Lipscomb University’s Christian Scholars Conference to Host Ibram Kendi, ‘How to Be Antiracist’ Author, as Featured Speaker, Scrubs Website After Tennessee Star Inquiries


UPDATE: Following publication of The Star report, Lipscomb University restored two paragraphs detailing Fleer’s assessment and quote about Kendi to their event page. They also added clarification that Kendi will be presenting his session via a webinar from his home near Boston.

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Lipscomb University, a self-proclaimed Christian institution, chose “How to Be Antiracist” author Ibram Kendi as a featured speaker for its 2021 Christian Scholars Conference (CSC). The Tennessee Star reached out for more details to CSC Chair David Fleer, Lipscomb University spokespersons, Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry, and Lipscomb University Board of Trustees Chair David Solomon. None of them responded by press time.

After The Star reached out to each of those individuals, Lipscomb University completely scrubbed the original contents of its CSC page. An archived version of the website from Tuesday shows that the original CSC page was largely dedicated to Kendi’s appearance as a featured guest speaker. It also included positive remarks from Fleer about Kendi.

In that original version of the press release, Fleer’s exaltation of Kendi closely echoed the Bible’s promises in Jesus Christ: that one man was capable of eradicating injustice and inequality in this world.

“Dr. Kendi defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs. He will help us actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world,” stated Fleer.

The day before the webpage was scrubbed, The Star had emailed Fleer these questions:

  1. Kendi has said in his book “How to Be Antiracist” and multiple subsequent interviews that Christians who bring people into the church with the intent of saving those souls and turning them away from sin falls in line with “racist ideas.” In short, Kendi denounced “Savior Theology” – that an individual’s sin isn’t the focus, but the oppressive systems in our society are. How does Kendi square with Scripture here?
  2. Does Kendi’s emphasis on holding individuals accountable for the past systems of slavery in this country go against the Biblical principle reflected in passages such as Ezekiel 18:20?
  3. You were quoted in the press release as saying that Kendi’s guidance will help society replace injustice and inequality with love. What do you mean by love?

One example of Kendi’s rejection of “Savior theology” is displayed here:

The Star looked back at other archived versions of the webpage to see if there had been other significant changes to it in the past. None existed. The page stayed the same since an archive was first made available for the page last September. As of Wednesday or Thursday, Fleer’s remarks and the emphasis of Kendi as a guest speaker were erased.

Originally, Kendi was linked exclusively with the theme for this year’s conference, “Recovery of Hope.” The university also dedicated 6 leading paragraphs to Kendi’s role as a featured guest speaker.

“The June 9-11, 2021, conference, themed ‘Recovery of Hope,’ will feature one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices Ibram X. Kendi,” read the original page.(original emphasis included)

In comparison, the new webpage added detailed descriptions of the other guest speakers at length. It minimized mention of Kendi to one paragraph, and removed his name from association with the overall conference theme.

The CSC is a three-day conference in which over 500 Christian scholars convene for dialogue and collaboration, engaging in topics across a variety of disciplines – including, but not limited to, New Testament studies.

Lipscomb University’s Statement of Faith summarizes core teachings of the Bible: that forgiveness is granted to individuals who repent of their sins and believe the gospel, and that all followers are commissioned to make disciples.

As referenced above in our questions to Fleer, Kendi denounced those ideas as a part of a “Savior theology” that he finds inherently racist.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Ibram Kendi” by Ibram Kendi.






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15 Thoughts to “Lipscomb University’s Christian Scholars Conference to Host Ibram Kendi, ‘How to Be Antiracist’ Author, as Featured Speaker, Scrubs Website After Tennessee Star Inquiries”

  1. Nashville Deplorable

    I’m wondering if they’ll let Don Jr. speak? NOT

  2. william delzell

    Since when is being anti-racist anti-Christian? Just the opposite, a TRUE Christian does indeed believe in liberation theology, not the so-called “savior” theology which chooses the blame the victim instead of the perpetrator. If these conservatives were truly for victims’ rights, they would embrace liberation theology that seeks to fight against institutionalized bigotry against the poor and the non-whites and to push for a more humane egalitarian society. Yet, our so-called right-wing white so-called “victims’ rights” or “law ‘n’ order” advocates support the very savior theology that blames the victims that they claim to support. When “victims’ rights” advocates finally go after corporate criminals such as factories that dump toxic waste in low-income neighborhoods, corporations who force others to pay their taxes for them, etc.

