Christian: You Must Learn to Distinguish Friend from Foe

Two Case Studies

Case Study 01: Owen Strachan

Consider whether it is wise for Professor Owen Strachan (MBTS) to publicly praise Danny Akin (President, SEBTS), a notable compromiser on complementarianism and enabler of erroneous CRT teaching (sources here, here, and here).

Owen Strachan’s complimentary words to Danny Akin do not match reality.

Still more concerning, we have every reason to believe Strachan knows it.

“Male and female gender distinctions and roles are grounded in God’s good creational design. We should never call evil what God calls good. Rather, we should rejoice in, celebrate & proclaim the goodness of what our great God has ordained.”

Boundless hypocrisy

Danny Akin’s hypocrisy has been revealed time and again as he has attempted to defend his own reputation and the reputation of his seminary through a season of being exposed. Consider Danny Akin’s response to John MacArthur’s well-publicized advice that Beth Moore should “go home.” Without having even the decency to name the target of his condemnation, Akin tweeted:

“It is heartbreaking when heroes of the faith say and do things that can only be characterized as unkind and unloving. We must speak the truth but let us speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Like our Lord Jesus, let us be men and women full of grace and truth. Both are essential.”

“Beth says: Preaching at such-in-such — preaching on Sunday March 8, shhh don’t tell anybody. Absurd. Which is stupid… I think she said something dumb.”

This Danny Akin, this pretender, is the man praised by Owen Strachan.

I don’t have any animus toward Owen Strachan, nor he toward me. For all I can tell, he is an intelligent and god-fearing man — one of the best to be found within the Southern Baptist hierarchy. He has always treated me with courtesy. I hope he succeeds beyond all his peers. And I hope he sees many of his colleagues and superiors exit the seminary careers for which they seem so poorly fitted.

Are we too hard on Dr. Strachan?

Are we calling him a company man, when there are other considerations we cannot judge? Perhaps. But here is what we can judge: words and actions.

  1. Cite secular examples of it.
  2. Avoid mentioning the fact that the ideas have taken root within SBC churches and seminaries. Don’t name names.

In the following video, Jacob Brunton explains the problem in detail.

Had Owen Strachan said nothing at all, he would have done no real damage. But in publishing his theoretical analysis and yet continuing to avoid naming the names of those he knows are teaching these very ideas in the churches and in the seminaries, Strachan’s readers may easily come to wonder whether the concerns of outside critics are overblown: Maybe the ideas being taught in the seminaries aren’t really CRT.

Case Study 02: Tom Buck

  • Giving known wicked people the benefit of the doubt
  • Speaking to wicked people in public as if they were acting in good faith when they clearly are not
  • Publicly calling wicked people “Christian” or “brother”

Undermining your allies

When a solid Christian teacher chooses to legitimize a wicked person, it undermines the project of discernment within the church. One careless tweet by the right person, if not recanted, can do much harm to that person’s own cause.

Learn the lesson

All it takes is for one or two well-known, good men to make the poor choice to lend their credibility to a wicked person in a given discussion or controversy. When they do this, they empower the members of the horde to lend their own moral support to the person being criticized.

What Is the Solution?

In short: Learn to treat friends as friends, allies as allies, neighbors and neighbors, and enemies as enemies.

Should a Christian care about appearances?

(Transcript below)

Pay attention. Give thought to whom you strengthen — and whom you humiliate.

(Transcript below)

We are in a time of war, ideologically. You must learn to distinguish friend from foe.

(Transcript below)

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