ECT and Ref21 (a personal counterpoint)
March 3, 2015
On this blog, fellow contributor Jeremy Walker has offered a "rapid response" protest of the first installment, by Timothy George, of a three-part series on the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. In doing so, Walker no doubt gave voice to the concerns of many Ref21 readers, subsequently reassured, I trust, by Rick Phillips's post on "the Alliance's unwavering opposition to ECT."
For my part, I am sorry George's article was pulled. Read in light of how Mark McDowell framed the series, I thought it was clear that George (an ECT participant) was a guest contributor representing his own, obviously non-Ref21 perspective on this issue for descriptive and historical purposes. Maybe a note to this effect heading the article would have helped, but it's hard to image a better piece than George wrote to remind us of what the contributors to ECT were thinking and attempting and what was at stake in their effort. Perhaps he reminded us a little too well. But, knowing that Trueman was going to get the final word, it seems to me a little patience would have secured worthwhile returns.
Walker's protest goes further than just clarifying that George does not speak for him (or us), however; he questions whether any space on a site "dedicated to Reformed principles" should be devoted to an article like this--"an apologia for ECT." But isn't Ref21 exactly the place we want readers of all sorts coming to process and assess things like ECT at twenty? And isn't that worth hearing directly, on occasion, from those with whom we may disagree?
Not long ago Tom McCall, a self-described "Wesleyan-Arminian theologian" at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, strongly criticized a work attempting to defend Reformed principles on this site. I found that review quite helpful, as I did George's article posted this morning, and certainly worthy of inclusion in this space--a space where we set the context and offer the final word, whether about Crossway promotions, pastors' dogs, or ECT.