A Little Pushback for My Friends

Last week the episode of the MOS podcast which aired was recorded by Carl and Aimee while I was in Dallas for the PCA’s General Assembly. I had not listened to the episode but when I saw that some more progressive folks in the PCA were referring to the episode to criticize the Gospel Reformation Network (GRN) I became more than a little curious.

The approach of MOS has always been that we are a casual conversation. As such, there is very little (and I mean VERY little) preparation that goes into our podcast discussions. Some of you are thinking, “That’s quite obvious Todd.” That sort of approach has some strengths and some weaknesses just as a carefully scripted approach would have as well.

In their discussion Carl and Aimee addressed the fact that the SBC, PCA, and OPC were all having their national gatherings about the same time. But in the midst of their discussion they made some statements about the Gospel Reformation Network that were not accurate. The suggestion was that the GRN is a political lobbying body within the PCA. I can tell you, that ain’t the case.

There is indeed a political lobbying body in the PCA. It is called the National Partnership and they are rather secretive. They actively seek to rally votes on the floor of the Assembly and to fill committees with like-minded men. The GRN does none of that. Indeed, they have been criticized by some fellow conservatives precisely because they do not lobby or organize votes.

The GRN is simply not a political body. Now, we are all from one degree or another, political. Anyone speaking out on certain issues can be accused of being political. And, of course, that is not always bad. Indeed, sometimes it is good and necessary to “be political.” But the GRN has consciously chosen to not be an organizing body to turn out votes at General Assembly. There is no instant message system used by the GRN during GA to make sure everyone is voting the right way. Though, the National Partnership uses precisely that approach.

I know for a fact that members of the GRN counsel are in regular conversation with brothers on the more progressive end of the PCA in order to promote understanding and ensure they do not misrepresent their brothers. I appreciate this about them.

In case you are wondering, I have no formal relationship with the GRN though I count several of their council members as good friends. I do not write content for them. I do not advise them. I do not contribute financially to them (though, I’m considering it). What I am, is deeply appreciative of the GRN.

The GRN was born about the time I was entering the PCA some six years ago. They came together to respond to the rather serious errors which were growing in popularity and being spread by Tullian Tchividjian, his Liberate movement, and its supporters and admirers. Of course we know that behind those errors resided some rather scandalous sin. But that is another story. I am grateful that the men who came together to form the GRN decided to step into the controversy and confront the errors.

Now the PCA faces another set of errors being forced upon us by Revoice and “Side B” homosexuality. Thankfully the GRN is seeking to provide biblical and confessional responses to these errors. On the Tuesday before General Assembly the GRN hosted a conference called A Time to Stand. The addresses were excellent. I would encourage you to listen to them. They can be found on Youtube. Soon the audio will be available on the GRN site.

It seems to me that the GRN exists to promote Presbyterianism within the PCA. Their stated purpose is “To cultivate healthy Reformed churches in the Presbyterian Church in America.” You can find their core distinctives HERE.