Josh McDowell, a well-known Christian author and apologist, has stated that he would temporarily discontinue his ministry activities and speaking engagements as a result of his contentious comments regarding minority groups and academia.
McDowell, as previously reported, apologized for his remarks on systemic racism.
During his speech at the conference, he reportedly attacked critical race theory throughout his presentation. However, the portion of his speech where he is thought to have made broad generalizations about ethnic minorities' attitudes toward literacy is where he is getting the most criticism from the public.
"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," McDowell said during the weekend event.
"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."
McDowell made an apology shortly after his Saturday address, admitting that his remarks were a "generalized statement that does not reflect reality."
"I apologize and reiterate my Christian love for all races, nationalities and people groups," he said. "My desire is that we as Christians would deal with both racism and inequality as the sins that they are in order to restore the unity that God desires for all."
This week's outrage over his remarks at the American Association of Christian Counselors conference, however, prompted him to decide he needed to take a break from ministry, the Christian Post reported.
The 82-year-old made his announcement via his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.
"It has become clear to me, along with Cru leadership, that I need to step back from my ministry and speaking engagements to enter a season of listening and addressing the growth areas that I have become aware of through this," McDowell, who has written and co-written over 150 books, said.
"During this time of meeting with others and learning, I hope to personally grow and better understand how I can help contribute to the reconciliation and unity that God desires for us all," he added.
McDowell clarified that his ministry, Josh McDowell Ministry, would remain operational, but will be led by CEO Duane Zook on a daily basis.
Statement directly from Josh McDowell: pic.twitter.com/bLbU2eXoE3
— Josh McDowell (@josh_mcdowell) September 22, 2021
Professor Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College was one of the clergy who took offense at McDowell's words. He said Sunday in a blog post that McDowell "completely ignored the actual reasons for lack of equity in opportunity."
Noting that McDowell's AACC lecture had spent the first ten minutes attacking the notion of structural factors to equity, he questioned the premise by asking, "So Mr. McDowell, what is the reason for lack of equal opportunity?"
He also took aim at McDowell's Twitter apology message. He said that this is rather "hollow" in light of McDowell's "bombastic" critique of systemic racism.
White evangelicals, he said, have taken "the word of their talking heads" on CRT without questioning it, and he hopes this event will serve as a wake-up call for them.