White Moderates and Moderate Baptists: Moderateness as Betrayal of the Gospel

I wrote this for the National Association of Baptist Professors meeting in May at Belmont University in Nashville, TN (May 2017), and have since had a few people ask for it, so I decided to post it in a blog format.  This is a modified version. I admit, it’s a bit scary, and I know this isn’t perfect, but I hope it sparks discussion.

In his 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, Martin Luther King Jr. criticizes the “white moderate,” identifying them as feeling empathy toward the Civil Rights Movement, but not acting upon it.  King’s “white moderate” compares to contemporary white Baptists who claim (or, who embody) the title “moderate.” By putting the two in conversation, I argue that moderateness perpetuates a status quo that does not reflect the gospel. Continue reading “White Moderates and Moderate Baptists: Moderateness as Betrayal of the Gospel”