Thursday, September 11, 2014

What Should Be Expected of Phil Robertson?

In response to the previous post JT Tweets:  Robertson was unwise, didn't reflect the gospel & lacked any nuance in that interview...and I don't think I'm a "leftie."

I agree, JT is not a "leftie."  But I don't agree that his interview had no nuance. For instance, he does say at one point that he'd prefer to sit down with people and have a Bible study and lead them to Jesus than go in guns blazin'.  Clearly his idea of conversion is not conversion by the sword.

Was what he said unwise?  Well, it was certainly not prudent if one of his goals was not to create a media firestorm in response to "convert or kill."  It was unwise insofar as Robertson is not a learned theologian, lacks significant nuance in his approach, and so forth.  But why should we expect Robertson to talk like a theologian?  Why should we expect someone who has been afforded the education and upbringing that Robertson has been afforded to talk like an educated scholar?  I think people have a right to make a fuss over what comes out of Phil Robertson's mouth only if it's reasonable that he's being willfully ignorant or saying things that are obviously false which are being taken seriously by the general public so as to lead them astray.  And I doubt any of that is the case.  If you want to blast Hannity or Fox News for taking someone like Robertson seriously in a news interview, go for it.  If Fox News wants to be taken seriously for journalism, it's fair game to criticize them for interviewing a Phil Robertson.

Does what he said not reflect the Gospel?  Well, he doesn't make reference to I Corinthians 15 (though he does mention leading people to Jesus).  Is going to war inconsistent with the Gospel?  In a certain sense, yes, since there will be no war in heaven.  In a certain sense, no.




  1. No nuance - was an exaggeration but lacked sufficient nuance for a complex situation IMO

    Unwise - Didn't help the conversation and possibly hurt it. Conflated America/Christianity relationship to an already confused world.

    Didn't reflect Gospel - the world heard "kill your enemies" not "love your enemies" from a man representing Christianity, not the USG. Is war inconsistent with the gospel? Not gonna touch that here. Is the church going to war inconsistent with the gospel? I would say yes.

  2. "Conflated America/Christianity relationship to an already confused world." Well, maybe. I, for one, didn't take him as equating America with Christianity.

    "Didn't reflect Gospel - the world heard "kill your enemies" not "love your enemies" from a man representing Christianity"

    A fair point, though he's certainly not representing Christianity in the way that the Pres. of the SBC or the Pope or Billy Graham conveys it. Anybody in their right mind should just LOOK AT THE GUY and see that he is not the spokesman for Christianity! But, yeah, he's a pastor (I guess anybody can be one) so there is that. Maybe we should expect more of pastors.