Though America has much to celebrate regarding the victories of the Civil Rights movement, events in recent years have not only exposed the vast remaining atrocities of racism, but also served to redraw lines of segregation and further entrench American citizens in fear and hatred.
Culturally, we traffic in unexamined raw emotion and rage. To quote cultural commentator Killer Mike, “America is an outrage machine.” It is precisely into the heart of this economy of outrage that Jesus declares He will create a new people — one unified man — who are characterized by love.
That God has purposed from before the foundation of time to redeem all humanity to himself and to one another is a mystery. The Apostle Paul explains that this plan of God (the gospel) is not a mystery in the sense that it is impossible to figure out. Rather, it is a mystery in the sense that it was previously unknown and has been revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
What do a people shaped by this mystery look like? That is, what does a people forgiven from their sins, reconciled to God and to one another, and being redeemed look like?
What does it look like for us as Christians and citizens of God’s heavenly kingdom to inhabit this moment in American history? How can we pursue and live in the society Jesus prayed for us to experience in John 17? It seems that Christians in both minority and majority cultures are teetering on the brink of despair — giving in to pervasive exhaustion and abandoning the right heavenly project of reconciliation and unity.
- BOOK: W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
- ARTICLE: Trevin Wax, “White Brothers and Sisters Take Up and Read” (Gospel Coalition Blog)
- BOOK: Brenda Salter McNeil, Roadmap to Reconciliation
- BOOK: Alvin Sanders, Bridging the Diversity Gap
- Inside Evangelicalism: On Being Black and Tired … Yet Hopeful (CT: The Exchange)
- ARTICLE: What You Might Be Missing in the Kneeling Debate (Athletes in Action Blog)
- ARTICLE: The Helpful History of Minority Demonstrations
- SERMON: “Being White in America” Ben Parkinson, Fellowship Bible Church Memphis
- BOOK: J. Daniel Hays,From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race
- FREE BOOK: John Piper, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian
- BOOK: J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account
- BOOK: Russel Moore, The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation
- BOOK: Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends Are Black
Each week we will have a round table discussion to expand on our conversation from Sunday's sermon. Listen here
- Can you recall the first instance where you experienced race as a dividing factor? Was it within your neighborhood, school, work, friendships, or church? How have you made sense of this?
- In recent years we've come face to face with both overt acts of hatred and racism, as well as deep wounds that have long been left unacknowledged or ignored. How are recent events affecting the way you walk into this conversation? Are you fearful, nervous, indifferent, eager, confused, exhausted, or despairing?
- Read Eph. 2:11-22. This is written to a local church with truths for everyday life. How easy or difficult do you think it was for them to live out this oneness together?
- What aspects of church life do you consider to be sacred yet are not based in Scripture but instead are a result of your cultural heritage?
- God’s secret plan was to create one new people who is characterized by love. How can we explore and display the riches of Christ? (3:7-10)
- How does racial reconciliation relate to the gospel and our mission as Redeemer Fellowship?
- What does it mean to approach God with confidence and assurance? (3:11-12) How does this change the way we lament and pray for reconciliation?
- The ‘wisdom of God’, poses a decisive threat to the rule of evil in the world. In what specific ways can we, as God’s people challenge the power of evil today? What are some of the costs for our church? What are the costs of not pursuing this?
- What challenges do you see yourself facing? Where are you tempted toward passivity or radical activism? What could a faithful pursuit of reconciliation look like in your life?
To listen to the sermon, click here