Published in 2003 by IVP New Studies in Biblical Theology (series editor D.A. Carson)
This book explores a tension between blacks and whites in American in their perception of race problems. Dr. Isaac Mwase, a Black professor and pastor says the race problem is THE most important issue facing the Church today. In contrast Daniel summarizes the view of race by most white evangelicals (of which I am one) as 1) Still entrenched in inherited racism and only interested in the Bible if it reinforces their prejudiced views. 2) Many people assume the Bible simply does not speak to the race issue or 3) Many other whites are simply indifferent to the problem assuming the status quo is acceptable and the Bible supports their current practices. I was probably between descriptions two and three just 10 years ago. Reading this book is another step in seeking to bring racial issues under the authority of Scripture. I am seeking to answer the question, “How should a white man in the early 21st century express being a Christ follower?” Daniel Hays research helped me in my journey.
He confirms some things I had suspected in going back through Bible commentaries and surveys (written by white authors) that I had studied over the past 40 years..there were not only blind spots there was poor scholarship and errors being perpetuated. He also challenged me to read the Scripture with a more accurate perception of race and ethnic diversity that I had for the most part read over. His book follows a biblical flow with chapters covering sections of the Old Testament and then the New — ending with God’s vision of the kingdom found in John’s Revelation.
In his FINAL THOUGHTS he captures well what is becoming a frequent theme in my prayers:
“Most of us know the theological truth of racial equality, yet we waver and remain tentative. . . we still have strong ties to the old ways of our culture and we are reluctant to venture out in trust into new sociological areas, where all races are equal in practice and not just in theory. . . My hope lies in the next generation of Christians, aptly called ‘Generation X’. . . I am optimistic that they can sever the ties with the ‘old man’ from our culture and make some real progress toward the vision of Christian unity that the Scriptures present. . . What it needs is leadership: pastors, teachers, parents, and peers; people who will teach, challenge, rebuke, encourage, dream and weep until the church actualizes the unity that lies on the heart of our Lord.”
WILL YOU AND I BE SOME OF THOSE LEADERS?