Why Does Mahaney Get More Slack Than Nevin?

The answer appears to be that if you I have spoken at conferences with C.J., shared a meal with him after one of those sessions, or sung Sovereign Grace Music songs on stage with him, then it is possible to stand in the gap with C.J. in the current difficulty that SGM is experiencing. But if you have not done any of those relationship-building things with J.W., then it is not possible to give Nevin the benefit of the doubt.

This is another way of saying that personal knowledge and friendship appear to be significant elements in the reactions from famous evangelical Reformed figures to the news about C. J. Mahaney and the difficulties besetting SGM. Al Mohler has issued a statement of full confidence in Mahaney and so Ligon Duncan has recently issued a statement over at Reformation 21 which includes this:

It is clear that far from a scandalous cover up, our brothers at Sovereign Grace are taking these matters with utter seriousness and are endeavoring to walk in Gospel repentance and humility and fidelity. C.J. knows of my complete love and respect for him. And my brethren at Sovereign Grace know of my support and prayers for them. . . . I want to emphasize that we fully respect the process that SGM is taking to review the entire situation and that we have no intention whatsoever of joining in the adjudicating of this case in the realm of the internet – a practice as ugly as it is unbiblical.

Here’s the problem. For schlubs like me, who have had no personal interaction with Mahaney, the only information I have to go on are those formal statements that describe SGM’s work. And when I go to the website of SGM I discover that Sovereign Grace churches are weak on the sacraments, have no presbyterian polity, and also include statements friendly to charismatic views of the Holy Spirit. These official teachings and practices have nothing to do (as far as any of us know) with the current difficulties at SGM. C.J. may be guilty or innocent no matter what SGM teaches and does.

But those formal statements would be enough for me not to have personal knowledge of C.J., at least the kind that comes from parachurch conferences, networks, and alliances. All serious Reformed church members and officers, of course, may and do participate with non-Reformed in a host of voluntary organizations. You cannot exist in civil society and not participate with Baptists, Mormons, or Roman Catholics at the Parent Teachers Association, or at the committee for expanding the local library, or on the Chamber of Commerce. You might even participate with non-Reformed in religious endeavors like a college or a magazine.

But if an association or organization calls itself a ministry, I am not sure how such cooperation can exist. The reason has to do with the word “ministry” itself. It invariably goes with “the word” as in minister the word of God (except for the neo-Calvinist/evangelical clutter of “every member ministry”). And when we talk about ministry in this way, we are in the ballpark of ordination, ecclesiology, sacraments, worship, and doctrine. Ministry as such should be confessional. Cross-confessional ministries undermine confessionalism. (And if an organization has the word “gospel” in its name and does not call itself a ministry then it should cease its activities because ministering the gospel is of the essence of ministry.)

So again, I am in a dilemma regarding the current situation at SGM. I have a knowledge of C.J. that only comes from formal statements that would prevent me from entering into ministry relationships with him. And not having those ministry relationships I have no personal knowledge that he is a worthwhile friend and colleague. At the same time, I have friends and acquaintances who are assuring me that everything is basically okay with C.J. and this advice stems from personal knowledge that is grounded in a cross-confessional ministry. Reassurances about C.J. would not be coming from evangelical Reformed types if those Reformed and Baptist figures were as particular in their understanding of ministry as anyone who takes seriously the visible church should be.

Of course, it is commendable for people to stand by their friends and I commend Duncan and Mohler for not doing the self-righteous thing of throwing Mahaney under the bus simply at the accusation of misconduct. Innocent until proven guilty works in both kingdoms.

But if friendship is really a function of fellowship and such fellowship is misbegotten on confessional grounds, then standing by one’s friend may really be a form of standing by a fellow minister while having no ecclesiastical basis or status for doing so.

So I remain ignorant of C.J.’s personal charms because I remain separate from Sovereign Grace Ministries.


176 thoughts on “Why Does Mahaney Get More Slack Than Nevin?

  1. Darryl,

    I’m not sure that I follow your argument regarding our involvement in parachurch organizations:

    1. Can an OPC minister teach at Gordon-Conwell (e.g. M. Kline)?
    2. Can an OPC minister work on a Bible Translation Committee with those who don’t subscribe to the WFC & Catechisms or the Three Forms of Unity? If not, where is the NAPARC Bible translation committee?

    If it is o.k. for an OPC minister to teach at GCTS and to serve on a non-confessional Bible translation committee, it is hard to see why one could not also be a member of a group like T4G (NB: I didn’t simply say “speak at a T4G conference”).

    What am I missing?



  2. From the chart on the page, it seems SGM has discovered episcopal polity. So the question then would be what relationship does the Congregationalist Mohler or Presbyter Duncan have with Bishop Mahaney?


  3. David, my remark about teaching at a college with a religious mission could extend to GCTS. As far as I know, Kline’s presbytery approved his call to teach there. In which case, employment with a calling from the church does seem to go well beyond the associations that prevail in most parachurch “ministries.”

    As for a NAPARC translation committee, I’m fine with that. I actually think it would be okay for the OPC to have its own approved translation. It might be a little pricey, though.


  4. Stand by your friends is one things. Intentionally trying to sway the scandal to favor your friend is another. This is precisely what both men have attempted to do. Mohler stated CJ is fit for ministry and dismissed the documents. Really? When there is a current investigation by his ecclesiastical organization that is trying to determine that? Duncan said, in effect, “everything you need to know is written out by SGM. Don’t read the emails and transcribed phone calls, and whatever you do, don’t listen to the poor people hurt by SGM the past 20 years”. Whether you agree with SGM or not (and I no longer do) I see this as “evangelicalism” trumping and ignoring the local church. What else is new?

    if this was 2 months ago I would be in the middle of this, as I am learning now that many of my friends are contemplating leaving the SGM church (that has very close ties to CJ and the big wigs – they were always cycling though). Thank God I am not.


  5. I’ve known people who were part of SGM while it was still PDI, and my sense has always been that the whole enterprise is a well-intentioned mess that was going to come to grief sooner or later. You can’t run things by the seat of your pants forever, and when there aren’t any documents or procedures for handling dissent, discipline, or even really describing the the nature of church offices or how they are filled, that’s basically what you’re doing.

    I’ve heard rumors about Bad Stuff going on for a few years now. See here for more reading. For an insider’s take on SGM polity using internal documents, see here (posted Nov. 2009, updated June 2010).

    I think this is perhaps going to turn out to be the example of why confessionalism is important: this is what you get if you don’t have it or something like it. Reformed theology is not a buffet line where one can pick the dishes one likes (justification!) and leave the ones one does not (ecclesiology!).

    I doubt most SGM congregants will get the point. But I hope that some will.


  6. Off topic alert: Darryl, I started reading your new book _From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of Conservatism_. To be honest, I was partly dreading it. Not due to content, but having read 4 or 5 other book you’ve read, I just haven’t jived with your writing style. Anyway, this book starts out captivating and the writing style is much smoother than any other book I’ve read by you (maybe that was intentional, I dunno). For the most part, I think I agree with the content and find there to be some interesting analysis I hadn’t thought about as well as spot-on criticism. If the books keeps up at this pace, I think I’ll thoroughly enjoy it, both in content and in style. Looks good! [/nice guy]


  7. All I know about the matter at SGM is what I’ve read on the web. After reading Duncan’s post on Ref 21, it seemed to me that the steps of Matthew 18 were not followed. C.J. was not directly confronted by those having issues with him. Rather, they send hundred page long tomes. Could much of this been handled in the way Jesus taught?


  8. Richard, Spiritual abuse (alleged as it is) can get complicated. Besides, how are those at the bottom of the SGM totem pole supposed to get a hearing with CJ when they have a strictly hierarchical structure? This type of set-up screams unhealthy if not cultic. Also, Mt. 18 applies within an ecclesiastical context. I don’t think CJ was within their church, he’s the leader at the top of a CEO-like organization. I’ve heard Mt. 18 used to cover up bad behavior before in similar contexts, in fact it’s one of the most abused Scriptures today. I would agree with you if it were a local church context. Are we to blindly believe one or two respected men, or hundreds/thousands of complaints that have gone unheeded for years? To me it’s a no-brainer. We venerate well-known pastors far too much imho….


  9. Oy vey, Darryl:

    1. The cross-over from Mark Driscoll–earlier post–into inquiries about other Baptacostals, e.g. Piper, etc., led me straight into this morass. Monitoring this because the issue is larger than Mahaney the Enthusiast.

    2. There is a raft of issues at bar. Both Mohler and Duncan leaped far too prematurely–immaturely??–into the full-throated-defense. Dever and Mohler would prevent Duncan from attendance at His Majesty’s Table of the Gospel. Yep, while the converse would be true, to wit: the ana-Baptists are welcome.

    3. On a more cheery note for the ana-Baptist crowd. T4G, 10-12 Apri 2011. See t4g.org for the big names. Glad to see Dr. Carl Trueman has a break-out session. Also, an interesting and relevant, if not oddly timed post, at Ref21 today. About confessionalism circumscribing “power.” Carl’s one shortfalll was to miss the value of Lutheran and Anglican liturgy with the weekly confession of sin and absolution, but I digress–overall, a good article. Anticipated crowd for T4G is 10K. They had 6K four years ago according to my sources. Average registrant cost is $269. That’s $2.69 million in receipts. Confirmed this afternoon in a personal phonecon (by me) with the VP for sales of the Louisville, KY convention centre (quite splashy, modern, new). About $180K/day for 3 days, or, $560/K for three days. Estimate $300/K for contractors, lights, and setup crew. Estimate $500K for advertising. Bottomline: I see a $500K-$1 million dollar profit. Then the “Celebs” get to sell their books, CDs, videos, and other goodies. I’d like to see the financials on T4G and am working on it. Taking criminal law and forensic accounting next semester. Talked with a Federal Judge today about the “financials” of these non-profits. There are some wealthy men, truth be told. And let it be told.

    4. Keep the website up. A great service. More as the factaul pattern ripens. Again, commendable article by Carl.


  10. Correction, T4G is 10-12 Apr 2012.

    Additionally, if 10K attend T4G. Low-balling this assumption of $300/attendee on travel, food, hotel. That is $3 million expended. In reviewing this with the VP of the Louisville Convention Centre, Louisville, KY, she observed–more rightly–that a better assumption might be $750/person for personal costs. I’ll stick with $300/person for travel, hotel and food for a total of $3 million in costs of travel, hotel, and food. She noted that the city is thankful for that. This lady was a real delight as we digested these issues.

    I’d like to FOIA the IRS-form 990 on the honorariums of those involved. Regrettably, according the Federal Judge, there are serious restrictions on the inquiry of financials.


  11. Confirmed, C.J. Mahaney privately and personally donated $110K to Al Mohler’s Southern Seminary. Alot of money for a cleric. SGM donated over $100K to Al’s school as well. While Mr. Duncan advocated a wave-off, we believe a thoughtful, investigative, analytic, deliberative and careful review is warranted. If one wishes to be public, Presidential (of this or that), write books for a national constituency, and speak nationally and publicly, scrutiny comes with the territory. Ligon went public. Ligon can take a severe and meritorious drubbing for a premature reivew of “my friend” (his words). And why is a Baptacostal on the Board of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (ACE)? Or, is is the Alliance of Professing Evangelicals (APE)? Carl’s comments were more to the point and commendable too.

    Darryl, by way of background. Old, very retired, quite comfortable. At my age, I attempt to count backwards on birthdays. No one pays me. No one endorses me. Not “owned,” except by my LORD, my family, and many friends in a liberal Episcopal church who are believers (we’re believers in exile). No need for endorsements on books. No need for honorariums. No need for visibility or notoriety. Just some facts. “Just the facts, Ma’am,” SGT Joe Friday.


  12. Viking – I had problems figuring out why CJ coerced (at best) or blackmailed (at worst) Larry T in 97. Finally put the pieces together. In ’95 parts of PDI (now SGM) was off the rocker loony and even involved in the laughing “revivals” to some degree. Then, a more Calvinistic conviction started to arise. In ’97 they still were not hugely Calvinistic. Larry was not on board at all with Calvinism, so while under scrutiny he finally decided to be done with it and use the Calvinism as a way out and claimed doctrinal differences as the reason for leaving. It angered pope mahaney, because he knew if word of the Calvinism came out a lot of the real hardcore charismatic churches would bolt. That means a loss of $$$. That is what sent CJ over the edge to threaten to divulge very sensitive personal information about his Larry T’s son in public. Have you read the transcribed phone conversation? That’s enough right there to assume CJ’s ministry would be done… but I guess not.


  13. Ligon is getting a drubbing at: http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=2454&cp=3#comment-37969

    “From SGM Refuge:

    (If you don’t know, Ligon Duncan is a PCA pastor and national speaker in the T4G foursome who wrote a short defense of CJ immediately after the documents by Brent were posted as SGM wikileaks. I’ve heard him preach actually, at the PCRT, and he was an awesome teacher of God’s word. It grieves me deeply to see him deceived about CJ.)

    A Reponse to Dr. Duncan
    July 14th, 2011

    Here is what Ligon wrote on his July 12 post entitled, “A Word about C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries.”

    “We have no intention whatsoever of joining in the adjudicating of this case in the realm of the internet – a practice as ugly as it is unbiblical…. It would have been very easy for the leadership of SGM to ignore and dismiss these charges, because so many of them are so evidently self-serving and spurious accusations.”

    I have the utmost respect for Ligon. Like Dr. Mohler, he is defending his friend, C.J. Mahaney. Nevertheless, I think these statements will come back to haunt him.

    First, Ligon states his intention not to adjudicate the case (i.e., make a formal judgment or decision about a problem or disputed matter) in any way, shape or form on the internet. But five sentences later he does the very thing he condemns. That’s called hypocrisy.

    Second, Ligon characterizes my documents (see sgmwikileaks) as “so evidently self-serving” and comprised of “spurious accusations.” I am afraid the good doctor has embarrassed himself in his locution.

