5 Ways Christian Institutions of Higher Education Can Avoid White Supremacy

Comments (5)
  1. Joshua Price says:

    Your redefinition of white supremacy is perplexing. I know of no Christian college or seminary has “an ideology of hate that prioritizes whiteness, believes whiteness is superior, and that degrades non-whiteness.” But you maintain that this ideology is present “whenever and wherever the stories of people of color are left untold.” Are you saying that the mere fact of an institution having a majority white population is white supremacist? Surely you don’t think your own seminary, SBTS, is white supremacist merely because most of the leadership are white?

    1. You said Edwards was racist, but you provided no evidence to support that claim. You mention black and brown minorities, but omit Asians. Why is that? It would seem that consistency would require you to advocate for their inclusion in this group of allegedly disadvantaged racial minorities.

    2. You rightly observe that political ideology is not equivalent to Christian identity, but we should not blur the distinctions between the two party platforms. The Democratic Party’s platform of infanticide and the profaning of marriage is completely opposed to Scripture and morality. A Christian with a biblical worldview cannot consistently support that platform.

    3. You provide no evidence of so-called black and brown suffering at “white institutions.” By the way, an institution cannot be “white” any more than it can be “blonde.” You provide no evidence of systemic racism, but you assume its presence. You speak several times of black and brown minorities, but never of Asian Americans. Why is this? Do you believe they are being discriminated against or not? If so, why didn’t you mention them? If not, then they appear to be a counterexample to your entire framing of “white supremacy.”

    4. So, you think that a professor ought to assign books on the basis of the author’s skin color? That is a racist practice. To make distinctions on the basis of race is wicked and ignorant. I don’t know the skin colors of most authors I read, unless I happen to see their picture. Thomas Sowell is one of my favorites and happens to be black. He also rejects this idea that racial minorities ought to receive preferential treatment.

    5. Are you saying that an institution ought to hire minorities simply because they are minorities, regardless of their qualifications? Or are you saying that if the qualifications are equal, they ought to hire a minority because they are a minority? Either way, you are advocating a racist policy of racial preferences in hiring. Also, you again exclude Asians. Do you think black and brown individuals should be preferred over whites and Asians, or just whites?

    Overall, a very troubling article.

    1. g says:

      Hello Joshua,

      Let me encourage you to get to know Dr. Williams and his family before you get to carried away with the Asian comments. I would also invite you to learn the history of the names on the buildings of the SBTS to look for some “proof” you say is missing. It might further help you to learn of Martin Luther’s racism as it surely will be discussed this 500 year anniversary. I assume by your comments that you don’t consider buying and selling black people racist so I won’t ask you to consider Johnathan Edwards. I hope you have time to read Dr. Williams book “One New Man”.That also might help you with the evidence you are lookin for. Perhaps if you have the time you would also benefit from listening to Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III, Chancellor & CEO, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology who wrote and explains: “What happened? Reformed theology failed to apply our own theology to this question [of racial equality].” Praying for us now.

      1. Joshua Price says:

        Hello G,

        Thank you for your comment, I appreciate the interaction. I think you may have misunderstood me on two counts. First of all, regarding your request that I get to know Dr. Williams before I “get carried away with the Asian comments.” I am sure Dr. Williams is a wonderful man and a talented scholar, but that is not relevant to my critique. I mentioned the lack of mention of Asian Americans because it reveals an inconsistency in Dr. Williams’ position. You did not respond to that critique, nor did you explain how exactly I got “carried away.” Second, you say that you assume by my comments that I “don’t consider buying and selling black people racist.” I believe buying and selling people is inherently immoral, regardless of the color of their skin. Slavery is always wrong. There were black slaveowners who owned black slaves. Were they racist? Thank you for the resource recommendations. I will check those out when I have time.

