Thabiti Tuesday

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Thanksgiving

First, thanks to all of you who have overwhelmed us with your well-wishes, thoughts and prayers. You have done that here, on Messenger, via text, and email. A number of you have probably done it on social media platforms I have never heard of, and where I have therefore stored up countless unread messages. Many thanks to all of you. secularists like to sneer at the impotence of “thoughts and prayers,” but we know better. I thank God and I thank you.


Thabiti and Thanks

I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on Thabiti’s recent posts, as well as the greater cultural themes at stake here. I appreciated your honesty and clarity, your gospel-centricity, as well as your pastoral care for your readers and for Thabiti. I was greatly encouraged. Thank you,

Jonathan

Jonathan, thank you. I like Thabiti a lot, but I think he is on a dangerous path. There will be more to come.


Re: “Dear Thabiti” Thank you for this, Doug. Writings like this have blessed me in how I can better respond with more grace and tenderness.

Trey

Trey, thanks.


Very good. I would add that the spotlight hasn’t spontaneously landed on racial injustice. It is a specter being conjured. The anger and bitterness of people of color, as well as the false “guilt” of white people are being stoked and manipulated by “progressives” (statists) to manage and control. Here is their game plan: https://medium.com/s/state-of-the-future/the-great-lesson-of-california-in-americas-new-civil-war-e52e2861f30 (4 part article). Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc (I myself am two of those three categories, by the way) must either acknowledge this reality or else be used as pawns by players who could care less about them or the injustices of the past or present. All the talk of collective, corporate guilt aside, a white neighbor of mine is no more at fault for the institution of slavery than an Hispanic neighbor would be for a gang killing in LA. Nor am I a victim or perpetrator of any Native American massacres (by either side) just because I have Native American ancestry. We forgive, and pray, knowing that is where the real power lies for things to change. We cannot compel repentance but God can. We move on and thank God we live in a country where there is the social justice of hard workers being able to keep a large percentage of their earnings.

Ginny

Ginny, thank you. The new commandment is not a new commandment. Love one another.


I think it is good to be reminded at times of the terrible injustice done to people of African descent in the US. I have been reading sections of Dr Joel McDurman’s excellent book The Problem of Slavery in Christian America where he specifically looks at the church’s failure on this issue. In the section “Chattel” and Equal Protection of the Law?…, it shows the evolution of American law to further permanently enslave black Americans. How slaves went from some protection under the law as being human into being recategorized as livestock (so the children born of slaves and white men could not sue their fathers). How the the murder (called capital punishment) of slaves became easier over time for any infraction (of course they were not allowed to testify on their own behalf), and “the irrefutable record of rampant sexual sin committed against black female slaves.” All the while prominent pastors wrote and preached in favor of these laws. It’ shocking. At the same time as reading this, I saw something on television about an older white woman who had a Confederate flag hanging proudly in her front yard despite her black neighbors many protests. Then the woman had a heart attack and became convicted about that flag, took it down, and became friends with her black neighbors. I had always seen it as a heritage issue for white southerners (I’m from straight Yankee stock), but after reading some of Joel’s book, I finally understood why the Confederate flag is so hated by black Americans. I think the reason that Tabati writes about these issues is not that he wants to continually rake us over the coals of the past, but he wants us to see how the past colors what we do and believe today. PS – When are you going to review Joel’s book Pastor Wilson?

Valerie

Valerie, no current plans to review the book. Sorry!


