Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Apologies Bilezikian

The blog can be a suitably unfortunate medium for critique. Web-based discussions tend to lower the tone of debate (please excuse the understatement, I’m English) for many reasons. Remoteness and anonymity are high on the list, of course, but there is a lower standard of editorial involvement, too, by both the external and internal censors. Because it’s only a blog, I don’t need to worry too much about the tone, the implications, or whatever – I can always disclaim it later, with a wave of the hand, it’s only a blog, after all…

So, my apologies to Prof Gilbert Bilezikian for the unecessarily patronising and acerbic tone of some of my posts on his book Community 101. [See here and here for appreciative posts, and here and here for the rude ones.] I don’t agree with his exegesis or discussions of several related theological areas around gender and Christian leadership, but he has been a faithful servant of Christ for a lot longer than I have, and deserves more respectful interaction. Bill Hybels’ tribute to Bilezikian in Courageous Leadership (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002) was a rebuke to me this morning, and I hope it will be an ongoing reminder of my need for more charity and less smugness.

I shall leave the original posts intact to show how close to the wind uppity young bloggers can sail.