As soon as your group starts to be influenced one's ability to command serious media attention you have Corinthian Christianity

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Larry's picture

Moderator

I am questioning your contribution here because (1) it seems to have no foundation (what does it mean that Trueman holding hands with TGC and how does that work?) and (2) it seems to have no relevance (even if he were, how does that change anything here?)

Trueman has been vocal about his opposition to celebrity pastors and coalitions, even speaking publicly against it in a panel discussion at T4G.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Oh right, the discussions by the T4G celebrity Pastors where people are charging money to hear what they have to say. An article from the Wartburg Watch raises some concerns Trueman (the Wartburg Watch is not a fundamentalist site, btw, for those going to it and it is not considered by many to be on the right side of Evangelical). Here is just one quote:

Carl Trueman, who wrote an excellent article several years ago on idol worship in the Young, Restless and Reformed movement, has now joined ranks with the Fab Four and will be featured at T4G 2012. Where are those who are sounding the warning about these Calvinista prophets who appear to be profiting handsomely from this venture?

The relationship between publishing, profiting and these conferences is becoming increasingly an immodest feature of T4G which is promoted by The Gospel Coalition and has cross-over participants. Granted one thing, Trueman did remove himself as Editor of the Themelios blog when TGC took it over but to go from driving the bus to riding the bus while saying the bus is going in the wrong direction, well if Trueman's own words:

At seventeen, my son seems to grasp something that has apparently been missed by so many of the great and the good.

His criticisms, at best, are general and self-deflecting.

Larry's picture

Moderator

That doesn't address either question.

How is Trueman "holding hands" with TGC (what does that even mean?) and how is that relevant to his point?

If you read his actual complaint, it is about choosing leaders based on their "ability to command serious media attention or simply fill that stadium." If you actually listened to Trueman, he recommended having a few nobodies preach, and not publicizing the schedule. Many of the people at TGC are virtually unknown, and they got rid of one of their biggest names over affiliations. All of which doesn't excuse any excesses, and none of which has any relevance to the point.

I don't know what anybody gets paid to speak, and I don't know what they do with the profits. Do you? If you don't, then I don't know how you can say anything about it.

But to the point, how is Trueman wrong? You have yet to point that out to us.

BTW, you don't have to pay money to hear what they have to say. You can download it all and listen, and most of the main sessions are live streamed.

Alex Guggenheim's picture

I have both read and heard Trueman so if you would actually not assume someone has or has not done something before implying one way or the other, you might actually be able to have a conversation with that person.

In your opinion you don't believe I have a point. Fine. I do not consider you to be a person who is very objective but you are welcome to your opinion.

As to the charge, it is for attending which is charging those who wish to attend to hear, face to face, so yes they charge money. I guess since after charging everyone money and recording the event and providing the recordings at no charge, that makes the first peccancy acceptable.

Trueman rides the bus he says is going in the wrong direction, he just doesn't do it as often as others.

Larry's picture

Moderator

Again, no answer to the actual questions. I am not  interested in this other stuff. So I will bow out.

It seems to me that Truman is right ... too many groups have the wrong qualifications for leadership, and too many people are interested in money (though I am making no statement about anyone individually). And that was Trueman's point. When you mix wrong qualifications (get us attention) with an inordinate desire for money (give me more), Christianity looks bad, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that.

Whether Trueman is guilty of that (or is somehow complicit in it) and thus hypocritical is a completely different issue, an no evidence has been offered in support of that. Of course, some people avoid all temptation to celebrity just by being jerks, which I guess is one way to deal with it. Trueman certainly rankles some feathers at times. And other people do worse.  But that's all irrelevant to his point.

And, though it is a minor point, your statement that they charge to hear what they say was simply incorrect. They charge to attend. You can hear (both live and recorded) for free (or actually for the cost of a computer and an internet connection). In an age where bandwidth costs something, that is no insignificant contribution, it seems to me. I have enjoyed all the T4G and TGC conferences made possible by the generous contributions of people who actually show up and pay for the bandwidth and technology. So my thanks to you.

rogercarlson's picture

Alex,

I have no real interest in defending T4G or the Gospel coalition.  But I did attent the first to T4G conferences.  I have no idea what the speakers paid.  I do know that I paid about $200 for each conference, and received about twice that in free books both times.  Yes the free books came from the publishers, but the point still stands.  Your implication that people are being overcharged (at least for the first two T4G's) is silly, and not well thought out.  I got more materially than I put into it.  More importantly, I gleaned a great deal spiritually and did not agree with everything. 

 

I would benefit from you actually interacting with Larry's question to you.  That would be a good contribution.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Alex Guggenheim's picture

Larry wrote:

And, though it is a minor point, your statement that they charge to hear what they say was simply incorrect. They charge to attend. You can hear (both live and recorded) for free (or actually for the cost of a computer and an internet connection). In an age where bandwidth costs something, that is no insignificant contribution, it seems to me. I have enjoyed all the T4G and TGC conferences made possible by the generous contributions of people who actually show up and pay for the bandwidth and technology. So my thanks to you.

They do charge to hear, face to face. You can qualify it as being charged to attend but the attending is for the purpose of hearing. But a good Calvinist knows how to rationalize dichotomies when it is most important for his cause. Smile

Does bandwidth cost? Certainly, but that is what genuine ministry does, it bears that burden and does not charge up front, not in the end, rather it is supported by offerings in response to its ministry. Kudos for that.

The point, as you say, may be minor in your mind but to others it is much more significant. But to the major point of Trueman's complaint and his continued participation in the matter, though on a limited basis; the method of the business of Christian conferencing/book publishing with the T4G and TGC group is the very basis, the soil and seed, for cultivating ministerial celebretisim and its subsequent cultural of accompanied financial accouterments.

As to getting something out of conferences, that isn't what Trueman was addressing. It is quite obvious that if to get something out of a conference/book publisher huckstering and its immodest celebritism financial cultural justified such events, Trueman would have no argument and would have never posted such a complaint seeing that many of these events, regardless of the severity of their offense of merchandising and profiting, some people do get something out of them. That isn't the argument, it isn't the debate. 

Trueman knows better than the ends justifying the means, particularly with appeals to the view of his 17 year old who hasn't learned such rationalizations to assuage his Christian conscience. Hence, in my view, Trueman needs to add to his moral weight with more precision in identifying these guilty groups and more ministerial distance from them.

Clearly we disagree and obviously you have bowed out. So I will expect that this is the last post between us. Thanks though.