Life and Books and Everything
Life and Books and Everything

Episode · 8 months ago

Who’s to Blame for the Atlanta Shootings?


Kevin DeYoung podcasts solo this time to help us understand from a Biblical
perspective the wickedness of the Atlanta shootings. He picks apart four threads that feed into how we measure culpability for heinous public crimes. And he helps us distinguish what should be condemned from what shouldn’t. And of course, there are books. Learn what books about race and other ideas Kevin has been reading. 

Life and Books and Everything is sponsored by Crossway, publisher of Practicing
Thankfulness: Cultivating a Grateful Heart in All Circumstances
by Sam Crabtree.  

Pastor Sam Crabtree surveys the Bible’s teaching on gratitude, demonstrating that every moment is an opportunity to observe, embrace, and appreciate with thankfulness the wondrous workings of God in ordinary life. Practicing Thankfulness includes 100 practical suggestions for practicing thankfulness
in daily life. 

For 30% off this book and all other books and Bibles at Crossway, sign up for a free Crossway+ account at 


How to Be More Thankful [0:00 – 0:55] 

4 Preliminary Comments on the Atlanta Shootings [0:55 – 8:49] 

On Culpability [8:49 – 25:28] 

Distinguishing the Bad Ideas from the Good [25:28 – 30:57] 

Is the church to blame for this man’s bad ideas? [30:57 – 36:25] 

Bad Culpability Extrapolations [36:25 – 45:12] 

Don’t let the bad outweigh the good. [45:12 – 47:11] 

Books [47:11 - 57:33]  

Books and Everything: 

Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair, by Duke L. Kwon &
Gregory Thompson 

More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City, by William
Julius Wilson 

Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation,
by Gerald R McDermott 

American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time, by
Joshua Mitchell 

Slaying Leviathan: Limited Government and Resistance in the Christian Tradition,
by Glenn S. Sunshine 

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload,
by Cal Newport  

FO greetings and salutations. This isKevin Dyoung. You are listening to life and books and everything good to haveyou with us. I am going Solo today, Colin and Justin are not here, but ourfaithful, sponsor crossway is grateful for them, sponsoring today's episodeand want to mention in particular, Sam Crab Tree's new book practicingthankfulness cultivating a grateful heart in all circumstances, certainly atimely word: We oft need reminders to practice thankfulness, especially whenit seems as if there are so many reasons to struggle and to forget, thankfulnessand so check out Sam's new books thank to crossway. Well, I want to talk mainly about the tragic events of lastweek, the shootings that took place in Atlanta. Let me make a few preliminarycomments and then spend most of our time ruminating about culpability andhow to think, through the moral ethical implications of WHO, what why we should blame when tragic things likethis happen. So first, some preliminary comments- number one of course- should be mostobvious, but we do need to say it and mean it, and that is to pray forvictims. Hopefully, that's not just a a Christian expression or even anonchristian expression, thoughts and prayers, but we really do mean it. It. We throw around the word tragic toeasily probably and devastating and trauma, and these words can lose theirmeaning, but but they do have times when they're necessary, and this is oneof them to have a shooter and a led shooter take the lives of so many people is atragedy, and so we express the utmost grief and sympathy for victims fortheir families. So that's the first preliminary comment and that's maybemost important second right on the heels of that. We need to say that what took place-and everyone is due their their day in court, but it certainly seems to be thecase and by his own admission, that this young twenty one year old man tookthe lives of these innocent people and to do so is an act of extremewickedness. It's evil, it's sin and we need to use strong diblical words at atime like this, especially now not so much with this. This incident, forreasons will see in a bit, but when these sorts of tragedies happen seemslike commentators, often search for other sort of language and talk aboutthe demons inside someone or what the culture was producing or even mental health issues which arereal, but it's important that we rely on strong Biblical language uses wordslike Sin and iniquity transgression wickedness evil. Those are the rightwords to use to describe murder and murder. On you know, themurder of any life is a heinous agregious sin, let alone many,and so this is a wicked act of evil full stop. The third preliminary comment to makeis at least at the time being, does not seem as this that this isabout race. Now one can understand why it certainly looks that way that whatis it at least six, I think of the egt victims were Asian and there has been Arisan Antiasian sentiment and some casesviolence over the past year, and so it's it's not unthinkable that thiswould be that sort of incident. And it's not I'm not so interested intrying to pars out the motivation what we have or the words of the a ledshooter that it didn't have anything to do with race. No again, someone's justcommitted...

