A Gary North comment, is he loco?

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Anton Bruckner, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. Anton Bruckner

    Anton Bruckner Puritan Board Professor

    thanks for the confidence and grace that you've extended to me.

    And I do wholeheartedly agree with you that God does send nations into servitude. The Son rules with a Rod of Iron, and I do believe that the Native Americans, the Africans, etc all were generously repaid for their idolatry by the Son. They failed to kiss the Son. That being said, as the scripture shows that the rod of God, those whom God uses to judge in no way excuses them from their sin.

    But the beauty and the goodness of God is that during His judgment He extends mercy, and as a result I am thankful for the blessedness that God extended to America in that the very people that were judged and enslaved became full citizens and contributed mightily to the music, arts, literature, sports, theology and science that benefitted all mankind.

    Quite similar could be seen in Western Europe, where Germany and Britain were the stomping grounds of the Ceasars only to raise from the ashes and become a beacon for Christ.

    Based on this, their is a pertinent necessity for the Gospel to be spread. When Nations do not Kiss the Son, they will inevitably Kiss the Dust. The Son does not discriminate, He did it to 1st century Israel, He did it to Egypt, He did it to Babylon, He did it to Europe, He did it to Africa. No one is exempt. The Angel at the Euphrates regularly dries up the Euphrates to bring the Kings of the East against idolaters.
     
  2. rmwilliamsjr

    rmwilliamsjr Puritan Board Freshman

    i certainly recommend Noll on the topic, here are my pullquotes from the two chapters on the issue from America's God

    i'm almost through his _Civil War as a Theological Crisis_ and it is excellent and it an extension of his essay where he writes:

    for those who are interested Dabney's Defense of Virginia and through her the South is online at:
    http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text...b9f2a35e&c=moa&idno=ABT6096.0001.001&view=toc
     
  3. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I don't plan on posting extensively in this thread. But here are some observations:

    1) Biblical servitude (ala OT Israel) is not replicable--can't drop it into the xxth century--and call that biblically-sanctioned slavery.

    2) The southrons (and I am one by birth, I love the great things about my history) should have done more to eliminate slavery. Instead they apologized for it, and kept it for far too long, and they paid a terrible price in the end. The whole nation did, since we all became serfs.

    3) Dabney was partially right, and partially wrong. Some of his "Defense" is right on the money, but it is partisan, and suffers for it in those areas. It shouldn't have been a whole-hearted, unapologetic "Defense", but more reflective. However, in his defense, his far-sightedness (ironic since he was going physically blind) showed the national trajectory set by the South's loss was sure to bear bitter fruit, and that made the sting of defeat even worse.

    4) When the colonies became states, with charge over their own affairs, they were "stuck" with a racial slavery problem. In some ways, it wasn't their fault to have the issue (and in some ways it was). They saw the tensions, but they were slow to face them. Their slowness gave ammunition to the Unitarians (who were merely the beneficiaries of N.E.'s lack of many slaves).

    5) Arguments based on Providence are typically bad arguments. They tend toward fatalism and ex post facto justification for things that ought to be condemned (or at least significantly nuanced). And here, I'll just add that maybe (!) GN is not nuanced enough. But maybe our assessment of what he said their should be taken not as a blanket condemnation of every nuance, but rather an "on balance" evaluation. In which case, he has a point.

    6) GN has vigorously condemned southern slavery, and by implication (at least) denounced blanket apologists for the south, especially the blinkered proponents of "Christian South" who still tout the pro-slavery position of the old southron theologians.

    7) In the OT, intergenerational slavery was for heathen, taken in legitmate wars. Unconverted heathen, who refused to convert, could have families within the household, but without converting, they remained slaves--all that was theirs belonged to Israel.

    But with conversion came new relations. And, as someone has earlier pointed out, JUBILEE RELEASE. The one exception I can think of is the one whose decision was to be a lifetime servant, and had his ear bored (male earrings were the mark of a permanent slave--so what are today's men doing popping studs in their ears??!).

    In other words,, believers/converts should not be slaves. OT Israelite slavery was an institution designed to eliminate slavery. Indentured servitude was limited in duration, to allow debts to be paid (at least in part), and to allow a "new start." Flesh-trafficking of the 18th century and later was (as previously noted) more like Egyptian oppression, more like the Greco-Roman or barbarian practices than what is found regulated by God. The African's may have been taking and trading slaves long before the white slavers started buying, but supply-demand dynamics further ensured that the practice would worsen once the New-World demand increased. Again, it may have been Providential that some slaves were introduced to the gospel because they were kidnapped, but that is no reason to exculpate the buyers of slaves off the block in ports, with the conscience-salve that they were doing these folks favors. Not unless they planned to give them their freedom.
     
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