I called to get permission to post Gerald Harris' latest editorial on SBC Tomorrow. The Christian Index graciously gave me permission to do so. It was scheduled to publish at 5:15 A.M on Friday. The reason for permission is two-fold: a) plain, old-fashioned courtesy; b) at the bottom of the editorial page there is a clear indicator I needed to get the permission. It reads:
Even so, Tom Ascol, Director of Founders Ministries, put up a piece just a short time ago criticizing Harris' editorial including a full version of the editorial essay. Entitled, "Georgia Index's Gerald Harris on the Calvinists are here," Ascol limits his criticism to rambling insults and I-can't believe-anybody-would-say-such-a-thing barbs while never once, that I recall, disputing and demonstrating a single specific syllable in Harris' piece to be wrong.
One brief reflection.
Those that follow my site are perfectly aware that I appreciate good sources. I think as best we can we need to furnish as much information as possible to sufficiently substantiate our views. There simply are far too many subjective grievances being published without a shred of documentation to substantiate the views being presented. Those who make argumentation without tangible evidence ask too much from readers who rightly demand to know the evidence upon which an inference or assertion is based. Assertions without accompanying evidences make good writing for personal diaries, but in the marketplace of ideas, persuasion remains virtually absent.
Whatever the case, if Ascol didn't formally get permission to post Harris' essay, he needs to consider taking it down. Georgia Baptists do not get state papers free. Nor is even the online version free (I pay for the perk myself). He can quote liberally from the piece to be sure. But to leave the entire piece up on his site without permission is not only unfair to Harris and The Christian Index--not to mention we Georgia Baptists who pay for the service--but also with the copyright stamp staring one right in the face, it's difficult to avoid the accusation of breaching copyright.
Finally, I wish Ascol would have engaged Harris' essay rather than just pooh-pooh it. About all one can get from Ascol's summation is an I-can't-believe-he-had-the-audacity-to-write-this-piece type of response, all the while giving the impression that Calvinists are victims.
With Ascol's "Calvinists are victims" right on the heels of Ed Stetzer's "Calvinists are bogeymen" Southern Baptists have a perfect duo in attempting to shut down any resistance to Ascol's comprehensive vision--indeed aggressive Calvinism's vision (i.e. Founders Ministries)--to "reform" the SBC to five point Calvinism.
With that, I am...