Open Letter to John Piper on White Evangelicalism and Multiethnic Relations

Lecrae, Truth's Table, and an Asian American ministry leader

Dear John Piper,

In your Desiring God article, you wrote how you didn’t know what Lecrae’s “loosening from ‘white evangelicalism’ means for multi-ethnic relations.” I’d like to attempt to address this.

Before I do, I’d like to offer up a definition of terms.

Evangelicalism: 1) a movement of gospel centrality, focused on the primacy of scripture and justification by faith that emerged from the reformation, 2) a modern movement within Protestantism marked by Bebbington’s quadrilateral of Biblicism, Crucicentrism, Conversionism, and Activism

White Evangelicalism: a segment of modern evangelicalism that is led and shaped by a cultural agenda defined by whiteness.

The reason people struggle to distinguish between evangelicalism and white evangelicalism is because evangelicalism was historically and consistently shaped by whiteness. It was because of this dominance and exclusion within evangelicalism that non-white populations formed their own evangelical organizations (National Black Evangelical Association, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, etc.). Essentially, blacks and Latinos found that their issues and needs weren’t being addressed by their white counterparts, so they started their own movements. It was because white evangelicals didn’t make room for non-white evangelicals that black evangelicalism and Latino American evangelicalism emerged. If they had, we wouldn’t have the need for adjectives before the term evangelical.

I fear that unless white evangelicalism changes in significant fashion, Lecrae is only going to be the beginning of the exodus, despite not being the first to depart.

A couple decades ago, Asian Americans witnessed something ...

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