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Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian Hardcover – September 8, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“John Piper has given us an exquisite work on the matter of race. He addresses the issue with biblical and theological soundness coupled with personal sensitivity and practical advice. This is a must read for those who wish to pursue unity God’s way.”
Tony Evans, Co-founder and Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship

“Americans have been turning to organizations, education, famous personalities, and ultimately government in an effort to address the on-going racial strife in our nation. In 2008 many hoped that the election of an African-American president would finally bridge this ongoing racial divide. Today, we are left wondering why racial tensions have not abated. John Piper argues from specific biblical texts that the only solution powerful enough to overcome racial strife and bring about racial reconciliation and harmony is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is this gospel that announces that, through his blood, Jesus has demolished the dividing wall that separates humanity along racial lines and has brought all ethnicities together as brothers and sisters into one body—the church. Yet Piper does not end there. He carefully shepherds us through the various implications of gospel thinking in relation to race and ethnicity. In this sense, the book you hold in your hands is so much more than a book about race and ethnicity. Bloodlines is a prime example of how we Christians are to do the hard work of renewing our minds by replacing old ways of thinking with gospel ways of thinking. Read this book and let it serve as a model of how to prepare your mind for action and think soberly about God, your sin, Christ, the gospel, and one another for the sake of your soul, Christ’s church, and God’s glory.”
Juan R. Sanchez, Jr., Pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas

“For years, I have yearned for a biblically sound, theologically anchored resource on race. God has answered that prayer. Leaping off the pages of Bloodlines is the power of the gospel to overcome and defeat racism and a call to cross-centered, holy justice in our attitudes and actions toward those who are not like us. This is an important, foundational work and I am sure it will be used of God to remind all of us of the power and precious, priceless dignity of the gospel.”
Crawford W. Loritts Jr., Senior Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, Roswell, Georgia; author, A Passionate Commitment

“Piper bequeaths an outstanding—and at times, risky—work on race and ethnicity, thoroughly soaked in the biblical Christian Hedonism worldview. I found that Piper’s personal testimony from the 1960s until now and his exploration of critical thinking of African American writers past and present demonstrate the complexity of dealing honestly with the topic for the evangelical who seeks to honor the Savior. He is right: on race, ‘we have fallen together.’ The only question that remains is whether or not individual members of the evangelical church in America will take deeply to heart this sincere analysis of the cross of Christ and race and then become a steadfast holy force for undoing the problems of racism in North America and the world.”
Eric C. Redmond, Bible Professor in Residence, New Canaan Baptist Church

About the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

TIMOTHY KELLER is founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (September 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433528525
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433528521
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Racism is not dead. Despite what you may think about the issue--from those that see our modern day America as a glorious fondue of ethnic delights to those that see through the smokescreen a bit too readily--racism is certainly not dead. For many of us, though, it is. We live in our content bubbles, satisfied with the status of ethnic diversity in America. Look at how far we've come, we say. Slavery abolished. Equal rights for all. Amen, and I'm thankful to God that we've come at least that far. But the question I raise, and one that John Piper points to in his latest book Bloodlines, is look how far we've still got to go.

Bloodlines is an engaging and provocative book. Piper, respected globally as a passionate man of God, sets out to show how racial harmony and embracing ethnic diversity are Biblically sound doctrines and ultimately glorifying to God. He takes on several of the modern controversies surrounding race and addresses everything with the Bible. Indeed, he steps up and writes with blunt passion, even when it's difficult to do so. But as he says,

"This deeply felt sense of race as a continuing, painful, and pervasive issue in America means that talking about race continues to be difficult. The feelings run very deep and very high. If your skin is thin...hold your tongue. But holding our tongues does not usually advance understanding, deepen respect, warm the affections, or motivate action."

Yes, if we want change, if we want a greater respect of our fellow man, then we cannot hold our tongues, and thankfully Piper doesn't.

