0107 - Remembering Rightly: History, Race, and American Christianity (w/ Matt Hall)

Hosts: Isaac Adams & Trillia Newbell

Guest: Matt Hall

Overview: “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility...that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace…” (Ephesians 2:14-15)

In our last episode with Karen Ellis, Trillia Newbell and Isaac Adam looked at underground churches in other countries to glean lessons about unity. In this episode, the hosts speak with Dr. Matt Hall, Dean of Boyce college, to look back at American Christianity and its history race. What is race? What does it mean in the Bible? How many races are there? How does racism in the past affect us today?

Matt Hall looks at and defines race from a biological, theological, and sociological perspective as he explains where the modern idea of race came from. Matt suggests that we can’t talk about race in America if we don’t understand where it came from and what it is. Further, if we want to see true gospel reconciliation, a measure of historical truth-telling is required—a stance that is not always comfortable, popular, or simple. 

How does the complexity of race and the past factor into our conversations about race today? What are helpful and unhelpful ways the current generation thinks about identity? How do the Scriptures’ constant reference to remembering the past accurately tether to our identity as Christians? Join us for prayer and discussion as we look at the reality of race, its incredible power throughout history, and God’s faithfulness in the midst of history. 

Links & Show Notes:

1. Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention edited by Jarvis J. Williams and Kevin M. Jones In this book, you’ll find a chapter by Dr. Jarvis Williams, whom Dr. Hall referred to. His chapter explains what race meant in biblical times and how the definition of it has changed. The definitions are fairly technical but helpful to those who want to dive in. In this book you’ll also find a helpful chapter on history and why it matters specifically for Southern Baptist churches as they live in a world in which race matters. 

2. Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win by John Perkins Dr. Hall referred to civil rights activist John Perkins—his legacy and hope. Dream with Me is Dr. Perkins' latest work and memoir in which he reflects upon the issues of race and its effects on his life. 

3. The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity by Benjamin Isaac This book is a long, scholarly treatment of the idea of race and racism in the ancient world (or in Biblical times). However, the introduction alone is worth the price of the book. 

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Recorded and produced by Karl Magnuson
Graphic design by Rob Alvey