Pugilist, Hit Thyself

Anthony Bradley has been dishing it out pretty good of late against Doug Wilson, almost to the point of making Wilson look like Tom Reagan from Miller’s Crossing. Bradley is alarmed by Wilson’s neo-Confederate arguments. He believes Wilson harbors racism because of his defense of slavery. And Bradley is surprised — maybe even aghast — at the traction that Wilson has among the co-allies of the gospel. These musings have led Bradley to wonder about a conspiracy among Christian Reconstructionists to use social and political issues to gain new recruits, especially among the young, restless, and gullible.

It’s been about 20 years since I first encountered this stuff but I think the combination America’s secularism, masculinity crisis, growing socialistic public policy, and the like, have opened the door for Christian Reconstruction to avail itself to new generation of young Calvinists but not through the front door–“Christian Reconstruction,” “Theonomy,” and the like–but through the back door of apologetics, the family, masculinity, big government, and so on.

Bradley even speculates on a connection between Christian Reconstruction and Roman Catholicism in that both groups use social teaching to gain converts.

What makes Bradley’s criticisms of Wilson, Christian Reconstruction, and the Young Restless crowd odd is that Bradley himself follows the political script that those he criticizes use. Bradley is generally a fan of neo-Calvinism. I have also heard him appeal to the language of cultural transformation in his interview at Christ the Center.

In which case, the problem with Wilson, slavery, the Confederacy and Christian Reconstruction may not be the actual forms these efforts to Christianize the social order take. The problem may be any attempt to read a social order out of Scripture. For instance, it would be interesting to know what Bradley thinks of his fellow Manhattanite, Tim Keller’s programs of word and deed ministry. Or for that matter, what does Bradley do with the use to which the creators of apartheid put neo-Calvinism? Does the gospel have a social program that Wilson, for example, misses or distorts? Or does the gospel have almost nothing to say about a social order?

Either way, it might be helpful to Wilson’s bruised ego to see Bradley acknowledge both men’s common debt to Kuyper.

And for what it’s worth, part of the appeal of the Confederacy, at least among political conservatives as opposed to the Religious Right, is that the South did stand for an understanding of the United States that was closer than Lincoln’s or the Progressive’s to the Constitution. The phrase, states’ rights, generally receives smirks from those who assume it represents a defense of slavery or worse, racism. But the Constitution itself was not particularly clear on how to sort out the relative powers of the states and the federal government, which was a large factor in the sectional crisis. But if folks want to dismiss states’ rights as simply the cant of “Crackers” who wanted to keep African-Americans in place, they should consider the good that states’ rights might serve today when applied to gay marriage and abortion. That may explain some of the appeal of the Confederacy, though I don’t presume to speak for Doug Wilson.

56 thoughts on “Pugilist, Hit Thyself

  1. Next thing you know you’ll be making reference to Carl Showalter…

    Look out for the crossfire coming from at least three positions in the comments on this post. And that doesn’t even include the Called-to-Communion folks.

    Wilson talking about slavery is kind of like me telling my wife that a lot of the women in the Olympic procession the other night were attractive. My statement was true, but was it really worth saying in light of the “negative feedback” I received. When things are hurtful to others sometimes Christian leaders need to be sensitive and choose other topics to focus their attention on.


  2. One thing that perhaps the RC guys could weigh in on: Do they have any more success in mediating a dispute between individuals within their Church than Protestants do? Would Wilson’s priest be able to get on the phone with Bradley’s priest and get the two men together vs. airing their grievances against each other for all the world to see? Can Wilson & Bradley’s elders get involved? Does airing grievances on the internet violate 1 Corinthians 6?


  3. Erik,

    I can tell you as a former RC, that that whole submission to the magisterium involves a lot of crossed fingers . Here’s the phone conversation; ‘Hello?, hello? oh there you are, peace to you as well, our reception is dicey we can’t hear you so well on this side of the atlantic can you speak up and maybe not so much in Latin, oh, OH, well Ok. Somebody tol’ us that’s what you were saying, but we wanted to make sure. Hey, how are the finances going over in the vatican bank? Yea, yea that’s too bad, maybe if you started speaking in hushed latin, to yourselves, they might get better. No, No of course we’re not knowingly ordaining homosexual clergy, we wouldn’t do that! What, what’s that again, celibacy?! Yes, yes we’re fairly certain no women are living in the rectory much less visiting. Contraceptives? No, No, never they just ruin the experience. Thanks so much again for checking in with…errrr…on us. Many blessings on your pointy little heads. Bye bye.’


