Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Mohler: “This is an important day in the life of Southern Seminary. Just now, we release the ‘Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.’ It is a massive project and a moral reckoning.”- SBTS


Larry, the thing that gives strong racist undertones, beyond the fact that Garlock is indisputably talking predominantly about black peoples’ music to begin with, is that what Garlock gets right is that rock & roll does have some of its roots in African rhythms.

And as such, you can’t just point at rock & roll and those African music genre pointing a finger at spirituals, black Gospel, blues, jazz, and ragtime. In other words, it’s an implicit statement that the music that consoled and encouraged them in the fields as slaves and sharecroppers, the music that comforted them through slavery, Jim Crow, and quite frankly the musicians who sang and played it—really all of their ancestors—were, as people (wrongly) said about Gene Simmons and his bandmates, “Knights in Satan’s Service.” The finger-pointing at African rhythms instead of equally pagan European rhythms says a lot, too. “Your historic musical genre and methods are bad, ours, not so much.”

If you don’t get why blacks would suggest we take a long walk off a short pier when we say such things, I’m afraid I cannot help you.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

I’m sorry, Larry, but if you see absolutely no racist undertones whatsoever, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Thanks.

No need to be sorry. I didn’t say I saw “absolutely no racist undertones.” I simply asked a few questions. I would simply like to hear how you concluded it was racist. Do you have no answers to the questions I asked? Why do you make the assumptions you do? Do you have no explanation of these racist undertones you claim?

Remember how many times Ron Bean has complained about asking questions and getting no answers? Is this another one of those times where people making dogmatic assertions have no answer to honest questions?

I think charges of racism are cheap and easy, especially when you don’t have to defend them. And we live in a day when it is virtually impossible to question them without getting charged with racism. But the last twenty years have taught me a lot. And one thing it has taught me is that most white people talking about racism aren’t living anywhere close to the reality.

There are people who believe that waltz music (which seems to have originated in Europe) should not be used in the worship of God. Is that also racist?

Can you look at someone from Europe and say that their music is evil because it was used to worship demons? Or do we only do that because we see Africans and judge them on the color of their skin?

There’s a guy in my church from Kenya. He’s an awesome dude, but his taste in music is different from mine. What right do I have to say that his music is wrong just because it’s what he grew up with? He served as an elder in our church, so it’s not like I have to be worried about his worship of demons.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Or do we only do that because we see Africans and judge them on the color of their skin?

Why claim that Africans are being judged or that such judgment is on the color of their skin? I don’t get that, Jay. That’s totally unsupported.

What right do I have to say that his music is wrong just because it’s what he grew up with?

None. But that’s completely irrelevant to anything. No one has claimed that music is wrong (or right) simply because it’s what someone grew up with.

Again, this is why music discussion turn silly. These kinds of comments are silly, irrelevant comments that show one is completely missing the point of the discussion (whether intentionally or unintentionally).

Larry, though it might be much easier to follow Greg’s example and just throw around accusations without providing evidence,

You have provided evidence for Greg’s comment, over and over again.

And regarding the notion that because Garlock doesn’t fess up to a racial animus

It’s not about fessing up to it. It’s about your comment that you admitted was not true.

that a valid inference is as binding as a set of proof-texts.

Of course it is. But it has to be a valid inference. And that is what is lacking. There is no evidence that you made a valid inference. It has nothing in common with the Trinity or other similar doctrines. That’s a logical fallacy, as you should know.

But all that aside, at the end of the day, you made a false statement and admitted it was false.

If you don’t get why blacks would suggest we take a long walk off a short pier when we say such things, I’m afraid I cannot help you.

No need to be afraid. The lack of help is due to the lack of substance in your arguments. You seem to assume that all cultures are equal, and that any expression of a culture is acceptable and equal to any expression of any other culture. Furthermore, you assume that the noetic effects of sin has not affected judgment about aesthetics and propriety. Furthermore, you seem to assume that any cultural expression is tied to skin color. Furthermore, you seem to assume that any issue raised with something from Africa is about skin color. You seem not to consider that it might be about something else (which is what you should consider based on the mention of India and South America). Furthermore, and perhaps worst of all, you assume that people of a certain skin color can’t follow and process an argument.

The basic problem in your premise is that Garlock’s argument (and I have problems with it) was not based on race but based on other things entirely, and it included multiple races and multiple cultures. Now, Garlock might be racist. His comment might be race-based, but you gave no reason to believe it is.

Again, as I said to Jay, this is why music discussions get silly. People can’t talk about facts and arguments. They make silly statements that are frequently irrelevant.

Why can’t we all just be happy?

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.