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Evanjellicle Journalism

  03/10/17 , by Dissidens, Categories: Evangelical culture



Joe Carter makes a fool of himself regularly on TGC website, and he does so in his official capacity as an “editor”.

In this first of a series of nonsense posts, Carter tries to explain what TGC is doing. Obviously there is a felt need for this explanation. A careful reader will be amused to learn what it is Joe thinks TGC is doing.

You really ought to read it. (An interesting exchange between Joe Carter and Phillip Johnson follows.)

It is a pretty common thing, I think, for serious Christians just to laugh off TGC with a crack like, “Well what did you expect? they’re Evanjellicles!”. In this case I think it is worth a double-take: this is what a TGC spokesman admits to.

I also think we can be entertained by Carter’s views on fake journalism.

I leave you to reflect on this admission:


“My role as an explanatory journalist is to ‘make complicated things clear, quickly’ by reinserting some of the missing context. Again, this doesn’t take any unique skill. I’m able to do this not because of my own specialized knowledge but merely because I have the time, willingness, and patience to dig through a backlog of material to put together a few key details that might be useful to a casual consumer of news.”


I agree that what Carter does takes no unique skill—and he demonstrates none.

I agree that he has no specialized knowledge; in fact, I would say that fact is glaringly obvious and needn’t have been mentioned.

I agree that all he brings to his work is time, willingness and patience to dig through selected material to put his english on whatever pop nonsense blows across his desk.

Ask yourselves, during the course of the next few pieces, Is it is a good thing that Evanjellicles want this?

Do we need mediocre intellects offering banal explanations of the obvious to “casual consumers of news”?


Comment from: Unk [Visitor]

It does make one wonder if the worst thing about America at present is that it is so easy for shallow Christians to have a lot of money. The above is such a great example of being ignorant and shallow and having plenty of money to spread it around with. Without the funding it would at least be more contained and these charlatans would be pursuing more legitimate forms of making a living. I am convinced it is the greatest way Americans have of impeding God’s work in other countries: lavishing money to export the celebrity culture in style to the world. You can’t tell them what is wrong because they have no way of evaluating something in terms of quality or over a long term. How can it not be God’s will to exhaust people’s efforts and energy in something that will never accomplish what something far less splashy could be expected to achieve? That way there is (as you put it a while ago) a maximum of effort for a minimum of outcome.

If you can be dishonest, you can have it made: you can travel, you can speak, you can publish, you can live the activist christian life with good benefits and a nice slice of the opulence of the moment. You can talk to powerful people about important things, even if you can’t make a whole lot of sense, or rather, at the small inconsequential cost of speaking mostly nonsense. About the Trinity, for example.

Who needs to make sense anyway when you can make money? You just have to be good at self-promotion and to know how to use those skills in the promotion of the guru of you political allegiance. You can work for Tim Keller, you can work for John Piper, you can work for Albert Mohler, and all you have to do is flatter the egos on sticks and make sure they’re propped up. The economic opportunities are there because an army of proppers is required and the donors are willing to fund it. You get to serve the Lord, donors get to give to God’s work, and the egos on sticks stave off the day of reckoning a little longer.

03/11/17 @ 10:59
Comment from: the_divine_passive [Member]  

To borrow the words of the late Edward John Carnell, “We need prestige desperately.”

03/11/17 @ 13:29
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  


Can’t argue with that. I’d say people with too much money will always make things worse. You make a fair point.

But having said that, Carter’s replies make it pretty clear he has no clue, is not willing to look for a clue, and wouldn’t know what to do with a clue if he were given several to choose from—even if he were visited with grinding poverty.

That anyone with no special qualifications, who is unskilled in reason, and having no giftedness with prose, should feel a calling to forage through “a backlog of material” in the hope that it “might be useful” to a “casual consumer of news” will not be helped even if a thief emptied the TGC bank account tomorrow.

This is a problem poverty cannot fix. Evanjellicles are shallow, tedious, and crude: the first thing they need to do is to cast out this “casual consumers of news” and her son.

Try to imagine Joe Carter in the company of the Apostles and virgin Martyrs. Try to imagine the earnest attempts at evangelism that would follow.


Yah, Carnell was wrong about that from the start.

They never needed prestige. They wanted prestige, what they needed was gravitas.

03/11/17 @ 15:46
Comment from: lilrabbi [Visitor]

I had a very similar exchange with Joe on Facebook recently. It’s a wonder to find such density in something so slippery.

07/09/17 @ 21:29
Comment from: the_divine_passive [Member]  

I have a feeling this post will still be relevant in five years.

10/04/17 @ 15:57
Comment from: Dissidens [Member]  

Unfortunately, I have a feeling this post will be relevant as long as Evanjellicalism exists. I think this nonsense will outlive TGC and the current klatsch of celebrities, poetesses, entertainers, and YouTube experts.

Only one can stop this slavery, and He seems disinclined to deliver us.

10/05/17 @ 10:29

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