BELLINGHAM, WA (ANS) – Race and ethnicity are hot topics often glossed over across many pulpits throughout the United States in fear of causing division or anger among the church and surrounding community. Yet following recent social injustice events, the issue remains as relevant as ever for church pastors and leaders to point their members to God’s truth and take an active stance.
A recent LifeWay Research study revealed that 17% of pastors say their church would not want to hear about racial reconciliation from the pulpit, which is a 7% increase since 2016.
The same research showed that 17% of white pastors are more than twice as likely as African American pastors, at 6%, to say they have not addressed racial reconciliation from the pulpit in the last two years.
The pastors who received the most negative feedback from sermons on the topic of racial reconciliation were white pastors at 14% compared to other ethnicities, at 3%.
Lexham Press has released a new book, “Ministers of Reconciliation: Preaching on Race and the Gospel,” edited by Daniel Darling. The book is specifically written to help pastors understand how to address issues of race in the pulpit and contains essays from a variety of writers discussing how to preach on these issues and how it can lead to healing within the church community.
“Ministers of Reconciliation: Preaching on Race and the Gospel” includes perspectives from leaders who have taught and preached on these matters. The book is intended to equip pastors in the United States to have these difficult conversations to bring awareness and healing on these issues within the church and the community.
The book compiles essays from diverse writers to clarify actions pastors and ministry leaders should take regarding issues of race from the pulpit, highlighting how it can lead conversations of healing.
“Are these perilous waters? Sure,” said Darling, author and senior vice-president of communications for the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). “The Red Sea, the Jordan River, every baptismal pool that joins a follower of Christ to his Lord in crucifixion, burial and resurrection – these are all perilous waters, too. Let’s follow Jesus there.”
Featuring a foreword by Dr. Russell Moore of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), “Ministers of Reconciliation” addresses the issues such as:
“Preaching on Race in View of the Image of God” by Matthew D. Kim;
“Known, Seen, and Designed by God” by Darling;
“Jeremiah and His Unexpected Rescuer” by J. Daniel Hays;
“Race and the Great Commission” by J. D. Greear;
“Building the Temple with Wisdom” by Lemanuel Williams;
“How God Addresses Our Prejudices” by Bryan Loritts;
“Engaging Communities with the Reconciling Power of the Gospel” by Dhati Lewis;
“Caring for the ‘Minority’ in Your Midst: Giving Greater Honor” by Raymond Chang;
“The Ministry of Reconciliation” by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr.;
“The Gospel and Ethnic Justice in Galatians 2” by Jared C. Wilson;
“Reconciled under the Lordship of Christ” by Jamaal Williams;
“The Chosen People and Racial Reconciliation” by Juan R. Sanchez; and
“Racial Reconciliation and the Victory of Christ” by Joey Royal.
“This book includes reflections from many who have taught and preached on these matters,” Darling writes. “These essays may well spark within you ideas for how to stand for Christ on these issues in your church or family or community.”
Darling hopes the book will serve as a guide to better engage in topics on race and social injustice as the body of Christ.
“It’s easy to say we want to pursue multiethnic unity, but it’s uncomfortable and difficult work,” writes Greear, author and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. “And it requires dedicated intentionality. To have people from diverse backgrounds in our lives. To ask questions and to listen. To humble ourselves and ask forgiveness. But it’s worth it—for Jesus’ sake, for his church’s sake, and for our own.”
Lexham Press seeks to increase biblical literacy, thoughtful Christian reflection, and faithful action around the world by publishing a range of Bible study materials, scholarly works, and pastoral resources. For more information, visit https://lexhampress.com.
To learn more about “Ministers of Reconciliation: Preaching on Race and the Gospel,” visit https://lexhampress.com/product/197409/ministers-of-reconciliation-preaching-on-race-and-the-gospel.