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Message from the President: Gospel-Guided Race Relations

Updated: Jun 4, 2020


This week on the Engage360 podcast, Brandon Washington joins Don Payne and me for a frank conversation about the tragic shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. This conversation was recorded before the horrific killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Sadly, it is even more poignant today than when we recorded it. I encourage you to listen carefully and reflectively.

The pernicious presence of racism in the United States remains one of the most destructive moral failures of our nation. And sadly the Church is not innocent in its perpetuation. The events of the past several weeks have reminded us of just how much work needs to be done in our families, schools, and churches. We must come to grips with the fact that racism advantages some at the expense of others. Any attempt to downplay its horrific consequences for millions of people does not ring true with the teaching of Scripture. Any reticence on our on part to demand that those in power execute justice and seek reconciliation rather than further dividing the nation undermines the credibility of our gospel.

I also want to encourage you to read “Racism: A Reflection and a Prayer” on the Denver Seminary website. In 2016 the Denver Seminary faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed the sentiment and substance of this statement. Although it is my personal reflection, it echoes the voices of friends like Eddie Broussard, Ted Travis, Patricia Raybon, Bryan Wilkerson, Brandon Washington, and Felix Gilbert, who served on our “Race Relations Working Group.”

Like you, I am deeply troubled by the persistence of racism in our society. Like you, I’m asking, “What can we do to eradicate this evil?” Like you, I am resolved to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God and with one another to bring about healing and reconciliation in our communities. May the Lord empower us and strengthen us to do hard work to bring this to pass.

Grieving, yet again,

Mark Young



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