Racial Reconciliation

For [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.
– Ephesians 2:14

A People Reconciled

Scripture portrays our state outside of Christ in pretty bleak terms—marked by hatred of others (Titus 3:3), being dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), separated from God and others because of our sin, and without hope in the world (Eph 2:12). But, Scripture also points us to the solution—by grace we can be saved through faith in Jesus (Eph 2:4,8)! This salvation brings reconciliation to God and to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (Eph 2:13-22).

We are then brought in to the church, a diverse group of people brought together across countless dimensions of diversity—race, ethnicity, age, socio-economic standing, personality, political persuasion—and made one new people, united in Christ (Eph 2:19). This unity does not remove our distinctives, but puts them secondary to a new common identity as adopted sons and daughters of the King! The apostle Peter beautifully describes this new corporate identity:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

– 1 Peter 2:9-10

This new people is called to love one another (John 13:34), to be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50), to be reconciled to one another (Eph 2:16), and to live in harmony with one another (Rom 12:16). And so, we want to be a people who pursue this kind of love-saturated peace with one another.

Our racial reconciliation efforts at DCC are focused on pursuing conversations and action within a biblical worldview that honors everyone as God’s image-bearers—seeking to act in a Christlike posture, and motivated by love for one another. As we engage in topics of race in these ways, we hope to build up Jesus’ church and be a light to the watching world.

Join The Conversation

We have an open group for those at DCC who want to continue engaging in conversations on race and living out the biblical call toward racial reconciliation. We’ll use this group to post content, discuss topics of race, and share opportunities to take action together.

Join Racial Reconciliation Group

Conversation Norms

As a diverse people, we are coming from different perspectives, with different experiences, and likely different convictions about the various topics related to race and ethnicity. As such, we want to love one another amidst differences, knowing we’re united in Christ. In our classes and forums, we strive to use these conversation norms:

  • Seek to see each other, first and foremost, as brothers and sisters in Christ—beloved and adopted by God (1 John 3:1)
  • Apply the “one anothers” (welcome, greet, love, honor, wait for, care for, forgive, bear with, comfort, encourage) to each other as we speak and listen to each other (John 13:34; Rom 12:10, 15:7, 16:16; 1 Cor 11:33, 12:25; Col 3:13; 1 Thes 4:18, 5:11)
  • Listen with the goal to understand another’s perspective, not to debate: quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19-20)
  • Do not judge, but exercise gracious “plank-eye” correction if needed (Matt 7:1-5)
  • Expect and accept differences between our experiences and opinions, but know that Christ has brought us together (Romans 11, 14-15; 2 Cor 5:16-21)

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Previous Posts

On Topics of Race

 

On The Nature of the Local Church

 

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Related Content

Racial Forum: Why and How (01/24/21). In this excerpt from our Forum on Racial Reconciliation, Pastor Justin discusses the purpose for having forums and discussions around difficult topics and specifically about race. We, as Christians, are uniquely equipped by God to care for our neighbors and heal racial injustice because of the gospel, and we want to engage in these challenging and meaningful conversations by keeping a biblically grounded perspective, operating in a Christ-like character, and motivated by an earnest love and desire to build one another up.

Racial Forum: Elder Q&A (01/24/21). Following our Forum on Racial Reconciliation, Pastors Adam, David, and Justin answered questions from forum attendees that range from agreeing on definitions, to helpful topical book recommendations, to how can we engage with those outside the church on these topics, and more.

Sermons

How Fear Separates Us (01/24/21). We consider how fear separates us, especially when it comes to racial reconciliation.

God’s New Humanity (01/19/20). We consider the new humanity that God is forging, in Christ, and our role displaying it.

A Gospel Forged People in a Divided Age (01/20/19). We consider what it means to be a gospel-forged people in a politically divided age. The big question before us is simple, yet profound: as Jesus’ people, how do we not mirror the divisions in the world, but heal them?

The Racism-Crushing Gospel (01/14/18). We wade into the rough waters of racial trauma in our country and our response to it, as followers of Jesus. This topic is messy, controversial, and filled with sorrow—which is exactly why we need to discuss it.

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Resources

Countless books, articles, seminars, sermons, blogs, podcasts, and media have been produced addressing topics of race, racial injustice, and racial reconciliation. Below is a very short list of some recommended resources to help you enter into the conversation with a biblical perspective—understanding racism as sin and recognizing the power of the gospel to bring together people from every nation, from all tribes, peoples, and languages.

