on the dishonesty of David Cloud

David Cloud is one of those figures with whom I find myself alternately in agreement and disagreement. I agree with him in many of his emphases and especially on his condemnation of ‘easy believism’ which he calls ‘easy prayerism’. I disagree with him profoundly on his promotion of King James Only views, although I don’t begrudge his holding them.

The subject of this post is not a matter of theological disagreement or agreement. It is a matter of integrity in reporting. In a headline item in his ‘Friday News Notes’, he sent out just last Friday this jarring headline:

BJU PROFESSOR RECOMMENDING NEW EVANGELICAL MINISTRIES

In the short article that follows, Cloud criticises a presentation by Nathan Crockett at the Whetstone Conference this last summer at Mount Calvary Baptist Church, specifically criticising Dr. Mark Minnick and alleging that Dr. Minnick gives blanket endorsement to New Evangelicals. Cloud attempts to slime Bob Jones University with the same charge. [Nathan Crockett is Dr. Minnick’s son-in-law.]

I downloaded the presentation earlier this summer but had not yet listened to it. Since Cloud so unfavorably reviewed it, I took some time in my travels today to listen to the presentation. If you would like to hear the presentation, it is available here for purchase. Here is my take:

Far from a blanket endorsement of new evangelical ministries, Bro. Crockett repeatedly made disclaimers throughout the presentation: “we wouldn’t agree with many things said on this site”, “they don’t take the kinds of stands we would take”, “we don’t endorse their positions”, etc. The point of the presentation was to provide awareness of on-line resources especially with a view to using the internet as a source of information for sermon preparation and for being able to be aware of things our people may bring up (such as movies — and you know that you will be dealing with people commenting on the movies they see, don’t you?) A wise pastor should be aware of current events, both as a resource for sermon illustration and for awareness of what the people are thinking about. Cloud criticises Crockett for mentioning the New York Times as a source of news… (eyes roll!!) Bro. Crockett did mention that the NYT is a liberal paper, but it is a NEWSpaper, is it not? And, quite frankly, it is an excellent resource for news on the web, with an eye into the liberal mindset. The people we are trying to reach in North America think this way, how do you expect to reach people you don’t understand? (And the NYT is a great source of crossword puzzles, my own little on again, off again addiction!)

Could Bro. Crockett’s presentation have been better? I suppose. I suspect that Crockett himself would confess so. I found the presentation to be quite helpful. He mentioned sites which I wasn’t really aware of, but think could be quite useful as resources. From my perspective, there were generally more than sufficient disclaimers throughout, anyone who listens to the actual presentation would not come to the coonclusion that either Minnick or Crockett offered any kind of ‘endorsement’ of new evangelicals in any way. One can only wonder if Cloud isn’t miffed that his own efforts weren’t mentioned!

In short, I am quite disappointed by Cloud’s comments. In my view, he dishonestly misrepresents Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Mark Minnick, Nathan Crockett and Bob Jones University.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Comments

  1. Chris Anderson says:

    Either you’re right or Cloud is and you’re just being infected by BJU’s new evangelicalism.

    Hmmmm. “Don Johnson defends new evangelicals.” That dog ‘ll hunt.

  2. Ed Groover says:

    Bro. Johnson,

    You’re being too kind where Cloud is concerned. He is a far-right, psuedo-fundamentalist. Anything he prints should be read with a critical eye, if it is read at all.

  3. Don Johnson says:

    bro Ed,

    I wouldn’t use the term ‘pseudo-fundamentalist’, perhaps ‘hyper-‘ might be better. Jerry Falwell was pseudo.

    I agree with Cloud in his comment regarding the so-called young fundamentalists. Most of them are pseudo, really new evangelical in their philosophy and direction. But of course it is a spectrum, a continuum, and not everyone is easily pigeon-holed.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Jim Peet says:

    Thanks Don for this post.

    I quoted it and linked to you over on SharperIron.

  5. Don Johnson says:

    Hi Jim

    Thanks for the comments. For any of those who should wander over here from SI, I tend to agree with Cloud’s assessment of SI, although I wouldn’t say there isn’t ‘a hint’ of separatists over there.

    SI is as disappointing to me as Cloud is, only in the opposite direction. I have friends involved in the site, but I think there involvement is an error and wish they would leave it alone. I don’t think the ownership of the site is fundamentalist by any stretch.

    Having said that, I need to say that my status at SI is my own fault, I made a statement in a post that was inappropriate and as a result I can no longer participate. I don’t begrudge the SI administrators for my own relationship to them. But my status has nothing to do with my view of SI. I don’t think it is a fundamentalist site at all, and I wish the fundamentalists there would simply leave.

    Regards
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  6. Don Johnson says:

    a further note for any who wish to comment. I have comments moderation turned on for a reason: I want to CONTROL all the output that comes from my site. I will reject posts, and have just done so.

    This site is for the publication of my views and, within limited parameters determined only by me and how I feel at the time, allows comments from others.

    But this site will not publish views I don’t like, regardless. Even if you are a friend of mine! If you don’t like it, get your own site and blast away.

    That said, I usually approve most comments.

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  7. Cameron says:

    If you take the comments that Bro. Cloud makes in context, I think you will find that what he says is true. If you take the Bible in context, you will find that it supports what Bro. Cloud says. If you take your opinions in context, you will find that they mean nothing when compared to the Word of God.

    I think what the Word of God says if most important in the end anyway considering we are all going to be judged by it… Don’t you?

    :)

  8. Don Johnson says:

    Cameron, I am not sure what context you mean, but I have been reading bro. Cloud off and on for some years. I don’t find that his point of view is always scriptural. In this particular case, I have listened to the presentation he critiqued, I read his critique, and the two don’t match. His report was a dishonest report.

    None of us is above criticism and I would hope that some corrections would be made in this case.

    Regards
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  9. Kent Brandenburg says:

    He’s off on this one, but I’ve got one book in my library written by a favorite of fundamentalists with several lies about me in it. Sometimes it is a matter who the lies are about.

  10. Don Johnson says:

    Kent, I recognize there is plenty of lying to go around. We are all sinners.

    What I am disturbed about is that here is a guy who does offer seemingly good information about various individuals (say Jack Hayford, or MacArthur, or whoever). If he can be shown to be misrepresenting the truth because he has his own axe to grind in this case, how can we trust his reporting in the case of others?

    Regards,
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3