and respect without trying to be "nuanced and careful and nice".

Sometimes I wonder if we conflate "respect" with "niceness" too... I've had many an older, mature, more Christlike man than I give me a swift kick respectfully that I definitely would not categorize as "nice". and I'd rather be on the receiving end of respect, which displays love, than niceness which is the Stay-Puft marshmallow man of tolerance - sure it doesn't feel as comfortable as "nice" does, but it produces something "nice" cannot.

The Squirrel said...

True, Tom... could be Folgers... eew

Carl C. said...

Just to clarify, Webster - when you say "the Stay-Puft marshmallow man of tolerance", are you referring to the way Ray dreamed the marshmallow man would be, or what he actually ended up being? Just curious since these are polar opposites. :-)

Nash Equilibrium said...

Dan you are out of step with the times - should be taking them out for a beer, not coffee! And it really should be a craft beer, not one of the big three brews.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Carl, it actually works as a both/and to be honest. Ray dreamed it would be harmless, and it turned out to be a dreadful monster... so the reference worked out better than I expected!

Carl C. said...

That's how I read it at first. Excellent points you make in your first comment, BTW.

Tom Chantry said...

Anyone who tries to reconcile by serving you Folgers should be subject to ongoing, public, and severe admonition.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

I'd like to invite Chantry to coffee to discuss his rebuke against men who serve Folgers coffee at private rebukes. You are apparently lacking the gift of niceness, and have something against your brothers' tastes in coffee. You've offended my post-modern sensibilities. You should be more missional.

donsands said...

TD Jakes church?

Psalm 126? Give $126?

Sad that people raise these phonies up to have their own ears tickled.

I thank our Lord for His Word, which is truth. And for His Helper, who abides in me, and I abide in Him; who is Christ Jesus. (John 15:3)

Crazy stuff like this makes me want to abid even closer to Jesus.

Here are some sound words from Bishop JC Ryle:

"“To abide in Christ means to keep up a habit of constant close communion with Him,—to be always leaning on Him, resting on Him, pouring out our hearts to Him, and using Him as our Fountain of Life and strength, as our chief Companion and best Friend.—To have His words abiding in us, is to keep His sayings and precepts continually before our memories and minds, and to make them the guide of our actions and the rule of our daily conduct and behavior.”

I also really appreciate our brother Shai, who must be abiding close to His Savior.

Tom Chantry said...

Now that Webster Hunt (Parts Man) has called me out publicly regarding my anti-Folgers bias, I have a felt need to call him out.

Unfortunately, I can't think of anything I have against him.

Except that his blogger name confused me for a long time, because I consistently misread it, and I always thought, "Part man? What's the other part?"

Nick Fitzkee said...

Webster wrote:
"I read Shai's response to Brad's letter yesterday on the heels of Carl Trueman's podcast yesterday that Frank linked to."

If this is a serious statement, I think you may need to look at how much time you're spending on the Internet. :-)

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...


Shouldn't you have invited me to coffee before calling me out like that?

FX Turk said...

I just want to point out that, without TeamPyro, no one would know that this was a likely response to criticism. They'd be flabberghasted that they didn;t have the right level of epistemic humility.

Lynda O said...

I like how S. Lewis Johnson well summed it up, in exposition of 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 (which I actually just listened to this morning), after relating an incident that involved liberal versus conservative Christians decades ago: Strictly speaking, there is no injunction regarding public heresy, that a person speak to the individual. If it’s public heresy, it’s known by all, and therefore there would be perhaps no reason to go personally to the individual who has already broadcasted his sin to the whole of an audience, over the country for that matter. It's so true that there is nothing new under the sun.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Too right, Frank. Made me think of this article from 2011 on respect by Dan. I have referenced back to it again and again:


yankeegospelgirl said...

I also, personally, think that not everybody deserves respect. Yes, you read that right---not everybody deserves respect. If you are an idiot, a snob, a fool propounding falsehood, or just a moral monster, I don't have to respect you in those areas where your ignorance, foolishness, evil, etc. is on display.

