Princeton Seminary Catches Up With Machen On Segregation?

Almost three years ago there was a controversy over the disclosure and publication of Machen’s hitherto unpublished letter to his mother in which he mentioned his objection to B. B. Warfield over the latter’s plan to integrate the seminary’s dormitory. Predictably, Machen was denounced by social progressives. They might have spoken too soon, however, since apparently PTS has come to agree with Machen in principle and practice. As you may know racial identity and segregation is an integral part of the application of critical race theory. University students are now regularly being racially segregated in classes, housing, and seminars. Yesterday Stuart Taylor Jr published a story on Real Clear Investigations in which he detailed the objection of one PTS student, Timothy Keiderling, to being forced to attend what he regarded as indoctrination in critical race theory (“anti-racism”). With the help of Princeton University professor Robert George and the Academic Freedom Alliance he was able to resist the seminary’s requirement, in August 2020, that “he and his classmates…submit to direction by PTS in how they must think and speak about matters of race, gender and sexuality.”

Nevertheless, Keiderling attended the first training session in August 2020. He was troubled when the trainers asked participants “to choose readings about racism to complete based on the race with which we identify.” PTS required that students be separated into three Zoom meeting groups: a “white-only group,” which students were told “creates a space where we can really grapple with our Whiteness and how we’ve been socialized” without “harm[ing] our colleagues and co-students of color”; a group of “students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color”; and a racially integrated group for those uncomfortable with segregation.

When the pro-segregation training materials were leaked to the press, the president of the seminary did not denounce the pro-segregation materials but he did denounce the leak as a “breach of trust.”

Machen was wrong but so is this. We anxiously await the denunciations of the return of segregationism to PTS, which are sure to roll in from the same quarters that so anxious to inform us about Machen. (HT: Presbycast)

©R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.


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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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One comment

  1. I’m sure it’ll be explained away as a “that was then, this is now” realization of CRT that was not in the works during Machen’s time. Therefore, his comments in that letter will be viewed as racist, whereas the current Maoist separation and indoctrination of students is based on required reparations from some and expected reparations anticipated by others.

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