Popular Posts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tim Dalrymple on The Christian Post and the "Second Coming Christ" Scandal

It is not a short story, and once you read the initial article you have to read the follow up story, but the Christianity Today article on David Jang and the "Second Coming Christ" scandal is one of the most important articles on religion you will read this year. It is deeply troubling and the permeations from what has been uncovered and exposed will be felt for years to come. One of the implications of the story is an immediate one: the integrity of Christian media in general but specifically the standing of The Christian Post. Tim Dalrymple, Director of Content at Patheos, has written a two-part story reflecting on exactly these implications. I hope you will take time to read these pieces by Tim because I think they raise urgent questions about a major source of Christian information around the world. The Christian Post is intricately tied up in the story of David Jang and in the advancement of his work. Their response to the Christianity Today story was very troubling and Tim summarizes it well:

I expected a defense along these lines: “We disagree with the thrust of Christianity Today‘s article, but more importantly The Christian Post really has very little to do with David Jang.  We have complete editorial independence and we are no mouthpiece for David Jang or the movement he has inspired.”  Instead, what they issued was a full-throated defense of David Jang and an even more rip-roaring excoriation of Christianity Today and every person who criticized Jang within the piece.  They issued, in other words, a performative affirmation that they are, in fact, David Jang’s mouthpiece.

The purpose of the response was to defend David Jang.  If possible, however, thenature of the response was even worse — presented as journalism, it was actually a no-qualifications, no-holds-barred defense.  There was not a single criticism of Jang that possessed any merit whatsoever, and none of the figures cited in Christianity Today‘s article were anything but complete and utter liars.  Meanwhile, the people who defend Jang and who attack his critics, even if they themselves work for Jang-affiliated companies, possess unquestioned authority and good will.  This is not journalism; it’s public relations.  It’s not reporting, but spin...
[From Part Two]  When Christianity Today published its report on David Jang and the Olivet movement, the controversy that ensued did not have to be about The Christian Post.  But with their response — defending David Jang at the top of their voice, taking a flamethrower to anyone who criticized Jang and Olivet, and rushing out a piece on the flimsiest of evidence accusing one of the coauthors of facilitating child pornography – The Christian Post made it about them.

No comments:

Post a Comment