    More importantly, he has judged my heart and unwisely dismissed my writings. In stark contrast, he commends the leadership of Sovereign Grace Ministries for not ignoring and dismissing such ridiculous charges.

    Well, I hope Ligon has read my documents. To the best of my ability, I’ve written out of love and I’ve written accurately. I’ll allow readers to decide if they agree with the doctor’s diagnosis.”

    Ligon–defending “my friend”–just stepped on a public landmine. As Confessionalists, what is Mahaney doing on the Board of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals?


  14. DJ:

    Yes, have read the 600+ page data dump by Brent. While there was a soteriological shift in the late 1990s, as it would appear, there were also internal SGM complaints about “diminished charismata.” Nontheless, they used Baptacostalist language, e.g. “speaking into the situation” with authoritarian tones. Throughout the 1000+ responses that I’ve read, there are numerous complaints about “hyper-authoritarianism” of an almost cultic variety. That itself warrants closer review. One tentative conclusion: the very authoritarianism C.J. Mahaney fostered, taught, believed and imposed–at a loss to many Pastors who were “degifted” (their term)–one of his closest, Detwiler, turned the tables on Mahaney in terms of the “sin sniffing” and “belittlement.” He kept records and emails.



  15. Viking – One of my pastors was “degifted”… happened about a year ago. Now he is going to a PCA church (although, it’s the kind of PCA church the confessional PCA folks keep an eye on, if you know what I mean!) Anyways, it was the beginning of the end with me and SGM. I was being considered for a pastoral position and a years trip to the prestigious pastors college (where is the barfing emoticon that is at the SGMsurvivors site?) would follow if accepted. I realized that could be me someday (being degifted), and the flimsy PC “diploma” didn’t mean a hill of beans outside of SGM. Dr Hart’s assault on T4G, TGC, Piper, etc, earlier this spring, along with covenant theology, finally did me in. Just in time to miss this mess. Word is not a few leaders in my old church are gonna leave soon.


  16. Ligon wrote too prematurely. Carl wrote quite astutely at Ref21. I wish Scott were still in the game and writing. The latter is profoundly missed.


  17. DJ:

    1. PC, or the “Pastor’s College,” as I understand it, is a 9-month affair or event.

    2. “De-gifting” was an entirely new term to me. There have been many “Pastors” who have been “degifted” with loss of position, place, salary and benefits—things that should be evaluated and protected. As an old Episcopalian, our clerics are #2 in terms of pay. The Rabbis are #1. So, no stranger to caring for a cleric. A church needs to do that. A huge supporter of an honourable Churchman in the pulpit, at the Prayer desk and at the Table. That being said, there have been “immediate” ejections without congregational awareness or even consent. Driven from the top. There are ecclesiastical issues of governance that recur through the documents. Carl hinted at that in his careful review at Ref21.

    3. I am unaware of Darryl’s review of T4G, TGC, or Piper in the summer. This much: my attenae is up. As an old Mariner, am at “PD depth (periscope depth) at 8000 yards out with a 30-degree angle on the beam with a 3-knot speed with orders to `Maintain course and bearing.'”

    4. As usual, let us continue to be thoughtful, factual, evaluative, deliberative, most cautious, analytic and wise.

    5. Darryl’s earlier post about Mark (Driscoll) with subsequent research led me into this inquiry.

    6. What is your understanding of this unilateral “degifting?”


  18. Basically it’s a way for them to get rid of you if they want to… The pastor that this happened to at my church: it was explained to us that the pastoral team decided that they felt he wasn’t gifted as a pastor after all. Even though they are the ones who said he was in the first place. Nice, huh? No sin issues were listed. Just didn’t have the “gift” after all.


  19. DJ:

    As to T4G, confirmed today with the Louisville, KY, Convention Centre, that it costs $560K/three days. A charming chat with an honourable and open VP of sales. Most minimally, a $500K profit is my estimate. I think it may be closer to $1 million. We need some records on this. Speakers sell their books, CDs, etc. I am really low-balling my estimates too.

    In the documents, there is an allegation that “CJ” was playing to the “Big Reformed” players for an audience. It has been asserted.

    I’d like to see the IRS form-990 for T4G, to wit, payment of honorariums. T4G IS NOT A RED INK OPERATION.


  20. DJ:

    Are you aware that Mr. Brent Detwiler, plank owner of SGM (formerly PDI) from decades backwards until 2009, an inside man, with all the “Shepherding” influences, sent this 600-page download and data dump to the 100+ SGM pastors? The nets are aghast! SGM put out two posts today.

    I doubt Mr. Mohler and Mr. Duncan are aware of the depth of concerns evinced through many, many years, including coverup of molestation cases? How would they know? Yes, the chatter is out there. Al and Lig should have held their fire, but they didn’t.

    Also, finding out that Mark Dever is on Al’s Board of Trustees at Southern, centre for revivalist, predestinarian ana-Baptism. I didn’t know Mark was that tight with Al. I know CJ was tight with Al. Al posted CJ’s $100K contribution on his SBTS magazine, reviewed last night.


  21. I knew about the pastors getting the documents. A good friend of mine spent 3 hours with our local SGM head pastor this week who is a close CJ friend. I am interested to see what the close friend is saying. It’s hard to think he wasn’t aware of some of this stuff? But who knows…


  22. Keep us posted on factual developments. Just the facts so that a factual pattern can be discerned. My sense is that these folks are ana-Baptacostals or ana-Baptaholics. No Confessions. No sensible liturgy. No competent form of church government with appellate and supreme courts of adjudicature. Mahaney, himself, didn’t have the decency, ahem, or humility, or even fear of God, to submit to learning. He has a high school degree. Some feared “handling His Majesty’s Word” in public–as a consequence, they submitted to years of caution, learning and inquiry. Not CJ! Hubris!


  23. I was a part of group very similar to SGM over ten years ago. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. The constant questioning if we were really saved enough (it was in college) was absolutely terrifying. I am in my 30’s now and am still trying to recover. Of course my friends had it worse than me. One girl who worked on staff was called to the carpet concerning her attitude and was forced to have a meeting with the higher ups who told her that she had to present them with a “repentance plan.” These neo-calvinist unfortunately turned me away from reformed theology and almost Christianity. I know some will become angry for me saying so but, after reading this site for some time I decided to write. However, Dr. Hart you don’t present reformed theology in the same way… so why such a difference?


  24. Robin:

    Your story parallels many in the documents, so this scribe is not surprised. A “neo-Puritanical navel-gazing,”intense “sin-sniffing”by the authorities, imperious oversight, a Law-legalist dominion without any Gospel or assurances, as well as harsh judgmentalism appears in the 600-page data dump. Your report is not surprising.

    As to Darryl and his presentation of the Reformed faith, that’s his call.

    As to myself, the old Catechism, smaller and larger, as well as the old Prayer Book is in the DNA and bones. We have nothing, de nada, zippo, zero and triple-zero without Christ’s manifold mercies, righteousnesses, life, agony, sweat, death, and imputation of that righteousness to us. Again, de nada.

    Age 8, 18, 28 or 88, the rehearsal of this must again be heard again and again. I’m old enough to need it again after these many years. There is nothing without Him.


  25. Whether folks agree or not with this post of Dr. Hart, and myself trying to avoid being an uncritical reader, I read the post and was blown by how good it was. Each sentence has a lot of thought, with a sharp and incisive tone and those of us who have been through the charismatic show have an even more personal interest in this post. The role of ACE is also exposed as NOT being confessional; as folks have pointed out, how the heck has Mahaney got on it’s board?

    I first heard CJ nearly 30 years ago in an odd place – in Yorkshire, England. With his erstwhile chum Larry T. they made about 6,000 charismatics laugh at the annual Dales Bible Week, that much I can remember. But maybe the heavy sheparding movement who invited them to speak (known as Bradford’s Harvest Time movement led by Bryn and Keri Jones) rubbed off on them and perhaps seeds were sown in CJ’s thinking of apostleship which Harvest Time were associated with.

    I was aware of CJ’s ‘gift’ of thousands of dollars to the Southern Baptists some time ago, and I still wonder if this helped to propel him to the inner circle of respectability. Also, the unabashed love of CJ by Kevin de Young, Ligon, Dever, and a host of others like Carl Trueman show a deference to a very different mindset to the Reformed, confessional faith, a deference which drives something like a coach and horses through the idea that de Young and other guiding lights are truly Reformed. I would argue that they want to redefine it and lead with an alliance with those like SGM, Driscoll, de Young and the such like which confuses, distorts, and ultimately undermines the Reformed, Biblical faith.

    The concept that the church often wants and sees theology through the prism of men (celebrities) is not a false one. Here in England we had the adulation of Driscoll by a para church set up called the Men’s Conventions in May. “We got him!” were the giddy words of the organisers of this annual event, such was their excitement of bagging Driscoll for the convention, drawing an odd parallel between booking Driscoll and Saddam Hussain’s arrest. Weird.


  26. ‘Schlub’…I’d never heard/read that wonderfully evocative word before (we don’t have many Yiddish speakers ‘down under’) and had to look it up. Many definitions, but one that caught my eye was ‘the opposite of metrosexual’. So then I had to look up ‘metrosexual’. I’ve also never heard of C.J. Mahaney before, so I had to look him up on Wiki (we don’t have many Reformed charismatics ‘down under’ either). Maybe I should get out more and spend less of my spare time reading blogs? I’m a real schlub!


  27. However, Dr. Hart you don’t present reformed theology in the same way… so why such a difference?

    Not to speak for Hart here, who can do that for himself, but it probably has to do with the fact that the SGM crowd isn’t really Reformed. And I don’t mean that in a no-true-Scotsman or even a more-Reformed-than-thou sense. I mean that the SGM leadership has never really engaged all that successfully with the substance of Reformed theology. They aren’t “neo-Calvinist”–that’s a term with its own definition–they’re more “quasi-Calvinist.”

    Their main theologian is Wayne Grudem, who’s at least as much charismatic as he is anything else, and while he does advocate something like the Reformed doctrine of justification, on most other things–sacramentology, ecclesiology, sanctification, etc.–he’s not actually Reformed at all.

    The SGM leadership is basically making things up from scratch, and the group has no historical institutional connection whatsoever to any Reformed denomination. They were actually Charismatic Catholics back in the 1970s, but drifted away from Rome into the charismatic wilderness, then sort of discovered theology somewhere in the early 1990s.

    So before you conclude that SGM has driven you away from Reformed theology entirely… consider the suggestion that SGM isn’t actually representative of the tradition. Because it isn’t.


  28. Paul, your comment reminds of the rather odd placement of Mark Driscoll’s picture on the cover of the Free Church of Scotland’s denominational magazine:
    Doesn’t get much weirder than that. I was visiting the Free Church congregation in London in ’08 and nearly choked on my Cornish pasty when I picked this up off the their book table.


  29. Someone had talked about financial accountability with regards to T4G and other nonprofits, you can find some information on http://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx. You do need to sign up for an account in order to view the documents.

    While T4G does not appear to be listed there you can view the last few years of 990 Forms for other organisations such as Ligonier and some seminaries.


  30. Sheena, I met you in London on the day described above. I suppose we had Robbo to thank for the Driscoll cover.


  31. Hart: ‘It [ministry] invariably goes with “the word” as in minister the word of God (except for the neo-Calvinist/evangelical clutter of “every member ministry”).’

    Peter Martyr Vermigli on Romans 13:6: “‘For they are the ministers of God.’ ‘Letourgoi.’ Here we see that ‘letourgein’ and ‘leitourgia’ pertain not (as some think) to holy services only. Yes, rather those words properly signify public offices and functions.”

    ‘Ministri enim Dei sunt.’ ‘Leitourgoi.’ Hic videmus ‘leitourgein,’ & ‘leitourgia’ non solum, ut quidam putant, ad sacra pertinere. Imo illae voce proprie publica munera significant.


  32. The charismatic perspective has a built-in propensity to be censorious and authoritative. Think about it: there is continuing revelation that can transform what we call “hunches” into the very voice of the Holy Spirit. And who are we to question the Holy Spirit? Preachers are then perceived to have extra helpings of the charismata, hence greater access to gifts that enable them to see the unseen and know the unknowable. Who are we to question those with the keenest ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Over time, pastors may feel this very deeply and have the kind of confidence that leads to censoriousness and authoritarianism.

    Combine this with a lack of presbyterian structure and order, and you have problems waiting to happen. Any kind of alliance with charismatic churches has a bold-faced “caveat emptor” stamp on it.


  33. @Darryl, re: Carl, not sure if Mahaney-oriented. However, intended or not, it was timely and with salutary application. After Ligon’s premature, if not full-throated support at Ref21 (which is getting blasted in the blogosphere), Carl’s comments came “very shortly” after Ligon’s comments. A few days later. Carl is too suave to address it publicly. Perhaps, Darryl, you might ask Carl, as a former and fellow colleague?

    This much, why, pray tell, is a Baptacostal like Mahaney on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals? One of the Brits above has raised the issue. “Houston, we have a problem” (NASA). For Marines, the standard response is…well, standard. “It’s a leadership problem.”

    The research goes on. Blogdom and internet has gone viral with the SGM-story. Fast-breaking. Two Christianity Today articles in last few days. Christian Post picked up the story. Also, the Courier, a KY paper.


  34. @Paul (UK).

    You said:

    “Whether folks agree or not with this post of Dr. Hart, and myself trying to avoid being an uncritical reader, I read the post and was blown by how good it was. Each sentence has a lot of thought, with a sharp and incisive tone and those of us who have been through the charismatic show have an even more personal interest in this post. The role of ACE is also exposed as NOT being confessional; as folks have pointed out, how the heck has Mahaney got on it’s board?”

    Concur. I’ve renamed them ACE as APE, the Alliance of Professing Evangelicals. There are few, if any, Confessional Churchmen on that Board.

    Paul, I reposted your comment because it warrants meditation.