...henous acts of evil, so he may notbegive him. The last word on his own mental and spiritual state, but I think,even seeing recently that the FBI has so far said that it doesn'tseem to be motivated by racial ANIMIS and important to keep in mind, evenwith the rise of Antiasian sentiment, that over the past year has not alwaysbeen about white on Asian, been rise of, in many cases,other ethnicities with antiasient sentiment. So we just want to becareful that we don't automatically fall into what would be to some veryfamiliar narratives, that if the perpetrator is white and if the victimsare not that as a matter of course, it must be in act, a hate crime. It mustbe an act of racism, it could be- and it doesn't seem to be at this point,which leads to a fourth preliminary point, and that is even if it's not. We certainly want to express sympathyand understanding why many Asians and Asian Americans would would feel as if it were and would be frightened, disturbed and so to say, onthe one hand, that we shouldn't try to make every evil in this country beabout race. It's simply not, and we don't want to make it be because thatreally minimizes, you say well you're saying that because you're white KevinWell Kno, actually because it it dinogrates when there are clearincidents motivated by racism. If everything is racism, then, when we need to have these categories,they seem quite stripped of their meaning and of their impact. But evenif that's the case, we certainly can sympathize with thosewho feel as if they they have experienced this or they have friendsor family members, or it fits into a pattern in their own life for in ourhistory. So just because this may not be a doesn't look to be a case ofracism doesn't mean that it's wholly inappropriate. That people would betalking about that. Just to use an analogy if, if there had been a rise in anti pastorsentiment in the past year and some incidentes of antipastor violence, andthen there were shootings and several of the victims were pastors, you mightsay to me well, statistically speaking, you're, not at really any higher riskor look at the the vast majority of people. Don't feel this way. An all ofthose things could be true, and it may even be the case that it's whollyunrelated to any antipastor violence. But you can understand if I'm a pastor,I am feeling like here we go again and if I've experienced it and otherpastors have experienced it and then here's this murder of yes, you connect the dots.You connect the ots emotionally existentially personally, so what I'mtrying to say is on the one hand, we have this sympathy and understandingfor those who see this. It doesn't come out ofnowhere and at the same time, that doesn't mean that that's exactly whathas happened in this case. So those are some preliminary comments. What I want to spend most of this time, ruminating as people do on podcast, isto talk about culpability. So again, I just think like a pastor andthinking list. So let me make a number of points and see if any of this holdstogether as something helpful, so one under this broad category ofculpibility, so we're asking the question who what is to blame when something like thishappens. So first we do not want to remove the personal aspect ofindividual agency. That has to be where we start now, we'll go on to say isthat where we we end or land, sometimes it is, but it's certainly where we needto start again. As I said a few moments ago, too often when these things happen,people talk in euphemisms about someone's personal demons or this sort of addiction or even mentalillness, which meantal onus is a real thing and it's very complicated, but wehave to see human beings as responsible...

...moral agents. So when we see something like thisbefore, we are wanting to draw all sorts of other conclusions, when yousay this was perpetrated by an individual acting with free will in a certain philosophicalsense macalvinist, so not a libertarian free will, but a kind of free, wellmeaning, as Turriton would say, not constrained by external coercion orcompulsion. This is someone with a will making decisions, so a person'sindividual agency, the the person to blame for this is first and foremost the one whocommitted these atrocious crimes and sins. That's the first thought underculpability. Here's a second thought, and that is that beyond that we should be slow now slowdoesn't mean never necessarily, but it means slow, slow to size up a fastdeveloping situation and in the immediate aftermath, basedon certain reports, which may later proveto be accurate or later proved to be not the whole story or, as these thingsunfold sometimes prove to be inaccurate. We should be very slow to size up thesefast developing situations and even slower to make sweeping conclusions. So a great evil has been perpetrated and quickly on the heels of that. It is alltoo easy in any of our hearts, and then it shows up online or commentary all ofa sudden. We have it all sort of figured out. This act is a part ofsomething much bigger and we have it sized up. What is going on when Ashas been shown in similar tragediesthat what initially comes out is not always the case again. It may be thatwhat we we heard from the very beginning with this shooting turns outto be exactly the case and then more details come out. So I'm not at alltrying to make a a case of defense for anyone simply saying that when thefacts are still coming out and even when all the facts are come ouer goingto get to this, we ought to be very slow to makesweeping conclusions about what this means. Therefore, about the state of x,the state of the country, this state of the church. We have this this thisatrocious act and we come to immediate swift, sweeping conclusions. I surelythink Christians ought to agree. It is the better part of wisdom to wait issurely this would be the time to weep with those who weep to pray, to comfort, the afflicted to think throughour own heart, all sorts of appropriate things we would do before we say. Aha, I read a couple stories. I saw a fewtweets. I got a few quotes and here's how this fits into everything whichtends to always fit into the way. We already saw things and is another pieceof evidence for why the way we see the world with our enemies and our friendsand our tribe and their tribe is accurate. We really need to slow downhere's the third thought thinking about culpability. It seems to me we go through a familiarpattern in this country when these things happen and they happen too often. Any time is toooften we go through a familiar pattern of whois to blame on one level. There's probably something therapeuticabout this. There is a way in which the human brainand psyche, especially in moments of profound grief we need order. We needto make sense of this, and so I think, there's a therapeutic impulse. Can wemake this which seems senseless, which seems frightening, which seemsundescribably evil? Can we put it in categories that seem familiar to us,and so we tend to find these things and putthem into a familiar drama in which our side arethe good guys and the other side are...

