18 Jan 2016

Learning & “Thinking” about “Race” as a Southern White Disciple of the Jewish Messiah

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Africa, American Empire, Black History, Bobby's World, Books, Church History, Contemporary Ethics, Culture, Discipleship, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Martin Luther King, Mission, Preaching, Restoration History, S. R. Cassius, Slavery, Spiritual Disciplines, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Unity
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Racism is deeply embedded in American advertising almost from the beginning. An early 20th century example.

My Journey from Ignorant Bliss to Partial Awakening 

I grew up in north Alabama. My family’s roots come thru Florida and New York though. My family was, and is, open to many things on a “personal” level regarding race.

But I did not know anything.

I still do not. But I am learning. It was during my ministry in New Orleans that I came face to face with the matter of race as something beyond my imagination to comprehend. It was a rather difficult discovery and one that I resented to be honest.

But some folks actually helped open my eyes in a gentle but firm way. This was 1995ish when I was challenged by my beloved sister Alysha Pierre and brother in Christ by the name of Robert Birt to ruminate on Before the Mayflower

It was the beginning of a long journey.  I had rather naively declared “I do not have a bigoted bone in my body.”  And I actually meant it, believed it about myself.

Talking about race, I have learned, is an explosive, volatile and  emotional issue for many. We are filled with defensiveness at the mere mention of it.

Yet there is in fact a “history” and it is that history, like the history of our family of origin, has a profound influence on every aspect of our lives in America. I know that this is a living issue in our churches and in our nation. I was fired from a congregation over the issue of race relations in 2001 so I know this is no made up thing as the critics vainly imagine.

As a disciple of the Jew from Nazareth, I am certain that we have an obligation to move beyond our own personal experience and be God’s leaven in our world. This is our redemptive MISSIONAL task is not easy. The church has an obligation to deal with this and preachers and elders have one as well. With that in mind I share the following list of books and movies that have helped me move out of my comfort zone.

Preachers, however, often avoid the subject like the plague. It is so much easier and safer to preach about something as profoundly relevant as instrumental music (!) … Yes I am being sarcastic but I cannot help myself.

Remember, I am a White Italian Boy from Alabama. I make no pretense to being a scholar in this area. These are simply resources that have helped me in my own ministry as I try to live the Gospel of Reconciliation(Ephesians 2.1-22 is about ethnic strife and division not religious).

There is nothing on this list I have not read. I began keeping this list in 1996 and have updated it on my pc thru the years. I share it with you my friends and lovers of God’s shalom and grace …

In this updated list I have added a separate subcategory of works related to specifically Churches of Christ history … (amazon links are provided in each title)

Books that Have Opened My Eyes and My Heart

Ta-Nehisi Coats, Between the World and Me.  This is a small and eloquent volume.  Designed as a series of letters between a father and son about the world they both live in. Not sure we can read this work and not be impacted. This may be the place to begin.

Before MayflowerLerone Bennett Jr, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America (in many editions). Bennett’s book is a classic, it was the beginning point for me. It was the first book I read as noted above. It immediately let me know there is way more to American history than I ever figured. Bennett eloquently chronicles the African American experience in the USA. His book can help us get a grasp on the proud moments and the valleys of blacks in America. This is a great book to begin your own journey of thinking and learning.

Edward J. Blume & Paul Harvey, The Color Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. What color was Jesus? How has the played out on a cultural level? It has mattered to many people through the years. How we have conceived and portrayed that color has impacted Christian practice and social ethics. We travel from slave huts to Hollywood in this excellent and compelling book. Jesus has been hijacked for many an agenda in the racial sage of America.

Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65; At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68. These three volumes by Branch are the most extensive material on the struggles that wracked America in that long decade or so from Rosa Parks to the death of Martin Luther King Jr. How American changed in those years! My own question, after reading these breathtaking volumes was, “Lord have mercy on your church so we can we move forward.” These are great books. They are not small but they are easy to read. Branch is a great writer. Branch won Pulitzers for his work.

