Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bloodlines, A New Book from John Piper

I'd encourage you to take a couple minutes and watch this promotional/preview trailer of what to expect from Bloodlines, John Piper's latest book from us here at Crossway. We are excited about it, and know that this could impact many lives. Please share this with your friends.

John Piper: Bloodlines Documentary Trailer from Crossway on Vimeo.


Alex Guggenheim said...

My comments from another blog:

For the Christian, loving our neighbors as ourselves, does impact all our decisions. However, it appears that this assumes many things that I believe it should not. And with these assumptions comes, what I believe, is a reflection of the misunderstanding by Evangelicals, modern Evangelicals, with regard to race, ethnicity, culture and community and the differing contexts such as social, political and spiritual, in which they may be found and the regulative (or lack thereof) Biblical principles for each.

Frankly I do not anticipate Piper giving a deep treatment, rather, for the most part as he normally writes, I expect a treatment of what he considers the obvious and then an exhaustive sermonizing about their evils. In my view, one of Piper's greatest weaknesses is his lack of rigorous testing of the prescriptive soundness of his assertions and I expect to find this in this book. Of course it is always with the hope of being wrong.

But let me give you a slight taste of what I mean by Evangelical misapprehension on the matter. Suppose you encounter a society that regulates itself by excluding women from certain social events. For example, voting with regard to publicly elected officials.

Does the Bible require us to commend or condemn this? Well, neither.

And now suppose a country decides that it wishes to regulate its population by bloodlines and all those who cannot demonstrate genetic relationship are not given citizenship. Does the Bible require us to commend or condemn this? Neither. In fact, take an Indian tribe such as, say...the Cherokee Nation who recently removed the voting rights of certain black slave descendants based, just on this issue, a lack of genetic relationship or genuine relationship. These were black slaves owned by individual Cherokees but not the Cherokee Tribe or nation itself. And a treaty after the Emancipation Proclamation between the US and the Cherokee Nation gave these Freeman (the now freed slaves and their descendants) Cherokee Indian status. The CN just voted them out. Does the Bible require inclusion of these people or not? Well, again, it does not have a binding protocol but some would seek to misuse the Bible to force a protocol and condemn the Cherokee Nation. They are in great error.

One might respond with the earlier context such as, "How is this not loving your neighbor as yourself?". This question assumes, then, that loving your neighbor as yourself means changing public policy to reflect your own wishes and not that of the your collective neighbors who might actually prefer this. Would you want your neighbors to consider your desires and wishes? Right, so then you would, in order to love them as yourself, actually might need to silence yourself, not assert yourself.

Now, in spiritual contexts and without dispute, we all know that the Bible forbids favoritism or exclusion or any kind of preferential treatment with regard to one's operation within the body of Christ. So I won't deal with that since it is, really, without dispute though some issues of surreptitiousness might arise.

And I believe this is but a smidgen of the kind of consideration that is lacking in crusader issues within Evangelicalism. Racism is an opportunity for posturing and crusading and all too often this is the disappointing kind of rhetoric I find when essays and books are published on the matter. We'll see.

Rochelle said...

Alex, Thanks for stopping by! Yes, it'll be good to see what Piper actually says in the book about these issues.