In John 16:33, we read these words from Jesus to his disciples—“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Part of the tribulation or trouble Jesus was talking about stems from humanity seeking to find peace in everything but him. It’s easy to see this played out in the cultural moment we find ourselves living in with everybody shouting about what they think will unify a country as diverse as ours and bring about peace. The problem is, as long as the solution has nothing to do with Jesus, tribulation and trouble will continue and peace will never be achieved.
What we need is a supernatural act of God to bring us peace, first between man and God, and only then between each other—and thankfully, he’s provided just that in the person of Jesus Christ! Join us this fall during Bible Study Hour as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of “Unity and Diversity from God’s Perspective.”
Additionally, the elders have provided these helpful resources to guide us through some of the related issues of our day. We don’t expect agreement with every word in these resources, but we do hope that we’ll be like those in Berea, examining the Scriptures to see if the things we hear are so (Acts 17:11). May God bless our efforts so that we can better engage our world, love one another, and ultimately glorify him!
1. Dr. Voddie Baucham on:
Dr. Voddie Baucham brings a detailed message in which he explains what “social justice” means according to the definitions provided by adherents of the movement. He specifically unpacks these definitions, underlying concepts, and the accompanying [dangerous] implications. Dr. Baucham then provides a polemic from an orthodox Christian understanding of justice. This presentation was given on January 16, 2019 at the Sovereign Nations 'Social Justice & The Gospel' Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, preceding the G3 Conference. For more sessions, visit www.sovereignnations.com.
We don't have to achieve racial reconciliation, it exists. It is a reality that we must walk in, but it has already been accomplished in Christ. In this session, Dr. Voddie Baucham unpacks Ephesians 2:10-11 to show the sufficiency of Christ's death on the cross to bring us near in perfect reconciliation. In recent years, we have a growing concern about “social justice.” What is meant by that phrase, however, varies widely among those who use and promote it. What is too often missing—even in the calls for “social justice” coming from Christian leaders—is a clear understanding of biblical justice. Justice exists because God is just and righteous. He is the One who defines justice and He has revealed what true justice is in the Bible. For more resources on these topics, you can visit www.founders.org. This presentation was given by Dr. Voddie Baucham on January 5, 2019, at the Southeast Founders "Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly" regional conference in Cape Coral, Florida.
Monique Duson, founder of the Center for Biblical Unity joins Alisa Childers on her podcast to discuss racism, biblical justice, and some of the words and phrases we're seeing in our social media newsfeeds like "white fragility," "whiteness," and "social justice." Alisa asks many of the questions you may have during this frank and informative discussion. Monique has a “voice” worthy to be heard on the topics of CRT and racial unity, particularly within the church based on her bio listed below.
Chantal Monique Duson has a background in social service and children’s ministry. She has worked with a diverse array of under-served communities.
Monique worked as a Missionary to South Africa for over 4 years, serving children and teachers impacted by drugs, violence, and trauma.
Monique spent 2 decades advocating for Critical Race Theory (CRT), but through a series of events began to see the contradictions of CRT with the historic Christian worldview. She is now convinced that CRT is not the best way to achieve racial unity and actively speaks out against the use of CRT within the church. Monique's vision is to promote a vision for racial healing based on the historic Christian worldview.
Monique has a BA in Sociology from Biola University. She is working on a MA in Theology from Talbot School of Theology.
Critical theory views reality through the lens of power, you are either oppressed or oppressor. Critical theory would say a dominant group has imposed its values on a subordinate group. In critical theory the greatest sin is oppression and the greatest virtue is the pursuit of liberation. The authors give a good summary of the theory, discuss the big differences between the theory and Christianity, and give suggestions on how to speak to someone who believes in it.
4. Pastor Brian Evans' Facebook videos:
In these videos, Pastor Brian Evans leads us deep into the Scriptures to help us think biblically about racism and justice. He helpfully defines terms and sets us on solid ground in how to engage the world biblically and with the gospel in our time.
Pastor Evans was also with us on Sunday, September 27, and taught on "God's Sovereignty and Social Justice" during Bible study hour. A video recording of that class is available below.
5. Al Mohler's The Briefing [Transcripts Available]:
Through the lens of a biblical worldview, Dr. Mohler provides commentary on recent news and events surrounding the phrase black lives matter. His analysis is split into three segments:
Part I - A sentence or a movement? A look at Black Lives Matter
Part II - What is the worldview behind the Black Lives Matter Organization?
Part III - Black Lives and Black Lives Matter: Thinking Carefully and Prayerfully.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Structural/Systemic Racism
Through the lens of a biblical worldview, Dr. Mohler provides a three-part commentary into recent news and events that raise the following questions:
Part I - How should Christians understand structural sin and systemic racism?