  35. @Brad re: http://www.freechurch.org/pdf/monthlyrecord/january08.pdf. Eegads. Got Grandpa’s Free Church of Scotland Bible several feet from me. Old (Canadian) Gramps was a quiet speaking Sabbatarian…who ruined this scribe’s Sunday plans to play with pals. “Not on Sunday, lad,” he intoned. Scots Psalms in the back of the Bible, plus a few dozen metricalizations of other Bible texts from Genesis to Revelation. The family history of baptisms, marriages and deaths extends back to 1833 in Glasgow. And then, Mark Driscoll?


  36. @Sheena, my estimation is that T4G will net $500K-$1 million on 10-12 Apr 2012. I intend to test the estimate next week with some calls. I know it will cost roughly $560K/three days based on a phonecon with a Senior Sales rep.


  37. @Sheena, thanks for the lead on IRS Form 990. I’ve bookmarked it and will followup. I’ll be following up with a (ret.) Federal Judge and friend, with whom am much privileged to spend 3-4 hours/week in one-to-one lunches. He’s 81, but sharp and his bunny-rabbit trails abound with insights. The 990 Form is a federal IRS requirement to “attempt” to ensure that 503-organizations are not directing (and covering up for) profits to board members.


  38. This much, there are “some wealthy men” in the “Celebrity Circuit Culture.” Mahaney privately donated $100,000 to Al Mohler’s Louisville school. As the son of a manse and as an ordained, but happily retired, Churchman, how, pray tell, does a cleric have $100,000 dollars to donate to Al’s school? Ask your local Pastor is he can do that?


  39. Viking,

    Why, pray tell, are you so hot and bothered by the Mahaney debacle? From where I sit, your interest borders on obsession. Honestly, who cares? A simple “I told you so”, although a bit self-congratulatory for adults, is sufficient, no? Why kick and man when he’s down and then audit his financial statements after wards?

    After all, is Christian celebrity hoopla to be ignored only when it’s (supposedly) positive and drooled over when it’s scandalous?


  40. Mikey T.,

    Part of the problem is that guys like Mahaney are all too happy to draw attention to their particular brands of ministry and associated associations when they are on the way up. But when something like this happens it is time to circle the wagons. Ted Haggard did the same. The truth is, Mahaney’s public issues are going to be aired in public. And the Viking, well some of us appreciate his bulldog-ish approach; the fact is there are plenty of churches that could use a fraction of the revenue pulled in from these sort of conferences. I doubt that is where all of these “ministry” funds go though. Unless, some of these orgs want to open their books and show just how commited they are to the local church.

    There will always be a place for muckrakers because there will always be muck to be raked. I do feel for Mahaney the man, and his family, but his public misdeeds need to be brought to light. It will be good for his SGM churches in the long run, and good for the church. You can’t hold public office, and engage in publicity like Mahaney has and then want your dealings in the public sphere to be privatized when it reflects badly on you. It is the nature of celebrity and hopefully serves as a warning to men who seek that kind of celebrity in their ministries. In other words, we should have more, not less Vikings out there.


  41. 1. One comitted ex-SGM blogger is reporting that he has received “comunicating threats.” agimst himself, wife and children. He has the “apprehension of fear,” crucial element in assault matter. Theological disagreements is one thing, physical threats is another.

    2. NC Statutory Law on Communicating Threats.

    3. Apparently, some have communicated threats against Whistleblowers in the SGM networks. Unacceptable. We will be check IL and MD state statutes as well as provisions under Title 18, the Federal Code, about these matter. Communication of threats to Whistleblowers and their families transcends the ecclesiastical arena. More later. Here’s gthe General Statutes of NC.

    § 14?277.1. Communicating threats.
    (a) A person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if without lawful authority:
    (1) He willfully threatens to physically injure the person or that person’s child, sibling, spouse, or dependent or willfully threatens to damage the property of another;
    (2) The threat is communicated to the other person, orally, in writing, or by any other means;
    (3) The threat is made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat is likely to be carried out; and
    (4) The person threatened believes that the threat will be carried out.
    (b) A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1973, c. 1286, s. 11; 1993, c. 539, s. 172; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999?262, s. 2.)

    5. This covers oral and written comms.

    6. We’ll see how this plays out.


  42. @Mike:

    You said:

    “Why, pray tell, are you so hot and bothered by the Mahaney debacle? From where I sit, your interest borders on obsession. Honestly, who cares? A simple “I told you so”, although a bit self-congratulatory for adults, is sufficient, no? Why kick and man when he’s down and then audit his financial statements after wards?”

    Big answer:

    1. I am very comfortabe, very retired and “read for a living.” I get to read, monitorm and investigate these things. So, obsessive-complusive? Yes and no. “Hot on the Mahaney-trail, yes?” Why so? SIMPLY, BECAUSE I CAN. Simply, because I have time. Simply, this scribe doesn’t incline well to Baptacosals.

    2. You aks who cares? Well, that compels an interesting narrative about your concerns. Is it narcissism that propels dismissivness?


  43. Brad,

    I am not surprised you saw a mug shot of Driscoll on a Free Church Of Scotland publication. I read some comments by FCS folks a year or two ago, and it was obvious that the YRR mind set in this denomination was agitating to get Piper, Driscoll and Mahaney on board in terms of influence. One their leading lights and ACE board chap, Ian Campbell, is a Driscoll admirer and the FCS last year ditched the RPW and set sail for the choruses of Stuart Townsend, the Gettys, and SGM’s Bob Kauflin. Anyone contend this take? Oh, and go easy when you munch those Cornish Pasties! A chip butty is a far better snack, but I wonder if they care for them “down south”.


    I would have everyone OUT of the SGM set ups and all the others which are driven by a man and his loyal deputies. The confessions and creeds should be the focus with which we dig deep into the Scriptures and know more of the Lord Jesus Christ and indeed the tri – une God. I have heard mp3’s of Kevin de Young and others giving gushing praise to CJ, and without him some poor folks may be deeply hurt if they have followed the trail of seeing church and much else through this man. Joshua Harris and Wayne Grudem try to portray a moderate and subtle position from within such a camp, but don’t be taken in with the usual subjective view about their stance on gifts etc.

    It would be good to have time to discuss this post’s heading of why cut Mahaney more slack than Nevin. In a few words, I reckon Nevin is as removed as you can get from being a nice celebrity even though his theology is far more interesting than nearly every modern church star’s thinking. The matter of friendships; wanting to be on the inside track; and the power of influence in and through para church set ups is, I think, a driving factor in much of what we see today.


  44. Paul, do you think the FC’s openess to the YRR crowd has to do with the mystic/experiential strain found in the Scots? I’ve heard it posited that it has more to do with their desperation about their small size and (perceived) lack of cultural influence.


  45. Viking,

    If your hobbies include uncovering misdeeds and missteps from those essentially and apparently OUTSIDE your theological tradition – knock yourself out. To each his own, but please, don’t call my dismissiveness narcissistic. I’d rather be called smug.


  46. Michael,

    Fine, but are bloggers really the ones who are going to provide this exposé on Mahaney et al.

    The blogs are just as appropriate a medium as any. If Facebook can be instrumental in instigating the Arab Spring, then why can’t blogs be used to expose the misdeeds of Christian leaders. There might even be reasons why some of the more mainstream evangelical periodicals would be less inclined to report on these issues – they often run in the same circles. Blogs bring another layer of accountability for leaders, since anyone can now report on moral and spiritual failures of leadership.

    The medium isn’t perfect, but it certainly can be helpful. It seems like the whole thing blew open because of the internet. That’s just the way of things in the time we live in.

    The fact remains, so long as high profile ministers get away with spiritually abusive practices, there will be a need for these issues to be exposed. However devastating this might be for Mahaney, we must also have the compassion for the lives that were truly damaged under his leadership. What of the molestation victim? Or those who nearly left the faith entirely because of their treatment at SGM churches, don’t they have a right to be heard, and to be made whole.

    Unfortunately I have been under ministries that did the same thing in a molestation case, and the victim (in this case a teenage girl) was villanized while the perpetrator was protected. Needless to say this single case had lifelong implications for her. The fact of the matter, in this molestation case alone Mahaney is getting off easy for the heat he is getting. If the reports are true about the ministry culture at SGM, it seemed like the ministers could abuse with impunity, while the parishoners suffered in silence. So I feel less compassion for the culprits than I do for the victims, and if this isn’t handled right some will never be made right. The pressure from internet sources serves both as a counterbalance and a warning to those who put their own ambitions above the needs of the flock. While not everything on the net is to believed, I can’t help but think that where there is smoke, there is fire.


  47. If it can always be about Darryl on this blog, then it can occasionally be about his commenters as well. Fair warning:

    As a pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Washington, DC — a confessionally Reformed church down the road from SGM headquarters — if you’re a survivor, or struggling through this current mess, I invite you to join us for worship some Lord’s Day. Our church is full of sinners, of course, which is why we read the law and confess our sins each week, and proclaim the cross and resurrection of Christ, and come to the table to receive our Lord’s body broken and blood shed for sinners.

    I can even work in a Nevin reference for Darryl… as of this month we are worshiping in a German Reformed church with Mercersburg influenced architecture that was home to Teddy Roosevelt while he was President.

    And of course, Dr. Hart will be discussing his new book (Evangelicals and the Betrayal of Conservatism) at Christ Reformed on October 13th, along with former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson.

    Looking forward to your visit, Darryl. And I hope you’ll pardon this bit of self-promotion / pastoral care for some of our YR-not-quite-R castaways.


  48. Brian, I certainly hope that many misplaced SGM-ers do accept your invitation. I am sure there are many SGM and other evangelical cast-offs who would find refuge in a church where the Word is faithfully preached and where they can be regularly fed from God’s own hands at the Lords table.


  49. Brian, Yes, those seeking refuge from SGM need a confessional place to go. I’ll also be interviewing Darryl about that same book later this summer. Too much SGM navel-gazing can ruin the poor Christian soul, and our hearts ought to break for those so affected. I can attest that spiritual abuse does hurt and damage more than many realize.


  50. They could do a lot worse than Fourth Presbyterian, in Bethesda. An EPC, but with solid preaching from Rob Norris and Todd Smedley. They might have a harder time hearing the gospel at many an OPC, PCA, or URC.

    Alas, labels mean almost nothing today.


  51. Brad,

    You asked me if the Free Church of Scotland was being influenced by Marl Driscoll and his peers because of a supposed mystical aspect of the Scots. The Highland folks are linked with this in the past, but it’s hard to verify this from what I have read about them. But I have regularly contended that the influence of the internet and the celebrity culture of evangelicalism is very influential, so it is never a surprise when I hear of such men as Driscoll, Harris and others having a decisive influence even in Scottish circles. From the evangelical wing of the Anglican church to the independent small evangelical churches the writings, DVDs and teaching of these men is shaping and guiding pastors up and down the length of the British Isles.


  52. Jed,

    The role of the internet in driving a push for issues to be dealt with is more problematic than it sounds. SGM Survivors is the main site which has raised concerns for some years, but trying to find specifics matters to be alarmed about on the site has been hard. And on another matter, now SGM is dealing with the accusations against CJ internally, which shows the fallacy of impartiality in such a set up.

    I read on the Joshua Harris blog that he has allowed accusations against CJ and even himself to be read, and I can’t believe that he and his fellow leaders did not know of these problems years ago. He seems to be a smart moving guy, and has stood down from the SGM board; will he stay in the SGM fold or set up his own separate movement, I wonder.


  53. Paul (UK),

    I noticed you mentioned Bryn and Keri Jones in your post. When I lived in the Grand Rapids area I attended a charismatic church that was affiliated with the Harvest Time Movement. (I believe they had about 30 churches in the United States associated with them). In fact, Keri Jones spent a long time overseeing the church in Grand Rapids that I attended and brought his family with him when he did so (I think it was 2 or 3 years he was here). His son was very much interested in my daughter Hannah and it got to be a bit of a problem. It all worked out though without any serious consequences.


  54. @ Veith or anyone else who responded to me…

    Thank you for the encouragement. In the past ten years, I have had many turmoils and doubts due to the group that I was a part of that functioned much like SGM. I wanted to thank all of you for your unabashed resolve to proclaim Christ and him crucified because only when I have heard the gospel (the good news!!) that while I was still a sinner Christ came to die for the ungodly, has ANY fruits produced at all. I fear that many of these groups begin to worship their piety over the Christ. Maybe I am wrong but that is my honest take. Keep up the good work Dr. Hart.


  55. John,

    Phew! Imagine Keri Jones being part of your family if his son had married your daughter! My abiding memory of the Jones brothers is that I remember Bryn or maybe Keri (it was definitely one of them) ‘prophesying’ that a great flame of revival would come to Wales. Funnily enough the revival hasn’t happened and Keri is still running some kind of charismatic set up; these type of guys seem to have an innate desire to empire build. If my facts are correct, the Jones brothers and the Harvest Time ‘apostles’ decided to plough a lot of people’s free will offerings in satellite TV evangelism in Nordic countries. The project went wonky and the Harvest Time set up was never the same again.

    If only churches would have the creeds and confessions like the Westminster Confession as the catalyst and backbone for Gospel preaching, doctrine, living, Biblical understanding and ecclesiology we would not have to put up with the babble of all these men whose pronouncements, books etc. are eagerly awaited today.


  56. Paul (UK),

    Maybe you can relate as to why I quit going to church for many years after my experience with those type of charismatics. I had a very bad experience at that church although I was very close with the original pastor there. We both were transitioning from charismania- I went the Michael Horton and Modern Reformation magazine route while he went off to Calvin seminary which was somewhat receptive to charismatics at that time (early to mid 90’s). He later broke relationship with Bryn and Keri and now Pastors a small Reformed church in the Middleville, Caledonia area (near Grand Rapids). It took me a long time to find a good church which I was comfortable at theologically. I tried many Reformed churches but ended up at a Lutheran Church- very confessional and liturgical.


  57. Paul (UK),

    A lot of memories are coming back to me now. Keri Jones son was a very personable and likeable kid and from what my daughter told me (which I found to be true in many charismania Pastor kids) his son thought his father and uncle were “out of their minds” and “off their rockers.” He was not fond of having to put on a show for everyone in the church which he was kind of forced to do. I felt sorry for the kid and hope he didn’t go off the deep end.