...the bad guys, and there is something instinctualabout that. Okay, this is so evil, but if I can, if I can sort of understandhow this happens- and it happens in a larger Meta narrative now, theproblem is not trying to put in a larger med of narrative. I would saythe problem is we're not going large enough? The larger men, a narrative, of course,is we don't not wrestle against flesh and blood. The larger Meta narrative is, the heart of man is desperately wicked.Who can understand it that all creation is groaning? So, yes, put this into thebigger story of creation fall redemption consummation, but we tend toput it into our own personal stories and with that comes a tribal instinctin this is not the. This is not just on one side or theother. It is a human instinct, and so we see these things happening and it'slike the hatfields and mccois, and this is evidence of those darn hat field.This is what they're like, and so what one person as alleged to have done inthis heinous act of of wickedness becomes something of a tribal marker,and it leads to this very perversence. If we're honest, we feel this. We hear that there issome you may hear on the news or scrawling across your screen or on yourphone there's some shooting there's some horrible thing that has happenedand in a perverse way. You start to feel in your heart. I hope my side wasthe victim and their side was the perpetrator, because if my side werethe ones who were the victims, then that's good for me, and then this fitsinto my narrative and my tribe, because being the victim is the way your tribegets moral standing. The way your tribe advances- and we all understand whatthis is like. This happens far too easily in ourculture. There is one side, there's one kind of jersey, who's thought to Ha. WARN THOSE CERTAINJERSEY, maybe police officers, white people,Males Christians, conservatives, maybe Jews, sometimes so, there's acertain sort of were they wearing that Jersey. If those are the sort of peoplewho did it, then that's the other team or those aremightem, and then the people on the other side, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, women,immigrants, black lives matter or the other side.Is You know, Christian nationalist? So we have these distinct teams and theidea is to find your teammates being sinned against and the other team beingthe sinners, and there is that oagain. This halltakes a lot of careful thought because it's not as if oppression does nothappen, it does and it's not as if those lines of oppression haven't oftengone in one direction versus another, but because of this tribal instinct, we want to see and make every story fitinto this pattern, because then we can feel t not again it. I'm not sayingthis always happens in a in a sinister way that people are pluying. I'm sayingthis is what happens: instinctially in human hearts, mine included. You wantto see that this is evidence. This is more evidence that the e sort of peoplein the sort of side I'm on are the ones being put upon by others or their side. The other tribe, the peoplewith the other color jerseys, are the ones doing the bad things. So it's anit's a very dangerous tribal instinct, because if you there's nough things that happen in theworld and if some media doesn't report onanother media will- and you can everyone's got a phone. So if you're,just if you're looking for your tribe to be victim and the other tribe to beOppressr, you will find lots of evidence of it and it's a dangerousinstinct again, not that in some I mean it may be that in certain situations,those are the facts that that is in fact, what happened that that sort ofperson was, for these reasons,...

