An Editorial Response to Vision Forum

ADDED 12:35 AM Friday, October 6, 2006

Some words of explanation/clarification:

  • We had made several attempts to contact and converse with VF leadership, as well as with Scott Brown of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, following the original publication of the articles in 2005. An invitation to provide clarification of their position on the SI platform was offered to VF/NCFIC multiple times. The invitation still stands.
  • We have republished the “Family Squabble” article (though they have not specifically requested that we do so) in the interests of furthering charitable dialogue and clarification of the issues that unite and divide.
  • The most recent “personal contact” made with Jason before the recent publication of multiple articles on October 4, 2006, consisted of a fax of Einwechter’s article on the same day it was published online.
  • Jason is continuing to attempt personal conversation and dialogue between the VF leadership and the SI team.

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A little over a year ago, SI published a series of articles by Joe Fleener and Aaron Blumer detailing some concerns with the Family Integrated Church Movement. Joe Fleener specifically named Vision Forum Ministries in his three part series.

This week, Vision Forum began to issue a response to these articles. We have included the text to the main response on the SI blog.

However, it seems to have been implied that VF considers the publication of these articles at SI as “blogosphere gossip.” Prefacing Michael Gobart’s article is this statement:

The following article is presented as one example among many…of a SharperIron.org author attempting to discredit his brothers in Christ based on a point of scholarship over which he does not appear to have even a rudimentary understanding.

Furthermore, on the same day the articles by Gobart and Einwechter were posted, an excerpt from the Westminster Confession of Faith was published on the Vision Forum website. The post was entitled, “The Westminster Confession on Blogosphere Gossip.” The sidebar informs readers that:

“[T]he Larger Catachism [sic] to the Westminster Confession of Faith provides a relevant challenge both to unruly bloggers and the readers who receive their ungodly reports.”

What I fail to see is how SI or our authors have participated in gossip or slander against the men of Vision Forum. No character accusations have been made. Joe Fleener has attempted to show his disagreement and concerns with VF on theological grounds. Einwechter’s response, if anything, seems to elaborate on theonomy rather than deny Fleener’s point.

Whether VF finds Fleener’s case to be deficient is immaterial. Theological disagreement (even what VF might consider to be poorly stated disagreement) is not synonymous with gossip or slander. I suggest our brothers in Christ at Vision Forum need to reconsider the charges they have made against us.

Greg Linscott
Forum Director, SharperIron
greglinscott@sharperiron.org

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