In Thabiti’s response to James White, he cites Revelation 7 as an example of the virtues of diversity, “Heaven will forever praise God not only for His redemptive work in the people groups of the world, it will in that way acknowledge human diversity for all eternity.” His stress on acknowledging human diversity is not uncommon but I believe it totally misses the point. Yes, heaven will be diverse for all of eternity, but so will hell. There are people saved from every tribe, and people damned from every tribe. The diversity of heaven, as far as I can tell, is not about affirming us, or our concept of diversity. Rather it displays the character of God, that he is impartial (Rom. 2.11) in both salvation and in judgment. We have elevated the idea of diversity as being, within itself, morally right. I think it here we have bought into ungodly thinking. Diversity is not morally righteous or unrighteous, rather it is morally neutral. I can go to any number of clubs downtown this weekend which will be very diverse, but that does not make it a good place. In fact, such clubs are places of high rebellion against God. In the same way, hell is a very diverse place with people from every tribe, nation, and tongue. Its diversity is neither good nor bad, it just is. Like heaven’s diversity, it shows us God’s character, his impartiality in judging. I believe this one of the major problems we evangelicals are having, we have elevated diversity to one of the highest virtues to achieve, so we twist and distort texts to fit that narrative. The scenes of glory in Revelation are not about us, they are about God. Yes, heaven is a diverse place, but so is hell. Diversity doesn’t make something right, or wrong. What we are to see in this diversity is the beauty of God’s holiness and impartiality in both salvation and judgment. He always judges rightly, not by some forced quota of diversity. To make much of our diversity in the presence of God is to set up an idol in the very throne room of the Most High which must be appeased. That is truly a dangerous game to play. I am greatly concerned by much of what is being discussed by our evangelical leaders. Am I off track in my thinking? I would appreciate your thoughts.

Levi

Levi, I don’t think you are off track at all. Heaven will be a gloriously diverse place, while Hell will be a morass of intersectionality.


This and That

Mr. Wilson, I really enjoyed “Reforming Marriage” and thank you for writing it. I love the illustration on the front cover — a nod to the exhaustion that comes from marriage, work, and family. Please tell me who the artist is so I can get a copy framed for my kitchen. Thanks

Josh

Josh, sorry. It was many years ago, and I don’t recall who the artist was. I am currently in the SLC airport and not in a position to look it up.


On the subject of Tuesdays, would it be possible to keep the comments section on the letters post open a bit longer, maybe through Friday? Sometimes it seems like the conversation is just getting past the noise and getting rolling, and I check back, and it’s closed. I concede that you might have excellent reasons for doing it after only a couple of days, however.

Jane

Jane, no, no good reason. I would be happy to do that just as soon as I figure out how.


Love Your Creditors

Re: Loving Your Creditors Doug, quit being convicting. I’m crawling under my desk just reading this … No, in all seriousness, unless we attend to the practical consequences of our faith, we don’t have much of a faith. Very valid point.

Tom

Tom, yes. And particularly practical consequences when it pinches.


Microagression: The Musical

Term “Microagression” in song at MLK50 conference. I found this on James White’s AOMIN broadcast. He quotes the song verbatim at the beginning of his show. Very sad. http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2018/04/04/micro-aggression-worship-songs-tweets-from-the-mlk50-conference-ehrman-on-the-gospel-writers-open-phones/

