Pastor Lane has responded to some recent posts of mine. I’ll make a few comments:
i) One problem is that Lane has recast the issue in terms of civility, but that’s not the issue, and that’s not how I framed the issue. Indeed, it trivializes the issue.
One of my objections is when a shepherd can’t tell the difference between a lost sheep and a wolf.
If, say, Stephen Young (to take one example) were a confused college student suffering a crisis of faith, that would be a question of pastoral theology. And that would be something to best address in private email.
But Young is a seminary grad with a hardened position. And he’s on a mission to recruit others to his cause. That’s a question of polemical theology.
Reed and Paige act as if Young is an honest truth-seeker, on a common quest. They go out of their way to impute pure motives to him. Paige, in particular, acts as if it’s just an innocent misunderstanding on his part.
There’s no suggestion in their responses that his view of Scripture is culpable. Not just intellectually wrong, but morally wrong.
But belief has an ethical dimension as well as an intellectual dimension. It’s our duty to believe revealed truth and disbelieve falsehood. That’s an obligation we owe to God. An intellectual virtue, accentuating both the moral and cognitive aspects of belief.
ii) Lane says “Stephen Young has been interacting in a respectful way with us confessionalists.”
Well, of course. Young is trawling for new recruits. Naturally he’s on his best behavior at GB. That’s part of the sales pitch.
I wouldn’t expect him to say on GB what he might feel free to say on Art Boulet’s blog (which, not coincidentally, is now an invitation-only blog).
That’s a softening-up tactic he shares in common with Called to Confusion. As long as you sound polite, that will disarm the opposition. The opposition will lower its guard.
I don’t expect the wolf to bare his teeth right away. That’s why a savvy wolf dresses up as dear old grandma. Who’s afraid of a sweet old lady in tennis shoes, with a plate of cookies?
But I think I’ve said everything I plan to say on this issue.