Writing on scraps of paper, without notes or references, from a Birmingham jail cell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously penned these words,
“I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ … To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.”
Often abandoned or ignored by modern thinkers, the natural law thinking of Thomas Aquinas provides an objective basis for human moral actions and human law.
In one form or another, this is the moral theory that has undergirded everything from this nation’s Declaration of Independence, to the abolition of slavery, and ultimately to the civil rights movement of Dr. King’s day. In essence, natural law points to what is good and right for us according to our shared nature as human beings.
We must return to this classical way of thinking about the true and the good if we are to engage the horrendous ideas that are currently ripping our nation in two. It is critically important that Christ-followers understand the dangers of Critical Race Theory (CRT) which under-girds the Black Lives Matter Movement and is the antithesis of the life-changing Gospel of Jesus. This Marxist theory is permeating American life down to first grade curricula in the nation’s public and private schools.
If it is not confronted by informed Gospel Truth, it will literally tear American society apart (see the SES statement on Racism and Social Justice).
That is why Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College, one of the only evangelical institutions that teaches classical natural law theory, is offering Christian Theology, Racism, and Social Justice as a one-week Fall module course Oct. 19-24, 2020.
This course will also talk about the true nature of our country’s founding (warts and all) and the many reasons the New York Times’ “1619 Project” is manifestly and corrosively wrong. In addition, students will be equipped to understand and explain the only true way out of our racial and ethnic divisions is the transforming power of the Gospel. The salt of the law can change actions, behaviors, and habits, but only the light of the Gospel can change attitudes, beliefs, and hearts.
SES President, Dr. Richard Land, along with SES alumnus and adjunct professor Dr. Bernard Mauser, will be team-teaching Christian Theology, Racism, and Social Justice that will also feature several special guests throughout the week. This will be a survey and analysis of Christian theology’s approach to racism and ethnic prejudice, coupled with an analysis of CRT and differing concepts of “social justice.” This course will also involve a survey of racism’s impact on American history and current American culture. In addition, this course will survey Christian moral philosophy and how its analysis of truth applies to these issues.
This important course will be live-streamed allowing you to engage professors and classmates in real-time. As a module course, all classroom lectures will be completed the evenings of Oct. 19-23 and during the day on Saturday, Oct. 24. Students will have the remaining 15 weeks to complete readings and assignments. Students may take the course for credit or as an audit. Current students should enroll via their Populi account. Prospective students (both for-credit and audit) should apply now at SES.edu/apply. Our admissions counselors will work with you to speed along the process so that you can enroll in this quickly approaching course.
As philosopher Edward Feser ironically observes,
“The currency of the term ‘social justice’ originated in Thomistic natural law social theory. … It has to do with the just or right ordering of society as defined by strong families and cooperation between husband and wife in carrying out their respective roles for the sake of children and elders, solidarity and cooperation between economic classes and other social groups, and scrupulous attention to subsidiarity in the state’s relationship to the ‘little platoons’ of society.”
We know of no other Evangelical institution who holds such a strong natural law position and who is better suited to address our current challenges. We are an institution dedicated to equipping students to proclaim the Gospel, engage the culture, and defend the truth. These turbulent times are the most divisive many of us have ever seen. We will have failed in our mission if we do not equip our students, and anyone who will listen, to engage this confused culture.
Please consider applying today for Christian Theology, Racism, and Social Justice.
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