Racism still exists. Whether we want to admit it or not, racism plagues our society. Some might think that it is 2017, and racism is antiquated and belongs only to be discussed when we reference early-America, the Civil War, or the Civil Rights Movement. If a Christian were to say this, I would estimate that Christian does not pay attention to the world around him/her. It would seem there is not a day that passes where the news reports on some form of racial injustice; not only against African-Americans but against the Latino/a and Asian communities. Southern Baptists by-and-large have served a role in the perpetuation of racism. The Southern Baptist Convention specifically finds its beginnings in slavery and notably racist attitudes toward those who are not white.
Jarvis Williams and Kevin Jones’s book Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention does not mince words when the time comes to confront the sin that is racism. Every Christian should read this book and begin promptly the process of racial reconciliation. As contributors to this volume often repeat, “racial reconciliation is most certainly a theological issue.”
This book led me to ask pointed questions such as how I can contribute to the elimination of systemic racial injustice, when is the last time I decided to sit and listen instead of speaking, or how I can prayerfully seek God in removing racist tendencies in my own thoughts and actions. If we are not going to speak out against injustice with our brothers and sisters of color, though we must be willing to submit to their leadership, we cannot expect the same in return. One aspect this volume presents that the body of Christ must apprehend is those who are white are not always most qualified (Jarvis Williams deems this as white-supremacist thought, and I agree).
This book also provokes me to reflect upon the kingdom of God. In his chapter, Jarvis Williams provides biblical steps to racial reconciliation through sound exegesis and exposition of Scripture and also offers fifteen resolutions to Southern Baptists specifically in efforts to eradicate racism from the SBC. I say this chapter provokes reflection upon the kingdom of God when the entire volume demands this reflection.
White Southern Baptists have much to learn when it comes to racial reconciliation in the SBC. We have monopolized the spotlight in the Convention far longer than should be allowed. We have done this because of fear of losing power, privilege, and prestige. No longer is the case if the SBC desires for relevance in the ministry of Christ-centered reconciliation.
Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishers through the B&H Blogger Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255