James Cone, Black Theology & Black Power. This was my introduction to Cone. Cone makes me squirm. He was in my face and rubbed me raw, I confess. I cannot tell you how many times I threw that book down. He made me mad, I think he wanted to. However I am glad I read it and I am better for it. He helped me understand something of anger and I should be angry about how some things have been and remain. Do we use the Gospel and religion as a cloak to hide our complicity in racism?

James Cone, Martin & Malcolm & America: Dream or Nightmare. Cone’s style in this work is considerably different than in BT&BP. He is not dispassionate (not sure he is capable of that) but not as fiery. But was America in the experience of these premier black leaders? How far apart are their visions of what we are and what we are to be. This is a good book.

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk. This is a classic and profound book. Written at a time when some white scientists and religionists advocated a doctrine that black folks have no souls it is not accidental that Du Bois titled his work as he did. One of those books good enough to be on the required reading list of every American.

Tony Evans, Getting to Know One Another. It is always good to see an Evangelical write about the subject of racial reconciliation. Evans has great respect for the Bible and he walks a fine line of not trying to radically offend white folks he is writing too. This is a good book to give to the highly sensitive, but he will actually convict us if we let him. The Bible is not silent on this matter.

Tom Dent, Southern Journey: A Return to the Civil Rights Movement. This is probably one of the better introductions to this turbulent period for a White Italian Alabama boy. It was a good read. It is filled with human interest stories. Reading this book originally in 1998 I recall saying to myself, “I’ve been there! and I didn’t know that!” This along with Bennett is a good “entre” into the waters.

Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. I have long championed the agenda of recognizing FD as one of the Founding Fathers of America. This book is small, heroic and disturbing, should be required reading for all Americans. Some folks have idealized visions of slavery and nothing is worse than perpetuating these images than Gone with the Wind (a book I have come to despise). The defining moment in FD’s life was when he was 19 or 20, he refused to submit to a beating and he fought back. It was his “Declaration of Independence.” His fiery passion for liberty and justice fill his narrative. This book should be required reading in high school. Here is a blog on Frederick Douglass: “Stories of Grace, Stories of Forgiveness: Frederick Douglass Affirms the Humanity of a Slave Holder”

Eric Foner, Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation & Reconstruction. Foner is one of the foremost scholars on the Reconstruction period. This lively work draws from newspapers, sermons, corporate advertisements, art, even the circus! It scattered among it brief “Visual Essays” because seeing a pictures are worth a thousand words and these are worth millions. The story that we share is the tragedy of willfully selling out for the sake of filthy lucre a race of people that brought Reconstruction to an end. And there are plenty of MYTHS about reconstruction that need to be burst. Great book. A longer review of “Forever Free” …

David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Garrow won a Pulitzer for this magnificent work. It is marked by great prose, depth of understanding, and showing the continuing relevance of King and his legacy.

Fred GrayFred D. Gray, Bus Ride to Justice: Autobiography of Fred Gray. I first read Gray’s book in the late 1990s and a revised edition has since come out. Gray is the quiet giant slayer of the Civil Rights Movement. Born and raised in Jim Crow Montgomery, he pursued a silent promise to “destroy all things segregated!” He defended Rosa Parks, orchestrated the Bus Protest of 1956, was MLK Jr’s attorney, he desegregated Alabama’s schools, the 1965 Selma march, the landmark Gomillion v. Lightfoot Supreme Court case and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study attorney. Gray is a testimony of a man’s CHRISTIAN commitment to the Gospel of reconciliation and how one poor man defeated the system. He is deeply committed to Christian education and a preacher of the Gospel. He was one of Marshall Keeble’s “boys” … and preacher for the Tuskegee Church of Christ.

Stephen K. Haynes, Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery. For people like me this was, at one and the same time, a book that fascinated me and disturbed me to no end. Slavery existed long before people tried to prop it up with the Bible. In the American South, however, the biblical justification of slavery was by and large a reaction to the abolition movement. How we read the Bible has massive ethical and social implications that must be weighed. Haynes traces the interpretation of the Ham and Nimrod narratives in Genesis thru such conservative biblical literalists as Benjamin Morgan Palmer, Josiah Priest, and even some Rabbis. How does our “social location” affect the way we interpret the Bible – a question of huge import for those who claim Sola Scriptura.

