Frank Turk has given two thorough critiques of Derek Webb’s recent interview with The Huffington Post: “Open Letter” and “Notes”. Turk’s engagement with Webb is not for the faint of heart. He’s pretty tough, though I think also very fair. His critiques and questions are along the lines of the ones I asked earlier this year (see here and here).
To give you a sample of Turk’s take on this, I’ll highlight two items.
First, Turk criticizes the ironic legalism of moral permisiveness. He writes, “The legalism of permissivenessâ€¦is merely license raised to a moral imperative.” This is an insight that you don’t want to miss. Make no mistake, the permissiveness that condones what the Bible condemns is fast becoming the new law. So much so that if you speak with a clear voice what the Bible says about the sanctity of the marital bed and the unholiness of all other unions, you will be deemed a bigot by the prevailing culture. That is legalism, whether the culture realizes it or not.
Second, Turk is correct to challenge the idea that Jesus would not have called a spade a spade. He writes:
“Derek Webb in this essay isâ€¦ obviously soft-soaping the problem of sin. This is the way Joel Osteen talks about sin; this is the way Oprah talks about sin. This is not the way people who are serious about sin being a problem for mankind which sets them at odds against God speak about sin. Sin is not the fault of the church which drives people away: sin is what comes out of a man by the overflow of his heart (a saying of Jesus, btw; â€¦), and God judges it.”
The rest of Turk’s two posts are discerning a helpful. I commend them to you.