In a comments thread over at Greenbaggins, Jason Stellman says this:
“And lastly, I do find it interesting that I can’t seem to ellicit a response from a Federal Visionist that doesn’t mention Scott Clark. If you all insist on complaining about being lumped together (which sometime you unfairly are), then you should stop doing the same thing to your opponents. What’s good for the goose . . .”
I think this is a fair question. First, we quote Scott Clark as much as we do because, although he is not on our payroll, he might as well be. He is fun to quote. We will continue to do so as long as our critics continue to acknowledge him as a capable spokesman for their position. If they make it clear that he is not, then I will immediately stop treating him as a representative critic.
Secondly, the point I was making there in quoting Clark was that he has pronounced me the leader of the FV business. This not a claim that I make, incidentally — I don’t think it is true. But if I were, and if I am also one of the FV guys most willing to speak in the language of the TRs, making all the qualifications that folks want us to make, then what’s the problem? Either I am representative or I am not. If I am not, I cannot be the leader, and the CREC is not the hot bed of cool customers that it is being made out to be. If I am, then why does not my orthodoxy on certain essentials (acknowledged by a number of FV critics) get attributed to the whole?
Third, the FV statement that we issued was motivated in part because of our recognition that we bore some responsibilty for the confusion. Consequently, we issued a statement that made very clear what the center of FV agreement was, and the statement also included a number of items where we differ among ourselves. We trust that it was helpful. I would urge critics of the FV to do something similar. We know that “critics of the FV” are not doctrinally monolithic. And ironically, some of those differences are greater than the differences some of the FV critics have with some of us in the FV. The lines are drawn in some weird places. But this means that much of the alliance against us is a function of ecclesiastical politics and is not doctrinally principled.
And last, as a variant of my first point, if Lane or Jason or any other critics make it plain that Clark does not represent them, I will be more than happy to start making that distinction myself. But thus far, all I have seen at Greenbaggins is appreciation, agreement and respect. “Scott Clark is answering this point ably here . . . ” That kind of thing.