Bible expert Eric Mason has slammed fellow scholar James White for making what he argues is a “racist” claim that black churches are “especially” theologically unsound when compared to churches of other ethnic groups.
Mason, who is the founder and lead pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and author of four books: Manhood Restored, Beat God to the Punch, Unleashed, and most recently Woke Church, made his comments in response to a viral video clip which White said was taken from a July 26, 2016 broadcast of his “Dividing Line” show. He discussed the woke church, critical theory, identity politics, and the degradation of reason and communication in the church today.
“What struck me was there is in a sense — oh boy am I gonna get in trouble for this — in many churches of whatever ethnic mix, there is an anti-intellectualism, an anti-church history-ism, there is an anti-theology-ism, there is an anti-Bible translation, Bible transmission-ism, and it’s seen in the fact that it’s almost never addressed … but it’s especially true in black churches. It’s just the reality. The idea of sound doctrine, church history, there are so few,” White said in the clip posted by Mason on Facebook Tuesday.
Mason argued that White’s claim needed more research and suggested that the scholar’s assessment of black churches is incorrect and “racist.”
“Many of the black church preaching heroes aren’t authors or have their preaching catalog made readily available, but it’s too much out their (sic) to be ignorant and make racists comments like this. Yes this is racist!” he said in response to the clip.
“He (White) basically said black churches lack pulpit soundness over all. It sounds as if he is saying the black church is the most theologically unsound church in any vineyard of the kingdom,” Mason charged.
“I’ve ministered in both sectors. He must have never heard of the EK Bailey expository preaching conference, Williams Harris Waddles preaching conference, Dr Tony Evans church development conference from the 90’s and other conferences in the black spheres that have invested in the HUNGER for those who minister in these types of contexts. Of course there are pockets of unhealthy in the black church just like others,” he added while naming several other notable black preachers.
Prominent conservative civil rights activist and pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, Dwight McKissic, also condemned White’s comments on Twitter as racist.