In This Issue

Eric Landry
Wednesday, January 2nd 2008
Jan/Feb 2008

Nearly 150 years after the emancipation of Southern slaves and just 50 years after the beginning of the Civil Rights era, race still captures our attention: in the summer of 2007, the case of the so-called “Jena Six” in an old battleground-Selma, Alabama-was played out in the blogosphere, newspaper headlines, and nightly news. Such “old” news has probably been replayed in a dozen ways in as many situations since. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the forty-fifth year of his landmark book, Why We Can’t Wait. The institutional church, meanwhile, has not been an innocent bystander to a culture’s sin. All too often the church has been complicit in the actual subjugation, explicit segregation, and implicit bigotry that American minorities have had to bear: church gun clubs using pictures of Union generals, even President Lincoln, as targets; and pastors being run out of churches for allowing the possibi lity of a mixed race marriage. Sadly these examples are none too rare even in our confessional communions.

It is to the issue of confession that we turn first with Reformed theologian and Editor-in-Chief Michael Horton’s contribution to this issue. Paired with Dr. Horton’s is an article (originally preached as a sermon) by Baptist pastor Thabiti Anyabwile. His article, “Corporate Christian Mergers,” shows how Paul’s apostolic instruction in Ephesians 2 is a necessary development of the central narrative of Scripture: the reconciliation of God to his creatures.

As long as we keep our discussion of grace and race at this level, very few people are challenged or even encouraged to pursue the sort of reconciliation that is made real by the gospel. To help bring this issue down to earth, we’re looking at three different ways grace and race meet. First, in the lives of minority ministers: Presbyterian seminary professor Julius Kim examines the unique pressures felt by bicultural ministers as they seek to navigate a careful passage through expectations of their traditional and new cultures; Justin Taylor, an editor at Crossway and a popular blogger, paints a picture of God’s kingdom work through his narrative on transracial adoption; and Presbyterian pastor Chris Sandoval talks about the difficulty of translating the basic insights of the Reformation into language and concepts Hispanics can understand and appreciate.

Also in this issue is a personal conversation between Michael Horton and Ken Jones, pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church in Compton, California, and co-host of the White Horse Inn radio program. What brought these two friends together and what sustains their friendship and partnership in pursuit of a modern reformation? You won’t want to skip the transcript of this broadcast interview!

As has been our custom for the last several years, the first issue of each new publication year includes a few changes. First, we want to draw your attention to a new feature, “In Season: meditations on reading, preaching, and using Scripture.” Each issue of 2008 will include a special “In Season” article. You’ll also notice that our “Family Matters” column, written by educator Starr Meade, has moved to the front of the magazine and become “Big Thoughts for Little Minds.” Starr’s new column will help you teach important theological concepts to the children in your life. Our apologetics column has been refurbished: editor William Edgar is showing us how our culture’s borrowed capital provides an opportunity for Christians to testify of God and his gospel. After several years, our news column, “Between the Times,” has returned under the able oversight of journalist Mollie Z. Hemingway. And we’ve turned the back page of the magazine over to the pen of our edito r-in-chief Michael Horton with a few “Final Thoughts.”

Thanks for starting the New Year with us. If you’d like a friend or colleague to join in the conversation, send them to our website where they can sign up for a free trial subscription (which includes 30 days of access to our internet archives). You won’t want to miss the rest of the issues we have planned this year.

Eric Landry

P.S. As this issue was being developed, the folks over at Nine Marks Ministries hosted a symposium on race, which included some of the same names you’re reading in these pages. The work of the symposium is now online at http://www.9marks.org and we’d encourage you to refer to it as you make your way through this issue.

Photo of Eric Landry
Eric Landry
Eric Landry is the chief content officer of Sola Media and former executive editor of Modern Reformation. He also serves as the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas.
Wednesday, January 2nd 2008

“Modern Reformation has championed confessional Reformation theology in an anti-confessional and anti-theological age.”

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