I was reduced to utter tears yesterday at what I thought was a new transcript of Todd Beamer’s 911 call from the rear galley of United 93.

I felt like his story was not well known.

However, I didn’t fully vet the provenance…

If you know me at all in real life, then you know I am quite anal about due diligence.

There is a special kind of irony that the only thing that I have ever had go viral was something whose veracity turned out suspect.

A number of folks helpfully pointed out later in the day yesterday that they didn’t think this was a definitive transcript and they were correct that it wasn’t definitive.

I wrestled a lot with what to do about that as there are a lot of primary sources available from the National Park Service, the 9/11 commission, interviews with 911 operator Lisa… etc. and most of what is in this editorialized version of unknown provenance is there.

Does the editorializing and/or potential for hagiography diminish this overall account?

Does the unsourced material harm any of the memory of the victims of United 93?

Do any embellishments take away from what is fully known of Beamer and other 93 heroes actions?

I frankly don’t have good answers either way to these and many other similar pro/con questions.

I also wrestled with not wanting to embarrass others who were similarly moved by this account and shared as well by deciding for them “tweet deleted by author.”

The Lord sees fit to humble us and I have earned it here by failing to fully vet my sources.

I WANTED every word to be true (and maybe they all were) but I can’t say definitively.

I also wrestled with the idea of legend and how many of our popular heroes stories get quite mashed up with all sorts of questionable plot points… (William Wallace, The Battle of Thermopylae… etc.).

It has taken me a while to really process what to do in this odd predicament.

-Todd Beamer’s story needs telling.
-The world is better with more Todd Beamers.
-Todd’s sacrifice moves us because he was clearly motivated by Jesus and his death for others

While the story needs to be told I think it is best to be told in its most accurate form.

At the end of the day, I am a minister of the Gospel and precision and accuracy on matters of history, truth, and accounts is of paramount importance to me.

As a result, I decided to delete the tweet.

I think a lot more people know that Todd and others did something really brave and selfless that saved a lot of lives in DC (probably Capital Hill).

Telling the truth with accuracy supersedes being humbled and admitting failure

The lessons here are pretty obvious in the age of misinformation:

-Check your sources twice before hitting tweet once
-Be especially careful if you find yourself WANTING something to be true
-If you’ve made a mistake try to make it right

I doubt many will actually read this, but if you are a journalist, would you consider doing the world a favor and compiling ALL known accounts of Todd’s phone conversation(s) into a definitive version?

Here’s a few places to start:

I apologize for misleading anyone and any disrespect that anyone may have taken from the victims friends and family.


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More from @msgwrites

21 Dec 20
EXPANDED THREAD on the fracturing of evangelicalism:

I keep thinking about what I’m observing as I talk to other pastors & ministry leaders around the country and I think that evangelicalism is fracturing into at least 6 distinct groups:

1/14 Image
1. Christian nationalists/neo-fundamentalists

2. Evangelicals - still committed to culture war but not with the same dynamics as # 1s

3. Post-Evangelicals - doctrinally identical to # 2s but uncomfortable w/ political implications of ‘evangelical’ label and diff in phil. of min
4. Ex-vangelicals - similar to # 3s but actively/vocally more critical of groups 1 and 2

5. Dechurched but some Jesus - similar to # 4 but tension w/ church has led them to leave institutional church and doubts rising

6. Dechurched but no Jesus - no longer a Christian

Read 14 tweets
1 Dec 20
THREAD on the recent SBC Statement on BFM and Incompatibility of CRT (you can read the full statement from the link)…
Before I go any further a few caveats:

1. I have a deep admiration and appreciation for the men who wrote this statement and firmly believe both their Gospel commitments and that they had the best intentions
2. I am not in the SBC but this statement will impact my ability to pastor and will shape the ongoing conversation

3. I am aware that brevity of such statements often hurts the ability to create the nuance and clarity that this thread is encouraging
Read 16 tweets
25 Jun 19
THREAD: On Reparations

There seem to be two main aspects to the conversation on reparations IDEOLOGY and ADMINISTRATION:
1. Is this idea just and/or Biblical?
2a. If yes to #1, who should receive them and how much?
2b. If yes to #1, who should pay for them and how much?

A good argument can be made from pure logic as @scott_m_coley has enumerated here:

There are dozens of verses in the Bible about making restitution for wrongs, here are a few exemplars:
Ex 21:3-4
Ex 22:2-15
Lev 5:4-16
Lev 6:1-6
Lev 24:17-21
Num 5:6-7
2 Sam 12:5-6
Prov 6:31
Luke 19:8-9

Read 28 tweets

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