I’ll be honest, I feel pretty ridiculous reviewing a book written by John Perkins. It’s written by John Perkins for crying out loud, so yeah, it’s an important book, a timely book, a compassionate book, and one that everyone should read. Done. Go buy the book.
But if you need more…
I’ve had the privilege of getting to meet and hear John Perkins speak in Canandaigua & Rochester New York a number of years ago, and he was: wise, brilliant, funny, loving, thoughtful, caring, and prophetic. His voice is one that our world has desperately needed and his life has had an immeasurable impact on the Church and our country.
One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race (2018) is exactly what the subtitle says it is, John’s final thoughts and encouragement to the Church as he nears the end of his life. His life and work has been about seeing racial reconciliation happen in our country and for the Church to be the leaders in that work. The book is both philosophical/theological & practical including a few spotlights on churches that are tangibly living out this call for racial reconciliation and it has a study guide for both personal and/or group reflection.
In a time and country where racial tensions continue to run high, this book is an important addition to the conversation about reconciliation. This book doesn’t point fingers, but instead it is an impassioned call for the Church in all its colors, to come together to do the hard and holy work of reconciliation (lament, confession, forgiveness, and prayer), so that we can experience healing & wholeness, and see our world come to know Jesus through our unity in Him.
Here are a few standout quotes from the book:
I’ll suggest that issues of justice, diversity, and reconciliation are not extra add-ons that the church can opt out of as a matter of personal preference. They are an essential part of the gospel. (p. 19-20)
…the black church can’t fix this. And the white church can’t fix this. It must be the reconciled Church, black and white Christians together imaging Christ to the world. (p. 33)
Our lack of unity has given the world cause to doubt His power and His existence. (p. 70)
African proverb: When I saw you from afar, I thought you were a monster. When you got closer, I thought you were just an animal. When you got even closer, I saw that you were a human, but when we were face to face I realized that you were my brother. (p. 164)
I am so thankful for the life and work of John Perkins and the impact he has had on my life and my world. What a faithful and loving servant he has been to his brothers & sisters of all races. I highly recommend this important book.