  4. Sean – This would be the English speaking priest in Moscow (Idaho, not Russia) and the English speaking priest wherever Bradley is at, so no fluency in Italian or Latin would be required. Do they handle things priest to priest or does it all have to flow through Rome as you suggest?


  5. Erik,

    Another phone conversation; “Hello? Hello? Ah there you are. God bless you as well. Divorces?! No, no those have been going down. Yes, yes it is good, we’re very encouraged. Plus, with the increase in annulments and the corresponding $400/per, we should be able to put a little more, not a lot mind you, in the pot to help out the bank and all. Yes, yes, no we are sure. We check and make sure there wasn’t even a little bit of love in the marriage. Yes, yes it’s unfortunate but there’s always the $400. What?! what? you’re breaking up again……No, no we will deal with Sister Simone. She means well. Yes, yes, we will tell her as well, no more Colbert or Stewart. Right, right we will let her know. By the way, do you have any women you can send over to help with the inevitable drop in vocations to the religious? No? well ok, maybe we’ll just suggest a few things to the good sister first and see how that goes. What?, what? we’re going into a tunnel, it’s our fault good father but we’ll talk again real soon. Peace out?!’


  6. But Bradley’s “cultural transformationalism” is not the same as Doug Wilson’s. He has just the right amount of it. It’s like Goldilocks…. too hot, too cold, just right.

    Don’t you know that “cultural transformationalism” requires a poise and “balance” that fundies just don’t have? Not everything is black and white, but some things are, and some of us in the next generation can negotiate the difference and some of us can’t.

    James Cassidy: “Hodge did not see any reason to choose between a robust doctrine of the spirituality of the church and the church’s right and obligation to speak in the public square. For instance, on the one hand, he opposed temperance movements (pp. 136-137) and the Gardiner Spring resolutions (pp. 319-21), believing that both were misguided attempts at trying to influence the culture and politics. On the other hand, he spoke out (loudly, even if insufficiently) about the issue of slavery (chapter 18). Indeed, Hodge was a public theologian who believed in the spirituality of the church. When it came to issues of supporting the federal government (i.e., the Gardiner Spring resolutions), he urged the church to be silent. But when it came to the matter of slavery, he spoke up without blinking.”

    mark: The church doesn’t do it, but Christians do? Machen as a private person is not Machen as leader in a church?



  7. Engelsma’s new book on The Federal Vision: Heresy at the Root comments on the false gospel of Doug Wilson— “If I have faith, no matter how weak, if I believe the gospel of grace, I am sure of my final salvation. The reason is not that I am sure that I will perform conditions upon which this final salvation depends. Of this I am not sure at all. But I am sure that God is faithful. The Reformed faith is a gospel of fearlessness. The federal vision is a religion of terror. And this is a reason we oppose the federal vision” (170).”


  8. Dr. Hart or anyone else,

    I think I once heard Michael Horton mention as well that some Reformed Christians in the Netherlands or South Africa were involved in the implementation of apartheid. It’s one of those things that, metaphorically speaking, hits you and you’re not sure if you really heard correctly. Can anyone guide me to some sources of information or documentation?


  9. Mark says – “But Bradley’s “cultural transformationalism” is not the same as Doug Wilson’s. He has just the right amount of it. It’s like Goldilocks…. too hot, too cold, just right.”

    That’s hilarious.

    Mark says: “Don’t you know that “cultural transformationalism” requires a poise and “balance” that fundies just don’t have?”

    Are you saying that Wilson is a fundamentalist or that Bradley thinks he is? I think Wilson is too intellectually sophisticated to be labeled a “fundamentalist” in the pejorative sense.

    Mark says” “Engelsma’s new book on The Federal Vision: Heresy at the Root comments on the false gospel of Doug Wilson”.

    Do you think Wilson is a proponent of the Federal Vision or does he just associate with a lot of guys who do? I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of his sermons (albeit not for a few years) and didn’t get that impression. I definitely got the impression he was postmillennial, but I think he had a firm grasp on the gospel.


  10. Will this nostalgia for “Lost Cause” thinking never cease? Lincoln had plenty of historical backup for his strong Union views–see select speeches of Andrew Jackson and Daniel Webster for starters. Ever heard of Harry Jaffa? How about George Washington’s “Circular to State Governments” in June, 1783–“An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal Head” being among four things “essential to the well being, I may even venture to say, to the existence of the United States as an Independent Power.” Tell ’em, G.W.!


