Book Review

Women of color celebrating God’s Word

A faithful and encouraging exposition of Psalm 119

November 22, 2019

C.H. Spurgeon describes Psalm 119 as a kaleidoscope. In his admiration of the psalm, he describes the beauty and various shapes as one turns and shifts the glass back and forth. He exclaims that the psalm is “equally delicate and beautiful.”[1] His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, which focuses on this psalm, exalts the name of God. Throughout the testimonies of these 28 authors you will find yourself turning the pages as if you were shifting a kaleidoscope back and forth, and you will find yourself utterly captivated with our inexhaustible God.  

The individual stories are communicated through a variety of mediums, including song and poetry, with one constant theme: God’s Word is supreme. Kristi Anyabwile and the rest of the contributors have created a devotional that is theologically robust, yet easy to read across a variety of reading levels and stages of life. My best friend, for example, is a mother of three kids under the age of 4 and could easily find encouragement in reading this in the midst of her schedule. Rebecca, an older believer in her 50s who is struggling with the promises of God and obedience to his commands, would also benefit from this book. In reading it, she would be reminded that although God’s law is hard and obedience means lonely nights spent resisting temptation, it is good. 

I found myself reading each chapter wondering about the many stories behind the words written by these beautiful women of color spanning generations. Each chapter shows a glimpse of life, and it is as if you are peering into applied theology at its finest. Each woman provides commentary of a section of the psalm with a commitment to the sufficiency of God’s Word. They approach their problems with transparency and the text boldly, mining it for all that it is worth. It’s because of this that I believe those who read this book will benefit in several ways: 

Invigorate your desire to read God’s Word: There are times Christians lack a desire to read and obey God’s Word. The reasons behind a lack of desire may vary, but the treatment of God’s Word as a treasure will encourage you to read. It is through the knowing of God’s Word that Christians can fight. One author states, “We want to be women who declare as the psalmist does that God and his word are valuable, a necessity to our lives, and that we will seek him with urgency (34).” The authors are upfront about the sorrows of this world; they don’t mince words. Each author is winsome and unapologetic about our need to be filled with his Word for our sake and for his glory. 

I came away from reading this book encouraged that I am known by the all-seeing God who is intentional in his redemption of the nations. 

Build your faith as your reflect on testimonies: As the various authors exposited Psalm 119, I felt as though I was invited into their living room as a guest and asked to take a seat. I read through stories that made me feel seen immediately. I was especially drawn to the testimonies from my sisters of other ethnicities. Although I have not experienced their challenges, I was brought to worship God as I read about their lives. They helped me trust the Lord and encouraged me to praise him for his sovereignty. 

Delight in God’s redemption: Read this book to increase your worship of God. Read to be reminded that God, before the foundation of the world, knew you and purposed that you would be his. He has not left us alone, he has given us himself and his Word to remind us of our lineage, made possible through his Son. This lineage is the reason that we find our heritage in the Book of Life. 

These women helped me realize that God is indeed a God who sees. I’m reminded that my ethnicity is being woven into a beautiful tapestry together with every tribe, tongue, and nation. I was able to celebrate freely my heritage as a black woman of Haitian descent and a child of immigrants. I came away from reading this book encouraged that I am known by the all-seeing God who is intentional in his redemption of the nations. 

This work will undoubtedly inspire other women, often unheard and on the fringes, to search the Scriptures and discover more about our inexhaustible God. I’d recommend it to anyone—men and women. You will find Christ all the sweeter, and God’s Word as balm for the weary soul.


  1. ^ Spurgeon, H., Charles. “Psalm 119:49” Sermon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 33, Sermon No. 1, 969, London, June 23,1887.

Stephanie Laferriere

Stephanie Laferriere works as a gospel worker for ONE HOPE serving at The Garden Church in Baltimore, Maryland. You can follow her on Twitter. Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24