  58. John,

    On a final note to our exchange: may we both be thankful to the sovereign Lord God that we are both still intact spiritually after those times we spent in charismatic churches. I knew many, many folks who came out fried and others who think it was all an odd period in their life; their ‘faith’ was little more than a man driven phenomena.

    I suspect those like us who came to the Reformed life and faith in God find it, in contrast to those control freakish and feverish times with the charismatics, very much an oasis of soul healing and quiet strength.


  59. The most recent news is that CJ is attending Mark Dever’s Capitol HIll Baptist Church, against the desires of Josh Harris and the leadership at Covenant Life Church (where CJ is a member?). How does Dever (aka “Mr. Ecclesiology”) defend his church’s actions?

    The Viking did a good job of following the money trail with CJ and Southern Seminary. How about with CJ and 9 Marks or CHBC.

    I really think that a T4G boycott should be organized until the organizers come clear about the money this event generates, where it goes, and how much the speakers are paid.



  60. Jim,

    There are some interesting exchanges between one of the leaders at SGM and others regarding the preliminary assessment of the charges against CJ. What strikes me most of all is how such a highly regarded and influential (in some circles) set up could be run on such un Biblical lines like a business or corporation, with CJ somehow looking like some kind of CEO. Also, it is odd that the leaders of SGM asked three men, including CJ’s staunch friend Kevin DeYoung and Carl Trueman who has some affinity with CJ (in what sense?!) to adjudicate the evidence in this preliminary assessment. Those who have rushed to incorporate SGM and CJ as Reformed seem to show a great lack of care for what confessional Reformed truth is, or even more so they want to marry their ideas and aspirations with the latest groups like SGM and New Frontiers and promote a model which has little relation with the Reformed and Biblical pattern.


  61. Dr. Hart,

    Not sure exactly what Paul is getting at but here are some links of interest. You can poke around http://www.sgmsurvivors.com and see all sort of analysis The Viking has done on this public shaming of Christ’s name and gospel. Plus, you will find story after story anfter story of people suffering spiritual abuse at the hands of SGM. http://www.brentdetwiler.com is the man responsible for getting the ball rolling since CJ was unwilling to own up to some very serious issues. http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/ is the place to receive official SGM spin. SGM basically bought their way into the (r)eformed world and now many say it’s wrong to look into this mess. I don’t buy it. SGM leadership organizationally and in the churches is all about secrecy. The lid should be blown off. Walk in the light.

    I am very, very disappointed with Trueman for getting involved in this. I could say much more but I don’t feel good. (sniffles, sneeze, cough).


  62. I’ve read all of Mahaney’s books (and some chapters he contributed), listened to many of his sermons, and seen him in person.

    I always come away with the impression that he doesn’t really believe he’s as fallen as he proclaims to be. Much like the man of whom was said, “He’s humble and proud of it.”


  63. Josh Harris wrote a letter to his church last week addressing various issues including the fact that CJ is now attending Dever’s CHBC without their blessing. Here is that part of the letter (the whole thing is posted on the SGM Refuge blog):

    “C.J. Mahaney Attending Capitol Hill Baptist Church During Leave of Absence: This is a big one and I wanted to share it with you here and talk about it more at the Members Meeting. C.J. and the Sovereign Grace Board have let us know that they think it is best for C.J. and Carolyn to attend Capitol Hill Baptist Church during his leave of absence. In June, when C.J. realized that a leave might be necessary, he began pursuing Mark Dever (pastor of CHBC) about pastoral care and counsel for both himself and Carolyn. He thinks that in addition to continuing the care he is receiving from Mark, it would serve him and his family to worship with Mark’s church during this time. We’re torn over this decision. We understand C.J. wanting to attend where he feels he can best be cared for and best serve his family, but we also have reasons why we think it would be good for him to stay at Covenant Life. C.J. has also expressed concerns and points of disagreement with how we have been leading during this season. He’s communicated a desire to work through these issues with us in the coming months with the help of mediators from Ambassadors of Reconciliation. We are all eager to do this and have told C.J. we’re ready to meet as soon as he’s ready.”

    How does Dever (“Mr. Ecclesiology”) and the CHBC elders justify this one? They are clearly intruding into the affairs of another church. I think Dever has been given a pass too long on his promotion of CJ in reformed circles and should be held accountable for his lack of discernment in promoting him among the YRR crowd as well as for these recent disorderly actions.



  64. Dr. Hart:
    1. Last year, spent about 6 months assessing Hinn. I’m talking about 16 hrs/day/6 months. Then, Dad died. I buried him with a good Anglican service. 3 weeks later, Mum underwent serious surgery. At 88, it took her 3 months “in the hospital.” I was there for several months. Upon return months later to this august town of Camp Lejeune, NC, the study of that charlatan, Hinn, atropied. I lost the “scent of the trail” on Hinn. I was also closely examining Dr. Clark’s “Recovering the Reformed Confessions,” but lost that scent–in terms of the book–but assuredly, not in those beloved Catechisms in the bones. I digres.
    2. After the disruptions and the Hinn-study, we engaged on the Driscoll phenomenon more recently, but I digress there also. Being retired and old, I have some time to read. I went off in that direction and it led me to the Mahaney-game. What a world that is!
    3. The thumbnail version, “It’s hot and heavy” in SGM-land. Watching the developments closely.
    4. Dr. Trueman “erred and strayed like a lost sheep.” Carl addressed a very limited subject, to wit: “fitness for ministry.” He supported it. Then, we heard substantive disclaimer delimiting liability. The preliminary report was also full of delimitations. I’m going to parse that impoverished preliminary report. In essence, Carl (and yes, old enough to call him that although Carl objected in a post at Ref21 about “first names” and he’ll have to handle that from me): “I’ve appreciated Mr. Mahaney’s books, but I don’t know much about the 600 pages of reports, don’t know much about SGM or its history, and am not ruling but on a limited proposition.” The upshot to my ears was: “Look, I don’t know alot here, but he’s look OK to me.” It sounded like the church bells at St. George’s Anglican, Toronto, at Granddad and Grandmum’s on Sunday morning. The bells “rung loudly” on Sunday mornings and off we went to a good old school Prayer Book service. Eegads, these old Canadian Anglican were “Sabbatarians” too. Granddad was quite, but strong on it. They were evangelicals too, but I digress. I miss those days. Back on point, it sounded like academese for, “Don’t take my preliminary ruling for Gospel truth.” The esteemed historian should have recused himself.
    5. There are some very, very serious issues in play here. I’ve got about 100 pages in notes in development. Sources of information. We have read 1000s of comments from three sites: http://sgmsurvivors.com/, http://sgmsurvivors.com/, http://thewartburgwatch.com/, http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/, and a scholarly and well-written expose by Mr. Brent Detwiler at http://www.scribd.com/sgmwikileaks. I’m on a fourth re-read of the Detwiler documents. My preliminary sense: enthusiasm run wild. They are “Reformed and Charismatic” as they claim on the website, but several reporters dislike the “diminished charismata” in their churches. They’ve added predestination to their quiver so they think they’re Reformed. Another commentator notes, “We have the “prophecy mike,” to wit, we have the word for reform of the evangelical world. Yes, they’ve actually had a physical mike at the front of the church for various exhorters to render their infallible verdicts in worship. There has been no doubt that they view themselves as the saviours…several witnesses aver this.
    6. An older older Elder in Israel, caution to all! That word goes to Dr. Trueman, but also Dr. Duncan who leaped to defend his friend, CJ. I’m surprised that an OPC Elder entered the fray.
    7. Dr. Hart, you’ll have to accept responsibility for setting the course of the inquiry–Driscoll, then Piper, Warren, and then Mahaney. You posted inquiries about Driscoll. However, I’ll accept responsiblity for accepting those rudder orders and “steaming into harm’s way.”
    8. More from the frontlines. If one desires to be a reformer (Mahaney), write books to a nation, engage in national conferences, produce CDs for national consumption, organize 100 SGM churches, write a book on “Humility,” coordinate with other Anabaptist Conferences, and make–yep, $250,000/year not to mention book royalites and more–then, one should face scrutiny, examination, analysis and deliberative inquiry.
    9. Going fast. May have a few typoes and grammoes.


  65. Viking, The, please don’t call me Dr. You and I were at WTS together after all.

    Fascinating comment. Informative and a touch of Walker Percy (Thanatos Syndrome) to boot. Keep it up.


  66. POI#$#@Q!@# happily kicked! But then again, I was the one that asked the Viking to come over and give an update of all he’s learned 😉


  67. @Darryl, 1979-1981 at WTS, same time? I was reflecting on Mr. Shepherd earlier this evening. Also, an old Dutch scholar, a visiting Professor, good course on Christology. Simple and straightforward. If so as to dates, I’d like to favourably comment on the august Churchman, Dr. Philip Edcumbe Hughes, a godly man and scholar. Quiet, tweedy, English, Anglican, and an occasional cigar smoker. As usual, will have to do research, e.g Thanatos Syndrome. And so it goes.
    @DJ, are you “Wowzers” over at Survivors Blog? I have an inbound call from Irv in the morning about the Detwiler documents, a survivor of this autocratic, sin-sniffing, legalistic affair. Those aren’t my words…they are the themes of the witnesses and reporters…the 1000s who’ve fled the SGM world.


  68. Curious odours, oddities and questions re: compensation for Mr. Mahaney at: http://www.brentdetwiler.com/brentdetwilercom/2011/8/8/the-need-for-an-independent-board-of-directors-financial-acc.html

    It needs analysis. $250,000/year? This apparently excludes honorariums, royalties, and other housing issues.

    I question the WTS website that features Mr. Mahaney.

    We’re talking about big business here. Sales, books, conferences.

    I did some research, btw, with T4G. Called the Lexington, Kentucky Convention Centre, but I digress. They are making money.

    Am in receipt of SGM’s accounting files for 2011. I don’t have the IRS-990 form, however. Alas, not an accountant, but looking at accounting and forensic accounting, as well as corporate law, bankruptcy law, commerce law, and business law in the future. Current, on sked this fall for “Criminal Law” with an old Federal Judge and retired USMC JAG. He’s 81. Already discussed the “coercion/blackmail” issue with the Judge re: Mahaney, an incident in which Mr. Mahaney threatened to reveal a “confession” of a son of a co-founder, Mr. Thomczac, a cofounder of SGM with Mr. Mahaney, a Mahaney-effort to force Mr. Thomczac’s departure. Fortunately, Mahaney’s legal counsel waved him off strenuously. But this much…Mahaney made the threat and it’s recorded. We reviewed Federal and (NC) statutory codes, distinctions, and possible applications to the established facts. Yes, about 45 minutes in the books reviewing cases on extortion and blackmail. So careful and thoughtful. The Judge was little amused by a Pastor threatening to use a “confessor’s confession” of extortion. Darryl, you’d love him. 31 years in USMC JAG. After that, 30 years teaching law courses. His tangents drips with insight and wisdom, but another digression. Back on point: legal accounting is needed for forensic review and exposition to the rank-and-file accounting records (e.g. me and others).

    Also, to my surprise, Ligonier Ministries has featured Mahaney. Is there no research? Where, pray tell, are the Confessionalists? Where are old school liturgical Churchmen, like Gerald Bray or Lee Gatiss? Where’s Dr. Scott Clark, a Reformed Confessionalist of weight? Yet, we get Anabaptists? And the inquiries continue, as they must.

    What’s my pecuniary interest? None. What’s my ecclesiastical interest? None (although I grieve Anglicanism and stand in liberal spaces…a grand old 84-year old kneels and stands to say the Apostles Creed weekly…she’s my weekly sermon). Political interest? None. Future speaking engagements? None. People to please? None. It’s nice to be old and retired. Did my time.


  69. Dr. Hart,

    The link for the preliminary findings regarding CJ and comments on them are found at: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/post/Findings-from-our-preliminary-panel.aspx#disqus_thread

    This whole matter is not about going for a man or organisation when there may be some problems. I may be naive, but it amazes me every time I think of how many influential and well known men in the evangelical scene have given unqualified support to CJ in the past and present and seemingly never question or discuss the set up of SGM with a corporate business model as it’s framework of operations. I would like to ask Kevin DeYoung and others who enthuse about CJ and SGM how they view such an un Reformed model of ecclesiology, but I suspect their clear minded love of charismatic and calvinistic fusions is more important to promote. I would also like a clear and honest answer as to my question as to how CJ came to be on the board of ACE? Is he some kind of role model for confessing believers, or was this a move to promote him as being an accepted part of the ACE scene?

    In essence, I contend that there is a deep rooted detachment of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by many of the men involved in T4G, ACE, and the Gospel Coalition from ecclesiology as they and their denominations represent diverse and contradictory models of church. But if the ecclesiology is wrong, then much else will be skewed with it too, however much the men in these groups would like to focus on the Gospel being the key matter.


  70. DJ,

    Perhaps my wording and thoughts were a little mixed up in my comments of the 14th, but my main point was or should have been that CJ and SGM represent a set up which their friends in the evangelical scene barely critique or analyse, such is the admiration they have for CJ and SGM. How they can do this amazes me. I note and agree with your concerns about SGM from the Survivors web site. On a personal level I want to say how much you have encouraged me as I have read of your well thought through journey from SGM to a Reformed perspective – may there be many more who take this path.


  71. Dr. Hart,

    Are you really going to give Dever a pass on this? A member of another church (with which he has no ecclesiastical connection) who is marred in scandal is permitted to attend and receive care from his church against the wishes of the officers of the other church. You said, CJM needs a place to worship. What about his own church (which his elders prefer) or another SGM church? By going to CHBC he is escaping their oversight. Do you approve of this? Read the SGM Refuge and Survivor blogs. Many point out that SGM pastors who were removed from their positions never wouild have been allowed to do what CJ is doing.

