Do not read Adrian's blog any more

I am asking my readers and anyone else to stop reading Adrian Warnock’s blog. This is because Adrian has made a deliberate decision to refuse to be accountable for any errors and distortions which might be found on this blog. He read my post yesterday on the need for accountability in blogging, and commented on it, and then made the decision to go ahead with closing his blog to comments.

If you want to make your opinion on this matter known to Adrian, please e-mail him on this address, which he makes public on his blog.

I may write more about this later, but I must go out now.

0 thoughts on “Do not read Adrian's blog any more

  1. Peter, I am thankful for your blog and for your willingness to sharpen others. I could come up with a list of ways things I appreciate about your approach – –

    I wonder if you would re-think this post? Certainly there are advantages to allowing comments; and there is accountability. But, as you demonstrate here, there are ways to interact with his posts apart from comments on his blog.

    It seems to me that disagreeing with his decision is one thing . . .but going to the level of asking others not to read his blog is too much.

    If you choose to no longer read Adrian’s blog, then others loose your Proverbs 27:17 like contributions. Of course, it is your call. Either way, I plan to continue with my subscription to your blog.

    Thanksgiving in the U.S. tomorrow. I’m thankful for other believers around the world.

  2. Chris, thanks for your reply. I will have more to say about this. But the problem, on your Proverbs 27:17 point, is that Adrian is refusing to be sharpened, but expects to sharpen others. I was meditating more on the boundary between 26:4 and 5.

  3. Hi Peter. Thanks for sharing this. I am disappointed with this decision (of Adrian’s). Has a few disapproving comments regarding Driscoll pushed Adrian over the edge? I think the comments facility of blogs is what sets it apart from traditional media. Without comments, it just another regularly updated news page. We shall just have to email Adrian if we want to respond to his posts now, a tiresome exercise which shall surely annoy him as much as it annoys us!

    Having said that, I don’t think I will stop reading his blog, as I appreciate his reformed stance. I sit with one foot in the reformed camp, the other in the anabaptist. I enjoy the diversity of our traditions, and I will ensure my own blog allows and encourages a diversity of belief.

  4. Thanks, Alastair. Of course it is for you to make your own decision.

    I wonder if I have found some more background to what Adrian has done in this blog post (tip from an anonymous commenter here) about a controversy at Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill Church. Apparently two pastors there were fired about a month ago. And discussion of this on a church forum was shut down. Now if the reason for firing the pastors was personal, that would be appropriate. But allegations were made that

    the pastors were removed because they challenged proposed changes to church structure that they thought would put too much power in the hands of a few.

    Such changes to church structure should be a matter of legitimate debate, although I can see the reason the church wanted to keep it in house. But I wonder if Adrian got wind of this dispute (Alastair, was it mentioned at the Edinburgh conference?) and this affected his decision. To my mind this is all part of an authoritarian tendency in the Reformed camp which does not accept debate as legitimate.

  5. Can I ask a question, Peter?

    Has Adrian written on his blog somewhere that he’s closed it to comments, or did you try to comment and were refused access?

    When I just went to look, I got the comment addition page as normal, but as I had no comment to make on the most recent live topic I did not try to submit anything.

    If you can confirm how you know that the blog is closed to comments, I will certainly e-mail Adrian, as my point-of-view on this is pretty much identical to yours.

  6. Peter, I have known about this dispute for a while, as it cropped up on Mars Hill’s Ask Anything website on the public forum there. I have decided not to blog about it and its really an internal issue for Mars Hill to deal with. It does sound a little sad though, although to me it was obvious that executive decision making was going to have to be consolidated (I believe they had over 24 elders, and Mars Hill needs a unanimous consent from elders to make a decision.). Certainly nothing was mentioned about this during the conference.

  7. Good question, Charity. At 5.30 pm GMT today Adrian accepted a comment by Glenn Piper (no relation to John). At 5.35 I attempted to respond to this comment, following this link in the comment notification e-mail, and the page I got includes the text:

    Comments on this blog are restricted to team members.
    You’re currently logged in as Peter Kirk. You may not comment with this account.

    I have just followed the same link again with the same result. I also heard privately from Adrian, who is very touchy about private e-mails being referred to publicly, but I don’t think I have misunderstood the situation.

    If you are not already logged into Blogger, I suppose you will see the ordinary login page, but then when you log in (assuming you are not a team member) you will probably get the same message I did.

