I noticed one of the more insane of the attack blogs claiming to defend orthodoxy quoted a man recently accused of agreeing with N. T. Wright on justification as saying back in 2004
I don’t agree with Wright on everything he says about justification
Yet this same blog had earlier accused the man of inaccurately reporting that he had not agreed with N. T. Wright on justification back when he wrote at this same time on the same email list from which the above quotation was found. The attack blog had quoted stuff that had nothing to do with justification but rather with what the Pharisees believed. Notably missing from the post was the above quotation. It only slipped in later under a new topic on a different post. I have no access to this list so that I have no way of knowing how many other things are missing that might give a different picture than the one painted and framed by this blog.
Of course, the point of that blog and many others is not to be “even handed” or even pretend to look at all the evidence pro and con. It is to attack and destroy someone that all people of good will should already know is guilty. After all, an entire denomination (represented by stacked study committees rather than the actual actions of its presbyteries) could never be wrong, right?
So what if someone used information from a blog like this to try to reverse a church court ruling that there is no “strong presumption of guilt”? If they simply collect everything they can find that they think qualifies as evidence of guilt, and make no effort to collect evidence of innocence, then what are they doing?
I think what they are doing is called, acting as a voluntary prosecutor.
As I wrote on Machen’s Warrior Children Were Subsidized:
Even our Book of Church Order has a (rather anemic) appeal to the justice of Deuteronomy 19.16-19:
31-9. Every voluntary prosecutor shall be previously warned, that if he fail to show probable cause of the charges, he may himself be censured as a slanderer of the brethren.
But somehow, no one ever needs to actually man up and accuse. No one ever pressed charges against Steve Wilkins in Louisiana Presbytery. The entire process was circumvented so that there was no risk and everyone went along with it.
So by filing a complaint, culled from incredibly biased attacks on a man, one could get a free pass to only care about tearing down a man’s reputation and having virtually no responsibility for considering contrary evidence. What organization will survive a period of time in which accusers are given this kind of institutional cover? Jesus claimed that even Satan knew better than to allow this sort of internal conflict. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.
Very good and very right on.