Gordon-Conwell Blog

Weep with Those Who Weep

July 11, 2016

By Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics

Last week the tragic murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile unleashed a wave of distress, anger and fear. The trauma continued as five Dallas civil servants were killed with seven others maimed by a vengeful sniper. Our hearts go out to the numerous families suffering and mourning the loss of loved ones as a result of these violent and senseless actions. Clearly as a society we have much work to do in balancing social justice and order.

This past weekend, many of you led and participated in prayer vigils, sensitive dialogues and communal worship experiences where you prayed for the families who are in mourning and prayed for peace and justice across the country. In times like these it can be challenging to make sense of the anxiety that is sweeping the land. As leaders who have accepted God’s challenge to “think theologically, engage globally and live biblically,” I encourage you to pray, engage in meaningful dialogue and to continue to lead God's people in communal worship seeking shalom.

As a seminary, we remain committed to encouraging opportunities for formal and informal dialogue within our diverse and inclusive campuses as we continue to train leaders for the 21st century Church. To that end, over the coming months you will hear about our new Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience (ISBCE) which will lead conversations on race relations and racial reconciliation, one of ISBCE’s goals. Led by Drs. Emmett G. Price III and Patrick Smith, the ISBCE will further empower our comprehensive training for seminarians and our robust resources for prospective and current students as well as graduates.

Please continue to pray for those who are mourning and suffering, and for the Church as it seeks to comfort, bring hope and embody justice in this time of turbulence and great loss.

Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D.
President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics


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Alisha Hadden 1:13PM 02/13/17
Dr. Hollinger, I appreciate your comments and your desire to promote peace and racial reconciliation. I must respectfully disagree however with your characterization of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as murder. Though their deaths were certainly tragic and perhaps unwarranted, they are not categorically the same as those of the five policemen who were killed by a sniper. An investigation and perhaps a jury will determine if Sterling and Castile were in fact unjustly killed (murdered) or if they were tragic victims of their circumstances and our gun obsessed culture.
margaret 10:30AM 07/13/16