Whose History? Whose Independence? An Interview with Alan Cross

Healthy conversation and debate suffers from the 24/7 news cycle. The shooting of the Charleston 9 stirred deep conversations about the racial history in the United States. While the conversations and fallout continue, several SCOTUS decisions threaten(ed) to move the important discussions about racial issues to the back burner. Except, black churches are burning.

Whose History?

During a number of the current debates history becomes the pawn in service to the chosen ideological king. David Fitch takes a look at how the reference to this or that side of history as being right is more subjective than objective. He goes so far to suggest it may be that if we depend on the government to dictate the right or wrong side of history we may be giving into a power structure that in the end harms more than helps.

Whose Independence?

Heading into Independence Day weekend the matter of freedoms and rights continues to occupy all of us. We have been fooled into believing the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement granted equal freedoms to women and to blacks without addressing the way the systems retained the vestiges of discriminatory practices. It is this point that often evades us. Consider it a matter that lies beneath and that sound bite news does little to help us.

Is There a Voice in the SBC?

I met Alan Cross online almost ten years ago. We met in person not long after at an Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Greensboro. The following year we shared a room in San Antonio for another SBC Annual Meeting. A couple of years ago we did the same for the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Over the years we have had more than our share of conversations talking through issues related to pastoring, our denomination, and the culture in which we find ourselves.

Alan represents of the voices on the edge of the conversations about race in the SBC. In fact, as I understand it, Thom Rainer, President of the Lifeway, remarked about Alan’s work in comments made to the messengers at the Annual Meeting just last month.

There is a place on the edge of the inside for Alan. And, that means there is reason to interview him here.

Recently Alan wrote a blog post that was re-posted at SBC Voices. The piece garnered more than 175 comments. Some of them actually reveal how much work is yet to be done even in our own denomination. His post, Forgiveness, The Confederate Flag, Heresy, and the SBC, inspired me to ask Alan for the interview. The piece written in the aftermath of the murders of the Charleston 9 provides an occasion for Alan  to discuss his book, When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus.

Fostering Conversation

Pick up a copy of Alan’s book. It is available in paperback as well as for your Kindle.

I hope you will take a listen and then start a conversation where you are, in your community. Start one here in the comment section of this post here at the blog or on Facebook. But, let’s keep this issue off the back burner together.

Featured Image: Wrong Side of History

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About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.