Michelle Higgins’s talk last night was powerful and challenging. For many of us who are on campus and who are familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement, the concepts she shared with us are familiar. Others of us may be feeling challenged in ways that are uncomfortable. She said some hard things. The way she connected BLM with the mission of the global Church may have been new or unexpected.
While you might not agree with everything that the #BLM movement has said or done (movements are messy!), they are asking for something that Scripture points to: human dignity, because people are created in God’s image; the sanctity of all life; and governments which protect all life equally.
Increasingly, Christian leaders from across the denominational and cultural spectrum, overseas and domestically, see that racial injustice and tensions are significant global issues that God wants the church to engage with. And none too soon; globally, Christians around the world are confused by how silent the evangelical world has been on this issue. Other cultures wonder whether the gospel is good news when largely Christianized countries like the U.S. and Canada continue to struggle with this issue.
If you want to further explore the issues Michelle raised, we encourage you to check out the following resources from a variety of today’s thought leaders, both Christian and secular.
- Thabiti Anyabwile’s Pure Church blog at The Gospel Coalition
A former Muslim, now a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC, Thabiti ecently appeared at The Atlantic’s Race + Justice in America Conference alongside Ta-Nehisi Coates to discuss hope in the time of mass incarceration.
- One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology by Jarvis Williams
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A timely and powerful account of a father’s past and a son’s future in a society that is frequently hostile to Black citizens. Winner of the National Book Award.
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan is a lawyer, professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which focuses on social justice and human rights within the criminal justice system. He offers stories from his work and points us toward principles of criminal justice reform in the U.S.
- Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil
An author, speaker, and consultant on multiethnicity and racial reconciliation, Brenda says, “It’s time for the followers of Jesus to embark on the prophetic journey that leads to reconciliation and transformation around the world.”