David Murray on Brian Williams: The Most Painful Blog Post I Ever Read

David Murray does analysis of Brian Williams in his first TV interview since being suspended. Why is The Gospel Coalition so quick at times to discuss the sin of others and yet ignore sin in their own camp? Why has the Gospel Coalition been so silent on the sin of CJ Mahaney or the Mark Driscoll fiasco? Why have they failed to support Matt Chandler in what he has done with Karen Hinkley? If this is the best The Gospel Coalition can do, Eagle has a question….why did the Protestant Reformation occur?




“It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends

J.K. Rowling

“Initiative is doing the right thing without being told

Victor Hugo

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:8


So the other day I was bumming around…I have 4 essays in the works, a sermon series to digest before I plow ahead into one of those essays. I was looking for something to read and analyze. I swung over to Tim Challies and looked at what was being said. For the record I still get a chuckle that a man who wrote about spiritual discernment can’t practice discernment when it comes to CJ Mahaney. But I digress….so anyhow I was looking at Tim Challies “a la carte” when I see a link for David Murray which discusses the situation with Brian Williams. Recently Brian Williams gave an interview to Matt Lauer discussing his distortions and his suspension at NBC News. Here is a good article that discuss the current situation in my hometown newspaper the Washington Post. If you have not heard of the situation with Brian Williams this article gives a good summary of the situation.

Before I get into the journal entry of today let me tell you a little bit about David Murray. David Murray has taught at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary where according to the web page he teaches Old Testament and practical theology. Furthermore he is also the pastor at the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. David Murray has also published at least 8 books including, “The Happy Christian“,”Jesus on Every Page“,”Christians Get Depressed Too” and “How Sermons Work.” On his blog the other day David Murray discuss his take on the Brian Williams situation and points out that Brian Williams can’t admit that he lied. He then goes on to say in the post, while quoting Matt Lauer, that if Williams said he lied people would forgive him. The post David Murray authored is called “The Most Painful Interview I’ve Ever Watched.”  For me in light of all the scandals hemorrhaging out of Neo-Calvinism reading David Murray’s advice and post is what led me to call today’s journal entry “The Most Painful Blog Post I’ve Ever Read.”

This is actually the quote that stuck out the most for me in David Murray’s blog post when he says the following:

But, as even Laurer said, if only he would say, “I’m sorry, I lied,” people would be much more likely to forgive him. Instead, his ego continues to damage and destroy him by his refusing to name the sin properly and to take full personal and present ownership of it.

It is with that that I would like to turn what David Murray has said and shine the light brightly on the likes of CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll.

The Gospel Coalition & CJ Mahaney

The Gospel Coalition was silent on the lawsuit involving Sovereign Grace Ministries for 178 days. Then there was this racket of a statement which left me to the conclusion that I wish The Gospel Coalition had actually shut their mouth instead of open it. But there is more…the corruption from Sovereign Grace still hemorrhages out of the organization. The latest hemorrhaging of information regarding corruption was reported by Brent Detwiler in March 2015. Here is the most humble man of the Neo-Calvinist camp known for his book on humility. Yet while a law suit is raging and banging at the doors of Sovereign Grace Ministries he approves a hush fund to prevent a SGM pastor from joining the lawsuit. From the Gospel Coalition comes nothing but silence, even with information pouring out of SGM. Like Matt Lauer asking Brian Williams if he lied, why can’t CJ Mahaney come clean about his alleged criminal activities? Brian Williams is not a pastor, has not expressed spiritual rebirth like CJ. Why can’t CJ admit his mistakes and come clean? Why can’t the Gospel Coalition challenge him and force the issue? Does the Gospel Coalition believe that covering up sex abuse of children is “gospel centered?” Has the Gospel Coalition learned from the mistakes of the Roman Catholic child sex abuse cover up?

The Gospel Coalition & Mark Driscoll

Another disaster was brewed in Seattle with Mark Driscoll. Watching Mars Hill implode was kind of like watching the World Trade Center collapse. You just got that sick feeling in your stomach in both situations. Mark Driscoll was the driving force who bears responsibility primarily for the Mars Hill implosion. He set the culture, he set the pace, he set the tone, and he was the one who made the system what it ultimately became. He left a lot of wounded people in his wake and left Seattle. He preached at Gateway in Texas, Bayside Church in California, Gold Creek Community Church in Seattle, (by the way quick side note is now a good time to plug my post about how the pastor at Gold Creek Community Church Dan Kellogg failed as a pastor, and how he failed Gold Creek, Mark Driscoll, and greater Seattle) James River Assembly of God in Missouri. No one has really challenged him, no one contested him or asked “why is he preaching?” The people that need to speak out are largely silent. Just like Brian Williams saying “I lied” why can’t Mark Driscoll own his mistakes and take care all this pain and torment? The question I have for the Gospel Coalition is it “Gospel Centered” to leave a trail of bodies in your wake, and to resume preaching, get established and create mass graves of spiritually wounded people?

The Gospel Coalition Is Missing an Incredible Opportunity to Support Matt Chandler

I could be mistaken but before writing this I did some research at The Gospel Corporation, whoops did I just say that? I meant to say The Gospel Coalition. You have something profound, historic and epic playing out and The Gospel Coalition is blowing it. You have Matt Chandler who flew from Dallas to North Carolina to apologize in person to Karen Hinkley. Matt Chandler apologized for in-appropriate church discipline, for how she was treated, agreed with her that her annulment to a pedophile is Biblical, and admitting that The Village Church does not have the resources to help someone addicted to child pornography. This repentance by Matt Chandler has been profound, deep and very encouraging. I am not a Neo-Calvinist at all, but what Matt Chandler has done has grabbed my ear, and I am actually willing to listen to him now. Imagine that a Neo-Calvinist pastor who actually practices what he preaches! So I have a question David Murray…in light of the epic failures of The Gospel Coalition in regards to how they failed to confront CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll, why has the Gospel Coalition been so silent in offering its support to Matt Chandler? I could be mistaken but I did some research and I found a total of 130 articles about The Village Church and there is absolutely nothing about the historic and profound apology Matt Chandler made to Karen Hinkley. We’re 3 weeks out from the apology that likely prevented a major lawsuit, and still The Gospel Coalition is silent? There are 72 articles in the search engine about Matt Chandler and a quick scan of those reveal nothing about what Matt Chandler did with Karen Hinkley. Oh and David Murray in case you are interested I did a quick search for you and saw that you came up 98 times at The Gospel Coalition. Is your ego stoked that I did that?

So I am baffled David Murray…many Neo-Calvinists are quick to jump on other people or point out sin amongst others. That interview with Brian Williams was still fresh when you critiqued it. I noticed yesterday at The Gospel Coalition that they were quick to feature the Washington Post article about the affair Tullian Tchvidijian had. Quite ironic given how Tullian departed from The Gospel Coalition. And yet Matt Chandler does something epic and brave and the response by The Gospel Coalition is cold, stone silence. David in the days of the Cold War United States and British intelligence agencies used to study pictures of Cold War parades in the Soviet Union to see who was in and who was out of power. I feel like with The Gospel Coalition due to their murky and opaque communications that I have to do the same thing that the CIA did in the 1950’s. But when you guys blow an opportunity this big to support Matt Chandler it leaves me to ask…what kind of gospel are you committed to in the end if you encourage behavior that covers up sin, while refusing to endorse behavior that is bold that makes the Gospel shine? But here is the amazing thing….I do have to give Brian Williams credit. He sat down, he faced an interview and it was done before millions of people who watched, listened and paid attention. I will also state this as well…I believe Brian Williams has been more forthcoming than either CJ Mahaney or Mark Driscoll. Would either Mark Driscoll or CJ Mahaney consent to an interview and go on TV and agree to be asked questions about their credibility to preach or teach, or allegedly being involved in cover up child sex abuse? Can CJ Mahaney be as humble as Brian Williams to go before others and submit to questioning? So David Murray in the end the two sides operating of The Gospel Coalition just gives me that feeling of heartburn. Are there any “Gospel Centered” antacids you can recommend? One more thing to say David…due to use and abuse of the word Gospel in a few years people are not going to want to touch or identify with it because of the baggage it carries. Its becoming like the word Christian today. It is behavior by The Gospel Coalition, and your tribe David Murray that makes me want to ask the following question….why did the Protestant Reformation even occur if the fruit of it is going to be that much corruption and cognitive dissonance? Can you tell me David Murray..I am here waiting. You have my contact information.

Other than that…good analysis of Brian Williams!



3 thoughts on “David Murray on Brian Williams: The Most Painful Blog Post I Ever Read

  1. Good observation: “why has the Gospel Coalition been so silent in offering its support to Matt Chandler?”. I presume that is a rhetorical question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill…I was thinking both rhetorical. Being rhetorical to make a point but perhaps they are aloof and so out of it hey don’t realize it Remember with ESV (Eagle Standard Version) Philippians 4:13…”with Kool Aid all things are possible’ 😛


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