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October 2012

Puritans and the Proof in the Pudding: Is Slave-owning Unrelated to Calvinism?

Precious Puritans

Humble Beast artist, Propaganda, who has had some recent internet fame from his viral video poem "G.O.S.P.E.L." 1, recently released a full-length hip hop album entitled "Excellent" (available for ****FREE****!!!). While the entire album is worth a listen, one track in particular is making waves all over the evangelical blogosphere. 2 Why? Because a black, Christian hip hop artist dared to denounce the racism and slave-owning of Puritans—the darlings of Neo-Calvinist folklore. [gasp!] And several of Propoganda's points are powerful!


Here's a little taste:

Pastor, you know it’s hard for me when you quote puritans.
Oh the precious puritans.
Have you not noticed our facial expressions?
One of bewilderment and heart break.
Like, not you too pastor.
You know they were the chaplains on slaves ships, right?
Would you quote Columbus to Cherokees?
Would you quote Cortez to Aztecs?
Even If they theology was good?
It just sings of your blind privilege wouldn’t you agree?
Your precious puritans.

…and, some more:

Oh, you get it but you don’t get it.
Oh, that we can go back to an America that once were, founded on Christian values.
They don’t build preachers like they used to. Oh, the richness of their revelations.
It must be nice to not have to consider race.

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A Brief Post About The Real Gospel

The Gospel isn't a get-out-of-hell-free card. The Gospel is about far more than just no longer feeling guilty. These are reductionist caricatures of the Gospel. The Gospel is grander, thicker than these inadaquate facsimiles. 

The Gospel is the declaration and demonstration that God's kingdom is breaking into this world through the birth, the life, the ministry, the execution, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah—and that it continues through the Holy Spirit's work in and through the movement of Jesus's disciples we call the Church. The Gospel declares and demonstrates that the Jesus who was crucified, died, and was buried is now alive, lives forever, and rules over all the governments of the world, over all the presidents, over all the prime ministers, over every billionaire and every mogul. That Jesus the Messiah is the Lord who rules in a way unlike any earthly reign—a reign that is perfectly merciful and perfectly just.

The Gospel is the power of God to transform individual lives, entire households, and whole communities. The transformation the Gospel produces always looks like Jesus; it always looks like an innocent man receiving a God-forsaken, criminal's execution in the place of the very people who were murdering him. The transformation the Gospel produces always looks like the forces in this world that hold people down, rob them of their God-given dignity, and seek to destroy them being overpowered by Jesus's Cross-shaped love.

It always looks like New Life, New Creation, New Vision, and ultimately a New City where God will dwell with humanity once again in undisrupted love and oneness—where there will be no more war, no more violence, no more pain, no more sickness, no more disease, no more oppression, no more injustice. There will only be perfect peace, perfect wholeness, perfect shalom. That's what heaven on earth will look like.

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Welcome to

Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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