Seth

Seth, thanks for the link


A Little Reformational Zen

You wrote: “Those under authority owe certain things to their liege-lord, and the one in authority has the right to require it of them. But all the persons involved in this are equally bound in an organic, constitutional way. No one person is absolute — (How to Exasperate your Wife, p. 16) and… The most important word in the marriage vows is ‘obey’” —How to Exasperate your Wife, p. 95) If both those statements are true, then the husband has the right to require obedience from his wife. But you also wrote in your 21 Thesis on Submission in Marriage: “The Bible does not teach husbands to enforce the requirement that was given to their wives. Since true submission is a matter of the heart, rendered by grace through faith, a husband does not have the capacity to make this happen.” If that’s true, then a husband has the right to require obedience from his wife, but zero authority with which to enforce that requirement. But you also wrote in Chapter 2 of Reforming Marriage that a husband is like a ship’s captain, and is therefore responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in his home, just as a ship’s captain is responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen on his ship. But a ship’s captain has BOTH the responsibility to lead his subordinates, AND the authority to enforce the rules when his subordinates refuse to follow the rules. But you wrote that a husband has no such authority over his wife. But you also wrote in How to Exasperate Your Wife that: “In a certain sense, a husband (as the head of his wife) is an honored and permanent guest, but he should learn to see himself as a guest. He wipes his feet at the door, he eats what is served to him, and he seeks to conform to the pattern established by her as she in her turn seeks to honor him.” A guest — honored or not — has zero responsibility OR authority over the home in which he’s a guest. Have you ever tried telling a ship’s captain — or any other military commander — that he’s a guest in the unit he commands? Can you see why this is confusing when you put it all together? So, which is it? Is a husband… A) A ship’s captain, with BOTH the responsibility to lead his wife, AND the authority to enforce the rules when she refuses to follow? Or is a husband…. B) A figurehead, with the responsibility to lead his wife by example, but zero authority to enforce the rules when she refuses to follow? Or is a husband…. C) A guest in his own home, with zero responsibility AND zero authority over anything that happens in the home? These are mutually exclusive categories. So, which is it?

Oscar

Oscar, a husband has both the responsibility and authority to lead his wife. If he understands his wife, as Peter requires, and treats her like a joint heir, then his prayers will not be hindered. Christian husbands are not to act like neutered beta-males, but neither may they act like a Muslim bossy pants. That is what I am after in my layered metaphors. Real love, true authority, genuine delegation, mutual respect for our divinely-assigned roles, and cheerful obedience.

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Jane
Member

Cover art on “Reforming Marriage” is “The Sleeping Couple,” by Jan Steen, 1658.

kyriosity
Member

Is it noted on the copyright page? I was going to check my copy, but it’s on the far side of the Room of Reclutterment. ????

Jane
Member

Yes. I took me a while to find it — my bookshelves are not as organized as they ought to be. But once I found it, there it was!

kyriosity
Member

I never got beyond jotting some mental notes for a letter on the latest Anyabwile-Wilson exchange, but here’s what I wanted to write: I objected to TA’s first post on the grounds of the 5th and 9th commandments. Although my father was an unrepentant racist (and an unrepentant lots of other things), charging him with complicity in a particular heinous crime seemed a step too far. But in your first response, you noted that “generational and cultural complicity in murder [is] a very real biblical reality.” The Pharisees, for instance, were generationally complicit in the murder of the prophets. And… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

Don’t bother racking your brain about that. Thabiti has no interest in providing a logically coherent argument to back up his assertions. This isn’t a good faith discussion. It is about taking white people down a notch. Perhaps you as a woman have a hard time understanding that, as tribal conflict is more the man’s realm, but believe me. To (sort of) answer your question though, the Pharisees were corporately guilty because they were of the same spirit as the people who killed the prophets, all while hypocritically claiming to honor them. They didn’t do the actual deed, but given… Read more »

kyriosity
Member

First, my question was addressed to Pastor Wilson, not to Pastor Anyabwile. Second, I see no need to impute bad motives to TA. Third, thank you for taking a stab at an answer.

OKRickety
Member

kyriosity,

I don’t doubt that your question was intended for “Pastor Wilson” but it was only “addressed” to him implicitly, so I think it’s understandable that someone might not realize that. In this case, “someone” includes me. Knowing that confusion can arise, I try to include a name when I respond to comments, believing that this improves communication.

John
Member

Kyriosity – I’m not sure how often you read TGC and it certainly has evolved towards a SJW path especially in the last year. Allow me to gently disagree with you regarding TA’s motives. When Michael Brown was killed he immediately pulled the race card on Officer Wilson. At that time TGC allowed you to comment on articles without having to go to their FB page. I suggested TA wait until all the facts were in before he called Wilson a racist. He had me banned from commenting. Several months later I applied to TGC for reinstatement and the request… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Good post, John. That kind of behavior is very disturbing and I’ve seen it, too. Of course you’ll probably get called a racist just for bringing it up or confronting someone about it.

