Tag Archives: pauline theology

50 Shades of Douglas Wilson's Racism and the Gospel Coalition @TGC

UNSHACKLING THE GOSSIP GOSPEL COALITION

Welp. I coulda said I told you so, but if you want proof that The Gossip Coalition has lost their marbles, look no further than a post that basically PRAISES Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James. “The Gospel Coalition: The Polluted Waters of 50 Shades of Grey” [editor’s note: as suspected but not hoped, the Gospel Coalition took down the offending post. In it’s stead, I offer a link to the PDF version here: The Gospel Coaltion on 50 Shades of Grey/Rape

According to Reformed “theologian” Doug Wilson,

“Men dream of being rapists, and women find themselves wistfully reading novels in which someone ravishes the “soon to be made willing” heroine. Those who deny they have any need for water at all will soon find themselves lusting after polluted water, but water nonetheless.”

Oh, and let’s not forget the ever-colonizing pleasure seeking Reformed Christian Hedonist manly man:

“A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.”

This is what it means to be a God-centered church folks, it’s not god-centered at all, it PHALLUS-CENTERED.

Doug Wilson is not the sanest thoroughbred in the stall; he openly advocates supported for the enslavement of black folks, and the righteousness of the Confederate cause!

“I agree with Joel, there is not much different between the misogynist philosophy of 50 Shades of Grey and The Gospel Coalition’s “theology”: Oh I Couldn’t Tell the Difference Between the Gospel Coalition and 50 Shades

“Sex is not just about the physical act – which is is being described here, it seems. I would know. But, what derails the physical act is the psychological phenomena – the reality of the act. For instance, eating. One could, say, eat an apple. That is fine. One could eat an apple that is poisonous due to disobedience. The act itself is not evil but the experience of the moment it. That is what 50 shades of grey does… it makes the act of sex and the experience of sex into exactly what the Gospel Coalition sees sex as – the conquering of a woman – the use of a woman by a man not in equality, but in domination. The GC is more like 50 Shades than they realize…”- Joel

I really can’t say how not shocked I am, cuz I am not, but here is my case for marriage as a nonviolent sacrament of mutuality between one man and one woman. The TGC article has to be one of THE WORST defenses of 50 Shades, ever. Condoning rape as a fantasy is horrifying, and should not be endorsed. The Gospel Coalition and Doug Jones’ worldview go against everything that our Savior taught us, including the need for self-control (thank you Apostle Paul!):

“The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”-1st Corinthians 7:4-5

Looks like Paul is talking about mutuality there…… 😉

MLK Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign and Occupy Wall Street #OWS

This coming Sunday will mark the official dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. While inclement weather ruined the first day originally scheduled in August, Sunday’s ceremony will come in the midst of a stormy political climate, I would say, that shares in part with the non-violent spirit of MLK Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign. Before I was invested in the intersection of theology and economics, I was a teaching assistant for a course on the Economics of MLK Jr. in seminary. Although I was not a registered student in the class, I still joined in the conversation with the professor and my peers by doing the weekly readings.

As I remain ever self-critical of my own theological and political commitments, I will have to say I have come back to reading a little bit of MLK Jr.’s works. He is more than just that one speech you play during the MLK Jr. Holiday. His writing style, his interpretation of Scripture, and his sermons reflect influences of his Christian upbringing and his education. It is King Jr.’s assumption of a common narrative with his white neighbors that I believe differentiates his Poor People’s Campaign from the Occupy Wall Street movement. In what I consider to be a thorough orthodox and progressive interpretation of Paul’s Letter to the Americans Ephesians, MLK Jr. preached a sermon, assuring whites that Negroes were not out to get revenge or embarass them, but to remind U.S. American Christians of their religious heritage: “The Christian owes his ultimate allegiance to God, and if any earthly institution conflicts with God’s will it is your Christian duty to take a stand against it. You must never allow the transitory evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.” Another significant point that MLK Jr. makes is that it is not capitalism that is inherently evil, but that it is misused:

“All of this is marvelous. But Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life. You are prone to judge the success of your profession by the index of your salary and the size of the wheel base on your automobile, rather than the quality of your service to humanity.

