In case you’re wondering, WWSD would render What Would Spurgeon Do?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was no stranger to critique, and writing at the close of a critique he had authored said, “We shall soon have to handle truth, not with kid gloves, but with gauntlets, — the gauntlets of holy courage and integrity. Go on, ye warriors of the cross, for the King is at the head of you.”
Still, for someone known as “The Prince of Preachers,” one would expect that when critique is offered, it would be thoughtful, well-argued, articulate, and charitable… for these are hallmarks of integrity. Holy courage ought not be confused with closed-mindedness or unwillingness to dialogue outside the circle of one’s own compadres, for according to the Wikipedia entry on Spurgeon, although the man critiqued others as he felt necessary, he also made friends across denominational lines and was gracious toward those such as Wesley who did not share his views. One thing I simply can’t imagine Spurgeon — for whom I hold a good degree of respect — doing would be offering critique by way of pot-shots and mean-spirited snide commentary intended to ridicule the views of another. I guess we can’t all be as gracious as Spurgeon.
Some people just seem to have too much time on their hands …
… and perhaps don’t use that time profitably.
Although I must say that is some of the most creative use of hay I’ve ever seen.
Ok now! You’re playing right into Pyro’s hands… If you can’t laugh at yourself who can you laugh at? Denominations… well yeah! But seriously you’ve got to admit that the unfortunate truth for Emergents, liberals, evangelicals, pagans et. al. is very much like depicted.
Lighten up, smile and go with the flow… It really is okay.
a denominational hack according to Pilgrimguide.. LOL
Oh … gulp … sorry about that. Must be the pain-meds making me grumpy. I’ve gotten so blankety-blank tired of the poster-flame war, I made hasty assumptions. So … I apologize for my ill temper.
It’s still the best use hay I’ve ever seen ;-)
Phil did say such a thing, Maynard — multiple times. The problem is that people who claim to be willing to seek first to understand when it comes to all other kinds of people did not seek first to understand what was going on with those posters from a guy who’s a world-renown writer, speaker, and Christian pastor.
For the record, the straw family is brilliant. That’s how satire is done, and I’m proud of you for having the moxie to post it.
Frank, my bad. Sheesh…. and the Pyro site is in my reader, too; my apologies for not reading more thoroughly. Obviously the pretty posters distracted my simple mind from Phil’s text! Very imaginative, and thank-you for your kind words here to set the record straight.
If you poke around my blog very much, you’ll see that I live in a glass house, and will therefore not be intending to lob any excessively large stones. ;^) This is one reason why I responded in kind, as it’s supposed to be obvious that I don’t want to claim to be any better at walking the fine line between critique and harsh disagreement. Spurgeon disagreed sharply and wrote in that manner… so have I, and so have you at times I’m sure.
I thought the poster series straddled the line, some on each side… many of them were quite witty, and I laughed — really, I enjoyed them. Others I thought stepped over the line. I’ve no issue with disagreement, but it’s unkind to ridicule the position of another, and unhelpful. Perhaps that wasn’t your intent, but I think sometimes your foot fell on different sides of the line. Granted, it’s a tough line to walk.
Overall, I enjoyed the series. I was a little bothered by “Deconstruction”, “Generous Orthodoxy”, and “Relevance” — others may have thought those were fine and been bothered by different ones. I think that when one of them suddenly seems to have gone too far (come across as mean-spirited), it taints the next few that you read… any one or two of them on their own are probably not that bad. “Incarnational Living”, “Spirituality”, “Authenticity”, and “Apologetics” all struck me as funny… maybe they offended someone else.
Anyway, as long as we can trade a jab or two and keep it good-natured, I’m fine with it — I believe I understand your intent better now than I did this morning.
Gratia Vobis et Pax.
It’s amazing was a dose of Spurgeon and a cup of coffee will do for a fellow …
Can you respond directly to Phil’s links of Spurgeons’ Sword and Trowel tracts? They would seem to be very satirical and not at all good natured and directly refute your statement about what Spurgeon would or would not do…
I could, but I don’t think the value would be there. I posted on this again yesterday, but the bottom line for me is that if I’m trying to talk and they’re trying to mock, then there’s no productive or profitable conversation happening. I’m open to dialogue, but the Pyro’s in particular are more interested in scoffing at the emerging/missional church’s values and theology rather than engaging the ideas. Spurgeon’s admonition to night caps is amusing, and I’m actually not opposed to a little satire or sarcasm… but if “night caps” is the only refutation Spurgeon made, then it is a substitution of a personal attack for an actual dialogue on the issues. The Pryomaniacs gravitate to Spurgeon’s wit as support for their own attacks, but that’s problematic for me. (1) I don’t have a problem with sarcasm, but (2) sarcasm and personal attacks can’t substitute for dialogue on the issues, since (3) it’s not acceptable debating practice and (4) is not the model of Christ, no matter what Spurgeon did. I’m not saying Jesus was never sarcastic, but that he did not engage in personal attacks in lieu of engaging an issue. (And note, restating my position is not engaging your position — that isn’t dialogue, it’s a shouting match.) This is what the Pyro’s are doing, with Spurgeon’s example as defence. Clearly Spurgeon could be pretty harsh in his criticism, so I may have somewhat overstated what he would not do. I’ve not read him as extensively as the self-proclaimed experts, but I believe that apart from the sarcasm, he also engaged the ideas that he had problems with. If he did, the Pyro’s are not following his example. If he did not, then the Pyro’s are following the example of a man who is also in err on that practice.
Hopefully this helps address it a bit, but I don’t plan to post on their site and attempt to win an argument. I tend to go into such things looking for a humble discussion and instead end up walking away from a megaphone frustrated, with my ears bleeding. If I genuinely believed there was room for open dialogue, I would partake happily… but I don’t believe there is. How do you refute “Spurgeon said it, I believe it, that settles it!”?
I just asked if you were going to comment directly…that’s all.
Sorry, I guess I said too much ;^) This is an example of why I probably should have dropped it sooner than I did… I get more riled than I should.
I do the same thing…one of the problems with being passionate about a subject.. :)