Midweek Update | July 2, 2020
Resources On Race and Ethnic Harmony
As we continue our sermon series Gospel Freedom and the Fruit of the Spirit, we are seeing just how urgent this is in our time of racial tension and unrest as a nation. One way to love our neighbors well is to think biblically and act faithfully regarding topics like race and justice. I encourage you to recognize this as an opportunity to live as faithful witnesses in our culture.
One of the key aspects of what it means to be a disciple is to learn together. Disciples are learners, leaders are readers, and growth happens best in community. So, as I often encourage you to read biblically saturated books together with others, I encourage you to do the same with the topic of ethnic harmony. Many conversations in our nation are marked by misunderstanding, unnuanced thinking, and polarization. Let’s seek to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit as we learn and talk with others—perhaps especially with those we disagree with. So, I encourage you to pick up one of the following resources and invite a fellow ZF member, neighbor or friend to read and discuss it with you.
If you need a place to start, I commend John Perkins, One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love. Perkins was a Christian leader in the civil rights movement and has devoted decades to showing the biblical path toward reconciliation. This book shows us that “there is no institution on earth more equipped or more capable of bringing transformation to the cause of reconciliation than the Church.” I also encourage you to subscribe to Al Mohler’s podcast, The Briefing, where he helps us analyze news and events from a Christian worldview.
Here are several other helpful resources.
Resources on Ethnic Harmony
- Kevin DeYoung (article), “Racial Reconciliation: What We (Mostly, Almost) All Agree On, and What We (Likely) Still Don’t Agree On.” One of the greatest needs in our conversations on race is to understand where different people agree and disagree. Kevin DeYoung wrote an excellent article to help us with this bigger-picture perspective to help our conversations.”
- Kevin DeYoung (article), “Our Present Moment: Why Is It So Hard?” DeYoung also helps us understand why the past several weeks have been particularly hard for us as a nation and as Christians as we seek to talk about race in America.
- Russell Moore and Andrew Walker (eds.), The Gospel & Racial Reconciliation. Various authors contribute to this short book answering key questions about racial reconciliation. They help us consider the topic in light of the Bible, the gospel, and practical implications for Christians and churches in our culture.
- John Piper, Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian (free download). John Piper helps us pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective. He shows how the gospel of Jesus Christ is our greatest source of hope for undermining racism and pursuing unity.
- Drew Hunter (sermon), “Healing Our Divisions Through Jesus (Eph 2:11-20).” Ephesians 2 shows us how the gospel can bring unity to social divisions based on religion, generation, gender, politics, class, and ethnicity.
Resources for Children
- Trillia Newbell, God’s Very Good Idea: A True Story of God’s Delightfully Different Family. A children's book that shows how God’s plan from the very beginning was to unite very different people together in Christ. He made everyone valuable in his image, and he is uniting very different people together as his family through Christ.
- Shai Linn, God Made Me and You: Celebrating God’s Design for Ethnic Diversity. Helps children and families understand God’s design for ethnic diversity and how we can celebrate it together.
The Fruitful Life by Jerry Bridges
Last Sunday during Drew's teaching, he mentioned a book written by Jerry Bridges, "The Fruitful Life".
We desire to live loving, joyful, anxiety-free lives. Yet, in reality we spend lots of time battling our old patterns of behavior! Jerry Bridges explores the nine aspects of the “fruit of the Spirit” described in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These qualities of character can truly mark our lives if we devote ourselves to a twofold pursuit: God-centeredness and God-likeness. Jerry shows us how to practice the fruit in daily life.