I think Bloodlines is an easy read, in that Piper is honest in his desire. He writes of growing up in South Carolina and of the racial sins he had to overcome, and only so by the blood of Jesus.
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Format: Hardcover
When someone says the name John Piper, what comes to mind?




Yes, I said racist. Well, actually John Piper said racist. In fact, racism is the topic of Piper's newest book Bloodlines. Still, this probably isn't like any book you have ever read on the issue of racism, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Piper opens Bloodlines by telling his own story of growing up here in the South. What you may not know (okay...I already gave it away) is that John Piper grew up as a racist. I won't reveal any details, but the book is worth it's price just to read Piper's story (see the documentary below).

Moving later in the text, Piper does not just criticize (biblically) those who oppose inter-racial marriage, he actual makes a case for why inter-racial marriage is a good thing! Let me tell you, this chapter is short but a must-read!

What really sets Bloodlines apart from other Christian books dealing with racism is its emphasis on the Gospel. It turns out that John Piper spends more time unpacking the Gospel in response to racism than anything else. In fact, I would say that this is one of Piper's clearest expositions of the Gospel and specifically the Reformed perspective on the Gospel. As Piper walks through each chapter and begins to explain the Gospel you will be compelled to finish the chapter by asking, "Do I really believe what I just read about the Gospel? If I do, then I cannot be a racist."

In the final analysis, Piper utterly destroys the idol of racial superiority by simply reminding Christians of the Gospel they have believed. I submit that one could not read Bloodlines and come away holding to racism. In fact, based upon Piper's argumentation, I would dare say that the reader will be forced to choose between believing the Gospel or being a racist. By far, this is one of the best books John Piper has ever penned. READ IT!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent book on racism and how to fight it with the gospel-centered implications. Racism is real. Piper does not diminish it nor pretend that it doesn't exist. He honestly acknowledges that he was once a racist! And he addresses how the church/believers can truly fight the racism. In sum:

1. The book addresses that ALL of us are in some real sense a racist. This is hard to swallow for many, but if you follow Piper's reasoning in the book, you will agree. This real acknowledgment of racism opens up the possibility of supernatural solution in the gospel.
2. The book also reveals the destructive consequences of racism. We hear this in the media, but Piper does an admirable job - showing us, how destructive it is in a personal way as well.
3. The book addresses that solution to racism lies in the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed and its implication expounded in human relationships among different race. The politics or programs of the society cannot really change the racism, because only the gospel can change the racist heart in the man.

All in all, I was enlightened and encouraged by the book. Especially, how he relates the gospel to racism. Very well done. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bloodlines adds to the discussion of race relations by its full throated enthusiasm for how the Christian gospel offers unique and real solutions to cultural, ethnic and racial divisions, particularly in a Western context. This book is primarily a Biblical exegesis, driven by local church, pastoral concerns, about the particular problems of racism and how to bring peace and harmony to long standing, seemingly intractable problems.

I was first interested in this book because the author, recently retired Minnesota pastor, John Piper, grew up in a neighborhood near me, and describes a local world, the American South, on the cusp of desegregation, of 50 years ago, that I am certainly familiar with. Piper's context, and his own personal observation about himself, that he was a functional, cultural racist during his teen years, coming from the dominant white culture of the time, is something that I can understand well. His personal biography, leading to seeking and mining Biblical truths concerning ethnic and racial divisions, while in graduate school, and even later seeking intentionally to move to a non white majority neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN, gives credence to his desire to incarnation-ally live a life that embraces a Biblical call for all nations and groups to worship Christ.

He addressed contemporary concerns while showing how he believes that concerns outside the realm of the healing power of the Christian gospel can only offer a patch. For instance, his teaching that diversity without harmony, is not a long term solution resonates. While dealing with contemporary culture, this is not a book of politics, but rather an attempt by one Christian pastor to address longstanding divisions with the direct application of Biblical exegesis.
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