Multiply Justice

Archive for the category “Racial reconciliation”

Review: ‘White Awake’ by Daniel White

White Awake: An honest look at what it means to be white
Daniel Hill (Intervarsity Press, September 2017)

I’ll admit to a certain degree of resistance to this book. One can reasonably be weary of self-righteous pronouncements about “white privilege” from quarters of our society where people don’t seem to understand the difference between justice and revenge. It makes sense to discount critiques from people whose ideology is based on a faulty worldview.

At the same time, you can’t ignore the reluctance of many “whites” to acknowledge – much less discuss – the systemic aspects of injustice in this country. It’s hard to take seriously complaints about “reverse racism” from people who are ignorant of the atrocities that created today’s circumstances of poverty and inequality. People who aren’t struggling every day with poverty and injustice let themselves off the hook too easily when the question “What should I do?” arises.

Both “white folks” and “people of color” can benefit from this book. Daniel Hill takes a stand between the strident voices complaining about “white guilt” and the complacent yawns or (worse) angry condemnations of those who think they bear no personal responsibility for either past atrocities or current injustices.

The heart of the book for me is when Hill quotes Mark Charles quoting Georges Erasmus: “Where common memory is lacking, where people do not share in the same past, there can be no real community. Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created.” Once you get past the book’s opening personal testimony and the necessary lecture about cultural identity, Hill journeys through an insightful and helpful discussion about cross-cultural friendship, denial of injustice, the disorientation that comes with awakening, dealing with shame, the problem of self-righteousness in regard to “bad” people, seven markers of racial awakening, and practical suggestions for changing the status quo.

The cause of Kingdom justice is being harmed by both strident voices and complacent yawns. But we don’t have to buy into someone else’s ideology or political agenda to acknowledge that the status quo in our communities doesn’t begin to approach God’s Kingdom design. We ignore at our own peril the fact that God requires his people to open their ears to the cries of the poor and oppressed, love compassion, and do justice. Let Daniel Hill talk with you about serious issues with which we need to come to terms.

* I apologize for the quotation marks. So much of the conversation on the subject deals in stereotypes that oversimplify the complexities of these issues.

We must pursue racial healing and justice

What is it you don’t understand?

I don’t expect much of lost souls. We should not be surprised by animosity, violence, and corruption. But believers in Christ are brothers and sisters, regardless of superficial differences. We have no excuse for racial distinctions between us. We are not allowed to go our separate ways; God has assigned us to work together in his mission of reconciliation. We are obligated to pursue healing between us and must seek justice in our society.

Why pursue racial integration in our churches?

black-white-handsJ.D Greear has posted at Between The Times the first installment of a multi-part series on racial integration in the church:

With this series, I would like to take as my starting point the assumption that racism is absolutely foolish, that we are ashamed of any racism in our past, that we repudiate every form of racism wherever we find it. There is only one race: the human race. There is one common problem: sin. And for all of us, there is one common solution: the blood of Jesus.

Some might say, perhaps, that I should not assume that as a starting point. And sadly, a case could be made that many Christians are not fully there yet. Still, I think we need to move the discussion beyond shame over our past and toward integration in our future

Many of us have not given the amount of thought that we should to the biblical basis for racial reconciliation. But this is precisely where the discussion should begin. One of the primary plotlines of the Bible is bringing glory to God by bringing back together various races in one common salvation. The redemption that Jesus purchased for us was not merely an individual salvation; it was also an interpersonal, intercultural, interracial reconciliation.

From Genesis 12 to Revelation 7, God brings back together what sin has driven apart. The Pentecost event of Acts 2 is intentionally multicultural. Mark recounts Jesus’ vision of the church as distinctly multicultural: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:18). Paul calls the racial integration of the church evidence of the “manifest wisdom of God” (Eph 3:10).

In Acts 13:1–2, Luke takes special care to point out that the leadership of the Antioch church was multi-cultural. …

Read the rest of this post by clicking here.

Have you read J.D. Greear’s most recent book, Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart?

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