I have no interest in naming specific names or making specific charges against anyone in particular when I write blog entries that address various types of people or movements that I have seen in the church. These blogs are not formal accusations but reflections upon what I have seen and even been part of myself for nearly ten years (1992-2002). Please read my entries more as confessions than as personal accusations and you will understand my writing of these types of blogs. Some who fit these descriptions, to varying degrees, are my friends. Some who fit these descriptions once counted me as a friend. There is nothing personal about these comments I assure you. Those readers who have met these types of individuals, or have been in these kinds of reformation movements, know what I am referring to and thus understand these various posts quite clearly.
If I were doing academic writing, as say in our journal the ACT 3 Review, then I would use a rigorous academic method, including references and end notes. I understand, however, that a blog is an entirely different type of public comment. It is more like a journal entry thus it allows personal reflections that invite and engage discussion from readers. This is why I allow all comments to be posted on my site, so long as they are courteous and appropriate. (I think I have deleted three or four comments from my site in the past year!) Many of my readers can properly weigh these comments against what they have seen and heard from a number of writers within the very conservative Reformed world where I was once celebrated as a party-line speaker and writer.
Finally, it is important to note that I was once considered a faithful TR (Truly Reformed) representative, being asked to speak in the various settings that are associated with what is commonly known as TR territory. I was never “at home” (at least in my spirit) in that world but I was clearly a part of it publicly and privately. I take full responsibility for the mistakes that I made while in that world and for the mistakes I made in how I left it behind. So, when you read me writing these particular kinds of comments remember that I am still repenting, in this public way (via blogs). I write about this world in order to help some people think about the very issues that trouble them as they did me. I am not speaking about ghosts or presenting caricatures and I am doing this from a former insider’s perspective. (I know this irritates those who think I am a traitor to their cause but a person has to be faithful to what he knows and believes.) Many of the best-known TR spokesmen (there are no strong women who publicly represent this world since women are not allowed much of a public profile here) I have known are truly wonderful people who are far more Christ-like than I am sure I will ever be. And many TR folks remain my good friends to this day. I could list the names of people in both categories but I think fair minded readers will "know" the difference when they see it or read it. The point here is not to attack the good people but to make very public issues and trajectories better known to discerning people so that they can judge for themselves how to respond to those who claim to be the Truly Reformed in our generation. Most of my readers understand this point and tell me so, usually in private and quite often with heartfelt appreciation. I think the TR movement is slowing cannibalizing itself (when insiders repeatedly attack insiders the movement is in deep weeds) and thus the next generation will very likely refuse to buy into this worldview in any profound sense. It is a world that has no clear missional perspective and only exists as an oppositional movement to the errors of a flawed evangelicalism. So, the sooner this movement looses its impact on younger people’s minds and hearts, and I think it has very little impact left there except in small pockets, the better things will be for the health of the church at large.