Thabiti Anyabwile on “One Race”

ThabitiA few months ago Thabiti Anyabwile wrote an article challenging the idea that there are distinct human races. I recently read the article (available here), and I think it is fascinating. I’d encourage you to give it some thought. When you do, I would be very interested in your response to both his reasoning and his conclusion.

You can read Thabiti’s testimony here. Also, he authors a thoughtful blog entitled Pure Church.

Here’s the gist of what he believes about the question of race:

Strictly speaking, the Scripture knows nothing of our contemporary notion of “races.” People may have different skin color (or hair color), but they do not therefore belong to different “races.” The idea of “races” is, therefore, a fiction. There is but one human race descended from one parentage, all of whom are created in the image of God spiritually, rationally, morally, and bodily.

Hmmm. So maybe interracial marriage actually looks like this!


5 Responses

  1. What’s the debate? I always thought it was nit-picking at best when a certain university taught it was a sin for 2 people with different skin tones to be allowed to marry. I never had a problem with 2 people of different skin tones to marry. It’s interesting to note that Moses himself married an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1-8). Please don’t tell me they were white back then. :)

  2. Well, I think Thabiti’s article indicates the it’s not only fundamentalists who have made the idea of distinct races an issue. Even those who have long approved of “interracial marriage” are arguing for (or assuming that there are) distinct races.

    What interests me is not just the application to interracial relationships, but the idea that “interracial” is a bogus term altogether.

  3. See Ken Ham (and others) on “One Race” in their book “One Blood”:

  4. I actually heard Ken Ham speak on the issue of “interracial” on a (should I [uh-hum] admit it?)Cedarville University chapel broadcast on the radio back in the spring. I agree with Chris when he says that the term “interracial” is bogus. We are all part of the family of Adam (Gen. 1), as well as sinners because of Adam (Gen. 3).

  5. I don’t see a particular problem with grouping people in a variety of ways, whether by physical appearance, nationality, language, geography, socioeconomic status, etc. The idea of “race” in and of itself, though not definitive (i.e. it doesn’t have clear borders), is anthropologically just a way to group people with similar characteristics.

    The problem, IMO, is not with race classification, but with sin– sins of arrogance namely–times when some said certain races were less human (savage) because of their lack of civilization. Segregation was a sin of arrogance committed by some of certain physical characteristics against others because of their polical or financial power. These sins occur in the areas of economic pride, geographical, etc. as well.

    Anyway, I don’t think TA’s idea is so groundbreaking unless I am missing something–i.e. if there are those who say that different races have somehow had altered their genuine humanity. Having said that, I will stand next to any African-American brother, Mexican, Serbian, Kurd, or any other downtrodden group and condemn “racism” against them as sinful arrogance.

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