Dr. Danny Akin recently held a chapel Q&A session with students at Southeastern. As you might imagine, several of the questions he received were about critical race theory. You can watch him answer those questions in the video below. Start at the 38:52 mark.
Some highlights of Dr. Akin’s response include:
First of all, you should always be concerned about any accusation about our institution. They could be true. And they could also be false. And the way that you find out is by being a good thinker and investigating the accusation. Not playing the fool and listening to what are called discernment blogs. I don’t thing they’re discernment blogs. I think they’re hit blogs. And they tend to take things out of context. They misrepresent people. And in some cases they flat out lie.
We do not advocate, at Southeastern Seminary, critical race theory or intersectionality. But there’s a difference between advocating something and educating you about something. And I do believe it is our calling to educate you about many things with which you will, I hope, disagree.
Unfortunately, we are at a point in time where we’ve got to at least be aware of what these things are, and we have to engage them in a thoughtful, reflective, and critical way. So, let me tie it into the Seminary President Statement, which I still affirm without any hesitation or reservation. Do I believe, as an ideology and a framework, that critical race theory is incompatible with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000? You better believe it. Furthermore, I think it is incompatible with [biblical] evangelical Christianity. Its roots, the deeper you dig, the worse it gets. Furthermore, it is being hijacked today so that not only is it applied, I think, very poorly to race issues, it is now being applied to gender issues. So that you have a major proponent of critical race theory saying that if you are not supportive of the LGBTQ agenda, you are a racist. Now, I don’t even know how to respond to a nonsensical statement like that. But that’s where this whole conversation is going.
I don’t think it’s infecting us at all, but it’s certainly infecting the major colleges and universities in America. And yes, it is working its way into politics as well.
Dr. Akin also quotes Neil Shenvi who writes,
In responding to critical race theory, Christians can fall into two opposite errors: alarmism on the one hand and denialism on the other. Critical race theory alarmists equate any discussion of race with critical race theory and refuse to recognize that critical race theory offers any true insights.
Dr. Akin then says,
And I think it does. Rarely. But I think critical race theory, number one, raises some good questions. And number two, it sometimes makes some good observations. The problem is it has no answers. It has absolutely no answers. And certainly, because it rejects a biblical worldview framework, it’s not going to be able to offer any really good answers.
Akin then goes back to quoting Shenvi who writes,
Critical race theory denialism refuses to recognize that critical race theory includes ideas that are false and dangerous or that CRT is a growing influence within evangelicalism.
In summary, Akin then says,
So, if I were to summarize what I want Southeastern Seminary to do when it comes to the issue of critical race theory, I would want us to 1) Be aware, 2) Engage, and 3) Critique in light of a biblical worldview. You need to be aware of it. You need to engage it critically and intelligently. And then you need to be able to show why it will not work and is indeed incompatible, as an ideology or a framework, with a Christian worldview way of thinking. So, bottom line, that is where we are. And I think my faculty would tell you without any dissent that they are in complete agreement with that approach. I do not know anyone on this faculty that would say, ‘I am an advocate of critical race theory.’ In fact, I know for a fact we don’t have one. Not even a single one.
As a graduate and current student at Southeastern, I am thankful for Dr. Akin’s clarity on this issue.