It is, admittedly, fall-out-of-your-chair hilarious that Ingrid would speak negatively about a blogger deleting comments. And Tim Reed owes me a new monitor because he didn’t warn me to swallow my drink before I read his recent post.

But I have some stronger impressions about the situation than what was in that post. Ya see, Steve Camp (whose comments were deleted from Tim Challies’ blog — the focus of Ingrid’s complaint) wrote about the situation himself, and his admissions are both disturbing and revealing.

From Camp’s own analysis (emphasis his):

But here is what only a handful of bloggers knew before I posted my comment: It was a test; a set up. I had contacted some bloggers and told them ahead of time what my intentions were and it was this: I wondered if I use some of the same direct speech and inflated nomenclature that Driscoll uses, but direct it towards him, will his supporters be angry with me and thus reveal a double standard, or will they accept it as being edgy, straightforward and honest? Sure enough, my experiment worked. I was comment 47, and within minutes the Driscolletes were offended and outraged against me. My comment (as well as others) were deleted a short time later.

It was perfect; I couldn’t have scripted it any better if I wanted to.

I do apologize for anyone who took the bait (including Tim) but it had to be done. I don’t mind taking the heat to get to the truth.

It strikes me that Camp’s test was very clever. And I choose that word deliberately.

In the fall of 2006, Driscoll spoke at a conference hosted by John Piper’s church. Camp and many others were outraged that Piper was opening his pulpit to Driscoll. Of course, this was phrased in holy terms such as “concerned”, but the point was made nonetheless. In a Q&A during the conference, Piper admonished Driscoll of the danger of trying to be too clever. Camp took this and ran with it, seeing Piper’s statement as a total validation of his “concern”. Never mind that someone pointed out to Piper later that he also needs to be aware of trying to be clever in his own way (to which Piper confessed accuracy). Never mind that when Piper heard that others were taking his comment as validation of criticism of Driscoll, he said:

I would not have .001 seconds hesitation in having Mark Driscoll come back tomorrow to our church or our conference.

Nope, what Piper said was gospel. One should not try to be too clever. Unless you want to prove a point. Then all bets are off.

But there’s something much more disturbing than exceeding cleverness. Camp is on record numerous times for saying that Driscoll’s approach is sinful, unbiblical, etc. So Camp willfully, with pre-meditation, engaged in (what he very clearly defines as) sin just to “get to the truth”. It “had to be done”. (Maybe I’ll try that line with God the next time that I feel that I need to confess something.)

Oh, and it’s not “sin” when Camp does it — it’s just presenting “bait”. I hope there weren’t any little ones around.

It’s also frightening that none of his “friends” (to whom he brazenly announced his intention to sin) called him on it, either. I’d be interested to know who those people were, just so I’d know who not to seek counsel from.

So what’s the lesson to be learned here? Apparently, the ends does justify the means after all, as long as you are trying to “get to the truth”.

But, wait a minute. Isn’t the knock on Driscoll often that the ends does not justify the means, that his methods are what are important and that his goals are (at best) secondary?

I won’t use the “h” word. It’s too obvious.

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 29th, 2008 at 9:46 am and is filed under Steve Camp, What Can You Say?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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9 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris L
February 29th, 2008 at 10:20 am

“H”illary? What’s she got to do with it?

j/k – excellent article, Brendt. It’s also a warning to us to avoid the same methods we criticize…

2   Henry (Rick) Frueh
February 29th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

This is nothing more than adolescent behavior. Silly, unchristian, and something akin to giggling in high school while passing notes among ourselves.

3   Chris P.    
March 1st, 2008 at 8:51 am

“It’s also a warning to us to avoid the same methods we criticize… ”

So why don’t you?

4   Chris L
March 1st, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Silly Chris… I’m not seeing an obsession with externals and rank hypocrisy here, which is pretty much CRN (and Campi) on a daily basis…

5   Henry (Rick) Frueh
March 1st, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Chris P., you many times speak in riddles which I find hard to solve.

6   Brendt
March 1st, 2008 at 10:39 pm

As Jimmy James said, “a riddle wrapped in an enimga smothered in secret sauce”.

7   iggy
March 1st, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Chris P,

Yes I see what you mean, I mean your church and Saddleback both have huge big screens. This is a sure sign of 3 things.

1. Heresy
2. The apocalypse
3. That there is a focus on nonessential and insignificant externals by you and Ken and Ingrid and Camp and… which I am mocking here which you call hypocrisy and the rest of us call nonsense.

Oh wait that #3 would be the difference between us.


8   iggy
March 2nd, 2008 at 9:55 am


I am still a bit lost in all this as to what Camp was trying to prove… other than he can be unsurprisingly immature.

What was his point… it seems a bit lost on me… at least with others I could see it was exposing that Ingrid did not post unfavorable posts against her… here all I read is Camp told some people he was going to post something that Tim was going to delete and then complain about it.

All I can say is so what? It is Tim’s blog, so he can delete what he wants.

Mostly what I see here is someone else (along with a growing number) are getting annoyed with Steve Camp and really do not care what he has to say.


9   Henry (Rick) Frueh
March 2nd, 2008 at 10:05 am

What Camp did was deception and disingenuous. If a man will not engage in an open discussion with no hidden agendas or “gotcha’s” then do not discourse with him. I find this kind of behavior as both unbiblical and as unhelpful to one’s credibility.

If MacLaren had used a baited comment to catch someone he would have been verball hung from the nearest tree. All of us should be adult enough to engage in substantive and sometimes combative dialogue without resorting to “Inspector Gadget” tactics. Are we not all brothers, and if you believe that someone is not a believer that should all the more keep us from acting in a deceptive manner.

“Provide for things honestly in the sight of all men”. (Paul)

Let God’s Word speak for itself apart from our creative tactics.