Our Woke Leadership
Re: “I may address some other things from Mason’s book as time goes by. That all depends upon whether I am sufficiently provoked.” I miss No Quarter November. Any chance of a reprise this year?
Bill, there’s a chance.
Submission: Did the photo you posted of the Woke Church staying woke remind anyone else of this? This is what it reminded me of . . .
Dave, and this is why we are supposed to have the Internet.
Great article here on the woke folks! I am increasingly concerned about the effect of the constant accusation of racism from the left anytime people disagree with them. If you disagree it’s because you are a racist. I can’t help but think that this sowing of wind is going to turn into a whirlwind. How should we be fighting against this? What are some tactics that you have found helpful? As always very thankful for your ministry!
Jon, the basic tactic I would recommend is to not give an inch.
Re: The Sin of Being “White.” Or “Black” for that Matter. Doug, You say: “But within this woke world, they reserve to themselves the liberty of toggling back and forth between the skin color simpliciter and the whiteness as construct.” I think the best and perhaps only way to counter this tactic is to point out that differences among races consist of much more than skin color. Skin color may be one of the more observable differences, but there are also differences in bone density, facial structure, musculature, testosterone levels, brain size, and limb length, just to name a few, as well as different risk levels for certain diseases (the medical field doesn’t subscribe to the “race as a social construct” idea). And of course, as I’ve discussed previously, there are mental differences as evidenced by substantially different average IQs (even after controlling for socio-economic status and education level) as well as levels of impulsiveness. By pointing this out, you refute the Gramscian idea of race being a mere construct, as well as the Marxist narrative that blacks’ and other minorities’ poor outcomes isn’t just the result of white oppression, but is rooted at least to some extent in biological differences. Once these ideas are deconstructed, anti-whites like Mason will have nothing left to stand on.
Armin, here’s the problem with your approach, and it is not trivial. The fact that there are marked ethnic differences when it comes to IQ tests is undeniable, and is why the egalitarians have to resort to attacking the tests themselves as racist. But remember the Flynn Effect. IQ tests, being the kind of test they are, have to be re-normed over time, and if you adjust for that, the scores of average blacks today matches the scores of average whites around the time of the First World War. In other words, IQ is not baked in the genes, not hard-wired. It is the result of many factors, culture and education included. And to insist on a fixed inferiority of one ethnic group is how I understand the sin of racial vainglory, which I believe requires repentance. Simply observing facts does not require repentance. But if you are happy to acknowledge that blacks today are superior (in this regard) to a bunch of your white ancestors, then you are not far from the kingdom.
It seems that some of our dispensationalist brethren (like John MacArthur and Phil Johnson and those behind the excellent Statement on Social Justice) may have an advantage over those of us who embrace a more transformationalist view of cultural engagement while rejecting Woke Evangelicalism. This question may be too big for the “letters” section, but how do we guard against apostate wokeness while still affirming a robust transformational (dare I say postmillennial) view? Pastor MacArthur has been right on “social justice,: but often wrong on engagement, veering somewhere near pietism. Thanks,
John, you are right. Too big for a letters section, but I do need to address it sometime soon.
Truth is truth regardless of who or what utters it. Anyway, how come I instinctively cringe at words like “flourish” and “woke?” Am I just an ignorant 50 some year old white guy? Wait, I’m not sure I want you to answer that.
Ron, we don’t know why you cringe. But it is probably the same reason we do. Cringeworthy expressions are not conducive to human flourishing.
Regarding the woke foreword, I agree with you. People who are “woke” have a perverted imitation of a spiritual awakening. However, I really think you are damaging the cause when you turn to the 10 commandments to try to show that slavery is not condemned in the Bible. God also commanded his people to destroy entire people groups. However, that was the O.T. Now we are under the law of grace and there is no longer any commands to kill and enslave wicked people groups. Instead, we spread the Gospel to them. And I think a more apt verse to apply to chattel slavery would be Exodus 21:16.
Cheryl, my point is never to highlight slavery in the Bible as a positive creational good, like food, air, or sunshine. It is always a function of sin, and slavery was an institution attended with many sins. The issue for me is how the Bible teaches us to address, ameliorate, and eliminate such things. We must, when we inherit ungodly institutions, deal with them as Scripture requires.
