Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode 8 · 1 year ago

Season 1: Episode 7 - Disagreements About Systematic Racism, How to Approach History, and Recommended Books on Slavery

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Originally released on June 10th, 2020, Kevin DeYoung, Collin Hansen, and Justin Taylor discuss the morality of laughter, the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, their disagreements about systematic racism, how to approach history, and their recommended books on slavery.

This is life and books and everythinghosted by Kevendiyan Justin Taylor in colinhanonreadings and salutations goodto have you with us for life and books and everything I am just reading our names off of mthe squadcast screen revkev with Callin Hanson and I'm probably havingtechnical difficulties guy. That's just in glad have you all with us. I ththank you sounds perfect. I'd like to start us in an littledifferent direction and we will get to y there's there's lots that we couldtalk about in the world around us at really important things, and you knowthe three of us have been communicating that we're walking this. This delicatebalance here that this is life and books and everything, and so we want totalk about books, but I guess there's life and there's everything in thereand UH. You know on certain weeks I mean we would beDerelectif. We had never said anything about corona virus, just happilytalking about books as if there's no global, pandimic or talking about lifeas if there is not a major historical moment goingon as best as we can see in our country regarding race. So we will talk aboutsome of those things, and yet there are lots of podcasts out there that giveyou h the latest on current events from a Christian perspective and and thoseare really helpful and we're not trying to duplicate that. So with all that, asa preface I wantd to start before we get to any of that and UH. This may sound like a weird place tobegin, but I'm reading a book right now ca it's about ten years old, fifteenyears old, it's called the morality of laughter and not very far into it. But at leastone of the basic arguments is laughter and humor is not simply adistraction or merely a pleasure to enjoy, but it's a universal humanphenomenon and more than that, when done properly it's it, it hassalutary effects that often laughter is may not always ere just silly gags andthings and people getting hit wherever with baseball bats. But there are, there can be a morality tolauter. That's the argument that it's teaching you something about vice andvirtue in laughter. All of that is a segway to say w. How do you guys thinkabout in the midst of Twenta Twenty, which is, it seems likeby any measure not the year, that people were planning for? How do you balance theire, weightythings going on really heavy things? We don't want to bury our head in the sandand yet do you? Do you give yourself permission to to watch a a funny movie to listen to a Netflix standup t? Do you laugh? How dowe handle the weight of these times and still have the human elements and joy and pleasure and laughter? Have youguys thought about that? W Collin, how do you assess the mood that we're in asa country and who we are? Is Human beings trying to navigate that mood? I wonder Kevin if it's contextual,because we probably remember that time when John Piper was speaking before agroup of Christian counsellors, yes and he's talking about all of these seriousserious, weighty manners of the Transcendent Glory of God, and I can't remember just an what wasthe story: What W were they just not prepared for it or was there somethingelse that came out about that news? What was the WH T wha turned out to bethe case yeah. I don't think there was some profound backstory. They just wereprimed when somebody who was talking about themselves very seriously withoutany sort of warm up, that it must be tongue in cheek or for effect, orsomething like that yeah, when I've noticed also that sometimes a churchcan take honor or a friendship can take on a certain measure of frivolity oreven sort of like distance through sarcasm, and so I've actually beenthinking about this lately as an elder in my church that I've noticed that alot of the Times, our interactions, at least initially, are very ironic anddetached, and thinking about how I don't, I don't actually think that'svery helpful for us as elders. I don't...

...think it's in keeping with our office an so so I want to say off th off thebath at. There are a lot of occasions where I don't think it's particularlyhelpful and it might actually be harmful and probably we we live in afrivolous culture, and so probably we need to be especially aware of thatdanger. At the same time I mean I, I love to laugh. I hope thatcomes through on this podcast. Every every friendship needs a big laugher. Iwas telling my wife this Callin and you have the year wig, it's a real joy. Imean it really is my good Inge Jason Holopolis. You know he has a big laugh,it's just great somebody who it fills the room. So thank you for having a bighead. I do have a very large an not not in pride just phys, iold, sy, large,head and laughing wold. It's very true. It's very true thethings you miss on a podcast m. where I a can, I wear a hat? AH JUST HAV TO BE BIG. It has to belike size, eight. Well, that's why I you know if they don't say one sizefits all anymore. They say one size fits most. Oh, I didn't read whellould,they do there's some lost in a loner behind there. It has been a lie: Al Theyears, yeah, no yeat. No, I get it'Saboutyou knowbout a size e, whichis which is pretty pretty pretty large Um. But no, I do do love to laugh anand will say there are plenty of things about me that my my wife graciouslyoverlooks, but that is one thing that she also appreciates in our marriage.So it's just part of I think mean I it's interesting comin a lot of peoplewould think they know me I'm a very serious person'cause. I talk about a lot of serious things like we do on this bodcast andserious books, and this podcast is going to get into some of those topics,but I just don't see that as inconsistent with with a joy out of life and out of anappreciation for the absurdity of so much and also just a passage I cameacross this this last week. Reading saw ninety four nineteen when the cares ofmy heart are many, your consolations cheer, my soul, and I don't know thatthat necessarily has to be merely abstract. But I believe that this canbe a very real mark of of a Christian. Is Somebody who's willing to even sortof even the midst of evil in a fallen world to find the joy of Christ and toand to laugh and to enjoy that friendship? So hadn't thought aboutthis a lot, but I just I'm just going to hold out that those things are notmutually exclusive justin. What do you? What do you think I mean just in senseof humor? As you guys know, a listen to the BODGAST is different. You gotta belistening for it, and so even last night, just in your you're poking funat one of our friends on twitter, and he can't even tell no that's onrel ot,it's just yeah. I wish there was an Acrin for laughingon the inside Elo. That would be yeah. I think it's a great question. Itsounds like a great book Um and I've always loved the C S. Lewis quotewhere he says he loves nothing more than the sound of adult male laughter,which is just y. You Imagine Louis sitting aroundwith his friends in the pub and and laughing and smoking and drinking andtalking about profound things and the fact that he loved that sound more thananything else, I think it's just a beautiful little thing, and yet youdon't think of him as a Um, somebody who's just being silly or justyou know, telling jokes to tell jokes but there's kind of a profundity to itin a depth to real laughter versus just the laugh track. My my wife and I werein the car, the other Ay the kids were listening to. I Love Lucy episode inthe background and if you're watching something like that, you don't reallynotice the laugh track it kind of goes along. But if you're just listening andall you hear is the can laughter, I mean it's funny. I guess for a little bit, butit's very annoying after a while just kind of fake laughter Um, but I think there's biblical groundsfor holding to the complexities of life. Like Hollan was saying. I mean the bookof Ecclesiasitis talked about different seasons, Paul and second crinthy andsix ten says that we are to be always sorrowful and always rejoicing at thesame time. So I think our emotions can be complex because life is complex, thebibles ultimately from a literary standpoint, a comedy in the way inwhich it ends there's their surprise and there's joy and there's breaking inand there's unexpected reversals m. So I I do love to hear a good laughterlove to hear Colin Laugh. I left o laugh on the inside. I Love to love totell dad jokes that H my fifteen year...

