Biblical Justice & Mercy

God treasures unity. Speaking of His people, God desires that “they may be one even as we are one” (John 17). God treasures diversity (Revelation 7:9). God also treasures unity in diversity (Acts 2, Colossians 3:9-11). In heaven there is difference. And while “all are precious in His sight,” what God sees, what heaven reflects, is not uniformity, but unity. May we learn to treasure what God treasures!

BIBLICAL JUSTICE & MERCY TEAM PRESENTS THE FOLLOWING OPPORTUNITIES

Issues of Race in The Church

Book Club – focused on understanding issues of race in the church: Each of the next 3 months, we will recommend a featured book to be read. We will have planned discussion nights to unpack what we have learned. Let us journey together for the sake of unity in the body. The discussion nights will be virtual from 7-8:30 PM. Join us on Zoom using the link below for any or all of the discussions. Registration is not needed.


POSTPONED until April 9 | Oneness by Dr. Tony Evans | Learn More
April 22 | Divided By Faith by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith | Learn More
May 27 | The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby | Learn More


Together For The Kingdom

Together for the Kingdom – Making a difference through inclusion: This four-part learning experience is to help us grow in our understanding of interpersonal relationships and expand what it means to be an inclusive community at Covenant. Each session runs from 7-8 PM and includes a time of learning and conversation. Register using the button below for this 4 week virtual class which runs from March 4-March 25. Topics will include:

• What is inclusion? A social and scriptural definition.
• Unconsious Bias - A barrier to inclusion.
• Recognizing Bias - Reflecting on how we think and respond to others.
• Everyday inclusion that makes a difference.


Be The Bridge

Change begins with an honest conversation among a group of Christians willing to give a voice to unspoken hurts, hidden fears, and mounting tensions. Pastor Rob Chifokoyo will walk with this group using a guide that applies biblical principles, such as lamentation, confession, and forgiveness, to lay the framework for change, healing, and restoration. The call is for every follower of Jesus to become a bridge builder—committed to pursuing justice and racial unity in light of the gospel.
This Care Group is being planned so stay tuned as it will be available soon.

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Resources

Our team hopes that learning is something we all continue to do. We recommend taking a look at these very insightful and helpful books.

 

Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church

By: Soong-Chang Rah

The United States is currently undergoing the most rapid demographic shift in its history. Soong-Chan Rah's book is intended to equip evangelicals for ministry and outreach in our changing nation. Rah provides a practical and hopeful guidebook for Christians wanting to minister more effectively in diverse settings. Without guilt trips or browbeating, the book will spur individuals, churches, and parachurch ministries toward more effectively bearing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News for people of every racial and cultural background. Its message is positive; its potential impact, transformative.


Oneness Embraced: Reconciliation, The Kingdom, and How We Are Stronger Together

By: Tony Evans

"We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools." -Martin Luther King Jr.

With the Bible as a guide and heaven as the goal, Oneness Embraced calls God's people to kingdom-focused unity. It tells us why we don't have it, what we need to get it, and what it will look like when we do. Weaving his own story into this word to the church, Tony Evans tells of a life spent between two worlds. As a young theologian he straddled black, urban culture and white, mainline evangelicalism. Now, three decades later, he offers seasoned reflections on matters of history, culture, the church, and social justice. In doing so he gives us a biblical and pastoral guide for striving for unity across racial and socioeconomic divides. This call for unity is as timely as ever. If the church practices oneness, America will have a guide for becoming the one nation under God it declares itself to be.


Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Faith in America

By: Michael Emerson & Christian Smith

Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, the authors throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, they conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.  The authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement's emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality. Most racial problems, the subjects told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault.


The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism

By: Jemar Tisby

An acclaimed, timely study of how people of faith have historically—up to the present day—worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.


Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just

By: Timothy Keller

In Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just, former Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Tim Keller, explores the connection between when believer in Christ receive grace, and how that impacts the world around them. He argues that the Bible has been a regressive influence in the world. Sharing examples from the lives of beleivers around him, and giving support from the Bible, Keller outlines a hopefule manifesto for all who seek to show God's mercy to the world.


One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love

By: John Perkins

The racial reconciliation of our churches and nation won't be done with big campaigns or through mass media. It will come one loving, sacrificial relationship at a time. The gospel and all that it encompasses has always traveled best relationally. We have much to learn from each other and each have unique poverties that can only be filled by one another. The way forward is to become "wounded healers" who bandage each other up as we discover what the family of God really looks like. Real relationships, sacrificial love between actual people, is the way forward. Nothing less will do.


Insider Outsider: My Journey as a Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All

By: Bryan Loritts and John Ortberg

This seminal book on race and the church will help Christians discover how they can learn the art of listening to stories unlike their own, identify the problems and pitfalls that keep Sunday morning the most segregated hour of the week, and participate in an active movement with God toward a holy vision of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls "life together."


Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice

By: Eric Mason, John M. Perkins, et al

Dr. Eric Mason challenges the church in America: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead. It’s time to take a hard look at our history and stand together against the indignities and injustice in our world – to understand that justice is both theological and sociological – that there is no intimacy with God without justice in one’s heart.


Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity

By: David W. Swanson

"Many white Christians across America are waking up to the fact that something is seriously wrong―but often this is where we get stuck." Confronted by the deep-rooted racial injustice in our society, many white Christians instinctively scramble to add diversity to their churches and ministries. But is diversity really the answer to the widespread racial dysfunction we see in the church? In this simple but powerful book, Pastor David Swanson contends that discipleship, not diversity, lies at the heart of our white churches' racial brokenness. Before white churches can pursue diversity, he argues, we must first take steps to address the faulty discipleship that has led to our segregation in the first place. Drawing on the work of philosopher James K. A. Smith and others, Swanson proposes that we rethink our churches' habits, or liturgies, and imagine together holistic, communal discipleship practices that can reform us as members of Christ's diverse body.