  8. Well, the post explaining my reasons for closing comments is now up here. I certainly hope you will reconsider your choice not to read my blog any more. The “members only” thing iis a temporary work around before I delete all the old comments.

    I hope that poeple will still interact with me and sharpen me by email or by posts on their own blogs.

  9. Adrian,

    Are you deleting all old comments. That seems like a drastic thing to do. Do you really think that preachers should never have to answer questions or be challenged? To tell you the truth, I am completely baffled at people who think they are above having a conversation with the hoi polloi.

  10. I most certainly do not think that we don’t have to answer questions. I will be happy to receive emails and I will also try and follow posts about mine using the technorati search tool. I may even drop by other people’s comment section from time to time. Deleting old comments is a necessary part of removing commenting facilities from my blog. They will remain up for a short while to allow people to go in and retrieve any substantial comments they wish to save and/or republish.

  11. Well, Adrian, I broke my own rule for long enough to read your latest post, and I don’t want to stop my other readers doing so.

    I can understand your concern for your own sanity. I would go insane too if I took it upon myself to judge in detail every comment on my blog – quite a lot in the last few days. But I don’t judge them, except that very occasionally I have to give some thought to deleting abusive ones. Why don’t you follow the same policy? You don’t have to be your brothers’ and sisters’ keeper in this matter.

    But concern for your own sanity is not a justification for continuing to blog without any accountability, an issue which you do not consider. I note that you continue to accept e-mails, which is better than nothing, but is not public accountability. If you cannot blog accountably while remaining sane, you should stop blogging altogether. Or perhaps you should expand your team beyond two to make it a team blog, and give someone else responsibility for moderating comments.

    But I will not change my decision. I will not read blogs which are not accountable in any way. You are welcome to comment here on any of my posts, and to remain my Facebook friend. But I will not read your blog again, at least until you change your policy. If you do this, please let me know by e-mail or by comment here.

  12. Well Peter, I am surprised. I would be surprised if I loose many readers by not having a comments box. Even if that were the case, however, I have to do what I feel is right. Even legally there is a bit of a grey area about one’s responsibility for blog comments. Blog owners have been sued both for allowing certain comments to remain up, and on occasion for deleting others!

    I do not believe that merely removing the comments section removes my accountability. You are expressing here today a different view. And, to allow my readers to see that I have posted a link to your post. I do hope you will reconsider your decision not to read my blog. But that decision will not influence me to change my mind.

    I am already feeling as if a burden has been lifted from me! I now no longer need to judge the suitability of other people’s comments, something which I think I was not always very good at.

  13. “I do not believe that merely removing the comments section removes my accountability.”

    Amen.

    “I am already feeling as if a burden has been lifted from me!”

    Very good. A blessing from the Lord. And may He continue to lead and guide you in your decisions Adrian, as well as all of us. Amen.
    But especially for Pastors, i would think, the decisions may be a bit more drastic, for they must care for their family, and their sheep, and the lay church knows not what this burden is, though we have our own burdens to bear. (Galatians 6)

    Peter, thanks for sharing your heart on this. Though I disagree, I can understand how you feel.
    Blessings in the Savior. All for Jesus.

  14. Alastair,

    “I sit with one foot in the reformed camp, the other in the anabaptist.”

    Have you got very long legs, or are you comfortable doing the splits all day?

    Dave

  15. Peter,

    Come on now. Calling on others to do something (or not do something) because you can’t say things on Adrian’s site anymore? His decision is hardly unique, there are many such blogs out there. As Adrian has pointed out, interaction is not stifled. And really, since when do comments have anything to do with accountability? You can still interact with him via email and with his content via your own blog. Accountability takes place in the church – face to face, Christian to Christian. Comments on a blog do not accountability make.

  16. Peter,

    I would question your view that comments are best form of accountability for something that is said.

    When a pastor preaches, the accountability does not come primarily from immediate comments from the congregation. The accountability comes from the Word of God and the relationships that the pastor has in real life, not virtual life on the blog.

    I could say something heretical, and yet there are so many ill-informed Christians out there who may not even recognize the heresy, and be poor accountability partners, though they may be allowed to comment.

    Personally, the best form of accountability for me is that I know that several other pastors on staff at my church, men I know very closely and trust very deeply, because I am serving alongside them, not because I met them on the blog, are going to be evaluating what I write and calling me to account if it is wrong, invalid, or contains some sinful attitude.

    This is true accountability, and it is not necessary for comments to be enabled on my blog for this to happen.

