"What I have tried to do in this book is show that the gospel of Jesus Christ - the death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners - is the only...more"What I have tried to do in this book is show that the gospel of Jesus Christ - the death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners - is the only sufficient power for this effort [racial harmony], and the only power that in the end will bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross." (233)
I believe Piper has done what he claims to do with this book, that is, to highlight why racial harmony and reconcilliation matters to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and why the gospel is the only adequate power to bring racial harmony about. Those readers with an understanding of Reformed theology will especially benefit from his description of how reformed soteriology and the Five Solas are the basis for racial harmony to the glory of God. His method is anecdotal, sociological, historical, theological, but most importantly exegetical and therefore gospel-centered.
Short of writing a book two or three times as long, the scope of Bloodlines is limited. While the book (I believe) accomplished what it claimed to do, I only gave four stars because it lacks the wood and fuel to keep the fire hot. This book is like a spark that has the potential to help individuals burn brighter and saltier, but not without kindling (poor analogy but hopefully you get the point). There is a significant lack of writing on practical and corporate practices that can help facilitate racial harmony and reconciliation. As the book progressed, I began to get the sense that the implicit reasons for this are because (1) Piper just doesn't have the answers, and (2) if there are any, the answers are plain old messy.
With those two points as my missing criteria for a five-star biblical book on racial harmony, I understand that such a book may never exist. Yet I gladly give Bloodlines four stars because I believe that this is the kind of the book that will get faithful, but imperfect Christians to reject attitudes of apathy, discouragement, or reductionism and make racial harmony an emphasis in their lives, whatever it looks like.(less)
This book has very particular strengths that earned it a higher rating than I would have given it on a brief cursory read. As an single guy who did no...moreThis book has very particular strengths that earned it a higher rating than I would have given it on a brief cursory read. As an single guy who did not have the benefit of experiencing or seeing many faithful and godly men leading their homes, Witmer puts forth a good and biblical explanation of four aspects of shepherd leadership in the home (marriage & fatherhood): knowing, leading, protecting, and providing. These topics are fairly comprehensive, but not unfamiliar to many evangelical Christian men.
I would have personally preferred a broader application in Chapter 9 (Protecting Your Marriage) that extended beyond adultery, and the small addition of writing that pastorally addressed some of the low-grade guilt that many men experience through their own progressive sanctification in the realm of the home.
For the most part, Witmer excels in putting forth countless practical applications and suggestions for daily life, including discussion questions after every chapter. It personally gave me a better picture of what the harped-on theological principles of manhood actually looked like in the home. In sight of that, I was humbled by the goodness and weightiness of the responsibility given to husbands and/or fathers to love their families as a shepherd. I would probably recommend it for men who already have a desire to be God-honoring shepherd leaders to their families.(less)
This is a rather short book but I will certainly not be forgetting about it anytime soon. Lucas is an incredibly adept storyteller who provides series...moreThis is a rather short book but I will certainly not be forgetting about it anytime soon. Lucas is an incredibly adept storyteller who provides series of candid snapshots of his family's experiences raising their adopted and disabled son. As a result, this book crashed against the shore my own heart, and changed it, despite my having no connection to anyone with a significant disability. Lucas' story is like an aged and beaten lighthouse on the water's edge. It has a beautiful and rugged appearance because of the years spent bearing the relentless erosion of the waves. It bears many cracked surfaces and the paint is chipped off, it's original luster faded, but yet it stands as a testament, and it shines God's relentless grace all the more brightly where there otherwise would have been shipwreck. I would honestly recommend it to anyone. If you read this book; you will cry, you will laugh, you will stop and pray, and you will have a deeper sense of God's grace and fatherly love in the deepest trenches of life on this side of heaven.(less)