...old son laughs very loudly at them, butnobody else does so well, it's nice that they still laugh at them. I I knowhell appreciate it someday, I think yeah. Well, maybe I'm just doing my ownself therapy here I remember when I was a a camp counsilor in college onesummer and got to the end of the summer with all the counselors andwe did a big affirmation circle. That's crinceworthy enough. You get in themiddle and that every all the other counselors have to say something aboutyou. Inevitably it was the really serious people that got the Godly Holy Uh. You know, I see the glory of Godand them and tha the funny. People got crazy spirited and I I I was I was jealous for some of theother ones. So it's it's taken me a long time which one was yours. You knowI was the funny guy that was yeah a and I remember the camp director saying Y. I didn't get what I thought I wasgetting with you 'cause when I interviewed he as probably asking aboutwhat I did for Funaw, I'm a college student. I read Kalvin's commentaries.Well, that's sort of a one sort of side of me. I mean that's T T'. That isa laugh track. That's a riot, but it's taken me a long time to be OK with yea.That's how Y K W D Y? U Your warning is good callind not to be jaded not to besarcastic, not to be the person. That's always. I remember one pastor that wewould all know saying in a very good self, deprecating way that you know hishis bus of church people was showing up to like a mission trip where anotherbus of church people and his bus got off and it was they were all yucking itup and the other bus had been praying or something, and he thought I don'tknow. Am I doing something wrong here. So there's always a danger, but I thinkit's really healthy to realize some people have really seriouspersonalities and they shouldn't try to be funny, especially ESPECI. If my rule,when I teeach students in your preaching, if you're not funny in reallife, don't try to be funny in the pulpit it'll be worse, it doesn'tmagically transnow. It doesn't, even though, even though the standards arevery very low for bastors, but I've just been thinking about this because,on the one hand I I do not want to be. You know a I'm very weighed down by allthese things happening, for I didn't think I could be more weighed down thanI was with corona virus and then all of all of this I mean it's just very heavy-to watch the George George Floy. It is almost excruciatingly heavy H and we don't, but I remember Andy Crowc.You know a couple of weeks or last week wrote that article about watching lessnews and one of the points he made was we're not trained we're not trained totake in violence and and then conflictconstantly and we're just getting that, and it seems to me that you know thebiblical world had some healthier models. They you know somebody woulddie. They'd have a set season Y, ' Yo, you mourn for thirty days or for fortydays. This is this is feasting. This is fasting. This is mourning this isrejoicing and it's just very hard. So I don't want to be. U. You know running away from thoseuncomfortable moments at all, and yet I do think. Sometimes people needpermission that if you think the only way to deal with a crisis, honorably isunending seriousness. You just can't do it and you can't lastand you make for an orninary person. I don't I don't know the Bible doesn'tseem especially concerned with giving us these aspects of personalities. We know a little bitmore about Jesus in this regard, but we don't know a lot. I don't think about alot of the other characters, Um the figures and the people in the Bible,but I do think in history. We have some examples and I don't imagine a lot of us think thatCalvin was a big laugher. Probably not that ddoesn't seem. Thatway doesn't seem like that way or it doesn't seem like they found him to befunny. No, no, no either way, but luther. Of course right was spurgein.SPURGEON was, and I don't think anybody, no matter how serious they are nowwould regard Luther or spurgeon to be somehow spiritually deficient. Becauseof that. So I think it's just another call to not necessarily baptize ourpersonality as the norm, but at the same time to recognize the time thatwe're in and be Wisan on our guard not to just fall in line with for of thedirection of the culture and what's challeging in our time. Right now isthat everything is so prepackaged I...

...mean if you know we could log off otthis pot gast and immediately fine, the fifteen funniest jokes on you tube itsjust prepackage for you, there's a distinction between getting comedy sortof prepackage for you, which can be innocent and can be fun, can even beedifying versus finding things funny in real life, because life is just funnybaby's falling over because they're tired, that's funny know ironic word play is funny. It's Ithink. When we get into just it's all sarcasm, it's all prepackaged, we start to get unhealthy. I think inthe opposite direction, yeah. So, let's, let's talk about some of what's goingon and I'm just GOINNA. I have some thoughts and you you two are with methis time. So I promise not to do a twenty five minute monologue on it.What was my feedback? Kavin um good? If Long Wayou said about, and so I thought well, the if means-maybe maybe not- and you clarified no, it was. It was long. I had some peoplesay they appreciate. I did not have anyone say I wish it were longer, but I only preached about twenty eightminutes the other week and my son came up quick and just said he was concernedlike Dad. That was so short I was like. Are you feeling, okay, so I'll? Let youguys go first, just there there's so much going on and let's, let's setaside covid unless you wanted to intersectbecause it it does, as epdemeologists have reversed course now and what wecan or cannot do. But how are you processing all of the the drama, an some hope and some anxstand some lots of pain and some violence? Everything were seeing on TV protestsand riots and police reform and black lives matter,and politics Gonamok just in what are you thinking andfeeling to make sense of this present moment yeah? I you know going back to what youwere saying earlier: Kevin it. It is just a heavy time. I mean n the worst people in the world to judgewhether something's historical or not are the people that are in the moment.Right t still does feel like trying to be as objective as possible. Twenty twenty is one for the historybooks. I mean from the president of the United States being in page to gohundred year pandemic to what feels like a very differentsituation in terms of race, stuff and the three of us have been thinkingabout race and observing race and participating in the discussions andseeking to learn and to read and to contribute, where appropriate. For Twenty twenty five years I mean for us.This is not some new thing like I've, not really thought about racialdisparities before I've not really thought about police brutality es thisisn't new for us, but it does feel like something different is happening rightnow and of course, we need perspective to see if that's true or not Um, but itdoes feel like a heavy time, and I think it's the the convergence of allsorts of different things. There's there's the lament piece ofjust lamenting that this is the reality. There's the weeping with those who weepof M as we're recording this Schilin think all of us would count him as afriend Buwish a pie at Gospel Coalition. I saw one H: Brother referred to it asa a modern day letter from Birmingham jail, which is, of course, high praise to read something like that. Notthiserly, feel pain and feel remorse and feel regret and Um ad just give twenty seconds. What wasshy talking? I I read it: We've all read it, but just in case people haveNand he's talking about his experiences, doing it a very humble but very raw way,Ye ast African American male living, O, Philly and DC. I don't know how oldChia's price, similar to our age, late, thirties, forties, um, talking about just the lifelongexperience of white suspicion and and driving, while black and and it wasn't melodramatic, and itwasn't a SOB story. It was just saying here. You went a little window into mylife and my experiences and my psyche how this has affected me and it it wasnot a hopeless piece, but it was a hope, filled piece because he's his heart iscentered on the gospel of Jesus. So all of that feels heavy and then y youthrow into it the protest hand you throw into it the rioting and theviolence, and it just feels like it's adding waigt upon wait. Um, I don't know, even if you want to talkabout the protest as a separate item...

...later, if you want to talk about thatnow, Wyol go ahead Y. I I think we should all support, lawful protestand see it as something important and right that we have the right to do thatand to want to stand for justice and to participate. When we can seems also like we should be againstviolence and M, destroying property and looting. It seems like we should alsobe able to to Sav both of those truths without hedging and not to emphasizeone over the other. But to say we think this is right. We think this is wrong,and yet it's also disorienting like like what are we protesting? Am Iprotesting the death of an innocent man? Yes, I am. Am I protesting that I wantthe police defunded in every community in America? No, that's now somethingthat I think is a wise idea. I think it would would hurt the poor. I think itwould hurt people of color, so it it's just disoranting. I think when you havea country of RSIZE, with the number of ideologieis represented a and warringagendas. Um, you know try to put yourself in there N. where do I fitexactly? And it's been hard, I mean really opinkon what you read your head just gets spun around I meanI read some things that it's thei're peaceful protests, few extremist. Youknow obviously some really bad nights, but you know some make Ito. Ninety fivepercent of this are peaceful protest and then you read other no, thesethat's the media. These aren't peaceful protests or this particular situationwasn't, and you don't have the full story in I mean I don't know I mean I I I see tens of thousands of people in Citysquares and I think most people must be peaceful or h. That scene couldn't happen and yetwe've seen you know perhaps more earlier on someof the scenes that at night- and I don't know if that's a too simplisticof a heuristic, but it sort of seemed to me. If you want to have a peaceful protest,it seems like the people doing that are probably arranging for it at ten in themorning or four in the afternoon, and probably not at nine at night. So you know it's just it's hard for any of us to know exactlyeverything. That's going on Colin. How are you continuing to to tink throughit with your head in your Heart El? I am glad to see across the stateof Alabama confederate monuments, falling Um, as somebody who's been along standing, a proponent of of historical education, as well asstudying the civil war. In particular, I regret that a lot of people thinkthat when you study the civil war, it means that you somehow appreciate theconfederacy or their ideals, and I don't- and so, even though I AganI love history, and I love remembering- and I think that it's so important, Ithink it is a strong if, if still symbolic, step tore justice tosee these monuments come down and that Wenout, including the one that's threemiles from my house, downtown Birmingham had like a lot of people Odo who, as that of that, was just the soldiers, um n personally. Well, now,here's The a lot of people just don't know thehistory. So, for example, you think why in the world would there be amonument to the confederacy in downtown Birmingham? We weren't a city in thecivil war, so there's nobody, you could evenfeature. It's not like. Our city had some kind of favorite son who went offand accomplished something I in the war it didn't exist as a city, then thenyou start to understand the symbolic but real role that these monumentsplayed in reinforcing a certain kind of of dominance and supremacy in thosecases. So you know that was it weren't put up in eighteen, sixty five, that'swhat I'm saying exactly. They were put up in the late eighteen, hundreds intothe nineteen hundreds and then, of course, the closer you get now y. Yousee thete's a rash of different sort of uses of the confederacy that emerge inthe nineteen sixties, of course connected the civil rights movement. Inthat case, and so that's so I want to be clear aboutthat, because here in Birmingham again just a few miles from my house, we hadthat situation go down and in fact our church was told to expect Um VitheGrapevine, some kind of property attack Um which never came thankfully, but sowe e we're kind of kind of in the middle of that, and it was a a littlebit scary. But the point is even though that kind of emerged at night, I'mstill glad for the outcome, I'm very sad for my friends and and others whosebusinesses were damaged um downtown and it can so donselfdestructive because inErein downtown Birmingham. So many of...

