#trending: race

“… persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”    – Revelation 5:9b

As we come to the final message in our #trending series, pastor Charles Yu helps us understand that, if we don’t talk about race in the church and understand it from a biblical perspective, we let the secular culture decide for us how to think about race.

Even though the topics addressed during this series can make us feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, we want to encourage your continued engagement on these “trending” topics on our Next Steps blog. To help with that, here are additional resources and opportunities for engagement and reflection:

Further Engagement:

Books on God’s vision of a multicultural church:

Books about race and the church


United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation As an Answer to the Problem of Race by DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey, & Kim

Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

To watch or listen:

Here are two talks we highly recommend from our November 2016 Ethnicity and Faith event here at Blackhawk. The speaker is Peter Cha, PhD, Professor of Church, Culture and Society at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Plenary 1: Ethnic Identity and Discipleship

Message: “Plenary 1: Ethnic Identity & Discipleship” from Peter T. Cha, PhD

Plenary 2: Multiethnic Vision for the Kingdom of God

Message: “Plenary 2: Multiethnic Vision for the Kingdom of God” from Peter T. Cha, PhD

Also from our Ethnicity and Faith event, we recommend listening to the audio from two workshop sessions: Being White in a Multiethnic World and Navigating Diversity. All the audio can be found here.

As Charles reminds us, it’s clear in Scripture that a multicultural church is God’s vision (not merely our vision). In light of this, however, each of us will no doubt have different “next steps” God is calling us to as we grow as Christ-followers. Here are some resources for deeper reflection:

#trending- race

On the history and current reality of race and the church, we recommend:

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith

Charles mentioned this book for those of us who are of the white/majority culture— a helpful, biblically grounded practical guide for personal growth and understanding:

Being White by Paula Harris and Doug Schaupp

None of us will ever outgrow the need to keep growing in cultural competency. Here is a helpful, well-researched guide from a former Global Leadership Summit speaker:

The Culture Map by Erin Meyer

For some, you might be called to dive deeper to better understand the current reality of how the race dialogue is unfolding and trending. Charles recommends these books on the current “new paradigm” in our culture:

Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic

Racism without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

You also might want to check out the “implicit bias” self-assessment tool at Project Implicit, Harvard University.

kingdom justice summitWe want to encourage you to consider attending the Kingdom Justice Summit—a great opportunity for Christ-followers to hear from people of various ethnicities and learn about their experiences here in Dane County.

As we come to the end of our #trending series, may we continue to be people who turn to the Bible for our understanding and grounding. With the topics we’ve covered—as with any issue facing us—may we grow to be a community where we continually learn, grow and exhibit the love and respect that should characterize followers of Christ.

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About the Author: Craig Gartland
Craig is Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk and oversees Adult Ministries. He completed his Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and spent over two decades of his career in campus ministry. He is married to Sharon and they have four children. His passions include cycling, listening to jazz music, photography, and the writings of C.S. Lewis.