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The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has a historical stain. The SBC once affirmed slavery and openly opposed and condemned abolitionists. Even though the convention repented of this sin publicly, a profound divide between the white majority and the black and brown minority still exists for many churches. This stain is more than historical fact; it prohibits Southern Bapti The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has a historical stain. The SBC once affirmed slavery and openly opposed and condemned abolitionists. Even though the convention repented of this sin publicly, a profound divide between the white majority and the black and brown minority still exists for many churches. This stain is more than historical fact; it prohibits Southern Baptist churches from embracing the one new man in Christ promised in Ephesians 2:11–22 and from participating in the new song of the saints from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation in Revelation 5:9. The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ commands all his followers to do our part in removing racism from our midst. Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention is a powerful and practical call to sacrifice, humility, and perseverance—along with a relentless commitment to Christian unity—for the sake of the gospel and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  


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The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has a historical stain. The SBC once affirmed slavery and openly opposed and condemned abolitionists. Even though the convention repented of this sin publicly, a profound divide between the white majority and the black and brown minority still exists for many churches. This stain is more than historical fact; it prohibits Southern Bapti The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has a historical stain. The SBC once affirmed slavery and openly opposed and condemned abolitionists. Even though the convention repented of this sin publicly, a profound divide between the white majority and the black and brown minority still exists for many churches. This stain is more than historical fact; it prohibits Southern Baptist churches from embracing the one new man in Christ promised in Ephesians 2:11–22 and from participating in the new song of the saints from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation in Revelation 5:9. The glorious gospel of Jesus Christ commands all his followers to do our part in removing racism from our midst. Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention is a powerful and practical call to sacrifice, humility, and perseverance—along with a relentless commitment to Christian unity—for the sake of the gospel and our brothers and sisters in Christ.  

30 review for Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African American and White Perspectives

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aarik Danielsen

    While distinctly set in the context of the SBC, and written by SBC voices, this book offers solid theological ground and great, pragmatic helps that would benefit any Christian institution seeking to perpetually reform and repent of racism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claude

    Long overdue, honest, important, and practical with a solid balance on solutions and the historical sins of racisms in the SBC, which essentially applies to all of white evangelicalism. McKissic's epilogue along with the chapter on the root of the stain (Mohler), the historical overview (Hall), and the educational solutions (Jones) were the main standouts. The appendix reading list is a great resource, too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josh Gatewood

