Yesterday, Harry Reeder and I spoke for nearly an hour on the phone discussing an article Reformed Margins posted last week.
The conversation was cordial, thoughtful, and friendly.
The contents of that conversation are private but I will say this: I left the conversation encouraged and hopeful that Rev. Reeder supports the voices of ethnic minorities in the Reformed tradition and that he is willing to listen to the concerns of minorities troubled by some of his speaking engagements. I pray that this will lead to more public and private conversations about how we can make the Reformed Tradition more welcoming to people of color.
Some notes that I feel free to share:
Later this week, his podcast and radio program “Today in Perspective” will feature a discussion of the reason the Civil War was fought. Reeder’s final answer: slavery. This is encouraging especially in light of President Trump’s recent ridiculous remarks.
I encouraged Rev. Reeder to repudiate the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) and the racist ideologies they promote. Reeder informed me that, in the next week or two, he will post an article explaining his methodology and the content of his speeches to historical societies. My understanding is that this article will also include a repudiation of any attempt to use his work to promote racist ideologies.
Until the podcast and article are released, I’m not sure it would be wise to say much else. So for now, I will simply say that I am grateful that Rev. Reeder took the time to speak with me and for his willingness to listen to my concerns, and respond publicly in the next couple of weeks.
We have not heard back from Westminster Theological Seminary, The Gospel Coalition, or Reformed Theological Seminary. It is important that the Reformed tradition unequivocally express its support for people of color, recognize the valuable voices of black, Latino, Asian, and First Nation brothers and sisters, and that Reformed spaces go out of their way to be places of welcome for ethnic minorities. Perhaps these organizations don’t feel the need to make such a statement. I hope, however, that they take the opportunity to emphasize their commitment to diversity within the Reformed Tradition.
If these institutions remain silent, I believe they will have missed an opportunity to show that they care about this conversation and are willing to listen to people of color. Perhaps we will still hear from them.
As more information comes to light, we will comment. Until then, we look forward to hearing what Rev. Reeder has to say.