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They’re Talking About Me on Slicecast

John on August 19, 2006 at 4:30 pm

At the tail end of the comments to my earlier post about Ken Silva’s declaration of war on the emergent church, I stated my concerns about the wisdom of continuing the conversation. I said in part, “I believe it may be time for me to leave this matter between Ken and the Lord.”

Last night, a few hours after I posted those comments, Ken wrote a response (scroll down) to someone who had written him an e-mail about these same issues. Is it just me or is his response eerily similar to what I said to him just a few hours earlier? It also sounds quite dramatically different than his earlier comments on this site. All that to say, perhaps setting an example is working…

In any case, I’m going to stick to my resolution not to judge Slice authors to the best of my ability. However, given that Ken mentioned me (and his comments to me) on the most recent Slicecast, I think I have some leeway to respond.

For those that don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, Slicecast is the podcast put out by Slice of Laodicea where Ken is a regular blogger. Ken was this week’s call in guest on the 15 minute show. Toward the end of the program, Ken says:

I told one guy I was dealing with, I said, this isn’t a game for me. This is my life. I have lost much support financially since I started this, particularly Rob Bell. My readership has gone up and praise God for that — we’re getting all kinds of people reading it — but I’ve had a number of people back off financially because of it. I don’t care. I’m a walking dead guy…

I said to the guy, I lay my life on the line. Do you? I know what I fast and pray about. Do you?

Regular readers are aware that Ken said those things right here, responding to me. That means I’m “one guy” and “the guy” being referred to in the statements above. Now, I understand he’s speaking extemperaneously, but it’s not like Ken doesn’t know my name at this point. He’s been exchanging comments with me — both here and at Slice — for almost a month now. But, fine, it’s not my show. I don’t expect to be named. I will note, however, that Ken once rebuked me for calling him “Rev. Ken,” (same link as above). He suggested I was belittling him in some way. Isn’t “Rev. Ken” (which is how he signs his posts at Slice) a lot better than “a guy.” I think so. But once again, Ken seems to have one yardstick for judging how others talk about him and a completely different one for judging how he talks about others.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the rest of Ken’s Slicecast appearance. I will say that — stripped of the faux-Spurgeon writing style he seems to prefer — he sounds quite normal, even articulate on the phone. That said, I would roughly estimate that 5-7 minutes of the 15 minute program was spent in mutual self-congratulation for the corageous stand he and Ingrid are taking. (If someone would like to take the time to clock it more precisely, feel free to correct me in the comments.) By contrast, there was only one question that offered a substantive reference to anything Rob Bell (the focus of Ken’s ire) has written. Just so you don’t think I’m exaggerating, here’s sample of the sort of thing I’m talking about. This comes right after the quote above, about 12 minutes in:

Ken: Well, it’s about time we had some men with boldness…I didn’t ask for this, but I’m not going to turn it down because I owe him everything.

Ingrid: That’s right the Lord gave everything he had for us, the least we can do is to return what we have — the gifts that he’s given us — to use them for his glory and to warn those in the church — as unpopular as it is — to be in the postition of watchman you take a bit of egg in the face from the kids standing down below…However we continue on, we continue on and the price we’re paying is certainly far less — at its worst — than what other believers around the world have paid for in the past…Just read Foxe’s book of martyrs…it puts everything in perspective.
Ken: It’s like I said to one emergent guy recently. I said, I’m really not as bad a guy as you think if you talk to me one on one…

Speaking as one of the “kids standing down below”, I don’t think you’re so bad, Ken. I just think you’re seeing this situation completely backwards. You’re not really in the watchtower looking down on the rest of us, you’re right here on the ground looking at everything through the wrong end of a telescope. And that’s what makes it a little unnerving when you start swinging your sword.

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Category: Religion & Faith |

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