    3.5. This book makes an important contribution to publicly acknowledge the sin, horror, and tragedy of racism in the SBC—especially with respect to its founding, academics, and leadership. Some significant voices offer historical, biblical, theological, and educational insights that gave me a deeper appreciation for the struggle minorities have faced in a predominantly white convention and its subsidiaries. A couple of positive marks: 1. The chapters from Mohler, Hall, Jones, and Smith were grea 3.5. This book makes an important contribution to publicly acknowledge the sin, horror, and tragedy of racism in the SBC—especially with respect to its founding, academics, and leadership. Some significant voices offer historical, biblical, theological, and educational insights that gave me a deeper appreciation for the struggle minorities have faced in a predominantly white convention and its subsidiaries. A couple of positive marks: 1. The chapters from Mohler, Hall, Jones, and Smith were great. They provided context, conviction, and practical application where it was needed. 2. The personal stories from the black authors (Willams, Jones, Smith, Woods, etc) were enlightening, sad, and helpful for me to read. It was good for me to read and better understand these perspectives quite unique from my own. 3. I love the insistence on qualified, diverse leadership. In his chapter, Dr. Woods insists we must have minority leaders ministering across racial lines on the spectrum of pastoral, theological, and educational issues. He states: “When state conventions intentionally demarcate ministry along racial lines...we institute a form of ecclesiastical Jim Crowism insofar as there are two ministerial doors. One door figuratively reads “whites only” and the other “[non-whites].” I thought this was a sobering, helpful point. Even if it only describes perspective, and not reality, it would still be a perspective worth considering. 4. I appreciated the challenge to read more minority authors and learn more about minority contributions to fields I’m interested in (ie. Theology, history, ministry, apologetics, etc.). This was a good challenge and a reminder that minority brothers and sisters are already accustomed to stepping outside of their culture in order become educated. I should be willing to do the same, especially when unity and reconciliation are on the table. A couple of drawbacks: 1. Dr. Williams’ Chapter on Biblical Steps Toward Removing the Stain. I had high hopes for this chapter and at points, it was strong. However it was unnecessarily wordy, opaque, and abstract. The depth and strength of the argument was lost in the breadth and density of its construction. I think Williams’ key points could have been made in much fewer words and with much clearer prose. Because of how central this chapter is in forming the overall argument of the book, I think it should have been much more lucid and accessible. 2. Several of the authors take for granted the existence of various sociological realities like systemic racism without providing any evidence. I’m more than happy to concede such realities exist and I’m grateful to hear the testimonies of my brothers / sisters, but anecdotal experience is difficult to measure, interpret, and quantify because it’s bound up in the subjective interpretation of the person. If the goal is to remove the stain of racism, then we need good, empirical evidence for what we’re removing and where we’re removing it from. Because these statements form some of the background for understanding the issues, something empirically grounded would have made this case stronger—especially given the massive body of literature interacting with these issues (ie. the works of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Heather McDonald, etc.). 3. The authors provide no interaction on the authority or sufficiency of Scripture for removing the stain of racism. Because this work was written in 2017, it was written before resolution 9 and the controversy over Critical Race Theory in the SBC came to the forefront. It would been helpful at this juncture to clearly establish the place of Scripture (both it’s authority and sufficiency) in both evaluating and addressing the issues. Dr. Williams’ acknowledges the place of critical race theory in this discussion in his chapter and Dr. Smith speaks about the sufficiency of scripture in preaching and there are numerous appeals to Revelation 5 and Ephesians 2 & 4 as giving support for the notion of gospel-unity across racial lines. But there is no chapter or sustained interaction on the authority of Scripture in comparison to the philosophies or methods of the world (Col. 2:8). Interestingly, since the publication of this volume, Dr. Craig Mitchell—one of the minority contributors who wrote the chapter on Ethics—has distanced himself from the positions of three of the authors on this very issue: https://baptistmessage.com/mitchell-m... 4. This book offered very little to no advice for the laymen in an SBC church. It was instead directed primarily at educators, pastors, and leaders within the convention. Perhaps this was intentional, but for the committed Southern Baptist who doesn’t serve in denominational leadership, this book offers little in the way of direct counsel to remove the stain of racism. Overall: I recommend this work. It’s thoughtful, practical, and informative. It could have been much stronger, but it is still worth the read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hopson

    This book was instructive, saddening, convicting, and encouraging. Instructive, helping me to better understand the roots of racism in my own denomination. Saddening because a book like this even needed to be written. Convicting, helping me to see sinful temptations in my own heart. And encouraging as it showed glimpses of how much progress has been made. May God use me and other SBC pastors to faithfully ring the bell of reconciliation until the stain of racism is completely removed from Christ This book was instructive, saddening, convicting, and encouraging. Instructive, helping me to better understand the roots of racism in my own denomination. Saddening because a book like this even needed to be written. Convicting, helping me to see sinful temptations in my own heart. And encouraging as it showed glimpses of how much progress has been made. May God use me and other SBC pastors to faithfully ring the bell of reconciliation until the stain of racism is completely removed from Christ’s church.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Matt Galyon | readsandcoffee

    I found this volume to be very helpful in thinking about the past, present, and future of the SBC. As all the contributors point out, ignoring the racist beginning of the SBC does us no good today. Acknowledging it and seeking biblical steps forward is the only way to remove the stain. Sections of this book would be good for the whole church, while others seem to be targeted for the academy and church leadership. Either way, this book is important and much needed right now in our churches and ou I found this volume to be very helpful in thinking about the past, present, and future of the SBC. As all the contributors point out, ignoring the racist beginning of the SBC does us no good today. Acknowledging it and seeking biblical steps forward is the only way to remove the stain. Sections of this book would be good for the whole church, while others seem to be targeted for the academy and church leadership. Either way, this book is important and much needed right now in our churches and our convention.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josh Mccoy

