#ReinholdNiebuhr explains the DL Moody/Billy Graham-like version of Christianity is “too simplistic and perfectionistic” & impotent to address “collective sin.” This is why 2021 Reformed evangelicals have no way of explaining how/why their heroes also advanced white supremacy.
“Revivalistic Christianity” has never been effective, says RN, at challenging “collective[social]” evil. Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and mainline P traditions have frameworks for this. So don’t expect “Great Commission” type Christians to even see evil beyond individual action.
Their perfectionistic view of Christianity thinks that rising out of a tub of water renders people incapable of participating in social evil, even if they are personally pious at home. It’s a deep Whitfield/Moody/Graham flaw emerging on the KDY/CRT/repararations controversy.
I think it’s more accurately, white “evangelical” Christianity. The white mainline churches have embraced reparations for years. Also, I think evangelicals are struggling with this because reparations needs to *follow* a lengthy & detailed truth and reconciliation process.
The merits of the argument aside, talking about reparations first is not what happened in Germany, South Africa, Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, etc. Reparations is step 3 or 4 and we haven’t even talked about steps 1 and 2 yet: a truth & reconciliation process.
I’ll write on this later but my guess is the KDY & many of white conservatives would have less objections to reparations if it was first situated in the context of transitional justice (it’s the basic process outlined in the OT) and is what seems to be missing in the controversy.
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.
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. wng.org/sift/david-cly…
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??? 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️
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.” thefrontporch.org/2021/07/sancti…
It’s amazing the DeYoung didn’t use any black evangelical theologians. Think about that!!!
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.”
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!
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. google.com/amp/s/www.vox.…
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. bound4life.com/history-of-con…
Spent about 5 hours last night with these seniors @TheKingsCollege. They are totally different men than they were 4 years ago. The character change was nothing less than miraculous. They received a great education but they are also going to be outstanding husbands & fathers!
And it’s not age. They’ve read 100s of pages of what it means to be an aggressively virtuous, confident man & we’ve logged 100s of hours of hard conversations. Lots of laughter, tears. They wanted to be better men. 99% of college guys are sent to school to simply make more money.
The guys at King’s want to be better men. Anyone can make money but being a virtuous man seeking what’s best for others, looking forward to offering himself to his wife & children, for their good, is not on the radar most college guys. These guys *wanted* extraordinary character.
Here’s the moral of the #CRT story (again): CRT only gained prominence because it emerged in a vacuum. Had conservatives actively explored how race affects American life since 1965, & provided a better constructive account for actual racism, there be no “banning” of CRT today.
William F. Buckley, whom I admire, took the wrong approach with James Baldwin. It set a terrible precedent. The ensuing “debates” should have been about *how* racism affects Americans# life, not *if* America is a “racist nation” or not.
The focus should not have been solely on rejecting/refuting liberal & progressive arguments but providing a better account of how human moral flaws operate regarding race after the Civil-Rights Act of 1965. Today, throwing Thomas Sowell data at progressives will always fail.
This @sullydish article is really brilliant! Progressives don’t have a framework to make sense of evil. George Floyd exposed that! They had a meltdown. In their religious search to account for evil, they chose “racism.” White racism is now the root evil. andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/what-happene…
The devil became “racism.” Racism is the root default/only cause of all social issues facing America today. It’s even described as an “original American sin.” People are naturally religious & need metanarratives. If you don’t have one in America, you’ll turn to ideology. Fact.
This happens on the left & the right. Politics, veganism, etc. can all be substitutes for religion. Why else are Yoga instructors referring to yoga classes as “Sunday church?” Sullivan helps us see that social justice is now the sacred religion of the left. It gives life meaning!
The Greear/Litton plagiarism saga is pathetic. Two causes: 1) the creation of Docent so pastors can quote books they didn’t read & research they didn’t do just to sound impressive on Sunday. 2) The TGC-world has turned the sermon into a hoisted sacrament.
Greear said Docent makes him “look good.” Why does he need to look good? He’s in a culture that makes the sermon the point of Sunday. Therefore, Sunday is about the preacher’s skills. Greear’s & other pastor’s testimonials on why they need Docent are sad. web.archive.org/web/2012031718…
I’ll stop here, but you’re less likely to get plagiarism when the Lord’s Supper is the center of Sunday’s weekly experience as recommended by the 1960 Church of Scotland manual & John Calvin. Sunday is not the preacher. It’s not. Pastors aren’t the hero on Sunday.
I walked passed a pre-K to 8th grade private school in lower Manhattan today around 3:30ish. Only two races were in a long line to get kids: Asian & white. I wonder if the parents notice. Not saying it's wrong. It is what it is. I don't think blacks/Latinos will ever live there.
