Recently I wrote a blog post called “My Thoughts on Interracial Marriage” which created some great feedback. In that post, I recommended John Piper’s new book Bloodlines. At the time I had not read it, but was hoping to get it for Christmas so I could read it and review it here on my blog. I did end up getting it for Christmas and just finished reading it.
Growing up in the South I heard my far share of racism and I am guilty being pretty racist myself growing up. I was told interracial marriage is sin and God does not intend for whites to marry blacks. Whenever you saw a black person your mind automatically went prejudice and stereotyped them of being “up to know good.” I am grateful that over the years as I have grown in my faith and have a greater understanding of the Gospel, God has rid my of this mindset. I know do not believe interracial is sin because the Bible says nothing against it. Honestly, I believe we should promote interracial because it shows the Gospel and I believe living in diversity is honoring to Christ. My fear is that many Christians, especially in the South, still struggle with racism deep down and even though they might not say it outwardly, they still need the Gospel to rid them of any prejudice they might have deep down.
In Bloodlines, Piper breaks the book down to two parts: Our World: The Need for the Gospel and God’s Word: The Power of the Gospel. He spends the first part of the book sharing his story of growing up in the South and how he has gotten past the racism of his younger years. He also talks about how his church, Bethlehem Baptist, is in the middle of extreme cultural diversity and how he wants his church to be diverse. Then he spends some time dealing with how we have tried to bring racial harmony and how there is only one thing that will bring it about: the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The second part of the book is where it gets really good! Now that Piper has stated the only thing that will bring racial harmony is the Gospel, he spends the rest of the book explaining the Gospel and how the blood of Christ goes beyond races. God sent His son to save souls and bring about one race: those who have accepted Jesus. If you have a bone to pick with Calvinists and the TULIP theology than this part of the book might not be fun for you. I, personally, lean heavily towards reformed theology so have no problem with this. I believe Piper does a great job, through reformed theology, to show how the Gospel should destroy racism in our life’s and how we are one in Christ. Apart of the Gospel, we cannot and will not have racial harmony!
I think everyone who embraces the Gospel of Christ should read this book. Piper shows us how a correct understanding and out working of the Gospel brings change to social issues, like racism, that we fight in our world. This book will change the way you view social issues in light of the Gospel and will help you understand why pursuing racial harmony is glorifying to God. It will be worth your time and money to pick up a copy of this book and read it.