    Powerful book. The chapters were broken out well & there was a diverse panel of contributors with a few slightly different viewpoints but all very much on the same page: we have work to do. Excellent work! Gathered a small group of pastors here in Phoenix to discuss it & loved the conversation it produced. Praying for much fruit both from the book & our discussion here locally so the SBC & our churches will truly reflect that image God gives us of the marriage feast of the Lamb. Powerful book. The chapters were broken out well & there was a diverse panel of contributors with a few slightly different viewpoints but all very much on the same page: we have work to do. Excellent work! Gathered a small group of pastors here in Phoenix to discuss it & loved the conversation it produced. Praying for much fruit both from the book & our discussion here locally so the SBC & our churches will truly reflect that image God gives us of the marriage feast of the Lamb.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel Martin

    SBC pastors and leaders can’t afford to miss this book. The stain is still present and the pain for many of our brothers and sisters is very real. For the future of the convention let’s listen, learn, and repent.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    An excellent glimpse into an issue that interests me very much. Informative history, intriguing perspectives and some very practical first steps. For much of the book, I felt like I was listening to a favorite speaker from the choir loft. :) Still, well worth the time. The suggested list for further reading is in itself worth taking a gander at this book. It's certainly not exhaustive. Many chapters could easily be elaborated into full books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julius

    Jarvis Williams and Kevin Jones have given the Church -- particularly the Southern Baptists in this case (though certainly not limited to them) -- a real gift in their new book, Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African American and White Perspectives from B&H Publishers. I really can't speak too highly of this book, of the various essays that compose it, and of the resources for local congregations (and even Christian colleges) in opening the dialog abou Jarvis Williams and Kevin Jones have given the Church -- particularly the Southern Baptists in this case (though certainly not limited to them) -- a real gift in their new book, Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African American and White Perspectives from B&H Publishers. I really can't speak too highly of this book, of the various essays that compose it, and of the resources for local congregations (and even Christian colleges) in opening the dialog about racism in the Body and how we can remove its stain from the Bride of Christ's clothing. The Southern Baptist Convention (like the Methodists) have a history wrapped in that sinful garb of racism. It was given birth through confrontations in the Church over the place of slavery. The SBC certainly confessed of that sin in 1995, but nothing much has been done by way of the hard work of reconciliation since that confession. That's precisely why Williams and Jones have given us this collection. Removing the Stain of Racism contains a number of essays in conversation with one another -- "Diverse African American and White" authors -- that help to develop the book's overall point: That Paul's vision in Ephesians 2.11-12 cannot be realized until we Christians do this hard work of racial reconciliation. Some of those voices are more important than others, I think: Jarvis Williams' and Terry Davis' chapters really cannot be missed! But its hopeful "Postscript" says it all: This stain can be removed. There are some closing resources to this book -- the sample syllabus is a must for college religion profs! -- that make it a valuable resource in a number of contexts. Don't miss this book! It's a hard read, but its prophetic call cannot be ignored: The hard work of racial reconciliation still lies in front of the Church. ____________________ I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for my honest review here.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Linkous

    This is a much needed book in the SBC. I only pray that many pastors, leaders, and church members will pick it up and take it to heart. There were some excellent contributions, especially by Matthew J. Hall (Historical Roots of the Stain of Racism in the SBC) and Jarvis Williams, one of the editors (Biblical Steps Toward Removing the Stain of Racism from the SBC). Hall's contribution demonstrates with quotes, the pro-slavery, racist heritage of the SBC that cannot change. He calls out the half-tr This is a much needed book in the SBC. I only pray that many pastors, leaders, and church members will pick it up and take it to heart. There were some excellent contributions, especially by Matthew J. Hall (Historical Roots of the Stain of Racism in the SBC) and Jarvis Williams, one of the editors (Biblical Steps Toward Removing the Stain of Racism from the SBC). Hall's contribution demonstrates with quotes, the pro-slavery, racist heritage of the SBC that cannot change. He calls out the half-true historiography which states the SBC was formed to send missionaries. That's a true statement, but they started their own Mission Board b/c the Baptist Triennial Convention would not send slave holders on the mission field. The 293 founders of the SBC were all Calvinists (a fact that would shock many today)....and all pro-slavery. The 4 founders of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary were all slaveholders. It's sad and sickening stuff, but we need to know it. Williams' chapter covers a lot and feels disjointed, but it is the anchor of the book. He combines his autobiography, biblical scholarship, and wisdom, concluding with 15 suggestions for the SBC. Of all the contributors, he clearly is poised to be the academic leader when it comes to race and Christianity. He already consults with the Reformed African American Network and is writing a books on the topic. Other chapters seem a little corny or poorly organized. Given the brief length of the book and the large number of chapters, several of the chapters were too brief. Nevertheless, if the SBC should start anywhere, this book is a good place to begin, but hopefully it leads its readers to dig into more research of the matters to more complete lives of love and justice.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cassiejoan