  17. Dave, I am not sure how I manage to do it, but I do. I listen to Driscoll one day, Wright another, read Brian Mclaren another, and agree with Peter Kirk the next 🙂 I suppose I believe in the bible, and see its truth reflected in many traditions. That’s the best answer I can give you right now!

  18. Adrian, I appreciate your conciliatory approach now. If you had taken it earlier you might kept me as your reader. But the way you did what you did seemed to me like a deliberate slap in the face. Remember that you:

    • Refused to post my comment, even when I changed the alleged accusations into questions (which you do not consider to be accusations), while simultaneously allowing a far more abusive comment from someone else, and giving no explanation.
    • Read my post on accountability, commented on it but did not answer my main point, and that very day without any prior announcement went ahead with your change.
    • As your last allowed comment, allowed one from Glenn Piper (no relation) answering one of mine but before I could respond cutting off comments.

    So I took it that you were no longer interested in having meaningful interaction with me.

    Chris wrote:

    Accountability takes place in the church – face to face, Christian to Christian. Comments on a blog do not accountability make.

    I see your point concerning face to face matters, for which accountability should take place face to face, and for matters within the local congregation, for which accountability should be in the local congregation. But Adrian’s propagation of false teaching is in written form and in public on the Internet, and so he should expect accountability in public on the Internet.

    Jesse, of course you also need accountability to your fellow pastors. But do they actually read everything on your blog in detail? The point about accountability from one’s readers is that they do actually read the material, and among them there will be those who notice any errors.

  19. Peter
    I am in the middle of a very busy period in my real life. Hence, I could not respond adequately to your questions. Nor incidently could I explain even to myself my own inconsistency about which comments I had deleted and which I had allowed. So, the simplist solution and the one which works best for me is to simply nuke all comments. That way people can discuss my work to their hearts content elsewhere without worrying if I am going to delete their comments. I thought that would be best all round. I enjoy our interactions, but I enjoy them more when they are not in my comment box which I have a strong sense of accountability and responsibility for, but really struggle with how to determine what to approve or not. I now agree that it is probably inadvisable to screen comments (with the exception of obvious spam) but rather either publish them all or delete them all (which is what I am doing in a 2 stage process) Blogger has a bad habbit of sometimes republishing hte whole blog by mistake so whilst I aim to keep the old comments up there for at least another week or so, I hope that I am sucessful in so doing. Once I hit ‘republish all’ they will all disappear.

  20. I suppose this would concern me, were Adrian prone to any theological errors. Given that he’s probably one of the most Biblical writers in the Blogosphere, I’m not too worried, however.

  21. Well, Shannon, it will not surprise you to hear that I totally disagree about Adrian being especially biblical. For an example, see what he quoted from Driscoll about singleness which completely ignored 1 Corinthians 7 and indeed most of the New Testament. That is why I am very worried about Adrian’s lack of accountability.

  22. I fully support Adrian’s decision as it is his blog and at the end of the day he can do as he pleases.
    Quite sometime ago I wrote to Adrian in private and said to him that he was welcome to delete any comment of mine without explanation and/or to suggest any sort of amendments.
    As such I fail to see why you are making such a fuss.
    You are not being prevented from passing comment here on your own blog or from entering into dialogue with Adrian if you feel that it is needed.
    Your pique (verb) seems to centre around the fact that you will not be able to rant at him on his blog.
    Adrian is certainly accountable to his Church Elders and others and as such he is not avoiding accountability.
    You accuse Adrian of propagating false teaching and yet I and many others would consider you to be doing that very thing.
    I would think that the people who will follow your call to stop reading his blog will be very, very few.
    You might even need both hands to count them up, maybe.

  23. Pingback: Threads from Henry’s Web » Blog Archive » The Fear of Being Wrong

  24. Good Day Peter, Adrian and all.

    I have been commenting on Adrian’s blog recently, particularly on his support of John Piper’s book ‘The Future of Justification’. The more I have read that book (it is available as a free pdf download of the ‘desiring god’ site) the more I have seen past its surface sheen to the destructive intent of Piper. To Piper justification by faith is the imputation of Christ’s active obedience, nothing else really matter (for confirmation see Piper’s earlier book ‘Counted Righteous in Christ’ also a free pdf on ‘desiring god’. His latest book in effect part 2 of this book.

    This is not the accepted Evangelical Doctrine. Look at the Statement of faiths of the Evangelical Alliance, The UCCF, the Felowship of Evangelical CChurches, look at the one from Piper’s own denomination The Baptist General Conference.

