Thursday, July 29, 2010
Love Sechrest on Paul's Gospel and Race Relations
I just received a copy of Love L. Sechrest, A Former Jew: Paul and the Dialectics of Race (LNTS 410; London: Continuum, 2009), and this is what she says in her conclusion:
"Even as whites empty themselves of their privilege as an expression of interdependence and mutuality in Christ, the scandal of Paul's gospel would require that, for the sake of Christ, blacks embrace an identity that eschews a group-centered focus on social, economic, and political righteousness to a body-of-Christ-centered focus on these and other issues. Specifically, it means that Christian blacks would foreswear 'nation building' in the church as a substitute for kingdom building in the world, nation building that exchanges the gospel for the American dream. In other words, living life as if race were a matter of theology instead of skin colour means that both whites and blacks would have to live life as blood traitors, who each consider the needs of the other over their own, and the needs of Christian kinfolk above all others - no matter what their skin color. White-born and black-born Gentile Christians could only manage such selfless feats of imagination through humble acceptance of the facts of identity mentioned above. Christians no longer favor bonds of allegiance to their birth identity (Phil. 3.3-9; 1 Cor. 12.2); they are ever-conscious that they all are Gentiles who have adopted an alien history and have been transformed into an alien race (Gal. 3.26-29); and they know and live in the transformed reality that is created by God's grace and mercy (Rom. 11.17-24)."