      2. g says:

        Hello Joshua,

        I appreciate what seems to me to be a firm but kind interaction. As to your Asian reference, I think a carful re-read of Dr. Williams article may produce the consistency you are looking for: “Whether we’re called Nigger, Spic, half-breed, Uncle Tom, wetback, chink, whether we’ve been denied an opportunity because of our skin color, whether we’re viewed with suspicion, or whether our good work is ignored because of the color of our skin, people of color know firsthand what it’s like to live in a racialized society that, on the one hand, tells us to be color blind and to stop talking about race, but, on the other hand, to live in a society where people of color suffer racism from some of those same people who call for colorblindness.”

        I believe the sixth pejorative That Dr. Williams used is a reference to Asians. So it seems to me not only is he consistent, but I believe he is personally familiar with this pejorative because of family ties. Furthermore, I don’t believe his over arching point is blacks as much as it is nonwhite or any people of color other than white.

        However, because he is addressing institutions like the SBTS and the SBC and their difficulty as to their own histories and the ongoing legacy of white founding individual’s unbiblical views of blacks in particular, it seems then appropriate to address this as at least a black and white issue on those terms.

        As to slavery spoken of in scripture, I read slavery was not always the worst situation. In fact sometimes I believe it was at least temporally preferable as an alternative for the poor who had no family help or land. But even then Paul says gain freedom anyway if can. And I believe Paul even try’s to persuade new believer Philemon to fully except Onesimus and treat him as an equal. I think then how much more mature believers should understand this instruction of Paul.

        In our case though, man stealing or at least knowingly dealing in stolen men as property is the charge against the church. Surely we have no Biblical way to make that alright. I just think we the church will not be forgiven by God until we come to terms over how wicked this sin really is and name the sinners and their sins as we read, to our benefit, the sins of our hero’s of the faith in scripture.

        I read in Romans chapter one, even an unbeliever “clearly perceived” he is stealing, selling, buying and owning a person made by God in His image. How much more Johnathan Edwards then. No, we simply will have no excuse when we stand before God. We know. He knew.

        Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe Edwards owned or tried to purchase any other race other than black. I’m not even sure there were any other race available for sale at that time. Even if there were, some how I just can’t imagine Edwards buying a blonde haired blue eyed teenaged girl or any white man allowing the black man you mention to own her ether. Yes, that to me is racist.

        I don’t know him personally, but In my view Dr Williams is doing us a favor if he is able to show us our sin. It is I think the purity and unity of the whole church that he is after. Wouldn’t you agree that it will be a great example to the world if the church could get past the sin of James chapter 2? Perhaps honest talk and listening like this will help that come about.

        If you are interested in more resources on the subject I have heard Dr Williams has a new book or study coming out: Removing The Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African-American Voices (co-editor). Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, Forthcoming 2017.

        Also Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., and the President of 9Marks wrote: ” But my friend’s experience had been different. He had people in his life who said they shared his Savior, but because their skin color was different, they wouldn’t share their daughter, or their love. Having done nothing wrong, this friend had found, throughout his life, people who acted as his “enemies.” His history taught him different lessons than mine had taught me. But his probably allowed for experiences like mine, where mine had no place for experiences like his. So I needed to supplement the lessons my own history had taught me, with lessons that history had taught others—hard lessons—like the one my good friend had been taught.” You can find the entire interesting article on TGC recent archive.

        Praying for us now.

  2. g says:

    Dr. Willliams, I lost my breath as I read your article as His Spirit witnessed to my spirit.

    As I am tempted to tell of the cost for those of us who have spoken these very words to the church, I am reminded of my failures because God did not give me this platform of authority. But, God is faithful. Here you are with a God given platform of authority.

    God impressed these very thoughts into my mind over the last decade and I have been so frustrated and even sinfully angry at times that I can be so easily silenced; But not you. How true and bold your message. You are sure to pay a price for telling this truth this way; Pauline like. Call me from prison; I will bring you your coat and papers if you like.

    Please know that we are praying for you and your family; this is my platform of authority. We love the church and long for her purity. Surly God has sent you to further her cleansing. Praying for us now.

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