Dr. Tony Evans and Kingdom Race Theology
If you are white, American, and Christian, and if you think and wonder about things, you’ve probably thought and wondered recently about race and gender. If you are anything like me, you’ve probably wondered about glacier mice, too, but that’s another topic. If you haven’t wondered about any of these things, if they’ve never even crossed your mind, and if you’re positive about the truth of everything you’ve learned and experienced up ’til now, well, there’s likely nothing for you here.
I do, in fact, think about these things. I go to a Bible study on Wednesday mornings at my local Baptist church at 6:30, and you might be surprised at the trails we forge.
It would be easy for you to imagine that you know our thoughts and motivations if you don’t attend, that we’re a bunch of old white codgers – mostly true – who want nothing more than a social security check and our chance to rule the world – mostly untrue.
Old White Christians
These old white Christians – only one black guy attends with any regularity – decided that we need to bone up on race and race theory. I admit to having some weirdness about this. I’m a molecular and evolutionary biologist and am pretty darned sure that we did away with the idea of race twenty or thirty years ago with a deepened understanding of genetics. I still think we were right about it and still think that male and female is best and accurately defined by the size and cost of your sex cells. If you’re wondering, females – in general – have large and expensive sex cells. Males – in general – tend to have a whole lot of cheap cells. Science shuns truth-seeking, but the genetics of race and gender are true whether you’re from Gambia, Iceland, or downtown Seattle. It’s true where I live in the deep-ish South where we have the added complexity of five hundred years of economics and culture.
Kingdom Race Theology
My recommendation today is Dr. Tony Evens’ short study on what he calls Kingdom Race Theology, a fancy label for a mostly Baptist theology of human beings. This, of course, is offered in opposition to Critical Race Theory which Evens’ argues is divisive and historically untenable. I’m guessing that proponents of Critical Race Theory assume and intend for it to be divisive as they seek its use to right historical and cultural wrongs. Evens doesn’t, however, ignore racism or slavery, or history and claims on the grounds of Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, that the Liberty Bell is still broken. Evens’ primary thesis aligns with anti-racism: when the church is silent, the kingdom of hell prevails. His detractors shrug these statements off as something expected from a Black man playing a white Christian game.
Evans continues and talks about historical and current racism and the George Floyd episode as characterized by ‘systemic racism.’ He argues here in the same vein as Critical Race Theorists that this is a mindless kind of racism left over in culture when individual laws are struck down but have embedded their ideas into the fabric of the nation’s thinking and culture. It is the job of the Christian, he says, it’s the job of everyone standing on the hill over a city, to shine a light of love and respect and acceptance for brothers and sisters everywhere to form that one union, under G. It’s not enough, people say, to shun racism, but it’s even more important to do the right thing and crush it when we see it. To seek it out and eradicate it.
Ant-Racism = G’s hands and feet
I think Evens would agree with this. Indeed, I think he would agree that it is our job, the job of all who call themselves Christians, to call for unity and to seek out places where unity remains hidden. It is what we ask for when we pray, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. As in so many things, it’s our job to be the hands and feet of G.
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