EFCA, Please Learn from My Mistake

On August 26, 2018 this blog made an error about D.A. Carson and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This post is a follow up explaining what happened and how that error occurred. In addition I also use this mistake to teach the EFCA how to respond to errors that will happen inside the denomination. My hope is that the EFCA will learn from my mistake and become a better organization in time. 

“Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure.”

James Altucher 

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” 

Orlando Aloysius Battista

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT


Being corrected by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Twitter and admitting my mistake. 

The point of today’s post is to draw attention to an error I made. I want to explain what happened and apologize to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and use this as a lesson for the EFCA to learn from. This is not an easy post to write but its essential that I critique myself and admit my mistake. Let’s look at what happened first of all. 


Writing a Post About D.A. Carson and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with an Error 

In August I was working on a post about the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. I noticed some similarities with the sexual abuse scandal in C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace Ministries. You can read the post in, “As the Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Unfolds in Pennsylvania Let’s Remember the Sex Abuse Scandal in Sovereign Grace Ministries. The Complicity of The Gospel Coalition, and D.A Carson Defending Mahaney by Attacking Someone Who was Raped at 13.” I went over to the New Testament Department at Trinity to link D.A. Carson’s faculty page and I noticed it was gone. That baffled me after all I read The Gospel Coalition and Desiring God frequently in writing a blog like this. So I checked both websites and I didn’t see any posts about Carson’s retirement. I became suspicious the more I poked around and I went through the press releases of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and saw about some of Carson’s engagements on campus but nothing about retirement. I started to wonder if the statement that Carson made where he went after a sexual assault victim had caught up with him. I wondered if the #MeToo movement was hitting the EFCA. So after checking out all these resources I wrote a post on August 26, 2018 asking if D.A. Carson had separated from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. You can see that post in, “Has D.A. Carson Separated From Trinity Evangelical Divinity School?


How to Respond to an Error and Thanking TEDS for the Correction 

I published that post about Carson thinking all was fine. That all was okay. Within a few minutes of writing it I was first contacted by Michelle Van Loon who showed me the Trinity International University magazine announcing D.A. Carson’s retirement. It was one source that I did not check. When I saw that I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized the fact that I made an error. Then a Trinity seminary student corrected me as well as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS)contacted me through Twitter up above and forwarded the magazine article about Carson’s retirement. To be honest when I realized what happened, well I was embarrassed. So I thanked TEDS and Eric Price for correcting me. I appreciated the correction as I want to get posts correct. I was in the wrong. In trying to think of what to do I decided to leave the post up and make a correction realizing it is wrong. I didn’t want to try and hide what happened as that would not be good. And I wanted to acknowledge what happened which is partially what this post is about. If I took that down and denied what I had done, well that would have not have been good. Plus the message I would send would not be good. So I decided to use this experience as a learning lesson to help teach the EFCA how to deal with an error. 


A Few Words to TEDS 

To TEDS I want to apologize over what happened. I was not trying to do a hatchet job and looking for a excuse to write a difficult post. I used a number of sources in doing analysis but I missed one. It was the TIU magazine article which you tweeted at me. Had I looked at that this would have been prevented. I appreciate you correcting me and calling me out in error. If I do make any mistakes in the future you are free to engage and correct me. I am approachable and easy to talk to, and if I am wrong, then I will admit it. Sometimes journalists and more can make mistakes in their career. ABC News and other newspapers have made mistakes from time to time and corrected them.  The CIA has made some mistakes in its history. From stating that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq to not believing that a revolution would happen in Iran in 1979. So to TEDS I want to state that I apologize and meant no ill will. That post I wrote was 938 out of 944 posts I have written at this blog. I will remember and learn from this experience.  


Mistakes are Going to Happen in the EFCA

Let me state that I know the EFCA is going to make mistakes. It will do so because it is an organization staffed by humans. They will make mistakes and errors and I understand that will happen. For me its important to state that I know mistakes will happen and I accept that fact. Mistakes will happen from the president’s office of Kevin Kompelien to ReachGlobal to district offices and district superintendents and finally churches. To error is to human and I write some of the posts here keeping that in mind. As I continue to explore the EFCA that thought is embedded in my mind. So they next question is what happens when mistakes are made? What happens when error is committed inside the denomination? That is the next logical question to ask. 


EFCA Learn From Me 

EFCA in this post I am drawing attention to a mistake that I made. I am trying to show both humility and transparency. I made a mistake and I am admitting it before the denomination and others for them to know. EFCA, please learn from my mistake. Take it into consideration so that when you do make a mistake you take the course of action that will increase transparency and build trust. That is the kind of denomination I would like to see and witness. Through blog posts, statements and interactions with people and leaders inside the EFCA, the right course of action will help out the denomination considerably. I am leaving up a flawed blog post to let people know that mistakes will be made. Any effort on my behalf to redact it will erase trust and show flaws. So for that purpose its staying up as long as this blog exists. That is it for the day guys, please know that you are loved.