    Piper claims to be answering N.T.Wright, but truthfully he is coming against the great mass of evangelicalism including his own denomination.

    Adrian is supporting him.

    Oh well, I thought, perhaps Adrian’s own Jubilee church in north London has Christ’s active obedience in i’s statement of faith and so Adrian is being consistent with the belief of his own church. Wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt I phoned Jubilee Church, they said that they pointed people to the Evamngelical Alliance statement of faith.

    Adrian. What you are doing is dangerous. There are enough real challenges to Evangelical Christian faith at the momement on point historic evangelicalism agrees on, without creating a new faultline on the issue of the imputation of Christs active obedience.

    You claim to be shutting down comments on your blog in order to prevent strife.

    But your line on this issue is one that will create strife and division within the the ranks of orthodox evangelicals.

    It doesn’t even match up with the beliefs of the church you are a member of.

    No, you don’t need to have comments on your blog to be accountable, but you do need to accountable somewhere.

  25. Thanks, Bernard. You make an interesting point! I wonder, is Adrian even accountable to the elders of his own church, and held to account by them for his wrong teaching? But I would need to look into this more deeply than I have time to to confirm whether Piper’s teaching really contradicts the Evangelical Alliance Basis of Faith.

  26. Peter, I thought about supporting your call not to read Adrian because of friendship and my strong respect for you, but it comes down to this: Why do I read Adrian’s blog in the first place?

    The answer is that I do so to put myself under pressure and to be sharpened by someone who is so strongly opposed to my own positions on many issues. It is up to Adrian whether he wants to be sharpened by myself or others. I still need to be challenged by him, as well as by Piper, Driscoll, Grudem, and many others.

    I have long declined to comment on Adrian’s blog because I disapproved of his moderation policy. His policy is his choice, and not participating under those terms is my choice.

    If I had chosen to read and comment on Adrian’s blog in order to hold him accountable, then I might believe it was appropriate for me to cease to read based on his response. But being sharpened or not is his choice. My choice is to be sharpened by reading a selection of blogs with which I disagree profoundly in order to help my own spiritual growth. Adrian’s will be one of those.

  27. Thanks, Henry. The question I have been asking myself is, does reading Adrian’s blog help my spiritual growth or anyone else’s? Not anyone else’s if I can’t comment. And not, I think, my own.

  28. Peter, for clarification, it is not that Piper’s view contradicts accepted evangelical statements of faith, it is that Piper says that some is essential – the active obedience of Jesus – which is not mentioned in them.

    What Piper says is essential is something which has never before been seen as a necessary part of the evangelical gospel.

    If it was seen as essential it would be in the statements of faith.

    Piper therefore seeks to divide the ‘true gospel’ from the ‘false gospel’ on a non-essential point.

  29. Henry,
    I do appreciate your attitude to this issue. I do read your blog from time to time to sharpen my own thinking. I really do not think that having comments or not makes any real difference to that process. I am of course primarily accountable to the elders of my church for my blogging, and there is of course the audience of One to whom we will all answer. But I say again, if I err feel free to try and show me how by email or on others blogs

  30. Adrian, do you not see the irony of using the comments section of my blog to communicate with Henry? I am glad to hear that you are accountable to your church elders, and I hope that they have considered Bernard’s point about Piper’s teaching which requires more than their doctrinal basis does.

  31. It does seem a shame to me that adrian has closed the comments section on his blog. As the fact that the conversation is not one way, as with other media seems to me to be the great strength of the internet and the blogging medium. Has it not ceased to be a blog and become more a newsletter?

  32. Adrian,

    I want to be clear here that I do think leaving comments open makes a difference. This reminds me of two Sunday School teachers I knew, teaching young adult classes. One invited comments and discussion and had a lively exchange going with the students. The other said it was her duty to learn the truth in her study, and then the students should just listen on Sunday.

    The second teacher may have had “the truth” but within a few weeks she also had no students.

    ***

    Peter,

    It is ironic to communicate with Adrian through your blog. The spiritual growth for me in reading Adrian’s blog involves avoiding theological inbreeding. I understand my own beliefs about the atonement much better because I read what he said, felt it was wrong, and was driven back to Bible study to discover whether my feeling was right.

  33. Peter
    It might seem ironic, but I never told anyone else to close their comments section down. I think that your anger with me is more to do with what you felt was inconsistent application of my comment pollicy. I conced that I was not always right in my decisions. I was faced with a choice in the end – allow every comment or delete them all. I decided on the latter.