...victimizing this sort of person. Soit's not that the facts could never fit it's that as a tribal instinct. It isdangerous. There's also- and this is all undertalking about familiar pattern of how this goes on when these things happen.I also think there's something in the human heart that wants to find a cause wants to find a cause so that we can determine well here'swhy it happened and therefore, if we would have just done somethingdifferent, this wouldn't have happened, because that gives some sense of reason:rationality, control again we all we all want this, so we want to try to make sense ofthese horrible sins and crimes. Bu think what was okay, a person did it individual agency, but surely the IT's?A product of something bigger, they must have been educated in some way todo this radicalized or they didn't receive acertain kind of education or they were medicated or they weren't medicated, orthey got some bad counseling or they needed counselling or someone somewherealong the line was giving them wrong sorts of messages. All of these arereasons to say if, if we had just done x, this wouldn't have happened or if wehadn't have done why this wouldn't have happened and again that's a veryunderstandable mental and spiritual process that we would go through, andit may be that some of those circumstances are discovered or werealize things that could have made the situations less likely or things thatwere said or done. That made certain situations worse, but the instinct to want to find a largerMEDA cause is at least in part, because we want to it's hard for us to think so.These wicked people, sometimes just they, do wicked things, and it comesfrom a heart that maybe couldn't have been stopped.That's as that is a scarier way to live in the world, then, to think that theremight have been a plan or a program or something that could have been put inplace, or there was the wrong thing that was put in place and then thiswould have never happened. So all of that is, I guess that was mythird point under culpability. We go through this familiar pattern ofthinking about who is to blame okay here getting into some of the theissues that were going on, you tracked any of it online and I really debateed whether tosay anything at all, but maybe it's helpful to at least think this throughso tfourth heading here under culpability. Some people were quick to link this sin andCrime and atrocity to other big events, institutions, movements, people, and so there was chatter that thisperson, because baptized member of Southern Baptist Church, which hadlinks to nine marks or founders, and so there becomes a quick developing narrative that this isnot just one person- okay, yes, he did it. soallegedly wer want to speak thatway, but it sure seems that way, but no, this this speaks to a muchlarger systemic problem in our conservative evangelical world. So thatwas the argument and that's why I want to talk and am talking hereabout culpability. So how do we make sense of this particular argument? Okay,this person, the allegeshooter, belong to a a conservative Southern Baptistchurch with links to other conservative, reformed institutions, movement schools, all right. So the first thing is we and I'm speaking, people like me:I'm not Southern Baptist, but I know some of these institutions and schoolsand movements. So we we should be open to seeing something uncomfortable aboutourselves. The Salmis is praise e see if there'sany wicked way in me. So...

...certainly it's always good to have aposture of humility genuinely to say: Okay, Lord, if if this in the most horrendous wayuncovers some something that we madther, maybe no one intented, but some kind of diabolical messagesthat were contributing to this. Oh Lord help us help me, and so David French wrote a piece about purityculture and on the dispatch and like a lot of things that David writes. I agree with a lot of it and I disagreewith with some of it, and I guess I should say I didn't I didn't. I grew up in a RCA kind of mainline, but mostlyEvangelical Church and certainly had messages about you know modesty and waiting to havesex until you're, married and sexes. Y. U know about the worst thingsyou could do or you could get drunk you could have sex, you could maybe rock and roll music. Idon't remember, but certainly I heard some of thosemessage, but I didn't grow up in this. The kind of purity culture th, theextreme sort of versions of it that I hear with the the weird kind of ritualsor I never remember somebody trying to blame women for men's sin struggles. So again I hear some of the things and Iwant to say yeah, that's a really bad idea or that's a bad thing to teach andI feel like we could really use some more Francis Turreton in our day I loveTurretin because he goes through in almost every question he's trying toanswer. He will sill, not every, but so many he starts by saying we distinguishthat's what I want to hear more Christian saying. We distinguishbecause he's always saying: okay, here's Thi, theologil question andhe'll. Say I'm not I'm not trying to answer this question. I'm not trying toanswer this question. Here's four things: I'm not answering here's theone thing I am answering, and so when something like this happens, and wehear about all these these bad ideas, I want to say well,let's distinguish okay, what is the bad idea? Is it a bad idea to give people a sort of Gospel, thiss Christianity? That says,if you are a sexual sinner, the rest of yourlife is in tatters and you have nothing but second best from God and foryourself and for others. Well, yes, that's a bad message. Is it bad t togive women the impression that their dress is responsible for male sin orlost? Of course it is, we must distinguish. Is it bad to talk about modesty indress? No is a bad to tell people to wait to have sex until they're married.Is it bad to tell people? Well if you have sinned in if your body causes youto sin, cut off your arm rip out your eye, I mean that's, that's Jesus! Now,when I preach on that now I give a a a a caviat. Hey. Jesus is not talkingliterally he's talking about the sort of violence, not against other people,but against your own sinful nature that you must have so. First we hear thestin. We must say well. Is this bad? Well, what are we talking about? Okay,yeah, we probably most. Everyone can agree that teaching that you're wantingto highlight. That is bad. Let's not say that, but then there's a followifquestion well was that bad idea that almost all of us can agree is about itwas that to blame for this sin here. That's much harder case to make andthen a follow up is well. How widespread is this particular bad idea, and this is where we must always bemindful of our own experience. So what what I didn't experience someone elsemight have experienced, and so, if you grew up hearing these sort of messages that are twisted about modestyand purity- and you see something like this, yet you can maybe drop down inthat menu in your brain and say: Wait a minute this! This may be related tothat. We get that or we should, but at the same time you have to understand ifyou grew up with those bad experiences, you shouldn't assume that well, that's!What's always going on everywhere, anytime, you seesomething that sniffsof that it must surely be the case that...

