Sunday, May 27, 2007

Dr. J. Deotis Roberts Speaks At Simmons College of Kentucky

By: Min. Angela Lee Price

Rev. Dr. J. Deotis Roberts visited Simmons College of Kentucky on May 17th to the delight of students, faculty, staff, and the community. An esteemed theologian, Roberts is best known as a founder of Black Theology or the Black Liberation Movement. He has taught at several major universities, and has written 14 books and over 100 scholarly articles over his 60-year career.

Rev. Michael Lee, an associate minister and the Sunday School superintendent at Joshua Missionary Baptist Church brought several teachers with him to the lecture. “Ordinarily, we would be in teachers’ meeting on Thursdays, but I cancelled it tonight so that we would not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Rev. Lee.

Dr. Roberts reflected on his life experiences as a theologian and opened the floor to questions from the audience. When asked why he included reconciliation in his perspective, he said he and his colleagues at Howard University felt obligated to speak on black liberation in the 1960’s, and that his career pre-dated James Cone’s, who is known as the father of the Black Liberation Movement. “James Cone’s perspective was inadequate in that it did not address reconciliation, a central Gospe1 message,” Roberts explained.

I asked him to elaborate on his position on women in the ministry. He said it was hypocritical for black male preachers to point out the errors of oppressors in literally interpreting Scripture to perpetuate slavery, "Slaves obey your masters....," while literally interpret Scripture themselves to keep women out of the pulpit, "Women keep quite in the church...."

Simmons College of Kentucky President Dr. Kevin Cosby. announced Dr. Roberts as the first renown guest lecturer in the Marshall B. Lanier Lecture Series, named in honor of Marshall B. Lanier, a past Simmons president and 50-year professor.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!

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