  11. Darryl, you write like we don’t know each other. If you had those questions (and any more) you could easily just ask me. Tracking me down is not that hard. –Anthony Bradley


  12. Littlejohn: “In Wilson’s paradigm, the voice of the minister is essentially identified with the voice of Christ, ”

    Even most fundies have their human popes “pronounce the benediction”. Forgiveness is more real and objective when a clergyman says it. Or should I say, when a clergyman says it in the church but not when he says it in Yankee stadium?


  13. @DGH: You know what would be nice? If you, being a history major, actually read Wilsons “Black And Tan”. Then you could intelligently interact with both Wilson critics and apologists. Not to mention, straightening out the miss guided accusations of the ignorant.

    I would think curiosity alone would compel you to read “Black And Tan”, what are you waiting for?! Then instead of commenting of something you’ve never read, you could bring some true knowledge to the table 🙂 Plus, I would be very interested in hearing what a History major has to say on the subject of the south.


  14. “Then instead of commenting of something you’ve never read, you could bring some true knowledge to the table”


    Does this mean you are going to actually read a book by Machen?


  15. Erik- I thought so too. For a guy who is very critical to 2k language, I was surprised by how much his analysis resonated with this 2ker.


  16. Todd, I have read a lot of Machen 🙂

    Have you read “Black And Tan”? If not, what’s you’re excuse? Why would anyone comment on a book, that they have never read? With Machen, even though at one time I hadn’t read a book written by Machen, (thanks for remembering Todd) I had read many of his short essays. So I was familiar with him. What I never did, was comment on a book, I had never read. Doesn’t that make common sense?


  17. Doug,

    Which Machen book did you read if I may ask? I haven’t commented on Black and Tan so I am not sure why I need an excuse as to why I haven’t read it, but I tend to limit my reading of history to more serious and credible scholars than Doug Wilson.


  18. Black & Tan needs to be read in the context of ” Southern Slavery As It Was.” I believe Bradley offers a valid & accurate critique of Black & Tan. SSAIW is paternalistic racism while “Black & Tan” is a whitewash of SSAIW.
    I see no reason why a pastor would feel the need to write either book.


  19. Todd, its rather pathetic to watch professing Christians muse if Douglas Wilson “might” be racisist for writing “Black And Tan” without ever having read it! I’ve read it, and loved it! Get with the post Todd! Is Douglas Wilson’s book racisist?!


  20. A Person can write or say something racist without being racist himself. I believe this is what Bradley is saying.
    Black & Tan must be read in context of ‘Southern Slavery As It Was.” As far as I know Wilson did not disavow or renouce the content of SSAIW. “Black & Tan while removing many of the noxious references found in SSAIW still presents the same arguments. Bradley’s critique of “Black & Tan is spot on.

    Wilson is a pastor & an able apologist but he is no historian. I see no valid reason for a pastor to write a book that causes more heat than light.

    The reaction that Bradley had towards both of these books should be no suprise. Like a Jewish person reacting to a book that tries to limit the horror of the Holocaust.


  21. @B Avant: That is a quite an assertion! As with many (if not most) critiques directed at Wilson, this one lacks any specific charges, merely you asserting something is so. Well I say you’re full of balderdash! You either lack the courage or the ability (probably both) to show us *how* anything Wilson said was racist. But you’re full of bile and slander against one of God’s elect. Do you consider yourself a Christian?

    P.S. Just because you can’t comprehend *why* Wilson wrote the book, doesn’t surprise me at all. How about showing us what Wilson said, that you construe as racism? How about coming up with two or three examples to show us where you’re coming from? After all, this is a Christian blog.

    “With two or three witnesses let it be established”.


  22. I did not accuse Wilson of being a racists but that SSAIW is historically a mess & contributes to a kind of paternalistic racism. These are arguments issued ably by Bradley & others of the deep problems w/SSAIW that are also reflected in Black & Tan. Here are some problmatic quotes. Perhaps you can understand why a black Southerner like Bradly would be offended.

    “Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world”

    “The Narratives consistently portray an amazingly benign picture of Southern plantation life. Affection for former masters and mistresses is expressed in terms of unmistakable devotion. Testimony to the good treatment, kindness, and gentleness of many so-called “heartless slave holders” abounds. Many of the old slaves express a wistful desire to be back at the plantation.”

