John Chitwood declares Wilson’s book not “racist”

In reply to a review of Selected Writings of A. Edwin Wilson, which I posted at Amazon.com, John Chitwood (the son of the editor of that book), lately wrote that Wilson’s avowal of segregation should not be construed as reflecting racist sentiment. The book was published in 1981, and contains a chapter, written in the 1950s, lambasting integration as a work of Satan. In his four-star review of the book, Chitwood wrote, “Segregation was a way of life at the time of Wilson’s writing, and it is incorporated into the theme, but certainly not in the spirit of Mark Adams’ shrieking claims of racism.”

He went on to write, “Mark Adams does NOT want you to read this book!” This is untrue. Why anyone would want to read the racist ramblings of an uneducated Southern preacher from the Jim Crow era escapes me, however I would recommend the text as a case study for racism in that period.

My review of the book is as follows:

A. Edwin Wilson preached the “Word of the Kingdom,” arguing that unfaithful Christians will be excluded from the presence of God in the millennial rule of Christ. He also preached segregation. “What God has separated, let not man integrate!” — chapter 15. I suppose you could argue Wilson was simply a man of his times (he pastored in the South), but the book was published in 1981! Wilson died in 1987. Neither the author, the publisher, nor the editor of the book bothers to explain why such rhetoric is relevant in post-Jim-Crow America.

The book remains unchanged in subsequent printings.

As an artifact of a bygone era, I guess the book is worth owning. No doubt we should preserve history. But I found the book’s themes disgusting. It’s very sad to see a man leave that sort of legacy. (Ironically, the book was published to honor the man!)

© 2010, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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