Where the Sanctification Controversy Lies

Rick Phillips

The long-simmering controversy over the doctrine of sanctification has heated up considerably lately, especially with The Gospel Coalition's removal of Tullian Tchividjian's blog from its website.  Tullian has taken to the media and yesterday in an interview made the comment that he has been slandered.  He has also publicly stated that the criticisms against his teaching are based on personal and spiritual defects in his accusers.  No specifics are given, much less proof of how he could know this.  If this was not surprising enough, Tullian then stated that there is nothing controversial in anything that he teaches.  Hearing this, one has to wonder if he actually has read the concerns raised against him (see Michael Kruger's post which argues that Tullian is not responding with reference to the actual criticisms). 

Since I am one of the people who has expressed grave concern over Tullian's teaching regarding sanctification, and since I described his blog post on 1 John 5:2-3 as false teaching, let me respond that whatever my personal defects or those of others in this debate, the real issues are in fact substantive and not at all personal.  In the interest of clarification, let me therefore point out where in my opinion the controversy lies over Tullian's teaching.