I have only just now been reading the Pacific Northwest Presbytery’s reasoning in their exoneration of TE Leithart. I just wanted to comment on pages 13-14 of that document, wherein they discount my testimony as being that of an expert witness. Whether I am an expert in matters FV is not really for me to say. However, in the midst of their claims that I am not an expert witness, there is this tidbit, which I found more than a little odd:
However, much if not all of the controversy concerning Dr. Leithart’s views can be traced to the witness himself and his blog. Leading a campaign against a man, then claiming that, even if the man should be found innocent, the Court should remove him from the PCA because a campaign was waged against him is inappropriate in an expert witness.
Notice this claim: “Much if not all of the controversy concerning Dr. Leithart’s views can be traced to the witness himself and his blog.” I just did a quick look and confirmed that my Leithart posts are dated from June 2007 to October 2007. Furthermore, my recollection is that these posts were hardly hotbeds of controversy. Many of those posts did not generate much discussion. There were nowhere near as many comments on those posts as on, say, the Douglas Wilson posts.
I suppose in one sense I should be flattered by their characterisation of me creating the controversy about Leithart’s views all by me blogsy. However, the court seems to have omitted consideration of Leithart’s involvement in the Knox colloquium in 2003, well before I even started reading about the FV. In fact, I was just talking with Rev. Rick Phillips about that colloquium recently, and I can assure you that he found Leithart’s views controversial, to say the least. The OPC’s justification report dealt with Leithart’s views, and that was done without any reference to my blog. The PCA’s FV report dealt with Leithart’s views, and they didn’t reference my blog either. The Rev. John Otis wrote his book well before he had any knowledge of my blog, and he dealt with Leithart’s views. The same can be said for Brian Schwertley’s book. Guy Waters’s book was published in 2006, again before my blog started dealing with Leithart. In short, Leithart’s views were both known and controversial well before 2007. In fact, I would say that the controversy surrounding Leithart’s views was going along at a pretty good clip well before I blogged about it. In fact, I can say fairly confidently that I would not have blogged about Leithart’s views, if they had not already been controversial. I am almost always behind the curve, time-wise, when something comes out. So, I cannot claim creation of even “much” of the controversy, let alone “all” of it, contrary to the Presbytery’s reasoning. Nor can it be said that I “led a campaign against the man.” What I did in those posts was not some kind of personal crusade or vendetta against Leithart. I critiqued his published work. It was a critique, not a campaign. I could wish that the Pacific Northwest Presbytery had done a little more research into this point before making this claim, especially as it affects my Christian character. They accuse me of creating most or all of the controversy, and then capitalizing on that controversy to try ousting Leithart, an accusation which basically amounts to a conflict of interest. I would hope that Leithart himself would be more than embarassed by this libel.