Richard T. Hughes, Myths American Lives By. Not strictly about race but a work on America’s collective self-consciousness works. Certain Struggle“Myths” like Chosen Nation, Christian Nation, Innocent Nation, etc are profoundly ingrained in our collective imaginations. What is interesting and valuable in this work is that Hughes brings minorities into dialogue with each of these Myths in a profound way. This is done usually in their own words. Excellent work.

Randall Kennedy, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. This is simply provocative but more so than the title. Kennedy does trace the history of this work with “grace” (if that is possible). He has valuable discussions on how the word was used profitably in such classics as Huckleberry Finn and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and insists this is very different than most usage today. I hate the word and think it needs to die a serious painful death … even among rappers.

Martin Luther King, Jr, Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. King is as powerful to read as he is to listen to. His passion for both peace and justice is contagious. The importance of reading King is self evident in my opinion. Nothing else needs to be said.

Malcolm X (with Alex Haley), The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Reading Malcolm reminded me, yet again, how different some people’s experiences have been from mine. What I got out of Malcolm is not only a sense of the deep seated nearly subliminal anger that exists in many quarters of the USA. Malcolm helps me understand “why this is so.” The second thing I got from Malcolm is how dangerous racism, and the inevitable injustice that comes with it, is to Christian faith and its witness. Racism leads folks to declare Christianity a white man’s religion and this is why Malcolm embraces Islam. Must read book.

Deirdre Mullane, editor, Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing. This is an outstanding resource that I came across in the late 1990s. It contains selections from slaves and freedman. It has speeches by Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. DuBois. It contains government documents that will shock you. It has poetry and prose. Truly a wide ranging and good

Excellent anthology of writings by African Americans for 300 years

Excellent anthology of writings by African Americans for 300 years


Mark Noll, God and Race in American Politics. Race has been part of American politics since the framing of the US Constitution. Noll, one of the leading religious scholars in America, has traced how religion and politics – those two forbidden subjects – are wound so tightly around one another in American history that one finds it difficult to talk about one – much less understand – without the other. This is an important book.

Thomas Oden, How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind. It is one of the biggest mistakes of the American mind – both white and black – to imagine Christianity as a EUROPEAN religion. This is not the case. Oden argues with deft command of the primary sources that in the first 1000 years of Christian history that the religion of Jesus was African and not European. Many of the first commentaries and schools were established and written in Africa not Europe. The rise of monasticism that played such a huge role in Christianity rose in Africa not Europe. Some of the first decisions regarding the canon of Scripture were made in Africa not Europe. This is a vastly important work for both white Christians and black Christians. Get it and devour it. Oden btw is one of the worlds leading Patristic scholars.

John Perkins & Thomas Tarrants III, He’s My Brother: A Black Activist and a Former Klansman Tell Their Stories. This book is breathtaking in its claims for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Tarrant, a virulent racist, converted and becomes friends and brothers with John Perkins (who suffered violence against himself because of his color). This is a great book. This is what the church should be doing.

David R. Roediger, editor. Black on White: Black Writers on What it Means to be White. I have to be honest, when I first saw this book in the used bookstore I had to grab it just to find out what it meant to be a White Italian Southern boy. It is interesting to have another person or class of persons tell you what it means to be YOU. This is interesting because I rarely, if ever, stop to think about what it means to BE white! But this book has helped me because it forces me to do something that is forced upon others in America all of the time … what does it mean to be BLACK or HISPANIC or whatever that is not the dominant paradigm. This is an eye opening book even where I thought to myself … this person has no clue what it means to be “me.” But that was not the point of the book.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I recall hearing the derogatory term “Uncle Tom” thrown around growing up. I had no understanding of what it meant though. I have read UTC at least three times since 1995 and each time it has been a different book. I was stunned first of all  at how compelling the work actually is. I learned the book is about far more than Uncle Tom. I learned that Uncle Tom is radically different than the stereotype. Tom is actually a powerful character in the book and far from a weakling. But there are slaves that would choose death willingly over slavery in the book. There is discussion of biblical interpretation in the book. It is no small wonder the book was burned on the campus of the University of Virginia when it was published and it was banned in all the states that would become part of the Confederacy. This is the book that saved the dying abolitionist movement and it was the most widely read book in America (after the Bible) in the 19th century. It has a much going for it being the quintessential American novel as Tom Sawyer. You should read it. Here are two blogs about UTC: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Bible & America #1
and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Bible & America #2

I would recommend The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin it is introduced and annotated by Henry Louis Gates Jr and Hollis Robbins. This is the best edition to hear Stowe’s story in.

