Friday, October 09, 2009


“Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses” (1 Tim 5:19).

I see that Scott Clark has done a new post, which is really not so new after all, on Tim Keller and the usual suspects. Clark is one of those folks who likes to write the same post 50 different times in 50 different ways. Same cast of characters. Just rearrange the furniture.

For now I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of his post. I’m not evaluating the merits of the issue. On issues like sola fide, I take the same position is Francis Turretin.

Instead, I’m going to make a point of order. Like a Chimera, Scott Clark is two persons trapped in one body.

In his day job, Clark is a high churchman. A faithful and dutiful son of the Magisterial Reformation. Canon lawyer. Doing all things decently and in good order. Everything by the book.

But on the night shift, Clark is the Heidelbaptist or Anablogger. A true heir to the Radical Reformation.

You see, if Clark were serious about church order and church discipline, he’d go through channels. For one thing, he attacks people who don’t even belong to his own denomination. The URC, PCA, and so on, each has its own appellate system. Its own authority-structure.

It’s not his place to bring charges. He’s out of order.

And even if he were to take issue with someone outside his own denomination, the proper course of action would be for him to privately present his evidence to the authorities-that-be. To the pertinent session, presbytery, synod, stated clerk. Quietly draw their attention to his concerns, to his supporting material, if any, then leave it in their hands to deal with. To let the process take it’s course according to the bylaws of that Reformed denomination.

But he doesn’t trust the process. Or respect the process. So he behaves like that most noxious and libertine of all ecclesiastical entities: the radical Anabaptist!

He goes outside the system. Outside the chain-of-command. A one-man church court with universal jurisdiction.

When you run him through the CT scanner you discover a subdermal low-churchman inside an epidermal high-churchman. That makes for a fairly crowded coexistence–or so I’d suppose.

Perhaps someone should contact his ecclesiastical superiors to ask him why he doesn’t honor the institutional mechanisms for resolving these alleged abuses.


  1. This blog post is in itself a contradiction.

    I'm sorry that I even bothered to read this. What a waste of time.


    "This blog post is in itself a contradiction."

    Like so many clueless critics, you have to grasp of what it means to answer someone on his own terms. I'm simply measuring Clark by his own yardstick. That doesn't commit me to the same criterion.

  3. But you have to remember that Clark's boss, Bob Godfrey, has proposed setting up some kind of super-denominational structure to oversee and help in the various causes of inter-church relations: from helping those with various needs physical and spiritual to helping lynch" someone (Clark's own choice of words for the case of Steve Wilkins).
    But yes you have captured the modus operendi of RSC. The mechanism is too slow and so constantly public prodding must be brought to bear to get the lumbering beast to do God's will.