The misuse of Capitalism can also lead to tragic exploitation. This has so often happened in your nation. They tell me that one tenth of one percent of the population controls more than forty percent of the wealth. Oh America, how often have you taken necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes. If you are to be a truly Christian nation you must solve this problem.”

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shares in the very Pauline theo-logic of Ephesians 2, that Christ Jesus had eliminated all walls of hostility, in order that we may reject the I-It dialects of capitalism and socialism, but seek to implement personalism, justice, and human dignity into our economic systems, whatever shape they come in.

For all the flack that the OWS has taken over the past couple of weeks, what is needed is a particular set of policy suggestions, more than just the vague “raise his or her taxes” or eliminate capitalism. What I am calling for is in the mold of MLK Jr.’s PPC, concrete calls to justice, and not just abstract tantrums and pouting. To participate in movements of liberation also requires that one embrace responsibility for one’s own actions, and this should include cleaning up after your own messes, kindegardeners. OWS should not give Satan any room to speak ill of them, no room at all.

In MLK Jr.’s final Sunday sermon, on Passion Sunday of all mornings, he preached an interpretation of Revelation, “Behold I make all things new” along with the story of Rip Van Winkle, who went to sleep when King George III was king, only to wake up when George Washington was President. The sermon was entitled, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.” Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. was a Christian and a patriot, a lover of God, and his country. It was his version of American exceptionalism that is dredfully missing today, the idea that “the destiny of the United States is tied up with the destiny of India, and every other nation.” It was the potential for the U.S. to win the War on Poverty which made it the greatest nation on earth, for MLK. The purpose of his Poor People’s Campaign was embodied in these words, “We are not coming to engage in any historionic gesture. We are not coming to tear up Washington. We are coming to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty.”

My hope is that #OWS and future movements like it will learn from the wisdom of the past so that we can all work toward a better future.

Booker T. Washington and the Gospel of the Toothbrush

As I continue my theological exploration into Booker T Washington’s use of Scripture in his UP FROM SLAVERY, I arrived at Chapter 11, “Making their beds before they could lie in them.”

As a third and fourth grader at a primarily black Southern Baptist church, we had Sunday School lessons on personal hygiene. What did this have to do with soul salvation? Apparently, there is a long tradition of this in African American Christianities; it is what BTW and his friends called, “The Gospel of the Toothbrush.” When students first came to Tuskegee, the only thing they would have with them is a toothbrush. Toothbrushes brought “a higher degree of civilization among the students” (175). Apparently dental care is the thing that keeps black barbarians in check.

Booker T. Washington, as he usually does, takes a person that he knows, and makes them into a noble character through the act of telling a story. The hero from the beginning of this chapter is a General Armstrong, a colored man who fought for the Union yet was found without “a feeling of bitterness toward the white South” (164). Washington himself claimed that he had completely rid himself of all ill will towards white persons, and that he pitied the fool who was still had racial prejudice in her heart (165). Of course, the not too subliminal message from Booker T to other Negroes during his era, and probably even today: get over African enslavement and get on with life. Washington then goes on to debunk the racial myth that blacks would be insubordinate when other blacks (read:men) are in charge. No, this was not the case at Tuskegee; the students there are so submissive, they even would carry an umbrella for BTW on a rainy day (169). At this point of the book, I get the suspicion that BTW is living in a fairy tale. He tells a story about how he made a train ride trip from Dallas to Houston, and how the whites came up to congratulate him on his project (Tuskegee), and what it meant for the South. A few paragraphs later, he tells of a similar story of a trip in Georgia, with a twist– the awkward story of him having dinner on that train with two white women. BTW also claims to ne’er heard an insult from a white person as well.

Booker T. Washington’s ethic of forgiveness is part of the Pauline theological tradition of love, and not letting the sun go down while you are angry (Ephesians 4:26).  I think however, there is a difference between staying angry and bitter, and using righteous anger to confront sin.  To what ends will we go to sugarcoat the past? Is the past that much unbearable that we would have to look over facts to put on a good face for our former enemies? Is that not the cheapening of truth, and therefore making true reconciliation impossible?

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