Mea Culpa

Over the past couple of months my primary output on CADRE has been concerning Christian doctrinal disputes, mostly about the atonement, but also a piece on the Genesis creation account and theistic evolution. This prompted a critical reaction by Steve Hays over at Triablogue, leading to a series of exchanges which grew increasingly acrimonious. The most recent exchange in particular ended on a very sour note.

I don't want this to continue. These exchanges have obscured the fact that for all the doctrinal differences among their members, Triablogue and CADRE are both committed to defending the truth of the Gospel. I have been greatly inspired and encouraged by the top quality apologetics produced by Steve Hays, Paul Manata and Jason Engwer in particular. I consider them brothers in the faith, but in my frustration and anger I have said things about and to Steve Hays, including in our very last exchange, which were not deserved and don't reflect my true attitude towards him.

I have also realized that I have been using CADRE as a sketchpad for my own personal doctrinal musings. Although my own doctrinal views are far from settled (aside from the fundamentals of the faith, as summarized in the Nicene Creed), I have used absolute language in some of my posts which gave the impression that I could see no other option for the thinking Christian on these matters. It is a personal weakness of mine that I get too excited about some new line of thought, and I am too easily taken in by others' arguments when they line up with my own personal predilections. But CADRE is not the right forum for these musings. It is a forum for the building up of the Christian community through the defense of Gospel essentials, such as the historicity of the Gospels and the resurrection, responses to atheist apologetics, etc.

So before the cycle of responses and counter-responses starts again, rather than defend myself I just want to apologize for this breech in the gap between Triablogue and CADRE, and announce that I will stop posting on Christian doctrinal disputes, and even interacting with doctrine-oriented posts written by others, whether here or at Triablogue. I will wait until I have a substantial, nuanced, exegetically based formulation of my doctrinal positions before I comment on those issues again. Meanwhile, I will go back to focusing on biblical apologetics and philosophy of religion here on CADRE.


Jason Pratt said…
Sorry that happened, JD.

This is, though, why I (usually) reserve doctrinal dispute issues for the comments, not for main posts, on this site. It's an ecumenical apologetics site; we should stick to historical and upper-level metaphysical concerns.

I do make exceptions when I write holiday sermons, but those are more specially evangelical. And sometimes I believe the technical implications of topics lead in the direction of my soteriology--which is how I first arrived there myself!--but my principle there is still to leave the implications for readers to suss out for themselves, while warning in-text that I'm stepping into important matters that not all Cadre members agree on.

(This article is a good example of that application. Insofar as the logic went, I couldn't avoid pointing in a particular direction eventually, but I warned ahead of time that not all of us agreed on that topic or its corollary implications; and I didn't spend time dwelling on it after pointing in that direction.)

Anyway. I thought that that was a fine and mature mea culpa; I fully expect PaulM to appreciate it, at least. {s!} (Maybe JasonE, too--I'm not as familiar with him.)

Anonymous said…
Jason, thanks for the comment. I will probably set up a blog of my own that will focus exclusively on dogmatic issues, but I will spend more time and thought before I post something, and I won't go about making vast, sweeping doctrinal claims from the get-go.
Henry said…
I am a reader of Triablogue, and appreciate the attitude of your post. We can all learn a lot from it, thanks.

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