The Faux Ambivalence of The Gospel Coalition

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“Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” – Proverbs 25:26

Yesterday The Gospel Coalition posted a blog from contributor Thomas S. Kidd. Now, I don’t know anything about this guy, and I also understand that TGC contributors don’t agree with each other on everything. With that said, this article is now THE TGC article being circulated on gun control. It, whether they like it or not, represents that group and all of Big Evangelicalism that group represents. And they should all be embarrassed.

Kidd’s views on gun control are awful. His ideas on the acceptability of revoking due process is dangerous. And his grasp on the meaning of key texts, such as Matthew 5, is juvenile at best.

For all these reasons they should be embarrassed.

But Thomas S. Kidd and The Gospel Coalition should be most embarrassed with this pathetic and as it turns out, insincere call for “judicial ambivalence”.

“So how should Christians and laypeople think about gun control? The best approach is judicial ambivalence about guns, gun violence, and the Second Amendment.” – Thomas S. Kidd


TGC offers “ambivalence”. This is typical from this brand of pietism. Too often any article dealing with vital, practical, and societal topics reads like… “There’s some good, there’s some bad, focus on the Gospel, blah blah blah”. They go to great lengths to attempt to say nothing at all. We must understand, behind the pathetic language of “ambivalence”, that they ARE saying plenty. TGC offers ambivalence, but then serves up statist rhetoric.

The biggest problem with this article is that they make the mistake of thinking that there is neutrality in “social and political” issues that are outside their itty bitty “gospel” box.

We know that there is no such thing as neutrality. Scripture speaks sufficiently to all spheres of life, not just our personal salvation and personal piety. TGC speaks from the wisdom of men, trying to gain faux-insight from make believe natural laws. Outside of a handful of spiritual abstractions, they turn from the objective standard of the Word of God, and turn to vain speculations for their doctrines on what they would consider merely “social and political” issues.

The proper understanding of the right limitations on the government and the duty we have to protect our families and the innocent are not just “issues” that should be answered with ambivalence. These ideas are deeply theological, and God is not silent.

Now, although Kidd says he wants Christians to be double minded on this issue, it is clear that Kidd does not have mixed feelings. He would be right at home sitting on the ground pouting with Senate Democrats as they pull their stunt to effectively nullify due process. Kidd thinks that it should be “clear” that Reformed “Gospel centered” Christians should be in favor of Bill of Rights restricting Government lists. Don’t take my word for it.


“In the current debate, however, one thing seems clear: if there is a legitimate suspicion that a person has terrorist ties, we should suspend his Second Amendment rights and not allow him to purchase guns. I understand concerns about “due process” and how people end up on “terrorist watch lists.” But the point of the Second Amendment was never just that people should be able to own guns. It was that people should be able own guns for the good of our cities, and the good of the republic. That means that certain actions, or personal histories, negate a citizen’s right to bear arms.”

The bolding is mine. TGC and Kidd are saying plenty. Though Kidd says he wants ambivalence from one side of his mouth, on the other side he plainly advocates for unconstitutional and reprehensible gun control limitations.

Let me be very clear. My concern is not that Muslims with ties to terror will not be allowed to buy firearms. My concern, and what should be the concern of any thinking or discerning Christian, is that Senate Democrats and TGC writers are advocating for the stripping away of Constitutional rights and the God given right to defend yourself and your household. And who will be stripping away this right? Unelected bureaucrats. Unelected bureaucrats and with no concern for due process.  And once that Constitutional and God given right is stripped away, there is no readily available legal recourse to gain that right back.

We are fools if we think that only extremist Muslims will end up on these secret government lists. And we are equally foolish if we think this principle of circumventing the Bill of Rights will stop at the Second Amendment.

First on the lists will be Muslims. Next may be small government “radicals”. Next may be Reconstructionists. And then they may add abolitionists to their secret lists.

Whatever power you grant the civil realm to do what YOU would like them to do, can be easily turned around to do what you never intended that power to be used for.

There is so much more that could be said about this article, but for the sake of brevity, I will end where Kidd ended and just a few more comments.

It is unseemly for Christians to be pro-gun zealots who automatically say “no” to even the most modest reforms. Yet we also know the nature of man, and the nature of governments. Sometimes, as a people and a nation, we must confront forces of violence by using armed force in return.”

At this point we should know that although Kidd may not automatically say “yes” to even the most modest (“modest”, as in negating due process) reforms, he most certainly does end up saying “yes”. Although TGC and Thomas S. Kidd will surely characterize me as a “pro-gun zealot”, I will take clear zealousness over double talk. This article ends in trying to, once again, stay ambivalent and say nothing at all. But it says plenty. It says plenty about TGC and it says plenty about the state our churches are in today. While many seminarians will hold to solid basic theological conservatism, without an all encompassing rejection of the myth of neutrality, their Reformed Theology is only a veneer hiding liberal worldliness.

The title of Kidd’s article is “Should Christians Support Gun Control?”  

His answer? And the answer TGC recently published? Yes.

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