How does the Bible deal with the issue of race? When the 21st-century church discusses this notion, is it taking its cues from the larger culture, or are these concepts rooted in Scripture? Jemar Tisby, president of the Reformed African American Network, offers a brief biblical theology of race.

“It’s important to realize that the world of the Bible is thoroughly multi-ethnic; it’s extremely diverse in all kinds of ways, but it’s this term and this concept of ethnicity that the Bible uses to mark distinctions between people groups,” Tisby says. “But even though there’s a distinction between people groups, that doesn’t mean any particular group is better or worse than one another in an ontological or an existential sense.”

Different ethnicities – and bringing people from every ethnicity into His Kingdom – have been God’s plan since the beginning.

2 Responses to A Theology of Race

  1. As we speak today about race and races and racism (in an effort to apply the gospel to these things), is the best way to talk about this by emphasizing the ways that different races/cultures reflect different aspects of the image of God? Or should we emphasize that we are all alike in one of the two races in the Bible?

  2. Tim LeCroy says:

    Steven, it’s good to do both! To emphasize our unity in Christ and the things that we have in common, and it is also good to celebrate the beauty and utility of God’s diverse creation as we see being done in Revelation 7.