...the businesses that were destroyed ordamage were, of course ones led by African Americans Um. I I have been my church. My my excuse me. My phonehas been ringing off the hook in the last week and a half to two weeks with pastors members, others just asking forasking for council just telling me their story. I get a sense that, just in part of thehistoric nature of what's happening here is there are a lot of churches in crisisright now, a lot of groups of elders who are not remotely on the same pagewith this stuff, moving in in very different directions, and I think th. The part, that's atleast clear for me- is that a lot of people are confused.Thinking that the protests and the response are directly or exclusivelyrelated to George Floyd and what was done to him, but they're, not, and I don't thinkthey're, even specifically or exclusively about police brutality, but about a whole wide range offrustrations and the the thing about shys piece that wepublish today and I give Matt Smitherst a lot of credit. He and shy have goback a number of years and they've been TAT's been working, was shy and now wasfinally the time for us to be able to publish that article and I'm glad wedid 'cause, basically for those people who whomight be in a different position. What shy is saying is what so many ofus here regularly from our black friends, and I don't know guys what else I'msupposed to do, except to believe them. I don't haveany reason not to believe them with what they say about these things, andso I don't overcomplicate this with a whole bunch of different. You knowsociological and political theories. It's pretty much as simple as I knowwhat my friends tell me, I don't have any reason to deny what they say and I can see with my own two eyes whatit looks like in the world, and I don't know about the debate. We canhave a good debate about equality of opportunities versus the quality ofoutcomes, but I just have a hard time thinkingthat, with the inequality of outcomes that we necessarily do have a levelplaying field of an an equality of of opportunities, at least I know in myown context, but that's not true, so I don't know what that means more broadly,but I think was it um or there was an article that went around. That wastalking about systemic racism and it basically you guys, may have read thesame piece. I don't think we shared it with each other N, I'm not sure, but itmore or less says if, if you're sceptical about what you're, whatyou're hearing from African Americans just consider this you have a couple ofdifferent options. One of them is that African Americansare simply inherently worse or inherently less capable, and that's whythese outcomes are the way they are well. If that's the choce you take well,then that's just flat out racism. Okay, so that's your one option. Your otheroption is to consider that either current opportunities are not equal orthe historical effects of racism continue to bear certain outcomes today. So talk about dictionary, definitionsand Cultural Markacism, all you want, but that's basically just what systemicracism means that things that happened in history still have an effect. Todayand again, I don't want to get all get all of us in hot water there, but Ijust I don't think it's that complicated and I think we we try toovercomplicate it Kevin. What do you think? I think it is more complicated allright bring it on wlet me not turn this into a a Monologu. I Tan. I know twenty four minutes left,so I think Atany. There are a number of things going on.That's a truism and I'm always trying to pull out what what we are really-and I don't just mean we, the three of US- that we disagree on some things,but what we may agree on and disagree on so that we can see more clearly. Oh,this is what our real disagreement is about here, so that we don't miss wherethere is real agreement, so I say at least four layers. So reone isthe personal and I I completely agree calling I my instinct as a pastor, andI think it's hopefully just a human instinct when talking to our friends is I hear what most not all, but theoverwhelming majority of African Americans I know and have known, havedescribed their experience in particular with police. I believe them, I I don't think they'remaking it up. I think those things have...

...happened even if they haven't happenedto me and I haven't seen them. I I believe that in I read Shys piece thismorning and I thought yeah this really. What can we do sothat does not happen now. Evil things happen in the world. We get that, butif there's something we can do to minimize those experiences, I want tobe a part of that, but there's also a personal level Um. You just take policeofficers again, I don't have a lot of experiencewith police community, but the officers that I talk to get my instinct as theiras their pastor as their friend is to believe at least the ones I'm talkingto who who tell of all the things they're trying to do and how frustratedthey are when something happens really bad that they hate and now people shout death to pigs to them. My I agree with that too. I don't think,that's fair. I don't think that's fair to Um. You know hard working men andsometimes women who are trying to do the right thing and and hate the injustice THAs there. So,on a personal level that that's going on, there's the political level 'causeeverything is about politics today and everything is you know what you thinktrump did or what he meant and if you say something critical about trump,then you you must have really hoped that hilary one and vice for and not tomention that you know for a lot of you know. Most of our African Americanfriends probably would say: they're they're convinced that trump,if not a racist AIDS in a beds, those who are so that's a political question.That's just there and that's part of what the layer is h. Then there's thestructural and that's maybe where Colin you and I would would talk about, Ithink it's a little more complicated. I think there are more options. I don'tthink any monocausal explanation for disparities is going to work, and Iknow you agree with that. Yeah I'll be quick, quick on that one when it comes to when it comes to thepast, when I'm teaching about say history of Birmingham, it's kind ofeasy to be able to connect some of the dots white flight doesn't make thingsgo better in the city. When white people leave simple things like that,when it comes to solutions the way I tell people what I tell people is,whatever you think is a problem: You're right everything and just but so yeah. I don't. I don'tthink, there's like, historically speaking, we kind of know how we gothere generally, not not n, not exhaustively butgenerally, but the problem is when you try to figure out what to do. You'relike well, if you wantto tackle fatherlessness, go for it. If you wantto tackle inequities and school funding, go for it. If you want to get betterteachers go for it, so I just wanted to affirm. I completely agree there,there's NO ONE CA! Right! N! My point is some of th. What we're then talkingabout implicitly, are these structural issues. Where again, I don't want to bequietist and say: Well, it's just just pray and we never have to thinkabout legislation or reforming the police, but I do think we need to havesome humility like justiceed earlier podcast, you Kn W. If, if you haven'tspelled the word epidemeology before, then don't pretend that now you know it.So I don't remove inqualified immunity forpolice officers. I don't know some people that I like are saying. That's agood idea. I don't know, I haven't spent time thinking about it and you knowmore than since last week, so I do think we have to be careful that our what what we think is the right wayto make the situation better becomes the Christian weiht and again it's notto say that th there might not be a more Christian weight or a better wayor that there aren't good or right answers. But I think if we can at leastpull that out, then we can say on a personal level. Here's where I am,and I'm still thinking about the structurel level and thin is finallythere's a theological level and that's sometimes what we're really arguingabout. There's things that are easy to agree on we're all made in the image ofGod. We should have worth and dignity and then therere they're, tricky,theological questions of Rupe identity and how complicit are we for sins of thepast? You know, there's people arguing, Ithink very mistakenly, that m you know we can just say to be Gospel. Centeredmeans Y now, there's Gospel, there's justice, never the two shall meet, andyet we both know that there's also things that come into the category ofjustice that are are a far cry from what the Bible means by justice. Sothere are theological issues and part...

