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Attentiveness: Working Past Division

Dr. Scott W. Sunquist


Last week I posted a blog that caused much distress. After helpful meetings with students, and concerns expressed from faculty, I could see the error I made: presenting an offensively romantic view of slavery from my position as an academic who can be too detached from conversations, relationships, and the feelings of many who live with the pain of racism.

I apologize for the hurt my words caused many of you. I made some unfortunate assumptions and confess my error. Will you forgive me and keep me in your prayers?

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is committed to training leaders for the global church who are prepared to influence this divided nation, this divided Church, and the divided world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a glorious and powerful Gospel. We are committed as an aspiration to be a thoughtful, loving, Christ-Centered community of global discipleship.

It is a difficult time for the Church and for our alumni/ae who are leading churches. Anger flares and empathy fades as we focus on speaking and writing, and we forget to listen. We all, present writer included, are being shaped by this divisive culture in which we live and move and have our being.

Words are powerful. Words can clarify and they can also avoid issues or make direct hits. How in the world will we, as Christians, especially as people connected to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, move forward? How can we ever be united in love and become a signpost to a divided world? We must not rest until we face this head on and work toward truth, confession, and healing. Staying together, in humility and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live into such a future.

…make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…. Philippians 2:2-5

 

SWS


Scott W. Sunquist, the new President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, writes a weekly blog, “Attentiveness” which is posted each Monday morning on the Gordon-Conwell web site. He welcomes comments, responses and good ideas.