    Richard
    Many blogs, especially ones more prominent than mine, have no comments.

  34. I think there is something suspect about setting up a new law which says: Thou shalt have comments enabled on your blog.

    It’s a web site, not a church. If I were Adrian, I’d stand firm and not let myself be burdened by a yoke of slavery.

  35. Adrian, my anger against you is because you are propagating false teaching and not allowing it to be challenged. God’s anger may well also be against you for the same reasons, 2 Peter 2:1-3.

    Rob, I am not setting up a new law. Perhaps the “Do not” of my post title was a bit too strong, although that was a good way to get attention; with 294 hits so far it is already in top place for my blog for the last month. But in the body of the post it is clearly a request rather than a commandment, and with reasons clearly stated. Neither Adrian nor his readers are under a yoke of slavery. But Adrian is being discourteous and unaccountable, as well as spreading false teaching, and for me those are good reasons not to read or recommend his blog.

  36. Adrian,

    Many blogs, especially ones more prominent than mine, have no comments.

    Actually there has been a recent trend to add comments to the most popular blogs eg boingboing and ongoing as two examples.

    However, I stick to my view that comments or not are your choice. Certainly I expect that no comments will be less contentious in the long run than moderating away any challenge or criticism.

    I am not hopeful that we will actually see any improvement in you responding to theological challenges, so far you have ignored all such challenges in the recent comments here, on my blog and on your own.

  37. Peter,

    I wasn’t referring to the title of this post but rather the implication that if you run a theological blog, you are somehow morally obliged to allow comments. I can see that it is preferable, but there is nothing to stop you writing rebuttals in your blog just as authors in traditional media dialogue with one another through books and papers (as in Wright vs Piper etc..).

    Also, there may be some broader questions as to what accountability really involves and what it does not involve.

    Adrian is accountable to his (large) family, and is rightly giving them more time. Mere blog readers do not have such authority in his life, just he does not have authority in ours.

  38. Peter, the arrogance of the following comment you made is astounding,
    “does reading Adrian’s blog help my spiritual growth or anyone else’s? Not anyone else’s if I can’t comment.”
    I really fail to see how your ability to comment on Adrian’s blog could have the slightest effect on anybodies spiritual growth.

    You then follow it in another comment with the assertion that,
    “God’s anger may well also be against you for the same reasons..”

    Your attempt to link Adrian’s spiritual accountability with whether or not he allows comments on a blog is patently ridiculous.

    Your ungodly anger (which has no true foundation) merely demonstrates why some people decide to stop comments.

    You make unfounded accusations against Adrian based on your opinion and not on fact.

    If anyone around here is spreading false teaching then you would fit the bill far more than Adrian ever would.

    I leave you to your acerbic mindless ranting.

    At least more people will see you in your true light as a result of your rather strange attacks on Adrian.

  39. Glenn, I’m sorry that I did not make myself clear. I meant “does MY reading Adrian’s blog help my spiritual growth or anyone else’s? …” I was not intending to comment on whether anyone else would be helped if they themselves read Adrian’s blog. However, given the amount of demonstrably false teaching on it, I don’t expect it to be helpful for anyone else, and that is another reason to recommend others not to read it.

    As for my comments on Adrian’s blog, if allowed, helping anyone else’s spiritual growth, I am absolutely convinced that if people had been able to read my twice rejected comment pointing out that Driscoll’s teaching on singleness is utterly contrary to the New Testament, and if they had been open to correction unlike some readers of his blog and mine, then my comment would have helped their spiritual growth.

    Glenn, may I warn you that in the latter part of this comment, where you descend from poor argument to personal abuse, you come very close to the limits of what I consider to be acceptable – which are of course much broader than Adrian’s ever were. If you do not moderate your approach, you may find yourself being moderated or your comments deleted. Note that I have always reserved the right to reject abusive comments.

  40. Pingback: Fairly dull post about blog comments » The Cartoon Blog by Dave Walker

  41. I really fail to see how your ability to comment on Adrian’s blog could have the slightest effect on anybodies spiritual growth.

    For me, it’s what the whole thing says about Christianity.

    I liked Martyn Atkins’ description of evangelist Rob Frost’s life: that Rob was ‘a free sample’ of the Gospel rather than being a salesman of the Gospel.

    Adrian does not even come across as a salesman of the Gospel. He comes across more like a stern nanny of the Gospel.

    Disabling the comments only reinforces the stern Nanny image.

