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Christian Leaders React to John Piper’s Thoughts on His ‘Hero’ Who Owned Slaves

“Step one,” he said, “claim that even though [you] are well-read on the works and life of the Reformed hero, you’ve never heard about their unjust actions, even though the primary and secondary literature on the topic is myriad.” Next is to downplay the injustice the heroes perpetuated on the grounds that they had a lot of great spiritual fruit. Steps three and four are to interpret Scripture in a way that justifies the heroes’ views and to downplay their views as being part of the culture at the time. 

Next, said Cho, “Strain as hard as possible to imagine a world in which the Reformed hero had a legitimate reason to perpetuate injustice, but fail to use the same energy to see them in the good, bad, and the ugly.” Another problematic response is the failure to “offer any sort of pastoral recognition that quoting the Reformed hero approvingly without any disclaimer has done great damage to people. “

Finally, Cho made the point that there are problems when we ignore the flaws of not just one Reformed hero, but of many Reformed heroes. And there are problems 1) when we don’t question why we have ignored these flaws for so long and 2) when we do not give guidance as to how to read such “heroes” in the future “without turning to golden age mythologies.”

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.