This article was originally posted as a thread in my Twitter feed. I have edited it to remove abbreviations, embed links, and add bracketed words for understandability. Otherwise, it is the same as posted there.
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THREAD: QUESTIONS TO EVALUATE OUR EXPERTISE ON SYSTEMIC ABUSE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE. This is in response to a critical question posed by Wade Mullen, in a thread about the December 13th GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Violence.
While I wish GC2 well on their efforts, I did post concerns. The past few days, new articles have promoted GC2. Meanwhile, many abuse survivors, advocates, and activists have reiterated concerns about GC2 individual, institutional, and ideological issues. Continue reading
Unfortunate things afoot with a return to a publishing platform by Tullian Tchividjian at Fortress Press, as endorsed by acquisitions editor Tony Jones. See this post at Spiritual Sounding Board on the press release and related issues.
Former Fortress Press editor David Lott posted a lengthy comment critical of the news on this announced publishing relationship, and how it is out-of-sync with the former reputation and publishing line of the company. Mr. Lott also cross-posted the above comment on his public Facebook page, along with these two later comments with relevant details and further analysis.
Comment #1, things get normalized that shouldn’t be.
Comment #2, clarification about Fortress Minneapolis under separate management.
More background: In 2015-2017, SSB posted extensively regarding Tullian Tchividjian and his reported multiple relationships of sexual misconduct, serial refusal of accountability, and more. Although he’s recently been speaking out on God’s grace in suffering, he has multiple unresolved relational/organizational issues. This book contract with Fortress Press appears to give him unconditional restoration without a track record of repentance plus remediation/repair work to mitigate damages.
Don’t legitimate second chances
require a real track record of repentance first?
Apologies are just words; transformed direction requires action.
One publisher apparently did impose consequences on Tullian Tchividjian’s unresolved interpersonal and institutional issues. Spiritual Sounding Board appealed in 2017 to David C Cook, which published several bestsellers by him. Julie Anne Smith asked them to stop promoting him and his books. (Research shows that several of them were released and/or became bestsellers while he was reportedly in the midst of sexual misconduct. This chart contains a detailed visual timeline.) His titles are now gone from their sales section.
God’s grace truly does liberate. But abuse and misconduct emotionally imprison their victims. If Tullian Tchividjian’s latching onto grace the last few years is genuine, surely he can refrain from spreading that news and rebuilding any public platform until he’s acted responsibly toward specific people he harmed.
This article has been cross-posted at Spiritual Sounding Board.
Issues Involving Individuals, Institutions, Leaders,
Relational and Systems Repair Work, and Technical Research
INTRODUCTORY NOTES: Since 2007, I have done research writing on issues related to individual, institutional, and ideological elements contributing to abuse and violence. The materials I’ve developed draw from two main sources: (1) Personal experiences of participation in organizations that turned out to have malignant leaders and so were toxic, and (2) extensive experiences working with non-profit agencies, churches, and start-ups since 1973. Many of these materials linked to here are technical, some are more personal. I have been reorganizing these and many other articles into four Field Guides to improve the logical flow, and editing them for consistency and accessibility. In the meantime, here are select articles that offer some help on particular aspects of systemic abuse issues.
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This article also appears on Spiritual Sounding Board as a guest post.
Although I am known for my more recent research writings on spiritual abuse from a systemic perspective, I have also written and edited on other forms of abuse and violence since the 1980s.
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Contemporary Conservative Christianity
and Questions About Abuse
Contention over abuse and violence in Christian communities has heightened in the era of #metoo and #churchtoo. However, controversies over theology, advocacy, and actions have been with us for a very long time. Recently, comments on abuse made by Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, resurfaced and ignited a social media firestorm. Continue reading