|Photo Credit: Micah_68|
In Bloodlines: Race, Cross and the Christian, tackles a topic head-on that few of his peers in conservative, evangelical circles are willing to address -- racism. Piper adeptly uses the Holy Scriptures to argue that not only is the Christian God opposed to the racism that has so tainted our land but that He cares deeply for people of all cultures. By courageously sharing his own journey on this road, Piper demonstrates that the gospel of Jesus can transform hearts in deep and undeniable ways.
While I am quite supportive of this book and would encourage you to read it, I do have one glaring concern with the potential for how it is being received within certain corners of evangelical and, more particularly, Reformed Christian circles...
On one hand, I am unbelievably encouraged that a white Christian leader of Piper's stature has chosen to write so explicitly about a topic that so many of us white American Christians would wish to simply go away. On the other hand, I am troubled that a number of people seem to be promoting this book as the first effort that a Christian has ever made to address Christianity, the Bible and racism.
Though Piper's work is theologically rich and plentifully backed up by Scripture, his is not the first to do so. There are a number of solid Christian leaders that have written on the same subject over the years but have essentially been ignored or dismissed by some of the same types of people that are champions of Piper's book because they don't subscribe to the same systems of theology or have a different cultural background.
I am excited about the potential that Bloodlines has to influence a generation of Christians that love John Piper but don't expose themselves to many writers of color or those outside of their narrowly defined theological bubbles. These individuals may be led to consider issues that they never have before and for that I am grateful. Racism has affected our lives as American and as individuals in ways that few other sins have.
Brave Christians need to be willing to look within our own hearts to recognize the sin that lurks within and be obedient to God to address this first in ourselves and then in the society around us. I agree with Piper that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the antidote to the disease of racism. It's just unfortunate that so many Christians feel like we're not infected.
To read Dr. Tim Keller's introduction to Bloodlines please click here.
For a moving video in which John Piper shares about his journey with racism please watch this video below.
Bloodlines Documentary with John Piper from Crossway on Vimeo.