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Editor-in-Chief Richard Clark is joined by associate editor Erin Straza and staff writer Kara Bettis to talk about the shooting of Michael Brown and ongoing unrest in Ferguson, MO, specifically what the evangelical church’s response has been and should be.

A clarification from podcast producer, Cray Allred: I was only at the demonstration site when things were peaceful–we headed home late Friday evening thinking things would continue to be calm from the day before, but there was an outbreak of violence soon after we left. So I can’t add any insight as to the true balance of rioting and police instigation, though reporters on the whole seem to be much more wary of the latter.

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1 Comment

  1. A couple thoughts. I keep hearing from people that are trying to be fair saying there are different view points and accounts of what happened. But unless there are reports that I have not heard, there are three eyewitnesses in addition to the friend, all four of those people have basically given the same account that said Michael Brown was running away shots were fired and then he turned around and the cop kept firing. The only other account is the cop’s, which has not been released and has only come mediated through the police chief. Several of the details have changed but essentially says Michael Brown struggled at the car, tried to take the gun, when he couldn’t get it tried to run away, the officer fired and in response to the gun shots Michael Brown turned around and ran straight at the cop and the cop shot at him again.

    There was not another cop there (another cop came after Brown had died, but was not there during the shooting.)

    So while I think it is ok to say the investigation hasn’t been completed, I think it is odd to keep saying there are different viewpoints when there are three eye witness and the friend that agree and then the cop. If you are going to say there are multiple stories you should identify them and say, the three eye witnesses, the friend and the cop. As far as I can tell there are no other witnesses.

    About Thabiti Anyabwile’s piece. Much of the diagnosis of the problem and his own pain I think were great. Why I wish he would have had open comments on the piece (but I understand why he did not) is that it feels like a no True Scotsman fallacy. He says there is no group that does this, but isn’t this the result of an Evangelical theology that is conservative before Christian?

    There are lots of Christian groups that work on justice issues, the Christian Community Development Association, Evangelicals for Social Action, Bread for the World, World Vision, etc. But the fact that they are working on them means they are seen as no longer conservative Evangelical (or no longer Evangelical groups.)

    Shaun King who is a Evangelical, former pastor that is now a full time social activist was talking on twitter that he has literally recieved dozens of emails and twitter comments about why he has left Evangelial world. He has not left the Evangelical world, he is working on social issues and is still just as Evengelical as he was before. It is just that some view any work on social issues as non-evangelical.

    So I think Thabiti Anyabwile has a point that there isn’t a group like this. But I also think he needs to not advocate for a new group (we have plenty of currently existing groups) we need to have an opening of theology that says it is ok to view people that work on social action issues as evangelical.

    It is true that many social activists eventually stop identifying as Evangelical, but that is more about an over identification of Evangelicalism with the Republican party than anything else and pushing the more politically liberal Evangelicals out of the group than the a rejection of Evangelicalism.

    We can’t even have the theological diversity of his own Gospel Coalition that allows for different perspectives of sanctification without having to create different groups.

    The heart of the problem he is identifying here is not social action or racial, it is theological exclusivism. You can’t have a more racially inclusive organization or a more socially active organization if you don’t first say, ‘you are my brother or sister in Christ and while we may not theologically agree with every jot and tittle, we agree with the overwhelming majority of our faith in Christ and therefore I need to love you and work with you more than I need to correct the minor theological issues that I have with you.’

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