    These quotes are just a reflection of an attempt to minimize the effects of slavery & indirectly lift up the Old South as an Xian society & civililization.

    for more detailed citique engage w/Bradley’s review or the 2 historians who reviewed SSAIW. I’ve seen little put forth to counter their basic arguments.

    I understand that the reason Wilson gives for writing the books is that the way slavery was ended was unconstitutional thus paving the road to abortion rights, gay marriage, etc, etc. But I believe that is a huge leap & does not take into account how dedicated the South was to slavery & saw it as an essential part of the Southern way of life. Nothing else would have ended slavery & its telling that once race based slavery was ended that w/in 40 years a strict system of race based segregation took its place.

    but as a white Southerner I still see no valid reason for a pastor to write books like these. Living in a society that still struggles becuase of these issues I see no benifit that they bring rather they make the work of racial reconcialiation harder.

    As I said I believe that Wilson has done great work esp in apologetics but in tese books he’s done harm


  23. B Avant: Thanks for taking the time to write a more detailed response 🙂

    When you say: “but as a white Southerner I still see no valid reason for a pastor to write books like these. Living in a society that still struggles because of these issues I see no benefit that they bring rather they make the work of racial reconciliation harder”.

    Huh? Who, other than the Ambassadors of God, (The Church) to help society through the tough ethical issues that confront mankind? Isn’t the Bible something to be reckoned with? Isn’t God’s Word still good for instruction, correction, reproof, that the man of God will be equipped for *every* good work? Is telling the truth still a good work? Whose side is he on? The Godless secular state or the Bible?

    If Wilson is right about the south, (and I think he is) then the truth will help make *true* reconciliation possible for all Americans, amen? In fact, it’s about time *we* started telling the truth! One what basis? Bible 101 The truth will make you free. Too many Christians are standing on the side lines getting preached too by the politically correct crowd, and they’re egalitarian atheistic perspectives. The same people telling us that abortion is a women’s right to choose. And that all people and races are equal. Is that what the Bible says? Ahem, no. Some are strong, some are smart, and some are stupid, some are faster than others. In other words, just like all men, not all races are equal. Is it evil thing to tell the truth? Was Esau equal to Jacob? Does God love all people the same? To even ask the question is to answer in the negative.

    All things must be summed up in Christ, even the way we understand races and history. As Americans, we desperately need to reconcile how we understand the antebellum south over against the despicable, inaccurate, not to mention repulsive TV shows like “Roots” which foment anger and hatred to the White race. And when Douglas Wilson tells the truth, even “some” Christians get their panties in a wad. Why?

    I’ll tell you why! *We* eat to much unclean food! (I include myself in the group) And by that I’m talking about what we watch on TV, the things we allow to entertain us. Do the shows we watch on TV have a Christian world view? Not just no, but hell no!!

    Watching American TV for entertainment is exactly what I think God was getting at with the Jewish dietary law. Does watching TV help us to walk by faith? We are supposed to guard our minds, and yet, I hear on this blog people talking about watching shows like the “The Wire”! Are you kidding me?!

    Does anyone believe in consecration? Does anyone think watching the likes of “The Wire” will help them understand history from a biblical perspective? Sadly, this sort of “belly full of swill” entertainment is what we as Christens are supposed to be avoiding, not celebrating. FWIW, I have never seen, “The Wire”, and while I will stop short of saying to watch “The Wire” is sin, it’s most surely foolish, and dangerous, in my humble opinion.

    We (Christian Americans) need to be humble, wise, mature, and Biblical in how we understand slavery in general, and slavery the way it was in America.

    Was the antebellum south’s version of slavery, ethical? Wilson says no! Yet, it wasn’t nearly as wicked or evil, as the politically correct crowd would have us believe. And slavery isn’t wrong is certain circumstances. Many Christen slave owners in the antebellum south really loved their slaves, and proclaimed the gospel to them!!! That was the large majority of slave owners. Does that make southern slavery not a sin? No, says Wilson, to whom much is given, much is required.

    As Christian men in the twenty first century, who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, we shouldn’t be embarrassed about what the Bible says about slavery, and knuckle under to the politically correct crowd. Most of the people, who are attacking Wilson, fit the mold of the “politically correct”, crowd to a tee. Anthony Bradley however seems to me, as an emotional, confused, man. I read Bradley and he sounds like a typical, overly emotional black American with a huge grudge on the south. Moreover, he twists and distorts Wilson’s words, into a purely American notion of what constitutes being a racist. Unbiblical to the bone.

