A Brief Response to Steve Hays

I noted with great sorrow Steve Hays’s posts concerning GB here, here, and here. It is difficult to respond. On the one hand, I have no wish to get into any kind of shouting match with a person whose reasoning I have greatly benefited from over the last several years. On the other hand, I do not believe he has been fair in his treatment of my moderators. Let me add parenthetically, however, that Steve Hays is not the only one who has been somewhat (!) disgruntled at GB’s handling of non-confessional commenters. GB has always allowed non-confessional folks to comment on the blog: Roman Catholic folk, atheists, feminists, FV folk, Enns supporters, etc. This is nothing new. We have tended to operate with an assumption that civility towards these non-confessional folks (and allowing them to comment!) does not imply agreement with them. Not everyone agrees that we should have this policy. We understand that, and wish anyone well who wants to operate their blog differently. But my moderators and I are solidly confessional. We don’t pretend to have made all the right decisions in terms of moderating this blog. In fact, we have admitted to each other and to people by email many mistakes on our part. It is a very difficult job, knowing where the toe the line, what to moderate and what not to moderate. I would like Steve to know that I respect his position, as it is shared by other folks I know whom I also highly respect. If he does not wish to comment on my blog anymore, I am disappointed, but I understand. He is always welcome back.

We have also tended to be a bit more clamp-down on confessional folks who are lacking civility than non-confessional folks who lack civility (though we have bounced such folk in the past). There is a reason for this: how is confessionalism going to look attractive to anyone if no one is an ambassador for it? Now, is civility the be-all and end-all of blog discussions? No. It is not the eleventh commandment. On the other hand, would many people say these kinds of things if they were standing right in front of the person? I wonder.

The main thing I would dispute about Steve’s claims is that our policy has somehow seen a massive shift towards a more lax view on non-confessional views. He uses Stephen Young as an example. But Stephen Young has been interacting in a respectful way with us confessionalists. None of us mods agree with his position. But neither are we inclined to shut down such a conversation. But this has been our ostensible policy for years now. Have we been consistent? Hardly! But we are making an effort. And oh, by the way, I have seen nothing to make me mistrust my current mods in any way, shape, or form.

About these ads

10 Comments

  1. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    April 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Green Baggins: “He uses Steve Young as an example. But Steve Young has been interacting in a respectful way with us confessionalists.”

    Spelling correction. It should not be “Steve Young” but according to the listing of Graduate Students in Brown University’s Department of Religious Studies it should be:

    Stephen L. Young

  2. greenbaggins said,

    April 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I will correct it. Thanks, TUAD. :-)

  3. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    April 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Green Baggins: “We have also tended to be a bit more clamp-down on confessional folks who are lacking civility than non-confessional folks who lack civility.”

    Preceded by:

    “I noted with great sorrow Steve Hays’s posts concerning GB here, here, and here.”

    Question: Since you link to Steve Hays’s posts, do you consider them “civil” enough to be posted on Green Baggins?

    If “Yes”, then why were comments of his that were posted on his behalf deleted?

    If “No”, that he’s not “civil” enough, then I’m a bit uncertain as to the genuineness and sincerity of your offer here:

    “If he does not wish to comment on my blog anymore, I am disappointed, but I understand. He is always welcome back.”

  4. greenbaggins said,

    April 26, 2011 at 10:47 am

    TUAD, comments can be deleted for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for deletion is lack of civility. But here we have what seems to me to be an all-out attack on my blog. I wished to respond with the “soft answer that turns wrath aside,” and yet also defend my mods. Anyone is welcome to post here if they respect GB’s rules. If comments of his, and comments of those defending him were deleted, it was because they did not follow the rules here, not because of their positions (with which I am and my mods are more than sympathetic to!). The problem is that some people are interpreting the situation as if our deleting of comments because of tone and/or personal attacks is the same thing as agreeing with Enns’s supporters.

  5. Cris Dickason said,

    April 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Stay the Course in how you conduct this blog! It is not wrong to discuss differences, even very important differences, with civility. Seems like I read that somewhere…

    For Special Office in the Church:

    1 Timothy 3:2-3 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. (ESV)

    For General Office of Believer
    Titus 3:1-2 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (ESV)

    As I heard Sinclair Ferguson once say, elders should contend for the faith without being contentious persons.

    -=Cris=-

  6. Jeff Cagle said,

    April 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    TUAD, I assumed that you *are* Steve Hays and were just indulging in a bit of humorous pseudo-pseudonymity.

  7. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    April 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    “TUAD, I assumed that you *are* Steve Hays and were just indulging in a bit of humorous pseudo-pseudonymity.”

    LOL!!

    ;-)

  8. ray kikkert said,

    April 27, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Steve Hays comments were not the only one’s deleted … mine were as well … when I commented on Myers and his statements regarding the confessions.

    We are not here to sell the reformed confessions … they can uphold themselves … we should be firmly admonishing those who say they confess them …but instead despise them.

    That is the fault it seems of the moderators…and I would not have thought too much about till I seen this post …

  9. Reed Here said,

    April 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Ray: if you had comments deleted it was because they violated blog rules. The most common rule that folks violate is personal attacks, name calling that has nothing to do with the debate.

    Not saying this is why a particular comment of yours might have been deleted (I have no recollection of deleting any of yours on that thread). I am just reviewing the most common in hopes it helps.

    When we remove a comment we put it in the pending queue for a period of time. Then following that we place it in the trash bin for another period of time. Normally a pulled comment sits around for the better part of a week or more.

    During that time the moderators will respond to any queries from the poster of the pulled comment. Sometimes we can resolve the matter and re-post the comment (sometimes with editing). If you do not ask about the comment we assume it was not that important to you (a decision we’re not offended by). After the period of time in the trash bin, the comments are then deleted from the blog.

    If you have a comment removed, first ask the main poster of the thread the comment was on. Lane as owner does not sign his posts. The rest of us sign our posts to distinguish our posts from his. If that original poster fails to get back to you, feel free to contact one of the secondary moderators, myself, Paige, Dave, or others listed in the left side-bar.

    I differ with your faulting the moderators. The rules here are pretty simple. we’re very willing to talk about problems with comments. We do not fail to admonish those commenting here who deny the Reformed Standards they have confessed to be their own. There are others commenting here who do not confess any of the Reformed Standards. Those we admonish on the basis of the the Bible, whether it is a shared confession or not.

  10. Truth Unites... and Divides said,

    April 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Ray Kikkert: “Steve Hays comments were not the only one’s deleted”

    Actually, Steve Hays did not post them himself. I posted comments from his e-mails on his behalf with his permission.

    “we should be firmly admonishing those who say they confess them …but instead despise them. That is the fault it seems of the moderators…and I would not have thought too much about till I seen this post …”

    To his credit, Lane Keister did link to Steve Hays’s posts on Triablogue:

    (1) An Open and Affirming Shire

    (2) Once Upon a Shire

    There was a follow-up on Triablogue titled Shepherds, Wolves, and Lost Sheep also.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 333 other followers

%d bloggers like this: