Report laments seminary's legacy of slavery, racism

Friday, December 14, 2018
Bill Bumpas (

SBTS church towerA report just released on the legacy of slavery and racism at a major Southern Baptist seminary is raising some eyebrows.

Has The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary surrendered to political correctness? That's the question a well-known Christian author and apologist is asking in the wake of the seminary releasing a report that recounts the history of slavery and racism at the theological institution.

The research paper on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary details the Louisville, Kentucky, school's history that includes its slave-holding founders in the 19th century and segregation-defending faculty in the early 20th century. The report was conducted by six current and former Southern Seminary faculty members and commissioned by seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr.

"Like our founders," writes Mohler, "we believe that repentance, which they confessed as an 'evangelical grace,' is essential to the gospel. The very gospel truths that they taught, defined, and handed down to us are the very truths that allow us to release this report with both lament and conviction.

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

Dr. Alex McFarland, a speaker, writer, and Christian apologist, says he's perplexed by the report as it doesn't really break any new ground. He states that all Christians know that slavery was wrong and are thankful that it came to an end.


"What I would love to see happen is not another self-flagellation and beating ourselves up and a retelling – if not revision – of history," he tells OneNewsNow, "but rather let's celebrate that from out of the Christian church came the abolitionist movement."

McFarland says as the world races to become more and more politically correct, he hopes Southern Seminary is not among them. Still, he admits the report raises a red flag for him.

"We're such a politically charged culture these days and so much of Christendom is bending over backwards to become politically correct [and] to take the posture of social justice warriors – and I'm always a little leery when I hear people jumping into political waters that they don't really have to get into," he shares.

Mohler, Dr. Albert (SBTS)In his letter accompanying the report, Mohler also says the seminary has been "guilty of a sinful absence of historical curiosity."

"We knew, and we could not fail to know, that slavery and deep racism were in the story," he states. "We comforted ourselves that we could know this, but since these events were so far behind us, we could move on without awkward and embarrassing investigations and conversations."

But now, says the seminary president, "we are living in an age of historical reckoning."

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