John
Member

Yes, that happened too. I remember having this conversation with “40 acres” who might have left before you were here. But what is a white person? My kids are 25% Mexican. One of them looks 100% Mexican and the other look like he is from Norway. Do I have to repent of my sins against black people proportional to the amount of melanin in my skin?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Fraid so, John. I am so pale that after 30 plus years in Southern California, I don’t have so much as one freckle so my burden of guilt is heavy. Furthermore, i trade on it shamelessly by accepting seats on buses from courteous minority group members who think I am about to faint.

Micael Gustavsson
Guest
Micael Gustavsson

Your stab at Kyriositys lack of understanding due to her being a woman was totally uncalled for.

Armin
Guest
Armin

Women are not as good at understanding tribal conflict and competition. They are more nurturing, cooperative, and relational by nature. This is why I think women shouldn’t vote.

Most normal women recoil at the idea of being a political dissident or some other kind of nonconformist. It’s not in their nature, therefore it is hard for me to expect her to understand my perspective. Thabiti and other anti-whites are engaged in what is clearly some pretty ugly tribalism. I’d spare her from having to think about it too much.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Armin, that is very chivalrous of you. I would be concerned, however, that a woman whose peace of mind could not withstand exposure to Thabiti’s essays might be too emotionally fragile to leave the house. If his musings–which, after all, are not an open call for armed insurrection–might distress her with their brutality, what would happen if she ever saw a headline from the New York Times? Do you think it might be safer simply to insist that she never learn to read? After all, you can tell her anything she might need to know, although illiteracy might be an… Read more »

lndighost
Member

Kyriosity, I think you raise some good questions and I hope you’ve recovered from that miserable counselling experience. To expand on Armin’s second paragraph, it seems to me that the New Testament in particular often speaks of ancestry according to spirit rather than flesh. So we have Jesus telling the Pharisees in John 8 that their works (not their genetics) show them to be children of the devil and not of Abraham. And Paul says in Romans 9 that not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. The OT also gloriously deals with generational guilt in Ezekiel 18. The… Read more »

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

I think it’s clear you’re asking Wilson. I just like hearing myself type…

But surely the reason the Pharisees are complicit in their fathers’ murders is that they were murderers too – of Christ. It’s not like Nicodemus was complicit in any meaningful sense.

mys
Guest
mys

Thabiti is on more than a dangerous path, and he’s been heading there for a while. Look, I’ve offended white friends of mine with my own thoughts and I will feel free to do the same here. It goes like this: Most of the time, once a person starts focusing too hard on the “race issue” they will start to flee the true faith. Now, I’m not some high-IQ supergenious. Non-sarcastically, and seriously with admiration, I can say that Doug is an intelligent man in many respects, and so are some of the people who comment here. I’m going by… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

What we have to understand is that blacks are never going to shut up about race because fundamentally this isn’t about fairness and equity, but rather, blacks pursuing their own tribal interests. There is not a shred of evidence that appealing to double standards or Christian unity will stop blacks even within the Christian world from pushing the white guilt button. They do it because it works. Problem is, the longer whites go without putting blacks in their place, the worse the push back (or “white lash”) will be. I say we take the bitter pill now rather than letting… Read more »

mys
Guest
mys

Not sure even how far I would go on “putting blacks in their place”
But the larger point you make is correct. Thabiti is going tribal, for his own people. The fear of all minorities is that whites will do the same, hence the Trump hostility.

