Much of evangelical theology has been slow to acknowledge the perennial problem of racism present both in America as well as around the world. From Every People and Nation serves as an outstanding contribution to constructing a biblical theology of race, which provides a much needed corrective to the harmful racial preconceptions present within North American and European scholarship, art, and other media. Of particular interest is the role of the Cushites (black Africans), who play a prominent role in the Old Testament, but receive very little scholarly treatment or attention. Hays's analysis insightfully draws attention to the racial make-up of ancient biblical peoples and provides a strong foundation for Christian theology as the Church faces the present challenges of racism as well as ministry within various multi-racial and multi-ethnic environments.
"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language . . ." (Revelation 7:9). The visions in the book of Revelation give a glimpse of the people of God at the consummation of history--a multiethnic congregation gathered together in worship around God's throne. Its racial diversity is expressed in a fourfold formula that first appears in Genesis 10. The theme of race runs throughout Scripture, constantly pointing to the global and multiethnic dimensions inherent in the overarching plan of God. In response to the neglect of this theme in much evangelical biblical scholarship, J. Daniel Hays offers a thorough exegetical study. As well as focusing on texts which have a general bearing on race, Hays demonstrates that black Africans from Cush (Ethiopia) play an important role in both Old and New Testament history. This careful, nuanced analysis provides a clear theological foundation for life in contemporary multiracial cultures and challenges churches to pursue racial unity in Christ.
Hays (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is chair of the department of biblical studies and theology at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He and his family have worked previously as missionaries in Ethiopia. He is also a coauthor of (Zondervan).
Hays' book is an important step in both compelling us to embrace Scripture's vision of multi-ethnic people of God as well compelling us to work for practical expressions of this vision in our own churches.
"J. Daniel Hays is able simultaneously to make us long for the new heaven and the new earth, when men and women from every tongue and tribe and people and nation will gather around the One who sits on the throne and the Lamb, and to make us blush with shame when we recognize afresh that already the church of Jesus Christ is to be an outpost in this fallen world of that consummated kingdom. This book deserves the widest circulation and the most thoughtful reading, for it corrects a fair bit of erroneous scholarship while calling Christians to reform sinful attitudes."
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