Study of the Bible & Ethnicity

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by Edward, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I got an email today (as I'm sure some of you did as well) with the following:

    Twenty, or even just ten years ago, I would have recommended RTS without hesitation. This just increases an already growing level of concern.
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  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I wonder what the content entails?
  3. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    "The Center for the Study of the Bible and Ethnicity equips leaders to minister effectively within multi-ethnic, cross-cultural, and mono-ethnic contexts by fostering an appreciation for the histories and cultures of people groups that are outside of the dominant culture. The Center promotes theological education and reflection on these topics and how they inform and impact local and global ministry in the 21st century."
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The Department heads seem to be a husband/wife team. Below is a description:

    "Since 2003, she has worked as an advocate for the global persecuted Church, raising awareness and promoting indigenous leadership in countries where Christianity is restricted or repressed. Her current research explores the relationship between the African American Christian experience and those of others around the world experiencing religious marginalization."

    The first half of the description for Karen Ellis sounds very good....persecuted church...indigenous leadership...hooray!

    ...and then...BAM...there it is...

    "Her current research explores the relationship between the African American Christian experience and those of others around the world experiencing religious marginalization..."

    ...apparently she is currently researching how US blacks are comparable to Christians under the Taliban. Being an American Black in 2019 is analogous to the state of Dhimmitude in Islamic countries, seems to be a possible conclusion.

    Meanwhile it is very rare to find many US blacks on the mission field in any foreign country at all.

    Here is a video snippet where she speaks of the Two Adams and defines it primarily in a racial/class oppression sort of manner:

    She says:
    "It’s significant because the fall distorts and perverts the created order so that dominant cultures are over creatures and oftentimes marginalized people are placed right underneath. This is a perverted version of what it should have been. Because the fall happened in a body, it took a body for us to be redeemed. Therefore, since the fall happened in the first Adam, the second Adam had to come in order to put the created order right..."

    In her description of the Two Adams, she explains how the atonement restored an order where there was peace and equality between man and man, but nothing is said about the atonement securing peace with God. Not that her description is wrong, but it is incomplete and seems to show what the focus of this new department will be. The white US majority population probably stressed the "Peace with God" part primarily and forgot the other part, and the white slave owners of the past probably never talked about the "Peace and Equality among Men" part of the work of the Second Adam. I suppose RTS' justification could be that we learn about peace with God through the theology department and this new department will teach us about peace between peoples?

    But I have to ask, why was the department started? If a brand new department were created, you'd think it might be a track on preparing missionaries. There is not really any missionary preparation department at RTS, after all, and the Great Commission is pretty important. and missionary prep schools have many classes about learning local cultures and languages, and about honoring indigenous church leadership, and also putting aside one's own ethnocentrism. But missionary training doesn't sound like what RTS's new program is about. It is a department focused on race/class oppression.

    Viewed one way, (1) RTS is making up for a huge blind spot among Christians in not addressing this "brotherly equality" aspect of the Second Adam. Or (2) they are following the Western culture's occupation with Race/Class identity themes. Or (3) a little of both.

    Carl Ellis wrote the book "Free at Last" and it is here on Google and the parts I read are pretty good, though his specialty does not seem to be ethnicities (plural) but only 1 ethnicity, the black experience in America. The campus seems to be in Atlanta and not Chinatown and so perhaps this makes sense if they are trying to recruit more black men into seminary. I hope they succeed in their purpose if that is the case.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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