Where is LeCroy’s Secret Council Meeting?
TE LeCroy’s pair of blogposts make some outlandish insinuations regarding the GRN and other groups such as the Aquila Report, MORE in the PCA, and Presbycast. While he’s long on insinuation, Dr LeCroy is short on specifics and evidence. That’s not a way forward for peace in the PCA. I propose a different way forward for peace in the PCA. First, cease the broad brush allegations about “big money” and “rhetoric,” but rather be clear and specific about concerns.
I have no interest in sports. However in high school, I did run cross country, and for our warm up run we frequently would take a big lap around our school campus. As we ran, I was always amused by the things they put on the school sign; it was usually some proverbial soundbite or moral. One of them has stood out in my memory since that time both for its pithiness and its wisdom:
Never ruin an apology with an excuse.
– Benjamin Franklin
Last week the Reverend Professor Tim Lecroy, PhD published a meandering blogpost on the SemperRef collective in which he initially seemed to be hoping for a less combative future in the PCA as he poignantly asked, “Will we have peace” as he reflected on his 25 years in the PCA and some of the controversies he has witnessed.
But the blogpost quickly abandoned its irenic façade in favor of what TE Charles Stover characterized as “Slander, for unity’s sake” in which Dr LeCroy leveled allegations, assertions, and questions aimed at the “right wing of the PCA” including the especially outrageous assertion that the GRN has a “secret council” and that the National Partnership (NP) “was never anything more than an email list and a facebook chat group that apparently enjoyed the occasional bourbon and cigar.”
I. Mea Culpa
The blogpost was exceptionally bad. As a man with a Doctor of Philosophy from Saint Louis University (one of the leading Roman Catholic research institutions in the world), he should have known better. As a professor at Covenant Theological Seminary (adjunct), we should be able to expect Dr LeCroy understands responsible research and the evidence needed to make such claims in writing. As a member of the editorial team for the SemperRef Collective, one would assume TE LeCroy would be more careful about what he puts in writing on the blog.
Late last week, Dr LeCroy issued a followup blogpost, Mea Culpa, in which he called a personal foul on himself. He tried to explain what a “personal foul” is using basketball. He stated he was just being “sarcastic” in asserting the GRN has a secret council, since people have used that word to describe him and his friends. So LeCroy doesn’t believe the GRN has a secret council; he was being sarcastic.
Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!” (Prov. 26:18–19)
Dr LeCroy insists:
Let me be clear: I do not believe that the GRN has a secret council. I also apologize for insinuating. My insinuations were based on my own experience, anecdotal evidence told to me, and my own hunches, but they were insinuations nonetheless. I shouldn’t have put them in print.
Well now I’m not clear. Does Professor LeCroy believe the GRN has a secret council or not? He said his insinuations are based on his own experience, anecdotal evidence, and his hunches. What does this mean?
This is an interesting way to apologize; to retract one’s assertion and then assert he has evidence and hunches to support his insinuation.
II. The Show Me State
TE LeCroy does not have the benefit of having been born in Missouri as I have. But TE LeCroy has ministered in the Show Me State long enough to understand how we Missourians don’t accept claims without evidence. What “experience” and “anecdotal evidence” does Dr LeCroy have to support his claims?
I asked publicly on Twitter for this evidence and I received a (now deleted) sarcastic reply from an anonymous user of the SemperRef twitter account:
Few people appreciate sarcasm more than I do. Sometimes I tell my wife, “sarcasm is my love language.” So I am indeed feeling the love from our brothers at SemperRef.
SemperRef describes itself as an organization that aims to:
Provide content that upholds our calling to speak the truth in love and which honors the fullest understanding of the responsibilities embodied in the ninth commandment.
I find it an odd response that when asked for evidence of the claims made in one of their articles, they demanded I provide the emails to disprove what was “insinuated” in the article and seems to be oddly-reiterated in the oddly-named “Mea Culpa” followup.
That is not the way evidence works; one does not have to prove a negative or prove the non-existence of what another “insinuates.”