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Episode 467: “Reparations,” the Review & the Response with Gregory Thompson

Updated: Sep 9, 2021


Earlier this year, Gregory Thompson and Duke Kwon released their book “Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair,” in which they make a biblical argument for the American church’s responsibility to repay the debts inflicted upon black communities by systemic racism and white supremacy. In this moment of political division and evangelical panic over Critical Race Theory, it’s not surprising that responses to the book have been polarized.


One of the most negative and widely read reviews came from theologian Kevin DeYoung who said “Reparations” is “clearly not shaped by the gospel.” Thompson and Kwon then wrote a lengthy and detailed response to DeYoung’s review. (Links to both are posted below.) In this episode, Thompson talks to Skye about the debate, criticism of his book, and what the white evangelical response to racism reveals about its theology, mission, and blind spots. Phil and Christian then join Skye to discuss Thompson’s interview, and Christian shares a personal story to remind us all that change is possible.


“Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair” - https://amzn.to/3jUMMov




Other resources referenced:

"The Sum of Us" - https://amzn.to/3tqEY0V


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18 Comments


Brian Burchell
Brian Burchell
Aug 17, 2021

This was a helpful conversation, thank you. I hope that Rev. DeYoung and Gregory Thompson can continue to dialogue. I still believe they are missing one another, yet in the process they're deepening the nuance that's needed for the conversation at large. One unfortunate observation from this episode's written summary - a misquote of DeYoung. He did not say "Reparations" is "clearly not shaped by the gospel." He said, "That is to say, while Kwon and Thompson pay careful attention to Christian theologians and Christian Scriptures, the shape and telos of the book’s argument is not clearly shaped by the gospel." The shape and telos of the book's argument, not reparations as a whole, is "clearly not shaped by the…

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John Sweet
John Sweet
Aug 16, 2021

This was a very impactful episode that I honestly needed to hear for myself. I had not previously thought about the need to have this conversation as to how it relates biblically. Thank you for having the guts to take this thing head on.

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Darryl Shirley
Darryl Shirley
Aug 07, 2021

Very powerful episode, which EXPOSED, and brought to light many professed "Christians" who follow a religion of "selfishness" aligned with their politics (see the FB conversation). When they SHOULD be lifting up their voices to "do something" or "speak out" (action oriented) for the greater good, they choose to complain about being "impacted". "Being" (doing) and "professing" (pretenders-eye candy) to be a Christian are quite the opposite! And this topic EXPOSED a lot of pretenders!

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My daughter pointed me in the direction of The Holy Post, and I am very thankful. I have been thirsty for a conversation on important issues of the faith that are characterized by Grace and Truth and Humor. Thank you.


I was born an evangelical in my country of origin and lived most of my 76 years seeking to be a faithful one. In my later years I have begun to give adequate attention to the questions about my faith that have plagued me throughout my life. I discovered that American Evangelicals in general are not able to have the kind of conversations I need. This interview with Gregory Thompson has helped me understand why that is so. He, and…


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Any other "Home Town" fans out there whose jaws dropped when Christian mentioned where she's from?


In Canada our "race" problem is "the local 3rd world's kept on reservations you don't see" [obligatory Cockburn quote] but having listened to some Tell Me More (especially the Barbershop sessions), and having enjoyed some of Ben and Erin's loving restoration jobs, I google-stalked the town and the way the Interstate highway cuts the town between the white and the black half jumped off the screen and fair knocked me out.


I want to thank you, Christian for outing your home-place, even your Dad [he sounds like a dear, dear guy] like that -- with love and candour. Of course, I'm curious about how…


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