Friday, December 13, 2013

A weary word on Christian infighting

There seems to be an escalation of arguments between some Christian ministries these days that takes up an awful lot of time.  I've not been following most of it lately but first became aware of it because of the attacks on Jonathan Cahn over his book The Harbinger which I defended here for many months.  The last thing I posted on that subject was an interview of Cahn by Chris Rosebrough, someone I'd never heard of to that point.  I thought he did a very fair job of interviewing Cahn and bringing out the unfairness of the criticisms against him.  The ministries that attacked Cahn are very respectable ministries you don't really want to criticize in turn, but the attacks were so unfair you have to point out the unfairness.  And I personally believe you have to name the ministries or otherwise all you do is create confusion.

Then I more or less backed away from the controversies.  But it was Chris Rosebrough who hosted the debate between James White and Chris Pinto on his radio show on Wednesday, and looking up more on the debate at You Tube I found a program he did a couple months ago in which he was taking Pinto to task for slandering a friend of his, asking that Pinto apologize.

I don't want to get into all THIS either, but I listened to the first part of that radio show and felt that now Chris Rosebrough is the one being unfair.   He goes on at great length explaining how Chris Pinto had committed this sin of slander and I started getting impatient to hear the evidence.  Then when he played the audio in question it seemed to me he was completely misjudging Pinto's point.  I wish I had access to Pinto's whole show now but I don't, so this is based just on that part I heard.  Pinto described Rosebrough's friend as someone who had gone to Harvard Divinity School and then described Harvard Divinity School as where a certain professor who promoted Christian homosexuality had taught.  Rosebrough took that as insinuating that his friend was gay or supported gay Christianity but all Pinto was saying was that Harvard Divinity School is really not the kind of institution where a professing Christian should seek his education;  it's not the sort of institution where you could expect to get solid Biblical teaching.  I heard nothing more than that.  According to Rosebrough Pinto edited that part of the program afterward, but I didn't hear anything in it along the lines Rosebrough was suggesting anyway.  I couldn't listen past the first few minutes because Rosebrough was going on and on with this misjudgment and I got tired of it, so I hope I didn't miss something I needed to hear.

And now there is the debate between Pinto and White which has required me to be more aware than usual of how heated the Bible controversies can get.  And in this case Pinto is being accused quite offhandedly of being a conspiracy thinker.  As if he was jumping to conclusions from a lack of evidence, which is what that usually means, but in fact the conclusion of conspiracy is clearly based on the facts he's been researching.

I wish I could say Pinto had won the debate.  He did a very nice job of presenting his thinking and his research, but I have to conclude, as I titled my blog post on it at the Bible blog, that Truth lost the debate.  Truth just doesn't win debates these days.  That's just the way it is.  People who win debates are glib and scholarly, they demand certainty and don't have much patience with the kind of probing and inconclusiveness Pinto's research requires.   I concluded that the important issues involving the Bible versions come down to spiritual discernment and I agree with that more and more as I think about it.  That's a virtue that isn't usually evident in scholarly debate.  It isn't evident, period, in the defenders of the Westcott and Hort Greek texts or anything having to do with textual criticism or the modern Bibles.