The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of salvation for everyone who believes in him. Because the gospel is a saving power, it reconciles sinful human beings to God and one another. Because the gospel is a reconciling power, it destroys sinful social, cultural and racial boundaries. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
At Beeson Divinity School, we believe the church is called to proclaim this gospel in word and deed. So we learn the biblical, historical, theological and social dimensions of the gospel. We try to do this in Christian community, in person, not over the phone or online. By God’s grace, we also try to learn from those who are different from us racially, ethnically and denominationally. We try to learn from our history and from others’ histories. We often fail. We often default to our sinful tribal instincts. We frequently show our blind spots. Yet, we try to admit our mistakes and grow in grace. We try, by the Spirit’s help, to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
At our annual new student orientation, Dr. Frank Thielman spoke about the Bible’s clear teaching on social justice and equality. In the talk below, he explores six biblical texts that demonstrate God’s plan and desire for his church to show the saving and reconciling power of the gospel to destroy sinful social boundaries. He also describes the history of sinful social boundaries in Birmingham, Alabama, and offers some suggestions for how we can learn and live the gospel in this place.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth for everyone, and we are always in need of grace. We need to be reminded of both. We hope the talk helps others as it has helped us at Beeson.