    I believe the only reason there is not already a CHBC survivors blog is the fact that CHBC is so much smaller than the SGM micro-denomination which has produced lots more wounded. In my view, CHBC is cultic. Young men are drawn to that church and uncritically accept everything Dever says as gospel. I have been there and seen it first hand. The fawning over Dever is constant and he does nothing to curb it. CJ has written that Dever has been the biggest influence in his life in the last decade. If this is so, then what is Dever’s responsibility for promoting CJM in YRR circles?


  72. One more thing,

    Viking, I’d love to see you follow the money trail between CJM and Dever’s 9 marks ministry. How much money did CJM personally give to 9 marks and how much did SGM under his leadership? What impact has this had on Dever’s reactions to CJM’s plight?


  73. I first saw Dever 14 years ago at Southern Baptist Founders Conference. He was impressive but he had a worrying entourage already. Whether he liked it not, people were flocking to him. Star power is the ruination of the YRR crowd. They have no real ecclesial moorings, structure, or meaningful confessions so power and authority centers around individuals. Dangerous ground for anybody.


  74. DPV – wowzers is I.

    Paul (UK) – I would have never thought I would become a Calvinist (almost) 6 yrs ago. And even though I *wanted* to become a Presby for the past 5 yrs I never, ever thought I would come to accept infant baptism! lol

    Re: Dever – I would be disappointed with him if DGH hadn’t already ruined my love for the YRR, TGC, T4G crowd. Now I see his behavior in this (not sending CJM home packing to HIS church and pastors) as fitting once you consider the source (a leader in YRR, TGC, T4G). This whole event has proven, for those with eyes to see, the dangers of the YRR movement.


  75. DJ,

    From one former YRR-er to another, it is heartening to hear of your move into the Reformed faith. I have some friends in SGM, and I’ll be interested to hear what their experience has been through this whole ordeal. What has been most disturbing here is the fundamental lack of accountability among SGM brass and CJM in particular. Hopefully the end result of this scandal will highlight the importance of ecclesiology to those who have bought into the YRR movement and the celebrity pastors that it has spawned. It’s a dysfunctional positive-feedback loop, and rarely do those involved have the opportunity to gain valuable perspective.

    I suspect that similar issues will plague YYR-ish movements until the movement fizzles, or until they do develop a more robust ecclesiology and dispense with the para-church appendages that siphon off funds from the local church in order to feed their mutual-admiration societies.


  76. Reading some of the chronologies referred to in these comments I’m struck by the incredible speed with which these movements flame up and burn out and how quickly people move in and out of them. Maybe we need a new movement (light on the movement): Old, Boring & Reformed.


  77. I’m sure CHBC aren’t going to stop receiving survivors any time soon. Though ‘9 marks’ makes it quite clear that they should stay mere survivors at CHBC, and their membership process is supposed to be fairly rigorous. So we’ll see.


  78. When the young looking picture ceased to really look like the guy it represents. The balding and aging that accompanies the pressures of raising a family made me wonder if I would be charged with false advertising.

    Or I could just chalk it up to branding.


  79. DJ:

    1. Just spent 2 hours on the phone with a former SGM Pastor with 15 years of extensive experience with CJ, Harvey, and others. Wow! 1982-1997ish. Then, 3 years out of SGM and 3 years of recovery and “detox.” (His term, “detox.”) He moved on in life, but, by odd turns, was put in touch with others in 2009. Although not in ministry any longer, he has endeavoured to help “survivors” since 2009. I’m reminded of Plato’s problem with the “one and the many.” The many, the particulars, the details, the stories, yet some unifiying factors as themes. “Apostolic autocratic” sovereignty of the “Apostles’ Team” (called the A-Team in their internal documents) that was nearwise infallible, irrebuttable, and ecclesiastically sovereign. The pattern is repeated over the decades. If the A-Team rules and you’re on the receiving end, expect to be thrown under the bus. Questions are not allowed. That evinces the irrebuttable claim of “pride,” “independency,” “lack of submission,” and more. There are bodies in the wake.
    2. In a public email, Mr. Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church (CLC), Gathersburg, MD, recently indicated that “Ambassadors of Reconciliation” will conduct a longer term evaluation of the the entire SGM culture. The $64,000 dollar question is whether this will be made public. Apparently, they plan to interview many witnesses as well as former Pastors.
    3. As to the accounting records, one would need a forensic accountant to unpack the numbers.
    4. Also, two eye-ear witnesses attended a recent CLC meeting and report that $800,000 dollars is “tithed” by CLC to SGM. There was some disgruntlement according to the witness. All SGM churches apparently tithe their annual income to this “auxiliary unit” called (SGM). SGM, a corporate entity with the IRS, is integrated to CLC. They have a contract for use of the buildings that requires notice of two years if there is a separation. There are approximately 8 members on the SGM board that oversees some 90-100 churches.
    5. DJ, if you wish to call, 910-229-7914. 1100-2100 EST anyday but the Lord’s Day. Give me a heads-up and an area code, since I don’t answer all calls that are unrecognized. I’d like to get your sense of things.
    6. Also, two to three other disciplines would help. A doctored sociologist with a specialty in cult behaviours, e.g. intense authoritarianism with members leaving their questions at the door. If one questions the A-Team, brave for heavy rolls. I don’t throw this out casually, but in an interest to hear what a professional in sociology might think. Also, a psychiatrist. There has been several imputations of clinical narcissism. I don’t throw that out casually either, but there are serious indications here. Also, a good historian like Dr. Hart with a wide angle lens view on American religious history. Already, one can see the serious handicaps at the outset for an analyst.
    7. One concluding point. Several years ago, I met a State Dept. official. He had a PhD in psychology and a PhD in sociology. He was hired because of his skills. His job was to evaluate “corruption” in Third World countries. The State Dept. wanted the facts. His formula for it, not mine, but his was this: “Broad discretionary powers” + “no accountability” = “Corruption.” Fiddle around the edges, but the formula stood. Add a little here or subtract a little there, the formula worked this State Dept. averred. This might go to a political scientist, historian, or lawyer’s interests in the crafting of the “Constitution” with checks and balances.
    8. What does an Elder at Capitol Hill do with CJ and the Lord’s Table? (Mark Dever calls them “Elders” I believe.) The CLC Pastors (15ish?) want him back at CLC–again, a church CJ founded and pastored for 30 years. CLC Pastors were “told” by CJ and SGM how it was going to be. This desertion of church elders, long taught by SGM pastors, contradicts CJ’s historic practices and teachings. The charge of “hypocrisy” is a recurring theme by several reporters. If I were in command or a session member, I’d be advising he return to CLC and deal with the issues. I certainly would have some druthers about admission to His Majesty’s Table.
    9. Regards.


  80. DGH,

    Its a family thing (literally, a family crest), all part of my grand plan to parley 2k models into a huge television empire. All I need is some well-heeled investors to get-in early, while there’s still time to reap heaven’s blessings, 30, 60, or even 100-fold. IOW, OldLife readers should send me their grandparents, parents, and any other elderly relative’s contact info.


  81. I’ll let you know, Donald. If I call it will be later this week. 865 area code. Been sick. Also been coordinating trying to move my Mom up to TN from South TX next month.


  82. DJ, as opportunity, desire, and time is afforded. This scribe will be available. A few further limitations on my end. Tues & Thurs. 1100-1300, in a law course. 1800-1915, in an English writing course. Was all science (chem engg’) in undergrad and then all theology in grad school. Working to widen the inter-disciplinary outlook at an older age as a life-long learner. I see about 80 courses. Focusing on the law and literature for a few years. Otherwise, 6 days a week minus His Majesty’s Day. 1100 to 2100. The number, again, is 910-229-7914. Would love to get your perspective. I am more ears than talk.

    Best regards in the move with your Mum. As we age, the roles get reversed. Whereas the Mums cared for us as lads, as they age, we care for them. Mine was just placed in a permanent nursing facility…after a very difficult year in 2010. Again, best regards.


  83. DJ, your engagement with PDI at SGM Survivors Blog was very accurate and spot-on. I did not drag Dr. Hart into it at that blog. I could have rebutted her/him, PDI, with substantive ease, but it would have garned a string of threads that would have detracted from the fundamental thread. His/her post (PDI) was a tad reactionary, had a gratuitous assumption or two, and a conclusion inconsistent with the facts. You called it right. It wasn’t worth a response (PDI).

    I may write up the results of my own study. (I will consult my English writing teacher…she’s good…and the Federal Judge.)

    As to the story itself, over where I do some work. Here’s a few reasons for the continuing interest in the story. DJ, here’s my sense of the Mahaney-SGM story. I quote myself, as an explanation for the interest:

    “Inter-disciplinary demands make the story a must-to-follow and must-read. American religious history, law (coercion and blackmail, sexual assault, child abuse, legal reporting requirements and more), literature (the genre of sermons and books), pastoral education (in general and, specifically, Pastors’ College), Pentecostalist and charismatic history, Baptist history, Neo-Montanism, CJ Mahaney’s history as a national voice, the YRR and neo-Calvinist movement as detailed in Christianity Today, Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan (who endorsed CJ and rather dismissively belittled historians of the SGM movement), Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (where CJ is a board member), Dr. Carl Trueman and Orthodox Presbyterianism (Phila presbytery?), forensic accounting, corporate law, contract law, ecclesiology and polity, sociology (cult behaviors), psychology and psychiatry (narcissism and sociopathy and the influence on group behaviours), Together for the Gospel, Mark Dever and Capitol Hill Baptist, theology more largely at every loci (e.g. errors and imbalances), technology (role of internet and blogs to expose the hidden), politics (Elizabethan age, when Anabaptism was illegal and First Amendment protections…compare/contrast), and the real social and moral harms and consequences of SGM. These and other interdisciplinary interests and concerns warrant the continued interest in the story.”



  84. 1. I once had some very, very hot chili in Rota, Spain. Nearwise burned my lips off.
    2. This is hotter.
    3. Washington Post is making inquiries about the SGM-Mahaney’s history. If one reads the reports, not just bloggers, but Mr. Detwiler, it’s not good. Absolutist monarchialism of the Laudian variety comes to mind. I don’t think this story will cool off. Here’s an update. http://www.sgmsurvivors.com/?p=2779
    4. Please pass the Spanish chili, it’s a tad cooler than the American-SGM variety.
    5. The reading continues. (Criminal law started this morning with the Judge. Charming and engaging, as usual.)


  85. Dr. Hart and DJ:

    This one is more up your alley re: American history. Studying the lengthy and historic backgrounds of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, (1789 with Constitution) and 14th amendment (post-Civil War amendment), including a progeny of SCOTUS rulings since. Long and deep histories which are interesting, including John Adams’s involvement with the 4th Amendment. One clear take-away: the restrction of federal power as checks and balances.

    DJ, polity and church governance. SGM appears to have had no courts of original jurisdiction for adjudication of disputes, no intermediary court to review conformity to the law and no supreme court of adjudication. SGM has one bunch–at the top serving as law enforcement, arrest (=tossing pastors and objectors), trial, Judge, jury, and prosecutor, (no defense). I am not a political science major, but the OPC, ARP, and PCA Book of Common Order provides for checks and balances. Add into the mix that SGM, historically, had “Apostles” (e.g. Mahaney, Detwiler, Harvey and others) speaking authoritative and non-rebuttal words and one has a recipe for problems.

    English teacher, a real gem (34 years teaching writing), liked the idea of a SGM-paper. I was going to do something on Anglicanism, specifically, the Reformed faith of Archbishop Matthew Parker, Bess 1’s first ABC, but she preferred the SGM-paper. BTW, Bishop Parker wrote Heinrich Bullinger approving of the Second Helvetic Confession, 1566 (it’s quite good). But, as to SGM, Interviews, book reviews, legal research, and other multi-disciplinary inquiries (mere efforts) are to be had. Will be done in 16 weeks with a paper to follow.

    Preliminary proposition (amidst 15-20), certain men spoke too quickly about Mr. Mahaney without investigation.


  86. Donald – I was thinking earlier about when to call you… I’ll do it soon. Getting better from sickness but still nasal and no fun to talk. You are correct. SGM has NOTHING in place for disputes or concerns about pastors. It is a pyramid of power, with CJ on top, then the board, then regional leaders (usually older pastors of a well established church in the region), then the lead pastor of a church, then the rest of the pastoral team, then the care group (small group) leader, then the regular church member. And make no mistake, when a leader over feels that you are in sin, or that God has given them a “word” (feeling!) about you or your life, you are expected to listen and take it to heart as if this is from the Lord. I know it used to be worse than it is now. They have been getting more and more relaxed with it because, duh, its so abusive.


  87. I’m new here; brought by the ruckus over CJM. What do my astonished eyes see by a reference to “Nevin”. Obviously this is a commonplace here, since I had to scroll down to the tags to verify that this is “John Williamson Nevin.” I wrote on Nevin in my dissertation, so I lived with him, his life and work, on and off for 10 years.

    But I’m confused about what the commonplace implies. In what sense does CJM get *more* slack than Nevin? Who is giving CJM this slack? Is the slack CJM is getting a bad or good thing? Should *Nevin* be getting less or more slack, and by whom?

    I’m just trying to interpret these events in what appears to be a theological framework that we have in common. (BTW, I’m not Reformed, just someone who found Nevin’s work essential in working through my own spiritual and theological questions.)


