I’d like to review my hopes for the “standard equipment” of first-year students when they arrive on campus. Ideally, they’d have these tools in the toolbox:
- A big-picture overview of the Bible.
- Inductive Bible study skills.
- A basic gospel outline they can share with nonChristian friends.
- A beginner’s apologetic (see last week’s post).
- An awareness of social and racial justice.
This last item gets dicey because many evangelical churches are still under-developed on issues of race and justice.
Ironically, young people themselves often take the lead in this area, and it’s the older generations — say, 50 and up — of which I’m a member, that are the true students (or at least we should be) of such matters.
Bottom line: I’m never surprised when a first-year college student demonstrates a basic intuition for issues of justice and race. It’s in the DNA of this generation.
What does surprise, me however, is the occasional 18-year old student who arrives on campus with a theology* of justice and race in their toolbox. Now that’s rare, indeed, and much to be prized.
** Meaning, a broad biblical understanding of the topic.
Bet you didn't expect to meet me here, lol, or maybe you did. Anyways… what are some scriptures I can read and research to get a better, broader, biblical understanding of this topic?
Hey Ebony! Great to see you here.
A small sampling might look something like this:
1. God as Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — entails both “sameness and difference,” unity and diversity.
2. The Tower of Babel in Gen 11 is an intentional scattering/diversifying of the people(s) of the earth.
3. The call of Abraham in Gen 12 is to bless “all peoples on earth.”
4. The law called Israel to treat widows, foreigners and slaves with compassion and dignity. See Ex 19, 22-23, Lev 19:34, 23:22, 24:22, 25:35. The Lev 35 teaching on Jubilee and economic relief is instructive.
5. John 4, see Jesus' interactions with a foreigner (woman at the well).
6. The Great Commission of Matt 28 is a NT extension of Gen 12 and includes all nations.
7. Acts 2 reinforces the multicultural nature of the kingdom of God. See also Peter's awakening in Acts 10.
8. See the many Pauline texts about the gospel going to the Gentiles, and Jew-Gentile reconciliation. E.g.: Rom 1:5, Gal 3:28, Eph 2:11-22.
9. Rev 7 is a classic text about the redeemed community “from every nation, tribe, people and language” worshiping God together.
Again, a small sampling! I didn't even get to the prophets and their denunciation of the injustices in Israel.