    If Bradley had a lick of sense, he would be thanking God for slavery, (since it was God’s secret will) as was the vehicle that brought millions of black slaves to the gospel, not to mention coming to this land of blessing. Even though there were ethical problems with slavery the way it was, God caused it to work out for the good of those who loved God and were called according to his purposes.


  24. Just b/e we disagree w/Wilson dosen’t make us PC. Most historians find fault w/his conclusions & their disagreement does not make them card carrying members of the ACLU.
    I said that as a white southerner I can’t understand why a pastor would write books like these b/e they damage the work of racial reconcialiation & they damage the work of the gospel. As a Southerner race & racial conflict has been around my entire life. One problem has been that white Southerners have tried to glorify the CSA & minimize the evils & effects of race based slavery. Wilson serves as a kind of reverse Carpetbagger who takes us backwards not forwards.

    I know scores of white Southerners who hold grudges & resentments b/e of Sherman’s March or Reconstruction. Yet you say about Bradely: “sounds like a typical, overly emotional black American with a huge grudge on the south.” I’m amazed that after reading the quotes I provided that you have no understanding why Bradley would react strongly & even emotionly to Wilson’s 2 books. I think you need to rethink what you said about Bradley’s reaction to Wilson as well as why “typical overly emotional black Americans” might hold grudge.

    Actually I’ve found that most black Americans DO NOT hold grudges against the South but enjoy & appreciate the South & the culture. (evidenced by the fact that more blacks are now moving into the South). But most blacks DO resent attempts to glorify or minimize the injustice of race based slavery. This is why most would react angrily to Wilson’s 2 books.

    Also just b/e African American believers like Bradley reject Wilson’s 2 books & his view of history dosen’t mean they reject God’s providential work in history. They can still have strong feelings about the evils of race based slavery & its impact that are still felt in our culture yet thank God for bringing them to the gospel.

    I’m not knuckling under to PC, feminsim, or the Democratic party when I say that SSAIW & Black & Tan is largely bad history & bad for the gospel. I’m also not rejecting all that Wilson has said or done just by rejecting these 2 books.

    Lastly you are wrong about Wilson’s view of history and yous are wrong about The Wire. (You’re also wrong about Roots as well. While Roots has its own historical problems its far more accurate than “Gone With The Wind.)


  25. By the way the claims to racial harmony that Wilson says existed in the Antebellum South sound very similar to the claims of racial harmony made by white Southerners during Jim Crow segregation.


  26. B Avant, Douglas Wilson is not a liar.

    I cringed when I just read what I wrote up above. I was wrong to say that Bradely holds a grudge, especially calling that behavior typical.

    Please forgive me Anthony Bradley


  27. I don’t believe I called Wilson a liar. I believe his 2 books SSAIW & Black & Tan are bad & misinformed history but thats a far cry from calling him a liar or a racist.

    We all make mistakes when writing online. Its the nature of the beast.


  28. @B Adven: When you say: Southerners have tried to glorify the CSA & minimize the evils & effects of race based slavery.

    There is more slavery today in Africa, then ever before in history. But when it’s black on black slavery I don’t hear the outrage. Where are Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson screaming about all the black slaves currently in captivity in Africa? They were outraged when South Africa practiced segregation, no?

    Is race based slavery, what made antebellum south’s practice unethical? No! I don’t believe that was the sin. It was never letting there slaves have a chance for freedom, that made it unethical, not the race issue. Now looking down on another man because of his race is the sin of pride, and any of us can fall pray to that trap. Just look at the Jews, they thought they were better than all other people! I don’t think you have a good handle on what constituted the sin, in southern slavery.

    And if you, being raised in the south, don’t know *why* slavery was unethical, then perhaps we need to let the light of God’s Word correct our view of history. And that is all Douglas Wilson was trying to do. There are still some deep wounds in our Nation that only the power of the gospel can break. But we must tell the truth! And the PC police hate admitting that many slaves had loving relationships with their Masters. It ruins their simplistic paradigm, which is “all slavery with White men owning Black men is evil”. The Bible doesn’t agree with that perspective. I applaud Pastor Wilson for having the courage to attempt to tell the truth.

    P.S. Is black on black slavery considered race based slavery?


  29. B Advant says: don’t believe I called Wilson a liar. I believe his 2 books SSAIW & Black & Tan are bad & misinformed history but thats a far cry from calling him a liar or a racist.

    Thanks 🙂


  30. “The Reverend Douglas Wilson may not be a professional historian, as his detractors say, but he has a strong grasp of the essentials of the history of slavery and its relation to Christian doctrine. Indeed, sad to say, his grasp is a great deal stronger than that of most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms. And the Reverend Mr. Wilson is a fighter, especially effective in defense of Christianity against those who try to turn Jesus’ way of salvation into pseudo-moralistic drivel.” – Eugene Genovese, Ph.D., Columbia University, author of nine books including Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made, winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History, teaching positions at Rutgers, University of Rochester, Yale, Cambridge, and formerly a distinguished scholar in residence for the University Center, Georgia.


  31. Eugene Genovese is considered one of the foremost experts on antibellum south. And what does he say about Douglas Wilson’s books?!

    “his grasp is a great deal stronger than that of most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms. And the Reverend Mr. Wilson is a fighter, especially effective in defense of Christianity against those who try to turn Jesus’ way of salvation into pseudo-moralistic drivel.”

    Sounds like Wilson is a lot more accurate than *most* professors of American history”! I can hardly think of a greater compliment! It seems as if you guys who denigrated Wilson all owe him an apology!


  32. More slavery today in Africa than any time in history? How do you know? Even if that were true what does it have to do with American slavery?
    What does Al Sharpton have to do with a view of history? Nothing.
    Burma has a ruthless military dictatorship; does then the existence of that goverment give Syria a pass to oppress her citzens? Black on Black slavery would not excuse anyother form of slavery. Africa is not a monolithic continent anyway but a multicultural, multiethnic, & multireligous continent in which race is only a small part. But this is irrelevant. India still has a caste system, as far as I know Al Sharpton has said little about it. But it matters not b/e it has no bearing on Wilson’s 2 books.

    I use the term race based for 2 reasons but not to show it as worse than other forms of slavery. 1st to distingish it from other forms of slavery(ancient roman, etc) & then it also was a reason given by many Southerners (&northerners)for slavery. While most Southerners rejected evolution many did believe that it was the natural state for black men to be servants. Race became a reason for slavery & then race became a reason for Jim Crow & white superiority.


  33. Was there geniune affection that existed between the races during slavery? yes. Was there geniune affection between the races during Jim crow segregation? Yes. But Wilson inflates that affection & characterizes it as the normative during slavery. In both slavery & Jim Crow whites inflated the affection & told themselves & others that blacks are happy under the present system. If only those outsiders would stop interfering. But that dosen’t counter the fact that the plantations emptied when Northern troops came by & that African Americans overwhelmingly supported the civil rights movement.
    But any geniune affection dosen’t reflect from the evil.

    Wilson has written 2 books that are bad history & 2 books that poison racial reconciliation. Just because we care about racial reconcilaition dosn’t make us PC. Rather we care about the gospel & Wilson’s 2 books are stumbling blocks.


  34. Eugene Genovese. Yes he has long been considered a leading scholar on Southern history & during that time that he gave the endorsement he was making a shift from Marxism to conservative catholicism. That may or may not be an influence. But he is a lone voice in supporting SSAIW & B&T. Scholars have overwhelmingly rejected Wilson’s view of history.

    Specfic Critcisms of these 2 books have always been greeted w/a 2 responses. Wilson & others hold them up like 2 shields. Specfic critques are not answered but rather one defense is: all the critics care more about PC than the truth. They’re intolerant.
    The other shield is Eugene Genovese. Why do you have to answer specfic questions & criticisms b/e Eugene Genovese gives an endorsement.

    I don’t have to agree w/Eugene Genovese I can read & study for myself to know that Wilson’s history is wring & ultimately noxious & toxic.


  35. B Advant says: Was there genuine affection that existed between the races during slavery? Yes. Was there genuine affection between the races during Jim Crow segregation? Yes.

    (But Wilson inflates that affection & characterizes it as the normative during slavery.)

    Huh?!! Balderdash!! How do you know?! We’re you there? Why is it so hard for you to believe that the majority of Christian slave owners were good and loving to their slaves? Why does that fact, cause you to pee your pants? If you can answer that question, perhaps a light will blink on in you bean.

    You’re a good example of what can happen to young skulls full of mush, when they are educated by the PC police. (aka Government schools) B Advant; you have been eating unclean food. So much so, that when the foremost expert on slavery agrees with Wilson, you side with God’s enemies. Have you asked yourself why you’re siding with the God sneering atheists?


