This is essentially a revised and expended edition of the booklet Southern Slavery As It Was, published some years earlier by the author and Steve Wilkins, and re worked into this offering in response to the firestorm of controversy and criticism that the earlier work generated I ve written a brief review of that one as well, so I won t bother to repeat those same comments here, which would still apply To speak to the central point, I would strongly agree that, despite the discomfort the subject causes to just about everybody, it is well worth dredging up and re examining because of its very real, if overlooked, relevancy to our current national crises In short, the Constitution that governs our Republic has been flipped upside down and turned inside out, and the 14th Amendment is the fulcrum point upon which all the twisting and turning was accomplished Thank God that institutionalized chattel slavery was abolished in this nation Nothing but hearty affirmation and agreement on that point from either the author or myself But the manner in which its abolition was accomplished clearly set the stage for our Federal Government s transformation into the bloated, tyrannical, unjust, murderous and oppressive institution which threatens all of us with de facto enslavement today. The best reasons for reading this book are Doug Wilson s own reasons for critiquing the radical, anti God revolution that not only ended slavery which needed to go , but also put to death America s biblical, constitutional government Because of the way slavery was ended, we are dealing with atrocious consequences down to the present How many millions of unborn children have died because federal authorities determined that the Constitution is a blank screen on which they may project their desires When did this process start in a significant way When did the Constitution because this nose of wax We will not understand the current civil conflicts which surround us until we go back and learn the truth about the War Between the States Until we get that particular history lesson straight, we will continue to get every other subsequent history lesson wrong The battles we fight today are simply a later stage in the same war pp 96, 77. If We Want To Understand Culture Wars On The Contemporary American Scene, We Must First Come To Grips With The American Culture Wars Of The Nineteenth Century That Our Nation Did Not Remove Slavery In A Biblical Way Helps Explain Many Of Our Contemporary Social Evils But Who Is Qualified To Talk About Such Things What Is A Biblical View Of Racism Why Do The Biblical Answers To Such Questions So Infuriate The Radical Left And The Radical Right This Collection Of Essays Lays Out Some Of The Answers From A View Unashamed Of Historic Biblical Absolutism The Reverend Douglas Wilson May Not Be A Professional Historian, As His Detractors Say, But He Has A Strong Grasp Of The Essentials Of The History Of Slavery And Its Relation To Christian Doctrine Indeed, Sad To Say, His Grasp Is A Great Deal Stronger Than That Of Most Professors Of American History, Whose Distortions And Trivializations Disgrace Our College Classrooms And The Reverend Mr Wilson Is A Fighter, Especially Effective In Defense Of Christianity Against Those Who Try To Turn Jesus Way Of Salvation Into Pseudo Moralistic Drivel Eugene Genovese, PhD Columbia University, Author Of Nine Books Including Roll Jordan Roll The World The Slaves Made, Winner Of The Bancroft Prize In American History, Teaching Positions At Rutgers, University Of Rochester, Yale, Cambridge, And Formerly A Distinguished Scholar In Residence For The University Center, Georgia Everyone kept telling me Doug Wilson supports slavery and they pointed to a book which he wrote over a decade ago, Slavery As It Was there was a counterpoint written by two professors from Idaho University, Slavery As It Wasn t That book is out of print because of major citation errors by his co author In the interest of knowing exactly what he says on these issues I found and purchased Black Tan A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America which may win the award for the worst font choice of any book I ve ever read an expansion of his own part of the original Slavery As It Was Racial reconciliation is important to me and racism must be rooted out in our country and especially in our churches You can read what I have said about race related issues elsewhere.Summary Slavery in the South was an evil that needed to be abolished and God judged our country for not doing so but the way in which slavery was abolished in the United States was contrary to Scripture and cost us over 600,000 lives He argues against large scale violence to cure social ills So for instance, he would argue we shouldn t have killed each other to abolish the societal evil of slavery and so we must not kill each other to rid our society of equally contemptible societal ills like abortion The Civil War allowed our Constitution to be turned upside down limits on Federal rights move to limits on States s rights and allowed social evils like abortion, gay marriage, etc to flourish in our current society Here are his main points 1 Slavery was evil and part of the falleness of humanity.2 Scripture doesn t condone slavery as practiced in the South but it also doesn t excommunicate slaver owners in the early church.3 The United States didn t abolish slavery according to Scriptural precepts.4 Jesus won racial reconciliation on the cross and it s a positive good.5 Black Confederates fought for the South and contributed to Southern society although resentment and sin separation of families was present, there was comparatively to slavery in Caribbean or Brazil genuine affection in some cases. Good read It may require a little background knowledge to fully understand Reading southern slavery as it was and complicity is probably a good prerequisite Would like to have seen this organized better and some of the arguments started in the introduction fully developed. Though this collection is, admittedly from Wilson himself, a bit erratic in flow and organization it is a hodge podge compilation of essays and speeches DW has given over the years on the issues of slavery, the South, and culture wars , I found this book utterly fascinating, obviously controversial, and supremely insightful Wilson describes himself quite accurately as a paleo Confederate, a label that frankly elicits some barking from the Left, yet a label I am coming