Sojourner Truth, Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Truth does for women what Frederick Douglass did for the men. Douglass was legendary for his eloquence but Truth has nearly prophetic gifts for speech. She speaks not simply about racial justice but gender too. Am I not a woman she asked once!? I was impoverished as a White Italian Alabama Boy before having her in my life.

struggle 3Richard Wright, Native Son. Wright is a great novelist but I just did not like his book. The first time I read Native Son I actually hated it. It was so depressing. It had communists in it. I did not understand it. I had no way of actually understanding what was going on in the book. The book released way back in 1940 reflects the inner hell of a black man of the time. Something of this appear again in the Autobiography of Malcolm X. But as I have grown and matured and have gone thru some pretty interesting life experiences Native Son has a different feel to it. Wright forces his readers to deal with the demons living inside at least one victim of Jim Crow.

Richard Wright, The Ethics of Living Jim Crow. This small book, more essay really, was published earlier than Native Son but I did not read it until 2000. I was interested in Wright because I was living in Mississippi and the work is set in MS. It is an introduction to a world that I, as a white boy, was totally clueless to. Reading this helps me see that there really have been two Americas … if not more. Read this book if you dare.

Maryanne Vollars, The Ghosts of Mississippi: The Murder of Medgar Evars, the Trials of Byron De La Beckwith and the Haunting of the New South. I read this book in 1996. It won the National Book Award and was turned into a movie that I invited several folks at the church i was preaching at to go see. It is set in the same area I lived. It is a riveting account of the struggles for liberty and justice and righteousness in Mississippi. The White Citizens Council, the Sovereignty Commission, the “reign of terror” in the lives of people. This is a compelling book and a window into our common story.

Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery. This is a classic from the man from Tuskegee. His struggle for freedom, dignity, the struggle for education. It is good to read BTW and W.E.B. DuBois because it shows us that “black people” are no more monolithic than “white people.” We have these stereo types that just because a person is “black” that they think so and so when there has been as much diversity of thought among “them” as there has been among “us.” That is confirmation that we are all just … PEOPLE!!

Jeff Wiltse, Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America.  This title may surprise you. I first heard Wiltse talking Watersabout his book on NPR and was fascinated.  You never know what you do not know until you find out you did not know it.  Community areas tell us a great deal about the “community” itself.  Wiltse did not set out to write about race in America. Rather the history of the community swimming pool forced that upon him.  In fact this book has three deeply interwoven themes: race, class and sex. Further there is an interesting shift, prior to Jim Crow most of the community swimming pools were not segregated but by the 1920s a huge shift had taken place.  Why? When getting in the water can cause a riot and lead to deaths then something far deeper than the pool itself is going on. This book was such a fascinating read – in an area that I never would have thought to investigate – I had it read in a single day. The book ends with tracing the decline of public pools and the rise of private pools that, not so surprisingly, mirrors desegregation.  If you want an interesting window on America and its class warfare, its sexual phobias and its racial fixation then this book should be read and pondered.  It is genuinely insightful on America.  It is loaded with pictures too and a breeze to read for such a work of social history.

Race & Churches of Christ

Calvin Bowers, Realizing the California Dream: The Story of the Black Churches of Christ in Los Angles. Bowers writes a chronicle with names like S. R. Cassius, A. L. Cassius, G. P. Bowser and George Pepperdine. The book opens with the saga of his trip down Route 66 in search of his California Dream. One of the saddest lines in the book appears on p. 20 when we learn that Freed-Hardemen College in 1951 rejected Bowers who lived a mere 19 miles from the school, “We regret to inform you that no provisions are made for colored students to attend Freed Hardeman College.” My fingers feel uncleen just typing it.