  42. Adrian comes across to me as a salesman of his own variety of the gospel who previously at least let me say something about the product he was trying to sell me although he ignored it, but now won’t even let me say anything, and complains and/or begs when I show him the door. That kind of salesman I usually don’t even let in the house, nor do most people.

  43. Another thing I would like to say in Adrian’s defence, is that he is not spreading novel or anti-evangelical doctrines in the matter of justification.

    Please see Articles 9-13 of the 39 Articles and Chapter 11 of the Westminster Confession of Faith as evidence that the imputation of Christ’s obedience to the believer is not a new idea.

  44. Rob, I don’t think anyone is claiming that this teaching is entirely new.

    Bernard claims that

    To Piper justification by faith is the imputation of Christ’s active obedience, nothing else really matter

    But this is not the teaching of the 39 Articles. (I don’t have the Westminster Confession to hand.) The closest is in Article XI:

    WE are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings …

    The “merit” mentioned here is not further explained, but I think it is usually understood as Christ’s intrinsic merit as Son of God rather than the merit generated by his active obedience. I would suggest that Piper’s version of this does not contradict the Article, but is not its plain teaching, rather it is a possible and more specific interpretation of it. Bernard might want to comment further.

  45. I am not a blog reader, but I have had my attention drawn to this post.

    I am grateful, Peter, that you are obviously so keen that the truth of the bible is proclaimed and taught in the world. I am wholly with you there.

    I just wonder whether the ability to comment on someone elses web page really merits the sort of comments that I read here, some quite vitriolic (on both sides!).

    Of course we must all be accountable, and if our voice is heard in the public domain, even more so.

    However, lets not forget that we are accountable first and formost to God, and that on the final day we will all have to give an account to God for what we have said and done.

    I am sure that Adrian, as you are, is seeking to delve into the truths contained in the bible in good concience, however I simply cannot see that the ability or not to post comments on his own blog makes him unaccountable.

    If that is true, it would seem that I could never witness to a non Christian one on one unless one of my elders was present checking everything I say.

    We all have friends, pastors, and ultimately God to whom we are all accountable. And lets not forget that the New Testament teaches that, if we have a problem with a brother, first and foremost we are to take it to them privately.

    Now I’m sure you have had email discussion with Adrian on this issue and I hope that is beneficial to both of you, however you must surely see that just because I cannot make my own comments felt on his own blog does not mean that he is unaccountable and is “propagator of false doctrine”.

    If this were true, then it seems to me that every pastor preaching a sermon would have to let people interrupt him at any point if they disagreed.

    We are called to exercise discernment. If you feel that Adrian’s blog contains serious error, then that is for you to prayerfully discern and, if you feel the need to, there is nothing preventing you from commenting, as you have done on your own blog, that you feel certain teaching is false.

    But, we must, surely, avoid making this personal.

    More briefly, Bernard, I think you may have misunderstood Piper on Justification. Remember that this book is written specifically as a response to NT Wright and the issue of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness is crucial to that argument.

    The book is NOT supposed to be a full statement on Piper’s position on justification. I would encourage you to read further, if you have not already done so.

  46. Adrian comes across to me as a salesman of his own variety of the gospel who previously at least let me say something about the product he was trying to sell me although he ignored it, but now won’t even let me say anything, and complains and/or begs when I show him the door.

    I’m not sure which one of these options frustrates me more.

    It reminds me of the experience of being female in a male-headship denomination: the invisibility of either: a) not having your comments be worth noticing or b) simply being denied the ability to comment at all.

    It gives me the image of a God who cares about the in group – in this case, those who hold Right Theology – and who totally ignores the humanity of those who are not ‘in’.

    Adrian doesn’t strike me as a salesman because I don’t get the impression he’s actually trying to ‘sell’ his version of the Gospel; he iappears to me to be simply asserting and teaching that he is Correct.

  47. I think the 39 articles (being rather Calvinist in general) should be taken as a statement of justification by imputation. Again however, (and this is crucial) believing in imputation is not the same as believing in imputation of Christ’s active obedience.

    The undefined ‘merit’ could be the benefits of his passion (called ‘passive obedience’ by some) or they could also refer to merits accruing to his entire obedient life (called ‘active obedience’ by some). I would take the article to be definitely talking about the first (because of other statements it makes) and unclear about the second.

