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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Race Card

It’s on, ladies and gentlemen. The bell has rung, and the Gospel Coalition smackdown is underway.

In one corner we have respected theologian Wayne Grudem telling American Christians they should vote for Donald Trump. In the other, respected theologian Thabiti Anyabwile insists they should vote for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, out on the ring apron, respected theologian Douglas Wilson is explaining the rules of engagement to both parties while recommending Americans vote for neither candidate.

He’s also being called a racist on Twitter for the crime of daring to disagree with a black man, but we should be used to that by now.

Wow. This part is almost more fun than the actual election.

All kidding aside, I have great respect for someone who can disagree intensely with another person’s point of view while simultaneously acknowledging his integrity and concurring with him when he’s right. That’s a Christian way to argue, and that’s how Wilson deals with both Anyabwile and Grudem.

On the other hand, I have zero respect for this sort of PC posturing:
@douglaswils just shows his true feelings for people of a different ethnicity! How come he didn’t go after Grudem? #Privilege
Apart from the fact that such a critique is logically invalid (whether you want to call it an example of the ad hominem fallacy or a fallacious argument from motive is up to you), it’s just plain unchristian. The purposes of the heart will one day be fully disclosed by the Righteous Judge, therefore, Paul says, “do not pronounce judgment before the appointed time”.

That doesn’t mean (obviously) that we are not to judge anything at all. In context, Paul is specifically referring to motive. Christians are not to assume the worst of one another, but to give one another the benefit of the doubt. What’s that Golden Rule thingy say again?

Christians ought never to play the race card. “You’re racist” is just about the worst argument ever, for anything. It’s lame. It misses the point. It’s anti-intellectual and downright childish. Even if it’s true, it’s completely irrelevant. If you don’t like David Duke’s view of the world, prove him wrong. Win on the merits of your argument, not by using cheap disqualification tactics.

Anything else is crass manipulation or cowardice.

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