Monday, April 22, 2013

Why Is a Famous Evangelical Pastor Defending Slavery?

I was recently made aware of a debate going on in the neo-reformed Gospel Coalition corner of the world that I tend to avoid. Doug Wilson, a megachurch pastor from Boise, Idaho, argues in his newly released book "Black and Tan" that the abolitionist movement was wrong and the Civil War should never happened, because if Southern slave-owners had been allowed to implement the Bible's teachings on slavery, then a more humane transition would have taken place through "gospel gradualism." So a Caribbean neo-reformed pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, who writes for the Gospel Coalition, decided to engage him in charitable conversation (summarized by the Wartburg Watch here) about his assertions (which I guess would be the equivalent of a Jewish person sitting down to have a civil discussion with a Holocaust denier).
I'm of course horrified that this conversation is happening at all, but I'm going to try to represent Wilson's view as accurately as possible so that I can't be accused of caricature. Basically Wilson seems to be coming at this from several angles which I would summarize in the following three points based on direct quotes taken from his blog and Anyabwile's blog:
1. If we say that Christians can't fight a civil war today to stop abortion from happening, then we shouldn't say that the Civil War were justified as a means of freeing slaves.
"If we could bring an end to abortion in the United States by precipitating a war (or by trying to), should we do that? Abortion is at least as great an evil as slavery was. Abortion is at least as great an evil for black culture as slavery was. If you allow for gospel gradualism now, then why is my urging a gospel gradualism in 1858 a thought crime? And if gospel gradualism was sinful then, why isn't it sinful now?" [1]
Read the rest here

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