...that's what's going on here. What whathappens? Sadly too often, is we end up talking about too many things at thesame time and we're talking about too many things at the same time and we'retalking about them in the wrong medium, twitter and we're talking about them inthe most emotionally chargeway. So there's really important things that weshould try to talk about and we should try to talk ahow. Do we talk aboutpurity? How do we talk about sex? How do we talk about pornography? How do wetalk about men and women, all these things and, let's find out who's,saying bad things who said, but we try to have an important ethical,theological, biblical conversation in the most trying emotionally chargedcircumstances and in the medium that precludes the the kind of nuance inlistening and understanding that we need. So, yes, we must be open to seeing. Isthere something uncomfortable, but we also must distinguish the bad things.The mantheology that we can mostly agree on was that present here and the church, as far as I can tell,has denied any of these sorts of ideaspromoting them. promolgating them is moved to discipline. This man, who is amember of the church, so there's there's at least two differentways: Imean there's a thousand, but there'sat least two different ways that this could have happened at me. So to jumpto the conclusion that this man reported by one of the thepolice ofvices, I think said it was eliminating temptation and to back that into what the culture and the product andeverything that must have led him to that. Now, that's one way to think well, hemust have been at a sort of church or Listeng to the sort of people or hesort, but that's one scenario: IIn't there, another equally plausiblescenario that Achurch was was discipling. Him was trying to teach him was trying tocorrect him was warning, him was rebuking. Him was trying to hold outthe hope of the Gospel. So these arguments that say x is theculture of or this is the product of- or this is in. The air of these generalarguments are almost impossible to refute, which doesn't make them betterarguments. It makes them worse arguments, so we must be very careful. Might it be the case that the pastors or parents or youth groupleaders in this case are more devastated and genuinely traumatized?Then almost anyone else save for the victims. So there is good biblical reason to bevery careful about these arguments that quickly assign culpability upward andoutward again, let's, let's be willing to see ifthere's some bad teaching that found its way into these heinous acts.But we also know that people can claim inspiration from certain teaching.People have claimed inspiration from Jesus to do all sorts of hainous thingsfrom the Bible to do all sorts of bad things, so just linking in someone's mind does notmake it. So I'm I'm thinking of Jesus good warning to us that, with themeasure you use to others, it will be measured to you and- and that seems an apt word. How would we want what sort of measurewhat sort of judgment, what sort of a valuation is there any parent out there? Who wants the measure that says theworst thing that your worst child does will automatically be an expression ofyour culpability? Is that the measure we want or what pastor wants that measure? It'sa truly frightening thing, whether you have a fifty person church hundredperson, Church of one thousand five thousand person church. We take very seriously here at mychurch we have everyone assigned to an elder and those elders are assigned topastors. We have layers of care, we...

