On Racial Dialogue in Evangelicalism

I’ve noticed something in my study of ethnic relations in the church. It is that often the white majority simply ignore the minorities. We see the social justice movement and we read the books. And we point out again and again the hermeneutical issues of the social justice movement.

It is not wrong to critique hermeneutical methods. But the error on our end lies in this: that we offer no help. One issue is the fact that conservative evangelical seminaries have denied people of color entrance for most of our nation’s history. Thus, not many have the hermeneutical training that we would accept.

Further, we critique the movement in order to excuse our involvement in it. We critique to tear it down, not to build it up. What we should do instead is to engage in exegesis in order to build up the movement properly. In stead of saying “come back when you get better exegesis,” we should say “here, let’s work together on finding proper exegesis.”

I’m not advocating the reordering and leveling of society. I am however advocating that we engage with a little more intentionality in the foray.

Each of us have our gifts, abilities and opportunities. And not all of us at all times will be able to engage in social justice. But when and where we can, even from our theological arm chairs, let us do what we can to hear the complaints of our brothers and sisters. And then let us do what we can to form peace within the body of Christ.

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