Woodlawn: Friday Night Lights to Sunday Morning Pews

| October 23, 2015

The new movie Woodlawn [interview with the director] recounts the powerful working of the gospel among high school football players in racially divided Birmingham during the 1970s. The film reminds us of the hope Christ provides for the many problems ailing our world. But it also raises the question of how a city known for its influential, Bible-based churches could end up as the most racially notorious city in the nation.

How can Birmingham and its churches, and other similar cities and churches, chart a better way in the future? Perhaps by looking at the past.

Shaping an Interest in Race 

I’ve lived in Birmingham for 13 years. I feel blessed to raise my four boys in such a wonderful place. I’m encouraged to see how the gospel is mending the city’s tainted racial history on many fronts, though there’s still much work ahead. My wife and I relocated here in 2002 so I could serve on the pastoral staff of a vibrant suburban church. Though I’d briefly lived in a small Alabama town in the early 1990s, my Illinois and Pennsylvania roots gave me a decidedly Yankee perspective on race relations.      

During my undergraduate and seminary years in St. Louis, I heard John Perkins speak…

To read the rest of this article, visit http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/woodlawn-friday-night-lights-to-sunday-morning-pews.