Jonathan Edwards and Race in America

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A couple of interesting talks coming up from the Henry Center and the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School:

Jonathan Edwards and American Racism: Can the Theology of a Slave Owner Be Trusted by Descendants of Slaves?

Jonathan Edwards is arguably the most important theologian that North America has produced. He is a hero to many Christians. Yet he also owned slaves, a fact that has raised important questions about his moral credibility. Should we really be holding Edwards up as a theological role model? Should we be trying to learn from him? These are live questions here at Trinity and beyond. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile has thought about these questions-as a pastor, an African American, and adherent to Reformed theology. We invite you to listen in as he reflects about them personally, engaging two other African-American pastors and the audience in an edifying installment of the Edwards Center series ‘Jonathan Edwards and the Church,’ moderated by Dr. Sweeney.

This event is cosponsored by the Henry Center and the Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS. Pastor Anyabwile’s lecture will take place on Wednesday, Feb 1, 1-2:30pm in the ATO Chapel on the TEDS campus. The responses will be from Pastor Louis Love of New Life Fellowship Church, Vernon Hills, and Pastor Charlie Dates of Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago-Q&A to follow.

How Race Works, and Why it Matters for the Church

On the following day, Feb 2, Professor Michael Emerson will continue this important conversation about race and religion. Dr. Emerson is a sociology professor at Rice University and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. He has written important works on the relationship between race and religion. Some of his well-known books are Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (co-authored with Christian Smith; Oxford University Press, 2000), which was named the 2001 Distinguished Book of the Year by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is also the author of People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States, published by Princeton University Press in 2006.

Dr. Emerson will speak in the ATO chapel on Thursday, Feb 2, at 11am on: “How Race Works, and Why it Matters for the Church.” His talk will be based on Ephesians 6:12. After chapel, there will be a free luncheon for all in attendance. Dr. Peter Cha, associate professor of pastoral theology at TEDS, will moderate a conversation with Dr. Emerson and the audience. A TEDS alumnus, Rev. Peter Hong, will also be a part of that conversation. He is a second-generation Korean American who planted a multiracial church in Chicago ten years ago. The church is called New Community Covenant Church and now has about 600 members.

After the luncheon is over (1pm), interested local church pastors and other students can remain for a longer conversation with the speakers (till about 2pm).

You can check back at the Henry Center for info about livestreaming and audio being posted later.

Update: Both events will be livestreamed here.

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