i see your true colors

Posted: September 19, 2014 in general

I let this one marinate for a week before I commented, partly to see if I still cared, but mostly to see if it was still as uproariously funny as it first struck me. Regarding the former issue, not quite so much. But subsequent comments have actually made the issue funnier — or, at least, more ironic.

Over on everyone’s favorite discernmentalist blog, “Dan” “Phillips” offers EXTENSIVE commentary on the fact that The Gospel Coalition is apparently — to riff off Phil Vischer’s brilliant words on a different topic — handing out Twitter blocks “like pediatric dentists handing out Hello Kitty stickers”.

Now, to be honest, I’ve been done with TGC for quite some time. Had I missed the way they got all bent out of shape because James MacDonald is a friend of publicans and sinners, the deal was sealed by the ham-fisted manner in which they “handled” Tullian Tchividjian.

The tone and perspective with which “Dan” writes is a bit hard to nail down. At times, he seems hurt; at others, he seems proud. I’ll not “discern” his “true motivations” — what kills me is the extensive blow-by-blow commentary on blocking and a total lack of communication as to why.

  • This from a man who deletes (twice!) comments that contain only Scripture, simply because the verse contradicts what he said in his blog post. (Extra irony points that his Twitter handle is @BibChr — short for Biblical Christianity.)
  • This from a man who permanently blocks people from commenting on the blog and then, when asked nicely why this happened, ignores them.
  • This from a blog that banned me for specifically honoring the request not to derail its comment thread. (OK, admittedly, this was Frank Turk’s doing — but given the way the Pyros beatify each other, it’s not really a stretch to figure than Frank simply beat “Dan” to it.)

As thick as the irony of all that is, the need for it to be pointed out started fading. But then the comments. Oh, the comments.

An anonymous commenter named “Joej Joe” said:

I find the continual bantering, and disrespect for other “circles” of Christianity tasteless. This has never stopped from this site, it just repeats. Calling people out is fine (case in point with this single point), but if ones overarching ministry continually attacks/heckles other believers, I would hope the authors on the site would hit the brakes one of these day. Bitterness is a foul cologne.

In response to this, Frank Turk confirmed Joe’s point (while trying to refute it) and showed just how naked the emperor really is:

My suggestion to Joe is to spend 2 years writing 2 excellent books and then have the one place which could help them become widely-read snub those books because that venue is mad that you have called out their past inability to deal with real doctrinal and practical issues that have affected others.

TGC is rather insular and criticism of its own — regardless of the angle from which the critic is coming — usually falls on deaf ears. But read that first part of Frank’s comment again. The real crime that TGC has committed is in not pushing two books written by “Dan”. Good grief, when is the dog gonna let go of the bone?

Two other thoughts:

  • If TGC is so horrible, why would you want them promoting your books?
  • What’s this “one place” crap? Last I checked, TGC wasn’t more powerful than God.

I’ve never seen such longing for approval from someone you don’t respect.


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