Armin
Guest
Armin

“Putting blacks in their place” is quite literally the only way to bring about the reconciliation everyone seems so desperate for. They have to be made to understand that the reason they feel so marginalized and uncomfortable in America is because America by and large is a bad fit for them. The traits which enable one to do well in a white western European country are not evenly distributed among the races, and unfortunately for blacks, they simply come up short in these areas. Not only that, blacks tend more than any other race to overestimate their own abilities. Blacks… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

What a marvelous idea for ending both the gender wars and racial disharmony in one fell swoop. Just good-humoredly treat blacks and women as the subnormals they are. Does someone who happens to be both black and female get a double dose of this kind of thing? “Condi Rice? Well, aren’t you just the cutest little thing. Why don’t you go out to the kitchen and cook us some grits?” I am skeptical about some of the science behind the so-called IQ gap. But accepting it for the sake of argument, I would point out that there are a couple… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

I’ve barely even addressed the intelligence disparities, even though that is a very real and relevant issue. I’m talking about something even deeper than that. Compatibility has to do with a lot more than just differences in mean intelligence. Blacks simply do not think the same way that white people do. They prefer different types of political and economic systems as evidenced by their voting patterns. They have a higher time preference. They’re more impulsive and violent. Blacks are not compatible with Western society because they didn’t conceptualize or build it and never could have; it is just not for… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi Armin, that was written in a spirit of charity and I will try to respond in kind. I don’t question your sincerity or your intelligence (may I say that I think you write very well). But you and I are gazing at each other across a great divide. What you see as real, I see as conspiracy theories on steroids. What I see as real, you see as naivete or worse. When people talk as you do about “the elites,” I have a sinking feeling that they don’t mean rich WASPS whose kids get legacy admissions to Harvard. Too… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Guest
Micael Gustavsson

Well written, Jill! Reading your comments is one of the great joys of coming here.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thank you!

OKRickety
Member

Jill said: “… my experience is that shared academic interests tend to mitigate ethnic differences.

I think all shared interests mitigate all kinds of differences. In the case of Christians, that mitigation should be far greater than in the general population.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It ought to be, and it should also be a warning against going all self-righteous. Which I have enough of a sense of humor to recognize as a personal temptation! Sometimes only after the fact, of course.

Armin
Guest
Armin

We don’t have to go into this now, but the Jewish question you brought up is an important one. I haven’t done a whole lot of research into the issue (partly because I’m afraid of what I might find out!), but we can pick up that topic on a later thread if you feel it is important.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Armin, I don’t have a sense of shadowy and highly organized elites (of any ethnic makeup) conspiring against me. On the other hand, I think I have a healthy appreciation for every human’s capacity to commit evil deeds even, and perhaps especially, in obedience to some vision of the greater good. It doesn’t surprise me that the rich and powerful are subject to the same temptations as the rest of us, and often get rewarded for behavior that would send you or me to prison. That being said, I also think that major corporations are more concerned with ethical behavior… Read more »

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

You could refute his comments point by point instead of closing comments. Better to have your iron sharpened in blog comments rather than have silly statements make it, unchallenged, into a book.

Justin Parris
Member

There isn’t much to refute, as his thesis depends on a large number of generalizations about statistics for which he provides no evidence. I would apply Hitchens’ razor. He didn’t actually make a case that black people are incapable of succeeding in the western hemisphere. He just asserted it as true and moved on. An argument created with nothing can be dismissed with nothing. That kind of interaction isn’t going to “sharpen Doug’s iron”.

mys
Guest
mys

“He didn’t actually make a case that black people are incapable of succeeding in the western hemisphere. He just asserted it as true and moved on.”
By the same token, Armin also never asserted that there were no righteous black people. Doug just asserted that he did, and moved on.

Armin
Guest
Armin

When did I suggest that I believe there aren’t righteous black men and unrighteous white men? For all I know, blacks are more righteous than whites on average. But that’s irrelevant. I’m talking about cultural compatibility, not righteousness. Their poor outcomes are a vicious combination of their own genetic predispositions and white acquiescence.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Next he will tell us that blacks are like houseguests who should be kindly told to move out. Why do these people all have the same talking points? Do they get a daily bulletin from David Duke?

Armin
Guest
Armin

Jill, your snarky tone and lack of interest in seriously addressing my points is only proving my point about how women shouldn’t get involved in these discussions.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Armin, I recognize that a proven ability to sustain a high level of snark across a couple of paragraphs must pose a difficulty for you. Either there are women who have a certain level of unsuspected mental acuity, or the existence of such acuity makes them unfit for serious conversation. You have established your categories so that genuine discussion with women is impossible; a woman by definition is either too bright or too dumb. Dumb is dull, but bright presents the intolerable risk that she might treat your opinions with derision. I understand why you choose not to engage. I… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

Jill, I thought you were a more considerate person than that. You didn’t even ask if he had insurance before you sent him to the burn ward.

Justin Parris
Member

“By the same token, Armin also never asserted that there were no righteous black people. Doug just asserted that he did, and moved on.” He didn’t assert that. Doug said Armin should process it more fully. If anything, it suggests that Armin does in fact know this. Even if you weren’t misquoting him though, this is precisely in keeping with with what I was saying. Armin didn’t making any concrete point, so to respond, Doug doesn’t need to either. “When did I suggest that I believe there aren’t righteous black men and unrighteous white men?” Nobody suggested you did. The… Read more »

Barnie
Guest
Barnie

I wonder why the Reverend Anyabwile chose to move to Washington, DC?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’ll bite. Perhaps he has a passion for the Smithsonian. Or wants to convert Clarence Thomas back to Protestantism. Or likes to picnic in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. Or is secretly planning a run for public office. Or–most sinisterly–he received encrypted instructions from his handlers in the Mossad.

JP Stewart
Member

“Clarence, I really want to see you convert to Protestantism and change your name to Rashid Muhammad.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

JP, you made me laugh out loud and startle the cats.

Jane
Member

Maybe he got called to a church there. No, wait, he DID get called to a church there.

Fredericka
Guest

Who could imagine that Douglas Wilson is embarrassed by the people who flock to his standard? Shouldn’t that be just the other way around?

JP Stewart
Member

In the last “commentable” post, The Commenter Formerly Known As fp mentioned this article: http://buchanan.org/blog/black-americas-real-problem-isnt-white-racism-5710 Here’s an excerpt: “An analysis of ‘single offender victimization figures’ from the FBI for 2007 finds blacks committed 433,934 crimes against whites, eight times the 55,685 whites committed against blacks. Interracial rape is almost exclusively black on white — with 14,000 assaults on white women by African Americans in 2007. Not one case of a white sexual assault on a black female was found in the FBI study.” I certainly know white families who have been victims of black-on-white crime, from burglary to murder to… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

That’s a good point, JP.

I’ll go one further and match Anyabwile/Burns for specifics: If Mr. Anyabwile/Burns wants to demand whites repent of their complicity in the assassination of MLK, then whites should demand repentance of blacks’ complicity in the horrific rape, torture, and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

If that’s the game Anyabwile/Burns wants to play, then he should be made to play by the rules he created.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I was 17 when MLK was assassinated. My recollection is that most white people were horrified. If he can point to specific people who threw celebration parties or who ordered the killing, he should definitely call on them to repent. As people have pointed out, this kind of recrimination never ends. Canada has bent over backwards apologizing to its indigenous people for forcing their children to live in residential schools where many were underfed and sexually abused. That was a genuine atrocity although it was done with good intentions, and it was right that actual victims be compensated. But, decades… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

What do the indigenous people (well, at least that’s better than “native american”) receive for the abuses of their ancestors? As long as it is something, of course the recrimination never ends. If recrimination pays, why would they give it up?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

John, First Nations people have been given compensation for land treaty violations, and I think it is a rare Canadian who objects to that. Unfortunately, the money often does not end up in the hands of the poorest members of the group, as I saw for myself when teaching in a northern community. In addition, the Canadian government established a $2 billion fund in 2006 to compensate the 86,000 survivors of the Indian Residential Schools. Indigenous peoples are entitled to health benefits not ordinarily covered by Canada’s health system, such as dentistry, and those living on the reserves do not… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

