In this audio talk, Carl Ellis utilizes the concepts of righteousness and unrighteousness to help understand the issue of race and bridging the racial gap. Ellis draws out four dimensions of unrighteousness from the Scriptures: 1.) Ungodliness – When a person sins and suffers his/her own consequences; 2.) Oppression – When a person sins and forces others to suffer the consequences; 3.) Individual – face to face intentional sin; and 4.) Institutional – sin woven into the social fabric of the society. Ellis asks the question, “Are we fighting the battle on all 4 fronts?” If not, our theology is inadequate. Ellis then draws out the four dimensions of righteousness from the Scriptures: 1.) Godliness – doing right by God in terms of devotion and piety; 2.) Justice – doing right by other human beings; 3.) Individual – doing right to a person face-to-face; and 4.) Institutional – doing right to people woven into the social fabric of the society.
Ellis points out that each aspect is crucial to the integrity of the whole – it is a system. He then moves into a discussion of bicultural dynamics including: Dominant/Sub-dominant power dynamics; Functional/dysfunctional dynamics; and Assimilation/Identification dynamics. Ellis spends time examining different models of assimilation/identification dynamics in sub-dominant and dominant groups. The talk ends with a discussion of life concerns – if we are to bridge the gap, we must be in touch with the core cultural concerns of those we want to attract. Core concerns include personal, social, and cultural – if you speak to core concerns, you will help bridge the gap.