Gibbs Rule No. 51: “Sometimes You’re Wrong.”
Rev. Jonathan David Faulkner
Sometimes in this life we are wrong, thus it has been brought to my attention that an article which was published here in January of last year falsely interprets the arguments of one of our brothers in Christ and for that reason I want to print a retraction of a post that has been celebrated on this site and was even published in a book last year. The Article has been taken down and removed. The article by the name of The Scandal of Carl R. Truman’s Mind was written in response to a First Things Article, which was a response to Mark Galli’s CT article on Trump’s impeachment. It is because I have an enormous amount of respect for Mr. Truman that I wrote the article in the first place, however, after reviewing the piece and the CT article it is obvious that I misread and misinterpreted what Mr. Truman was saying. For that I apologize, it was not my intention to bear false witness about my brother and it is the policy of this site to take incredible care in how we address arguments both in favor of and against ideas. I have failed to meet that standard which I have set for myself in public discourse. While I do disagree with one of Truman’s major points in the article, I have misrepresented his thoughts I have come to this conclusion after re-studying the source material more than a year removed and without the charged emotion of the moment, a much-needed distance I should have taken at the time, and in conversation with a close friend. I still believe that we must critique Populist Christianity and work towards reformation and Gospel renewal, but what Truman wrote was in support of Galli, not in antipathy and I misread, misinterpreted, and misrepresented his arguments. I want to thank the friend who pointed this out to me for coming to me in private and not participating in the often caustic “Cancel Culture” that pervades circles of Evangelical Scholarly debate.
As Christians we are not immune to getting caught up in the emotional fever of the moment and need to give ourselves space before we respond. I was not thrilled with responses to what I still think was an especially important line drawn in the sand and unfortunately, did not read correctly or with Care the response of a theologian and Historian I greatly admire. For that I repent and I ask both your, my dear reader, and his forgiveness. Some may ask why I am rehashing this after over a year, because it is important to model what humble repentance looks like, what it means to model what we have preached over the last year, that civil discourse requires humility and a willingness to say that you were wrong. It would be easy to push this to the side, ignore the concerns of the brother who brought it to my attention, fight with him, but that would put back up the dividing wall of hostility this site is seeking to tear down.
I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem and so I apologize for my lack of care and misrepresentation of my brother and pray you will hold me accountable to doing better in the future.
Rev. Jonathan David Faulkner