Resources on Racialization, Racial Reconciliation, and Systemic Sin

June 8, 2020  |  Seth Troutt

The resources below will help you lovingly apply biblical teaching to complex cultural realities. Everything below is imperfect, but will serve as a helpful starting point. However, there are limits to resources; they can never replace relationships.

For Adults and Teens:

  • Divided by Faith – This book articulates the history of racialization and white evangelicalism in a way that helps us make sense of a significant amount of our present tension-filled cultural moment.
  • Biblical Ethics and Social Change – This semi-scholarly book is the best thing written on the subject of public justice and the role that Christians are called into in taking up the cause of the oppressed.
  • Letter from a Birmingham Jail and The Other America – These two letters/articles from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are saddening because of how relevant they are.
  • Racism and Corporate Evil – This lecture from Dr. Tim Keller helps us understand “corporate evil” and “systemic sin” in light of various biblical texts.
  • Understanding and Overcoming the Inconsistencies in White Evangelicals on Racial Issues – This lecture from Matt Chandler explores how godly, prayerful, evangelistic, Bible-loving white Christians often struggle to embrace the Bible’s teaching related to racial justice.
  • Acton Line podcast: Anthony Bradley on George Floyd, police reform, and riots – Dr. Anthony Bradley presents a broad (perhaps too broad) analysis of the various agendas in play in the present protests and presents a thoughtful rubric for reforming our institutions and building our communities back up.
  • One New Man – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 – This three-part mini-series from our Lead Pastor, Luke Simmons, during our Ephesians series from two years ago outlines and applies some of what Paul has to say about ethnic reconciliation.

For Parents:

  • The Gospel In Color For Parents – This book is written specifically to equip parents to provide their children with a biblical perspective on race and racism, while celebrating the gospel’s power to bring about reconciliation. Read more about the heart behind the book here at the Gospel Coalition: Why You Should Teach Your Kids About Racial Reconciliation.
  • 4 ways we try to help our children understand suffering – This blog post helps parents engage their children on the topic of suffering in general, which parents can then apply to particular issues.
  • Justice – this Bible Project video summarizes huge swaths of biblical data that talk about the social dimension of sin.
  • Here is a theological break down on systemic sin to use for discussion:
  1. 1. All humans are sinful.
  2. 2. Sin has social consequences.
  3. 3. Sinful and broken humans create sinful and broken laws, policies, societies, and cultures. [Even if it isn’t malicious and even if they are Christians, this is true: the people making and enforcing the laws are finite humans living in a post-Genesis-3-reality. This does not mean that every aspect of every law-system is sinful, but it does mean that some aspects of every law-system will be sinful until Jesus makes all things new. Sometimes, what is sinful and broken about a law or policy is an unintended consequence from something down with good intentions. Not only that, but demons are active in social power structures (Eph 6:12). Society will not be whole until Jesus comes back.]
  4. 4. Sinful and broken followers of Jesus should work to correct the sinful and broken laws, policies, and cultural ideologies as way of loving our neighbors in faithfulness to Jesus, even if we will certainly be ultimately unsuccessful until Jesus returns. [For more on this, read Article 17 in the Redemption Church Membership Packet.]

For Kids:

  • God’s Very Good Idea – This book will help children see how people from all ethnic and social backgrounds are valuable to God and how Jesus came to rescue all kinds of people
  • ColorFul – This joyful story for little kids takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to celebrate each color God gave us and be colorFULL instead.

**Header art by Scott Erickson