Tag Archives: Reformed

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…… 😉

Jonathan Edwards on Love and Patriotism

A Refreshing Take and Interpretation on Love for the Nation-State

Not too long ago, I was into the best of what the Reformation had to offer theologically.  It seemed odd to me that people would make a delineation between Abraham Kuyper‘s worldview (Dutch Reformed) and the theological vision of Jonathan Edwards. But I think that one of the great distinctions which separates the two is their view of the nation-state.  For Kuyper and Woodrow Wilson, the Christian is obligated to submit herself to the government in one area of her life, and then in the area of the church, she is to submit herself to church authorities.  These spheres are separate and the highest good one can do is to know their role; for Wilsonian democracy, this included Negro Americans to live life apart for the rest of culture due to the color of their skin.

Philosophically, this approach bumps heads with another approach to the Reformed Christian tradition, the early American variety that was in dialogue with the Enlightenment and liberal Protestant theology (literally a protest against orthodox Christianity here in the U.S. historically).  During my first year in seminary, I came across Jonathan Edwards’ view of country, and the bad news for John McCain: there is no Country First.  In fact, Jonathan Edwards saw love for country, much of the time, was a vice rather than a virtue.  In his The Nature of True Virtue, Edwards suggests, “among the Romans, love to their country was the highest virtue; though this affection of their so much extolled, was employed as it were for the destruction of the rest of humankind.” He continues, “And this is the reason why self-love is not mistaken for true virtue.  For though there be something of the general nature of virtue in it, as love and good will, yet the object is private, the limits so narrow, that it by no means engrosses the view; unless it be of the person himself, who though the greatness of his pride may imagine himself as it were all. […] And though , self-love is far from being useless in the world, yea, it is exceeding necessary to society, yet every body sees that if it be not subordinate to, and regulated by another more extensive principle, it may make man a common enemy to the general system.” (page 88-89)

In other words, Nationalism is the outward going form of narrowly self-interested love.  No matter how pure our motives our, Edwards goes on to argue, humanity is corrupted by sin.  Therefore, the higher principle to patriotism, love of the state (self) is God.  Our love is God, the Holy Other, directs us to respond to love others (a self-giving  love/selfless-ness), for “all sin has its source from selfishness, or from self-love not subordinate to being in general.” (92).

Edwards could not be more correct here.  While Edwards disguises his language in the theology of the times referring to God as “Deity” and “Supreme Ruler” like something out of a George Washington speech, the one Self-Giving/Selfless God that Jonathan Edwards is obviously discussing is none of than the Crucified God, who emptied himself for the love of others, we unholy sinners.

Lemuel Haynes: Black Calvinist, Political Revolutionary

The enslaved African Americans who first gathered for illegal worship sessions on the eighteenth and nineteenth century plantations also had burning bush experiences.  In the African American Christian traditions, the Exodus motif has been utilized as an inspiration of God’s liberating power.  Much like how Moses met God at the burning bush, the enslaved Africans experienced God in the brush arbors.  It was the invisible institution where the enslaved Africans held their own religious meetings to worship God independent of white oppression.[1] While meditating on God’s righteousness underneath an apple tree, former indentured servant Lemuel Haynes found Jesus.  He described the ordeal: “One wretched evening underneath an apple-tree, I hope I found my Saviour. […]  I pluck some fruit from the tree and carry it home: it is sweet to my taste.  I have fears that I am deceived, but I still have hope.”[1] Haynes realized that only one acknowledges the justice of God can one become justified and join the struggle for righteousness.  Haynes’s ministry became one of the first evangelical efforts to proclaim the sovereignty of God and the election of the oppressed.

The Black church in the United States has a legacy of preachers who have been able to speak truth to power and hold Uncle Sam accountable to remain faithful to his promises.  For the northern part of the United States, the nineteenth century evangelist Lemuel Haynes became a prophetic voice for divine justice, freedom and racial reconciliation.  Haynes believed that the spiritual kingdom of Christ existed in the here and now and that true liberty could only be found in God’s arms.[1] As a Calvinist, Haynes preached about the omnipotence and sovereignty of the God of the Bible who was capable of overcoming human sinfulness.  Haynes was one of the first black abolitionists and educated preachers on American shores.  The African enslavement was part of God’s plan, in Haynes’ view, to expose the wickedness of humanity and the need for liberation.[2] Since he came from the federal theological tradition, the Abrahamic covenant was theme for his political theology.  He insisted that just as God heard the cry of Hagar, Sarah’s servant, God listens to the wailing of the oppressed.[3] God’s new covenant in Christ made all members of the penitent to be fellow-citizens in the Trinity’s household.  Lemuel Haynes’s preferred political affiliation was the federalist party; clerical activity in the realm of politics was normative for this group.  Versus Federalist contemporary George Washington’s arguments, Haynes insisted that a state could not afford to be purely secular since God was the foundation of all moral virtue.[4] Haynes was an advocate for a covenantal republican form of government based on the truth that God “had made of one blood all the nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth.”   Lemuel Haynes, as an adherent to the doctrine of total depravity, rejected the doctrine of universal salvation on the grounds that the world was filled with universal misery and not joy.[2] Satan and his evil empire rely the illusion that all is well with the world when in reality suffering and injustice prosper.

The Calvinist, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox traditions each affirm the three offices of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.  Lemuel Haynes, the eighteenth century black Calvinist preacher declared, “Whenever a person takes on him the baptism covenant and is baptized into the all-adorable Trinity, he solemnly gives himself to God and accepts Christ as prophet, priest, and king and thereby professeth that he is willing to be ruled by his [Christ’s] as to be saved by his [Christ’s] merit.”[5]Reverend Haynes would use Jehovah and Christ interchangeably in his sermons; his Yahweh Christology became a large part of his covenantal theology and theological ethics.  For example, he exhorted to a crowd, “Let Jehovah-jirah, the Lord will see and provide, be written on your door posts, and on the fleshly tables of your hearts. […] O! that I could with success proclaim in your ears this day the expostulatory declaration of the great deliverer […]  The door is wide open—Jesus is ready to break your bonds asunder.”[5] In another sermon on Zechariah 11:13, Haynes again argued that Jesus is Yahweh and that we as human beings were all guilty of selling Christ for silver.[5] Yahweh is personified in three different ways in the First Testament: Wisdom, Word, and Spirit.[6] In the Second Testament (the New Testament), Christ embodies all three personalities.

Lemuel Haynes represents a long line of African American preachers who have engaged the American political system and challenged it to a more covenantal and truthful way of operation.  Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Katie Canon, Gardner C. Taylor, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, and many more saints have always been at the forefront of petitioning our government to open up the political process to those who are powerless.

[1]Albert Rabouteau, Canaan Land, 43-44.

[2] Timothy Cooley, Sketches of the Life and Character of Lemuel Haynes, 41.

[3] Lemuel Haynes, “On Baptism” in Black Preacher to White America, 243.

[3] Lemuel Haynes, “The Prisoner Released” in Black Preacher to White America, 227.

[3] Lemuel Haynes, “Outline of a sermon on Zech. 11:13”in Black Preacher to White America, 239.

[4] Salliant.  Black Puritan, Black Republican. P.85

[4] Salliant. Black Puritan, Black Republican. P. 114.

[4] Ibid, 110-112.

[4] Ibid, 123-25.

[5] Leonardo Boff, Trinity and Society, 41.


[2] Lemuel Haynes “Letter to the Reverend Hosea Ballou.” In The Life and Character of Rev. Lemuel Haynes, 109.