Social justice warrior, Thabiti Anyabwile, is up to his old tricks. This darling of the Gospel Coalition wants everyone to believe that “reparations” is a biblically supported idea. He attempts to do this by affirming that a “principle” of reparations is biblical even though debate must ensue for the specific programs, policies, and most importantly, implementation. He highlights a supposed universal agreement of all, even those that oppose reparations for today, with the following bullet points: “Restitution is biblical . . . A grievous wrong was done in the American practice of slavery . . . [and] . . . Reparations was [sic] owed at some point [emphasis in original].”
Anyabwile continues his sleight of hand misdirection by bringing in a story from the Old Testament, the case of Ezra, where he boldly asserts, ” If the Lord God himself caused a state head through taxation to require later generations of people who committed no crime to pay monies to their contemporaries who did not suffer the original crime, then it cannot be unjust (quite the opposite!) for state actors to do the same today.”
Of course, Thabiti is making a hermeneutical error assuming that just because all of the Bible is for us, that it follows necessarily that it is all to be an example for us., especially, at the state and national level. This may appear impressive to the naive, but actually Jesus Christ Himself told us how to interpret the Old Testament, it all points to Him! This is the crucial piece of the Bible’s main theme, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified, that is absent from this discussion. Jesus does not appear in his Anyabwile’s article. No, not once! This is not an argument from silence, but an argument about silence. As soon as the cross shines through all pretense about “reparations” evaporates.
It is the blood of Jesus that is the way God intends to right all wrongs. if there are any “reparations” that are not dealt with, in His sovereign providence, by the blood of Jesus to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, then what is Christianity all about? This major fault suggests that, not only is Anyabwile’s theology [read: politics] suspect but that despite all pretense, he may not even be a Christian. Any believer, given a platform as public as the Gospel Coalition is giving Anabwile, would be shouting the Life, Death, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension, and Intercession for His sheep, by Jesus Christ our Lord. But, where is this, in Anabwile’s “biblical argument?” It is nowhere to be found; it is simply, non-existent. Thabiti’s approach is to bend the Bible to his, otherwise obtained thesis and premise. And, clearly, it just doesn’t fit or ring true.
[Author’s Note: All quotes from Anyabwile are from his article “Reparations Are Biblical,” published by the Gospel Coalition on October 10, 2019, on their website]
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