Thabiti and I have been discussing a volatile subject for a few weeks now, and nothing has blown up. This morning he published a very gracious and very helpful assessment of the conversation up to this point, which you may find here. He and I are going to attempt, by God’s grace, to bring this in for a landing with our next round. We don’t want to presume anything, so please continue to pray for us. We want to end well, sort of like Asa didn’t.
I wanted this post to be brief, but there are a few things that I really need to say at this point.
The first is to say something again. I have expressed this sentiment repeatedly, but I really am grateful to God for Thabiti, and I am grateful to Thabiti for his walk with God, as it was plainly demonstrated throughout our exchanges. His speech has been truly gracious, seasoned with salt. We have talked about angular passages of Scripture, but in the body of Christ there are also some angular saints. I know that for many of God’s people, I am one of those, and Thabiti’s exegesis of my words has nevertheless been careful and wise.
The second thing is that I have been in a lot of controversies in my life (yes, it’s true). In saying this I am just pointing out my experience in this realm, and am not discussing whether or not I should have been in them. The point is that I have been there, repeatedly, and I have never had a critic come at me from such a completely different point of the compass who has nevertheless treated me with as much grace, justice, fairness, intelligence, and love, as Thabiti has. I have never experienced anything like it, and I am profoundly grateful for that as well.
We are brothers in Christ, and we both know it, and so the following should be read with the necessary adjustments made, but the spirit captures something I did want to say. My sentiments are very similar to those of Emeth in The Last Battle, when he meets the high king Peter:
“‘Sir,’ he said to Peter, ‘I know not whether you are my friend or my foe, but I should count it my honour to have you for either. Has not one of the poets said that a noble friend is the best gift and a noble enemy the next best?
”Sir,’ said Peter, ‘I do not know that there need be any war between you and us.’ (TLB, pp. 183-184).