A congregational model for racial reconciliation in the Church
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SubjectRace relations -- Relilgious aspects -- Christianity.
Church and social problems.
Reconciliation -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
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This dissertation examines the state of racial reconciliation in the Christian church in the United States and suggests a congregational approach to better deal with the sin of racial prejudice still present in the church, both individually and corporately. Chapter 1 offers an introduction to the issue by stating its importance and pertinent literature. Chapter 2 presents a historical survey of the trajectory of race relations in the United States, starting from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. It suggests that the ideas of four African American intellectuals and their ideologies have shaped the perspectives on race relations in the United States. Chapter 3 makes use of neuroscience research findings in helping us understand the power of memory, perception, and behavioral attitudes related to racial prejudice. It also makes use of this research to ascertain the renewal of the mind of a believer with the teachings of the Bible, so as to produce a new way of viewing human beings and to ameliorate racial prejudice in Christians. Chapter 4 presents the most common models currently being used for dealing with racial reconciliation. It suggests a better model, the congregational model, to make sure that race prejudice is eviscerated from the minds and hearts of believers in Jesus Christ. Chapter 5 presents mentoring as an effective congregational tool to enable Christians to appreciate, validate, and create awareness in the role of the Holy Spirit through teaching the mind how to heal and become renewed across the color line aided by the word of God. Chapter 6 sums up the main themes treated in the dissertation, as well as offers a series of suggestions for further research. It presents a brief biblical theology of race reconciliation based on the biblical concepts of love, redemption, forgiveness, and renewal of the mind.