Posted inReligion

Excusing the inexcusable

Reading Time: 11 minutes Some moral questions are difficult. Some are shrouded in uncertainty. Some come into focus only with the passage of time. There are some on which reasonable people can disagree. Then there is slavery. Sadly, the horror of slavery still exists in 2022, both in practice and in its legacy. There are still thought to be […]

Posted inReligion

If Jesus was a man, why does he never do anything wrong?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Christians like circles. Especially arguing in them. I have just started reading the late biblical scholar Hector Avalos’ recent book Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship. In the introduction, he points out a startlingly obvious and yet incredibly important observation. “My project actually began with a puzzling experience,” he writes. “If one reads […]

Posted inHistory

We’ve been here before: 5 centuries of (flawed) human rights advocacy

Reading Time: 5 minutes There’s a quote by 19th-century essayist Charles Dudley Warner that I think about every time I revisit world history. As he wrote, “It is fortunate that each generation does not comprehend its own ignorance. We are thus enabled to call our ancestors barbarous.” Cute, right? But the phenomenon he observed, of thinking ourselves automatically morally […]

Posted inPolitics

Whitewashing Christian history in The Reason for God

Reading Time: 15 minutes To hear Tim Keller talk, you’d think the Christian church was responsible for every progressive social step forward that Western civilization has taken. In order to support this idea, Keller turns in chapter four of The Reason for God to address the developments of the Abolition movement and of the Civil Rights movement in the United […]