John Piper, Tony Evans Want to See More Churches With Heaven’s Multi-Ethnic Face

It was an honor to share the stage with John Piper at last week's "multi-ethnic ministries" conference in Memphis (Kainos). (Tony Evans/Facebook)
It was an honor to share the stage with John Piper at last week’s “multi-ethnic ministries” conference in Memphis (Kainos). (Tony Evans/Facebook)

In a recent episode of “Ask Pastor John,” Dr. John Piper expressed his gratitude for having been a part of a conference where he spoke alongside Dr. Tony Evans regarding Biblical perspectives on racial harmony within the church.

John Piper and Tony Evans are faithful expositors of God’s word, having each served in the pulpit for decades. Though Piper knew Dr. Evans, he had never heard him preach in person. The two were invited as guest speakers at the Kainos event in Memphis, TN, – a conference encouraging pastors to grow the church “into the kind of multi-ethnic face that it will have in the kingdom,” Piper says.

The retired pastor and author says he was enthralled by Dr. Evans’ message at the conference. Evans, who was the first African American to get his doctorate at Dallas Theological Seminary, pastors Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas. The two men delivered messages at the conference, and did a Q-and-A together – Piper joked that the event’s host wanted the perspective of “Two old guys – I think he’s 65, I’m 68 – so we’ve lived through a lot of racial stuff, and he wanted us to get into our stories,” he says.

Piper came away from Dr. Evan’s message more joyful and passionate for racial harmony within the church – “I just sat there enthralled at the way [Evans] used the Bible and spoke about the Bible in relationship to the whole issue of racial diversity and racial harmony,” he says. Dr. Evans spoke from John chapter four, where Jesus approached the woman at the well – “[Evans] walked us through it, dropping nuggets of wisdom everywhere,” Piper says.

Jesus didn’t need to go through Samaria on His journey, Evans explained – in fact, Jews often thought themselves racially superior to the Samaritans and would not even venture to travel through the country. Christ did so because He wanted to demonstrate that the Gospel breaks down racial divides – or, as Evans put it, “Spiritual needs overrode cultural differences.”

The Samaritan woman knew that Jesus was a Jew because of His physical appearance and the way that He spoke. “Implication: He didn’t stop being a Jew in order to reach this ‘half-breed’ Samaritan,” Piper says, summarizing Evans’ message – “You don’t have to stop being who you are in order to reach out across the [racial] line – but you don’t let who you are get in the way of reaching, either.”

The Samaritan woman knew that Jesus was a Jew because of His physical appearance and the way that He spoke. “Implication: He didn’t stop being a Jew in order to reach this ‘half-breed’ Samaritan,” Piper says, summarizing Evans’ message – “You don’t have to stop being who you are in order to reach out across the [racial] line – but you don’t let who you are get in the way of reaching, either.”

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SOURCE: Gospel Herald
Lauren Leigh Noske

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