I'm wrapping up a week of filming with the Citygate Films team in Minneapolis, where we had the privilege of interviewing John and Noël Piper. While I was here, I had the opportunity to pick up John Piper's newest book, Bloodlines, and to watch the introductory documentary about it. As soon as I opened it, I was hooked.
The book opens with an important prologue titled, "Martin Luther King, Jr.: What Was It Like For Those Who Weren't There?" Then it transitions to a more personal voice as Piper reflects on his personal history growing up in the segregated town of Greenville, SC, and now as a pastor of a multiethnic urban church. Those personal reflections then segue into an exploration of the power of the gospel and the roots of racial strife. After laying this foundation, Piper then moves into the heart of his argument: the creation of one new humanity by the blood of Christ and what this should look like in practical, daily application. He writes: "What I have tried to do in this book is show that the gospel of Jesus Christ--the death and the resurrection of the Son of God for sinners--is the only sufficient power for this effort, and the only power that in the end will bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross."
I highly recommend you invest 18 minutes to watch this well-produced short documentary that introduces the book and check out the introduction, which you can read online for free. Then get a copy of Bloodlines for yourself. I can guarantee it will incite you to think more deeply and more biblically on this topic.
UPDATE: I know of several churches, including my own, that are going through this book together to foster open, honest discussions about perspectives on race. I encourage you to consider using this fine resource at your own church, too. If you have any testimonies to offer about such a study, please post a comment below!