Thabiti Anyabwile has responded to my critique of his discussion of race. In several places, I think he has misunderstood my view or gone beyond my argument to attribute to me a view that I do not hold and that does not follow from what I said. In some places I think we just disagree about something fairly fundamental. I'll address each of his points in order
1. The issue of the image of God is largely irrelevant to the main issues. I just thought some of the way Thabiti was speaking had implications that I didn't think he would welcome. That seems to be a correct assessment. He doesn't welcome the suggestion that God has a body, but he wants to say that some of what the image of God constitutes is manifested in our bodily reality (both male and female). I don't have any problem with the idea that God worked into us certain capacities to carry out the mission of representing him, and some of those capacities have to do with our physical being. I do in fact think that's the case. I'm skeptical whether those capacities constitute being made in the image of God, however. I certainly would agree, however, that there are no people who are more in the image of God than others, as if white people represent God more fully. But I don't think you need to see the image of God as partially reflected in our bodies to say that. So I think this issue is largely a distraction from the issues we really do disagree about.
2. Thabiti clarifies that he presents his argument against the reality of races as a way of getting to the sections of his article that I agree with, not as a way to respond to the wider literature on race. I though I already knew that, so I'm not sure how this is a corrective to my understanding. He also says that once you accept race, you cannot get out of that trap. He doesn't want to enter it to begin with. I disagree. It depends on what you take race to be. I can acknowledge the existence of what I think race to be without falling into the trap of admitting to the reality of what he thinks race is supposed to be, because what I think race is isn't the same thing as what he thinks race is supposed to be. But that issue comes out in his subsequent points, so I'll look at the details further there.
3. I never claimed that races are like refrigerators in every sense. I simply claimed that the principles that something doesn't exist just because it isn't talked about in the Bible is false. It's no argument against something's existence just because it isn't in the Bible. I did give other examples of social categories that are more analogous to race, e.g. political conservatives or university students. Nothing biological determines whether you are a university student. Social practices determine that. But the category exists nonetheless. Since races are socially-determined categories, they are more like that. The difference is that people are classified according to characteristics at least some of which are biological, and that is not true of all socially-constructed categories.
There is a big difference between races and leprechauns. Leprechauns are people with some very strange properties, and no one actually has the properties of leprechauns. But they are concrete individuals. There just aren't any of them. Races aren't concrete individuals. They are categories based on classification schemes. Even if the criteria used for determining who is in what category are biologically arbitrary, there does exist a set of classification practices, and the people who are members of the races do exist. The criteria that are used rely on realities, and those realities include some biological differences (even if they are somewhat arbitrarily chosen in terms of the biology). Those realities include real social and historical facts, including severe mistreatment of entire populations of people. Those realities include somewhat reliably-identifiable properties that people do in fact use to categorize people.