Craig French sent me a link to a post by Billy Graham's grandson announcing he'd been booted from the Gospel Coalition franchise. Two things.
First, note that Mr. Tchividjian reports he was purged without the honor of itemized charges and a trial. He wasn't allowed to face his accusers. Some guy did their dirty work for them. They stayed behind the scenes and had some guy contact Mr. Tchividjian and tell him he was to be gone by this Thursday. That was it.
If Gospel Coalition's product is doctrine, why miss an opportunity to expose error? Isn't that the reason they purged Tully—that he is preaching and teaching false doctrine? Surely they're not purging him because of his sartorial ambitions, right?
There's no major ethical lapse or financial scandal, right? So what are all Gospel Coalition's customers to think when they yank their trademark from a franchisee without any explanation? Did someone get food poisoning? Did the local board of health pull the plug on Mr. Tchividjian's credentials? Did they find that Mr. Tchividjian is a Mormon in Reformed PCA drag?
Cliques work this way, don't they? Watch the group out on the playground and, suddenly, one kid is spun out of the circle and left standing all alone. "Unclean!"
Now to be clear, I'm pleased Gospel Coalition removed Pastor Tchividjian from their number. He is the quintessential cheap grace man who has perfect pitch when it comes to the sort of false doctrine that compunctionless hipsters want on their earbuds. But if the women and men of Gospel Coalition want to be helpful, why not expose the heresy publicly? Why not make use of this moment to have a trial with ordained church officers bringing charges?
Of course, I'm sure Mr. Tchividjian's complaint that they didn't give him any reasons for pulling the trademark will shame them into saying something publicly, but it's too little, too late, and rude to boot. Honor the man by opposing him to his face in front of all their customers—that's the manly and Biblical thing to do.
Second, reading the (mostly sycophantic) comments, I happened across one man who described the profound influence Mr. Tchividjian's cheap grace had on him this way:
Hi Tullian, I interviewed you on the RefoemedCast podcast about your book Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything about two years ago, and it has impacted me ever since. So much so, that more recently, apart from your influence, I became Confessionally Lutheran.
As I've been saying, today's Lutheranism is a good home for those who don't want the Law for their flesh. We can commend the honesty of this man. May his tribe increase (the honesty, not the Lutheran conversion).