R. Vernon Boyd, Undying Dedication: The Story of G. P. Bowser. This small book of 105 pages is the only book known to me on Bowser. Bowser unfortunately has been overshadowed by Marshall Keeble in our fellowship. The reason for this is because GPB was not as easy to “push around” as Keeble seemed to be on the surface. Bowser is uncompromising on the dignity of blacks as part of the single human race. Bowser was a key educator among African American Churches of Christ thru Silver Point to Southern Practical Institute to what becomes recognized as his crowning achievement … Southwestern Christian College (though he technically did not begin it).

RRTanya Smith Brice, Reconciliation Reconsidered: Advancing the National Conversation on Race in Churches of Christ. Racism is a sin beloved. It is not some insignificant matter, some individualistic personal problem. Racism is a theological rejection of the Gospel itself.

My friend Tanya Brice, Dean of the School of Health and Human Services at Benedict College, has assembled a remarkable team of black, white, male and female thinkers and doers of racial reconciliation within Churches of Christ.  Reconciliation Reconsidered is divided up into three sections: Historical Realities; Contemporary Challenges; and Concrete Examples.  In the historical section I was gratified that the historical work has paralleled much of my own research revealing accommodation to the racist culture with occasional challenges here and there but mostly silence in the face of evil.  More focused chapters are by John Mark Tucker on “People of Faith at Racial Barricades: Little Rock, Arkansas 1957,” is fascinating.  In the section on Contemporary Challenges we are confronted with how do deal in Radical Love in the wake of Ferguson and the challenge of refusing to be silent.  The third section provides us with a hands on guide to congregations that are actually doing something and helping people like me have the courage to examine my own life and behaviors (microaggressions).

Reconciliation Reconsidered would be an excellent resource for small groups or personal study.  Ministers and elders ought to read the book and meditate upon it so the pulpit can be a healing voice in bringing the meaning of the Gospel’s reconciliation to visible manifestation in the local church.  I cannot help but believe that interaction with this outstanding volume can help Churches of Christ image the creational beauty and diversity of the Kingdom of God more faithfully.  Put it on your must read list and then actually read it.

Michael Casey, Saddlebags, City Streets & CyberSpace: A History of Preaching in Churches of Christ. This book is not on race relations per se. But Casey includes an insightful chapter on African American preaching among “us” as represented by Marshall Keeble especially. How did Keeble address the issue and did he at all? Casey suggests that Keeble used “coded” language that said something to Whites and another thing to Blacks. It reminds me of the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” when Wesley Snipes says to Woody Harrelson’s character “YOU CAN’T HEAR JIMI!!” Its true … sometimes we do not have ears to hear. Good material on G. P. Bowser and R. N. Hogan too.

Wes Crawford, Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence. Crawford traces an argument through five interpretive chapters on 1) how blacks were never integrated into the story of CofCs from the beginning 2) that white power structures through college lectureships and journals obscured the reality that there were two Churches of Christ existing side by side – one white and one black. Whites tried to imagine there was not a race issue but blacks brought in the “minority” report. 3) the closing of Nashville Christian Institute in 1967 by whites became the proverbial cross the union of the white church and black church died upon 4) that failure to open up institutions of learning to black students has driven our fellowship even further apart theologically. Crawfords work deserves serious study.

Gary Holloway & John York, Unfinished Reconciliation: Justice, Racism & Churches of Christ. This is a unique volume in Churches of Christ. It is a combination of scholarship by Harold Shank, John Mark Hicks, Lee Camp, Doug Foster and Kenneth Greene – white & black scholars. The essays first explore Old Testament and New Testament text. Then there is a historical section.  Finally Greene has three chapters on what black families need to hear, what black churches need to hear, and what white churches need to hear. Excellent biblical exposition.  Excellent historical material. Very practical stuff for individuals and churches to hear.

