Eric Metaxas Advances Argument that Science Provides Evidence for God on Fox and Friends Weekend

Eric Metaxas’ is getting lots of exposure as the result of his Christmas Day Wall Street Journal article on the existence of God and new book about miracles. Over the weekend, he appeared on Fox News to argue that science gives evidence for God’s existence. Watch:

Metaxas’ WSJ article has become quite popular with evangelicals. However, critical reactions have emerged including this enlightening piece from Tobin Grant. See also this response from theologian and fellow Patheos blogger Peter Enns. I plan to post at least two articles in reaction to the piece and the video above over the next couple of days. Watch for the first one this afternoon.

Member of Church Formerly Known as Mars Hill Albuquerque Pens Reflections on Church Closing

Levi MacAllister, also known as Levi the Poet, is a current member of North Church in Albuquerque (formerly Mars Hill Albuquerque). On his blog, he recently penned an open letter to Mark Driscoll and the leadership of the church formerly known as Mars Hill. Levi provided the link in an email along with an apology. You’ll understand the apology when you read the letter. Some highlights:

I don’t think that “The Rise & Fall Of Mars Hill Church” can be narrowed down to one man. Or three executives. Or an elder board. Or the BOA. I think that, to some degree, at least for members more intimately involved in the ins and outs of what our church was, there is a complicity we feel in the light. Many former pastors have acknowledged that complicity, and chosen to step away. For others, the complicity has been devastating and confusing, as many of us didn’t know we were in the dark. Of course, the idea of complicity to anyone who would rather be the victim under the infamous bus is enraging. And, at the same time, I do think that true victims exist. In short, it’s complicated, and no amount of devil’s advocacy will please anyone. You literally cannot win. Winning is not what I’m going for.

As you will see, this is a nuanced reflection from Levi the Poet.

Two reactions emerged as closets opened: some left; some stayed. I wonder what it means that I have stayed. Resilience? Compliance? Hope? Fear? There is a degree to which those that have stayed will, in the eyes of many, simply be guilty by association, and that will be that. I truly believe, though, that my wife and I were called to weather this storm, and I hope that we will get to see the sunrise. Perhaps others will even be able to accept that it could have been conviction that led us to stay, the same way it was conviction that led them to leave. And I don’t blame those that left, either. The amount of stones thrown from each “side” is miles high, and though I once stood with rock in hand, a lot of presumption clouded the truth of the matter, and I no longer want anything to do with it. This complicated mess is so much larger than anything that I will ever understand. Perhaps I should be thankful for that. Understanding is pain.

I suspect the stayers and leavers will be reflecting on the meaning of their choices for quite awhile.

Mark Driscoll was fond of saying that “what you idolize, you will eventually demonize.” If he isn’t the case-study for it, i don’t know who is. I’d like to think that I’ve not idolized or demonized him, or others, or myself, but perhaps this all wouldn’t hurt so badly if that were true. I’m sure I’ve done both for Driscoll, probably only ever demonized Sutton Turner, and hoped more in Dave Bruskas than Christ as the solution. I’ve probably hated Throckmorton. I’ve pictured everyone with reservations about Mars Hill over the years, pointing fingers with I told you so written on their faces, and resented them all. I’ve resented the organization for letting us take sides for so long. I’ve led my wife into conversations I shouldn’t have been having, gossip and slander that only revealed the state of my heart, and probably damaged hers.

On hating Throckmorton, you were a part of a large crowd. I am smiling while I write that; no hard feelings.

Mark Driscoll, I love you. I forgive you.

Nice beginning for the open letter to Driscoll. Honest and unfinished are words that come to mind about the letter.

I think that Mars Hill Church and the leaders representing it, as a whole, did not take the time they should have to acknowledge and discuss how deeply it has hurt the people in their care. There are exceptions to the rule, but I think that many of us feel swept under the rug. I know that this dust will be settling for a long time, and I pray that, in the individual bodies that Mars Hill Church has become, leaders will work together to address the pain that will linger, and apologize to their flock for negligence. I also know that we, as the flock, must extend grace, as leaders are people – human beings that are suffering through the same circumstances.

I hope the ex-pastors of the CFKAMH are still reading. There is still unfinished business.

Perry Noble's New Spring Church Used ResultSource to Market Unleash

New Spring Church, pastored by Perry Noble, also used ResultSource to market Noble’s book Unleash. The church released a statement to Christianity Today explaining their reasoning. Read the whole statement here, below is a segment.

Perry Noble used ResultSource to help market and promote one book that he authored—Unleash. The contract for that book was actually a contract between NewSpring Church and the publisher, not between Perry and the publisher—meaning the church would receive all the proceeds from the book, regardless of sales. Specifically, as of November 1, 2014, NewSpring Church has earned more than $60,000 from the marketing and sales of Unleash, all of which Perry would reasonably have been personally entitled to, had the book contract been between him and the publisher.

Indeed, the church holds the copyright.
In the case of Mark Driscoll, the church entered the contract with ResultSource but the book was copyrighted by his LLC On Mission and royalties paid to that entity.
The statement says the church paid $30k to ResultSource and closes in a confusing manner.

If an author believes in the message of his/her book, he or she will want to see the book achieve its widest possible distribution. In the promotion of any book, there are many options available when considering marketing. With this particular book, we choose to use the marketing option that ResultSource provided. This type of marketing is not one we’ve used since on any additional books Perry has written and would not be one we would choose to use again.

They didn’t do anything wrong and they won’t do it again.
Changing the ownership of the book corrects some of the problem. The rest of the problem not directly addressed by this statement is how many books the church had to buy as a part of the process. If ResultSource just did marketing, then that is of little interest; if New Spring also purchased thousands of books via ResultSource’s fake accounts to make it appear that thousands of people were buying the book, then I think that is a problem.
This statement was linked to by Ted Olsen in a sidebar from the larger piece on ResultSource.
The admission that Noble’s book was helped out by ResultSource is not new. A similar statement was released to James Duncan at Pajama Pages last Spring. Duncan then parses the information. Check out the entire post.
 

Eric Metaxas Says Driscoll Needs Grace, Never Heard of ResultSource, Buying Best Seller Spot is Wrong but Complicated (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Christianity Today informed me they stand by the quotes in the article.
…………………….

Last night Eric Metaxas briefly addressed his statements in yesterdays Christianity Today’s article on the ethics of buying a spot on the New York Times best-seller list.
To recap, you can read what Metaxas told CT here and below.
metaxasondriscoll
Late last night, Metaxas addressed concerns about his statements in the CT by appearing to backpeddled from them.


I responded to the tweet by posting his comments to CT and asking if he could clarify.


From there, we had a brief exchange and he addressed the issue again briefly in other tweets to his “great audience.”


So that’s it as far as I can tell from his twitter feed. I got a form email to my requests for clarification.
I am not clear on his position. The CT article was about using ResultSource to manipulate the best seller list. CT’s writer Ken Walker said Metaxas thought Mars Hill didn’t do anything wrong; that opinion is more charitable than simply showing Driscoll grace. What CT printed (Mars Hill did nothing wrong) and what Metaxas said last night (buying on the NYT list is wrong) doesn’t match. Metaxas didn’t address the discrepancy in his tweets but did say that the NYT list issue is complicated. I would like to know how faking book sales with church money is complicated.
I hope Metaxas will see the contradiction which remains between his CT comments and his tweets and clear it up.
 

Eric Metaxas to Christianity Today: Getting on Best-Seller Lists is Good Stewardship (UPDATED)

UPDATE (1/8/15) – Eric Metaxas commented last night on Twitter about the CT article. I have a post at this link where his Twitter comments are presented. He said buying a spot on the NYT’s list is wrong but then said it was complicated. I think he could go further but this may be it.
…………………………
(Original article begins here)
According to Christianity Today, author and evangelical leader Eric Metaxas said Mars Hill Church did nothing wrong by using ResultSource to get Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list.
Metaxas told CT:

“Anyone thinking there is something pure about that list does not understand the system and how it works,” he said. “I would even argue that trying to get on that list is a combination of a realistic sense of the market and good stewardship. When you understand … the Times list is a bit of a game … you realize being on that list has less to do with the actual merit of a book than with other, far less important factors.”

Prior to that quote, Metaxas is cited as referring to the Mars Hill Church scheme and indicated that Metaxas found nothing wrong with what Mars Hill did. Since that particular segment of the article was not in quotes, I don’t know if Metaxas’ comments were meant to apply specifically to Mars Hill Church or if Metaxas knows that the church committed church funds to purchase copies of Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage at retail prices via fictitious buying accounts in selected zip codes to bypass the NYTs monitoring system. I contacted Metaxas via email and twitter earlier this morning and will add any response I get.
Most of the industry contacts cited in the CT article take a dim view of manipulating the system. The New York Times told me back in November that they try to prevent such gaming of the system. Justin Taylor at Crossway had strong words about the practice:

From our point of view at Crossway, the bestseller lists are designed to provide an accurate reflection of the market’s response to an author and his or her book. If an author, agent, or publisher intentionally tries to subvert or distort the intended purpose of the bestseller lists, we believe this would constitute an ethical violation, in terms of standard ethical norms, but even more so in terms of Christian ethics. This would be dishonoring to the Lord (to whom we are ultimately accountable), and it would also conflict with our calling to love our neighbors as ourselves (by not creating a distorted or deceptive picture of reality). Christian authors, agents, and publishers are called to a high standard of integrity as we seek to glorify God, not only in the content of what we publish, sell, and market, but also in the way in which we go about this calling.” — Justin Taylor, senior vice president and publisher for books, Crossway 

Current Mars Hill Church president Dave Bruskas told his congregation that the ResultSource scheme was wrong as did Mark Driscoll in hindsight.
Readers can review the ResultSource contract with Mars Hill Church here.
I will be surprised and disappointed if Metaxas maintains the position he took in the article.

Response to IOTC – Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Speech: Our God is Marching On

On Monday,  I wrote about the Institute on the Constitution’s distortion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work and mission. The IOTC accuses those who cast King, Jr. as a civil rights champion of revising history. I addressed the basic problems in their arguments yesterday. Each day this week, I will post a link to another speech or article from King, Jr. which makes his position clear. Yesterday, I posted segments of his speech titled “Give Us the Ballot.” Today, I am posting a speech delivered in Montgomery, AL on March 25, 1965 titled “Our God is Marching On.”
King marched for racial equality but he did not believe such an outcome would happen with laws requiring equal treatment alone. He also asked the federal government for assistance with housing, jobs and income. King Jr. did not limit his mission to “God-given rights.” Agree or disagree, the IOTC assertion that King, Jr. sought only God-given rights (by their definition) is betrayed by his frequent calls for government intervention in housing, and poverty.
King, Jr. said:

Let us therefore continue our triumphant march (Uh huh) to the realization of the American dream. (Yes, sir) Let us march on segregated housing (Yes, sir) until every ghetto or social and economic depression dissolves, and Negroes and whites live side by side in decent, safe, and sanitary housing. (Yes, sir) Let us march on segregated schools (Let us march, Tell it) until every vestige of segregated and inferior education becomes a thing of the past, and Negroes and whites study side-by-side in the socially-healing context of the classroom.

Let us march on poverty (Let us march) until no American parent has to skip a meal so that their children may eat. (Yes, sir) March on poverty (Let us march) until no starved man walks the streets of our cities and towns (Yes, sir) in search of jobs that do not exist. (Yes, sir) Let us march on poverty (Let us march) until wrinkled stomachs in Mississippi are filled, (That’s right) and the idle industries of Appalachia are realized and revitalized, and broken lives in sweltering ghettos are mended and remolded.

That King was a champion of civil rights is beyond dispute.

Now it is not an accident that one of the great marches of American history should terminate in Montgomery, Alabama. (Yes, sir) Just ten years ago, in this very city, a new philosophy was born of the Negro struggle. Montgomery was the first city in the South in which the entire Negro community united and squarely faced its age-old oppressors. (Yes, sir. Well) Out of this struggle, more than bus [de]segregation was won; a new idea, more powerful than guns or clubs was born. Negroes took it and carried it across the South in epic battles (Yes, sir. Speak) that electrified the nation (Well) and the world.
Yet, strangely, the climactic conflicts always were fought and won on Alabama soil. After Montgomery’s, heroic confrontations loomed up in Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and elsewhere. But not until the colossus of segregation was challenged in Birmingham did the conscience of America begin to bleed. White America was profoundly aroused by Birmingham because it witnessed the whole community of Negroes facing terror and brutality with majestic scorn and heroic courage. And from the wells of this democratic spirit, the nation finally forced Congress (Well) to write legislation (Yes, sir) in the hope that it would eradicate the stain of Birmingham. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave Negroes some part of their rightful dignity, (Speak, sir) but without the vote it was dignity without strength.