...of what I feel as a pastor. Is You know I this sense that what am Itrained to do? What I'm trained to do? Well, I hope, is the personal side of talking topeople listening to people. My instincts are, I believe you I'vesympathize with you. I support you that can be hard when you have some subset of people saying one thingand another subset and- and I don't believe their stories are mutuallyexclusive, but but they can be hard Um to just think of groups and understandit, and then you know we're trained to do theology, we're trying to thinkabout things. The alot were not experts in how we got here and, more importantly,as you said, Colin, what's the next step to make things better and that'swhere I do think some epistemic humility is in order and- and I hopethat I don't think it you should. You knowask for a lot of patients or you know, or a lot of waiting before you can sayeverything we see about the George foyd murder looks like murder, I mean just aheinous painful, something you wouldn't even want to see in a movie in its reallife, so you shouldn't have to say givemethree weeks to kind of think about that now he's due the officers do his day incourt, certainly, but there are other things that I think we ought to be ableto say hold on a minute have have we before we say we know exactly what theissue is and what the answer is. Have we thought about it? Have we IV we readmore than a few blogs and podcast I mean you guys have not talking aboutyou, but I think there's a need. Jer creaction say something immediatelyquickly. Everybody get on board and I don't think that helps things in thelong run. Yeah. I think all of us, the three ofus, have a conservative impulse andpresupposition that favors incrementalism over revolution andradicalism. I think that I'm not trying to speak for the two of Vou but ly Burkieins as Agas to thealternatives I mean put it in historical context. SASMERK was rightabout the French revolution and Ann Hamilton Hamilton was y. u against TiReadinoum w. We have a suspicion of thepropressive impulse. That says we need to just do something anything and T W,we'll think about the consequences. Later I mean to see some of the discussion with thedefu police. You know we need to defund police and we'll think about thealternative. Later I mean to me that just grates against every singleinstinct that I have and yet the thing that I've been bothered about in my ownconscience, as I look to myself, is if everybody was like me, which is sort ofmy presupposition. If everybody was just like me in terms of race, it wouldbe not a perfect world, it would still be a cinful world, but it would largelybe good. It would be better than it is now, but what things significantly changewould they change at a cultural level? Would they change a sstemic level? Idon't know that they would and that's been bothering me in my conscience. Inother words, I like to work towards peace and justice andharmony in my relationships. I like to speak truth where I can, but by natureI I tend to like more respectable tactics and don't like revolutionary impulses. Sonot if you guys have thought about yeah s like a problem yeah, I think you'reright. I think that's a good insight. I'll give you a an illustration when Iwas in my previous denomination was leading up a renewal group which Idon't think in the end was was very successful and one of the reasons thatI often thought about D. I was the leader of it and I don't mean this inany self aggrandizing way, I'm just using an analogy. I always felt like Ihad gifts to be a calvin more than a luther meaning, a a careful scholar, study,write, read and often thought you know to really affect some change here weprobably needed a luther. We need somebody who was bombastic somebody whomaybe sometimes said something and went too far and needed to be puld. You know needed, I could systematize, I coandput it together and can make it responsible and- and you need that too,so I I I hear what you're saying just then there's more than one type ofperson who can affect change. You know so that that's well taken my my cautionwas simply you know with pastors or Christian leaders and there's probablysome who really have given a lot of...

...thought about this and can give a a anuance inappropriate, but even then I think it should be with anunderstanding in many of these cases with prudential arguments about this iswe want injustice to be remedied? We want these things to be better. Here'swhat we think what I think as I've said. It is a good way to do it, and if youdisagree M with how best to reform the police,it doesn't mean, as a matter of course, that youaren't on the side of justice. No, I get it, we can. We can be death by athousand qualifications. We end up. You know just wanting to be so careful thatyou never you know, you're, saying all of your qualifications at loud voiceand you're saying well. Of course, injustice is wrong with a throatclearing, and that would be a mistake. Um e thing, though. The thing is,though, guys that I feel like I'm so conservative, that it actually makes mesound radical in these things. Here's what I mean so when I talk about for civil rights, history, RAC, historyin the United States, Um, you have to deal with the question ofwhat do you do with this information, and I think the younger risinggeneration now wants to condemn their parents and they want to condemn theirgrandparents and say we're nothing, we're not going to make those mistakesagain, we're not we're not going to be likethem, and then the previous generation thatmade the mistakes. They just want to kind of, ignore it in a lot of ways.Just say: No, I'm not going there, but I don't think either. One of thoseways is is very helpful. So my conservative instincts kick in to say I don't want to be naive. Um, it's notlike previous generations were perfect. I don't want to be self righteous,though, and say that I'm nothing like those Genera generations, like, I thinkmy conservative Christian orientation says I'm probably more like them, and it makes me think this, like youknow how we're taught hermonutically to be able to see you're, not David versusGoliath, you're you're out there with all the other people who are just likejust sitting there on the sideline watching the champion step forward,encourage. I think what gets me guys is that I am in so many ways anincrementalist I am in so many ways. Conservative and dor king had a word for people likeme. He called he called me the moderate and he read he wrote a whole letterfrom Birmingham jail. That was targeting the moderates there and weremember those people as like. They all just get lumped together. The moderatesand the people who bombed they were all just white people who were forsegregation. They weren't. They were really different from each other andwas hard for me, as that I see so much of myself in themoderate side of things and think have I really learned the lessons there andI just just have to confess. I don't think that I have necessarily Um soagain, I that might be a bomb dropping in there, but I think that's myconservative instincts that say whether an by the way, I do the same thing withWhitfield or Edwards. We have these conversations all the time and I thinkpeople tie themselves and nots to get around. What is, I think, should beclear, which is even these titanic men of God can make make huge mistakes, and if they can, I don't know how wecan't so that just that makes me throw myselfunder the grace of God, all the more and trust and ask Jesus to help me withthat. Am I off base with that approach? Well, let's Um! No there's more! Iwould want to say about that, but somebody said that these go toolong me. Yes, so I do think. That's a good good word tothink about who the the moderates were, of course, as a as a general, you know rule of thumb. It depends on the thumb, EXAC ompletelyINCON, what the what the extreme is, and so, let's,let's look: Let's go into history. You made a nice segay to go into historyand all this like history and we realize that history can serve thepresent. That's one reason y: You read history, and sometimes it helps youilluminate the present understand the present, but we, I think, we'd allagree that the first way to look at history is in itself to be fair with the moment.So, if you bring to history, what I want to get from the past isfirst of all, you answer my questions...