We’ll be updating this list periodically, so we encourage you to bookmark the page. For more content and an opportunity to contribute to the conversation, join the Racial Reconciliation group linked above.

Books

Divided by Faith. Written by two Christian sociologists, this book explores the history and recent data to articulate why we still find ourselves largely in segregated churches, even 50 years after legal desegregation. We recommend this book as a place to start for folks who are interested in understanding recent history and relevance on the current conversations in the church and wider culture on topics of race.

United by Faith. Written by four Christians working in multi-cultural churches, this book proposes that multiracial (and multicultural) churches are an essential element in racial reconciliation. They present the biblical imperative for diversity within the local church, as well as some of the challenges such diversity presents. We’d recommend this book as a starting place for those asking what the church can do to help address racial issues.

Beyond Racial Gridlock. Written by Dr. George Yancey, a Christian scholar who focuses on topics of race, this book is a Christian analysis of the prevalent racial worldviews in the modern United States, with an appeal for a Christian approach called “mutual accountability.” We recommend this book for those who want to better understand how different people approach the topics of race, inside and outside of the church, and how we can approach conversations with a biblically grounded worldview.

Helpful Articles on Specific Topics

Neil Shenvi’s Anti-Racism Glossary. Neil Shenvi has done some great work in evaluating the current cultural language around topics of race through a biblical lens, which he’s put into a helpful glossary format. Beyond this, he’s also posted many book reviews and presentations on various aspects of the current cultural dialogue.

White Privilege. This episode from Coram Deo Church’s Wednesday Conversation Podcast is a very helpful, biblically grounded, discussion of the concept of white privilege. It’s worth listening to especially if you are unfamiliar with the concept, and even more so if the concept elicits strong emotions (in either direction).

Structural Racism. John Piper writes briefly and clearly on how sin can impact structures and systems, as well personal actions, within the biblical worldview. This is another very helpful resource if you are unfamiliar with the concept, and even more so if the concept elicits strong emotions (in either direction).

Identity Politics and the Death of Christian Unity (video). Jonathan Leeman evaluates “identity politics” from a Christian worldview, discussing the helpful and unhelpful aspects of this current political position. This is helpful in understanding much of the current cultural dialogue, and the concepts of intersectionality, truth claims from experience, and the oppressed-oppressor binary.

Repentance. This article by Sam Storms clearly outlines the biblical nature of repentance and how we are to deal with our sin, and the sin of others (including, but not limited to, the sins of racism and ethnic partially). This is an especially helpful resource if you’re trying to understand the debate around personal and corporate repentance.

Understanding Historical Figures. This podcast by Jude 3, featuring Drs. Vince Bantu & Vincent Bacote, discusses how to engage with historical figures, especially those of our faith, without resorting to cancel culture. This is an excellent, humble, and practical perspective in understanding historical figures with honesty.

White Fragility Book Reviews (George Yancey’s review | Tim Challies’ Review: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Since its release in 2018, Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility has been extremely influential in shaping the dialogue around racism. She writes from a paradigmatic secular opinion, which is often in conflict with the Christian worldview. These reviews engage the book with a biblical lens.

Podcasts

As in Heaven. Season 2 of this podcast by the Gospel Coalition is focused on race and is a great resource to learn more and engage with the history, diversity of experience, and current cultural conversations around race from a range of biblically grounded perspectives.

United? We Pray. Pastor Isaac Adams and his team work through topics related to race with biblically grounded thought and clarity, and a hopeful and prayerful posture. This is a great resource for folks wanting to engage the topics of race thoughtfully and prayerfully.

Jude 3 Project. This podcast aims at engaging the conversations of race biblically and distinctively from African scholarship. This is a rich, thought-provoking, gospel-minded podcast worth listening to for those within and without the black Christian community.

Other Resource Lists

Acts 29. DCC is part of the Act 29 network, which is a diverse, global family of church-planting churches.

The Gospel Coalition. Offers a number of articles on topics of race and unity.

Desiring God. Offers a number of articles on topics of race and ethnic harmony.

9Marks. Specifically geared towards helping churches stay and grow in health, 9Marks offers a number of articles for church leaders and members on topics of race in the church.

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