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This morning at Immanuel Nashville one of our fine members, Mr. David Tolbert, proposed three compelling questions for us all to consider, with further implications.  With David’s kind permission, I offer his thoughts here:

Brothers and sisters, we must come to grips with three hard questions. And because they are hard, we need help from Jesus.

First, What is it like to be black in America? What is the reality that black people face every day? How much more difficult are their lives just because they are black?

Second, What is the reality of being poor in America? Are there two Americas, rich and poor?

Third, What is the reality of being privileged in America? White privilege is so woven into the fabric of American life that we are all but oblivious to it.

We must ask these three questions as they pertain to at least four major areas of life. What affect do race, poverty, and privilege have on education (what we learn)? What affect do race, poverty, and privilege have on employment (what we earn)? What affect do race, poverty, and privilege have on housing (where we live)? And what affect do race, poverty, and privilege have on social justice (how we are treated before the law)?

We must come to grips with these questions. We must dig painfully deep. Jesus will help us, and we will be amazed!


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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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