...make personal contact with people andwe're in a fairly good sized church. We take very seriously that we will haveto give an account before God for everyone's soul. We takediscipleship seriously, doesn't mean we do it all right. Of course no one does, but we take this very seriously and yet surely it's not the case that I mean it's a frightening thing tothink that one of our two thousand members could go do something and thatthat would then be seen. Okay, not only by the world, expect the world, but by otherChristians, to automatically think that that, then,is something in a failure in your church. Well, perhaps butperhaps not isn't it thecase that Jesus had a twelve person church and one of them broke the law off. Betrayed him committed suicide. So where I tell our people, look we're nota cult. We disciple you, we shepherd you, we follow up on you. We have to give anaccount for you, but we can't ultimately control your life, and so I just think that the way we jump to these culpability connections againstthat tribal instinct, we don't we do it in in certain directions and notanothers. So when a Muslim terrorist, especially post, nine, eleven and acts of terror were going on and by Muslim terrace by Muslims who were saying in published public forums, I'm talkingabout Al Qaeda folks that this is why they were doing it. They were, I mean tha, one of the bigdifferences here. No one, no one at all is saying anything except. This was ahorrible, egregious sinful wicked thing that happened. So you have back when there's after nine eleven, you actually have some groups saying no,that what happened there, these these terrorism acts, that's good, that's apart of what we believe. That's a part of what we're trying to do and whenthat happened, many people rightly said. Look most Muslims are not like that. That's true or the Islam that mostpeople practice is not like that other souts of feel theological arguments. Sowhat does Islam teach, but it's certainly the case that the most thatthe Islam, that most people practice is not like that and most of your mother. You know yourMuslim neighbors are not ging to be in all likelihood terrorist threats. Sopeople rightly pointed that out. Didn't they to say, don't think that, becausethese Muslims were doing it and they were actually claiming to do it onbehalf of Islam, don't think that this means that all Muslims are somehowculpable now, I'm just willing to to guess that some of the same people that wouldhave been very sympathetic to those good reminders might be. Some of thepeople are some of the same instinct, at leastthat then, when it comes to Christian culpabilities, Aha, but now this is aproduct of something nefarious that is in the air when in fact no one is celebratingencouraging anything like this. People are rejecting it castigating it, denouncing it wholesale. So the measure you use is the measurethat will be used to you, let alone that we could look at other sorts of events infamous shootings the shootingat the palse nightclub. In Orlando, the perpetrator was raised as a Moslem. Again, when that first came out, itlooked like well, this was a gay nightclub. I remember people telling me on twitterKevin, you better say something because you've been outspoken, thathomosexuality's a sin, and this is very painful. Well, it turned out to be aman at least who's Raisis, a Muslim who said he was doing in retaliation forair strikes in Iraq, in Syria and in some kind of allegiance to isis or Isoland they'r conflicting reports about...

...whether this man was also gay or wassometimes seeking out gayliasons so did should we then have automaticallysaid well. This is what's in the culture this is what's in the air orthe Southerland Springs Church massacre in two thousandand seventeen, theperpetrator there became at raise in the church and became a militant atheis.He was trying to convert people online to atheism, so there was it well. This is whatatheism does to people. It makes you murderers, Dyllan, roof the shooter inCharleston. He was raised in the Elca, a mainline denomination. So is thatwhat the mainline church does to people? It radicalizes them, intellectually. We should certainly be open as morefacts developed to seeing any sort of wrong theology that contributed in anyway, of course, but intellectually, I think most of us in our saner calmermoments can say this is not the way we want to draw these connections. Wedon't we don't do it with a host of other shootings. People do unbelievably horrible evilthings for all manner of reasons that spring all out of their heart, theirtheir hatred, their sins and whatever we can learn and whatever we can do toto make them less likely. Certainly, we can do but there's a difference betweensomeone being an accomplice to a crime, there's a difference between ideas orrhetoric, encouraging sin and words wrongly being claimed in support ofsome sin and then simply being associated with the sortof people that are associated with things that you think might havecontributed to this itit's, not a way to make arguments. You know bereft of more facts to come,it's not away, intellectually or spiritually. It's not. The measure thatwe would want used to us seems to me from what I can tell thatthe the pastor and the people of the church, where this man led shooter waswas a member need our earnest prayers and support and Gospel encouragements, and the man who did this ought to meet the fullest extent of of the civillaw and t pray for his soul before God. So the the accusation, which can toeasily be made that this is either the product of some really bad teachingabout men and women or this is this- is jest more evidence that there's noethics, there's no disciple ship there's no emphasis on Orthopraxy allthese conservative churches they're just all about getting their theologyright that that's really an impossiblestandard. Mea Do we know that's the case, but before we make those sorts of allegations about either a church,maybe some people Coik to say no, no, no, I'm not. The church was probablygood, but it's it's big, Eva out there well yeah, it's always the more you canmake it about the big bad people far out there. Well, then, that's anargument. That's very difficult to disprove and it's an argument: that's going tobe more palatable for our tribalistic moment and it happens in bothdirections. I admit I think, as a pastor an I dothink with sympathy for pastors an when there's horrible pastors Wana call that out when I see them, they sayhorrible things call that out, but it's an impossible standard to think thatevery bad case, whether it's every bad male, every bad white person, every badChristian, every bad southern baptist, every bad, whatever tribe, to say every bad case is proof ofsomething larger and deeper and more wicked wher every good case, even if the goodcases may be ten thousand to one above the bad cases, they don't count because you don't hear you just don'tyou don't have headlines, you don't...

