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Tag: Slavery and Abolition

Slavery in the Old Testament: A Biblical Overview via Logos 6

Slavery in the Old Testament: A Biblical Overview via Logos 6

Very soon I’ll be opening up a group study of Paul Copan’s Is God a Moral Monster?. Be sure to get a copy if you want to join with us. The idea to study Copan’s book was kicked off, courtesy of Keith, during conversations on slavery in the Bible. I’ve never done a thorough analysis here on what the Old Testament says about slavery, so with this week’s release of Logos 6, I thought I’d take the opportunity to find…

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If not the Bible, then how did we come to know that slavery is wrong?

If not the Bible, then how did we come to know that slavery is wrong?

That WWJTD’s response to my August 24 post, Ten Reasons the Bible Has It Right On Slavery, was scornful is hardly surprising. First, he caught me legitimately in an error: I misused the word “condone” where I meant “heartily affirm.” I should have said, “Note that the Bible does not heartily affirm everything that it recognizes, nor even everything that it regulates (divorce being one other example).” JT notes correctly that the Bible does condone slavery, which is to say,…

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Ten Reasons the Bible Has It Right on Slavery

Ten Reasons the Bible Has It Right on Slavery

I read Keith’s comment #172 this morning with deep grief in my heart. He wondered whether there was something unique about Christianity that would cause it to be more liberating than other worldviews (especially Jainism). My grief is this: we Christians have not explained and demonstrated the most basic realities of our faith. If we had, Keith would never have had to ask. Slavery is many things. It’s a form of relationship between human beings. It’s an economic system, a…

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Seven Reasons To Give Old Testament Ethics the Benefit of the Doubt

Seven Reasons To Give Old Testament Ethics the Benefit of the Doubt

Why do Christians give Old Testament ethics the benefit of the doubt? That question came up before Christmas, as a result of discussions here on slavery in the Old Testament. There is no denying that the slavery codes in the Pentateuch seem wrong, even barbaric, to 21st century readers (most readers, that is: slavery is still a thriving enterprise of death in our world today). As I will repeat in point 4, “the benefit of the doubt” is hardly required…

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Slavery and Freedom

Slavery and Freedom

Skeptics criticize the Bible for not condemning slavery, with some taking it to such an extreme level that they refuse to recognize the clear historic good that Christianity has done in freeing slaves. I think we need to think more deeply about slavery and freedom. Freedom has classically been understood not as freedom-from, but as freedom-to. Freedom-from has to do with restrictions: freedom from interference, from want, from boundaries, and so on. Calls for freedom of this sort are typical…

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On Christianity and Slavery: You Would Think…

On Christianity and Slavery: You Would Think…

It’s a funny thing about Christianity and slavery, as I said in a comment just now. You would think that if some person showed up on the scene in a society where slavery was totally ingrained—ingrained in moral philosophy, in law, in its conception of what it means to be human, in the economy, and in the social order—and planted a deeply revolutionary and powerful idea that resulted in the relatively quick though gradual and peaceful dissolution of the whole…

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Further on Dan Savage and SSM “Tolerance”

Further on Dan Savage and SSM “Tolerance”

With respect to this ignorant outburst, James Agresti writes, First and most succinctly, Savage’s historical revisionism is at odds with primary sources that enlighten the events of the past, such as these words penned by former slave Booker T. Washington in his celebrated book, Up From Slavery: If no other consideration had convinced me of the value of a Christian life, the Christlike work which the Church of all denominations in America has done during the last thirty-five years for…

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“Stop the Traffic: Human Trafficking Awareness Day”

“Stop the Traffic: Human Trafficking Awareness Day”

It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day today. There are more than 30 million people enslaved in the world today, according to the nonprofit group Not for Sale, a group that raises awareness and aid for victims of human trafficking. The group says that there are more slaves today “than at any other point in human history.” [From Stop the Traffic: Human Trafficking Awareness Day – Christian News, Conservative Commentary] Last week at the Passion Conference in Atlanta, 42,000 college students were…

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Christianity and the Abolitionist Movement

Christianity and the Abolitionist Movement

A quick excerpt from a blog you need to know about, Christ the Tao, speaking on Christianity and slavery: the modern abolitionist movement, led by zealous believers like William Wilberforce, was no fluke. There is, in the genome of Scripture, something that pushes towards liberty, that eventually emerged in a big way. [From Christ the Tao]

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