The debate over critical race theory continues to divide the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Last November, the presidents of the six denominational seminaries published a statement declaring that critical race theory is incompatible with Southern Baptist theology. In response to the statement, several Black pastors and their churches left the convention
The African American caucus within the SBC are “deeply disappointed” that these seminary presidents–Albert Mohler (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville), Jeff Iorg (Gateway Theological Seminary in Onatrio, California), Adam Greenway (Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth), Jamie Dew (New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary), Jason Allen (Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO), and Danny Akin (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC)–have not addressed their concerns in any significant way.
Here is a taste of Adelle Banks’s recent piece at Religion News Service:
“The (Council of Seminary Presidents) statement has the effect of delegitimizing and dismissing the lived experiences of African Americans and other ethnic groups,” the National African American Fellowship said in its newest statement last week (March 24). “We strongly believe that any discussions on systemic racism must consider the lived experiences of Blacks and other ethnic groups.”
The fellowship said it was “deeply disappointed” the seminary presidents have “not moved from their original statement of CRT’s incompatibility in all its forms.” It added that “certain limited insights from CRT” could help identify systemic racism and racial bias in institutions.
The African American group listed requests of seminary leaders, including joint forums on “biblical approaches to addressing systemic racism in our institutions, organizations and churches.”
They also asked that seminaries include a required course about “the historical and theological understanding of race and racism in America and its impact on society” in their curricula.
Read the rest here.
I don’t know if these seminaries are considering a required course in race and racism in America, but I do know that one seminary president, Al Mohler, is actually doubling-down by including critical race theory in an online course he is teaching titled “The Most Dangerous Ideas of the Modern Age”: