“Let the readers read and decide, Mr. Turk.”
Such is the iMonk’s challenge. Okay, I’ read it, and I’ve decided.
The iMonk illustrates the old maxim that all is yellow to the jaundiced eye. That was Mr. Turk’s point all along.
Why is it okay for the iMonk to advertise his inadequacies as a pastor, but when Mr. Turk agrees with the iMonk’s self-assessment, that is not okay. If, by his own admission, the iMonk says his call to the ministry was a mistake, then why is it wrong for Mr. Turk to second his own admission? It’s okay to pen confessional essays as long as no one dares to take you at your word—is that his grievance?
He and his groupies act as if what Mr. Turk did was a betrayal of confidence. Actually, I think a man who blogs about his marital woes is more guilty of that.
One of Frank’s critics accused him of “keeping a record of wrongs.” No, Frank isn’t the official record-keeper. The iMonk is. He’s the one who puts this stuff out for public consumption. Who archives his confessional essays, for the future reference.
I also notice that the Tavernistas have a way of using the iMonk as a human shield to hide behind so that they are free to attack whatever they like with impunity.
Just consider Nicholson’s Barthian view of Scripture. BTW, if Scripture has no inherent authority, then by what objective standard does Nicholson distinguish between the Holy Spirit, the devil, raging hormones, or indigestion?
Back to the iMonk. I don't attack a man for having doubts. As a rule I don't even blame a man for having doubts. Belief is basically involuntary. We can do certain things to either build up or tear down our faith. But we can't muster certitude by a sheer act of the will, and honest doubts are better than pretense.
On the other hand, some of his doubts do strike me as childish. To doubt the existence of God because of bees and mosquitoes is, indeed, childish.
In addition, pastoral ministry does demand a certain level of confident conviction. If you’re riddled with doubts, you shouldn’t be preaching to others. The job of a pastor is not to sow seeds of doubt in the faithful, but to sow seeds of faith in the doubters.
Yes, there’s more to Christianity than doctrinal precision. Yes, you can say that “Jesus is that matters.”
Of course, Jesus never doubted the existence of God. Jesus never doubted the authority of Scripture. Jesus established a church. Jesus appointed Apostles to instruct the faithful in sound doctrine.
And if, as Nicholson would have it, Scripture lacks any “intrinsic” authority, then what happens to the Jesus of the Gospels? What happens to the Jesus of Paul? Or the Jesus of Hebrews?
I’m reminded of unbelieving bishops in the Church of England who justify sodomy by saying that the Spirit is speaking to the church today.
I’m sure that Phil Johnson, James White, and other suchlike would rather spend all their time preaching the gospel.
But then we have the Nicholsons of the world. A shepherd has to feed the sheep. But if his sheep are being eaten by a wolf-pack, then a shepherd must be prepared to fend of their depredations. It does no good to feed your sheep if your sheep are feeding the wolves.
Oh, and btw, the iMonk can’t very well have it both ways. He can’t, on the one hand, be this broken-hearted pastor for whom Jesus is all that matters, only to then lash out and vilify anyone who happens to take issue with his message. To the Tavernistas he preaches the Sermon on the Mount, but to the “Truly Reformed” he preaches the imprecatory Psalms.