There is something of an obsession among my fellow evangelicals with an economist named Thomas Sowell. I’ve seen his name trotted out all over the place — most recently, Thaddeus Williams’s book Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth calls him “the other St. Thomas.” Williams repeats a claim I’ve heard many times: he’s never heard anyone engage the arguments of Thomas Sowell (or any number of other Black conservatives). Many of Sowell’s avid fans, of which the Internet contains multitudes, make the conjecture that this is because people on the left are afraid of Sowell’s no-nonsense, fact-based challenges to their arguments.

You don’t have to give up orthodoxy to oppose capitalism.

I am an evangelical, and I mean that in the strong sense. I was raised an evangelical by two parents who attended an evangelical seminary. I grew up going to a large evangelical church, was read the Bible every day as I homeschooled through elementary school, went to an evangelical Christian high school where I took daily Bible classes, committed a year of service with an evangelical gap year organization, and got my undergraduate degree at an evangelical university. My house is filled to the brim with books from evangelical publishers.

But far more than these cultural signifiers, I have…

Kevin DeYoung’s review of Kwon and Thompson is charitable in tone, but not in substance

Before I got the chance to read Duke Kwon and Gregory Thompson’s new book on reparations, I saw murmurs across the internet about Kevin DeYoung’s review in The Gospel Coalition. I was curious enough to give the review a read and then proceeded to read the book. Whatever might be flawed with reading the review first, it certainly set me up with certain expectations for what I’d find in the book. It was those expectations — and just how the book differed from them — that brought me to write a bit about what I see to be DeYoung’s major…

a longer engagement with Thaddeus Williams

I recently wrote at Evangelical Labor Institute about some of the big-picture problems with Thaddeus Williams’s arguments against socialism in his book Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth. Though the purpose of my initial article was to take a wider view, I’d like to dig a little deeper into the details of his arguments here because they’re ones that come up a lot when Christians argue against socialism.

As I said in my initial piece, one of the biggest problems with Williams’s argument is that his only real interlocutors are the Christian college student socialists he describes at the beginning of…

Almost everything going on in the evangelical debate about racism on the Internet is a word game that avoids talking about the central disagreement. The disagreement is not about whether or not Black people can be racist or about the racial representation in, say, the NBA. The disagreement is not even about critical race theory. The disagreement is about the question of what, in a basic sense, the problem of racism is and how to address it. Here are the essentials of the position that I hold:

Racism is the product of justifying a history of enslavement, subjugation, and colonialism…

The most recent wave of the Black Lives Matter protests has brought with it something of a panic among the most politically conservative evangelicals — particularly, that the uprisings have been extremely prolonged and that a larger wave of white Christians than before seem to have joined league with the overall cause. There has been an effort to claim that these Christians are making a departure with historic Christian belief and are sneaking a competing worldview, variously called “critical theory,” “critical race theory,” “wokeness,” “social justice ideology,” “cultural Marxism,” or “intersectionality,” into the church.

Perhaps no figure has been more…

Dawson Richard Vosburg

PhD student in sociology at Ohio State University studying religion, capitalism, and race in the US. Cofounder, Evangelical Labor Institute.

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