We are living in historic times. Not since the civil rights movement of the 60s has our country been this vigorously engaged in the reconciliation conversation. There is a great opportunity right now for culture to change, to be a more perfect union. However, it cannot be done without the church, because the faith of the people is more powerful than any law government can enact.
The church is the heart and moral compass of a nation. To turn a country away from God, you must sideline the church. To turn a nation to God, the church must turn first. Racism won't end in America until the church is reconciled first. Then—and only then—can it spiritually and morally lead the way.
Dr. John M. Perkins is a leading civil rights activist today. He grew up in a Mississippi sharecropping family, was an early pioneer of the civil rights movement, and has dedicated his life to the cause of racial equality. In this, his crowning work, Dr. Perkins speaks honestly to the church about reconciliation, discipleship, and justice... and what it really takes to live out biblical reconciliation.
He offers a call to repentance to both the white church and the black church. He explains how band-aid approaches of the past won't do. And while applauding these starter efforts, he holds that true reconciliation won't happen until we get more intentional and relational. True friendships must happen, and on every level. This will take the whole church, not just the pastors and staff.
The racial reconciliation of our churches and nation won't be done with big campaigns or through mass media. It will come one loving, sacrificial relationship at a time. The gospel and all that it encompasses has always traveled best relationally. We have much to learn from each other and each have unique poverties that can only be filled by one another. The way forward is to become "wounded healers" who bandage each other up as we discover what the family of God really looks like. Real relationships, sacrificial love between actual people, is the way forward. Nothing less will do.
“There is no institution on earth more equipped or more capable of bringing transformation to the cause of reconciliation than the Church.”
Words of wisdom to the next generation from a pioneer of the civil rights movement
John M. Perkins was born in Mississippi in the 1930s into a sharecropping family and lived through the hate-filled and tumultuous decades thereafter. He has dedicated his life to biblical reconciliation. Now, at age 87, he entrusts the church with the truths he wants us to know while there’s still time.
One Blood looks at everything from lament and forgiveness to racial tensions and mutual fear. You’ll learn why "racial reconciliation" isn’t the goal. And most importantly, you’ll learn how to walk forward on the path toward oneness in Christ.
As racial tensions rise, the world needs the church to lead now more than ever. But true leadership starts with listening.
Let’s gather round and lean in as wisdom speaks.
Dr. John M. Perkins is the founder and president emeritus of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation and cofounder of Christian Community Development Association. He has served in advisory roles under five U.S. presidents, is one of the leading evangelical voices to come out of the American civil rights movement, and is an author and international speaker on issues of reconciliation, leadership, and community development. For his tireless work he has received 14 honorary doctorates. One Blood, along with Dr. Perkins other books, provides an enduring legacy for a man who continues to leave his mark on American culture.
“G. K. Chesterton said, ‘It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem” (source)
“God never intended for His body to be one group that all looked the same” (source)
“This is a God-sized problem. It is one that only the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can heal” (source)
Praise for One Blood
John Perkins’s new book, One Blood, is an open invitation for the body of Christ—whether a church, denomination, or individual—to take inventory of our progress. Are we living by Christ’s standards, or have we succumbed to those of the world? While the latest research reveals that the average church is stagnant at best, Christ has challenged His church to stay in the race and get His work done! John Perkins’s book poses some tough questions and offers practical advice for doing just that.
Senior pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
President, The Urban Alternative
“Perkins rightly states that true reconciliation with our brothers and sisters ‘from every nation’ has been long overdue, and we continue to witness disastrous results. ... Dr. Perkins's insight and guidance on this subject are well worth considering by today's church leadership as well as individual members of the body of Christ.”
Founding pastor of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life
I’m not quite sure where to begin with Dr. John Perkins’s latest and, perhaps, final book, One Blood. I think the best way to capture the heart of this book is that, ultimately, this is a love letter to the church. By this, I’m not suggesting that this is a nebulous or fluffy invitation to a feel good, pop psychology about the injustice of racism. Rather, it’s both fierce and tender, pastoral and prophetic, lamenting and hopeful. Dr. Perkins—both through his words and corroborated by a life faithfully lived—invites us to a deeper love for God and for neighbor—including and especially those that don’t look like us, think like us, or feel like us. And in a world today of so much pain, fear, and division, we need to desperately be reminded of God’s reconciling truth, grace, and love.
Pastor, humanitarian, and author of Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?
This is a powerful, prophetic appeal to people of faith to address our nation’s tragic history of racial injustice. Like Daniel, Amos, and Micah, John Perkins has profound insight on the health of our nation and the sin of racial bigotry that has burdened us for too long. One Blood is an altar call for justice to which we should all respond.
Founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, clinical professor at New York University School of Law, and author of Just Mercy
John Perkins has been giving me a transfusion of reconciling love for forty years. We may be one, but John has always had the better blood, more of Christ’s healing and renewing love. So over and over, both for me and for so many, John has infused us with fresh vision and bold passion for God’s reconciling love and justice. This wise book testifies that that same blood is still vital and pumping hard!
President, Fuller Theological Seminary
I am so thankful that John Perkins has written One Blood. It is a must-read for all people. John carefully and powerfully weaves Scripture, his personal story, illustrations of true reconciliation with an encouraging style that brings hope. I loved reading it and so will you.
Founding pastor of Lawndale Community Church and chairman of Christian Community Development Association
One Blood is indeed, in Dr. Perkins’s own words, a “manifesto” and the culmination of his life’s work and calling to realize biblical reconciliation. There’s a clear sense of urgency and candor about the days ahead for the church, the all-important role of the gospel message, and the baton that has to pass to the next generation.
I often say Dr. Perkins is a true national treasure. Here he has written his very heart and soul—a history and biography—in One Blood, and has poured all of himself out in beautiful, selfless love. This book is a must-read for any and all who share the burden for this ongoing fight.
Lead pastor, Churchome (formerly The City Church)
New York Times bestselling author, Jesus Is ____.