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Adult Forum - Dr. Arthur Sutherland, "When Should You Be Impatient?: King's Ethic of Waiting"

Dr. Arthur M. Sutherland is an Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and Dean of the Class of 2020. He has advanced degrees from Yale University Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. He did research in Germany and Switzerland for his doctoral dissertation on Karl Barth’s early preaching.  His current research interest include the spirituality of generosity, and the significance of patience as a Christian practice. In King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” he writes, For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied.” There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. In our discussion today, we will examine King’s life to see why he argued that impatience was a natural outgrowth of his Christian commitments to justice.  After setting his words in context, we will look at parallels in our own time and seek to find ways his ethic of impatience is still applicable today.