He continues with actual critiques of Wilson’s methodology, rather than saying “This hurts my feelings.” In other words, now we are on to something.
It’s difficult to offer a critique of the history since there’s no clear substantive historical basis to the book. For example, Wilson writes that “it is necessary to get clear on the nature of American slavery, which was not what it’s abolitionist opponents claimed for it” (p. 4). But he doesn’t give us either a sustained critique of abolitionist claims or a sustained argument for a different view.
Well, he can say that. I thought the book offered history. The world’s leading scholar on Antebellum slavery (Eugene Genovese) thought it offered history. Who’s to say?
He summarizes Wilson’s thesis (accurately, I think)
Central to the book’s thesis and Wilson’s logic is the notion that “antebellum slavery was the normal kind of sinful situation” rather than “Apocalyptic Evil”
Here is why Wilson is right and Anyabwile is wrong: the bible does not call slavery an apocalyptic evil, or even sin. And if Cahill’s analysis of Hellenistic sociology is accurate, as I think it is, then Paul didn’t even call that institution evil, though he would have called the actions sinful.
And here is the dangerous challenge and warning:
At the same time, we should never allow secularists to come in and correct “mistakes” in our regular history that would also be considered (by our high gloss elites) to have been mistakes in the sacred history as well.
In fact, Wilson drops the hammer:
Why are we back-seat-driving for the Virginia plantation owner, or the Massachusetts farmer, when there is an abortion clinic just three miles from your house? What are we going to do about that, and why? Anything you praise a century and a half ago is praiseworthy now, right? Anything you condemn now should be condemned back then, right? If you would shoot somebody for doing “bad things” then, you should shoot somebody for doing worse now, right?
If slavery is evil and worth killing white Southerners over, and abortion is a greater evil (which all will grant), well…you aren’t stupid. You can draw the conclusion. If you are not willing to draw it, then maybe you need to rework your historiography.
“It was the contention of this booklet that the way in which slavery ended has had ongoing deleterious consequences for modern Christians in our current culture wars, and that slavery was far more benign in practice than it was made to appear in the literature of the abolitionists” (p. 14; emphasis added).
Anyabbwile: That’s a massive claim.
This is a commonsense claim. I get really angry at conservatives for quoting Lincoln, comparing abortion to slavery, and then getting mad at Obama for executive orders. So what that your state voted against sodomite marriages and a federal judge struck it down? America fought a war that negated the 10th Amendment. One of the consequences of that war is that a Federal judge has every constitutional right to strike down such a law (even if he will be judged by God for doing so).
.” I don’t begrudge Southerners telling their history and defending themselves at various points along the way.
Yes you do.