Brent Aucoin – Christianity and Racism in America: The Story of Thomas Goode Jones

 

In a recent faculty lecture at Southeastern Seminary, Dr. Brent Aucoin tackled a difficult topic: The connection between Christianity and racism.

In his lecture, Dr. Aucoin told the story of two white Christians with differing racial viewpoints. One of these men, Thomas Goode Jones, was a Christian who promoted African Americans’ dignity and value. The other was Thomas Dixon, Jr., who was a Baptist pastor who popularized racism in the twentieth century through a series of novels.

If after watching the video above you are interested in learning more about Thomas Goode Jones, check out Dr. Aucoin’s book: Thomas Goode Jones: Race, Politics, and Justice in the New South.

In Case You Missed It

At the Intersect Project, Dr. Nathan Finn answered a few questions about the relationship between spiritual formation and mission from a new book, Spirituality for the Sent: Casting a New Vision for the Missional Church, which he co-edited with Dr. Keith Whitfield.

In recent years, evangelicals have pursued a more holistic Christian mission and participated in discussions about spiritual formation. Yet these two important movements have developed independently and rarely intersected.

Nathan A. Finn and Keith S. Whitfield want to change that. In Spirituality for the Sent: Casting a New Vision for the Missional Church (IVP Academic, 2017), Finn and Whitfield bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines and ecclesial traditions to address the relationship between spiritual formation and mission.

Nathan A. Finn (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a professor of Christian thought and tradition at Union University, where he also serves as dean of the School of Theology and Missions. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book, mission, spiritual formation and cultural engagement.

 

At his blog, The Wardrobe Door, Aaron Earls posted an article discussing how “coasting” only becomes an option in the mind of a Christian when we forget we are trying to draw closer to a person. Aaron writes:

How much did you enjoy coasting down a hill on your bike as a kid?

 

You can put your feet off to the side (or on the handlebar if you’re feeling really daring) and let gravity do all the work. Enjoying the wind against your face is the reward for all the effort you spent pedaling up.

 

As a kid, that was one of the greatest feelings, but sometimes things can go wrong.

 

Once, I was going too fast down a hill. I hit a bump, flipped over my handlebars and rode upside down for a few feet before crashing into a briar patch.

 

Attempting to coast spiritually, has put many Christians in a similar predicament without their even realizing it. Coasting is not an option for the Christian.

 

Over Easter weekend, a fascinating conversation took place on Twitter among several well-known evangelical women writers discussing the ideas of Christians building “platforms” and “brands.” Since that original conversation, several blog-posts have been written discussing this topic further. Below, are a few of these:

 

 

The Professor’s Bookshelf: Dr. Tate Cockrell

This series at Between the Times highlights Southeastern faculty members as they share about books which they are enjoying now, books which have shaped them personally, and books they consistently recommend to others.

This week, we interview Dr. Tate Cockrell.

Dr. Cockrell is Associate Professor of Counseling and the Assistant Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Southeastern.

 

What are some books you are reading right now?

I don’t read multiple books simultaneously usually. The two most recent books I’ve read are Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life by Frances Allen and How to Deal with Difficult Relationships: Bridging the Gaps That Separate People by June Hunt. I’m currently reading, The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need by Pierre and Reju.
 

What are some of the books which have had the largest impact on your life, thinking, or teaching?

AW Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God, was given to me shortly after I became a Christ follower and served as the first foundational book in my discipleship. Similarly, Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, was the first devotional I read after becoming a Christian. Two books by Rick Yount, Created to Learn and Called to Teach have had the greatest impact on my teaching ministry. I had the blessing of studying under Dr. Yount  in my Master’s and Doctoral studies.

 

What are some of your favorite works of fiction?

I’m a huge Dean Koontz fan. His books aren’t Christian but they all have a spiritual component to them. They are classic good vs. evil thrillers, and they are just weird enough for me to enjoy. I’m also a John Grisham fan. So, I read most of his books as well.
 

Are there any books which you re-read on a regular basis and why?

I read AW Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God, every year. It had a profound impact upon my early Christian development. I also read Howard Hendricks book Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive every couple of years. It serves as a great reminder of how to teach for maximum impact.
 

What is one book which you would recommend to a church member and why?

Becoming a True Spiritual Community: A Profound Vision of What the Church Can Be by Larry Crabb. This book completely revolutionized the way I think about church. If every church member reads this book, they would see the necessity and impact of true biblical community.
 

What is one book which you would recommend to a seminary student to read beyond what they might encounter in class and why?

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matthew Perman.

So much of ministry is about how to prioritize and make the best use of our time. Perman does an exceptional job of laying out a Gospel centered way of making decisions about our daily tasks. I think most seminary students would benefit greatly from his wisdom.