Ben Carson’s irresponsible rhetoric is not conservative

ben carson1 Peter 1:22 says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” To me, this verse captures the ethos of true conservatism: obedience to the truth. Sincere love means truthful love that doesn’t sugarcoat or sell out to political correctness. I don’t always agree with conservatives about what constitutes obedience to the truth, but I very much respect this basic posture of integrity. Having said that, it would be disobedient to the truth not to name Ben Carson’s rhetoric at the Value Voters Summit this week as tremendously irresponsible and dangerous to genuine conservatism. Continue reading

Why is a famous evangelical pastor defending slavery?

I was recently made aware of a debate going on in the neo-reformed Gospel Coalition corner of the world that I tend to avoid. Doug Wilson, a megachurch pastor from Idaho, argued in his book Black and Tan that the abolitionist movement was wrong and the Civil War should never happened, because if Southern slave-owners had been allowed to implement the Bible’s teachings on slavery, then a more humane transition would have taken place through “gospel gradualism.” So a Caribbean neo-reformed pastor Thabiti Anyabwile who writes for the Gospel Coalition decided this March to engage him in charitable conversation (summarized by the Wartburg Watch here) about his assertions (which I guess would be the equivalent of a Jewish person sitting down to have a civil discussion with a Holocaust denier). Continue reading

Sex-trafficking, colonialism, and miscommunication

I found a direct application that fleshes out a little better what I stumbled through writing last night about critique and dismissal. The latest hot blogosphere topic was triggered by an interview on the Patheos Religion Now blog with Christian ethics professor Yvonne Zimmerman in which she claims that there are colonial dimensions to the anti-trafficking movement. Unsurprisingly, this presented the blogosphere with some low-hanging feminist/academic fruit to be swatted first by Timothy Dalrymple and John Mark Reynolds on Philosophical Fragments and then examined in a more measured way by my friend Derek Rishmawy at Christ and Pop Culture. I’m interested in looking at how this exchange illustrates the interaction and sometimes conflation of critique and dismissal in blogosphere conversation. When critique and dismissal are conflated, then nothing can be criticized about any aspect of the implementation of a noble enough cause, which has some clear potential danger. Continue reading