  36. B Advant, would it wreck your world, if you found irrefutable evidence that most slaves in the south were treated with kindness and love? Could you handle it? I ask the question because you sound like you’re going to pop your top, when its going to be found true. You sound like you can’t handle the truth!!

    Why does the PC crowd rage when Christians look to God’s Word for direction when it comes to morality? Once again B Advant; whose side are you on? Since you’re a professing Christian, me thinks you should re-think.


  37. Again you prove my point. When criticisms against Wilson’s 2 books are given the response is “you’re intolerant, you’re corrupted by the PC crowd, “young skulls full of mush,” “can’t handle the truth.”
    The other response is “look Eugene Genovese gives an endorsement,” discussion ended. (by the way you may think my “young skull is full of mush” but you flatter me. I’m not so young anymore.

    “Why does the PC crowd rage when Christians look to God’s Word for direction when it comes to morality?” Since when did this become an argument over God’s truth? This is a dispute over recent history of a little over 150 years ago not a discussion over the inerrancy of Scripture, the Virgin Birth, or the subsitutionary atonement. Just becuase i disagree & find fault w/Wilson 2 books does not make me a card carrying member of the PCUSA or a Unitarian.

    But if you can’t understand how an African American Southerner like Bradley could find offense in Wilson’s 2 books then I’m not sure what to say.

    But right now I’m going to fun to the BR b/f I pee in my pants, then see if I can round up my copies of the WIRE & watch McNulty & Bunk.


  38. Doug – When I look at our inner cities and the huge welfare state that will bankrupt all of us I can’t say I have a lot of warm feelings for the institution of slavery. If you CREC guys want to ride that horse I guess you can. Hire a good P.R. firm, though. You’ll need it.


  39. Wow, talk about coming from left field! Erik, I don’t have warm feelings for the institution of slavery. I wasn’t even alive when our Nation still had slaves. Moreover, Douglas Wilson doesn’t have warm feelings for the institution of slavery either! So Erik, you’ve struck out! How about getting a clue, and read “Black And Tan”. You can download it for free over at Blog and Mablog.

    What in the world does welfare have to do with slavery? Or are you saying that welfare is a form of slavery?


  40. Good idea. Read it for yourself but you can also read “Southern Slavery As It Was” which came first & which Wilson has not disavowed.
    I’ve read both & can state that its bad history. Its like watching an old 1930s Hollywood movie with happy slaves in the cotton field.


  41. B Avant says: I’ve read both & can state that it’s bad history. LOL! LOL!

    Why not drink a brew, and watch, yet another episode of “The Wire”, to get your mind right? Like I said earlier, you think its fine, to feed on unclean food, which partially explains why you ridicule Wilson, and exult the wicked. You are a Christian, right?

    BTW, virtually everything you’ve written on this subject is either twisted or flat out wrong. Douglas Wilson co-wrote *Southern Slavery The Way It Was*, and there were a few problems with the book. That’s why Wilson wrote “Black And Tan” alone. But you should have known that, if you *really* read both works. But your words come across as both sarcastic and disingenuous, if not downright deceptive. Why didn’t you mention the retractions of their first book?

    If you really did read both books you should have known that Steve Wilkins took responsibility for the errors in SSTWIW exonerating Wilson. But honesty doesn’t seem to be one of you’re strong suits. Did that just slip your mind?

    Finally Eugene Genovese didn’t just say that Wilson and Wilkins book on slavery were honest and accurate, and captured the gist of southern slavery; he said Wilson had a *better* handle on southern slavery than most American professors!!! He didn’t stop there; He said that liberal history professors in America were a disgrace! Yet you want to believe them, and give them a big sloppy kiss, why? Your belly is full of swine.

    These Professors have an ax to grind, because they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. They have a personal hatred for Bible believing Christians, like Pastor Wilson. Moreover, they revel in showing how a predominately “Christian culture” was evil incarnate. Yet Genovese the *foremost* expert on the antebellum south disagrees with that assessment, and agrees with Wilson. Sadly, you side with God’s enemies.

    So B Avant, please ask yourself why you side, with the secular, atheistic, God sneering liberals who ridicule and try to marginalize the righteous? (I think I know why) By the way, I was kidding about watching another episode of “The Wire. Here is a good idea for you: Figure out how much time you eat unclean food (watching TV for entertainment) and only watch TV the same amount of time you currently read the Bible and read the Bible the same amount of time you watch TV. That will effectively make you stop watching TV, and turn you into a scholar in no time, yea! Quit eating swine!!

