The Kind Of Stuff You Hate To Have To Say
Reprinted on Federal Schism is the following from Pastor GLW Johnson. I’ve only provided a section to make an uncomfortable point that will most certainly catch the ire of some of those I respect and admire. Pastor Johnson writes:
May I point out that at no time during this controversy have I singled out for criticism (here or elsewhere) Peter Leithart, who all would consider one of the more prominent names associated with the FV. Why, you ask? Peter and I graduated in 1987 from WTS (Phil.) with our ThM degrees. Peter went on to Cambridge and I entered the PhD program at WTS. I have over the years read with much appreciation Peter’s writings in Credenda/Agenda and even though I didn’t always agree with what he was saying I appreciate his tone and the matter in which he wrote. He didn’t make snide or inflammatory remarks about those with whom he disagreed (he was the only FVer who acknowledged that Waters had indeed correctly represented his views and interacted with Guy’s book in a fair and courteous fashion). He didn’t insult them and call them names and he most certainly did not suggest that his views were the only ones that really were true to the Reformed tradition. As such I respect Peter. In this way, and in so many others he stands in sharp contrast to his colleague Doug Wilson, who revels in ridiculing his opponents and delights in heaping derision on any who would dare disagree with him (don’t take my word for it — just pick up practically any past issue of C/A and see for yourself or read his recent response to Andy Webb on his blog where he, the preeminent presbyterian, relishes calling the FV critics “Baptyrians”). Regrettably, Wilson has had far more influence of the FV peanut gallery than has Leithart.
First, let me first say I love Pastor Johnson’s defense of the faith and the directness of his refutation of the FV over at Greenbaggins(es).
Second, why is influencing the “peanut gallery” more dangerous or problematic than training the next generation of pastors, teachers and elders?
Consequently, it does strike me as a bit odd, if not troublesome, that men like Leithart seem to get a pass, or at least the kid glove treatment, because he went to school with men like Johnson and because he’s a winsome character and not at all acerbic as “his colleague” Doug Wilson. Oh, Johnson doesn’t agree with everything Leithart writes of course, but I guess it’s just dandy to read this particular heretic with profit.
What is that supposed to mean?
Is Leithart sort of like the FV version of the Apocrypha? Read it with profit, just don’t make it part of the canon. You can deny and corrupt the gospel with the efficiency and poignancy of a snake, but if your tone is agreeable then you’re not like all the other snakes? Give me a break.
I’ve notice Dick Gaffin gets that same kind of soft-serve treatment by those who call him “Dick” and who had him at WTS. No wonder the PCA and other denoms are blasted as ol’ boy networks. Seems for some truth takes a backseat to personalties particularly if that particular personality is pleasing to the ear. Haven’t we yet learned that something can be pleasing to the senses but still be deadly poison if ingested?
Why wouldn’t those who are more soft spoken, irenic and who are more pleasing to the ears than a Wilson or a Gerety or even a Mark T. be all the more dangerous when they teach errors? Doesn’t Paul tell us that the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrines, but instead will want to have their ears tickled? Well, at least a couple of my kids are still young enough to enjoy a good tickle from time to time. And, as every father knows, the secret to a good tickle is a soft touch.