  88. @Brad, thanks for advisorial on ABC Parker and Tallis’s tunes. Matthew Parker was an unabashed Reformed and Calvinistic Churchman. Tallis got some play at my home church, Mariners’ Anglican, a rather high place. “High” meant Cathedral Anglican music, professional singers (11 choristers, 6 with PhDs in music and 5 in doctoral programs in music), strict BCP service, 39 articles, and rather straight-forward and orthodox understandings of the 39 Articles and the Creeds. It did not mean, however, Anglo-Catholicism or Tractarianism. Horrors no! So, Tallis is known here. However, not for congregational singing. It’s my understanding that the Elizabethan Church liked singing both metrical and chanted Psalms. London churches were filled with Psalm-singers. That was lost with Watts. I believe singing Psalms should be recovered. I am in exile, but am surviving. I use the CDs from St. Paul’s Cathedral Anglican, London, for MP and EP. Put to Coverdale’s 1535 Psalter edition, still in the 1662 BCP. Thanks for the lead on Tallis.
    @DJ, call me as opportunity is available. Again, for ease of reference, 910-229-7914. My august English teacher…34 years in writing with multiple Masters degrees…authorized a paper on SGM. At age 64, this elderess in writing is pretty strong. In a 16 week research mode. Conducting interviews…this development as of last night. I already talked to one former SGM Pastor for a few hours. Helpful. I have the sense of your review of SGM polity. I need to conduct interviews. DJ, will be more ears than talk. Questions.
    @Dr. Hart, an injudicious defense of Mahaney by Dr. Duncan. A post of his “good friend” (Dr. Duncan’s frequent appellative), Mr. Mahaney, without inquiry, deliberation or analysis. Very poor post by Dr. Duncan. In my estimation, Dr. Duncan won’t be living that one down any time soon. Dr. Duncan is getting rapped at several forums. And, CJ on the board of Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals? This much, Piper, MacArthur and Driscoll are staying “Mum.” Wise.
    @All, Mr. Tim Challies has attempted to weigh in at his blog, challies.com, rather weightlessly. But he is rebuffing contrarian perspectives, including your’s truly. In fact, he is disbarring some from commenting. Challies’s articles are implied motions to dismiss and suppress. Yet, there is probably cause to indicate social harm and, in some instances, even physical harm (protecting an alleged paedophile and a child molester, male on female child). The polity appears to be Laudian, without appellate or supreme courts for rebuttal. The investigation, reading and deliberation continues. I earnestly regret Dr. Trueman’s involvement, although he substantively granted himself a “wide escape” clause rendering his conclusion of Mahaney’s fitness worthless or shallow.


  89. I’d definitely need an extrasensory power to detect anything “reformed” about this gaggle of anabaptist, sometimes charismatic, now congregational/now dictatorial, five-ish point, guitar & drums innovators.


  90. Dr. Hart (@6:49 pm):

    Got it. Whether or not Nevin is the answer, he certainly figured out the problem. It is astonishing how little has changed in the mechanisms of revivalistic evangelicalism, from Nevin’s *Anxious Bench* and *AntiChrist*.

    To Brad (immediately above): It should be obvious to anyone with a modicum of historical training that SGM is a theological mishmash. That Duncan and Mohler continue to stand up for Mahaney suggests to me that something more than defending Reformed doctrine is going on. Are D & M trying to get their “cool” credentials from Mahaney by proxy? Just a passing thought. Again, I’m an outsider, so it’s probably none of my business.


  91. David, Al and Lig obviously have real affection for Mahaney. I can’t impugn their motives and it’s OK to like someone. I can question the wisdom of this and other alliances though from an old school presby perspective.


  92. The reading and research continues. Hung up on academic definitions of “cult” in sociology. Mind control, brainwashing, hyper-authoritarianism, and anti-intellectualism are in view. But, we have a 32-year history, 1979-2011, that is heavily laden with prophets and authoritative apostles that appears to be morphing in the last 5-7 years with diminished charismata. The research continues. Several inter-disciplinary concerns arise: legal, historic, sociological, psychiatric, and business (e.g. accounting). A 1-hour lunch with the Federal Judge on statutory rape, obstruction of justice and a quick-compare/contrast mode of VA/MD/PA/NC criminal law. There are expressed concerns on this front, including pastor-penitent privilege. Dr. Duncan, decisively, spoke far, far too fast. But, he has TG4 and ACE considerations. What board or presbytery reigns Dr. Duncan in? As an Elder in Israel, I’d surely counsel substantive silence. I’d tell Dr. Trueman the same. SGM is a “protest group” arising from the 1980s and 1990s thinking themselves “the best of the best”…as several posters advise. Never mind that there leaders were not well-trained in the issues of protest. Just an aside, the reading continues. As to Mr. Driscoll, the issues of government obtain as well. Like Mr. Mahaney, what government structures exist for accountability?

    I intend to speak to the Dept. Hd. of Psychology and Dept. Hd. of Sociology for insights as applicable. The Elderess in English Writing (34 years) and I had an interesting interlocution about SGM…a thoughtful Lady. After some extended discussion, she said, “It sounds like Flip Wilson’s Church of the Latest Concern.” I was discussing SGM, but sounded like she was summarizing Mr. Rick Warren.

    So, the organization of reports, facets, and thoughts continue.


  93. I’ll advise on developments.

    I have no dog in this fight, more broadly. I’m old and retired.

    However, I have children and one grandson.

    As an Elder in Israel, I do have a duty to inform, advise and make recommendations to them as covenant children, baptized into Christ’s Church and School, schooled and catechized in the beloved Little Catechism (WSC, more by my wife than me since I was afar, afloat and aloft) and the 1873 BCP (Reformed Episcopal). We’re all disconsolate Episcopalians in exile and anguish. But, these discussions have started re: revivalism, Pentecostalism, Shepherding Movement, PDI, SGM, Mahaney, Ligon Duncan, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, Together for the Gospel, YRR, and this neo-Calvinist movement. My children deserve what an old and retired father can tell them; this much, they will do well to stay fixed in the old Catechism and old BCP; Mr. Mahaney offers little otherwise in this 32-year history.

    In one discussion, my daughter initiated an interesting phrase, “Pastorpreneurs,” but it was directed at Church Growth types like Mr. Rick Warren rather than YRR-types like Mohler, Driscoll and Mahaney. The term arose in her sociology class. These fellas have malls–boutiques, shops, ATMs, restaurants and the like, as features of attraction. We have one in development locally–with a mezzanine offering pizzas, sodas, and popcorn during the revivalistic worship. It was off-topic re: Mahaney, but the scholars are “rightly sniffing” in academia about these salesmen and entrepreneurs. We might do well to “sniff” about profit, corporate statements (TG4) and IRS statements.

    May the thinking and deliberation continue. It’s warranted.


  94. Viking,

    Unfortunately I am still up, I have a business class to thank for that, but I figure that while thanks are in order, I’d direct my thanks once again to the work you are doing on this. I’d be interested in seeing that paper when you are finished.

    One of the recurring issues here is the economic drivers of para-church orgs like T4G, ACE and GC. I realize that this isn’t at the heart of some of the SGM concerns, but it does concern some of us who understand the nebulous world of marketing and cross promotions. A better grasp on how some of the men at the top of these parachurch pyramids might help some concerned parties have a better grasp on how these orgs come across revenues, and how some atop benefit financially. I am not against book sales, or pastors and scholars being fairly compensated for writing stimulating and edifying material, but I am curious to see some sales comparisons for these authors before para-church affiliations and after (assuming they were writing before and after). My bet is exposure=$$$. Now, that might not be the aim of these parachurch orgs, but transparency would go a long way toward dispelling rumors of crony-ism and positive feedback loops that benefit individuals wildly, while (indirectly albeit) siphoning off funds from the very churches they long to serve.


  95. DP”TV”V: I hope to call you tomorrow sometime… I have a long drive to make at some point. Be thinking of questions… Had a talk with a friend from my local SGM church who had a one on one with CJ. I’ll let you know how that played out (CJ’s actions mirrored what you would expect from him if you have read the documents, etc. not what you would expect from any ordinary elder let alone an “apostle” with over 90 churches under his sway…) , but the exact situation that was raised is fuzzy to me. It had to do with deceit in CJ’s letter regarding LT’s ousting. Maybe that rings a bell to you? We’ll talk tomorrow.


  96. @Jed, alas, business courses are “so very critica”l to an inter-disciplinary perspective, so my hat is off to you. Press on, good man. Accounting, economics, corporate law, marketting, etc. A vital dimension in historical and theological studies. On my own end, business is up the way a bit. Law and literature for a few years. My hands are full. But, God willing, will get some of those courses too. Jed, will rework the numbers on TG4, but preliminary indications suggest a $1.4 million dollar profit come this 10-12 April 2012. Whether CJ Mahaney will be there is disputable.

    @DJ, call as needed and opportunity is afforded. I’d like to talk, for sure.

    I suspect there will be 1000-1200 pages for a 10-12 page English writing course. I have an Elderess, a Martinet, and a Magnificent English teacher. 3 Masters plus. 34 years in English.

    Jed, will post the document when done, but it will a crippled affair, being that I am handicapped in interdisciplinary studies.

    The “Shepherding Movement” is a factor. Just found this and working through it. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6GpBVoLKl80C&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=shepherding+movement&ots=DDtdADo00R&sig=i4ULx9vm7i4Swf82BqeS2wzWBug#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Also, a report just in on SGM-Mahaney from a Lutheran mediation service called Ambassadors of Reconciliation at: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/sgm/file.axd?file=2011/8/aor-proposal.pdf

    Still digesting it.


  97. Mr. Viking,

    I’d love to take a look at that paper when you are done with it, if you need someone to analyze the financials or do some forensic accounting, I can probably help as time allows. Let me know. Probably the hottest area of study for me right now is economics, I get what they say that with knowledge comes pain. Seeing how the world works and how money lies behind human motives and action has only served to confirm our own doctrines of total depravity. DGH’s work in Deconstructing Evangelicalism goes a long way to describing the historical and social reasons why there has been such a rise of para-church orgs in the evangelical world, the economics is where the cheerier impulses of evangelicalism turn a few shades darker. I fear that many in the reformed world are simply ignorant of the perils that face associations that can turn millions of dollars in revenue over a weekend conference. I am not saying it is all bad, and that the conference circuit has yielded only thistles, and the Christian publishing industry only thorns, but I’m afraid some get sucked into a greed cycle before they ever know that they’ve taken the bait.

    One of the hardest things for me to come to grips with in making a move toward confessionally Reformed churches was the pessimism that they displayed towards ecumenism. It didn’t seem brotherly or to adequately acknowledge the catholicity of the church. On the other side of that bridge, I sure can see the wisdom in a guarded approach to what is a unthinking and rampant ecumenism in the West that hasn’t helped the churches on the ground, even where it has made a few leaders more visible. One of the fundamental questions that needs to be asked is along these lines – how good are these alliances for the local church and the cultivation of true disciples. It’s too easy to get sucked into a positive feedback loop, where novelty becomes unquestioned, and then becomes dogma – just rattle the cage of a Gospel Coalition apologist a little and you’ll find out quickly (as you did over at Challies’ blog) how rabid the defense is of these non-churchly ministries. One of the best indicators of these alliances is the economic drivers, because it’s hard for the numbers to lie (unless they are seriously cooked!). If a few are benefitting tremendously, while small churches are still having a hard time supporting a pastor and some basic admin, we have got to wonder just how much church is resembling business culture. The questions need to be asked.

    Anyway, thanks again for working on these issues, and for jumping into the fray, it has been informative to say the least.


  98. @Jed, may need to go over to the accountants at the school for some advise. Clearly, we need the TG4 financials for review. If not, why not? More as the wider narrative develops. Regards.


  99. @Jed, an afterthought. Will call ACE and TG4 for an official response on financials, but not optimistic, frankly. Give me some time. As to Mahaney, he was making, according to Detwiler-docs, $150K/annum (house paid off at $679K, plus health, medical, and 401K plans) but was making $250K/annum in 2010. Mohler allegedly gets $300K/annum from SBTS. This salary–Mahaney’s– excludes honorariums that some reporters say amounted to 1000s per speaking engagement throughout the SGM circuit. He also paid off two additional mortgages for his two daughters–whose husbands are SGM Pastors. While the old SGM-ers apparently were open about salaries in the past, according to Detwiler (when Washington Post made inquiries), not sure what the current policy was/is. Washington Post is also making inquiries about the current sit-rep on SGM. We’ll see. Nora Bellstein is the reporter. Her interest is the mangled sex abuse cases, 4 perhaps 5.


  100. DPV – I tried calling twice yesterday. I thought you may be busy getting out of Irene’s way! I will try again when I have some free time.


  101. Not reading 2 minutes worth of the newest post by Harvey and the AoR report and I can detect two things.

    1. With a SGM lead “evaluation” CJ is good to go… the deceit and coercion (blackmail say some) that would get a small group leader, let alone a normal pastor, degifted? nah… no worries man!

    2. It is obvious that AoR have been love-bombed (as is SOP within SGM) and I wonder if this had some bearing on AoR turning over the evaluation back to SGM, especially since they have expressed that they are “praying” so much for them, more than anyone has ever told them! yuck


  102. @ Donald,

    When I was at Moody Bible Institute, the presidents salary was around $200k/yr, and this was a decade ago, so Mohler’s salary at SBTS doesn’t seem excessive (hopefully the faculty is fairly compensated too, which wasn’t always the case at MBI). I am not against men in high levels of leadership, or pastors of large churches taking salaries that enable them to maintain a reasonable standard of living in their communities. However, the conference circuits, and the phenominal book revenues that keynote speakers can garner from the marketing publicity generated from these events is somewhat alarming.

    For Reformed churches, it is particularly upsetting, because while there are a few of our own that do very well in these circles, these funds seem to be diverted away from denominations, making it difficult for smaller churches to thrive. I grew up in the mega-church movement, and I am very familiar with what goes on at these institutions from a financial standpoint, and I am not here to cast stones at self-sustaining congregations. However, if there are to be conferences, and these sorts of associations, I think a better job needs to be done at the denominational level to ensure that the large revenues go to areas of true need. Nothing wrong with a PCA or and OPC sponsored event that enables exposure to talented authors and speakers, but the revenues generated would be more likely to be funneled into ministerial operations. This is my biggest concerns with the larger para-church ecumenical organizations. They aren’t all bad, or villanous, not by any means, and a lot of good comes from them but I don’t think they are thinking through the economic implications for the broader church as well as they could be.


  103. @DJ, phone nets down all day yesterday due to Hurricane Irene. Power back on at 1308 EST. I was one of 20,000 who got power on while 40,000 without power yesterday into today. Camp Lejeune also out. I’ll be evaluating the AoR later.

