In 1957, #ReinholdNiebhur predicted why #evangelicals are paralyzed by #CRT & #systemicracism discussions, and so on, today. It all started from tragic flaws in the theology and preaching of Billy Graham.
Billy Graham and the evangelical “form of the Christian faith,” writes Niebuhr, “relies on an oversimplification of the is­sues in order to create the ‘crisis’ that prompts conversion and the acceptance of the Christian faith.
The best way of inducing this crisis is to call attention to some moral dereliction of the person, in which some accepted moral norm has been transgressed and the conscience is consequently uneasy.
It may not be entirely unfair to observe that the section of the country in which the present crisis in race relations is most acute is precisely that section which has experienced annual ‘revivals,’ all calcu­lated to ‘redeem’ the sinner & guarantee the perfection of [the soul].
...[Evangelical revivalism is a] technique [that] requires the over­ simplification of moral issues and their individualization for the sake of inducing an emotional crisis. Collective sins are therefore not within the range of a revival...
Perhaps this is the reason why revivalistic Christianity has not been particularly effective in challenging collective evil. It grew to power on the frontier, where its moral appeals were limited to the condemnation of drunkenness, adultery, and Sabbath violations.”
It’s really sad that Billy Graham never preached on racism as sin as a normative part of his preaching rendering Christianity individualistic and pietistic. It should explain a lot about the current CRT controversies, evangelical’s individualistic focus on Matt 18:18-20 and
their inability to see where addressing social and structural evil fits into God’s redemptive mission. They inherited Graham’s blindspots and flaws. Today’s oversimplification: “just preach the gospel and disciple people.” Or, “the gospel is the answer.”…
He recognized it privately but didn’t preach on it as a normative part of his ministry. @whatsupchase
*Matt 28:18-20

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More from @drantbradley

22 Jul
Inadvertently, the TGC/T4G world discipled an entire generation of men toward prideful over-confidence, the absence of epistemic humility, and the assumption of pastoral omnicompetence. The DeYoung/Kwon/Thompson discourse is putting this on display. It’s sad to watch.
This is one of the reasons why the discussions about social issues now creates great divisiveness. Instead of the posture being, “these are difficult questions & we don’t know the answers.” The posture is: “a pastor is going to resolve complexity into certainty in 5-10 points.”
My ethics prof at Covenant Sem, David Jones, read about social issues for 27 years before he wrote his 1st book on them for a broader audience. Why? In part, epistemic humility. The more you read on a subject the more you realize how much you don’t know.…
Read 10 tweets
21 Jul
Among the reasons most black women hate seeing black men with white women. I’ve been in circles where white women were presented to black men as a means for achieving greater spousal godliness over & against black women. But this photo, he needs the “Drop Squad.”
Also, for some reason, PCA church planting visionaries don’t know how much black women hate seeing this and wonder why hiring a black man married to a white woman isn’t drawing more black couples to their churches. It’s just basic missional sociology. 🤷🏽‍♂️
He agreed to this??? 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
I believe TGC may have appointed the wrong guy to be their lead movement voice on racial issues. Not sure why he’s be announced their race guy. It’s not going well. Article: “Sanctifying the Status Quo: A Response to Reverend Kevin DeYoung.”…
It’s amazing the DeYoung didn’t use any black evangelical theologians. Think about that!!!
Yes, @PhilReinders I have.
Read 4 tweets
19 Jul
1998, my sermon: “How to Become A Reformed White Supremacist.” Motivation: watching a then PCA pastor at a conference defending US slavery. Realized that RUF in college wasn’t open about PCA culture. 23 years of explaining racism as a US Reformed historical norm. What’s crazy?👇🏾
When you explain to PCA, 1968er, SBC Reformed Baptists, Act29, etc. that American Calvinism has never not been coupled with racism against blacks in US history, you’re called “a lair”/“woke” even though 1000s of pages of historical documents prove it. Here’s what even crazier:
These same folks don’t have the humility to admit that their version of gospel Calvinism is tragically flawed because it has no way of addressing past racism without dismissing it as, “it’s a discipleship issue” 🤦🏽‍♂️🤬 or “it’s was misapplied.” Or “they weren’t *true* Christians.”
Read 14 tweets
19 Jul
I just tweeted about this the other day. It’s predominantly young men “of all races and religions, classes and creeds, from all corners of the city, stand, fidget and whip around on bikes of all sizes, colours and brands.” Bikes are a bigger draw than video games! #Adventure
Moral of the story again: UK/USA Christianity offers guys zero camaraderie forming adventure. Instead they’re offered docility & domestication. Godliness is defined as being safe at home, 6:30am sitting in a circle, or doing a group workout routine. The psych data does not lie!
American evangelical Christians still haven’t figured out that adventure creates racial solidarity around a common cause. 2021 Christians (left or right) reduce that common cause to ideological social agendas. Young men see through how stupid this is & are on the streets!
Read 4 tweets
18 Jul
Yes, this is progressive & conservative evangelicalism as well. They both follow secularists in separating sex from procreation as demonstrated in their blind approval of artificial birth control methods, some would say. Post-WWII parents: two kids & no longer “fill the quiver.”
If you were Reformed, you were against artificial birth control for biblical & theological reasons as Calvin and Luther taught. Anglicans upended the 1517-1929 pro-children Protestant consensus in 1931. US mainline & evangelical churches soon followed.…
Here’s a good summary of the history of how conservative Christians followed secularists in divorcing sex and from children, by introducing artificial birth control, with a book link at the end.…
Read 5 tweets

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