...hear stories about another transformself, sacrificing worshipping Jesus following person. No, so those don'tget weighed in the balance. Again, I'm almost done with all this here S, I'mrepeating myself, but it it's not that there's nothing one could learn or that churches can't be bankrupt in theirdiscipleship or that church's can just focus on getting your doctrine rightand they're completely devoid of ethics or teaching people how to live or whatit means to follow. Jesus or all of those things can and do happen andwhere they happen, we should there. It is don't do that, that's bad, but it is impossible for the church. Two have, I don't say it's impossible,because Jesus builds his church and God has a way saying it's unwise. It'sinappropriate it's unfortunate when we speaking of Christians do this toourselves to say that bad thing confirmseverything that I think is wrong and whether or not there are I mean ifthat, if there's some teaching product that produces that W, why does it not produce that, except almost virtually never, and we don't hear the stories upon storiesof men and women in churches who, yes,there's always every pastor? I know this one at the head of the list isimperfect and sinful, but the real lives transformed realchurches, doing good in their community real churches following Jesus, realchurches, speaking the Bible to help people get their heads right and theirhearts right and their hands right all of those things. So it's a caution forus before we make these culpability connections so swiftly so quickly. All Right, let me let me wrap up. Youdidn't think I could go and talk as long all by myself. Well, I am a pastor.I can. Let me just mention some books books. What have I been reading lately,I'll just mention them and couple category so I've been reading anumber of books about race. I just finished Du Kuan and GregThompson's book on reparations. I'm not going to say anymore about that,because I hope to write a review on it in the next couple of weeks. I ReadWilliam Julius Wilson's book more than just race being black and poor in theinner city. He is professor at Harvard think he's someone that those on left of center politically would wouldtrust and appreciate it's a thoughtful book, and, what's whether you know I'm not learningenough on all the things he talks about to ajudicate his arguments, but there'sa title suggests more than just race. What he's trying to show is that being black and poor in the inner cityis the product of all sorts ofcircumstances, and I think that's really helpful. Whenever we talk aboutalmost any societal issue to the more, we can move off of monocausle. So if you thinkg about racialdisparities, well, it's just fatherlessness pathologies in thefamily. That's the problem or the reason for racial disparities. It's JimCrow! It's slavery! It's white privilege! It's ongoing racialinjustice. I think the more we can move away from monocausal explanations andsay you know what tha there's, probably it dozens of explanations on a macrollevel on a microlove, so anyways. I think Wilson does some of that in thisbook and it was I ski through a quickly reading theconclusions and these chapters and skimming through the rest. But there's that I read the book edited byGeral mcdirmitt Race and covenant recovering the religious roots forAmerican reconciliation, not sure I'm convinced by the overarching theme ofthe book that America is in a covenant with God. Sothat's a big theme to recover this idea of a national covenant in Scripture andhistory. I guess if Covenant Means God deals with nations and he deals with nations to judge themfor unrighteousness and he does blessd nations that are obedience. If that'sthe basic covenant idea, I think that's helpful, but if we'retalking about... established covenant from God, theUnited States, I do not think is in a comvant with God. In that BiblicalSense Nation of Israel was the church is. Having said that, you could say this book is sort of aagain conservative response to some of the racial conversation. So there'ssome really good articles from a number ofafricanamerican conservatives, Glen Lowery and others yeah. So I think, like any book, that'sedited there are some chapters that I underlined a lot and others I thought 'not sure I agree with that, but race and covenant. I it's worth readingsimilars bookd by Joshua Mitchell, a American awakening identity, politicsand other afflictions of our time. Josha Mitchell actually wrote a chapterin the previously mentioned book along the same theme. It's interesting bookin that Mitchell, who is a professor, a political theory at GeorgetownUniversity. He inpart one, which is the bulk of thebook, looks at identity, politics and part two. He looks at bipolarity andaddiction, so it's a little bit of not some themes that people wouldalways put together and again, some of one of the big ideas that we need tomove away from identity politics into liberal competence was cprobably. My fault was a readermore than his as a writer was was still struggling with hat. What does he meanby that? Having said that, what was surprising and really refreshing inthis book, written by a political theory,professor at Georgia on University, is it was deeply spiritual, scriptural,Christianin and I'd say. The overarching argument in the book is that our racial tension is fundamentally aspiritual issue and, as it fundamentally spiritual issue, it willnot be solved by political horse trading. Will Not Be solved by zero,some idented identity politics. Your sidemust go down for my side to go up, but it will only be solved quote unquote orat least improved when we look at it has an issue of sin andtransgression in the lesson of forgiveness and guilt so worth reading American awakeningjust two more books: Another book by Glen Sunshine, Slaing, Leviathan,limited government and resistance in the Christian tradition at a hundred an seventy five pages. This was a good introduction, especially if you've forgotten a lot ofyour western sive or political theory. It's a good introduction to exactlywhat the book says. You know where he's coming from limited government andresistance in the Christian tradition, so he's arguing that the Christiantradition lends itself to those two things: bothappropriate resistance against the government when necessary and thatgovernment should be limited. But it's a really a work on churchhistory going from the early church and through the Middle Ages and naturalrights and the development of in the prosent reformation. He looks at lockvery favorably nd. I know there's a disagreement. My friend Jonathan Lehman-and I often talk about John Locke and he's less sanguine towards locksinfluence, then than I am the book stops at the American founder,so would have been interesting. Okay. Well, what developed after that? Butagain this would be for lack of a better term, would be a conservativelook but thoughtful. So there's that book, slaying evicat and on acompletely different note, I read on vacation last week, Kel Newport'snewest book, I've Read Kal Newport on digitalminimalism and on deep work and have listened to some of his podcast, and I always find books like this. Youknow they have certain ideas that aren't applicable or don't seem to work,but there's always some really good nuggets, and especially, I find KalNewport helpful, so his newsbook a world without email, reimagining workin an age of communication overload. The title is a bit extravagant he's really not advocating for the obliteration ofemail or even in your own life, that you couldn't be an email, but he does areally masterful job that almost all of us would resonate with in the openingchapters of describing. Why email feels like such a tyranny in our life andthen he argues that a lot of the things we do with putting auto replies and certain timeswhere we're going to check our email and others and he says, are just sortof nibbling around the edges and is...

