Open Letter of Gratitude for 9Marks’ Response

Open Letter of Gratitude for 9Marks’ Response September 4, 2019

Anand and Aubrey,

I just finished reading your thoughtful and careful response. Thank you for your article. I mean that with all sincerity.

You make several fair and helpful comments. Where certain misunderstandings seem to remain, you present your thoughts with sufficient clarity that I now know better how to reply to you and others who share your concerns.

In light of your response, I plan to write a future blog series that hopefully will be constructive in addressing the issues you highlight. You’re not the only ones who have raised such questions. For example, what is the relationship between atonement, honor, and shame? Your cautious attention to detail in this post equips me to speak with greater clarity.

Credit: Public Domain

Finally, I apologize if my posts come across as a “personal assault” that question your “integrity.” That was never my intention. Before publishing my articles, I purposely removed phrases or words that I thought might come across wrong. I wanted to focus on the consequences of your words, not your motives. Although I periodically make qualifications like “the writers’ good intentions are apparent,” I see these comments were insufficient. I will continue to work on improving in this area. Thank you for your reproof.

By my estimation, a reputable ministry like 9Marks, for whom I have great respect, misrepresented advocates of honor and shame. Responding to what I considered to be overgeneralizations and subtle yet misleading remarks, it’s often best to communicate in a more direct manner, especially since your original article shows that you too do not mince words. My hope has been to limit ambiguities. In this way, readers can make judgments for themselves. After all, written exchanges are so prone to misinterpretation.

Speaking with candor has its risks. I’ve learned this all too well. Indirectness likewise poses dangers. Believers are quick to avoid any perception of conflict; however, this honorable desire too often gets in the way of dealing with substantial issues. Join me in praying for wisdom to discern when to write with the sharpness of Galatians from when to use the meekness of Paul in Philemon.

Biblical truth is at stake. Honor and shame are biblical categories. Sound exegesis is the arbiter of biblical theology. Thank you for your willingness to engage these important issues.

For the Joy of His Glory,

Jackson Wu


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