The news is breaking that Douglas Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries has resigned. This post should not be interpreted as a desire to heap scorn upon Mr. Phillips, his family, or the things he has courageously stood for over the years. On the contrary, while the circumstances which precipitated his resignation are sad, his resignation letter is in many ways a model of public repentance. It has become common in our day for those in positions of authority to “transition” from their duties in obscure ways, without any public acknowledgment of missteps, poor judgment, or wrongdoing. But Mr. Phillips made no attempt to be evasive. He put his behavior in biblical categories, without any attempt to “spin” himself in a positive light.
I pray God’s blessings on the Phillips family in the days to come. To the rest of us, the words of I Cor. 10:12 are a fitting reminder. For those in positions of leadership, here is a weekly accountability form worth considering.
Update: Commenters here and elsewhere are raising other issues regarding Mr. Phillips (allegations of pride, legalism, lack of gospel centrality, and so on). While I don’t know Mr. Phillips, personally or professionally, and I’ve only heard of his work, I would make two further observations. One, Phillips’ moral failure does not invalidate his beliefs (though some may challenge aspects of his teaching on other grounds). Two, it’s wrong to gloat when someone else falls (see Prov. 24:17). For additional commentary, consider the wise observations of Dr. David Murray.