Home Podcast Esau McCaulley: Why Do We Treat Racism Differently Than Other Sins?

Esau McCaulley: Why Do We Treat Racism Differently Than Other Sins?

Esau McCaulley

Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley is assistant professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), where he serves as Canon Theologian in his diocese. Esau also serves the ACNA as director of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative. He is a contributing writer for the New York Times and has written for numerous outlets, such as Christianity Today, the Witness and The Washington Post. His most recent book is entitled, Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope, and is available now from InterVarsity Press.

Key Questions for Esau McCaulley

-Can you explain the alienation Black theologians and writers feel toward both white progressives and white evangelicals? 

-What does Paul teach us about submission to authority, and how does that relate to modern-day policing?

-What do you mean when you say, “Many Black Christians have never had the luxury of separating our faith from political action?”

-What would you say to those who argue that it is not biblical to apologize or to pay reparations for the sins of previous generations?

Key Quotes from Esau McCaulley

“When I start talking about the Bible, I am really well-loved in evangelical spaces. When I start talking about social justice, I am loved in mainline spaces, and very few want both.”

“God doesn’t just judge the nation of Israel for unjust practices. He also judges the pagan nations.” 

Isaiah 58 is the paradigmatic example in the Old Testament of criticizing false religiosity.”

“Jesus in his own ministry is evoking a passage in Isaiah that criticizes a false religiosity. It doesn’t care about what’s actually happening to the people. Then the question is, how did we actually ever screen this out?” 

“We’ve turned the Great Commission into Jesus saying, ‘Go into the world and simply present the gospel to get them converted. But Jesus says, ‘Teach them everything that I taught you.’” 

“Preach the whole counsel of God. And if you preach the whole counsel of God, then all of the things that are pressing on our society will have a word for it.”

“We do know, if we are Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God, that God is in the process of raising up nations and judging nations for their sinfulness. So what then do you make of Romans 13 in light of these wider biblical principles?”

“Submission [to governing authorities] and acquiescence are not the same thing.”

“I don’t think the Christian pastor is in most cases equipped to articulate detailed policy changes, but we’re not unintelligent. We know injustice when we see it, and we can speak against it and ask the state to do its duty and do it well.”

“It’s hard for us to get out of the American [political] binary and not see things through that lens, instead of seeing it through the Kingdom lens…I really think the problem is that we’re not biblical enough.”

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As Vice President of Ministry Mobilization for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. He also serves as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement and hosts the weekly ChurchLeaders podcast. Jason lives on Anastasia Island, Florida, with his beautiful wife and children. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @jasondaye