Q: Why call the blog ComingUntrue? Isn’t truth the whole point?

A: Ah, that. The phrase comes from a Jason Gray song Bernie likes called Everything Sad is Coming Untrue (lyrics here), which is in turn nicked from the following exchange near the end of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

“ ‘Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?’

‘A great Shadow has departed,’ said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count.”

Resurrection, or something quite like it. It’s a lovely literary moment. Christians look forward to events in our own world corresponding to it, when the true King returns.

I wish I could tell you that all kinds of thought went into the choice, and many hours were spent in finding and choosing exactly the right way to brand our collective efforts, but the truth is that we needed a domain name nobody else was using, and ComingUntrue.com was one of the few available. Bernie claimed it, and here we are. We’ve considered changing it over the years on and off, but in the end everything has to be called something, and we’ve gotten used to it.

Q: Why do you so frequently criticize other writers’ interpretations and intentions?

A: We try not to assume anything about other people’s intentions unless they have spelled them out. We prefer to limit our criticisms to the words on the page rather than get personal. If we violate that, feel free to call us on it.

As for interpretations, our standard is the word of God, not church traditions or current practice, no matter how large the denomination in question. We hold ourselves accountable to that standard, and are ready to change our own interpretations of scripture in the face of sufficient evidence. We are also not offended when people disagree with us online. In fact, we view it as an opportunity for growth.

There is also nothing personal about either what we critique or what we enthuse over. We do not know the authors of 95% of the material we comment on, and have no outstanding grudges to settle or agendas to push. If you read here long enough, you will also notice we applaud solid, sound exposition of scripture and credit those who engage in it on a regular basis, including authors from schools of interpretation with which we strongly disagree.

Q: Isn’t it more biblical to speak directly with a person you disagree with before criticizing their writing online?

A: Short answer, no.

Longer answer: If a personal opinion about the Bible is expressed in a private conversation, we consider it off limits even if hacking it to pieces would make world’s most entertaining blog post.

However, if you post it, you own it. The internet is a public forum, and public error gets addressed publicly. It endangers the Christian walk of plenty of third parties who mistakenly ingest it. Paul rebuked Peter “before them all” when Peter’s public actions were inconsistent with his faith. Brothers and sisters in Christ who teach publicly need to be prepared for a public response. That is both reasonable and biblical.

The same holds true for the expression of tentative opinions and “sharing” as holds true for formal teaching. Words matter. Public words matter more.

If you don’t like what you wrote online, walk it back. We’ll try to do the same.

Q: It would be more Christian to criticize a writer directly on their own blog, rather than anonymously here.

A: We have all commented at numerous other websites, and their authors occasionally comment here. In several cases we have exchanged emails. In addition, on multiple occasions our writers have submitted polite-but-critical responses to the comment sections of other Christian websites which their moderators elected not to post. We respect their right to manage the content of commentary as they see fit, and we trust they respect our choice to comment on their public content here when an alternative doesn’t exist.

Q: It seems unfair to criticize people by name since you get to remain anonymous …

A: We use the names by which writers and speakers choose to identify themselves online and we link to them wherever possible so you can read them in their own words. We believe specific, documented cases of truth and error are more useful to Christian readers than generalizations or straw men.

Q: Why ARE you anonymous anyway? I can’t find any info about who you are on the blog.

A: There was more than one reason back in 2013 when we started posting online, and not all of us had exactly the same reason. The one that remains most relevant to me today is that the corporation for which I work has an interest in remaining free from association with expressions of opinion which might tend to offend its target market. That’s a reasonable concern, and I try to respect it. Put bluntly, I like my job. I also have a moral obligation to speak the truth. This seems the best solution for now.

Further, the expression of opinions about morality contrary to the prevailing media narrative on the internet is currently under attack. Bible-based opinions are especially odious to some. A small-but-steadily-increasing percentage of such attacks get personal and negatively impact family members and other associations.

Other people in our lives are not responsible for what we write. We have no interest in putting them on the block with us, especially without their permission. We also extend the courtesy of anonymity to our readers.

That said, we are far from insulated from disagreement. In over ten years we have never spammed a genuine commenter (bots, ads and obvious trolls don’t count). As long as you keep your language reasonable, you are welcome to post your contrary opinions here on anything and everything, and do so anonymously if you wish (though we prefer you pick a pseudonym rather than post as “Anonymous” in order to avoid being confused with other anonymous posters).