...in the present that usually makes for bad historians. The way to start asto say I want to understand you know the saying from the skinner school ofhistory seeing things their way, I want to try to see things their way and thenyou can make application and you can even make critical application. But onthis theme and not trying to necessarily use this particular genreof history to speak to the present, though, inevitably it does, but Iwonder if you guys have two or three books that have helped you, let's thinkabout along a general thing about slavery, could be American. Slaverycould be. You know some other kind of slavery, but we like to talk about books. We'veall read books on this subject and can help fill out our our meaning in goodways. Um Justin, let's start with you, wouldhave been two or three books to help. You historically understand slavery. Yeah. I I really do have an interest inslavery and Um have purchased a number of books and anreally have wanted to read more about the institution itself. EAN, there's awhole new Um trend towards writing about slavery andcapitalism. The half has never been told as a new book, but, to be honest,I haven't read as much about slavery as I have about the the cultural context,so the civil war so Um Andrew Delbanko's recent book, the warbefore the war, fugitave slaves ha struggle for America, soul fromrevolution to the civil war, was a was an eyeopening and helpful book so thatthat tends to be more of my reading about civil war have a strong interestin Abraham Lincoln, so Eric phoners, the fiery trial on Abraham Lincoln andhow he viewed slavery and how he worked towards M emancipation was another.It's a it's a masterful, Bookin terbs of historical progression. I think twothat have impacted me personally have been Frederick Douglas's, autobiographyof American slave near to Flerki Douglas, so that was written ineighteen, forty five and to read that it's hard to think of many more booksthat have t the beauty and the pathos and the pain all mixed together,because he was such a beautiful writer and a Christian as well s as he talks aboutthe church and the hypocrisy that he sees another book by a slave who was aChristian, is interesting narrative of the life of Ulado Acuiano. If that'show you say I don it, I've read it life, but how do you say at Orkastavas Vassa,the African by himself, that was fifty plus years earlier? Um came to Virginia and then ended up um through conveluted series of events going to Great Britain. That was when Ilistened to an audio book and those are know there. There's books about thehistory, there's books about the experience and there's books wheresomeone tells their experience in first person and those I I think, areespecially powerful, that's good Colin and for our listeners.We are working on stom whereby we can put these books inthe show, notes or linked to them we're working on that, because we know wetalk about books and you want to be able to look at these books and ifthere's one thing we can say about our show, we move product, we just moved product brought to you bycactipread, okay, Colland, you've read a lot in this and Siphil war moregenerally. So what are hooks have been helpful. Well, you know, I I think Um Frederic Douglas is relatively wellknown and therefore it can be easy to dismiss him. But when you just think about his life, it's just so remarkable. I mean it it's.I don't even know how to describe it. Um and I think that's one of the ITgives you such a window into the miracle of African AmericanChristianity, and I just man what an amazing work ofGod, Um and Douglas gives you a window into that. So one of the books that I'mreading right now, which I hope to finish by our one hundredth episode- It's a David blights book, FredericDouglas Profit of freedom- I'm slogging, I'm slugging through howlong is it? Oh, eight hundred BA ages? I think something like that, but Um.This is one of those you guys are going to have to counselme on book reading, because my pride kicks in in a big way and tells meCalin. You have got to finish these...

...books, I don't the other one. I'msitting there with is. Is Um Charles Taylor sources theself, not aboutslavery, but I'm like. I must read these books and I can't again bl sublikes. I makingit through it very interucting, but series of the way of the Kings IvenMaher, like a thousand pages, I'm I'm I'm ten pages in Ivan so Kevin.Do you? Do you also abandon books? I mean just in abandons books withAbandon Yeah Justin does with abandon it. Does it does hurt my Prit I'll tellyou. I have just learned about too many times I have picked up. You know the Chernou style biographiesand I think this is going to be so good and I know he's you know just worldclass and I think I I'm not getting through this- I'm not getting through.So I just I have had to temper myself from venturing on some of those massiveones that are, you know, really really good, but it's a long hall yeah. Ithink this is where Marzon's biorfi Edwards for me hit a sweet spot illyoung, but it moves and it's five four or five hundred it's not. That doesseem to make a big difference compared to that seven hundred eight hundredpage range Um, the other, the other two that otherdo books that come to mine-and I um I will say no book- Has Probablyhaunted me more than markenols the civil war as a theological crisis Um, I don't, I ju T, I don't think we'veever theeologically confronted what happened there and the legacy that it'sleft us. I want to be specific if people don'tthink this is currently relevant, then consider right now there are debates onthe Internet that more or less imply. If not directly,teach that you can't have biblical innerancy without political confederacy and it's easy to dismiss that to say th,that's crazy. Of course you can have biblical innerency without the southernConfederacy. That must be a small group of people or must be butoverrepresented among certain denominations that we would know- and so I do think it's small, butthough H, but the thing about no, is that he rubs your face in theinconvenient truth that the southern, a lot of southerndefenders of slavery were also rock solid, theological, biblicalconservatives and that a lot of abolitionists were not and that thesoutherners employed very specific biblical arguments for slavery, whereasthe northerners tended to depend on more generic Christian teachings, likeloving your neighbor in ways that we're appealing across denominations. That isa haunting book and anybody who ever wants to sit down and talk more aboutthis, I'm always open for that, because it just it continues to haunt us today,and I don't think it's a coincidence that are debates about race andtheology continue to be linked in ways that are deeply inconvenient andfrustrating justin. Do you remember the the book I have it behind me on? One ofthe shelves here did Nathan Finn Write the an introduction to it, but it's it's Um the the dialogue between two Christians, north and South andeighteen forties or fifties about slavery. One of them is the moralphilosophy professor Ot Brown, another one, I think is in South Carolina itsnot ringing a bell. I I have it behind me and it was very helpful just to read from what you'd probably describe both,as I mean somewhat moderate, in that theywere willing to talk to one another publicly, but to read their actualarguments for and against slavery and UH. You know not Su. I found the onesagainst it to be compelling, but your right, calm, ther. There were argumentson both sides, I'll just listen, just listen to this from Nole for overthirty years, Americans battled each other exogetically on this issue, withthe more Orthodox and the ones who took more most seriously, the authority ofscripture being also the ones most likely to conclude that the Biblesanctioned slavery. The reason I bring that up is because we do here from voices today that havethat same argument, and then they conclude. Therefore you must continueto support slavery, including as it with practice in the American south andalso, of course, before that, the American north. That's a problem. Okay,Kevin Y got the book when has it on the book domestic slavery considered asscriptural institution. So it's between...

