Josiah Davis

Nine Quotes from John Perkins’ One Blood

Ch. 1: The Church Should Look Like That

“For too long, many in the Church have argued that unity in the body of Christ across ethnic and class lines is a separate issue from the gospel. There has been the suggestion that we can be reconciled to God without being reconciled to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Scripture doesn’t bear that out. We only need to examine what happened when the Church was birthed to see exactly how God intends for this issue of reconciliation within the body of Christ to fall out (p. 33).”

Ch. 2: One Race, One Blood

“There’s only one race, but over time we’ve elevated things like skin color, hair texture, language, and ethnicity to a level where they become the main criteria we use to judge entire groups of people. And then we take those classifications and assign them values that we use to include or exclude, to normalize or stereotype, to celebrate or denigrate. We use these things to determine who we hire, the boundaries of neighborhoods, who gets pulled over by police, the length of prison sentences, and on it goes (p. 53).“

Ch. 3: A Lament for our Broken Past

“Perhaps the strongest indictment against us as the Church is that we have settled for an Americanized version of the Church that mirrors whatever culture says, and there is no collective sense of loss, no sense of remorse. We have sinned deeply. The problem is that we haven’t got a taste of the sinfulness of racism… We don’t see the wickedness of profiling God’s people that He has created to be one and that He has created in His image (p. 75).“

Ch. 4: The Healing Balm of Confession

“Many of my white brothers and sisters may need to confess denying that racism exists, choosing to ignore the implications of privilege, and at times acting to reinforce a double standard (p. 89).“

Ch. 5: Forgiveness: It’s In our DNA

“Nelson Mandela has been rightly celebrated. After being imprisoned for twenty-seven years many expected him to emerge consumed with a lust for revenge. But instead of spewing calls for revenge, he urged his people to work for reconciliation. He invited his former jailer to attend his presidential inauguration as a VIP guest. And instead of a bloodbath, the world saw the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). People who had committed the most heinous crimes were given amnesty in exchange for a full disclosure of the facts of the offense (p. 105).“

Ch. 6: Tear Down This Wall!

“If we have been silent and have chosen to ignore the mistreatment of others in the past, we should begin to speak up and challenge injustices. If we were racist and bigoted in our speech and actions, there should be a radical change that is observable. If we have been angry and spiteful toward the other, there should be a radical change that is observable. And, yes, if we have an abundance of wealth and we have the opportunity to use this blessing to encourage those we have previously been prejudiced against, we should open our hands in Christian love and brotherhood (p. 117).“

Ch. 7: God Don’t Want No Coward Soldiers

“My friend Bill Pannell is another one of those heroes. In 1968 he wrote My Friend, the Enemy. It shook the evangelical world. Many of his white friends who read the book did not believe that he wrote it, because the life that he wrote about was foreign to them. What it revealed was that “it was possible for a white person to call Bill a close friend and still know little of a black man’s life in a white world.” (p. 137).“

Ch. 8: Prayer, The Weapon of Warfare

“William Pannell said in one of his sermons that the ugliest four-letter word in the English vocabulary is them.4 It’s a word that separates and divides. It’s important that we know their names. It’s really hard to dislike someone you pray for regularly (p. 153).“

Ch. 9: The Greatest Of These Is Love

“One of those very special friend relationships has been with Wayne Gordon… We decided that we need to talk and pray for each other every day. We’ve been doing life together like this for more than thirty years now. We decided a long time ago that we were going to link arms together—one black brother and one white brother—we would see where God would take us (p. 167).“

Perkins, John M. One Blood: Parting Words to the Church on Race and Love. Kindle Edition. Moody Publishers, 2018.