Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yowzie! The CHEC controversy looks like it is about to boil over . . .

Tim Martin forewarned me he intended to write about what happened between Sonlight and CHEC. (See the follow-up posts as well. For example, my Change of Interpretation article, CHEC, Part III, and, finally, A direct (indirect) statement from Kevin Swanson about CHEC's perspective on Sonlight.)

And, in fact, Tim forwarded me an early draft of his document for my review. But I didn't take the time to read it until he emailed me to say he had actually posted what he had written, posted it in public.

I just (in the last hour or so, ending a few minutes ago) read the document: Homeschooling, the Genesis Debate, and Hypocrisy.

I'm impressed with the quality of research, thinking, and, finally, writing Tim has done! The paper is hard-hitting and, I think, by and large, very clean-hitting. Just a couple of places I think Tim may have overstepped the bounds a bit . . . ascribing motives to behaviors that I doubt he could be absolutely sure about. (I think, particularly, of his charge, under "Learning Lessons: Failure of Leadership," that "When John and Sonlight pursued the matter [of Sonlight having been banned from the CHEC convention], CHEC decided to embark on a fishing expedition to find some new 'concern' that would vindicate the ban on Sonlight, saving face for CHEC's previous decision." I think that is a reasonable hypothesis. I just can't know for sure that it is true.)

Tim's words, clearly, are his own. They are not mine. But--as implied by my linking to it--I think the article is well worth reading and the questions it raises worth thinking about. . . .


And knowing how this kind of stuff works, let me address an issue that might soon blow up in my face if I don't make note of it now.

Tim is an advocate of an eschatological system known as preterism.

I know enough to know that this perspective is wildly divisive in some circles. (Indeed, Tim's paper says as much.)

I know enough about the subject to find it mildly intriguing but also seriously troubling, all at the same time.

I have stumbled around just enough on a few preterist websites to realize that some preterists call others heretics. And at least one such preterist levels exactly that charge against Tim.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that many non-preterists are convinced that all preterists (or, at least, a goodly number of preterists) are heretics.

I will confess ignorance on these matters.

But, then, by personality and preference, I tend to gravitate more toward Jesus' statement to His disciples that "he who is not against us is for us" (Mark 9:40; see also Luke 9:50) than I do to His other statement (Matthew 12:30; see also Luke 11:23) that, "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters."

ETA: Clearly, there is truth in both perspectives. Jesus Himself obviously taught both. I am simply saying my predilection is to seek, hope, and believe the best, and to pursue the former, rather than the latter . . . with respect to friends and ostensible foes.

I seek, hope for, and try to pursue the former unless and until it becomes impossible. . . .
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