to admire and sidle next to With deep respect to the godliness of Dabney, Jackson, Lee, and others while simultaneously excoriating any racism from the ante or postbellum South , Wilson explains how the brutality of the War Between the States 600,000 dead, Americans than died in WWI WWII combined coupled with the ensuing centralization of the federal government and alterations to the Constitution helped pave the way for many of the overreaches we see today i.e., Roe v Wade, Obergefell, etc This book was tremendously clear on the role of Scripture regarding slavery, the positives and negatives of the antebellum South, and the root issues involved in our modern culture wars I highly recommend a read, though only with an open and alert mind. BLACK TAN is, as the author freely admits, a hodgepodge of things a reprint of a previously published pamphlet, a transcript of one of Wilson s old speeches, correspondence with some of his critics, etc., etc The primary point of interest is the re publication of Wilson s old pamphlet, which got him in trouble for a couple of reasons One, because it was poorly footnoted to the point of near plagiarism And two, because it challenges people s politically correct notions as to slavery, the Civil War, and what the Bible has to say about both.Of course, Wilson in no way supports the idea of slavery But he does feel that people nowadays tend to view the Confederacy in a very unfair light For one, slaves were brought over mostly by the North, though they were most often sold in the South Movies like Spielberg s LINCOLN fail to show that Northern heroes like Honest Abe were themselves utterly racist, albeit in a slightly different but no less unhealthy way His next point is that Southern slavery wasn t always like what Quentin Tarantino depicts in the movie D JANGO Although he hastens to condemn Southern slavery at every turn, Wilson argues that the horrors of Southern slavery have, in general, been somewhat exaggerated over time which is not to say that some of it was incredibly horrific indeed Personally, I m not sure how much I buy into that notion, but I appreciate Wilson for putting it out there Wilson then does a daring balancing act, in which he tries to argue for the existence of a Biblical model for non racism based slavery like indentured servitude, really while simultaneously arguing that the spreading of the Gospel message is the surest way to rid the world of all forms of slavery once and for all including the Biblicaly approved version Wilson believes that the Civil War was the wrong way to go about ending American slavery he leans toward reformation, not revolution , and he argues that the cost of fighting the Civil War is still being felt in politics to this day And that s not even taking into account the hundreds of thousands of lives that were so brutally snuffed out on the battlefields.Make of all that whatever you will.The book also contains several other essays one of which commemorates African American soldiers who fought for the Confederacy , but most of these are just further bolsterings for what he wrote in his pamphlet, and will therefore feel incredibly repetitive to attentive readers A good portion of the book is taken up by its introduction, which seeks to explain why the jobs of pastor and historian complement each other a lot better than you might think, and an epilogue, in which Wilson explains the whole story behind his atrocious footnoting debacle.It s an interesting book, even though I m unsure just how much of it I actually agree with Still, Wilson writes with the knowledge and cleverness of a writer like Christopher Hitchens, only without all the smugness and elitism I got it as a.99 cent download on.com, and that s certainly the way to go here as I certainly didn t find it worth paying retail price to have it in softcover. A good follow up for me after reading Maryilynne Robinson s Gilead which spends a lot of time discussing the civil war and abolition The book is the end result of a controversial Christian history conference where the contention was not that abolition was unnecessary or that slavery and racism should be considered acceptable, far from it, since Wilson and co also published a pamphlet called The Biblical Offense of Racism at the same time they published Slavery, As it Was , the issue at hand was that slavery in America was done away with in an unbiblical way by the Federal government which opened the door to later constitutional violations such as the slaughtering of the unborn that resulted from the Roe v Wade decision It also seeks to defend the Christian South from inaccurate slander, since it is common for the North to be lionized while the South is demonized in the history books, and yet both sides had their sins and the South is often unfairly considered I liked this book and am thankful for a fresh perspective, though I have not spent a lot of time personally studying the civil war, I enjoyed learning about the circumstances surrounding it and the spiritual condition of the south As I reflect on it and conversations I have had with others before I d read it concerning the controversy and then with Doug himself, I am willing to bet he wishes he hadn t spent so much time on it, but the degree of backlash really called for it and so this is his defense of what was said On a personal note, the WORLD magazine writer mentioned in the appendix of the book, who wrote about this whole debacle was actually my deacon coach at Mars Hill Church Having spoken with him in recent years, long after all of this, I know he changed his attitude towards the controversy and has great respect for Doug Wilson, Christ Church, and the people involved with Canon Press. As much as I agree with many of Doug s principles having no problem texts, no homo marriage, yay state s rights, etc , Pastor Wilson does not build or document a strong enough case for his view of southern slavery to persuade me that it was not an apocalyptic evil see quote below I am also wondering if Dabney would be portrayed as a good guy or a bad guy in high school Christian history books, and then I would ask the same about Martin Luther King When I look at the South and Dabney in particular, I have a hard time seeing the day when slavery was peaceably going to end via gospel means without a war or some great prophetic voice rising up to condemn the practice Where were all these preachers Why were the pulpits so complicit with slavery Is it really