I’ve surmised that you often use the term “paleo-Confederate” to describe your politics. I’d like to know more about what you mean by that. Perhaps you mean to identify with the pre-1789 system of national government under the Articles of Confederation, but the capital “C” in “Confederate” seems more like an allusion to the Southern Confederacy/Confederate States of America. As you know, words like “Confederate” have lots of connotative historical and ideological baggage. I’m interested in knowing which items from the Confederate cafeteria you want on your plate and which you’re content to allow the lunch ladies to consign to the dumpster. I’m familiar with your opinions on the American Civil War and the notion of chattel slavery being wicked, but less repugnant than 620,000+ men killed in four years of war and the subsequent legacy of expansive federal power and soured race relations. While I’m certain you wouldn’t have been Amen-ing the kind of overtly racist rhetoric like that found in Alexander Stephens’ 1861 Cornerstone Speech, I’m curious as to how much common ideological ground you claim to have with the ante bellum Southern worldview. Is it just that you hold to the Compact Theory of constitutional federalism? Do you harbor a Jacksonian contempt for commercial banking, industrial market capitalism, and national infrastructure? Are you the Joel Chandler Harris/Margaret Mitchell type that reminisces about cotton-fields, magnolias, and wisteria and laments the destruction of Cavalier plantation culture at the hands of the Yankees and the Carpetbaggers? Or are you, like myself, just a classical liberal who enjoys reading Faulkner, Foote, and the Abbeville Review of Books? How would you distinguish yourself from “Neo-Confederates” like the League of the South guys? It’s just curious to me that you’d use such a loaded and controversial label to describe your views. I’d appreciate clarification. In Christ,
Joe, the basic thing I mean by it is that I hold that the South was correct on the issue of secession. Related to that, before the War, the Bill of Rights restricted the reach of the federal government, and the states were the guardians. Now the Bill of Rights is applied to the states, with the Supreme Court as guardian. That is my basic issue, although some of the other things you mention do have some resonance as well. The second basic thing is that I will not let the forces of totalitolerance define for me which words are appropriate for me to use.
I read your blog for tidbits like this, “It is getting to the point where they are scratching their watches and winding their rear ends.”
Chad, thanks. Not original with me. Kind of a Southern proverb, I think.
I am a huge fan of your material, and enjoy a steady diet of it. Thank you for your courage and service. Your writing has been a monumental blessing to my household, along with countless others, I am sure. That said, I want to thank you especially for the “Jesus was a Davidson” quote you shared from Mere Fundamentalism. You wouldn’t believe how much mileage I’ve gotten out of that already! I had intended to buy that book anyway, but now I kinda have to. (And yes, I know what you really meant.) Keep up the good work. Sincerely,
John, just remember what happened to the lion in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I mean the one who ran around all excited because Aslan had said, “us lions.”
I enjoyed the Plodcast about jury nullification last week. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I inferred that you look favorably upon jury nullification.
Jury nullification is bad, bad, bad. It pushes us away from being a nation of laws and towards a results-oriented worldview. We rightly complain when unelected appellate judges overturn laws because of something they found under a penumbra somewhere. So we must also gripe when unelected jurors ignore a law because they don’t like the results. At least the judges have to pretend that the Constitution prohibits laws they find distasteful.
I don’t blame advocates of jury nullification for pointing to awful cases—I know they’re out there. But if a case is truly heinous, our issue should be with the law that’s written and with the legislature that has let it survive. We can’t blame the executive branch or judicial branch for staying in their lanes by respectively enforcing and interpreting the law. (And, no, you don’t interpret a law by ignoring it completely.)
I see a troubling trajectory where conservatives are beginning to see courts the same way the left does: as a mere tool to bypass legislative process. While I support constitutional litigation when done in good faith, we can’t act as the liberals do and start asking how we can sue our way out of a law that’s ugly but procedurally clean. Otherwise, we’ll need to add a new line to the Schoolhouse Rock song. “And once the Governor signs a bill, it becomes a law, as long as a randomly selected jury agrees with it on a case-by-case basis!” It kinda has a ring to it.
As tempting as jury nullification is, and as fun as it must have been to annoy the Redcoats, jury nullification is an appetizer for revolution, not reform.
John, you are right that I support jury nullification. But I would draw a distinction between not liking the outcome of a trial and not approving of the law itself. And given the right of a jury to simply not convict, it would seem to me that this is a built-in feature, and not a bug. And it is a feature that goes back centuries—not a result of recent developments in the conservative world. Also, remember that we are talking about the unanimous consensus of twelve strangers—I am not talking about a hung jury here, but about a not guilty.
In regards to “Lig Duncan, Woke Forewords, and the Dikai-Word Group”: My very nice American Christian heart wants to give Duncan the benefit of the doubt and think he can’t possibly support this. Duncan is no doubt excited about the street cred he gets from this. My question is doesn’t this put him at odds with the PCA who rejected the NPP?
