Last week, Pastor Tullian Tchividjian experienced a very public “break-up” from The Gospel Coalition. Now, Billy Graham’s grandson is just as public in apologizing for his part in the issue, saying that while the experience “weighs heavy” on his heart, the other pastors at TGC are his brothers in Christ-and he loves them.
On his blog, Liberate, Tchividjian shares his “Reflections” on his exit from The Gospel Coalition.
After apologizing for speaking brashly in his own defense, Tchividjian confesses that he “slipped.”
“Defending the gospel is one thing. But when a defense of the gospel becomes a defense of yourself, you’ve slipped back under “a yoke of slavery.” I slipped last week,” he writes. “When you feel the need to respond to criticism, it reveals how much you’ve built your identity on being right. I’m an idolater and that came out last week. Because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose…and last week I fought to win. I’m sorry you had to see that. Lord have mercy…”
Tchividjian, who is the senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, recently made headlines when he left The Gospel Coalition, where he was a top contributor. At the time, he cited both theological and personal reasons, saying the organization’s “original message” had “morphed” while his “goal in every post” was to “preach the radicality of the Gospel of grace.” Tchividjian also expressed anger that TGC had removed his blog posts with little warning.
Following his exit, TGC founders D.A. Carson and Tim Keller released a statement saying the organization removed Tchividjian’s blog posts due to their questionable theology concerning sanctification. In addition, Pastor Kevin DeYoung wrote a response highlighting the importance of theology as part of worship.
Regardless of past conflicts, the “Jesus +Nothing=Everything” author says he “absolutely love and adores” Tim Keller, calling him an older brother and mentor.
“We are both committed to one another and the friendship we’ve enjoyed for many years. There are few people on this planet that I hold in higher esteem than Tim. He knows that,” Tchividjian writes. “The thought that I said anything at all that would hurt Tim or call anything about him into question makes me both sad and sick. I’m really sorry about that. Please forgive me.”
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