Thursday, November 9, 2017

Race, part 1

John Piper has a really hard time with the concept of race.
I’m a stickler for clear definitions. I like to know what I am talking about. ... Believe it or not, the existence of the reality of race itself is disputed. I mean seriously by very wise people whom I admire. I deal with this in appendix 1. And, of course, the term racism is ambiguous as well. (Bloodlines, pg 17)
It is a healthy sign to wish that the term race did not exist. It has not served well to enhance human relations. In general, the term race has been used to signify “a biological concept referring to the taxonomic (classificatory) unit immediately below the species.” We may not be able to communicate in our day without the term, but we can at least try to show why it is a fuzzy term that is minimally helpful and has often been hijacked by ideology for racist purposes. (Bloodlines, Appendix One, pg 234)
I get a little nervous when I'm reading something where the author takes pains to define words in ways that are not standard. My shields go up and I wonder why he would need to do that.

Is "race" really a difficult word to define? Here is the dictionary definition from dictionary.com:
1. a group of persons related by common descent or heredity.
2. a population so related.
3. Anthropology. [omitted] (no longer in technical use)
4. a group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic lineage:
5. any people united by common history, language, cultural traits, etc.:
6. the human race or family; humankind
That is quite straight-forward and agrees with most people's common sense understanding. Piper says he's a stickler for clear definitions, but he has taken something clear and intentionally made it, in his words, fuzzy. I also wonder if he is engaging in psychological projection when he states that the term has "often been hijacked by ideology."

It should also be absolutely no surprise to Christians that various races of humankind exist. God Himself created the condition that resulted in the proliferation of distinct people groups that became identifiable in terms of their geography, cultures, and physical characteristics.
The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11: 5-9)
God's intentional sundering of humanity at the tower of Babel led directly to the rise of the nations and the division of mankind into a diversity of races. And, He did it for our good, to limit Man's potential for evil, and to force Man into obedience to Him.

Yet, Piper says that it is a "healthy sign to wish that the term race did not exist." Why would we "wish" for that? Is it so we could more easily pretend that race itself doesn't exist? So we can pretend that one of God's blessings doesn't exist? So we can remake the world God created into one of our own imagination?

The secular Progressive world is waging war against God's created order. They hate that God created Man, male and female, so they seek to destroy the distinction and create a fluid continuity of "genders." They hate that God blessed husbands and wives with distinct responsibilities and gifts, so they work tirelessly to destroy and pervert marriage.

They also hate that God created The Nations, so they work toward a globalist future and vilify the term "nationalism" and anyone who stands for national sovereignty.

And, maybe most of all, they hate that God created the races. While they dishonestly call for greater Diversity, they in reality promote the obliteration of the glorious variety of Man.

Whatever God has created, they will seek to destroy and replace with its opposite.

I haven't made it far into Piper's book, but at the outset he appears to be lined up on the opposite side of the battlefield.

1 comment:

  1. Nice article. I suspect Piper is not bowing the knee to the secular social agenda, however it is hard to argue against your point since he did put those words into print. Words matter and we ought be careful how we use them. As you pointed out, there are in fact distinct people groups for God's purposes and they all have the same opportunity to be part of His people since we are all made in God's image for His purposes. If we go against Him then we are in for a world of hurt, which is where we are headed. Oh how I am thankful for the grace and forgiveness that is given by God if we only would repent and turn from our evil ways, no matter a persons race. I appreciate your thoughts and writings. Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete