Preaching about Race: A Homiletic for Racial Reconciliation
Schoonmaker, Geoffrey Noel
This project develops a homiletic for preaching persuasively about race in white American evangelical congregations. I analyze racism in America through the lens of critical race theory, stressing the prevalence of unconscious racism, the inadequacy of color-blindness, and the importance of sacrificing white privilege. I outline a theology of racial atonement based on Ephesians 2:11-22, arguing that Jesus Christ died to establish racial equality and reconciliation without racial sameness. In correlating critical race theory and Eph 2:11-22, I propose that white churches provide racial reparations to black churches in accordance with the biblical theme of justice, specifically the Apostle Paul’s Jerusalem collection. I further argue that since racism historically has been legitimated through biblical and theological appeals, both critical race theory and Christian preaching need more critical race theology, as exemplified in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois. Finally, I propose that preachers employ Eph 2:11-22 to re-script racial reality in white evangelical churches, casting racism as a personal and social structural sin and advocating righteous race consciousness rather than color-blindness.