Once-segregated Christian university targets racism with launch of new research center
ABILENE, Texas — In 1960, a professor named Carl Spain delivered…
I have known Zach Sewell since he was a student at Abilene Christian University. In Visceral Sin: A Grace-Centered Approach to Addressing Deeply Embedded Sin, his writing flows with clarity and is packed with insightful wisdom that is suited to fit our time.
A spiritually diseased human heart often bleeds into the visceral tissue of structures and systems in which it operates. The book underscores the importance for all Christians to practice individual heart health. When this happens, Christian spiritual health will permeate society as salt and light.
Sewell surveys several characteristics of visceral sin, with practical application in each section. He explains how visceral sin can be hidden, can grow slowly, is dangerous, etc. In one chapter, he includes a brief but timely section on the deeply embedded sin of racism and explains how racism functions as a blockage to love’s expression.
Whether hate-filled words are privately held in one’s predominant thought pattern, used in personal conversations or written into public policy, they produce social disease and eventual spiritual death. Hateful words birthed by the spirit of racism also have the power to infect entire generations spiritually.
Sewell provides the remedy for patients with damaged hearts. They should cry out, “Create in me a clean heart. Renew a right spirit within me.” The eradication of racism within one’s own heart requires a broken and contrite heart. This type of heart is one that God will not despise.
Each chapter in “Visceral Sin” concludes with prompts for either personal reflection or discussion, making this book ideal for small groups.
Jerry Taylor is founder of the Carl Spain Center on Race Studies and Spiritual Action at Abilene Christian University in Texas and associate professor of Bible, missions and ministry.
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