    Reformed theology has been divided (not necessarily equally in a numerical sense) over whether imputation involves just passive or bot passive and active obedience. Thus I wouldn’t want to make imputation of active obedience a marker of reformed orthodoxy, whereas imputation of passive obedience is. In other words, Jesus’ death is my death thru union with him – this I’d fight for, whereas the fact that his life of obedience is mine (which I also believe) is not something I’d fight for in the same way at all.

    This distinction is important, because people who reject one form of imputation (i.e. of active obedience) do still believe in imputation.

  48. I think what I’m trying to say above is that the articles do believe in imputation, so other forms of justification are not strictly speaking an ‘anglican’ option (i.e. infusion or something, or justification by God’s work in changing us).

    But neither is it a given that the articles take a clear side in the ‘just passive’ vs ‘passive and active’ debate.

    What is more, while imputation is a matter of reformed doctrine, there is and has been disagreement over the exact form of some aspects of that imputation. So Piper’s version is mainstream in some ways but not agreed on by all the reformed.

  49. Thanks, Pete. Your explanation is helpful. I never did understand these arcane distinctions between varieties of “Reformed” theology. I just know that such issues can quickly get people hurling anathemas at one another. I am reminded of Paul’s strategy of dividing his enemies in Acts 23:6-10, although that has not been a deliberate policy on my part.

    While the 39 Articles are in principle a guide for us Anglicans, very few of us now take them at all seriously. Doug Chaplin has an interesting ongoing series about these articles, from a catholic viewpoint with which I have interacted quite a lot. Doug’s post on Article XI includes a quote from a homily on justification which may be relevant, and an interesting introduction to the New Perspective on Paul.

  50. You don’t like being called to account, fine, but you really should take a big step back and reassess the way you choose to talk about others.
    You do make accusations against others, but that seems to be okay as long as no one makes accusations against you.
    Your overreaction to Adrian’s decision is a case in point.
    These are only blogs. If you decided to stop comments on your blog in the same way as Adrian has, I and many others wouldn’t care less.
    That is the same reaction I and many others have had to Adrian stopping all comments.

    If I had an issue with something Adrian said I would email him and, as I know he is a very busy man, I would then wait patiently for a response. (As I would with anyone else)
    The point being that I could, if I so desired, still make contact.

    What seems to bother you the most is that you will not be able to publicly dispute with Adrian on his blog.

    At the end of the day it is his blog and it is not for you or anyone else to gainsay his decisions in regard to that blogs administration.

  51. Romans 5:10 is interesting in connection with the passive and active righteousness of Christ as applied to us. Both the death and life of Jesus saves us.

  52. At the end of the day it is his blog and it is not for you or anyone else to gainsay his decisions in regard to that blogs administration.

    Glenn, I would have to say that I agree with you on this point. Although I am not a heavy commenter on blogs, I feel that Adrian has every right to stop commenting and allowing others to comment. If he wanted to, he could even allow anyone to comment without responding to anyone else’s comments. From what I gather from reading Adrian’s blog is that he wishes to re-prioritize his time to serving his congregation. In life, everyone must re-prioritize from time to time. If this means that one should stop blogging for period of time, then so be it. I will have my first new born baby arrive into this world within one month. I foresee that I will certainly be doing much less blogging in the future…re-prioritizing.
    So we must all let Adrian do what he has to do.

    As far as wrong doctrine is concerned, I think this debate is about 5 centuries old. It goes back to the catholic vs. protestant understanding of justification.
    Personally, I don’t think it’s worth arguing about. I just tend to listen (read) and nod my head up & down, or left & right. But I tend not to argue about it too much. Too much of unhealthy argument can lead to dissension and unfriendliness. Sometimes, or most times, a little controversy is good because it does sharpen our own understanding, sometimes in the same direction, but sometimes in a new direction. Either way, might be good.

  53. You don’t like being called to account

    Huh? Is this addressed to Adrian? I have no objections to being called to account, Glenn, and have allowed you and others to do so even though you have done so using language which is only barely acceptable.

    At the end of the day it is his blog …

    Indeed. He has the right to close his blog to comments. I have the right on my blog to express my opinions about this as I have done, to stop reading his blog, and to ask others to do the same.

    Kevin, of course Adrian needs to balance his priorities. My opinion is that if he does not have adequate time to blog properly, including remaining accountable and interacting with comments, he should stop blogging completely. But it is his decision.

  54. if he does not have adequate time to blog properly, including remaining accountable and interacting with comments, he should stop blogging completely.

