For any following the recent FV bust up it has been quite a rocket ride.
Up until recently you could have been mistaken to think that Wilson had shifted and shed the FV label and was well on his way to becoming mainstream again. His no holds verbiage punctuated the uber cool intro to Apologia, his youtube videos whether giving Hitchens a spanking or his Canon Press questions were racking up the views.
However despite all this the FV stuff is back on the scene. Some have been quite angrily slinging abuse at people like R.S Clark and some other people on twitter because they ‘won’t let this stuff go’. To me Clark and co are to be praised as their constant poking of the Wilson has lead to some interesting things.
In the early days of the FV storm, Wilson would pull out the ole ‘You guys don’t understand what I am saying’. All charges of concern were brushed away and pooh poohed as the doings of the simple minded. A while later Wilson then ditched the FV label and for many of the Wilson fans this was proof enough for them.
Wilson then started to kick back and chill out, light a few cigars, blog a bit more and keep up his ‘taking it to them’ image that has made him a kinda pastor macho man. The few voices that were piping up about Wilson’s slippery FV were viewed as stupidheads or worse, people who were obsessed with him. Wilson chuckled lit a sofa on fire and ignored them. Nothing could stir the Wilson.
Turning up the heat
However things then changed. ReformedCon happened and with that interests peaked.
The hip hop cool cats at Apologia Radio / Church had long time connections with the Wilson. As aforementioned Wilson was used at the show’s opening to usher in the proceedings, slagging off the ‘careful men’ that God never uses and nobody writes books about. However, for all intents and purposes that was all it was, just a snazzy soundbyte. Apologia trundled on doing amazing God glorifying work in the area of witnessing to Mormons, JWs etc and their inspiring anti abortion work. Along with this came a very attractive and powerfully presented postmillennialism. They racked up respect and admiration.
For many however that admiration and respect was questioned as they started to considerably get closer to Wilson than comfort allowed. While many of us had started to weary of Wilson, we foolishly thought his influence had waned or was at least contained, however as Apologia and Wilson were now becoming public bosom buddies alarm bells started to ring.
A and O enter the Whiteman
As people started to voice their concerns (see my flimsy attempt here https://icxcnika.home.blog/2019/08/13/apologia-why-mr-wilson/) they thought that they could turn to someone who was older and wiser than the young and heady Apologia crowd. However, much to their dismay James White was not the source of help they had hoped for.
While many of us had spent years being encouraged and edified by Whites stellar work we were surprised at the venom that was about to hit us. Any one who had concerns were dismissed and mocked. As many had quietly ignored White’s ego that had started to become so apparent in his twitter interactions, the stings of his tweets while painful, were still none the less surprising.
Despite evidence put forward that a number of Reformed Churches had condemned and openly warned their flocks about Wilson, White was quick to pooh pooh them and any Christians that thought that they were worth listening too. To our surprise we were chucked under the bus as feminist sympathisers, as to critiscise Wilson couldn’t possibly come from a place of doctrine, it surely had to come from a heart that wanted to destroy all that was biblical. We were supposed to listen to the voice of one Mr White rather than a multitude of counsellors. Mr White was smarter than us all.
Enter the Brandon
Wilson was no doubt having a gleeful glance at all the escapades that had been happening. He had been very good and surprisingly reserved. He wisely kept quiet and not engaged with his usual verbosity. Then a baptist published a blog post (See below)
Brandon Adams is a Reformed Baptist that was able to take time and his thoughtful mind to the situation. His blog post was thorough, concise and to the mark (Words apart from Wilson’s rambling and often hard to follow writing). He identified the issues, pointed out the failings of White in his dismissive arrogance of claiming all who disagreed with his opinions were ‘Clark Fanboys’ and pointed out that people had every right to be concerned. He also took time to examine some of Wilson’s defenders and took considerable time compiling quotes, sections and even videos to express his points.
Then something happened. Wilson responded.
Why? Well to me I think it came down to two reasons. Firstly Wilson got his ego bruised and secondly Wilson underestimated Brandon.
Usually many of us do not have the mental energy or stamina to respond to online back and forwards and secondly many of us can be intimidated by people who carry a pretty hefty punch in the followers department. A few quick jabs from a bigger opponent can quickly leave us retreating with bullets still in our guns.
I think that Wilson thought that he was smarter than Brandon and that Brandon was going to run. White then showed his true intellect and character by sharing a Canon Press video discussion with Douglas Wilson that might as well have ended with White cooingly giving Wilson a back massage. The questions were soft ball, back patting and White played in no part the interviewer he should have been. The podcast was mainly used as a platform to do the ole ‘You don’t understand’ technique and ‘These people don’t get it’ all to paint Brandon as some baptist that had trifled with things above his intellectual pay grade. All the time White nodded and backed Wilson up.
However Brandon was not to be easily scared away. He had honestly and gracefully engaged with Wilson and some of Wilson’s defenders and had been seen to be more than they had bargained for.
Then now, Brandon has came to deliver a fantastic response. Wilson made a fatal mistake here, he took a swing at what he thought was going to be an easy target and now he is flomping about the ring being chased by an opponent he has seriously underestimated. All the while White, the Crosspolitic crew and the Apologia team are now watching anxiously as the champ’s usual one-two jabs aren’t working.
As much as I have slobbered over Brandon in this Blog post, much respect has to be given to R Scott Clark and the few people who have kept the pressure on Wilson over the last while. While you may disagree they had to take the insults from a multitude of Wilson and his defenders.
Do yourself a favour read this
For me the most interesting thing has been to get a real lay of the land in a certain circle of the reformed world. Wilson is a clever cookie but not nearly as much as he would think. This should be obvious to anyone who has taken time to watch proceedings and with that we must consider his circle and his followers. It has been informative seeing his followers mock, malign and insult others who have voiced concerns. Many of them seem to simply be like the small kids behind the bigger one. Most of all to me has been the sad position of James White in it all. I never would have imagined White would have been duped by Wison. Not only duped but now his main propagandist.