Editorial On Abusing Matthew 18

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by gb93433, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Several years ago I wrote a fairly restrained critique of the emerging church movement as it then existed, before it morphed into its present diverse configurations.1 That little book earned me some of the angriest, bitterness-laced emails I have ever received—to say nothing, of course, of the blog posts. There were other responses, of course—some approving and grateful, some thoughtful and wanting to dialogue. But the ones that displayed the greatest intensity were those whose indignation was white hot because I had not first approached privately those whose positions I had criticized in the book. What a hypocrite I was—criticizing my brothers on ostensible biblical grounds when I myself was not following the Bible’s mandate to observe a certain procedure nicely laid out in Matt 18:15–17.


    Doubtless this sort of charge is becoming more common. It is regularly linked to the “Gotcha!” mentality that many bloggers and their respondents seem to foster. Person A writes a book criticizing some element or other of historic Christian confessionalism. A few bloggers respond with more heat than light. Person B writes a blog with some substance, responding to Person A. The blogosphere lights up with attacks on Person B, many of them asking Person B rather accusingly, “Did you communicate with Person A in private first? If not, aren’t you guilty of violating what Jesus taught us in Matthew 18?” This pattern of counter-attack, with minor variations, is flourishing.


    The rest of the story is at http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/publications/36-1/editorial-on-abusing-matthew-18
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    GB, I'm assuming that your critique was written for public consumption, which makes it eligible for public responses good or bad.

    Same with the bloggers, or authors. What they write for public consumption is subject to public reaction. It's inconsistent (and silly) to expect private communication first.

    You had every right to write what you did without prior private communication.
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
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    I skimmed your blog. As you noted, one can apply Matthew 18 only with another member of his local congregation.
     
  4. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Did you notice who the author is at the very top of the page?
    D. A. Carson

    D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    D. A. Carson hit the nail on the head, as he usually does. He is right on target with his blog.
     

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