Last week we devoted our Lunch Live conversations (about 4 hours’ worth) to the topic of the gospel and race. We heard from Afro-Latino, African-American, and Anglo brothers and sisters in Jesus. We pressed into the Scriptures and tried to connect dots between God’s glory among all people and our response today. Since then some people have asked for further recommended resources, so here’s my best short list.
- White Awake, by Daniel Hill. This was the book that asked me the question, “Who are the voices you listen to and read?” And my list of voices was nearly all white. That set in motion a lot of learning, a lot of listening, and a lot of growing.
- A Cross-Shaped Gospel and Insider Outsider, by Bryan Loritts. Anything Loritts has written is worth reading. He’s a black pastor who has so much experience and wisdom with racial harmony and diversity.
- Bloodlines, by John Piper. A deeper dive into Scripture text after Scripture text on ethnicity, Piper does the hard work of exegesis for us, but also with us. I so appreciate his Bible-saturated approach.
- Generous Justice, by Tim Keller. This book helped me understand that pursuing racial harmony is one expression of God’s heart for justice, but there is more. Serving the poor, listening to the abused, holding spiritual leaders accountable, speaking up for the unborn. God’s heart beats passionately for justice.
History and Stories
- Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby. Heart breaking. Yet needed for me. For years I had thought racism was “out there” in America, but this book forced me to see the racism in the church. Some of my dearest heroes, some of my most beloved seasons of church history, still marred with racism. Yet as I looked at the sin of racism in the church, it also helped me see the grace of Jesus for his church.
- Gay Girl, Good God, by Jackie Hill Perry. This book is more about Perry’s journey out of lesbianism, but her ethnicity is woven into the story. Perry connects the dots of how the gospel changes us from the inside out better than any other book I’ve read in this area.
- Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, by Eric Metaxas. There’s something so inspiring about biographies. I’ve read Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and more. And every single one was worth it.
- Steal Away Home, by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey. A bright spot in church history is Charles Spurgeon’s relationship with Thomas Johnson, a former slave. This book tells that story and amplifies the power of relationships to exalt Jesus in racial diversity.
- 1619, a podcast chronicling a few stories and issues connected to black history in our nation.
- The Witness Podcast Network. A collection of podcasts that helped me hear the point of view of persons of color on some key issues.
Books to Read with your Children
I can’t do any better than to link to the Gospel Coalition’s recommendations. These are golden.