If you missed it, Dr. James Dobson had Wayne Grudem on his "Focus on the Family" program for two days (here and here for mp3s of the two shows) blasting the TNIV as inaccurate and capitulating to culture.
This is why I no longer like James Dobson. He is certainly entitled to his opinion (I disagree with the Left when they belittle him as not having any sound political opinions) . But he has become so powerful in the Christian media world that he needs to be wise with such power.
How could he, in good conscience, bring Wayne Grudem on for a two day diatribe on the TNIV when he knows that there are good Christian scholars and Christian leaders who back the TNIV? Stan Gundry, Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Zondervan, has responded to James Dobson's latest attack on the TNIV Bible (hat tip to Scot McKnight). I think Gundry makes a great point: Dobson, by virtue of his large listenership, should have presented both sides of the story.
But, in Dobson form, once he has formed an opinion, he determines that all of evangelicalism must conform to it. All other opinions must be squashed. My eyes were opened to this back in April 2002. In the same issue of Christianity Today, the editorials featured two seemingly unrelated issues: (1) "Why the TNIV Draws Ire", and (2) "Enough Bullying" about the ousting of National Religious Broadcasters President Wayne Pederson for suggesting that Christian media should be less identified as the “Religious Right.”
Both editorials mentioned “bullying”–and for anyone familiar with either story, it was clear who the primary bully was: James Dobson.
When a Christian leader takes advantage of his power to become a “bully,” I say its time to face that bully and pull him down.
I’m sorry for Wayne Grudem. (Full disclosure: Dr. Grudem was one of my favorite professors in seminary). He is obviously not media-saavy enough to know that he was a pawn in the hand of a bully. Wayne was given an opportunity to present his side of the argument through a large media avenue (who would not jump on that?). But in doing so, he was used by Dobson to present only Dobson’s side…and the listening audience of Focus on the Family had no real indication that there is a legitimate other side.
That’s bullying again.