Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell announces he'll step down from ministry, following controversial comments about Black and minority families. (Photo Courtesy of Josh McDowell Ministries)

Christian Author Josh McDowell Apologizes for Comments about Black, Minority Families

By Bob Smietana

A best-selling Christian author and speaker denounced the idea of systemic racism at a national gathering of Christian counselors, saying Black Americans and other minorities were not raised to value hard work or education.

Josh McDowell, best known for his book “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” and other books defending the Christian faith, gave a speech Saturday at a meeting of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

The talk, entitled “The Five Greatest Global Epidemics,” identified a series of threats McDowell claims face the Christian church. The first, he said, was critical race theory, an academic field of study on the nature of systemic racism.  Known by the acronym CRT, critical race theory has become controversial among Christian conservatives and political conservatives alike.

McDowell told Christian counselors CRT “negates all the biblical teaching” about racism — because it focuses on systems rather the sins of the human heart and said today’s definition of “social justice” is not biblical.

“There’s no comparison to what is known today as social justice with what the Bible speaks as justice,” he said. “With CRT they speak structurally. The Bible speaks individually. Make sure you get that. That’s a big difference.”

Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction” To donate, click here.

He went on to say not all Americans have equal opportunities to succeed.  

“They don’t, folks,” he said in his speech. “I do not believe Blacks, African Americans, and many other minorities have equal opportunity. Why? Most of them grew up in families where there is not a big emphasis on education, security — you can do anything you want. You can change the world. If you work hard, you will make it.  So many African Americans don’t have those privileges like I was brought up with.”

He added the Bible only focuses on individual sin, not structural sin.

McDowell’s comments were first noted on social media by Christian college professor Aaron New. After New drew attention to those comments, a recording of McDowell’s speech was removed from the AACC website, where all the speeches and presentations at the conference are offered for sale.

His remarks were verified by obtaining a copy of the recording.

After being contacted, McDowell issued a statement on social media apologizing for his remarks, saying they do not reflect his own beliefs. He said his comment about minority families “does not reflect reality.”

“Racism has kept equality from being achieved in our nation,” he said.

McDowell’s ministry is affiliated with Cru, a national campus ministry founded by the late Bill Bright, a legendary figure among evangelicals. Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, has faced criticism by some long-term staff because of its recent focus on issues of race and diversity. A group of staff has accused Cru of “embracing a secular system of ideas that divides humans into victims and oppressors.” 

Fierce debates over critical race theory and social justice have become commonplace among American evangelicals in recent years. The presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention’s seminaries have denounced CRT as incompatible with the denomination’s statement of faith — a claim which led a number of high profile Black pastors to leave the denomination and the debate over CRT was a key topic at the SBC’s 2021 annual meeting.

nonprofit founded by former Trump official and Wheaton College graduate Russ Vought has published a handbook labeling CRT as unAmerican and outlining steps for barring its use in local schools.

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

SHARE THIS:
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET EMAIL UPDATES!

Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore
discussion

35 thoughts on “Christian Author Josh McDowell Apologizes for Comments about Black, Minority Families”

    1. Henry – CRT is just basic – it is not a matter of integrating anything – all you need to see is ONE picture of “Colored” and “White” – and you are looking at blatant CRT…..

      Etc.

  1. Good he realized his mistake and apologized. His statement made the same error CRT does, generalizing and judging people based on their skin color. That’s where racism begins.

  2. “…the Bible only focuses on individual sin, not structural sin.”

    I think this is the heart of the issue. In my opinion, it’s hard to read the Bible without seeing how individuals who sin together with other individuals create corrupt and sinful systems and cultures over time.

    1. God addresses sin on a SYSTEMIC level all the time – as He speaks against nations – especially Judah – on a national level – and punishment on a national level….

  3. CRT is a 50 year old theory that has never gained popular support among educators! It is being raised now by the far right as a Straw Man, a propaganda technique designed to inflame one’s base to anger!
    The far right is fueled by anger!

    1. I see the opposite. It’s actually being covertly implemented by those leaning left. It’s a “left” ideology founded in Marxism. I see “right” leaners exposing it and discussing the errors. I was a victim of it myself, bought into it for a while.

      1. Looks like Josh is right. If groups have poor education, they have poor outcomes. If they have no family structure, they have poor outcomes. Sounds structural by choice.

    2. The far right needs more boogeymen to hide under their beds…..like BLM, Antifa and CRT.

      It’s like McCarthyism all over again.

    3. A lot of people are fueled by anger, far more on the left. When I was a kid I had a teacher who made racist comments like how evil “the white man” is. There is pushback because it is being pushed like never before.

  4. CRT is no good. It’s a trick!
    Don’t buy into it like I did. Just don’t do it 🙏
    If you are white you WILL NEVER be forgiven for your racism. If you are a Christian, you are an evil OPPRESSOR!

    I’m inherently racist for saying these things. I will never be forgiven.

  5. McDowell was just stating what many whites believe. It’s why I’m looked at like I’m green when sharing the educational status of me and my family (all of us are Black with at least one grad degree). Let’s discuss why that is rather than force an apology.

      1. I’m following protocols set and followed by official journalism bodies (AP, Columbia Journalism Review). When discussing race/culture, Black is capitalized; white is not. There’s a debate (National Association of Black Journalists believes white should be capitalized) but no change yet.

        1. Marin Heiskell,

          Secular worldly left-wing media conglomerates are the standard that God’s church should use in assigning each human made in His image’s worth?

          1. This is no different than following spelling/grammar standards (set by those same “secular left-wing congolmerates”). IMO capitalization isn’t assigning worth; it’s about proper usage of a word. Given race is socially constructed (what is white? Black?), IMO the debate will continue.

          2. A good example of how capitalization can change meaning: black = the color of my pants. Black = a race or culture. God = our Father; god = pagan idol.
            Again, I’m saying nothing about value, but just following writing standards.

  6. I find it strange that Julie did not answer my question. The article implicitly implies that CRT is a good thing. Is it?

    1. My job is to report what’s happening in the church, not to argue the merits or problems with CRT. I reject your statement that the article implies that CRT is a good thing. It simply states that critical race theory is “an academic field of study on the nature of systemic racism. Known by the acronym CRT, critical race theory has become controversial among Christian conservatives and political conservatives alike.”

      1. Funny, CRT is controversial amongst many people who do not identify as Christian or conservative. So I must reject your reporting as rather truncated and misleading

  7. “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” – President Joe Biden

    That was some impressive gymnastics to bring it all back to Trump in the last paragraph.

  8. O be careful little mouth what you say

    O be careful little mouth what you say

    There’s a Father up above

    And He’s looking down in love

    So, be careful little mouth what you say

  9. I’m still waiting for what was false or terrible, objectively (not in the eyes of woke Gnosticism) about Josh’s words. He AFFIRMED that white privilege is real and that he benefited from it.

    1. He made a statement that stereotyped Black and minority families as emphasizing education. This is untrue and offensive, but unfortunately widely believed, hence my comment above. We should focus on dispelling the myth, not forcing apology.

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people use their full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.

Comments are limited to 300 words.

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
 
MOST RECENT Articles
MOST popular articles

Donate

Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Is it Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage”