The cover of Oneness Embraced positions the book as a fresh look at reconciliation, the kingdom, and justice. The book, written by Dr. Tony Evans senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, is indeed a fresh look at these topics but it is so much more. Within its pages, Dr. Evans has produced a book true to his customary hard-hitting, deep-thinking style.
In the mid 1990s I heard Dr. Evans speak on racial reconciliation to a standing-room-only crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina. That was back when racial reconciliation was all church folks could talk about. What Dr. Evans shared that night was inspirational and radical. Standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others, I knew that God had used this man to speak directly to me about my role in bridge building and social justice. Oneness Embraced skillfully presents yet another layer of the message he delivered that night so many years ago.
In what amounts to a satisfying mixture of theological discourse, church history, and biography, Evans shows a more radical approach to reconciliation. Dr. Evans’s presentation of black evangelicalism is eye opening to me as a black woman. But Evans doesn’t stop there. He uses Oneness Embraced to speak to Christians of all hues and creeds about empowerment, personal responsibility, and the church’s mission in society. The examples from his own life and current events drive his points home.
“The solution to our problems won’t land on Air Force One, nor does God ride the backs of either donkeys or elephants. To put it another way, Christians should be representing God’s kingdom by caring for people across racial, gender, political, and class lines so well that the government experts come to us to find out how we do it.”
Evans is quick to point out that although racial oneness is crucial, it is not the end game. The ultimate goal of all our Christian earthly work–the evangelism, missions work, racial reconciliation efforts, social justice struggles–is to glorify our Reconciler and King. Embracing oneness in its fullest is only one way to help believers reach that ultimate goal.
Oneness Embraced: Through The Eyes of Tony Evans is not a quick easy read, but it is more than worthwhile. I recommend it to those who are student/practitioners of biblical racial reconciliation. Get ready to embrace oneness for the sake of the Kingdom.