Others knew him as a “civil rights agitator:”

My people, my people, listen. (Yes, sir) The battle is in our hands. (Yes, sir) The battle is in our hands in Mississippi and Alabama and all over the United States. (Yes, sir) I know there is a cry today in Alabama, (Uh huh) we see it in numerous editorials: “When will Martin Luther King, SCLC, SNCC, and all of these civil rights agitators and all of the white clergymen and labor leaders and students and others get out of our community and let Alabama return to normalcy?”

Read the entire speech here.

Christianity Today Revisits the Ethics of Using ResultSource to Score a New York Times Best Seller

Tonight, Christianity Today’s Ken Walker posted an article on the ethics of buying a spot on best seller lists. The coverage, which is also in the January print edition, links to the ResultSource contract I posted here.  Although I am surprised the views of Crossway executive Justin Taylor were not included, this is an important article with reaction from numerous industry sources. Most publishers who commented took a dim view of the methods used by ResultSource.
Some surprises from the article:
Eric Metaxas doesn’t see a problem with using a ResultSource like scheme. I wonder if he used them to help out with the Bonhoeffer book.
David Jeremiah’s book Captured by Grace was once listed on the ResultSource website as a part of the ResultSource portfolio. Back in November, I wrote about the mention of Jeremiah’s right hand man Paul Joiner in a Mars Hill Church memo on Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage campaign. Repeated contacts with Turning Point Ministry have gone unanswered. I plan some additional work on David Jeremiah’s approach to publishing best seller, possibly as early as tomorrow. It now appears that he has been using ResultSource to move his books up the lists since 2007.
ResultSource may not be doing much business since the secret sauce was revealed.
One thing not surprising is that the authors involved, ResultSource’s CEO Kevin Small, and Jeremiah’s current and Driscoll’s former agent Sealy Yates did not provide information or comment to CT.
 
 
 

Response to IOTC: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Speech – Give Us the Ballot

Yesterday, I wrote about the Institute on the Constitution’s distortion of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work and mission. The IOTC accuses those who cast King, Jr. as a civil rights champion of revising history. I addressed the basic problems in their arguments yesterday. Each remaining day this week, I will post a link to another speech or article from King, Jr. which makes his position clear. Today, I link to the “Give Us the Ballot” Address Delivered May 17, 1957 at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C. Clearly, the right to vote is a function of government.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished platform associates, fellow Americans: Three years ago the Supreme Court of this nation rendered in simple, eloquent, and unequivocal language a decision which will long be stenciled on the mental sheets of succeeding generations. For all men of goodwill, this May seventeenth decision came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of human captivity. It came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of disinherited people throughout the world who had dared only to dream of freedom.

Unfortunately, this noble and sublime decision has not gone without opposition. This opposition has often risen to ominous proportions. Many states have risen up in open defiance. The legislative halls of the South ring loud with such words as “interposition” and “nullification.”

But even more, all types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters. The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition. And so our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote. (Yes)

Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights.

Who needs to step up and enforce those rights?

First, there is need for strong, aggressive leadership from the federal government. So far, only the judicial branch of the government has evinced this quality of leadership. If the executive and legislative branches of the government were as concerned about the protection of our citizenship rights as the federal courts have been, then the transition from a segregated to an integrated society would be infinitely smoother. But we so often look to Washington in vain for this concern. In the midst of the tragic breakdown of law and order, the executive branch of the government is all too silent and apathetic. In the midst of the desperate need for civil rights legislation, the legislative branch of the government is all too stagnant and hypocritical.
This dearth of positive leadership from the federal government is not confined to one particular political party. Both political parties have betrayed the cause of justice. (Oh yes) The Democrats have betrayed it by capitulating to the prejudices and undemocratic practices of the southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed it by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of right wing, reactionary northerners. These men so often have a high blood pressure of words and an anemia of deeds. [laughter]

Read the entire speech here.
If a representative of the IOTC would like to rebut these posts, I will be glad to allow space to do it.