The Canadian social welfare system hasn’t eliminated hardship and suffering?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Well, not yet anyway. But other than indigenous peoples, there does not appear to be a permanent, entrenched underclass. Interestingly, there is almost no achievement gap between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and test scores have sometimes approached those of the Asian educational superpowers. Canadians will tell you that this is the superiority of the public school system. It is considered impolite to refer to Canada’s notoriously selective immigration standards. If I had not been born there, I would not qualify for entry.

OKRickety
Member

Jill said: “As people have pointed out, this kind of recrimination never ends.

It’s typical human nature. Why would you stop if you always get what you want when you ask, complain, strike, etc.? When the response seems inadequate, why not ask for more?

JP Stewart
Member

Ginny’s comment is spot-on. As for McDurman’s book, I haven’t read it, but am familiar with some of the content and the way he argues–which is the public school/Hollywood narrative when it suits his purpose. For example, he completely dismisses the WPA slave narratives

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

At some point, people like Thabiti Anyabwile (Ron Burns) need to realize that America has done quite a bit to atone for past sins. Anyabwile/Burns should remember that: Hundreds of thousands of white people died in the Civil War so that blacks could gain their freedom. After the end of slavery, institutionalized racism against black people has been eradicated (redlining, Jim Crow, etc.) Many American cities have a street named after Martin Luther King, Jr. We have a holiday commemorating MLK. By contrast, George Washington, the father of our country and of arguably better moral character than MLK, does not… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Great points, fp. The problem is no one wants to discuss these things at TGC, MLK conferences, PCA general assemblies where the denomination confesses sins that happened…well, long before they were a denomination, etc. And if you think Burns is over-the-top, the Kyle Howards of the next generation are more aggressive and demanding. Howard believes MLK’s faith and conversion (despite his adultery and heretical views) was on firmer ground than Jonathan Edwards’.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think it is a lot easier to repent for historical sins you had nothing to do with than to repent for your own wrongdoing. Genuine repentance for your own sins is hard. It’s embarrassing and it makes you feel ashamed. Repenting for other people’s sins makes you feel good, and you get to do it in public. I can be sorry that particular people were treated badly, and I should do my best to treat everyone justly now. But it seems to me a bit presumptuous and ill advised to repent of my great-grandfathers’sins before I have dealt with… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

Repenting for other people’s sins makes you feel good, and you get to do it in public.

People would do that? :)

JP Stewart
Member

“People would do that? :)”

Yes, whole denominations (or their representatives) have…multiple times.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think that is pretty much of a stretch. That being said, I would rather re-read Letter from Birmingham Jail than Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The latter gives me nightmares.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You make a lot of fair points. I think we often forget that these people do not necessarily speak for black people in general. I have black neighbors and church friends who really don’t want to constantly rehash past wrongs; they’re too busy getting on with their lives. If they have secret resentments, they keep them to themselves. I know that the Bible talks about collective guilt, but I really struggle with the idea. I remember the three white people who were murdered by Klan members during the civil rights movement. How can it make sense to say their whiteness… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill said: “I think we often forget that these people do not necessarily speak for black people in general.     […] If they have secret resentments, they keep them to themselves. ” I’m not so sure that they don’t speak for black people in general. I know some certainly have “secret resentments”. In my own experience, I can think of two people, one a former co-worker (computer programmer) and the other a current neighbor (retired USPS), who have expressed clearly to me considerable resentment for how they and others have been treated. I would consider both to be relatively middle-class. If… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I wonder if religion and place of origin play a role. Some of my black, Catholic friends are Ugandan or from the Caribbean. They are well educated, and they simply don’t seem to me to be harboring grievances. Or, perhaps my being Canadian gives me outsider status. What I have found quite interesting is that all of us–Canadians, Jamaicans, and Ugandans–grew up in times and places that still had a strong colonial influence. The kind of people who educated me also educated them. We were taught to see ourselves as children of the Empire, which would be inconceivable in Canada… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“I think that when genuine reconciliation is impossible, politeness is not a bad substitute.” Off the subject, but it reminds me of conversations I’ve had with friend who cannot understand why I have such a visceral negative reaction toward Trump, even more so than toward Obama who we both dislike and agree is condescending. I think my friend mistakes raw rudeness for authenticity. I can live with mere outward courtesy, even cool civility, when we both know the other person does not really like or respect me, but outright nasty incivility – not so much. A matter of temperament and/or… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I feel the same way, and have often worried about it. Without liking all their policies I felt no personal hostility toward Reagan or the Bushes. Trump’s tweets drive me to madness. Where others see candor, I see malice and contempt for anyone who gets in his way. I grew up in a time when no politician would have expressed his dislike for an opponent in terms more suited to a grade school playground. By the way, I had a visceral negative reaction to Hillary as well, though not as strong. I always suspected her of losing her temper behind… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

We need not explore my feelings about this.

Of course we don’t need to, but can we? Pretty please? :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You will have to wait for my tell-all biography in which I plan to throw self-restraint to the winds. Not only will I drag the skeletons out of the closet; I will make them tap dance. Or, as with most things requiring sustained effort, I will let it go.

mys
Guest
mys

“And at what point will we as a nation stop tolerating the never-ending shakedowns and power-grabs from people like Anyabwile/Burns, who depend on manufactured white guilt?” We have a long way to go. Myself included. Look at me above. Even I said to Armin “not sure about putting blacks back in their place.” We, and I include myself in this, always qualify. Critics of the MLK conference have even said “Well, there’s been racism in the past.” Of course there has! Why do we, and I include me in the we, always need to qualify? We have arrived, and the… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Anyone doomed to go through life being called Jill Smith is not critical of people who change their names. But it would have been considerate of him to choose something I would be able to spell without looking it up every time. I didn’t have any trouble with Malcolm X.

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

You’re not “doomed to go through life being called Jill Smith”. You could change it just like Thabiti Anyabwile né Ron Burns did! Surely you could come up with a name you like greatly.

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Coming up with a new name is a trivially easy task these days. All you have to do is click on:

Your random name is …

And if that name is not quite perfect, simply click “Generate Another” in the upper right.

Those names may be too (excessively) old-fashioned, so you can “Change Settings” to get:

Your [much more fun] random name is …

Andrew Lohr
Member

IF Israel was complicit in the sin of Achan at Jericho, once they’d repented and punished the culprit they were in the clear on that. So once MLK’s killer was caught and punished, move on–and of course there are indeed things to move on to.

Daniel Fisher
Member

I’m curious (with Kyriosity) what -exactly- is required in “confessing the sins of my ancestors.” My mother certainly had racist tendencies, to the degree of expressing disapproval for my having black friends in school. I found her position problematic as a child, and reprehensible today as an adult, and have thus “repented” of the sins of my ancestors. And I have on countless occasions condemned racism in general, which includes that of my mother and any other such relations. And I have lived in such a way as to demonstrate my rejection of those sins throughout my life. But I… Read more »

Daniel Fisher
Member

More significantly, i am so very concerned with the lack of “gospel” in Thabiti’s condemnation of this sin. Sure, I completely grant that we need not immediately explain the gospel any time we call out sin as sin. But when we move to explaining the **answer**, the **solution** to the sin… if at that point we neglect to mention the gospel and instead propose some sort of social justice embrace of guilt …. that I find VERY problematic. When he wrote, “until this country and the Church learns to confess its particular sins particularly, we will not overcome the Adamic… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Good points. This is a bit ironic, too, since Burns is writing for The Gospel Coalition and some of the “gospel-centered” crowd seem to support this kind of thing.