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.