Grant, you would think so. But it is becoming apparent to me that all of this has very little to do with consistency or logic.
On Advice for Donors
Donors, Dollars, and Decisions Great parameters for wise giving. I share your conviction about the tithe. Namely, that it belongs to the Lord, is to be given to the local church, and that tithe means ten percent of one’s increase. I was curious to know your philosophy of enforcing the tithe amongst a local congregation. If our interpretation is correct on this matter, then technically it is thievery and a lack of faith to withhold it from the body. I don’t think excommunication (not recognizing them as Christians or withholding general fellowship) would be called for against those who honestly arrived at a different interpretation and application of Scripture on this matter because they would be bound by conscience. But in this day and age where so many congregations are so unpruned, would it be an unbiblical approach for the elders to tighten up on this issue in the lives of their people and make tithing a requirement for formal membership in that local church? Would it be out of bounds to hold this standard amidst the congregation and encourage the free-loading brothers to move on and “do church” elsewhere? In this scenario, let’s assume this is being done with the purest of motives by elders trying to preserve the testimony of the church and achieve the agenda outlined in Deuteronomy 4:6 – “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” And if there were any reservations about the negative impressions this might give, how about a scenario where this was being enforced by truly qualified elders that were in agreement, independently-wealthy or make their own way, and never have or ever will take a dime from the storehouse of contributions?
Rope, I still wouldn’t recommend it. We have to remember two things. First, there is a built-in conflict of interest if the recipients of the tithe are the enforcers of the tithe. And secondly, in the Old Testament, it appears to me that God was the one who enforced the tithe. There isn’t any civil penalty in the OT for the non-tithers.
Paedobaptism Won’t Go Away
In regards to your response to Steve: Christ in the heart vs. Christ on the cross is a false dichotomy. First of all, Jesus is not on the cross anymore. He is in Heaven. Baptism is about allegiance to the living God, not an historical doctrine. I’m not splitting hairs; being born again is about belief in the risen Christ. Yes, declaring the creed is necessary to knowing we’re talking about the right Jesus. But the creed is not Jesus. And yes, the Spirit of Jesus is in the heart of the baptizand because the Spirit is who testifies of Jesus (John 4:2-3, Acts 5:32, 1 Cor. 12:3) and out of the heart the mouth speaks. Like Jesus’ baptism, it is about the one in Heaven and the dove on your shoulder. That is not a contradiction. That is Christian baptism. Belief in the Son of God whose Spirit is in our hearts (Gal. 4:6). Babies do not have this testimony. They are not yet sons of God.
Steve, when Paul preached to the Galatians, he preached Christ as crucified in their very midst. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” (Gal. 3:1). And as for your “they are not yet sons of God,” I would only add, “except for the ones that are.”
Do you think personality typing is a legitimate way to understand people? I’ve been finding insights into understanding others and myself. I’ve also been trying to figure out what personality type you are from your debate with Christopher Hitchens. My suspicion is that you’re an ENTP. Am I correct? Thanks as always for your insights,
Josh, I am not a big fan of leaning too much on personality tests.
“When sin gets out to the utter frozen limit, it leans and reaches out for the right to define and redefine anything and everything. Sin wants to ascend the sides of the north, in order to sit down on the throne from which all definitions are issued. Boys are girls. Girls are boys . . .” We need to remind ourselves that they are the moral equivalent of Sexual Flat-Earthers. The problem is one of blindness and stubbornness, not one of facts and who has science on their side.
Zack, yes. The problem is a moral one, not an intellectual one.
Doug, I love reading your blog and would love to hear your thoughts on the attempt by Bart Barber, a Texas pastor and trustee at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, to revoke Mark Aderholt’s degree. Here is a link to Bart’s proposal along with the reasoning behind this attempt (http://praisegodbarebones.blogspot.com/2019/03/i-found-something-i-could-do.html). I engaged with him on Twitter (@mkennedyjr) about the absurdity of moving forward prior to a conviction and without a proper investigation done by SWBTS. The trustees are meeting this week and allowing Mrs. Miller to address them even though Mr. Aderholt has not been given that opportunity. The IMB report has not been released in full at this point (though law enforcement officials do have it). The background is a lot to catch up on but I feel like the cart is before the horse right now. Am I off base?
Michael, no, you are not off base. The idea of consequences first, trial afterwards is an appalling one. And if he is found to be guilty, then follow all the appropriate processes.