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Evangelicals and Race

Go read Greg Boyd’s blog on “The Heresy of an Unreconciled Church.”

I suppose I’m one of those “white evangelicals” who have reservations about President-elect Obama’s politics. (I also had reservations about McCain; this past election really was about the lesser of two evils for me.) But I also have a fairly distinctive personal history on matters of race. My parents were teachers at an inner-city high school who frequently had their African American students over for supper or overnight stays in our suburban home. Now, imagine that my parents both have a distinct Appalachian accent and that this was taking place in Detroit during the height of the racial conflicts of the 60s and 70s and maybe you’ll grin about this picture as much as I do. Certainly more than our whitebread neighbors ever did 🙂

When our church underwent a demographic shift in the late 70s/early 80s, ours was one of the few white families to hang around to support the new African American pastor. At one point I was the only white kid in the youth group. Needless to say, racial reconciliation is a topic near and dear to my heart.

Racially diverse congregations are a bit thinner on the ground here in central Georgia than they were in the Detroit area. I think I can safely say that history and church culture is more to blame than overt racial animosity. We have a smattering of nonwhite members at First Baptist, some of whom are active leaders. Still, I sometimes miss singing spirituals and “Amen-ing” the preacher.

At least Rebecca gets to make plenty of nonwhite friends at school.



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