I'm getting so tired of the "You can respect someone while disagreeing with them" meme. Hang it all, I DON'T respect everyone with whom I disagree, and I bloody well don't have to, especially when it comes to moral monsters. Our current President comes to mind (may his memory be erased). So there.

Eric said...


The problem with your personally held opinion (is there any other kind, really?), is that some will find that particular stating of your opinion to be "snobbish" and will thus be emboldened to treat you with no respect. One person's common sense or reasonable opinion is another person's idiocy. Am I arguing that there is no such thing as an idiot or snob? Certainly not. However, I have observed people who seem to operate under the understanding that most people who don't share there opinion are idiots, and so the standard that you set for not respecting others is so subjective as to be highly problematic.

donsands said...

"..and I bloody well don't have to, especially when it comes to moral monsters."-GospelGirl

Blooming spot on sister.

Can we love our enemies and yet be angry? Sure. Be angry, says Paul, and sin not.
Good righteous anger is a fine witness. And yet there will always be a humility in our anger, for we know, "But for the grace of God, there go I."

Michael Coughlin said...

YGG - I agree in sentiment, but the thing is, to an extent I would say in the NT we are called to respect everyone as created in the image of God. I'm not saying that always plays out that you treat everyone the same way, but even the most obviously depraved person (like Saul of Tarsus) is deserving of respect because of their Creator's worth.

And there's always the unknown, but hopeful thought that at any moment they may be your brother. :)

yankeegospelgirl said...

Eric: So, in your opinion, am I duty-bound to respect people who believe it's okay to murder infants? Because I'll tell you right now, I don't give a flying fig whether or not they respect me. I hope they hate me. If they don't, I'm doing it wrong. Let's both ditch the respect and have it out with our fists, like it should be.

donsands, I would say that there's some truth in the "There but for the grace of God go I" phrase, and yet literally speaking it's not entirely true. Being a nice person doesn't get you to heaven, of course, but you can still be a person of some character and integrity and not be Hitler, even if you've never accepted Christ. So I shy away from the "Well hey, I'd be Hitler too if not for Jesus" rhetoric, because strictly speaking, it's not true.

Michael, I do believe everyone is created in the image of God, absolutely. That's why I believe even the vilest criminal should have a fair trial and perhaps a visit from a priest before his just execution.It's not my wish that anyone should be treated in a manner which doesn't befit the image of God within them. That's why I'm against torture under any circumstances, and I believe only the government should wield the sword, excepting self-defense. But that's COMPLETELY different from deciding whether I can say that a person is evil and I disrespect him. Again, like our President (may his memory, etc.)

MTHudson said...

The impish part of me is tempted to come up with a list of ways to provoke the chastisement of the soft-boiled in order to get free coffee.

The sane part of me would rather pay double for every cup I ever drink than sit through the mealy-mouthed chastisements of the soft-boiled.

The part of me that is being formed solely by God's grace recognizes that I will need Godly friends and shepherds who are willing to tell me directly when I've stepped in it and am tracking it through the house. God grant me such brothers, and the humility and wisdom to be grateful for them. God grant me the courage to be such a brother.

DJP said...

LOL. So torn.

donsands said...

"So I shy away from the "Well hey, I'd be Hitler too if not for Jesus" rhetoric, because strictly speaking, it's not true."-gospelgirl

It's true for me my friend.

I can only boast in the Cross of Christ, my God and Friend. I have 110% of non-boasting in me self YGG.

Have a terrific Lord's day in our Lord's great grace and mercy, which is beyond description and understanding.

yankeegospelgirl said...

Thanks Don. Maybe it's just that I'm an analytical philosopher---I take things literally. :)

Solameanie said...

Funny thing, it used to be the charismatics that would throw this verse at people when you'd publicly correct unbiblical teachings/actions such as the JDS doctrine. Now non-charismatic evangelicals are doing it. Matthew 18 and Matthew 5 deal with personal offenses, not correcting heresy.