    Stop blogging for a year, then you can come back with sack cloth and ashes, truly repent, and humbly ask Douglas Wilson’s forgiveness. You have distorted, and twisted his words, yet I’m sure he will graciously accept your apology, and you’ll be the better man for it. You will be clean, forgiven, and ready to serve God, rather than attacking God’s servants.

    It’s not an order, just a suggestion; and I’ll leave the light on for you 🙂

    Rest in his completed work,



  42. Doug – I’ve listened to enough Christ Church history conferences and heard enough Steve Wilkins lectures to know they have a warm spot in their hearts for the “Old South” and The Confederacy. When you import generations of Africans and break up their families that has consequences for a long time. One of those consequences is what we see in the inner cities and in the calls for the massive welfare state that we have. Any money that was made in the south because of slavery has been spent many times over in paying for the consequences of slavery. Anyone who seeks to romanticize any aspect of it is being “obtuse”, as Andy Dufresne accuses Warden Norton of being…


  43. Bozeman writes about the “inductive” politics of the old school.

    Samuel Hopkins and Slavery, by Charles R. Biggs

    “The majority did not argue on behalf of slavery merely because they thought the Africans were less human, arguing from the curse of Ham in Genesis. The majority of the aristocrats who owned slaves in the time of Jonathan Edwards argued that slavery was a divine institution –an ontological institution which God had positively sanctioned in the Bible. The aristocratic class both Christian and non-Christian, argued that slaves had been held in bondage since Biblical times and that the
    Bible implicitly and explicitly sanctioned the practice of slave holding. They argued that they did not own the slaves as beings in God’s image, but that they owned the slave’s labor. This was an important distinction for those of the upper class of this period.


  44. Mr Sowers, again you show an inability to engage in the specfic problems found in SSAIW & Black & Tan. Yr response is an attack on the historicity is an attack by godless secular forces. “you side with God’s enemies.” Again you act as if the stakes were that of a debate on the doctrine of the Trinity. You get personal assuming I spend my time watching TV & peeing in my pants. (My mentioning of watching the Wire was in response to you writing abt how the Wire was unclean food. I can only assume that was a rip on DGH since I’ve never mentioned it before & he’s been clear that he’s a fan.)

    Have I personally attacked you? Have I personally attacked Wilson? Have I called him a racist? I do believe that some racists have used SSAIW & B&T for their own benefit but that dosen’t make him a racist. I believe his 2 books are wrong but I don’t believe I’ve attacked him or you personally. You’re the one who continually makes this personal.

    I’ve only said that SSAIW is abysmal history & that Black & Tan follows the same pattern.
    Yes I knew that there were problems in SSAIW. Wilkins plagerized sections of it & Black & Tan was Wilson’s corrected work. But Wilson did not disavow the content of SSAIW & a careful reading of both shows that the basic arguemnt is still there.

    Yes Genovese has been recognized as a leading scholar of slavery & the Old South but that dosen’t mean he’s the only one. Yet you & Wilson use him like a shield. All debate ends b/e Genovese says so.

    Again if you want to take my beleif that SSAIW & B&T is bad history & a step backwards for racial reconciliation as an attack on the kingdom of God then so be it.


  45. B Advant says: Have I personally attacked Wilson?

    Yes, you said his work is crap. You’ve acted like he’s from Mars or something. And it wasnt until I jumped on you, that you started back tracking a little. But you are right, I still need to tone it down a few notches, so please forgive me, I’m out.

    Erik, I read Black And Tan” could be downloaded for free at Blog and Mablog last week when this thing broke out.


  46. Criticizing someone’s work is a far cry from attacking them personally.

    Crap is not the word I used. I did say that SSAIW & black & tan is abyssmal history & toxic. SSAIW has been used by some to glorify the Confederacy & minimize the impact of slavery. And the negative impact it has on racial reconcialiation makes me wonder why a pastor who cares about the gospel would write something so toxic. Its easy for a pastor like Wilson who lives in lilly white idaho to call himself a paleo-Confederate. Those of us here in the South who care about building bridges have to pick up the pieces caused by works like SSAIW & B&T.

    So if thats saying his work is crap then so be it.


  47. Brother B. says: SSAIW has been used by some to glorify the Confederacy & minimize the impact of slavery.

    So? Hasnt the Bible been used to justifjy all sorts of evil? Shall we out law the Bible as well? Maybe someone will take it out of context? Your seeing ghosts Mr. Avant, because your so programed by the PC crowd, you can’t handle the truth! In my humble opinion of course.


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