- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 13, 2018

In a report released Wednesday detailing his institution’s early history of support for slavery and segregation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said the school did not plan on renaming iconic campus buildings named after slaveholding founders of the Louisville, Kentucky, school. 

But a prominent evangelical black theologian and podcaster is now using the report’s issuance as an occasion to call for the institution to provide “free tuition” for its black students.

“In light of the burdens of history, some schools hasten to remove names, announce plans, and declare moral superiority,” Mr. Mohler wrote in an introductory letter to the report. “That is not what I intend to do, nor do I believe that to be what the Southern Baptist Convention or our Board of Trustees would have us to do.

“We must repent of our own sins, we cannot repent for the dead,” Mr. Mohler wrote. “We must, however, offer full lament for a legacy we inherit, and a story that is now ours.”

While the 13-point report details a history that spans from the institution’s founding in the antebellum period to its earliest wrestling with the civil rights movement in the 1960s, critics were quick to note it didn’t commit to a course of action moving forward.

“The leaders of Southern Seminary confess and lament their racist heritage, but they pledge only to continue to welcome and celebrate racial diversity at their institution,” said Bucknell University professor Brantley Gaswell, Religion News reported Wednesday. “Such an approach reflects most evangelicals’ view that racial reconciliation does not necessarily include any reparations or recompense for the injustices suffered by minorities.”

Others are going further, using the occasion to call on the school to provide free tuition for black students.

“Good first step. Now reparations are due; not only symbolically but financially,” wrote Ekemini Uwan, a theologian and podcaster who tweets under the account @sista_theology.

“This can take various forms but nothing short of free tuition & student loan debt cancellation for Black Americans who attended and will attend SBTS in the future,” said Ms. Uwan, who earned a master’s in divinity from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. “Reparations must follow repentance.”

“None of you should marvel at this,” Ms. Uwan, the “Truth’s Table” podcast co-host, wrote in a follow-up tweet Thursday. “Reparations is a basic biblical concept and the gospel itself is a reparation. This is Christianity 101.”

But Ms. Uwan’s call for reparations is a troubling sign that threatens Christian unity, suggested a conservative black religion podcaster.

“This is an example of why I, personally - I repeat, PERSONALLY - was hesitant to support the statement released by @SBTS,” wrote Darrell B. Harrison, who co-hosts the Just Thinking Podcast, Thursday on his Twitter account. 

“The moment I saw it, I thought, ‘Uh-oh. Here we go.’ I was right. You cannot satiate the woke. It never stops at what they say they want. There’s always more,” added Mr. Harrison, who serves as dean of social media for the evangelical ministry Grace to You.

“Trying to satiate the woke is tantamount to being the hamster on the wheel,” Mr. Harrison added in a later tweet. “No matter how hard you try, once you get on, you can never get off. They will keep you on the wheel under the guise of making progress, but the wheel of reparations never stops turning. Never.”


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