In the aftermath of the Textual Confidence Collective debacle, Dr. Mark Ward thought it best to shoot a video declaring that he is done engaging Confessional Bibliology because he considers our side, for the most part, too rancorous. He then goes on to engage Confessional Bibliology, to share his thoughts on the problems of Confessional Bibliology, to assert his own position in opposition, to accuse certain of those who hold to Confessional Bibliology of being neither Confessional nor Biblical.
But I think this is Ward’s style and I think an anecdote he shares is a microcosm of his style. At one point in the video Ward let’s us know that his paper on Psalm 12:6-7 is on hold because one of his central points [i.e., Psalm 12:6-7 was never or very rarely used to defend the preservation of Scripture until the KJVO folks came along] turns out to be terribly misinformed.
He goes on to explain that he had a bunch of trusted persons review his paper and none of them pointed out the error of his conclusion on this point. It seems that Ward told this last part to say, “Hey, I have trusted advisors and even they didn’t know.” But this makes things worse, not better. More on this later.
Ward in this video and the TCC in general complain about how sometimes the rhetoric can get a little hot. That’s fair. The problem is that Ward et al often lump that hot rhetoric into not being kind/nice [the watchword of tyranny], or in more religious terms, hot rhetoric is not Christian or Christlike.
Setting aside the hard words of our Lord regarding religious leaders, which Ward is, and setting aside the hard words of John the Baptist toward religious and social leaders, and setting aside the hard words Elijah and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel had for the religious and social leaders, the fact is that hard words or hot rhetoric are normal in certain contexts, e.g., when someone doesn’t do their job.
If you have ever been a manager of people on the job, part of your job is to hire competent people to fit with the chemistry of your team. Sometimes you hire a dud and the dud needs to be promoted to customer as they say at Amazon. For the rest of us, that means, “You’re fired.” The dud is fired because of his lack of competence or will to work [i.e., he is lazy]. These kind of employees get a verbal warning, then a second, then a written warning, then a second, then a third, then a “Road-to-Success” plan which sets weekly or monthly metrics, which leads to termination if not met.
Fired! That guy is now out on his ear. He has no means to provide for himself or his family. Now he suffers and his family suffers because of his incompetence and/or laziness. The bleeding heart cries out, “Give him another chance”, “It was a mistake. It won’t happen again”, “He has a family”, “Your company already makes so much money, so what if he can’t perform”, “You, the manager, are the problem” and “You set the standards too high”. In other words, “Be nicer.”
The question is, “Is Ward and the TCC good at their job, the job of critiquing Confessional Bibliology?” the answer is apparently, no, and for the following reasons:
1.) He and they regularly mischaracterize Confessional Bibliology.
2.) They regularly and without apology lumped Ruckman, Riplinger, Letis, and Riddle into the same category [i.e., absolutists].
3.) Never once was a Confessional Bibliology proponent consulted regarding the accuracy of the TCC’s portrayal of Confessional Bibliology.
4.) He and the TCC do enjoy the majority position at this time and given Ward’s testimony regarding his Psalm 12:6-7 paper that majority position seems possessed of an insurmountable group-think at the highest level. I mean Ward has a Ph.D., I doubt he is seeking advice from less educated, less experienced, less wise people.
5.) They never once presented a robust argument for Confessional Bibliology in order to defeat it. The whole show was a Strawman and then when we point it out in strong terms Ward’s feelings got hurt and all because we weren’t nice enough in explaining to a Ph.D. that he Strawmanned our position and his group-think is so pervasive he doesn’t even know it.
6.) The treatment of Confessional Bibliology was so shallow that time and again the TCC resorted to bashing on KJVO and they could rhetorically, because they lumped KJVO in with Confessional Bibliology. This seems by design and if so demonstrates that they were incompetent and so they were “Canceled” as Matt Walsh is fond of saying.
7.) Then for the cherry on top Ward makes a video saying he is not going to engage Confessional Bibliology any more and then goes on for the next ten minutes engaging Confessional Bibliology. I’m beginning to wonder about the quality of this quasi-ministerial team he keeps consulting for advice. I would think that at least one of them would have said, “Mark, isn’t this whole video about how you are done engaging Confessional Bibliology? I mean, if it is, why then is nearly all the content bent on engaging Confessional Bibliology?” But no, Mark and his team of counselors apparently missed that detail.
Mark, this isn’t a Christian thing though there are plenty of examples of hard words spoken by godly men about error, evil, and doubting God’s word. Imprecatory Psalms ought to suffice to make that point.
Our critique is that while you have a Ph.D. as so do most of the members of the TCC you are an incompetent employee, either that or you are lazy. What I am saying is that we would fire you and the TCC as interlocutors. I can simultaneously love a brother in Christ but fire him because he doesn’t keep his schedule as one of my delivery drivers. In like manner, I can love you in the Lord while at the same time acknowledge directly and pointedly that you don’t do your job well [i.e., the job of critiquing Confessional Bibliology].
Does that make sense?