    @Jed, thanks, thoughtful. I’m the last one against well-compensated Churchmen, for sure.

    @Attempting to digest Al Mohler and Pete Lillback at: http://reformedforum.org/ctc165/ It appears that Al picks low-hanging fruits, cultural issues, fundamentalism’s basic and inarguable points, without the Confessional or liturgical issues. Where’s Al’s critique of Mahaney, Driscoll, Piper’s Baptacostalism, or the vast Arminianism of the SBC? We starting to digest issues on FB. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/148824161873185/ Reformation Churchmen concerned about Ligonier/ACE/Baptyerians/Baptacostals.

    @DJ, we had 90 mph winds yesterday. Church cancelled here today. My neighbours, all Sabbath-breakers, cleaning their yards today. Without church, listened to old CDs from Mariners’ Anglican, Detroit. Yard work with bonfire tomorrow. Regards.


  104. Did any of you see this odd and disturbing tweet from John Piper on Twitter today?

    John Piper
    God humbles Charismatics by making their children Calvinists; and Calvinists by making their children speak in tongues.
    4 hours ago via HootSuite


  105. Dr. Hart,

    Here’s two youtube clips of Dr. MacArthur being interviewed via web cam by Christianity.com. Dr. MacArthur comments on YYR/Missional/Emerging crowd, on Mutli-site Churches, on Piper/Warren and on worship

    http://youtu.be/xYhmo5gabQU pt.1
    http://youtu.be/Q6wWedCqfcM pt.2

    Dr. MacArthur has a lot of good points here, But, lets pose similar questions to Dr. MacArthur?

    Reformed without Reformed Ecclesiastical polity,?
    Reformed without Regulative Principle of Worship?
    Reformed without Covenant Theology? etc…..

    Aren’t there same Shepherding issues with a Mega Church as there is with a Multi-site or Flat Screen church?


  106. DJ:

    1. Let’s continue the effort at a phonecon. My number is 910-229-7914.
    2. I’ve ordered most of the Mahaney/Tomczak/Harvey/Harris hardcopy vols minus the few volumes freely offered via a FB friend. If you are the DJ on FB, those volumes needed ASAP. Will remunerate you for postage.
    3. Also, some scholarly articles in sociology on “new movements” (the preferred term over the more pejorative term of “cult” or “sect”). I’m comfortable with the term “sectarian.” The reporters constantly tell of their superiority, a “better than thou, O thou, thou dead traditionalists.” Ring a bell with John Davenport, William Tennent, and other revivalists? There’s a triumphalism–from Jesus Movement, Charismatic Movement, Shepherding Movement, to Baptacostalist movement–over established Churchmen for “at least” 2 of the 3 decades of this young, sectarian and somewhat unhinged group.
    4. The net is widening, including a serious pastoral abuse case and statutory rape or aggravated child molestation case. Ran it be the local Federal Judge–who was appalled at the details. Obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact, with a few other charges thrown in. They failed to report a father on a pre-pubescent daughter for several years. See Taylor’s story at http://www.sgmsurvivors.com. I have about 5 serious cases of significant pastoral incompetence and malfeasance.
    5. Have about 13 weeks left in the research. I suspect about 3000 pages of reading at least for a simple 10-page paper.
    6. “Excessives” in this SGM Baptacostal world is not an excessive description.
    7. If Mohler, Dever, and Duncan “really” knew the inner and emerging history, but “they leaped” to their friend’s defense. By the day, it becomes more stark–their defense of Mahaney vs. the emerging factual pattern.


  107. DJ and others:

    A meek, tame, undeveloped, and modest article by Michelle Boorstein at Wash Post.


    This is Ligon Duncan’s “friend,” the Venerable High School Graduate, CJ Mahaney, ex-hippie, Jesus-freak, Shepherding-Movement-man, charismatic, apostle, prophet, recently turned Baptacostal…like Piper, Driscoll, and the Acts 29 crowd.

    The reading continues.


  108. Perhaps I am wrong but does’nt there come a point where you lay off C.J. Mahaney after his sins have been exposed? Was’nt it David who said he would rather turn himself over to God rather than man after his sin of taking the census and God asked him to choose a punishment for himself.


  109. John, if you read some of the accounts of child sexual abuse that was never turned over to the proper authorities you would realized that justice (in this world) has been thus far denied to many victims, all due to the arrogance of SGM leadership. That alone is enough for me to look forward to the final report of DPV’s research, and not deter him in his pursuit in any way. DPV linked to such a sad story above.

    DPV – I am the same DJ as on FB. The books went in the mail Sat morning. Don’t worry about the postage. I’m looking forward to what you have to say…


  110. DJ,

    I did not know there was anything about child sexual abuse. I thought it was all about financial misdeeds. I do not really like following stories like this one so I have not been reading all the accounts, etc. However, I can understand the outrage if there was child sexual abuse involved. I guess I will retract what I said. And thanks for responding in an understanding way DJ.


  111. No problem John. Yes, there have been sexual abuse cases that have been handled almost criminally by SGM. Here is a post from a current member of the mothership (Covenant Life Church) that pretty much sums this part of it up:

    (there have been)

    “Pastors who discouraged reporting child sexual abuse to the police.
    Pastors who told victims’ families to to write letters to judges to request lenniancy for the sexual abuser.
    Pastors who don’t stop a known child sexual abuser in its church from working with kids.
    Pastors who don’t require a known child sexual abuser to inform parents of kids that he has in his home of his criminal record.
    Pastors who teach vicitims of their own personal sin (in the situations) and demand that victims (ages 3, 10, etc) must forgive their abuser
    Pastors who tell wives that they must fogive their husband who sexually abuses their daughter.” (and also instruct the wife to continue to have sex with him as much as possible to keep his urges down)

    Sick. And they STILL don’t have a policy set in stone for such cases. wow.


  112. DJ and John:

    @DJ, looking forward to the books. Also, Michelle Boorstein of Wash Po put out a tame article. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/sovereign-grace-ministries-riven-by-conflict-seeks-to-change/2011/08/19/gIQAJuXt7J_story.html. Poor Al Mohler gets mixed up in it again. The last paragraph by an ultimate insider, Larry Tomczac, who got hoisted on CJ’s petard, like Brent Detwiler is attempting to do with CJ, is “telling.” That last paragraph summarizes “countless” story of abusive situations—and not just sexual abuse either. More to follow.

    @John, it’s much more than finances, nepotism, and sexual abuse cases handled by poorly trained men. It’s a Baptacostalist culture that’s up for review. What is it? How do they operate? DJ has referenced a few cases. 5-6 cases, best I can see. One recently reviewed was beyond the pale–I mean bad.

    The reading goes on.


  113. DJ, I think I’ll give Ms. Boorstein a ring at Wash Po. Why not give Ligon a ring at First Pres re: the AOR report? Or, RC Sproul for comment since Mahaney speaks there? At least, they could say, “No comment” for any future articles. Or, Kevin DeYoung? Or, Ray Ortlund? John Piper? Matt Chandler? Mark Driscoll who claims Mahaney as a mentor, a fellow Baptacostalist. (I hear some Nevin-like phrases about anti-intellectualism re: the revivalists and anti-form folks clanging around in my head. Saw a few good quotes by Nevin earlier tonight.) R/Donald.


  114. Dr. Hart:

    No clues on or from the “tight-lips” of Gospel Coalition. A preliminary and single response from Mr. Justin Taylor indicated he didn’t know how to deal with the revelations. A post by Mr. Taylor ended up with a concluding agnosticism over the revelations and we’ve nothing from him since. Since the story broke, silence from all at GC. Although, Mr. Ortlund spoke at an SGM Church in Knoxville, TN, since the story has broken. As to “silence” by all the mega-conference circuit-riding Anabaptists or American Baptists, that’s prudent.

    Not a further word from Drs. Duncan or Trueman beyond preliminary endorsements. Messieur Duncan was more full-throated and dismissively unscholarly. Ligon simply didn’t know enough to comment. There is a 32-year history to these Jesus-freaks-turned Shepherdizing Movementeers-turned predestinarian-Baptacostals. Alot of dynamics in their history, including some involvement with the Toronto movement briefly–yes, barking, howling and all that. SGM still claims to be “Reformed and Charismatic.” Where’s the Confessional Churchmanship here? Dr. Trueman’s endorsement was so qualified as to be–ahem–useless. Of the two, Dr. Trueman’s was the wisest–a qualification limiting liability, unlike Messieur Duncan’s. But a wise silence for these two as well.

    Also, wisely, no word from the Baptyerians at Ligonier Ministries.

    But Ms. Boorstein of WashPo posted a response–again–by Dr. Mohler. Without much elaboration by her.

    As to Driscoll, nothing is appearing or being reported about SGM from his involvements and dalliances in “sourcery.” Given his gifts, he could clear things up with a few “insights.” Driscoll’s fellows, from tweets and FB posts, appear to be oblivious to Mr. Mahaney’s temporary departure.

    Mahaney will be back for TG4, April 12, 2012, according to a recent post at SGM’s website.

    There’s nothing of substance coming from the SGM leaders either. That is, publicly.

    One thing emerges from the 1980s to early 1990s. SGM thought they were “restorationist” and were bring the church back to “primitive Christianity.” That was explicit to Mahaney and Tomczak’s thoughts. Throughout the 90s, they billed themselves as “doing Church” as the “right way,” including requirements from church members to attend only their churches. Many bought that. It’s the sectarian impulse–once again. And the hubris.

    Bottomline: silence.


  115. Dr. Hart:

    A postscript.

    A young Covenant Seminary student called today re: SGM and related issues. He’s followed some posts on this. Three hours on the phone this morning and he’s near to accepting covenant theology and baptism. He was in the SGM for awhile. He’s in a Baptistic work presently and is an older student. He’s a nano-second from Presbyterianism on this issue. What a grand discussion following a grand discussion he reportedly had with a Professor there. I made a pitch for Confessional Churchmanship, although my own territory is so far from it. Also, for repatriation of Psalm-singing to churches, as well as the old Prayer Book. Glad to be retired and help these younger men.

    He loved the story about old General Tom “Stonewall” Jackson catechetizing the black youths of Lexington, VA, prior to the “Great War Between the States” as well his financial support for the continuuing work during the War, e.g. sending his tithe to buy Bibles, Westminster Standards, and books for the black families. Old Jack catechetized with military discipline and regularity. He visited the families to check on the students and speak with the parents. He served as a deacon at Lexington Presbyterian with the session under Dr. White’s leadership. I was privileged to know and serve with a USN CAPT, a black Presbyterian, who claimed to be a generational offspring from “Old Jack’s” catechetical efforts in Lexington. The Navy Captain claimed that Stonewall’s work resulted in rising literacy and Presbyterian involvements due to that catechetical effort. Here was a black Navy Captain claiming to be a Presbyterian due to Old Jack’s work with black youths. Anyways, the young Covenant student drew inspiration from old Stonewall…as well as Luther’s catechetical involvements–as a “Doctor of Theology,” as Luther claimed–with young children, the Creeds, the 10 Commandments, etc. The Covenant student wants to start catechetical ministries for the youth, like old Jack and Bruder Martin. Let it happen…with an eye to the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. As more than one Navy Captain has been heard to say in rough sea, “Steady as she goes. Maintain course and bearing.”


  116. Dr. Hart:

    One more dilation on old Jack, old Stonewall. (Stonewall was instrumental in establishing Chaplains for his Confederate command and was, allegedly, instrumental in General Ewell’s conversion thereafter.)

    Old Jack found himself without a Chaplain for one regimental service, so he led one. He spotted General Robert E. Lee approach as the service began. He called upon General Lee to offer Pastoral Prayers. Lee came to the front and, from memory, as an old Prayer Book Anglican, led in several collects or prayers. Suitable, then, as now. An Anglican Prayer Book service in terms of worship with a Confessionalist Presbyterian, General, and speaker for divine worship. That’s my idea of heaven.


  117. Dr. Hart:

    1662 BCP for private use, Morning and Evening Prayer. For years, however, used the old 1873 REC BCP. That evangelical BCP is what the four children learned and it’s close to the 1789 BCP. There are places in the 1662 that need some correction, in my estimation, but I like the lectionary that prescribes reading the Bible more fully, e.g. OT once per year and NT twice per year. That is, prescribed for all annually, not just clerics. Unquestionably, Cranmer wanted a “nation” to be a Bible-reading people.

    In this forlorn tract of geography, am forced to live in liberal spaces, the TEC. The 1979 BCP which isn’t very good. I’m in exile. I don’t like it one bit either, but I can’t do “non-liturgy.” The Rector smiles at me and we call it a day. I’m too old and crusty to change, although my full support and love is expressed for Confessionally Reformed Churchmen.

    My home church, Mariners’ Anglican, Detroit, used the 1928 BCP which has some unfortunate changes, but that is a detailed digression that’s not desirable. The British counterpart, 1928 BCP, was quashed in Parliament, quite wisely. (Tractarians and Anglo-Catholics were more sophisticated in England as were the Evangelical Anglicans, unlike the USA.) Mariners’ Anglican is a straight, lean, old school, 39 Articles, no Missals-allowed (Tractarians), and basic church with a Cathedral music tradition (the music director trained at Chichester Cathedral and 6 of 11 choristers have PhDs in music with the other 5 pursuing PhDs). I miss the home church. But, I get weekly CDs of services to assist in this forlorn exile in eastern North Carolina of regnant Anabaptists, Methodists and Pentecostals. Old school Anglicans, attending Mariners from around the world, including the deceased Dr. Peter Toon, would have recognized the service. Alas, our many disorders.

    The work and reading goes on.


