In the fallout of Alistair Begg’s horrendous advice to the grandmother, American Family Radio was the first to drop him, doing so publicly during his timeslot last week. Evidently, they were not the only distributor to drop Begg over his comments.
Ligonier Ministries operates an internet radio network called Reformation Network, or RefNet for short. They typically play R. C. Sproul sermons and other Ligonier content, but they had ten partner ministries whom they partnered with until they recently removed Truth for Life from their website.
Quietly, Begg’s Truth for Life ministry was removed from the partners and his timeslots, which had four airings on Saturday that were replaced with reruns of R. C. Sproul. Given that Ligonier is the legacy of R. C. Sproul, it is good to see that they have been proactive in shepherding his legacy from compromise.
Begg Doubles Down
After having broken the story in which Begg advised a grandmother to attend a gay wedding, it is unfortunate to say that he has doubled down. In a recent video, Begg labeled his detractors as Pharisees and fundamentalists. The language used is typical tactics from Big Eva types. The Pharisees were religious elites, not the rabble, so it is always ironic and hypocritical when famous figures deride the laity as Pharisees. The creation of nuance where God’s standard is clear is itself a pharisaical tactic that Jesus routinely condemned.
Second, the use of “fundamentalists” is a slur from liberals to deride conservative evangelicals. Historically, a fundamentalist derided from one who rejected evolution and stuck only to the “five fundamentals.” Fundamentalists have doctrinally been Arminian, dispensational, and Baptist. Generally, Calvinists or Reformed are not referred to as fundamentalists, especially as the term became associated with the IFB movement. When liberal Christians seek to defend their orthodox credentials, they most commonly deride those who believe in a 7-day Creation narrative as fundamentalist along with other issues. Ed Litton did the same to mask the liberal drift of the SBC. The fundamentalist label against “conservatives” is a tactic popularized by Tim Keller and third way proponents, since it seeks to maintain conservative credentials by framing believers to the “right” as fundamentalist while maintaining that those on his left are still theological liberals.
That Begg uses this framing tactic is a sign of theological compromise, much like his use of building bridges, which is also a lingo of subversion from liberals within the Church.
Credit to Ligonier Ministries for their actions, even if done quietly. However, the continued defiance in the wake of the stern rebuke from major leaders continues to be a disappointment regarding Alistair Begg. Sadly, this subject has become a debate in Christian circles, with a minority persistent in defending Begg’s words, something they surely would never have supported merely 10 years ago.
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