I am not a big fan of Trevin Wax, but credit where credit is due I thought his recent post Please Don’t Weaponize Good-Faith Disagreement was bang on.
At first I was a little trepidatious and assumed this was going to be another, third way, winsome, be nice, lecture. But in actuality Wax and I agree far more on this issue than we disagree. A good amount of our agreement probably stems from his (probably even wider than mine) exposure to that underworld of discernment bloggers/podcasters. A small group with an outsized voice, that tends to amplify the worst tendencies in churchmen that Wax is diagnosing so well.
I would be interested in hearing Wax address the fact that sometimes discernment “creators” are the ones who do catch things early, or are the only ones talking about important but non-vogue issues. The problem is that often they shoot themselves in the foot with all of their gossip or or pride filled monologuing.* As Wax describes they cancel everyone because no one meets their own personal theological standards. I had said a few weeks ago how sad it was that what looked to be a new Young Restless and Reformed movement had been aborted. And a lot of that tragedy comes from the kind of online behavior from those guys that Wax outlines. Like the guy who now thinks Neil Shenvi is drifting. Saints and ministers of grace preserve us.
I would like to list several of the points where I though Wax was on fire:
Easy Labels, the kind of words that get thrown on people like “problematic.” I hate that word, but I also took from Wax that I should be more careful with, “progressive.”
Signaling over Substance, this is why I keep a two week minimum delay for commenting on any current event. If you expect me to signal on something, well tough cookies, you are going to have to wait two weeks. If it holds you attention long enough, then I might say what I think after I have considered whatever it is.
Questions under his Way Forward section, I might do a follow up to this post where I work though my thoughts on these questions, but or now go read the post and muse on them yourself.
If I had one critique, it would be a very minor one. Possibly only registered because as I mentioned above I am not the biggest fan Trevin Wax has out there and have my sensors to maximum. There was maybe the tiniest hint of, “punching right, coddling left.” But all in all it was quite balanced and well worth a read.
*There is one guy… He loves his own voice so much. I swear if he had a video editor his hour long Youtube show could be trimmed to five minutes of actual useful content. He. Just. Won’t. Shut. Up.