Archive for the ‘race matters’ Category

Peter Heltzel, the author of Jesus and Justice and Assistant Professor of Theology at New York Theological Seminary will be speaking on the topic of Jesus, Justice and Race at 9am on April 15th as part of 4days4justice.  I have had the privilege of working with Peter on two different book projects: (1) on the Theological Legacy of John Perkins and (2) Theologies of Freedom.

Here’s a link of an interview with Peter Heltzel about the real meaning of Christmas.

After Peter Heltzel’s session, Mimi Haddadwill be speaking at 10:45am on Thursday, April 15th.  Dr. Mimi Haddad is president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. She holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from the University of Durham, England. She has written numerous articles and has contributed to eight books, most recently as an editor and a contributing author of Global Voices on Biblical Equality: Women and Men Serving Together in the Church.

For more info: See the 4days4justice website. You can register HERE.

Andrea Smith (Professor at University of California, Riverside) will be presenting on the topic of the Non-profit industrial complex.

Here’s a clip from Andy.

Andrea will also be moderating the fishbowl discussion on Thursday and Friday.

See the 4days4justice website: www.northpark.edu/4days4justice

“Broken Health Care Debate Revealed An Unhealthy National Spirit”  By Randy Woodley

Randy Woodley is a frequent contributor to this blog.  He is finishing up his Ph.D. at Asbury Seminary and is currently an adjunct professor at George Fox Theological Seminary.  Randy is also the author of Living in Color available on IVP Books.  Randy will also be participating in the upcoming 4days4justice conference at North Park (April 14-17).

For the past year we have all known that the debate was much bigger than Health Care. After all, what passed was verifiably impotent compared to what is actually needed in order to take care of the real health needs of all Americans. None the less, the bill had to pass to so we could begin a better health care journey and in order to secure an effective political future for Obama and the Dems. But let’s not fool ourselves by saying that this was true “Health Care Reform.” It was simply a few good, but minor improvements to a terribly broken system. The debate also revealed to us that the Democrats now resemble the former Republican Party of years prior and the GOP (“O” for obstructionist) is left looking more like an extension of The John Birch Society. There is a definite conservative swing occurring in our country accompanied by deeply held racist roots.

The past year of debate revealed widespread racism that is still present in the heart of many Americans. It is no coincidence that the most consistent assault on the current democratic system ever launched in my lifetime was levied during the first year of the nation’s first African American President. Amazing how many people wanted Obama to fail! Even more amazing would be the conversation about WHY they really wanted him to fail. The racists faxes sent, the spitting, the racist slurs hurled at Representatives John Lewis, James Clyburn, et. al. in the halls of Congress from the “Tea Party” folks were simply an example of what was “not being said” all along. In truth, the Tea Party and the Republican obstructionist tactics revealed a desperate movement to reinstate the full benefits of White Privilege in America. There were just too may incidents of racism and impropriety over the past year for them to simply be “isolated incidents.”

In 2042 White non-Hispanics will cease to be the majority population in America. The dominant White culture in power understands what the statistics mean when they reveal “the browning of America.” As followers of Jesus we have an answer to the national angst. We can clearly see that ethnic diversity is a value that flows from the heart of God. We are called to be peacemakers. We are ministers of reconciliation. We even know how to love our enemies. We have the goods. Do we have the courage? If not, who will lead us in preventing the coming American Apartheid?

It is now time for a national conversation on racism to begin in America. Followers of Christ should be leading this conversation-not avoiding it.

I am so thankful for the launch of Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite’s new website:  The People of the Second Chance.  I am very thankful that Mike and Jud’s powerful ministry will continue and in fact, will have a greater impact.  Check out their website and facebook to see how God will continue to work through them.

There is still ongoing discussion and official statements about Deadly Vipers (as well as some new discussions in a similar vein).  Some interesting insights from Bo Lim, Rudy C,  and Ed G.  I hope folks will move beyond the immediate topic to engage in a larger discussion on race, culture, and faith.  Evangelicals need a constructive dialogue on race and culture.  This whole episode has revealed a pretty major gap among evangelicals in our awareness and ability to deal with issues of race, culture and faith.  Some ongoing, big picture questions:

– Is there still a race problem in America?  Many seem to believe that racial and cultural sensitivity is only a problem for those who perceive it to be a problem.  Is that true?

– How can Asian-Americans be a strong voice in the evangelical world?  Clearly, this is a growing group, yet oftentimes without much of a voice.  This question should also encompass African-American, Latino, Native American, and bi, multi-racial Christians.

– What is the role of culture?  Are we to be culturally neutered because we are all God’s people and therefore we put aside our old culture? Or is there a place for cultural expression and celebration?  And what could a healthy expression of culture in the evangelical context look like?

In the next few months, I’ll scatter this blog with some theological reflections on the topic of race, culture, and faith.  Or you can always read my book The Next Evangelicalism.  Some random teaching videos and interviews from CCDA and Cornerstone can also be found on youtube.  All can link from the profrah.com website.