    Somehow I missed the subtitle of this book. Though I am not a Southern Baptist, I still found this to be a very worthwhile read. The willingness of the authors to be honest about the history of the Southern Baptist Convention and their connection to slavery was so refreshing in a world lacking humility. The book addressed a lot of questions and thoughts that I've had in a grace-filled, loving, and Biblical way. Plus, the suggested reading lists (there's one for children...eeeek!) I found just ma Somehow I missed the subtitle of this book. Though I am not a Southern Baptist, I still found this to be a very worthwhile read. The willingness of the authors to be honest about the history of the Southern Baptist Convention and their connection to slavery was so refreshing in a world lacking humility. The book addressed a lot of questions and thoughts that I've had in a grace-filled, loving, and Biblical way. Plus, the suggested reading lists (there's one for children...eeeek!) I found just make it even better. That alone makes it worth buying in my opinion :)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Williamson

    I appreciated the perspective the authors and contributors brought to this very sensitive issue. I was enlightened (and heart-broken) concerning the history of racism in the Southern Baptist Convention. However, I was also encouraged that thoughtful pastors and theologians are calling the SBC to repentance for the sake of gospel unity. A good read for those who care about gospel-centered racial reconciliation, and being a church that reflects the full spectrum of the imago dei.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Reed

    Fantastic book. As a white pastor, I have so much to learn from my non-white brothers and sisters. It was a pleasure to sit at their feet and soak up their knowledge. At times, the truth of this book hurt. But the authors spoke the truth in love. Overall, this book leaves me hopeful that by the grace of God the stain of racism can and will be removed in the Southern Baptist Convention.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Seth Woodley

    Extremely helpful and worthwhile read in understanding the past and the present while providing some guidance on the future. I am thankful for this volume and for those who contributed to this in giving wisdom and thoughts on an incredibly significant matter.

  15. 4 out of 5

    NathanLauren

    For any Southern Baptist -- and Christian truly -- this is a helpful overview of the history of the Southern Baptist Convention, how the gospel fuels racial reconciliation, and some helpful steps that Southern Baptists need to do to see stain of racism eradicated.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason Park

    This book was an amazing compilation of Southern Baptist authors who have a passionate conviction for racial reconciliation, and it makes a compelling case that there should be a lot more focus on these issues in the SBC. My full review: https://medium.com/@jpark_21/removing... This book was an amazing compilation of Southern Baptist authors who have a passionate conviction for racial reconciliation, and it makes a compelling case that there should be a lot more focus on these issues in the SBC. My full review: https://medium.com/@jpark_21/removing...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Will Standridge

    One of the most important books written this year. Kevin Jones and Jarvis Williams have edited a gift to the church. If you’re SBC and are interested in how we can move past the racist stain of our past, this book will help you do that.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy Morgan

    Really liked the format of multiple authors contributing. A great overview of the issue of race in the SBC, and so honest but hopeful in tone. Also gave some really practical ideas for moving forward.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adron Robinson

    A must read for anyone who works with the S.B.C.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Travis Agnew

    This volume has enough cringe worthy moments of acknowledging the church’s history in the United States, but it also provides some hopeful signs of correction and testified examples of progress.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charity Tinnin

    4.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles Wade

    I need more diverse opinions in my life and among other things this book opened my eyes to that fact.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim Drake

    A thought-provoking and necessary book for Southern Baptists and the wider Evangelical community.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brian Simms

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chad Gahafer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rogers lewis

  27. 5 out of 5

    Keiko

  28. 4 out of 5

    Juan R. Sanchez

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kie Jones

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robert Castillo

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