Just Thinking: About the State by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker
Darrell Harrison serves as Dean of Social Media at Grace to You while Virgil Walker is the Executive Director of Operations for G3 Ministries. Together they produce the extremely popular podcast, “Just Thinking”. This book, by the same name, covers many of the subjects these men address weekly on their podcast. Their direct, biblically-based, no nonsense approach is refreshing and, for those in their crosshairs, shocking. As Tom Ascol writes in the introduction, these men do not nuance or shy away from volatile subjects (p. 2). Their emphasis is that Christians need to step-up but before they do they need to think, and that thinking must “be deeply informed and shaped by the Word of God” (p. 3).
As Black conservative evangelical leaders who are part of the SBC’s Founder’s Movement, they have a unique perspective and a hard-to-ignore voice on many volatile subjects challenging America, as well as the Christian community, today. Ten general topics are covered including government, socialism and capitalism, abortion, Black Lives Matter, reparations and the Equality Act. Valuable insights are offered on all these subjects and more.
For example, the authors detail seven kinds of socialism (pp. 28-30), including a Christian form in which Christians are expected to establish the Kingdom of God on earth (pp. 30-31). The majority of Millennials favor socialism (53%), but when they learn what socialism is that percentage drops to 32%. As Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy” (p. 35). Harrison and Walker support capitalism which, while not without flaws, is generally based on a biblical worldview (pp. 46-50). This is because the founders of America, who were not all Christians, nevertheless had been steeped in Scripture and the worldview it offers (pp. 163-164). I would have liked the authors to offered greater detail on what a biblical worldview is, since they often refer to it.
The authors do not believe it is the role of government to rescue people who violate God’s precepts and principles (p. 15). They spend a great deal of time addressing and writing about the Black church. Why, they ask, do Black Christians vote in large numbers for political candidates who support abortion? Are the Blacks first or Christians first? The authors wonder (see p. 89, 107, 109, 113). Blacks are apparently considered stupid by most politicians, since they haven’t figured out that 72-77% of their homes lack a father figure, which results in poverty and much worse (pp. 91-96). The political remedy increasingly being recommended is reparations (pp. 97-98, 119-138). Harrison and Walker challenge this and write a chapter exposing the unbiblical base of reparations. They also debunk the idea that America was built on slavery, instead it was Americans who ultimately abolished slavery (p. 163). Just Thinking also has an excellent chapter exposing the Equality Act (pp. 139-156).
There is very little to criticize in Just Thinking. This reviewer would have preferred more specifics, better documentation, and especially identification and direct quotes from so-called evangelical leaders who concern the authors. A fuller definition of what they mean by the gospel is needed. At one point they claim women need to hear “the whole Gospel – which includes that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is a sin, and that murdering an unborn child is a sin. . .” (p. 103). While immorality and abortion are certainly sins, they are not part of the gospel by biblical definition (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The one area that this reviewer would take strong objection to is the thrice repeated statement that God has laid the responsibility of caring for the poor upon the church, not the government pp. 19-20, 40, 68-70). Nowhere in Scripture is the church responsible for the poor of society in general, although the church is called to care for its own.
Overall Just Thinking is a valuable book that should sharpen the thinking of all who read it.
Just Thinking: About the State by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker (Cape Coral, FL: Founders Ministry, 2021) 189 pp. & xvii, paper $19.00
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher at Southern View Chapel