Race and Grace in a Broken World

UPDATE 12/4/2014: Last night was our first Chi Alpha gathering since the Ferguson non-indictment — the same day as the NYC non-indictment. As a prelude to the sermon, I gave a more comprehensive take on race and the gospel. If you’re interested, check out the first few minutes of xastanford.org/sermons?sermon_id=52

I emailed this to the students in my ministry earlier today and they seemed to find it helpful. I share it in the hope that it will also prove useful to you.

I know many of us are reflecting on racism and justice this week. As a follower of Jesus, I encourage you to remember that the journey Christians are on is a journey alongside “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language.”

Why should we remember that fact? Because it reminds us that racial unity is one of the outcomes of the gospel. Christ brings people together by drawing them to Himself.

So I urge you to think in a Christian way about these issues. Here are some resources to stimulate you.


If you are wondering where the church has been in the midst of all of this, the answer is front and center. I mention this because it is frequently overlooked:

Thabiti Anyabwile has some useful things to say in this eight minute video. He is speaking before the grand jury’s decision was revealed. If you want to read more of him, he blogs at http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/.

White Christians in particular will find Ed Stetzer’s thoughts helpful —  http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/november/decision-in-ferguson-how-should-evangelicals-respond.html


If you have more time this Thanksgiving break and want to go beyond reading an article or two, pick one of these books and dive in:

  • Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian (John Piper) [like many (all?) of Piper’s books it is free on his website as a PDF — http://www.desiringgod.org/books/bloodlines )
  • From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race (J. Daniel Hays)
  • Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America (Emerson and Smith) [this book is quite critical of the church — it is painful but helpful reading]

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving, and may the Lord continue to heal this broken world.


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