Institute on the Constitution Doubles Down on Exploitation of Martin Luther King, Jr.

MartinLuther King picIn the Fall of 2013, the founder and director of the Institute on the Constitution Michael Peroutka made some outrageous claims regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. First, on the Steve Deace Show, Peroutka said King did not call for civil rights for blacks in his “I Have a Dream” speech. At the time, I demonstrated that the claim was false.  Then, Peroutka produced a video which repeated the same false claims. Then, Peroutka followed up by asserting that civil rights laws should not have been passed and that the government should not define discrimination for private employers.
Despite Peroutka’s false telling of King’s work and his rejection of civil rights statutes, the IOTC claims to truly understand King’s work. Recently, Jake MacAuley rewrote Peroutka’s 2013 article on King and made the same false claims.  MacAuley claims that the riots and unrest surrounding Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson demonstrates the failure of civil rights. He then lifts, word for word, from Peroutka’s 2013 article:

But it was not, as many have falsely claimed, a call for “civil” rights. In fact, in my view Dr. King was not a champion of “civil” rights. He was a champion of God-given rights.

MacAuley added his own spin to the false claims:

Unlike many modern day welfare state proponents, Dr. King’s demands were right because they were based on a righteous pretense (sic).
It appears to me that this concept of “civil rights” was a gross distortion of his work. This bastardized version of truth would actually only serve to compound power into the already corrupted task master, the human heart, or more specifically stated the human occupied civil government institutions.

As I pointed out in 2013, King’s writings contradict Peroutka’s claims.  And now I want to add to the rebuttal by citing again King’s own words every day this week. With help from Grove City College colleague Todd Allen, I have identified several of King’s writings which address King’s views of civil rights and his self-identification as a leader in the civil rights movement.
If MacAuley’s point was that King would have rejected violent protest, he would have been correct. However, MacAuley moves in a different direction. He makes a case for theocracy.

It appears to me that this concept of “civil rights” was a gross distortion of his work. This bastardized version of truth would actually only serve to compound power into the already corrupted task master, the human heart, or more specifically stated the human occupied civil government institutions.
At one time in our history, we looked to God’s Word to determine what was right and wrong. This was a fixed and certain standard.
Having jettisoned this fixed, objective standard, government tramples our God-given rights and now pretends to issue what it calls “civil rights”.
But “civil rights” are make-believe. Real rights come from the Creator.
In Ferguson, Missouri we have witnessed the folly and the futility of make-believe “civil rights”.

While King believed that human nature was tainted by sin, he also looked to non-violent protest to help move the “human occupied civil government” to guarantee by statute equal treatment before the law for all citizens.
As indicated by his statements here, MacAuley and the IOTC want a theocracy where the Bible (as they understand it) is the governing document. While many founders believed the government’s respect for the natural rights of all citizens was consistent with the Bible, they did not enshrine the Bible as the “fixed, objective standard” from which all civil rights are derived. In the real America, the foundational governing document is the Constitution.
What kind of rights could people expect under a biblical government as envisioned by the IOTC? According MacAuley’s employer, Michael Peroutka, civil rights legislation should never have been passed. Peroutka told Steve Deace:

The civil government has no authority to tell any private employer what kind of employees to hire and fire, or what constitutes discrimination. And obviously, I do mean and I would include the so-called civil rights laws are not law, they never should’ve been passed, they’re not law now, they weren’t law then, they aren’t law now because there is no such thing as a civil right.

On the point of discrimination, Peroutka’s website hosts an article consistent with his statements to Deace. On the website, a 1956 essay by Calvinist writer Frederick Nymeyer describes discrimination which is permitted within a society:

The word discriminate has in late years acquired a bad flavor. There are three kinds of discrimination which are under special attack: discrimination on the basis of religion, discrimination on the basis of race, and discrimination on the basis of nationality. We wish to challenge the validity of objections to these discriminations. We see no reason why men should not discriminate on grounds of religion, race, or nationality, if they wish. We wish to present the case for the right of any and all discriminations except discriminations which involve injustice (violation of Second Table of the Law).