    You conservatives need to get over your racial hangups about liberation theology.

    1. Mark Knofler

      That’s cute WillIam, but perpetual “victims” are the problem. When these “victims” do nothing to better themselves and are content in being I’ll educated outliers in society, it’s not our burden to continue to support and prop up said individuals. Liberation Theology is no more virtuous than the Democrat Klan Theology of 100 years ago.

    2. 83ragtop50

      William, I actually never had a “racial hangup” to overcome. I do have a “hangup” when it comes to spin.

      O’bama’s Rev Wright spewed liberation theology hate from the pulpit. Maybe you should listen to some of those sermons.

  3. 83ragtop50

    Just following in the footsteps of Belmont. It’s the thing to do these days. Who cares about Christians principles? Apparently no one in authority at Lipscomb.

  4. Nashville Stomper

    Don’t just get mad about this if you’re a member of the Churches of Christ. Make no mistake, this is your tax dollars at work. Long gone are the days when church affiliated universities owed their continued existence to the
    sacrificial giving of the members and congregations devoted to their once foundational beliefs. Today government backed students grants and loans allow them to replace eternal truth with the trendy liberalism that pervades modern university culture.

    Question for Lipscomb University (as per Mr. Kendi) – so you’re saying we no longer need a savior?

  5. Mark Knofler

    It not just Lipscomb. A lot of private “Christian” schools in Mid Tn are hiring “Diversity” Czars, Black Liberation Theology clowns just like this guy. And they spend most of their time indoctrinating the lower schools kids. Unless this poison is stopped now, America will be unrecognizable in 10 yrs.

  6. Wolf Woman

    In the video, Kendi speaks about “liberation theology” which is a Marxist construct. He seems to be a carrier of the “Christian” communist virus like Obama’s Rev. Wright.

    These men aren’t Christians, for Christian salvation from sin is a spiritual happening, engendered by a Power higher than this pitiful example of a material manifestation who sees the world in terms of skin color and its savior as society.

    What’s wrong with Lipscomb? A bad case of white guilt? A loss of faith in their savior Jesus Christ? A deep materialistic desire to join the NYT/NPR elite crowd? Lipscomb University – you are a lost lamb, having strayed from your shepherd, who is your true hope. I suggest you quit listening to academics and spend the Conference time in prayer and reading the Holy Bible.

    1. Mojo Gheywah

      This guy is the latest addition to the parade of now wealthy race hucksters- including al sharpton and Jesse jackson

  7. Dean from Knoxville

    Wow, all I can say is wow. How can a ‘Christian’ college invite someone who holds these heretical ideas to be a keynote speaker. I will be sure to steer any potential students away from this college.

  8. Dan Galbraith

    Well done, TS. Christian institutions like this need to know that we are watching them, and will hold them accountable. Particularly conservative ones like Lipscomb has historically been. We need to hold the line at some point!

  9. Joel

    Good on you for holding their feet to the fire on this. It’s impossible to believe that real Christians could follow Kendi’s obviously anti-Christian ideals.

  10. Truthy McTruthFace

    his personal theology has no place at this type of conference. christians should not attend nor support this.

  11. rick

    What embarrassing BS, Lipscomb University is circling the drain. This speaker is a racist joke himself. I cannot believe tha school is allowing this to happen. Lipscomb was once a respected University no more, not after this, just another liberal indoctrination training center!

    1. mikey whipwreck

      belmont went down the drain, lipscomb is circling it.


      no more money for liberal indoctrination