Wesley Lowery’s They Can’t Kill Us All (Little, Brown, 2016) is a good book to read if you’ve only read conservative coverage of police shootings that pooh-poohs liberal concerns. Lowery, a young African-American reporter at The Washington Post, also reveals why liberal coverage has often been one-sided: Local reporters often have so many crimes to cover that they can’t delve into one, “but if any case can be connected to a large theme or narrative … then the attorneys for the family can often interest a national reporter.”
Conservatives should pay attention to three of those large themes: racial profiling, insensitivity, and police shooting unarmed black people. Liberals should pay attention to two others: the pressure on police making split-second decisions, and the increase of crimes against innocent African-Americans when police protect themselves by staying aloof.
Next, I’m dipping back a few years to recommend a book about dipping back a few centuries: Carl Trueman’s Histories and Fallacies (Crossway, 2010). Trueman critiques those who deny Nazi evil and those who blame Martin Luther for it: Luther welcomed Jews in the 1520s and attacked them in the 1540s, but reading back racism into his religious attack doesn’t recognize how the past is a foreign country. Trueman also shows the dangers of oversimplification, generalization, and post hoc, ergo propter hoc (since x follows y, y caused x).
Chapter 1 of Trueman’s The Creedal Imperative (Crossway, 2012) portrays accurately the cultural case against creeds and confessions, and the following five chapters knock it down: Confessions teach us church history, succinctly summarize the faith, relativize the present, maintain corporate unity, and more. All publications have worldviews, but some don’t acknowledge them: It’s the same with churches and creeds. —M.O.