The second table of the law involves prohibitions against theft, murder and coveting after one’s neighbor. According to Nymeyer, one may discriminate against a neighbor based on his race, as long as one doesn’t use that freedom to discriminate as a basis for killing, stealing or coveting. 

But the moral crux of the problem of discrimination is the discrimination against unalterable characteristics. Is it moral to discriminate against unalterable characteristics regarding which a man is helpless? Here is where the race problem becomes so sensitive. A man with a white skin cannot do anything about it; a man with a black skin cannot do anything about it. Why discriminate against (choose against) a man for that for which he has no remedy, for an unalterable trait that is unattractive to you and maybe others? Here is where cruel injustice appears immorally to intrude itself into the situation. But is it injustice?

If the writer has made an earnest effort to carry a tune and keep time (which he has) but is unable (which happens to be the fact), is an injustice done h i [him] because he is “discriminated” against by a choral society which discriminates against a trait he had which is unalterable for h i [him]? Of course not. Justice does not consist in denying reality or the facts of life; injustice is not identical with recognizing reality (that I cannot sing).

And so we hold – in the name of happiness, and in the name of liberty, and in the name of the right to discriminate – that there is no more “injustice” in discriminating against an unalterable trait than against an alterable trait; neither is an injustice. For us, every discrimination is valid except a discrimination involving injustice.

Peroutka’s declaration that the government has no right to tell an employer what constitutes discrimination is consistent with this article on his website but flies directly in the face of Martin Luther King Jr.’s work. King fought for the very civil rights laws that Peroutka condemns. 
Channeling Peroutka, MacAuley ends his article by saying:

In both private and public policy, we must remember that God created only one race – the human race. Therefore, all elevation or denigration of individuals or groups based on skin color is immoral and shameful because it violates the Law of Nature and of Nature’s God!

This sounds nice, but I wonder what it means. Peroutka told Steve Deace that the government has no authority to enforce discrimination laws and Peroutka’s website includes a justification for discrimination based on race. I can’t make any sense of these contradictions.
In contrast to IOTC’s claims about King, Jr.are his own words. Consider this segment of the “I Have a Dream” speech:

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. (my emphasis)

Peroutka’s website justifies discrimination based on race. Peroutka told Steve Deace that the government shouldn’t define discrimination for employers. Clearly, King Jr.’s eloquent teaching about the indignity of discrimination contradicts Peroutka.
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, King Jr. mentioned white ministers who believed in God but did nothing to help gain civil rights. King, Jr. wrote:

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: “What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?”

Religious voices were mixed with some silent but others opposing equality. In the face of religious confusion, King reminded his readers that civil and legal remedies were required:

My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights.

Here King, Jr. refers to the rights he sought as being “constitutional” and “God given.” While King, Jr. believed that equality of the races was a natural right, he also believed, in contrast to Peroutka, that civil rights must be gained through government and civil action. Since the privileged Southern segregationists and the oppressed civil rights advocates differed on what God wanted, the government had to guarantee those rights or else they would never come. It is fine in the abstract to say government exists to guarantee God given rights, but the devil is in the details. There are many views of who God is and what He wills. Thus, “determined legal and non-violent pressure” was necessary to make civil rights gains over the objections of those who thought God didn’t approve of racial equality.

As an antidote to the wild IOTC misrepresentation of King, I urge you to read the entire Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

My intention is to feature something from King, Jr. each day this week to address the IOTC distortion of his work.

Corporate Changes for Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll

For those keeping up on the corporate side of Mars Hill, Becky Garrison and Wenatchee the Hatchet are on top of the matter.
Garrison reports that Dave Bruskas is now the president of Mars Hill Church and Caleb Walters is the Secretary.
WtH reports on changes with Driscoll’s LLCs.
It is not clear who is making day to day decisions at Mars Hill. The church will no longer hold services but property still must be sold with a final distribution of assets to come. By bylaw, the Board of Advisors and Accountability has the power to guide these matters. As president, Bruskas functions as the CEO and by bylaw has the responsibility to run the organization.