Richard Fuller and Francis whaylend,edited by Nathan Finn and Keith Harpers that wasn't even on my list of threebooks. I I'll mention my books on flavored quickly. You know we talked toearlier podcast. We just you read and follow your nose and read ind bunches,and so it just happened in the last months before ne this current eventshappened. I was reading three or four books on slavery, H, so first Robert Davis, Christian slaves,Muslim masters, white slavery in the Mediterranean t e barbary coast inItaly, fifteen hundred to eighteen hundred so really fascinating. It's called. He refers it to us, theother slavery and some of the insights. He say, for example, allslavery asalways existed. He said what change in the modern age is: It took a leap inquality and quantity to become more efficient, which therefore made it evenmore deadly h. So this is about the barberycoast, Muslim masters, Christian slaves, so t they'repirates and they they raid trading ships about ninety percent of theirslaves. Therefore, were men. Interestingly, he says this. Moslimslavery usually originated more as passion. It was more religious,oriented or ethnic oriented. Wer said: White Slavery, transatlantic startedout started out. You K, ow business ow became something different, so ten to twelve million Africans tothe Americas over four centuries and h. He estimates about one million whiteslaves with Muslim masters from fifteen thirtyto seventeen nd, eighty, so just a very different kind of slaver, interestingbook, this book by Catherine, Gerbner conversion and race in the ProtestantAtlantic world. This is a year or too old. I forget which journal. It is oneof the history journals I subscribed to, but they just did an entire issue aboutthis book and her her thesis, which seemsconvincing to me and is harrowing. At the same time. Her big idea is that as slavesconverted to Christianity- and she focuses more in the West indies anddoes a lot of with Barbados- that's where her scholarship is, but I I thinkit applies across the Americas. Her big idea is as slaves converted toChristianity. The axis of difference shifted from Christianity to whiteness that, whereas before there was a senseof what what makes us different is Christian and whatever heathen pagansomething else well, some of them became Christians,you know and then most almost everyone is oay. Well, what you know just theyjust and this wasn't. This is how people felt in the world. You knowdifferent people are inferior, that's not a unique situation forwhites, but they were the ones in power, so they felt that, and how do we nowachieve that? If it's not Christianity, then it's to be whyt, and she showsthat th t the language develops in the West indies in POTICCR. So herconclusion on the very last page is W, and this isn't a book that she's justhammering away at how evil missionaries were in Saactshe says in the very lastpage. It's this, this horrible irony of history. She says some of the most selfsacrificing faithful, zealous missionaries who gave up life andlivelihood to win Blackslaves to Christ were successful and therefore sewed the seeds of Chattel slavery and in some cases thenpromoted, N and defended racespace differentiation. She was saying it wasbecause the missionaries went and were successful and they converted toChristianity that then whiteness became the differentiation. So it's it's! It's it's a sobering book and Um Pardonme wants to think it'. It's not right, but it. I think that, sadly, it is wouldn't that be true, Kevin in termsof the American south as well. The responsies do the slave revolts in theeighteen, twenties and eighteen thirti is where increasingly, the restrictionsgrow and the differentantns grow, and you go from sort of like a reluctantallowance of slavery into an open like advocacy this, instead of beingtolerated, slavery becomes a biblical good, that's only time and that leas inmy last book, because you're absolutely right in many people, if just have a surfacelevel, understanding American histor D,...

How much changed in the the first halfof the nineteenth century and it changed because of slave revolts,changed because of fear and lots of things where slavery then became somethingthat was vigorously defended, and I do think it is important because it wouldbe wrong to say that Christians throughout history have just defendedslavery. Defe no therethere are people an cyclicals from the Middle AgesAgainst Slavery and Rodney Stark has written about this and some of hisbooks debunking some of those miths. It really is, sadly among a lot of Presbyterians in the e,the prewar south, where the most vigorous defenses came from, but onelast book- and this is also came out recently- it's called no property inman, slavery and Anti Slavery at the nation's founding by Sean Willants, andhe is making the case that there is, of course, this paradox in theconstitution that, on the one hand, the constitution was a compromisedocument, because otherwise the lower south states wouldn't have ratified it. So, on the one hand, the Constitutiondid strengthen and protect slavery. But what he's trying to point out- and Ithink convincingly is in an important way- The constitution refused tovalidate slavery. So the title, no property in man comes from a specificdebate and you can read about it in you. Have this book cone the records of thefederal convention of Seventeen? Eighty seven think I think I mag ave misplacedit yeah. Well, it has several volumes and it's good. You can read all so.This is from August of seventeen. Eighty seven and there was a particulardebate about the constitution. The taxing imposing of taxes on incomingslaves and some delegates wanted the languageto be of property in Madison, not saying Madison isspotless and none of the founders were, but he makes a speech against thissaying it would not be p. There is no property in man and we should not usethe language of property to refer to slaves, and so they change it by anoverwhelming margin to refer to persons, and so willans argument is, andactually some of the abolitionists h looked back to this a during the. UKnow the nineteenth century as see the constitution was sewing. The seeds up,see it as it was saying they were persons. No, it's a mixed bag. We knowthat, but the constitution willans points out youknow put a Sai for twentyyears. After twenty years, the slave trade canbe abolished in America and actually, when that passed, somefree, blacks in Rhode Island celebrated that they they saw that as a greatvictory for for blacks in America and, ironically, on the first day that itwas allowed to be abolished. It was abolished on January first, eighteen, Oeight and who signed the law abolishing it Thomas Jefferson. So it's just it's in a microcosm. You know hypocrisy. Failure to live up to our ideals, allof those things but Willan's book is a a fascinating look et and at least he'strying to say without being polyanish about about the founding, but trying to sayyes, it was a paradox, but there were some seeds there in the constitutionand some moments where H, because of course you know this, you guys haveread the history, they couldn't Av, they didn't see what was coming. Youcan't see what was coming, and so it was easy for those who opeposed slaveryto to compromise with the south, and we could fault them for it. Theycompromise thinking in their own minds. You know slavery's not going to lasttwenty years well, ABS, O slave trade and, of course, the couldn't see thatwhat would happen after post seventeen, ninety three and how profitable and howlucrative it would be, and by the time of the civil war M, I think w sibitisright about this. I it wasn't just going away, it wasn't like ha given a few morepeaceful years and slaver will be gone, it wasn't, it was profitable and ocourse. They didn't see that at the founding, and so we can ou kN rue thefact that they made the compromise that they did. But it's always importantwhen we look at history not to SIMP, not to ask first of all boy how how do they measure up with what weknow today or what we would do, but try to understand how they were seeingthings so gone too long about that any last words for us Justin, as youthink, about becoming more informed, either historically or with present daysituations h and how to educate ourselves. I think tha, two things that come to mymind are: U to talk and to listen, and...

...we can listen. No talking mean speakingthe Truth and love and listening, which is a prior step. I don't like the ideaof just always listening and never coming to knowledge of the truth, neverspeaking truth, but I think we can listen in two ways. We can listen tothe past, so we can read narratives from slaves. We can read analyses fromhistorians. I think if we don't do that, then we're just kind of swimming alongwith anecdotes and impressions and a good study of history is essential. I think, to make sense ofthe present so whether we're talking about reading civil war history,whether we're talking about reading civil rights, N, nineteen sixties, American history,I think both of those are essential, but then not just to listen to the past,but also listen to our friends in the present to hear what they have to sayto hear not only their analysis of the problems, but the proposals forcombating the problems. I don't think we should ever be in a position ofsaeing just because someone has suffered that they've therefore know all of the solutions, but we needto bring a biblical Lens and a Biblical perspective and humble hearts to it soreading and listening, I think I mean I know- that's not rocket science. That'snot upbreaking any news here to to innurate both of those, but those arethe two main things that come to mind and I think too, I don't put myself asome great model of this, but I can't say honestly in the past two weeks Ihave I've deliberately tried to find thoughtful voices and sometimes it's I think, I'm goingto agree with this person and then nd I've tried to listen to some folks. Ithink I'm probably not Goin to agree with this, so if, if to truism- but you know,there's some truth in it, if we only are listening, especially on verycomplicated matters like this to the people into the stations that we knowalready you're going to refornreinforce what I think we won't learn and if you listen topeople that you don't agree with en you come out on the other side, sayingthat's why I really don't agree with them now. I understand it better. I dothink in particular on this issue, which is so personal and has so muchhistory we need to. We need to really educateourselves and listen, call any lass thoughts. No, I appreciate you guys, and Iappreciate how we've talked about these issues foryears. Appreciate Your Guy's willingness to disagree with me. Iapreciet your willingness to allow me to disagree with you or individually orwhatever, because, ultimately I think that's going to be how we make progress.I have a lot of faith in starting at least and pushing I meannot that we're starting with his problem, but I I see the biggest gapright now on education, a lot of people, especially white people. Just don'tknow they don't know the past. They don't know the issues they haven'tlived it. So. Yes, just what Justin said rightthere you listen to friends, you learn by studying and so less time on socialmedia, more time, reading, reading books, moretime making and listening to friends and then, as the time comes forlearning and for listening, then there will be a time for living living it out,living in different ways and ultimately in costly ways as well. And so I knowthat especially our m minority brothers and sisters are eager for for help in living out a different way,and I think we can do that good Justin, just one more thing, just because thisis a Christian fodcast. I think we should not just assume the importanceof prayer, and sometimes we know that this iswrong, but I find myself always thinking you know that prayer is something expected, butit's not the most significant thing and that the most radical thing is to dosomething else. Perhaps the most radical thing is to toset aside a half hour to pray, an hour to pray together with people to prayand not to trumpet it on Social Media, not not to announce our righteousnessbefore man, but to spend extra time n Hat's not going to accrue browni pointsbefore the world, but we do have one who sits on the throne.Who Cares about justice? Who will make all that is wrong right? Who can sendhis son back again m? So I I love the somebody like Isaac. Atoms has apogcast called united. We pray. I love th Cross with publishing mark rogopsbook weep with me that contains prayers on racial harmony and racial strife. Sojust want to not let the pog cast close without not just calling listeners but callingmyself calling the three of us to to...

...spend more time praying more timepraying than tweeding. He who calls us to pray leads us in prayer. Justin Yo want closee, ountain prayer, that's that's Collin's, nice way ofsaying geven. You said we're going to end in an hour. I had like three otherthings I was going to say and they were all really really good, but they e'renot as good as prayer. So that's that's an old pastor trick, though you know,we've been having lunch here, we'regoing on an hour and a half. Well,is there anything? I can pray for you about my Frin Rodeo Keven. Well, youknow you've done podcast before Ky. Okay, Kevin. Do you want to say your tothings and then I'll close e payeroh look t there's a real friend, theyolmebabbled. You outcome? No! No! No! I agree. We should we should pray and Ithink we should allow that. You know something that's ascomplicated as this has been happening for as long as this and trying tounderstand what it means in our own head and heart. You know I find myselfthinking. I got A. I gotta know what it is. Igotta I gotta have the book in My head or the blog post that just makes senseof it all. It helps everyone, and maybe that's not. You know your particular.You Know Bent, but I've definitely had to step back a D. No, I do need to pray and say. Lord help mehelp me to be courageous. There's a lot of different ways to be carageous.Remember Piper, saying one of one of the hardest ways to be courageous is inin personal relationships and talking to people in Um, being courageous, withyour ideas and being courageous to be wrong and a memberpiper saying too inthis particular issue with race. Just stay at the table stay easier for people like us. I know wehaven't been at the table and doesn't cost US nearly. Would it cost otherpeople, but at some point, if you talk about race, if you care about thisissue, you'll be misunderstood, you'll get something wrong, ''ll you'll behurt, or you will hurt someone and so to bear with one another. Love coversover a multitude of sins and to stay at it is one of the best things wecan do so just in anch. You pray for us, our father in heaven. We think Y, that you are our fatherthat you have adopted us as your own. We think you that you are our father inheaven that you are ruling and raining that you were seated on the throne ofgrace. We think that you love us and that you are working for the good for everyone who loves you and iscalled according to your purpose. Lor, we pray for your kingdom to come. Wepray for righteousness to be done. We pray for there to be justice, not justjust as one day what we pray for earthly justice that those who do evilwould be stopped and held to account t lear to pray for humble hearts. We pray that we wouldn'talways be quick to offer our solution or our hot take or our refutation ofothers, but that we would genuinely listen to the hurt and thepain of others. And then we pray Lord, that you would enable us to havecourage to speak. The Truth and love help us to know one to speak and whento be silent. Keep us from anger. Keep us from triviality. Give us acompassionate hearts, Lord, that long for the Gospel to go deep into each ofour hearts and to affect us not just at a personal level, but all of society, so your kingdom comeLord Year will be done. E pray, this in Jesus name, man Ma Man. Thank youcalling thank you just in so grateful for you guys and thank you, everyonefor listening Gor. If I got anjoinforever and go reada OO O.

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