Josh McDowell steps back from ministry after controversial race comments

Josh McDowell said his comments were "wrong".Photo: The Christian Post

Josh McDowell has announced he will be stepping back from ministry after sparking a backlash with his comments on race. 

It comes days after he made controversial comments in an address to the American Association of Christian Counselors on Saturday.

In another statement on Twitter, on Wednesday, McDowell said his comments at the meeting were "wrong". 

In his speech, the apologist had suggested that ethnic minorities' experience of inequality was because of family attitudes towards education and work. 

"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, security — you can do anything you want. 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," he said. 

McDowell, who is a ministry partner of Cru - formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ - has now announced that he will be pausing his ministry to embark on a "season of listening" and "growth".

"At a recent conference, I made comments about race, the black family, and minorities that were wrong and hurt many people. It breaks my heart to know what deep pain I have caused," he said.

"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.

"During this time of meeting with others and learning, I hope to personally grow better and understand how I can help contribute to the reconciliation and unity that God desires for us all."