Race Matters

Comments (21)
  1. 12 bet login says:

    If you wish for to take much from this paragraph then you have to apply these methods to your won blog.

  2. Mark says:

    Dr. Williams,

    Thanks for your insightful post. I have a question that might be too broad for a comment board like this. What is it about evangelicalism that makes it particularly difficult for white evangelicals to respect black and brown intellectuals? When I look at non-evangelical mainline or liberal/post-liberal Protestant seminaries, I see plenty of minority professors in leadership positions, but few to none in evangelical seminaries. Is there something about evangelicalism or its history that contributes to this disparity? What are we missing within evangelicalism that mainline seminaries have been able to see with more clarity?

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    1. bbnks says:

      I know your question was directed to Dr. Williams but I thought that the following links might be helpful:

      This posting from Dr. Anthony Bradley, while I don’t agree with all the statements in the posting notes the new initiatives by the SBC and the PCA concerning repentance from past racism/ethnic discrimination and furthering racial/ethnic reconciliation and the work that mainline Protestant historians and theologians did on the issue of race to bring it to the forefront:

      The excellent in progress series by Otis Pickett concerning race and the American church:

  3. Phillip says:

    Dr. Williams,
    May we all, Black and White, agree that we are one in Christ, Jew and Gentile.
    May our Lord be glorified.

  4. Brinn says:

    The subject of race in the American Evangelical Church is as important as standing up for God’s view of marriage. We need to address the issues surrounding the interaction of believers of different races and ethnic groups. Because of our nation’s past and our church’s past, make the white and black race issues deeper and more important to address. The present atmosphere between the “white” and “black” church is thick with mistrust. I pray we will focus on this problem together.

  5. John says:

    Sadly, I think this author has bought into the world’s lie that race is a fundamental part of one’s identity. The world find race, fatness, sex, intelligence, etc. incredibly important because it finds it’s value in those things. Once we are in Christ we know that all value is found in the image of God within us and the salvation offered by Christ.

    When the author says: “White and black evangelicals must stop insisting the color-blind theory is true. When white evangelicals deny they see my brown skin, they deny part of my identity that was created into the image of God. Racial progress will not happen by denying the obvious. We must acknowledge our differences and pursue love in the gospel in spite of them.”

    Of course they don’t deny physically seeing it. What they are doing is denying that it has any value one way or the other. Your difference of skin color is literally irrelevant. It holds no value and changes nothing about you that matters. In the same way that the church shouldn’t find value is how wealthy a person is the church shouldn’t find value in the color of a person’s skin.

    1. Tyshan says:

      I couldnt disagree more because skin color is typically linked to a culture and you miss out on a portion of God’s character anytime to neglect to know someone’s culture. That stuff does matter we are one in Christ but every culture brings something different to the table.

      1. John says:

        Trust me, I absolutely adore learning about cultures, but I don’t think that recognizing skin color as important matters when it comes to it. For example, I can learn about the great parts of Russian culture even though both the Russian and I are white. In the same way I can learn about African culture without making the blackness of the African person’s skin color important.

        I wouldn’t conflate skin color and culture. One is ideas, which is always valuable to learn, and one is physical appearance, which is irrelevant to God.

    2. LAK says:

      I agree Christ is above skin color and culture.

    3. kara says:

      Whether or not skin color ‘should’ matter, our experiences are shaped by other people’s reaction to our skin color, which this article explains in detail. Those of us who are white have never had to deal with the incidents listed above. Race has obviously mattered in the author’s life. To deny that and claim it ‘shouldn’t matter’ is denying his experience is real.

      We all are part of cultures, and our skin color may indicate which of the many American cultures we are part of. These are not monolithic or static but dynamic and diverse. God values culture, as He proclaims we will worship Him in our diversity in Revelation. If we are unaware of our own culture, we are blind to how it influences our understanding of Scripture. Studying the Word with believers from other cultures is one of the most powerful tools for illuminating our cultural blind spots. As a long-term, cross-cultural missionary, I can say that the hardest cultures to cross are those with a long history of opressive interaction. Often, the foreign missionaries value the ‘minority’ cultures far more than the majority people group does. And it’s terribly ironic that we who can see the injustice overseas are often blind to it in our own country.

      1. John says:

        You’re right that skin color matters to a lot of people, but like I said, I don’t think that comes from the world, not God. The world cares about wealth, looks, etc., but Christ came and broke down those barriers.

        In Galatians chapter 3 Paul says, “26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

        Remember that Jews and Gentiles had their own share of racial tension, but Paul didn’t tell them to recognize each other past oppression and value it. He told them to unite into a single body of Christ. When we join in the church we tear down those physical differences like skin color.

    4. Eric says:

      John, I’m not sure where you see the author confusing race with ultimate identity, rather than finding it in Christ. If I had to sum up his point I think it would be: Conversations about race and racism are helpful, because it still exists. And he gives his own story as a testament to that.
      Then he gives helpful suggestions and perspectives to consider so that we can avoid some of the stereotyping and racist pitfalls that the church has struggled with the last few decades.
      Racism is sin. So the church should talk about it and address it, especially if it has a prevalent place in our history. I think avoiding those discussions in the name of “not wanting to confuse race and identity” is dangerously close to a kind of tolerance for the sin.

