Racial Reconciliation and the Catholicity of the Church

The Center for Baptist Renewal is a project that a few of us have been working on for the last several years. At the outset, Matt and I wrote a manifesto that sort of guides our work at the center. One of the articles addresses the topic racial reconciliation:

We affirm that all people, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, are created in God’s image and, if they have repented and believed in Christ, are brothers and sisters together in the one body of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Because of this shared imago dei and because of Christ’s saving work among all nations, peoples, and tongues, we believe that one major task of Baptist catholicity is to promote racial unity, especially within the body of Christ.

Over at the CBR blog, we wrote a commentary on each of the manifesto’s articles, including this one. We wrote it three years ago, but it’s as relevant as ever and we stand by every word of it. Concern for racial reconciliation is not a function of “wokeness” (a vague and unhelpful term anyway). For many of us, it’s a function of our fundamental creed: “I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” The Christian’s ultimate citizenship is not to be found in any earthly city, but in coming the city of God, the church militant and the church triumphant: the multi-ethnic, multi-national body of Christ that spans space and time, earth and heaven.

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