  118. Dr. Hart:

    As to the story about General Lee, he would have known the 1789 BCP, almost a photocopy of the 1873 BCP which we used here and the 1928 BCP (although some variances in detail). Virginia Churchmanship was basic, low in one sense but very high on the BCP, and Bible-reading. Anglicans never quite bought the revivalist approach, as Evangelical Anglican Devereaux Jarrett suggest. But back on point. Bp. John Johns was probably a 4-point Calvinist and Amyraldian, best I can assess. Bp. Johns arrived at the residence (now Arlington Cemetery) to marry Robert E. Lee and his Washington-descended-bride. Bp. Johns rode through the rains and arrived via the Potomac River, soaking wet. He docked at the mansion. He traipsed up to the mansion. The family gave Bp. Johns dry clothes, but the pants were far too short. Nonetheless, Bp. Johns, founder of Virginia Seminary, performed the wedding of Lee and his bride, a Washington-scion and descendant. Bp. Johns would have used the 1789 BCP.

    While all this was developing, John Henry Newman was working wiles at Oxford. Newman and Pusey was beginning to get an audience in America. General Lee was advised of it. While under apparent influences of some whiskey, Gen. Lee with some Army officers (in NY) gave his sense of it. In reference to Edward Bouverie Pusey (Newmanian associate), Lee called the Anglican followers “Pusseyites” with the X-rated sense of it. All the Romantic dress-up and lace of Newmanianism was not the BCP Churchmanship of Lee or Jefferson Davis, for that matter. Nor of old school Virginian Churchmanship. A Prayer Book and the Bible.


  119. Viking, please call me dg. We were classmates at WTS after all (though I don’t know if we knew each other — what happens with a commuter school). Where can someone find an affordable version of the 1662 BCP?


  120. @Dr. Hart, offline or personally, would call you Darryl or DG. But, an old Marine. Important for protocols for younger fellows. For example, re: protocols, Mr. Driscoll just does not rate compared to careful scholars who post peer-reviewed articles and books like yourself, or other careful men. Driscoll needs a few years under your mentorship with “directed readings,” not Mr. Mahaney’s. There are superiors, equals, and inferiors, vis a vis the WLC. Same for military. Same for Churchmanship. I do this for the younger fellows. Perhaps, I’ll occasionally slip into something more informal, we’ll see. As to an affordable 1662 BCP, I use the one found here. It’s a must-have. They range from $14.00 to $35.00, used to new, from Oxford Press. Small, portable, and handy. Sturdy and durable. As such, it fits into the brief case nicely. http://www.amazon.com/Book-Common-Prayer/dp/0191306010/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1315799077&sr=8-2

    A new front is opening. Why didn’t American Anglicanism respond to the Great Awakening? I just saw a quote, however, that observed that Whitefield disclaimed any reading of Calvin. He was an Oxford man too. I don’t think the Lutherans were responsive either. But, some Presbyterians did…at least initially. But, a digression. When it comes to Mahaney, youtubes, podcasts and the like, there is an immediate clash of culture. The enthusiasm just clashes, not just in doctrine, but even tone, ethos and piety.

    @DJ, books received in mail. Much obliged. Check for postage and handling will be in mail to you. Many thanks. Also, via Amazon, on Friday past, ordered $160 of books by SGM Pastors and some secondary references. As Dr. Guelzo, a Lincoln scholar, and former church history Prof (for me) said, “Footnote, footnote, and footnote.” Dr. Guelzo too is an Anglican-in-exile. So, the footnoting goes on. Also, DJ, a phonecon will be had with a father and mother who had two molestation cases at Fairfax SGM, Fairfax, VA. That’s tomorrow. This was is different than the case noted below to John.

    @John, yes, one notorious sex abuse case in particular. Very, very egregious. Talked it over with the Judge in town. Class B1 felony for the abuser (the father on a 10-year old daughter), but “accessories `after’ the fact'” could well have applied to the Pastors who covered it up. Under NC law, that would have subjected the principal, the father, to “no less than 300 months in jail” (mandatory sentence of 25 years) and the pastors, if convicted, to 12-15 years as accessories, depending on whether the Judge wanted to treat as a Class C or Class D felony. The Pastoral incompetence in this specific case is mind-boggling.

    Also, Mahaney has fled to Mark Dever’s Church at Capitol Hill Baptist, Washington, DC. Two of Mahaney’s sons-in-laws, Elders at Covenant Life, Gaithersburg, MD (a suburb of DC), protested the Detwiler documents and Mr. Harris’s support of those releases. The sons-in-law fled too. (Mr. Harris is the senior Pastor of Covenant Life.). Covenant Life has about 3800 members in an affluent DC suburb. The sons-in-law protested Detwiler’s docs and resigned. The two sons-in-laws claimed that Covenant Elders supported “gossip and slander” against Mahaney. One of those sons-in-law is now an “intern” under Dever. The other son-in-law is putatively going to seminary. Again, both sons-in-laws were “Elders and Pastors” (about 18 paid Elders on staff) at Mahaney’s Church, Covenant Life. Both sons-in-laws have received a generous severence packages from Covenant Life. The Mahaney clan is now over at Dever’s church. I don’t see them returning to their flagship church any time soon. The plot thickens.

    We’ll see how this begins to play out for SGM vis a vis their colleagues at T4G.


  121. Although a dated post, adding this. Some discussion of SGM-Mahaney is occurring tangentially at Phil Johnson’s Pryo blog. http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/10/evangelical-freakshow.html I posted a comment.


    You’ve got a “whole lot of homework to do on Mahaney and SGM.” I most strongly recommend you make that recommendation to John (MacArthur), that is, read deeply and closely before saying anything more. This thread on SGM is not entirely unrelated–as a few have indicated–to the post.

    On the “7th read” of the Detwiler docs. Many things got much clearer while taking notes on the “6th read.” (I’m retired and can take the time.) As you noted, you’ve read (skimming?) 100 pages with a dismissive note that you’ll read and finish the rest of the 500 pages in Oct…um, er, well…well, it’s shallow? Ah, yes, that’s an excellent word for your note, Phil, “shallow.”

    This scribe has accumulated 1200 pages on SGM-Mahaney.

    I understand being time-challenged. Since this is your case or situation, further comment should be heavily nuanced, to wit: “I’m still learning and don’t know much.” This situation is complex, historic and big-time problematic.

    Al (Mohler) and Ligon (Duncan) made a strategic mistake by preliminary comments. Piper has hung low. I’ll be writing my RC Sproul today, a 36-year friend. Poor Carl Trueman, while frequently good, wrote an endorsement of CJ yet with a qualification that neutered the endorsement–academese to limit liability to zero.

    A great word of caution to you. Be very, very careful. Not only is there smoke here…there’s been an historic fire.

    There’s a 32-year history chockful of things that need exposition and clarification.

    I hope you allow this post to stand.

    Donald Philip Veitch


  122. The research continues.

    Challies shuts down discussion of CJ-gate at challies.com. The utter absence of “any desire,” let alone effort, at/for scholarly, sustained, tough-minded, historically oriented, investigative and deliberative inquiry on SGM is stunning. Cowardly Challies is most strongly suggested.

    http://reformationanglicanism.blogspot.com/2011/10/sgm-mahaneygate-cowardly-challiescom.html I’m am old Marine. We don’t lose nerve in fights.

    The level of inquiry by T4Ger-leaders wouldn’t pass muster for an undergraduate paper in a high end university, let alone a graduate or doctoral level.

    Mohler, Dever, Ortlund, and DeYoung have put their reputations on the line for Mahaney in relation to Mahaney, the high school graduate. Duncan as well as Trueman are simple embarrassments on this score in the putatively Confessional Reformed world.

    Challies has shut down discussion of old Baldy (Hansen’s term for Mahaney) on his witheringly shallow blogsite. It’s being reported widely.

    Nevin? Hah! Give me the gesticulating high school graduate, a Baptacostal. Alas, also, under Duncan’s leadership, a member of ACE.

    Spare me Duncan.


  123. Darryl:

    Total absence of deliberative, scholarly, tough-minded, sober, detailed, and analytic inquiry by T4G leaders. Darryl, I’ve “earned” the right to say that.

    “How little” they know and “how willing” they are to speak, including Mohler.

    Donald Philip Veitch


  124. Carl, face it, you really screwed up on this one. Lamentable, as WTS is my alma mater. I had high expectations, from you as a PhD but you failed. I’m sorry. As for Ligon, the expectations were much lower, but he failed as well. Carl, “be a scholar” and use due diligence on this Baptacostalist, Mahaney. Carl, it’s much deeper than you know.


  125. An update on the free passes for Mr. Mahaney. Nevin who? Never mind Nevin, revivalists, sacraments and the Confessions. Hodge who? Never mind. SGM has instituted an investigative process with the Ambassadors of Reconciliation, an outfit aligned with LCMS. The process is being interrogated, despite 100s with questions. Select individuals are getting “full ride” fares (air, hotel, per diem, vehicle) to Gaithersburg, MD. Handily, the surmisals run to 100-200 K for the process, The press is quiet. T4G is quite quiet. Dever is quiet, although Mahaney has burrowed in at Capitol Hill. Nothing more from the initial outbursts of enthusiastic support from Mohler and Duncan (wise). Piper and MacArthur have been quiet. Driscoll is too busy divining demons these days.

    Sorry, Darryl, the original post was Jul 2011. The saga continues and we are watching it. (Mahaney’s books are quite sophmoric as are his sidekicks, Harris and Davebitious Harvey.)


  126. The SGM-Mahaneygate thickens and intensifies. Date: 3 Nov 2011. Darryl, the research has continued unabated. If you have any connections with Dr. Carl Trueman, tell him to steer clear and wide of these Baptacostaholics. As to Ligon Duncan, T4G, oh well, have at it Lig with “your old friend,” his unctuous, oleaginous, and oily southern endorsement, Darryl, it’s pretty bad in SGM-ville.


  127. Dr. Hart:

    The coagulant (s)? There are several factors, hence, the plural “coagulants.” (1) Mahaney in Jesus-movement, 1972-1979. (2) Charismania, 1981-present, although with reports of “diminished charismata.” The music is tub-thumping SGM. In fact, only SGM music allowed in churches (they have their own brand). No liturgy, confessions. (3) Quite signiifcantly, a governing involvement with the “Shepherding Movement,” an effort to discipline nomadic charismatic travellers. See Dictionary of Pentecostal…(3) Shift in mid-1990s to adopt TULIP. Mywayney [sic] loses support with charismatics. (4) Cultic control tactics until at least 2009. (5) Mahaney’s gradual infilitration of the YRRs, Hansen, Alliance of (Non) Confessing Evangelicals (under Dr. Duncan not Jim Boice), and T4G. (6) Explosve blogs and the Detwiler documents put intense pressure. These are some major coagulants.

    Nevin, understandably, is never mentioned in any of this. Mahaney is a “high school” graduate who, just recently, publicly claimed he was a “theologian.”

    I have composed a 29-page review. More later.

    Darryl, if you have any pull and influence with WTS facultry, east or west, most strongly recommend steering wide of Mahaney. And, by all means, pull the SGM books from the WTS website, like Joshua Harris’s. Puleeze. Harris, Mahaney’s protege, is similarly a high school graduate and his books, like Mahaney’s, are sophmoric, historically shallow, and devoid of bibliographies. Where is the WTS of old scholarship when it comes to books?

    One word for my 4 covenant children and 1 covenant grandson. All hands: minimally, Caveat Emptor. (Darryl, Brent Detwiler is far more right than wrong.)


  128. Darryl:

    Two additional coagulants: (1) Although untrained to make an official diagnosis, Mahaney meets all 9 criteria for a clinical diagnosis of “narcissism.” Sad, sick, and evident. This scribe intends to take the 10 psy course at college here along with 10 soc course. (2) The Pastors College, a 9-month requirement, for SGM clerics. Some have BAs but most do not. High school grad + 9 months = SGM Pastor. It’s not even community college requirements. This suffuses the 97 SGM churches. The hubris that arises from a failed inquiry of church history is enthusiastic, revivalistic, and anti-intellectual. This accounts, for example, for the utterly incompetent handling of several sexual molestation cases in their flagship churches in D.C.


  129. In fact, intend to review, analyze and report on WTS website supporting revivalists, enthusiasts, non-Confessionalist and other thumpers. It is dawning on me that WTS supports these folks, including SGM-enthusiasts. I’m WTS, 81,’ but these things must be put front and centre, including WTS-west’s hosting of Anabaptists on campus. What’s up with this?


  130. Viking, I don’t have any pull at our alma mater. I use WTS 2.0 and have never paid for the upgrades.

    I’m curious about anabaptists at WSCalifornia.

    The SGM stuff is pretty fascinating. You should write a book — maybe two.


  131. Dr. Hart:

    (1) My wife thinks I need to publish a book on these Baptacostals. Maybe so. An interesting aside, CJ and SGM were involved in the Toronto-Vineyard movement, 1993ish. An oral report, phonecon, says CJ as upfront, arms around knees, rolling back and forth, while the barkers and animal-crawlers were having at it. Also, similar reports in Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s pulpit, same time frame, barkers and all, where the old pro-Revivalist, pro-Whitefield, demure, and Welsh Englishman preached. SGM history has not been written. T4G ain’t writing either.

    (2) Will review WTS-east and west, but why Anabaptists? I’m just an old WCF and old BCP man asking questions.

    Best regards,


  132. Two more. Jonathan Bonomo, Incarnation and Sacrament: The Eucharistic Controversy between Charles Hodge and John Nevin, Wipf and Stock, 2010)

    Adam Bornemann, The Man of Faith and the Perfection of Nature: The Sociopolitical Dimensions of John Williamson Nevin’s Theology of Incarnation, Wipf and Stock)

    In his essay on soteriology in Mapping Modern Theology. Lints footnote 36–“The best social-cultural biography of Nevin is DG Hart, High Church Calvinist. The best intellectual biography of Nevin is Richard Wentz.” well, you can’t have both or all

    What Nevin meant by “union” OR what Hodge meant by “imputed righteousness”….


  133. Old Lifers who are Logos users

    Logos has put the John Williamson Nevin Collection (13 vols.) in their community pricing to gather interest before it goes to pre-pub & starts to be development for release. The greater the interest the faster it goes to pre-pub. Community Pricing is the cheapest price for Logos Resources . Right now a bid of $55 gets you in VS $258 when it’s published and downloadable.



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