worthwhile to identify with such a hypocritical bunch I don t see the benefit.If Joel McDurmon has gotten the facts straight in his book on slavery in Christian America, then I must disagree with Wilson s historical conclusions about the parallels to New Testament slavery.Key Quote Pg 58.If the institution of slavery, as it was actually practiced in the South, had been one of horror upon horror, an apocalyptic evil, then of course the New Testament strictures on masters and slaves would not apply because these strictures were not written for times of apocalyptic evil, but rather for normal sinners But if the antebellum South was made up of normal sinners trying to make a profit by farming, and not by fiends running death camps from Georgia to Missouri, then the New Testament required do apply straight across. Critics want to lump this book in with other accounts of Lost Cause mythology, but Wilson has been clear about what he does and does not support regarding the Confederacy.Wilson answers the questions What is your view of Southern Slavery and What is a paleo confederate Here With a Bit of Menthol March 9, 2013 , Wilson writes, I have said for some time that America is long overdue for an adult conversation about race And by adult conversation, I do not mean white people being patronizing and telling blacks to get over it, and I do not mean privileged blacks playing the victim card a lot poorly than did their grandparents, who were the actual victims of a lot stupid gunk Unfortunately, the we have a need for an adult conversation, the less capable we seem to be of actually having one For a conversation needs to have involved in it than one side venting grievances, or the other side blithely pretending that nothing bad ever happened There are whites who do that, but I have not been in their number See here Patrick Nostradamus Henry March 14, 2013 for interaction with Bryan Loritts and Thabiti Anyabwile Regarding the Doug Thabiti interaction, see here for Piper s praise See here for.See here How Koinonia Conquers March 15, 2013 for Wilson s comments on Philemon and slavery.Maybe The Grove of Ashtaroth July 30, 2015 you should lighten up with the lectures about America s original sin of slavery and racism when you live in a city with a Planned Parenthood chapter that has dismembered thousands of little, black children, especially if you ve never publicly protested Planned Parenthood More black children are chopped into pieces in New York City than are born in New York City So if you felt a little tell tale exquisite thrill of self righteous pleasure when the Confederate flag came down in South Carolina, then congratulations You are the problem For on the flag and the fight over symbols, see here A Coalition of Dust Bunnies August 26, 2015 where Wilson argues that people are wildly inconsistent Now it really is reasonable to ask what an African American Christian thinks when he sees that Confederate flag on a fellow Christian s pick up truck Let me repeat that that is a reasonable question It should be taken into account What would a charitable approach to this be I don t despise this question What I despise is all the special pleading and hypocrisy So if we want our redneck brethren to learn how to remove such offensive stickers from their vehicles, we could begin by calling on all hipster Christians to show them the way by scraping their Obama Biden stickers off You know, Barack God Bless Planned Parenthood Obama So with rednecks confronted with a reasonable question, it is also reasonable to ask what the thirteen million African American children who were aborted since Roe think when they see the American flag But of course, they were never given the opportunity to think anything about it because we killed them first They won t ever see the American flag that flew over and authorized their legal slaughter They don t know what to think about it because we sold their brains to StemExpress What flag was flying outside the Supreme Court the day they settled Roe And you want to judge the old Confederacy Here This Crimson Carnage May 16, 2016 , Wilson argues that the Confederate flag should be removed, but not for the reasons that many people argue What I am rejecting is demonization And to simply go along with what the left is currently demanding is to help establish their authority to demonize I don t want to accede control of that process to them I don t want them to have the demonization gun I know where they are going to point it next So I do want to replace the flag but I don t want to do it in a way that enthrones totalitarians, giving them complete control over our dictionary of symbols These are the people who don t know the difference between boys and girls These are the people who fiercely condemn female circumcision in Saudi Arabia and applaud genital mutilation by another name in California These are the people who are willing to call people racists if they want to spend less than we take in So mark me down as happy to replace the flag but I just don t want to replace it with a white one And I understand the rainbow is taken Wilson condemns racism, but not the kind What Makes Racism Sinful June 17, 2016 that includes everything from microagressions to expressing the view at Tea Party Rallies that budgets should balance For interaction with Thabiti on voting for Hillary, see here John the Baptist s Yard Sign Aug 3, 2016 , where he gets into slavery again Wilson is a gradualist on both slavery and abortion In this essay, Wilson gives a good summary of what the New Testament says about slavery.Here The Sinkhole Sinai May 4, 2017 Wilson responds to Merritt s charge that he s an unhinged racist Here are some responses to Joel McDurmon on related topics Review of The Bounds of Love April 1, 2016 Post re social justice Sept 10, 2018 Post on slavery and race relations Dec 20, 2018 In light of the fact that the MeToo movement has now come for MLK a man who was not only a serial adulterer with than 40 women, but who also used language as vile as Trump has used, laughed while watching a friend rape a woman, and participated in orgies this post MLK, Consequentialism, and More May 29, 2019 , which is part of a series of posts reviewing Woke Church by Eric Mason who also appreciates Eugene Genovese as a historian , is timely.Here s a link to Southern Slavery as it Was.I ve heard that this book is the one to read to erase the idea that the condition of slaves was really quite tolerable.