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From Mother to Son on Race, Religion, and Relevance

Jasmine Holmes has been called everything from a cultural Marxist to an Uncle Tom. And other derogatory names I can’t repeat on this podcast. Thus is the fate of anyone who seeks to transcend our cultural, religious, political, and ethnic tribes.

She lays out a gospel-centered, transcendent agenda in her timely new book, Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope, published by InterVarsity Press. If I had to select a representative quote from the book, it might be this one: “The lure of relevancy is strong in any clique, but when it comes with a gag order on truth it isn’t worth it.”

The book compiles letters written by Holmes to her firstborn son, Wynn. She frames the book theologically by the already/not yet. You see that perspective in her hopes for Wynn. She writes:

Though this life will sometimes make him feel less than human, he is more than a conqueror through his Savior. Against all odds, we want to raise an optimist. Someone who knows that he might receive the worst that this world has to offer and still believes the best. Someone who cultivates glorious respites from the cruelty of the world by the grace of God.

Holmes contributes to The Gospel Coalition, among other publications. She teaches Latin and humanities in a classical Christian school in Jackson, Mississippi. And she joined me on Gospelbound to discuss all the easy topics from politics to race to police brutality to abortion and everything else you’re not supposed to bring up in polite company.


This episode of Gospelbound is sponsored by Southeastern Seminary, equipping today’s ministry leaders with the Word of God, a philosophical foundation, and care for the lost through their master’s program in ethics, theology, and culture and the PhD in public theology. Learn more at sebts.edu.

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