The Serrated Edge meets Wisdom

Pastor Wilson –

I am taking for granted that you how much I genuinely love your ministry and respect you, so I hope you will take no offense at this post. I want it taken in the context it is intended – as a loving and respectful expression of concern and disagreeement.

I find your response here to Prof. Frame’s critique to be excellent, and nearly without objection. But here is the problem I have: having read your 21 criteria points for a license to carry the “serrated edge”, I am certain that I have never met one individual in 33 years of residency in Reformedville who passes the test – not a one. The criteria are solid, but the practicalities of all this have got to be dealt with.

The demographic of the Reformed church, and certainly of the “Serrated Edge” readership is MOSTLY young, MOSTLY male, and UNANIMOUSLY out of bounds with the 21 points to some degree or another. In other words, the risk outweighs the benefit to dangling a “serated edge” license to folks … I have heard Gary North write for decades that he had a right to be a repugnant jerk to the people he disagreed with (and I am only referring to the orthodox evangelicals he disagreed with), because Calvin and Luther were really harsh with folks … I have heard countless internet hacks repeat the same nonsense. Well, as Dan Quayle learned, he was no John Kennedy! My concern with your book was never the theological content, though I do believe it warrants a massive re-publication, not with these 21 points as an “appendix”, but with them as the first chapter. However, beyond the rightness or wrongness of any content is the practical reality we are dealing with. The demographic does not support circulation of this book – not at this point in time. It is being used in a way you do not want, and I am sure did not intend, and whatever upside could possibly exist to its publication is far out-weighed by this reality. Now, I am very sensitive to the fact that some may say, “I lynched that homo last night, because Greg Bahnsen told me to” … You are not culpable for what you could not reasonably anticipate those whould do. But there are “weightier matters” of the law, as Doug Jones has said on more than one occassion. In my view, the “weight” of being allowed to use sarcasm against well-meaning evangelicals is so light, it flies away, especially in relative comparison to the weight of rude and obnoxious and cruel professing Christians who have set our cause back decades with their lifestyles and mouths.

At least as it pertains to other believers, the pragmatism in me reinforces that we catch more flies with honey; the Christian in me reinforces that wisdom is the crying need of the hour.

With great respect,
David L. Bahnsen