Mar 5

Session 6 Recap: Taylor, “Race: Being Agents of Peace in a Perplexing Word”

2016 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 16

Editor’s Note: Mike McDonald is the Lead Pastor at Faith Church, Rio Rancho, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Justin Taylor’s message from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 5, “Race: Being Agents of Peace in a Perplexing Word.”


Justin Taylor began the sixth session of Clarus 16 by making the statement, “There are some aspects of the race conversation that are more simple than we thought, and others are more complex than we originally thought.”

There are five simple truths we must keep at the forefront:

We all come from the same place – The ground at creation is level for all. All of us bear the very same image of God. Genesis 1 pays no attention to physical attributes because those attributes are morally irrelevant in assigning value. Remembering this helps us to think rightly of all people.

The same thing went wrong for all of us – Every person who was created in the Image of God has also experienced the reality of the Fall. One implication of the Fall is that racism should not be a surprising or shocking reality. Make no mistake, it is illogical, inexcusable and indefensible, but a robust doctrine of sin and the Fall leads us to a greater understanding historic and current realities.

The cross of Jesus Christ is the greatest news for all sinners – God created a way for His sinful image bearers to be reconciled to Himself. There is good news for all because of the work of Jesus.

There are incredible implications in the cross – Romans 15:7 speaks of welcoming one another as Christ has welcomed us. James 2 speaks repeatedly of the command to show no partiality. Matthew 6 Jesus exhorts us to forgive as we ourselves have been forgiven. In the church we don’t try to create unity out of nothing, we already have unity in Christ.

We should meditate on where we are going – After the fall of Noah in Genesis 10, we see people being divided into separate tribes, groups, and nations. But the narrative of the Scriptures leads us not to division, but ultimately to the most beautiful and diverse worship service. Revelation 7 details that a group too large to be numbered from every tribe and language will stand before the throne. We will be united before the Lord.

What are practical things that we can do as a result of this?

Be slow to speak and quick to listen – There’s a temptation to think we have a lot to offer, but we must first learn to listen. How many times have we begun talking before actually understanding what the question is?

Ask the Lord to search our heart to reveal our motives and show us our blind spots – The very nature of a blind spot is that you cannot see it. We invariably desire to profess our racial innocence and always assume that we have the best motives. However, we should ask God to reveal even the subconscious thoughts we have.

If you are in the majority culture, understand you have certain privilege – Majority groups have the luxury or privilege of not having to think about race. John Piper said “When you are the majority nothing you do is ethnic. When you are minority, everything you do is ethnic.” We must understand this reality.

Work on developing honest friendships – We will not make progress only by reading books and going to seminars. We need to take a risk, invite people into our lives. We must develop legitimate friendships that will teach us how to live, love and work with those different from us.

Recognize that it will not be easy and you will get hurt – To attempt to reconcile in this area, we must understand that it will not easy. Will we stay at the table and will we stay on the road when relationships get difficult?

We must resolve as the Church to show the world a better way – The Church can be the solution. We have the gospel of Jesus, so we must let this reconciling gospel drive us toward becoming the solution to this very difficult and complex problem.