...calling for something more drastic. Hegives in the second half of the book a number of practical suggestion, some ofthem were really lost on me. They have to do with it, which, with plans that feel much tooelaborate for me to follow. But then there's some some, some real simplesuggestions about email and whether you're the boss or you are worked for yourselfor you work for somebody else. You may not be able to implement all theseright away, but I think many of us, many of you outthere would be help just even skimming some of the first chapters in lastchapters, in picking up a few good ideas on how you might be able to have less email in your life and it sactually something I've been thinking a lot about and maybe we'll talk on apodcast sometime soon, but it does seem like the you know. Kal Newport is famously he'sa professor and he's a professor of computer science and yet he's famouslynot on social media. I don't think the two are completely atodds, but they seem to be increasingly in different spheres. Remember somebodytelling me one time there are two types of people: The world people who readbooks and people who read social media. Maybe there's people who think deeplyabout things and people who respond to every day's news cycle.That's not fair. We need really good thinkers to do both of those. So I'm not a Luddite and I'm not against that. Weneed some of our best people to do that, but I I've been thinking more and moreand encourage you to do the same. Think what a? What do you want your legacy to be, and where do youwant to invest your mind, your heart, your emotion, your energy? ObviouslyI'm podcasting, so don't think it's all bad and I'm on line, but in terms of my own heart and head andbeing moved by all of these things, I find a real resinance with calnewportand this book world without emails no exception all right. Thank you forbeing with US yeah. Hopefully, Callin and Justin will be back next time anduntil then glorify God enjoy him forever and read a Good Bok.

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