Friday, July 9, 2010

PCA Strategic Plan - Grace, Race & Minorities

Since returning home from General Assembly I've withheld comment on its proceedings.  I've read several opinion pieces and they have helped me gain perspective. 

For the past couple of days I've been reading the comments over at Anthony Bradley's blog concerning the book, Open Friendship in a Closed Society, by Peter Slade. I have not read the book so I cannot comment on its contents.  Apparently there is a pretty pointed discussion about Southern Presbyterianism and the views of some of its prominent members on the topics of slavery and segregation. 

Apart from Bradley's analysis subsumed under this title, "Why didn't they tell us?: the racist & pro-segregation roots of the formation of RTS, the PCA, and the role of First Prez in Jackson, Miss in all of it" is the discussion being carried on in the comments.  A quick read provides a veritable Who's Who of the PCA.  Moreover the comments shed light on perhaps what might be the driving force behind the PCA Strategic Plan: Guilt. 

Interwoven throughout the comments is a discussion of the 'spirituality of the church.'  Some argue that this doctrine led Southern theologians to excuse slavery and turn a blind eye: others say that the doctrine was misused and misapplied.  Director of the PCA Historical Center Wayne Sparkman added a fine comment illustrating that some reformed folk in the South correctly applied the doctrine and disciplined (excommunicated) slave holders.  Most telling though is Bradley's (and others) dismissal of Two Kingdom Theology.  Perhaps this is why some  in the PCA (myself included) felt unrepresented in the discussion about the Strategic Plan and in the Keller-Duncan forum. 

Bradley also has another piece highlighting some nasty treatment he has received from others in reformed camp (here).  There is no excuse for such things.

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