I have been following the irenic exchange between Thabiti Anyabwile and Doug Wilson concerning Wilson’s Black and Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2005). Anthony Bradley previously kicked-off an exchange with Wilson: Post, Reply, Rejoinder, Surrejoinder, Rebutter, Surrebutter (?). This new debate began with Brian Lorritts’ comments about Wilson’s work.
Doug is my brother in Christ, and I like him—as much as I can know him through his writing and speaking. I have been one of his followers for many years – at least for a year before Credenda Agenda published an extremely funny comment in response to Jerry Falwell’s gaffe over the Teletubby: Anyone who has seen even 60 seconds of Teletubbies is gay; (as best I can remember that was the line and I roared with laughter for a very long time after reading it). While Doug tends to use wit to make his point as well as does George Will (and Carl Trueman), he writes with great seriousness and I take his thoughts seriously. I have enjoyed his works on family, manhood, and marriage. I used his book on rhetoric as a required text the last time I taught homiletics. I have utilized his study guide to Calvin’s Institutes in personal study and hope to use it in ministry to the young adults at my current church. So I have no personal dislike of or grievance toward Doug, and I find him to be a tremendously gifted thinker and blessing to the body of Christ.
Yet I readily admit that something about his paleo-confederate views still strike a note of discord with me. However, I have not yet discerned the real point of my own concern: Could it be that Doug is not wrong in his conclusions? Or is it that the error is beyond the direction of the current discussion?
Back to Black and Tan it is, along with much more prayer, a rereading of all of the Anyabwile-Wilson discussions, and much more pondering over the Scriptures and our beliefs. Maybe the Lord will be kind and show us where we all have erred in our discussions on race and society.