Monday, June 14, 2010
As I unwind this chain of posts (which are evolving and not canned or pre-recorded), I can’t help thinking about that scene in Star Trek VI where Star Fleet tells Kirk and crew that they are the ones who are going to negotiate the peace treaty with the Klingons. The money quote is when Spock tells Kirk that “Only Nixon could go to China.”
Let me be honest: I have not idea how that analogy works out on a one-to-one basis in this walk-through of differences in theology, ministry, and the basics of logic and civility.
That said, TeamPyro became the #1 blog in Technorati’s ranking of “Lifestyle: Religion: blogs last week, in part on the back of links my rebuttal to “Coram Deo” produced. In particular, Ken Silva posted this in two places – Apprising Ministries, and Christian Research Net:
And kudos, fwiw, to Pastor Silva for keeping the “Moses Lolcat” quote in there because it is the little things which make blogging so rewarding.
What I’m concerned about is the part I highlighted in yellow up there – the part where Pastor Silva says my statement is about “online apologetics and discernment ministries such as this one”. It’s a puzzling statement for at least three reasons:
 In my last post on this subject – and indeed, in almost everyone of the threads/posts where this comes up – I have made it clear that there’s a difference between “watchbloggers” and credible apologists and discernment ministries.
 In almost every list of “Credible discernment ministries” I have ever provided, I have been explicit to list “Pastor Ken Silva” as one of the good guys – in lists which include James White, Greg Koukl, and so on.
 When I have defined the purveyors of the problem, I have been explicit to say that these are people who are both anonymous and also unapologetic for their mistakes. To my knowledge, there’s no way this applies to Ken Silva, is there?
What seems to me to be true is that Ken Silva does not want to say that there are any “discernment ministries” which are, frankly, in grave error as defined by their tactics and their philosophy of ministry. And Pastor Silva is willing to stand arm-in-arm with those people to this extent: that he is also willing to publish something which is patently untrue to oppose the argument. My justification for saying this is the evidence above – in which Pastor Silva wants to put words in my mouth, specifically about his own work, in order to “expose” my error.
Look: as I said in my response to Chris Rosebrough, reputable discernment ministries (and reputable bloggers, for that matter -- you don't have to be an elder in a church to be a decent writer and thinker) should not fall into the trap that the "careful charismatics" fall into all the time. That is: the careful charismatics don't rebuke/disavow the awful charlatans like Todd Bentley until after they have discredited themselves through moral failure, after many have been bilked, for fear of being seen as a "friendly fire" against the charismatic movement and sewing the seeds of skepticism in their own ranks. The careful bloggers, apologists, and theologians should openly discredit anonymous drive-by slanderers who don't have any visible accountability – and the argument that they should somehow avoid “friendly fire” is simply not compelling. It doesn’t speak to the issues which are at the heart of apologetics, like discernment and maturity and humility in the face of the truth.
So here I call on Ken Silva to disavow his statement that I have been including him [and all discernment ministries] in the “watchbloggers” category when in fact I have been circumspect to specifically disavow the idea that he’s a “watchblogger”. It doesn’t do his point of view any good to participate in muddying the water – because in doing so, it’s his own hands that get dirty.