Two dozen evangelical scholars have released a joint statement condemning racism as “contrary to the evangelical Gospel” and acknowledging the realities of racism that existed throughout evangelical history.
The new “Evangelical Statement on the Gospel and Racism” was released Monday as nationwide protests continue in the wake of the killing of African American George Floyd in Minnesota and just days after the controversial killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, Georgia, by a police officer.
“Today’s situation requires more than a statement, but certainly no less than a statement,” the document reads. “As evangelical academic voices, we condemn racism as contrary to Scripture and to the evangelical gospel.”
The statement originates from members of the Evangelical Theological Society’s executive committee, according to David Dockery, president of the International Alliance for Christian Education.
ETS was founded in 1949 and serves as a professional association of scholars, teachers, pastors and students dedicated to the written expression of theological thought and research.
The statement explains that while evangelical history includes “many positive voices for justice,” such as slave trade abolitionist William Wilberforce, the history also includes “negatively those who assimilated the values of their surrounding unjust culture.”
According to organizers, the effort’s mission is to “listen, mourn, speak, and act in accordance with the gospel in our own lives, in our institutions, in our churches, and in our communities.”
“As we grieved over recent events in our communities, we realized that although a statement is insufficient, it is necessary,” a website created to host the statement online, which went live on Monday, reads. “We are compelled to declare that the Gospel stands opposed to racism, and so, too, must people of the Gospel.”
The statement was signed by Evangelical Theological Society President and Asbury Theological Seminary Biblical Studies Professor Craig Keener, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Theology Professor Gregg Allison and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, who also serves as ETS president-elect and program chair.
SBC’s flagship seminary, SBTS in Louisville, Kentucky, released a report in 2018 detailing the school’s history of racism and past support for slavery. At the time, Mohler called for the institution to “repent of our own sins” and offer “full lament” for the inherited legacy.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith