I read John Piper’s Bloodlines last week and was deeply impacted by it.  While combatting racism has been a major point in my story, it seems as if it has picked up as even a deeper burden as of late.

This book was great theologically and practically.  Here’s the synopsis:

Genocide. Terrorism. Hate crimes. In a world where racism is far from dead, is unity amidst diversities even remotely possible?

Sharing from his own experiences growing up in the segregated South, pastor John Piper thoughtfully exposes the unremitting problem of racism. Instead of turning finally to organizations, education, famous personalities, or government programs to address racial strife, Piper reveals the definitive source of hope—teaching how the good news about Jesus Christ actively undermines the sins that feed racial strife, and leads to a many-colored and many-cultured kingdom of God.

Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”

Some Top Quotes

  1. The bloodline of Jesus Christ is deeper than the bloodlines of race (13).
  2. Color and ethnicity will count for nothing in the court of heaven (68).
  3. It seems to me that too many Christians gravitate to right-wing Republican politics or left-wing Democratic politics because they see some parallel between a political plank and a part of the gospel (84).
  4. The gospel is not a political adviser standing to the side waiting to be asked for guidance (85).
  5. To be a Christian is to move toward need, not comfort.  Christian life means to get up in the morning and go to bed at night dreaming not about how to advance my comforts but how to advance some great God-centered cause (110).
  6. Jesus is the end of ethnocentrism (117).
  7. Everyone but Jesus lets you down (130).
  8. The cost of diversity was the blood and life of the Son of God.  This is not an overstatement (141).
  9. We are becoming in behavior what we have become in the eyes of God in Christ (163).
  10. The gospel governs not just our beliefs but also our actions (170).
  11. Beware of living a life governed by the fear of controversy.  It may drive you to hypocritical behaviors (174).
  12. The reason God decreed that the gospel would obtain people from every tribe and people and nation is that the aim of the gospel is the glorification of his grace and this ingathering of diverse peoples into one Christ-exalting, unified people who would glorify the power and beauty of his grace more than if he had done things another way (194).
  13. More depth and beauty is felt from a choir that sings in parts than from a choir that sings only in unison.  Unity in diversity is more beautiful and more powerful than the unity of uniformity (196).
  14. …there is something about God that is so universally praiseworthy, and so profoundly beautiful, and so comprehensively worthy, and so deeply satisfying that God will find passionate admirers in every diverse people group in the world (197).
  15. From my own experience and from many conversations, I would argue that opposition to interracial marriage is one of the deepest roots of racial distance, disrespect, and hostility in the world (213).
  16. There is a fine line between legitimate probability judgments and sinful prejudice (222).
  17. The leadership of the church prays privately and in public that God would have mercy on us and bless us with increased ethnic diversity (257).
Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.