Skip to main content

Redemptive Kingdom Diversity: A Biblical Theology of the People of God by Jarvis J. Williams

Mixed Media

Does God’s purpose of creation and redemption have anything to do with race? Is the gospel relevant to anti-racism? Tracing from Genesis to Revelation, the author of this book shows that God has always wanted to create an ethnically diverse community. Racial unity, equity and justice have always been part of the redemptive call. As the author clearly states in the Introduction chapter, “the book serves to motivate the ethnically diverse people of God to live in intentional pursuit of God’s vision for redemptive kingdom diversity.”

Speaking to the reality of deeply entrenched racism in society and church, the author argues “Racism in all the ways in which it manifests itself is antithetical to the transformed people of God and contrary to God’s vision for redemptive kingdom diversity.” 

Some people in the church may consider engaging in race-related discussions a digression from the biblical mandate. But according to Jarvis J. Williams, if you examine the history of the Black church tradition, “opposing racism and addressing matters of racial justice” has always been “the church’s mission and the gospel’s outworking.” 

A powerful argument for redemptive kingdom diversity is the theological concept of human dignity as God’s image-bearers. The author discusses the social phenomenon of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The evil of racial supremacy lies in its tendency to “dehumanize the so-called inferior race and works to hinder that race’s ability to flourish mentally, physically, and spiritually.”

This book invites Christian believers to reflect on the gaps between their biblical knowledge and praxis when it comes to race. White evangelical churches especially need to re-examine their privilege and complicity in not upholding redemptive kingdom diversity. As the author points out, the issue is about power, not just about racial hierarchies in society, but also classism and political identification. What should believers do when forces of this world try to bind us into one type of superior identity? The author also ends with an encouragement to the Black church. “A healthy celebration of the beautiful Black joy and of the multiethnic diversity in the church and in society is one way the diverse people of God can display God’s glory through his beautiful and creative power.” (Baker Academic)


We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now