Why the Gospel is Necessary for Racial Reconciliation

Richard J. Mouw in The Kings Come Marching In writes:

“…an appeal to the fact of God’s creation of the human race is, in itself, inadequate to establish a basis for racial justice. The perpetuators of injustice can argue that God did indeed create all people out of ‘one blood.’ But, they can go on to argue, sin has altered the original situation. In response to human rebellion, God has decided to keep people within their own ethnic and racial groups [speaking of Babel in Genesis 11]…. The only effective way of countering this kind of theology, it seems to me, is to point to the work of the Cross….We cannot ignore the Babel account or the provisional divisions of the race that God introduced in response to the pretensions of the tower builders. But through Calvary and Pentecost God has begun to ‘lift the veil.’ In Jesus Christ the barriers of race and clan and tribe and tongue are being abolished. Redemption restores the work of creation, and in doing so it also repairs the damage done by sin.”

[HT: Danny Slavich]

Books My Black Friends Wish Every White Person Would Read

I’ll be leading a breakout on Transracial Adoption at the Together for Adoption Conference. In preparation I went back to a list of books I started compiling last year. I had asked a few of my black friends what books they would want every white person to read if they could. Here’s the list:

“Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America” by John McWhorter
“Divided by Faith” by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
“Gracism” by David Anderson
“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison
“What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Philip Yancey
“Black and Free” by Tom Skinner
“Let Justice Roll Down” by John Perkins
“Autobiography of  Martin Luther King, Jr” by by Martin Luther King Jr.
“Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Malcolm X
“The Color of Water” by James McBride

My Four Year Olds Experience with Racism

On Saturday night I took my 4 year old daughter to swim at our neighborhood pool. As we were walking towards the place where we put our towels she befriended two other girls who looked her age. Their response was shocking. They told her “We don’t play with dark-skins, we only play with light skins.” I was just far enough away that I wasn’t sure if that was what I just heard. The little girls ran off and I ran to my daughter and asked her what they said. She confirmed it and told my wife and I later that she said to them, “that is not nice!” To which they replied “We can still say that.”

I was shocked. All I wanted in that moment was to comfort my daughter and assure her that she is loved. That she is beautiful. That I want to be her friend! I talked to her about how God made us all different colors and how we don’t choose who we play with or not play with because of the color of our skin. She said again, “that is not nice!” Yes, and I have another word for it too!

Later that night, my wife was able to talk to her again about the experience and reiterate some of the same things. She was also able to ask her what God’s heart was toward them. She said ‘it makes Him sad’. My wife then asked her what God tells us to do to our enemies. She said “we love them”, and so they payed for the girls to be kind and to know Jesus.

After the whole ordeal I couldn’t help but wish that I would have looked for those girls and their parents and had a talk with them. I can’t help but wonder why they said that so quickly in response to my daughters kind “hello!” Would their parents be shocked if they knew that their daughters said that? Would they or do they say the same things in their own adult ways? What is in store for those little girls if someone doesn’t change their heart towards those who don’t look like them?

I love the way my wife said it in response, “The joy those kids (and families) are missing in knowing those different from them and ultimately knowing the heart of our heavenly Father! Have mercy on them, Lord!”