    Peter, there are no standard rules for how a person should blog. With comments, it’s like an open forum; and without comments, it is a regular website with an option to email the author. From my perspective, Adrian’s blog has merely changed into the second type.

    Assuming the second type of blog, of which Adrian’s has become, could we then say that the entire world of Christian websites are unaccountable? I believe that everyone is ultimately held accountable to God, and to one’s church and one’s fellowship of believers whether he allows comments, or not…and whether a website even has an option for emails, nor not. In his decision to opt for not allowing comments, it’s entirely a personal prerogative that he has the power to determine.

  55. Kevin, in my opinion the main problem with “the entire world of Christian websites” is precisely that they are unaccountable. I can rarely recommend them, except for the few which I know to be affiliated to orthodox groups, because I can never be sure without reading the whole site in detail that they are not sectarian or promoting false teaching. Blogs are a bit safer precisely because I can read the comments, and can comment myself if I find some dubious teaching on an otherwise helpful blog.

    As for your last sentence, have I not said enough times in previous comments that I entirely agree with this?

  56. Wow; so can we consider this a papal bull from your desk?

    I’m sorry – what I ought to be asking is are you speaking ex cathedra or not?

    Peter, I think Adrian ought to be allowing comments also. But I don’t think you ought to be telling other people whether to read his blog or not, it seems very immature. I’ll read it if I want to.

  57. Hey Peter, I want to apologize for what I just said, it was very immature. I recognize what you’re saying, and I don’t want to disagree. Again; I’m really sorry.

  58. Thanks, Tyler. No problem. I understand your reaction. As I have noted in previous comments, it is of course up to each person to decide whether to read Adrian’s blog. Wording this as a command “Do not read…” was as much to attract attention as anything else. It certainly succeeded in that.

  59. To consider comments on a blog as “accountability” certainly diminishes the entire concept. The whole blog concept is shrowded in anonymity and does’t lend itself well to accountability on any level.

    The blogasphere is akin to discoursing with strangers while waiting for a bus.

  60. Thank you, IndyChristian. Your thoughts are good – and, for reference, here.

    Note that I do not erase or moderate away comments from my blog unless they are offensive, or are unrelated to the topic – which includes spam and also a guy who keeps posting copies of an entire book as comments here.

  61. In one of my last comments on Adrian’s blog I said that I would post a review of John Piper’s book, The Future of Justification, on http://www.amazon.co.uk. I have just done so. I have read several Piper books on the way. I think he’s good on many things, but not when he writes a book like this. He has used N.T.Wright as his whipping boy.

  62. Thanks, Bernard. Your review is here. This review is helpful in confirming to me that the book is not worth reading. It also seems to me to show how in certain circles it is considered necessary to demonise certain authors even when you can find nothing substantive to disagree with them on!

  63. Thanks for the link Peter, I don’t know how to do them!

    I gave Piper the benefit of the doubt and read a few of his other books to see what they were like. The future of Justification is in effect part 2 of Counted Righteous in Christ, a book of his from a few years back. It is no better. I have now posted a review on http://www.amazon.co.uk for that as well.

    John Piper does write some excellent books, a recent one was God is the Gospel (a very N.T.Wright statement), Piper makes a number of new perspective style comments in the book. I wonder if he will now take himself to task? 🙂

  64. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » My most popular posts

  65. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » God the Blogger

  66. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Atonement: the Warnock wars

  67. Pingback: Adrian Warnock reopens comments - Gentle Wisdom

  68. A blog (a blend of the term web log)is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries.

    So many blogs allow comments, however being as it is a we blog (diary, record) there is not mandatory to have a comments section. If you don’t like what is posted, do go to a particular blog.

    Telling others NOT to go to a blog because you can’t post comments is rather petty. Authors publish books but don’t have a comments section that everyone can post to. A blog is an electronic form of publishing, in this case what I want to publish, I don’t need others comments on my thoughts, feelings, perspectives….

    If you don’t like someones blog, don’t go there but don’t tell others to boycott them because of your personal biases…petty, immature and CONTROL issues. Were you the school bully too!

    I wonder WWJD?

    Don’t read Peter’s blog, he has made a deliberate decision to condemn and judge others, so unchristian.

  69. Andrea, thank you for your comment. First, I hope you noted the date of this post, nearly four years ago, and that more recently I have withdrawn what I wrote then. And then you seem to have ignored my main reason for the request I made then, which was Adrian’s refusal to be accountable for errors and distortions in what he wrote – including some which I had previously pointed out both here and in later deleted comments on Adrian’s blog.

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