So it’s been (rightly) pointed out a few times in the last year or so that we shouldn’t be so quick to want to “get back to the early church” because they were immature and had their share of problems just like we do — after all, nobody’s perfect. The thing is, I can’t recall anyone actually saying we need to “get back” and do everything like the early church did, at least not in the past ten years. So is this response levied too broadly against at who wants to consider one or two practices of the early church, or are people actually saying we need to behave like they did and I’ve been missing it? Isn’t there a lot of positive lessons to be learned from the early church’s practice?
Yesterday I sat back and didn’t comment — I was busy with other things, including some writing, but it seems to me that something needs to be said about this whole Mark Driscoll flap. And right off, this isn’t about Driscoll, or Pagitt, or Bell, or even Don Carson or the matchstick boys. It’s about criticism. And I hardly know where to begin… but challenges have been issued, and though most of them aren’t directed at me personally, I think I’ve got something to say (alright, I always have something to say, whether or not I should say it). There are times when criticism deserves a response, as do certain kinds of responses to criticism. I said yesterday that I probably had things to say that could get everyone upset with me… and while that’s not my intent, there are things that need saying. And I’m just dumb enough to be the one to say them.
I’m thinking today about criticism. Not in the fine sense of the word, like “literary criticism” or critique as in “peer review.” But then, today everyone’s thinking about criticism, I think. I have some stuff to say on the matter, but I haven’t finished counting to ten yet. I’m deliberately counting s…l…o…w…l…y. But when I’m done, I’ll probably open my trap and say something. I’ve already been quoted (nicely, thankfully) as commenting upon this whole critical debacle. I’m glad it was something good that I said. I’m omitting all the links from this post, saving them for a future one… but I’m still going to offer some preliminary to think over while I mull over some more prepared words. I find I’m disagreeing with both sides to some extent, so yes, I’m disagreeing with some of the people I’m supposed to agree with… which isn’t to say I’m exactly agreeing with the people they disagree with. If you know what I’m talking about, the commentary below will be apropos, and you don’t need the links. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, links will be forthcoming, and I’ll explain everything — but the preliminary commentary I offer here is important background. I think we all need to stop and consider the following.