NGU News

Yancey Expresses Hope for Moving Beyond Racial Division During Annual Christian Worldview Week

Posted on: March 20, 2023
By LaVerne Howell,

Tigerville, SC (March 20, 2023) Expressing hope for methods that build deep, lasting roots through mutual accountability, Dr. George Yancey, professor of sociology at Baylor University, proposed a “third way” to overcome racism in two presentations at North Greenville University’s Christian Worldview Week in early March.

Drawing upon biblical concepts and reflecting on findings from his sociological research, Yancey said collaborative conversations in a mutual accountability model can reduce racial division, offering an option to what he cited as the controversial solutions of either colorblindness or antiracism.

“We have to be productive, not destructive in our conversations,” said Yancey. “To convince others, we have to build rapport, identify areas of agreement, admit when an opponent has a good point, understand their arguments, and look at what a person wants below the surface.”

He said efforts at colorblindness and antiracism have not been very effective in addressing racial tensions in the United States. Noting from his research the conclusions that colorblindness ignores the realities of race and the history of injustice, while antiracism centers racial concerns and in so doing often alienates people who need to be involved in the process,  Yancey proposed an alternative approach to racial relations where all parties contribute and are mutually accountable to one another for societal well-being.

He also explored a larger vision for a Christian educational institution like North Greenville, and how local churches can engage in the solutions that make the most sense for their unique congregations.

“Teach people of all races how to work through racial problems, model healthy handling of racial problems, and produce Christian leaders who chart a truly biblical path toward racial reconciliation that will eventually impact our society and prepare a multiracial church for a post-Christian world,” he said.

He added that history and societal complexity mean that different participants may have different kinds of responsibility, but all are involved in seeking the common good for all to thrive, avoiding unilateral decisions that close off dialogue.

Yancey is the author of the book “Beyond Racial Division,” published by InterVarsity Press. He has published several research articles on the topics of institutional racial diversity, racial identity, academic bias, progressive Christians and anti-Christian hostility.

NGU’s annual Christian Worldview Week features a series of presentations from noted speakers, celebrating the  foundational truth the school is built on: that God is the source of all truth.

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