Beware of “elevated vagueness”

Via Trevin Wax I encounter this post by John Piper, referring to Fred Sander’s post about Victorian liberal preacher F. W. Robertson:

There is a connection between skilled vagueness and concealed immorality. Why else would a man use great gifts to make things unclear unless he was afraid of clarity? And fear of clarity in preaching is a good sign that something besides doctrine is being concealed.

Indeed so.  The justification of evil is nothing new.  John Bunyan encountered those who attack Christianity from an self-chosen elevation, and pictured them as Mr High-mind in Pilgrims Progress.   Christian is arrested at Vanity Fair for preaching, and brought before the court.

Then went the Jury out, whose names were, Mr Blindman, Mr No-good, Mr Malice, Mr Love-lust, Mr Live-loose, Mr Heady, Mr High-mind, Mr Enmity, Mr Liar, Mr Cruelty, Mr Hate-light, and Mr Implacable; who every one gave in his private Verdict against him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring him in guilty before the Judge.

And first among themselves, Mr Blind-man the Foreman, said, “I see clearly that this man is an Heretick.”

Then said Mr Nogood, “Away with such a fellow from the earth”.

“Ay,” said Mr Malice, “for I hate the very looks of him.”

Then said Mr Love-lust, “I could never endure him.”

“Nor I,” said Mr Live-loose, “for he would always be condemning my way.”

“Hang him, hang him,” said Mr Heady.

“A sorry Scrub,” said Mr High-mind.

“My heart riseth against him,” said Mr Enmity.

“He is a Rogue,” said Mr Liar.

“Hanging is too good for him,” said Mr Cruelty.

“Let us dispatch him out of the way,” said Mr Hate-light.

Then said Mr Implacable, “Might I have all the world given me, I could not be reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of death.”

And so they did;…

Mr High-mind may speak softly.  But he is just as much an enemy of truth as the others, and less honest than most.


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