Weekly Digest: Abuse and the SBC
Welcome to my weekly digest for June 3, 2022.
For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by visiting your account page.
More Content and Media Mentions
Trevin Wax continues his ongoing Gospel Coalition series engaging with my three worlds model. Part three and part four are up. I would disagree with Wax that the world has shifted closer to the Christian model for thinking about race. It’s rather the reverse, that much of the evangelical church has embraced the secular “woke” model of race.
Jake Meador also has an alternative take at Mere Orthodoxy. Injustice was long common throughout Christendom - no one denies that - but was typically only perceived as such due to Christian critique. Similarly, even into the modern era, most movements for justice, such as the Civil Rights Movement took place within a broadly Christian societal understanding of what justice is. Absent a positive world, that is Christian, conception of justice, these would have found little traction. But this helps me clarify that my intent for the positive world was to cover the first section of the period of decline post-1963.
Speaking of Mere Orthodoxy, I have the most recent two print editions of the MereO magazine. I can’t store them but don’t want to toss them either, so if anyone is interested in them, shoot me an email. I’ll draw a name out of a hat and mail them to one or two lucky winners.
New this week:
The SBC's "Title IX" Recommendations on Handling Abuse - I show how the SBC’s third party abuse report recommends a process for handling accusations in which to be accused is essentially to be deemed guilty and added to a privately run sex offender registry. Matthew Schmitz made similar arguments at almost the exact same time in the Wall Street Journal. After our critiques, the SBC’s abuse task force issued recommendations that raised standard for deeming accusations “credible” - a move in the right direction - but retained a basically Title IX style approach. This was originally a subscriber only post, but by popular demand I unlocked it, and it is also being adapted by another publication shortly.
At American Reformer, Josh Abbotoy also shared thoughts on the SBC abuse report, including highlighting problem areas in the SBC that the recommendations will not address.
Also, Georgetown professor Joshua Mitchell writes about the church of the new American awakening.
This upcoming Tuesday, June 7th, I have been invited to host a live podcast in front of the proverbial studio audience as part of an event in Wheaton, Illinois. I’ll be joined by Paul Vanderklay and Bethel McGrew to discuss my three worlds model and the state of the church. Paul has done a number of videos on the decline of the mainline denominations, so perhaps we’ll discuss that as well. This live broadcast will be at 2:30pm ET, and you can watch live or on replay at Youtube.
My regular podcast will return on Monday as well. You can listen to my podcast on Apple, Google, or YouTube.
Best of the Web
Harpers: Permanent Pandemic - Will COVID controls keep controlling us?
The Week: Do men read books about Mars while women prefer tales of Venus?
A district attorney in Virginia says he will refuse to enforce any laws against abortion. In light of how our leaders behave today, there’s little reason for anybody to respect the law, norms, etc. except to the extent that they have to or believe it’s prudent for reasons of self-interest.
Related is this Revolver piece: The Cowardice of Uvalde Police Is Exactly What America Asked For
I thought Jake Meador's piece was trash. His argument against the idea that America previously had a more positive view about Christianity: don't you know some Christians were racist?
I also very much hate his dumb attempt to associate William Wolfe's obviously true contention that one can only whisper about "black supremacy" with Dabney's assertion that blacks are incapable of self-governance. (And, by so doing, Meador proves Wolfe correct: one can't even mention the idea without being accused of horrible racism.) And it seems incredible that his argument that black people are obviously capable of self-government is because a black slave invented mac and cheese.
Wax writes, "One could make the case that, on this issue, we’ve moved the other way—from negative to neutral to positive, where society now favors a view more favorable to biblical Christianity: that all human beings, regardless of ethnicity, are worthy of respect and dignity and equal protection under the law."
Have we, though? It is true that some things are better, but the prevailing view of the world is that white people are necessarily oppressors, and they can legally be discriminated against (as well as Asians applying to elite colleges). Ironically, Wax seems to not see 2014 as a negative turning point for Christianity, but a positive one; when hating whitey became much more socially acceptable. When he talks about the Southern Pastor praying for the victim of racial discrimination, would he even think of a white person being prayed for?
Aaron is correct; this mindset is only consistent with adopting the woke view of race.