      1. John says:

        I think it’s clear that the author finds a key part of her identity in skin color based on point 7. She finds fault with her fellow Christians for not acknowledging her skin color as important, even going so far as to say that her skin color was made in the image of God, and is therefore sacred in some way. I’m not a reformed theologian, but from what I’ve heard and read the agreed upon idea of being made in God’s image is one of mind, not body. God is spirit. He is not a man with skin color.

        I agree that we need to recognize sin, especially sin within the church. The Bible is clear that we are supposed to expel the wicked man from among us, but I don’t think racial sin is meaningfully different from any other type of sin. We don’t prop up homosexuality as being a sacred part of God’s image when they are bullied to the point of suicide, even when the person is a Christian who loves God and is living a life away from their homosexuality.

        I really think this comes down to the appropriate response to the world attacking some trait of ours. Many on the liberal side of the spectrum, this author included, seem to face persecution about their skin color by finding pride in it. We can see this same thing with people of different body shapes in the modern day. The whole body acceptance, “everyone is beautiful,” type groups. They are fighting sin with pride in themselves. I don’t think that’s the Biblical response. Instead, we should find our value in Christ. What evil people say about our skin color doesn’t matter because we know that in Christ we are loved, and find our true value.

      2. Charles Woods says:

        John, I not sure we read the same article, any who I strongly recommend you download the Pass the Mic podcast featuring Tony Evans on this website.
        Grace and Peace.

      3. John says:

        I listened to the entirety of that podcast, and I really liked a lot of what Evans had to say, but I really couldn’t get a full understanding of his black/white relations beliefs because of the shortness of the answers. For example, when he says that white churches don’t care about justice… what does he mean by that? Is he talking about governmental policies like affirmative action? Is he talking about being against police brutality? I’m just not sure, and depending on the answer will change my response.

      4. Charles Woods says:

        John, I’m starting to think your just seeing and hearing what you want to see. For example no where did Dr. Tony Evans say “The white church don’t care about justice” unless we listened to different podcasts. You miss represented his points into a false narrative, similar to this article. Question what is your response to his recjection of color blindness just like this article? Like a rainbow, part of the beauty is the differences in colors United in the same arch, which is God’s design. The color blind view miss that aspect of the gospel, even though it’s plain as day in Revelation chapter 7 and Ephesians chapter 2. Oneness in Christ don’t mean sameness or we pretend differences don’t exist, it means we have the same commitment to our Lord and our commitment to him far outweigh our differences between one another. Also we USE our differences (cultural,ethnicity,nationality,languages etc…) In our service to Him. Anywho, I recommend reading ” Dr. E.K. Bailey preaching in Black and White what we can learn from each other” don’t have to agree with everything of course, but it’s great start.

  6. Ben says:

    Re: #3. Do you have some reading recommendations?

    1. Charles Woods says:

      “Dr. E.K. Bailey preaching in black and white what we can learn from each other.”
      Is a good start. D.R. E.K. Bailey founded the Expository preacher conference in Dallas to train African Americans in expository preaching.

      1. Charles Woods says:

        Also anything by H.B. Charles Jr. Or Tony Evans.

  7. says:

    Many white evangelicals have used hat same bible justify slavery and its evil Masters. See how many times the new testament talks about a slave’s submission to his master and being beaten with MANY strokes
    Luke 12:47

  8. vmcd says:

    Great article… very good read. I am a white Reformed Southern Baptist. I grew up in an upper middle class environment in rural Colorado, in a town of 50,000 people where 99.99999% of them were white. There was one black kid at my high school of 1200 kids, and I still remember his name. I do not pretend to know what it is like to go without, or to grow up without a father, or to grow up in a racist environment. I will never know what it is like to be a person of color, or more specifically a black man living in America. My experience with people of other races came from serving 13 years in the Navy… my first roommate at my first duty station was a black guy from Trenton, NJ… so that was culture shock for me to say the least!

    Having said all of that, when race is viewed through the lens of the word of God, as it should be along with everything else, I read Romans 5 and see that there are two types of people in the world… those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ. These two groups are inconsiderate of what race a person is, because sin effects every race, and the finished work of Jesus Christ erases sin from every race, through faith. I think that racism is a problem of a sinful and wicked world… at least it should be. It is certainly an important topic within the Church, but I think that the Church tends to bring the problems created by those who are in Adam into the place where those who are in Christ congregate and fellowship together. I think that if someone who claims Christ still has racist tendencies then that person needs to check their faith, because there will come a day where they will worship around the throne of God together, with people of all nations, tribes, and tongues (Rev 7:9) The diversity of race among God’s image bearers speaks to the magnificent power and beauty of our Creator, and racial diversity should be celebrated among those who are in Christ. It should be celebrated by those who are not in Christ as well, but the wicked heart often times prevents that, and the gospel is the only cure for the wicked hearts of men. The gospel is the ultimate solution to racism… because the blood of Jesus Christ unites people in the same cause, and for the same reason… to worship a loving, merciful Savior. Again, this article was great, and it provides a very important perspective for anyone, of all races, who claims the name of Christ.

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