Saturday, May 28, 2016

Jared C Wilson has a short update for Troubleshooting the Celebrity Pastor Problem--noting the sponsored content

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/gospeldrivenchurch/2016/05/11/troubleshooting-the-celebrity-pastor-problem/

* UPDATE: Previously mistakenly listed that blog post as by Challies, when it is a sponsored post from Biblical Eldership Resources. Apologies for the mistake. Still appreciate the post, paid for or not.

And as a Presbyterian I am totally on board with the idea of a plurality of elders with equal input and influence in church governance. My unsubtle point about the problem of Challies' blog post being sponsored content was not that I disagree with the value of a plurality of elders working in the local church, it's that the paradox of being concerned about celebrity in a context in which everything is advertising makes it tough to know how to contribute to a solution in the medium of the problem.  Challies' blog isn't even all that bad since if he's co-founded a publishing company that is committed to making affordable books for Christians to get I can even have some positive things to say about that. 

I still don't know quite know why, given the wealth of publishing resources new or neo-Calvinists have access to, we're not being treated to more and more English-language translations of folks like Bullinger, for instance.  Sometimes I feel like the problem with the neo-Calvinist scene (as someone who increasingly feels more like an old Calvinist) is that for all the lip service that gets paid to the magisterial Reformers by these guys they keep selling THEIR books ABOUT these guys and sticking to the English Puritans.  Not that I've no appreciation for Richard Sibbes!  It's just why go for the low-hanging fruit?  Why not branch out into other stuff.  When I wanted to research into the history of Reformed writings on the office of prophet I found that Bullinger's work was regarded as a landmark but, guess what?  There's apparently no English language translation of those works. Thankfully biblioblogger Jim West recommended a scholarly overview and I got that. 

Part of the trouble with the celebrity system in place now is that it favors the living celebrities in spite of the fact that some of them pay homage to the dead celebrities in ways that leave me wondering why we don't have more English-language translations of some of the lesser known works.  But, I mean, does the Gospel Coalition lack the infrastructural of financial resources to pitch in to translating some of Bullinger's works into English? So, obviously I hope, this isn't just me complaining about The Gospel Coalition as a whole (though I guess I could).  It's not even me assuming the worst about Jared C. Wilson here (because I've said more than a few times I respect that he chose to differ with Driscoll on some points in the past).  I'm suggesting that there are things within a context like The Gospel Coalition where, if we want to move away from the cult of the contemporary celebrity or even the past celebrity, we could branch out.  Even as a Calvinist it seems necessary to point out the Reformation was not just about Luther and Calvin.  The Zwingli/Bullinger stream has some good stuff in it, too. 

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