Christine Schaub, author of The Longing Season, and I will hold a joint book signing at Landmark Booksellers in Franklin, Tennessee on Sunday, March 4 from 3 pm to 5 pm. The event will include our joint presentation on The Role of Christian Faith in the Abolition of Slavery, as well as selected film clips from the soon to be released movie Amazing Grace.
I will be signing copies of my first book, Letter to an Atheist, scheduled for publication by Harpeth River Press on February 23, 2007, the same day Amazing Grace the movie premieres.
I devote an entire chapter of my book to debunking the false claim that Christian Faith, acting in complete concert with the Bible, created and sustained slavery in America. Contrary to the argument made by Sam Harris in Letter to a Christian Nation, a two fold failure of the Evangelical Christian movement in America contributed to the Civil War as the ultimate arbiter of the slavery question.
First, both traditional and Evangelical Christians in the South were inordinately influenced by the "slavery is a positive good" argument developed by moral objectivists such as John Calhoun, William Yancey, and Edmund Ruffin, and constructed contrived arguments from Old Testament passages to falsely claim that the Bible not only tolerated slavery, but in fact sanctioned it.
Second, Evangelical Christians who knew that the golden rule -- "love thy neighbor as thyself" -- could only mean that the Bible and Jesus Christ condemned slavery -- Methodists who followed John Wesley and Stone-Campbell movement revivalists -- either kept quiet in their Southern homes, moved North, or like John Fee of Kentucky, suffered terrible ostracism and persecution from their neighbors.
Where Evangelical Christians in Britain waged a successful political fight to end slavery, Evangelical Christians in America either failed to wage that fight effectively, or were co-opted in their theology by moral objectivists.
Ms. Schaub and I have put together quite an interesting presentation, that should run about an hour or so, and we welcome the opportunity to speak to your small group prior to the book signing for a practice trial run. If you would like to "book" this preview presentation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.