Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Trueman on Blog Attackers and the Gospel

Carl Trueman talking about blog attacks:
Further, for those who make it their primary means of discourse, it is also a cowardly medium. Few - in fact, none - of my web critics have ever had the courage to look me in the eye, or even pick up the phone (other than anonymously - and that's another story, sadly involving my wife and kids) and tell me what they really think about me. Possibly this is because the web is, by and large, a young person's medium and belongs to an effete generation apparently incapable of understanding disagreement in anything other than deeply personal terms and strangely incompetent when it comes to handling face-to-face conflict. The gung-ho ferocity of blog attacks is often matched only by the oleaginous fawning of the webwarriors when encountered in the flesh, something which I confess has been, on occasion, a source of some mild, and probably sinful, amusement to me as I observe their unctuous and sycophantic squirming in my presence. I have seen the future, and, frankly, it looks like Uriah Heep with a Facebook account.
But at the end he turns to the model of Luther, who would respond to Satan's accusations by saying, "You do not know the half of it. I have done much worse than that and if you care to give me your full list, I can no doubt add to it and help make it more complete." Carl writes:
Luther knew what temptation looked like; he knew his own wickedness; but he also knew the all-surpassing perfection and grace of Christ. So, in closing, I want to thank my blog critics, the crass, the colourful, the profane, and the plain old crazy, for helping me to understand better my sin and my Saviour. You think I'm arrogant? You should talk to my wife: she could fill you in on just how arrogant I really am. You think I'm ruthless and cold? Believe me, you don't know where half of the bodies are buried. You think I'm a weak and spineless girlyman? Hey, you don't know nearly the extent of my cowardice. You think I'm an inveterate street fighter? Bring it on. If someone will hold my coat, why go out onto the street? We can finish this right here and right now. But you know what? My Saviour knows the full depth of all my sleaziness, my sin, and my moral insanity, and has covered by his blood all these crimes you allege against me. Indeed, he has covered many more and much worse; and your reminders of my sinfulness and my need of him are most gratefully received.

Those disturbed by web attacks on their good names should not be so. Believe me, you are much worse than they say, and God is much greater and more gracious than they imagine. It's bandit country out there on the web but sane people know lunacy when they see it: let the nutters do their nutjobby thing; let the psychos babble; and let the vicious vent. And then, in the tradition of Luther, thank God for bandit country and use the malice you find there to help you appreciate Christ.
Read the whole thing.