I like to read. Actually that is a little of an understatement but I will let it stand. That is a confession that I need to make because it puts me squarely in the realm of “nerd” or some such social category. I am okay with that label as long as it does not result in me getting a swirly or wedgie – the product of high school inventiveness (and who said education was failing in America?). Books are my classrooms and authors are my teachers. Of course books and authors can also be other things depending on the genre of literature but since I generally read books of theology (with some science, history and other such subjects mixed in almost at random) those two categories hold.
I just finished one book that led me into a classroom that I had never before been in (though the teacher is one I have had often). It was a book dealing with racism and the gospel, specifically how the gospel rightly understood and applied makes the destruction of racism (in ourselves and churches) a possibility – if not always a complete reality. The book is Bloodlines and the author is John Piper.
This book has helped sharpen my thinking on this matter considerably by revealing how the gospel that God sent his Son Jesus into the world to redeem a lost humanity by dying in their place so that they might be justified by the righteousness of Christ through faith results in the breaking up of racial pride and begins the process of rejoicing in the ethnic diversity which we will see in the New Heavens and the New Earth. I already knew racism was wrong but what Piper does is show how it contradicts the very heart of what Christianity is all about. Even more Piper makes the most persuasive case I am aware of for our need to rejoice, and not denigrate or shy away from, interracial marriage. With two nieces who are African-American and who attend a predominantly white church I was glad to read this and will one day pass it on to them. I can’t thank Piper enough for writing this book. I can’t thank the God and Father of Piper enough who has given John Piper this vision and clarity of thought. May we see the end of racism and strive for the joy of ethnic diversity in our churches for the glory of God and the joy of all peoples.
Watch this video then buy the book (or you can just buy the book – I found it cheapest here).