I'm not saying it's wrong but the neighborhood is clearly segregated such that the only people of color there (black/brown) are the employees of Asians & whites. Black professionals don't live there, on average, and often move South (like Atlanta) to enjoy what I witnessed.
It's really fascinating because people assume that New York City is an equally multi-ethnic mix of people. The schools tell the story. I was an "aha" moment: there are parts of life in New York City that are exclusively for Asians, whites, & wealthy European foreign nationals.
If you're college professor teaching #criticalracetheory, you owe it your students to have the read black alternative views like Thomas Sowell as way to help students see that #CRT has flaws & is merely a theory. @jasonriley & I explain why. via @YouTube
Os Guinness says the book of Exodus is the center of God's work in human history. He's right & the Matt 28:18-20-focussed evangelicals are misguided. The covenant of redemption is the center. The black church models centering on "Big God" Exodus theology. amazon.com/Magna-Carta-Hu…
Biggest Guinness take away: so many black students were lied to regarding the theology of the traditional black church & owe many now black evangelicals & black church leaders a massive apology. Herman Bavinck exposes the theological flaw of American "Great Commission" types.
He explains the George Whitefield inspired flaw this way: "[Evangelicalism] has an aggressive character, seeks only conversion, and looks for the seat of faith in the will...But it regard conversion as a sudden, momentary, and immediate act...
In Chapter 6, it becomes glaringly clear that Voddie Baucham does not understand what the "Sufficiency of Scripture" actually means. He straw mans the definition, divorces it from the Reformed Tradition, and then critiques David Platt, John O, Eric Mason, Ligon Duncan, & others.
This explains so much. Baucham's personal definition of the sufficiency doctrine is 1920s fundamentalism rather than Reformed. He says, "there's not a better book to address men on the issue of race in America than the Bible." But the "issue of race" includes economics, e.g.
The Sufficiency of Scripture is about faith. "The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture"(WCF 1.6).
I'm beginning to think that Presbyterians have a distinct and unique understanding of the Sufficiency of Scripture doctrine that makes them foreigners & aliens in "Reformed" Evangelicalism. Presbyterians:
"The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture..." thewestminsterstandards.com/wcf-chapter-1-…
Therefore, on matters not related to faith, other sources are needed and can helpful: sociology, psychology, science, math, philosophy, economics, etc. The neo-Calvinist, 1689ers, RBs, don't seem to believe this. They take sufficient to mean "exhaustive" so CRT scares them.
The @jeff_hemmer has written the*best* book on masculinity in a Christian context in print (I've ever read). He's the focus of my podcast this week. It is the most challenging & encouraging book about the masculine journey you'll ever read. #DadsMatterpodcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/man…
A father & son(15 yr-old) spent 10 months going out for meals to discuss this book. The son shared his experience with me, "Being able to discuss each chapter with my dad has been a wonderful experience, and I hope it has helped me grow as a man." amazon.com/Why-Black-Live…
Father/Son working through this together forced key issues. The father: "We would take turns asking each other the discussion questions. And those questions prompted other questions. I want him to feel the freedom to talk to me as a man and let me know where I can improve."
Elephant in the room: Asian Americans seem to prefer relationships with white people. “White supremacy seduces non-Blacks into believing that the further distance between them & Blackness the greater opportunity to become as privileged as Whites.” Exhibit A: NYC evangelicals.
“Not surprisingly, Asian immigrants and citizens have, at times, tacitly accepted this agreement.” If you don’t believe him, go over to Instagram & look at the pictures of NYC whites & Asians. You won’t see black people. I think we need a separate black/Asian conversation.
If you come to New York City (pre-COVID) my black friends noticed, in bars and restaurants, you won’t see tables of Asians mixed with Blacks or Latinos. There are real tensions. Prof. Jospeh: “We must also recognize that anti-Asian racism is a form of white supremacy.”
Dr. Samuel Perry once commented that many evangelicals suffer from “information isolation” (can’t find the tweet). I think it’s worse. It’s disinformation & information deprivation, within the context of isolation. Here’s why: I just had a PCA pastor attempt to rebuke me because:
My observation that, based on US history during slavery, Jim Crow, the white flight 70s/80s, etc., that I had zero expectations that US Christianity can pull off racial solidarity. Where’s the historical evidence in US history? I don’t see any, esp, during Jim Crow. His response:
(1) Christians ended slavery in America, (2) “The only persons who are going to consistently lay down their lives, livelihoods and comforts for the sake of others is the regenerated Christian.”