I have a friend, who will see this, who sincerely believes JD Hall needs to get saved. Now, obviously, I believe JD Hall IS saved. Unlike most other folks, here’s my line of reasoning:
Trinity? Check: more so than 99% of all believers I know
All Aspects of Christology? Check
Virgin Birth? Check
Death, Burial, Resurrection of Jesus? Check
Biblical inspiration? Check
Scriptural sufficiency? Check
Biblical inerrancy? Bonus check!
Second coming? Check
Final judgment? Check
Absolute necessity of God’s grace in salvation? Check
Substitutionary atonement? Check
Justification by faith alone? Check
At this point I have to say, “That covers it–or at least it covered it for the Apostles.” Ah, but wait, someone says, that’s not nearly enough! We need to see if there are any contradictions in there! He’s abrasive (some might say he’s not pastoral), so he’s not qualified to be a pastor, for example! I definitely see an issue there—and JD is not ignorant of it, and would reply that he does not believe online tone or rhetoric as perceived by critics is a biblical qualification that the pastoral epistles mention or address as disqualifying factors for pastoral or polemics ministry. Do I agree with these distinctions? No, yet I do understand the criticisms.
If I did not have a personal relationship with JD, and all I knew of him was his online persona, I might even agree with his critics. The problem is that JD’s loudest critics DO know him, and yet disregard all past ministry partnership and experience (speaking at JD’s conferences, for example, or inviting JD on their online radio show). In fact, some of his critics loved him when they thought he was their personal polemics pit bull, sicking him on their OWN critics. Does that give me the right to overthrow the above affirmations? NO.
But; his critics say, he attacks those he agrees with theologically most harshly, don’t you think that is reason enough to throw him out of the camp? I don’t, and as much as I believe we honor God by believing all of His truth *consistently,* I find nothing more repulsive than those who wrap themselves in their reformed doctrine as a way to excuse doing something stupid or sinful.
That’s how men like Mark Driscoll, Timothy Keller, and John Piper got a pass for so long on the heretical doctrines or behaviors they introduced to modern evangelicalism. That is downgrade by its very definition. Many look down their noses at JD and other discernment ministries proclaiming, “Off with you to the flames, you non-elect!” JD has set a standard, I believe , in honestly addressing polemics and discernment issues in the confines of brotherly commitment to the glory of Christ, the integrity of the gospel, and the inspiration of Scripture. But…he attacked James White!
Surely that is enough to cast anyone into hell! I wonder if folks think through such statements. I wish JD had not done that—I think maybe sometimes he wishes he had not done that either—after all, it would have been easy to sit back and be quiet while White allowed Michael Brown to excuse and promote the NAR on his podcast, avoiding the bullets sure to come from his personal YRR screenshot army, but when you stand back and look at the list above and go, “Yep, all that—irrelevant—White is enough,” doesn’t it follow that you just made White more important than everything else in that list? Ever thought of that? Most haven’t.
Unity is, in fact, based upon truth. But it is not based upon walking in lockstep with the narrow vision of one particular group or viewpoint. JD and I are going to partner in; Lord willing, several ministry endeavors together in 2018. I look forward to it. We might have some disagreements. But since we will be on the same podcast network we will be on the very same page, just as we were when we were at the NorCal Fire conference open air preaching to the lost (as Hyper-Calvinists tend to do). Unlike certain folks, I’ve prayed with Jordan Hall, and I know his heart for the gospel and missions and our common Lord. So I will continue to partner with him in defense of the truth, and continue to minister with him in the pursuit of unity based upon the inspired Scriptures we both love as well.
You may have just read the above paragraphs thinking that it all sounds familiar. That’s because if you follow James White on Facebook, you realize that I just took his post from December 9, removed Michael Brown’s name, and replaced it with Jordan Hall’s name. I also changed some of the details of our ministry partnership to make what should be an obvious point. That is, that by using Dr. James White’s standard of orthodoxy, there is no theological reason for anyone to separate from JD Hall, Pulpit & Pen, or the Polemics report. Thank you for reading.
Contributed Len Pettis & Tim Hurd