Statement from Dr. Price and Dr. Shiell on Charlottesville
By: Northern Seminary
The violence in Charlottesville on August 11 and 12 was hailed by David Duke, a former leader of the KKK, as a “turning point” in the quest to “take America back” for the white race. This turn, however, is obviously a turn for the worse. The evil recrudescence of white nationalism will take the country down to “new nadirs” of hatred and violence. White nationalism presumes the white race to be “chosen people” favored by God; therefore, superior to all others deifying the white race. White nationalists interpret “God is with us” to mean God is with US (white people), stressing the pronoun. This was the world-and-life-view of the Nazis with Gott mit uns (“God with us”) on their helmets, belt buckles, and coat of arms. The Nazis saw nothing wrong with anti-Semitism, including scapegoating and exterminating Jewish people. To be sure, this emboldened resurgence of neo-Nazism inspired by eugenics ideology threatens the existence of “the other” as full human beings made in the image of God.
This is a call for white evangelical leaders to respond quickly and speak out against white nationalism, white supremacy, and white privilege. Indeed, white silence will be interpreted as consent! Martin Luther King wrote in Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? that “Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.” As brothers in Christ, we will speak out against the world-and-life-view of white nationalism and white privilege. We stand together to raise leaders at Northern Seminary for the church who are committed to reconciliation and justice for all.
As leaders speak out, we call on the church to preach the gospel in Jesus’ name. Now is the time to hold up the light of Christ and surrender to Jesus as Lord. We urge churches to overcome evil with good, and to disciple communities of reconciliation, justice, and love. In doing so, we will renounce hate and violence, repent of our sin, and turn to Christ.
Dr. Robert J. Price Jr.
Associate Professor of Evangelism and Urban Ministry
Dr. William D. Shiell
President and Professor of Pastoral Theology and Preaching
August 18, 2017