Last Call At the White Horse Inn

It appears that the latest edition of Trinity Review, The White Horse Inn: Nonsense on Tap , critical of Inn barkeep Shane Rosenthal, has gotten the boys over at The Puritan Boards into a bit of a self-righteous flutter.

Evidently the review, or a portion of the review, was posted by a board member and was immediately denounced by Dr. R. S. Clark who accused Dr. Robbins of “theft” for publishing text from a private email. Then the post, along with Dr. Clark’s public charge against Dr. Robbins, was  mysteriously removed from the boards. According to one of the board owners, Rich Leino, the thread was pulled from public consumption citing, “. . . [The Trinity Review] was, in essence, a violation of the 9th Commandment in the way that Robbins took offhanded remarks from Rosenthal.”

Oh my, Dr. Robbins is guilty of violating both the 8th and the 9th commandments all in that one addition of Trinity Review according to the divines over at the Puritan Boards. I wonder if they look harder what other sins they might uncover? Stay tuned. Now, perhaps board owner Leino has gotten his commandments mixed up, or maybe the folks over at the Puritan Boards can’t figure out what Dr. Robbins should be charged with? So I asked Dr. Robbins how he would answer the charge that he was responding to a private correspondence or that Rosenthal’s remarks were somehow “offhanded,” whatever that’s supposed to mean, and were not intended for public consumption? Here is his reply:

1. Rosenthal was speaking in his official capacity as producer of WHI. He was not speaking as a private person.

2. Rosenthal was responding to a listener explaining the policies of the WHI. He was not discussing personal or private matters. He was responding to a member of the public.

3. If you read Rosenthal’s words carefully, he speaks in the plural: “we [referring to the barkeeps at the WHI] did not feel it necessary” and ” we had two United Methodists” and “our”: “our conversations,” “our discussions,” “our use of these men” etc. The plural pronouns occur throughout his essay, by my count about 20 times. It is not until the very end, when he is wrapping things up, that he uses “I” or “me.” Rosenthal is clearly expressing views held by the principals of the WHI.

4. Rosenthal is not speaking “offhandedly,” for he says near the end that “I have enjoyed thinking through these issues in our correspondence.” This is a “thought through” explanation of the WHI philosophy.

5. The accusations against me, of course, deliberate evasions of the issues I raised. It is typical of those who cannot give a coherent answer.

John Robbins
The Trinity Foundation
The Bible alone is the Word of God.

I have to agree. Shane Rosenthal, the executive producer of The White Horse Inn, was trying to justify having Roman Catholic Vampire novelist Anne Rice on their radio show without, in the words of one concerned listener, “any rebuttal, clarification, or warning.” Rosenthal was attempting to assuage the concerns of this listener who was “about to part ways with the White Horse Inn after listening for 10 years.” This listener then shared Mr. Rosenthal’s comments with Dr. Robbins and asked him to respond. Seems fair game to me. Am I missing something?

So where is the theft? Where are the examples of false witness in Dr. Robbins’ piece? As one who has spent some time over at the Puritan Boards I have to wonder if Dr. Robbins’ only sin is his violation of the Board’s 11th commandment; Thou shalt not speak critically of any Christian that advances non-Christian philosophies. As one who has violated this commandment on the Puritan boards only to have my own posts censored and removed, I know first hand the very real dangers of committing this sin. Among other crimes, I once made the mistake of being critical of John Frame’s putrid defense of Federal Visionists and came under the wrath of the moderators, Leino chief among them. It should be noted that Owner/Administrator Leino is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines serving in Okinawa. Admittedly admirable, but I have to wonder if while trying to get his Ten Commandments in order he forgot about the first of the Constitutional amendments he is supposed to be fighting to protect?

Next, I plan on reviewing Dr. Robbins’ review to hopefully uncover some of the real gems of the piece evidently lost on the men over at The Puritan Boards.

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