An Apology image

An Apology

So I made a fool of myself recently. At least three times while contributing to this blog, and perhaps on other occasions which I don't know about, I've claimed things on the basis of stuff I've read, only to have others point out to me that I've misunderstood them, misrepresented the people I'm talking about, and in some cases done so in a tone that was dishonouring and unfair to brothers and sisters in Christ. I did it with Stanley Fish, I did it with Charles Spurgeon, and last week, I did it to David Cramer, Mary van Leeuwen and Scot McKnight. This brief post, then, is a sincere apology to all three of them, as well as to any other readers who saw it.

If you read the article at the time, which we’ve since taken down, you’ll know that although its main aim was to address the “slippery slope” argument about egalitarianism, I began with two paragraphs on a pair of articles in The Priscilla Papers which Scot summarised and linked to on his blog recently. The problem is, I never actually read the articles, only Scot’s summaries - and consequently I misunderstood the thrust of particularly the second one, by Mary van Leeuwen, and misrepresented it (all the while critiquing both it and Scot for saying much the same thing as I was saying myself). Van Leeuwen’s piece was not arguing that social science proved anti-essentialism; she was arguing that social science does not lend decisive support in that debate one way or another. On that basis, all three of my criticisms - that her article would undermine the authority of Scripture, that the editors should have seen the irony, and that Scot should have as well - were entirely unfounded, and I apologise unreservedly to them all.

I’ve often said here, and elsewhere, that a whole bunch of the things I say or teach will turn out, when Jesus returns, to have been wrong. This is one of those times. Sorry, everyone. I’ll try to be more careful in future.

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