Part II - What is Liberation Theology? The definition of sin is at stake.
Part III - What should the Christian response be to a systemic racism?
6. John Piper on Structural Racism
In the second paragraph, Piper states that "My strategy is to show that, if your mind is Bible-saturated, you would consider it absolutely astonishing if structural racism were not pervasive wherever sin is pervasive. In other words, Bible-shaped people should expect to see structural racism almost everywhere in a fallen world." He goes on to show racism is related to pride, greed, fear, and lust.
8. Tim Keller in Life in the Gospel (Redeemer Churches and Ministries' Quarterly Newsletter):
“Next to sex and gender, the subject of race is the most discussed topic in our culture today. Storms of rhetoric and conflict swirl around it every day in politics, the arts, business, the media, and especially social media. It is natural and right for Christians to speak in these conversations out of their personal experience, but since we believe that the Bible has the right to interpret our experience and to critique every culture, we must look to it as our final authority.”
“Biblically, sin is anything that falls short of God’s will and glory, that violates his law and his character (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:23). There are at least four ways in which what we will be calling racism is a violation of God’s glory and therefore is a sin. It is sin.”
“Which justice? There have never been stronger calls for justice than those we are hearing today. But seldom do those issuing the calls acknowledge that currently there are competing visions of justice, often at sharp variance, and that none of them have achieved anything like a cultural consensus, not even in a single country like the US. It is overconfident to assume that everyone will adopt your view of justice, rather than some other, merely because you say so.
Biblical justice. In the Bible Christians have an ancient, rich, strong, comprehensive, complex, and attractive understanding of justice. Biblical justice differed in significant ways from all secular alternatives, without ignoring the concerns of any of them. Yet Christians know little about biblical justice, despite its prominence in the Scriptures. This ignorance is having two effects. First, large swaths of the church still do not see ‘doing justice’ as part of their calling as individual believers. Second, many younger Christians, recognizing this failure of the church and wanting to rectify things, are taking up one or another of the secular approaches to justice, which introduces distortions into their practice and lives.”
9. Tim Keller's Generous Justice [book]
What does it mean to 'do justice' and how are we to seek it? Writing for both those who are excited to do justice and those who are suspicious, Tim Keller engages the pertinent Scriptures on this issue, showing how God graciously justifying sinners inevitably results in a desire to be just and to do justice. He helpfully grounds the biblical teaching that God cares deeply about justice in the gospel.
10. John Perkins' One Blood [book]
John Perkins believes that as the gospel unites us together in Christ, the church will be a place on earth of beautiful unity in diversity. He writes: “There is no institution on earth more equipped and capable of bringing transformation to cause of reconciliation than the Church.” Our unity in the gospel leads us to a practical unity across ethnic, economic, and social divides.
11. The Gospel Coalition's course on Pursuing Biblical Justice
Social justice is a trendy, hotly debated topic. Justice is a word that many people use, but very few define. Before we can think rightly about “social justice”, we must first understand biblical justice. This course is designed to help bring clarity to the biblical notion of justice, as well as it’s social manifestation.
12. Kevin DeYoung's series of blog posts, "Faith Seeking Understanding: Thinking Theologically about Racial Tensions" (Full PDF here)
Life Together in the Church (this is a helpful summary of the entire series)
"Over the coming weeks I hope to explore several theological issues related to our ongoing racial tensions. I fear that we are going about our business in the wrong order. We start with racial issues we don’t agree on and then try to sort out our theology accordingly, when we should start with our theology and then see how racial issues map onto the doctrines we hold in common. Good theology won’t clear up every issue, but we might be surprised to see some thorny issues look less complicated and more hopeful... In short, I want to explore how Christian anthropology, hamartiology, and ecclesiology might encourage, confirm, clarify, and correct our thinking."
In this impromptu, unscripted episode of Just Thinking recorded just five days after George Floyd’s death, hosts Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker criticize the response of some evangelicals to the death of George Floyd, challenging us to not accept the frameworks of such events that the world presents. The hosts argue that the only framework upon which Christians are to base their response is that of scripture, specifically that George Floyd, like every other human, is an image bearer of God. Accepting a racism- or social justice-based narrative, or any other narrative, subjects us to partiality, and an acceptance of “facts” that may not be true. Scripture passages referenced include Acts 17:26 and Genesis 4. Perhaps most interesting, the hosts criticize the statements made and positions publicized by evangelicals and evangelical organizations soon after the event, including that of the Southern Baptist Convention.