With the inauguration of President Barack Obama, a new era of race relations has begun in America. This child of a racially mixed marriage has captured the highest office of the land and the imaginations of people around the world. One cannot help but notice the complexion of America is changing. The face of our nation is transitioning from a predominately white one to various shades of tan.
The church, however, still struggles with interracial relationships, if not in theory, at least in practice. While Jesus loves the little children without distinction—red and yellow, black and white—his church, for the most part, reflects an equal but separate model of worship. Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week; but, things are slowly beginning to change.
As the racial identity of the nation becomes more blurred, so will the racial make-up of the church. Therefore, it is incumbent on seminary professors to equip future pastors to become effective leaders of a hybrid church. Additionally, those currently in ministry will soon find themselves dealing with matters for which they were not trained. Issues such as racially-diverse worship styles, multiracial leadership, interracial dating and mixed marriage are but a few of the challenges ahead.
The Spring 2009 edition of Criswell Theological Review focuses on the issue of interracial marriage. We have invited a group of experienced scholars to address the topic, including Craig Keener, Danny Hays, and Edwin Yamauchi, among others; plus, we feature an exclusive interview with Rodney Woo, pastor of Wilcrest Baptist Church in Houston, TX, who tells of the joys and difficulties of taking a declining white congregation and transforming it into a thriving multiracial church.
You can order the issue at" Criswelljournal.com