Carl Trueman brags about his political maneuverings against Peter Enns (Westminster)

At the bottom of this essay about the Church of Scotland, Carl Trueman brags about the strategies he used against Peter Enns.

. . . before launching any public campaign, I would have looked at the history of those churches and institutions that have turned themselves around to see what actually works as opposed to what merely seems like a good idea at the time — say, the Missouri Synod Lutherans, the Southern Baptist Convention, Southern Seminary, and even my own small place, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). The changes in those places had a number of things in common: the reformers organized and prepared for every eventuality, putting into place safety nets and multiple `Plan Bs’, they identified the places where influence could be wielded, mastered procedure, fought like the blazes when they had to, stood strong and immovable in the face of violent opposition, and outmanoeuvred their opponents by continual attention to meeting agendas, points of order, procedural matters, and long-term coordinated strategy. They did not waste time and energy on irrelevant sideshows like rhetorical petitions that merely provided the material for public relations disasters.

There you have it – straight from the horse’s mouth.

Daniel Kirk gives gave a good biblical response here – Cruciform Ethics and Evil Done in Jesus’ Name (part 1) (part 2). (Stay tuned for more at Kirk’s Sibboleth blog is no more 😦 and follow the discussion there.)

Background (with other links) herehere, here, and here.

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8 thoughts on “Carl Trueman brags about his political maneuverings against Peter Enns (Westminster)

  1. Thanks for these links. Daniel Kirk’s response is brilliant.

  2. Reformed Sinner says:

    It’s obviously this place is pro-Enns and anti-Trueman, but I don’t get why this paragraph shows or proofs any evil intentions. Carl is doing exactly what any good and organize person does in the face of divisions and conflicts. It’s no different then when you serve as a Church elder and there’s a great division and you are trying to handle that division and un-Biblical thoughts.

    What? You rather be unorganize, have no plans in action, do not know Church procedures, etc.?

    • Ben says:

      "Reformed Sinner," is there a particular reason you don’t wish to be known?

      Anyway in reply to your comment, organization is one thing, but I’m curious what you thought of Daniel Kirk’s presentation of Christ-like cruciform living.

      At another level for me, the signs of fruit in every true believer are at least love (the Greatest Commandment) and evidence of the Holy Spirit.

      When I read 1 Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:16-26 and take the two most recent posts from Carl Trueman (e.g. the quote posted above) and Thank God for Bandit Country and contrast them with any post from Peter Enns’s blog–especially ones in which he is debating with someone who disagrees with him, I find the differences in tone telling. Here, I’m only talking about recent statements of public record, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the back-room Machiavellian maneuvering that Trueman alludes to in this quote.

      The bottom line is that spirit-filled believers can never leave aside the Bible itself–the way of Christ–(and these really are the most basic elementary foundations) in the name of any fight.

      [PS: I apologize for the more patronizing tone in the earlier version of this response.]

  3. Y’know “Reformed Sinner” (and why is it every Carl Trueman apologist on the Internet never uses a real name?)…y’know, you’re right. Duh! I just went back and read my New Testament, and I’d completely forgotten that Jesus outsmarted that wiley Sanhedrin and won control of the Temple by outmaneuvering them through crafty use of procedural law. Yep, it’s such a killer scene in the gospels when in the middle of his trial he brings in that team of lawyers and totally nullifies Caiphas’s majority by proving his trial was illegal. And then when he had them all crucified later that day, well, just good church polity!

    We apologize for this oversight, and promise to follow more closely the example of Jesus, that master of power politics, just like your beloved Dr. Trueman does.

  4. Hmmm….Reformed Sinner, so very vocal on the Greenbaggins blog where you are surrounded by those who automatically nod their head at every statement you make…so silent to our replies here.

    Perhaps I will write you privately (since I know who you are 😉 and ask why no response here.

    • Reformed Sinner says:

      Well, sorry Mark, I don’t really keep tabs on the blogs I visited (except Greenbaggins because I have a few friends there).

      And to answer more directly, as I’ve explained on greenbaggins as well, I don’t look at blogs as a place to settle anything, but rather, a nice place to share opinions and offer alternatives. At least that’s how I view it, so thus, yes, when people started to repeat the same things over and over again I usually become silent (or also when I have nothing more to offer.)

      In this particular case what else do you want me to say? Trueman is not evil, Trueman is evil, Trueman is not evil, Trueman is evil… I stop playing this game a long while ago. I offered an opinion on a particular article Trueman wrote: he’s not boasting but simply reminding all other orthodox Christians to deal with theological diversity within a church or organization the proper way, by the established orders and procedures, and settle everything in an “orderly” fashion.

      As an answer to Ben’s challenge why I “hide” my name, as if I am ashamed of my identity in his implication. Well, depends how you look at it, many great Church writings of the past are written in “hiding”, frequently the author simply calls himself “a servant of God” or “God’s humble instrument”, etc. By no means I’m writing anything “great”, but at the same time I just don’t like to give out my names and pictures. Yet I am not deliberately hiding anything, case in point even Mark knows my name… LOL

  5. TheologyBarnum says:

    I have lost my faith. I think the Reformed faith caused me to lose it.

    • Ben says:

      I’m very sorry to hear that. Do you want to say or dialogue more about that. Feel free to contact me off-line too if you think that would be helpful. Benjamin.Byerly{AT}negst.edu

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