Edward J. Robinson, I Was Under a Heavy Burden: The Life of Annie C. Tuggle. Robinson as emerged as a leading writer on this history of black CofCs. In this small volume Robinson brings together a story of not only race but gender and faith too. Largely dependent upon Tuggle’s own volume, Another World Wonder (a rare work but I have in my library), Robinson narrates her struggle to get an education, her failed marriage and how she became a mentor to many preachers. A walking Bible she was. Wonderful gem of a book.

51VcrWICemL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Edward J. Robinson, The Fight is on in Texas: A History of African American Churches of Christ in the Lone Star State, 1865-2000. In this book we are introduced to men like K. C. Thomas, Luke Miller, G. P. Bowser. We learn of the beginning of black journalism in the Christian Echo and the founding of Southwestern Christian College and Jarvis Christian Institute. A one of a kind book.

Edward J. Robinson, To Save My Race from Abuse: The Life of Samuel Robert Cassius. I recall being in the Cave of Microfilm back in the 1990s doing research through the Christian Leader, The Way and the Christian Leader and the Way and coming across occasional articles by S. R. Cassius. I had never heard of him but the were so compelling that I always had Don Meredith make a copy for me so I could put them away for future reference. Then I learned that Edward Robinson was doing work on him too. Cassius is without a doubt one of the most fascinating persons of any color among “us.” Born a slave, met Lincoln as a child, became a fan of Frederick Douglass, vocal critic of racism, dared to write about lynching began the Tohee Industrial Institute (the first African American run school among “us”) and then his eventual journey to advocating racial separation because he came to believe that was the ONLY way blacks would have a fair chance. This is a great story and Robinson does it well.

Edward J. Robinson, Show Us How You Do It: Marshall Keeble and the Rise of Black Churches of Christ int he United States, 1914-1968. If you want an informed work on Keeble that takes his setting seriously this is the work to get. I do not, of course, agree with every interpretation of Robinson but there is no better book on Keeble than this.


There are numerous films/movies that have helped me move from an intellectual engagement with this issue to an emotional one. Movies are powerful media that can be used to effect change within us if we are open to them. I am not commenting on these movies as a movie critic, historian or any thing else. I am commenting on them as a White Italian Alabama boy and the effect they had upon me. Not all had the same impact upon me. But each has opened my eyes and my heart to something of our shared story here in America. I will simply list the title and who made it or starred in it. I have never forgotten any of these films … some folks are so fixed on their like or dislike of certain actor they can not open their minds to the film … dont be like that …

Mississippi Burning (Gene Hackman & Willem Dafoe)struggle 2

The Ghosts of Mississippi (Alec Baldwin & Whoopi Goldberg)

White Man’s Burden (John Travolta & Harry Bellafonte) movie engages in brilliant “role reversal” to powerful effect

A Time to Kill (Samuel L. Jackson)

Roots (adaptation of Alex Haley’s epic)

Rosewood (true story of the massacre of a black community in Florida)

Amistad (a Stephen Spielberg film)

Buffalo Soldiers (Danny Glover)

Tuskegee Airmen (story of Benjamin O. Davis Jr)

The Color Purple (Oprah Winfrey)

Once Upon a Time … When We Were Colored (Al Freeman & Phylicia Rashad)

Planet of the Apes (a brilliant parable about race relationship in America without people even knowing it (see http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/PlanetoftheApes/racial2.htm )

To Kill a Mockingbird (classic based on Harper Lee’s novel)

Spike Lee routinely deals with the black experience in America. Films such as “Four Little Girls” and “Malcolm X.”

The Butler (Forest Whitaker)

12 Years a Slave (various actors). I watched this movie with a group of friends – some black and some white – and the power of this movie is hard to overstate. The fact that is is based on history (even Restoration Movement connections) makes it even more powerful to me.

Selma (see the review in the Notes on my Facebook)

Important work on the quest for biblical faith, justice and kingdom in CofCs

Important work on the quest for biblical faith, justice and kingdom in CofCs

This list does not even attempt to be comprehensive of either books or films. Rather these are materials that since the mid 1990s have had an impact on me. They have made me more sensitive to things than before. They have changed my preaching and hopefully my living. Part of learning to love is learning about your neighbor. I am not nearly as defensive as I used to be on this matter … now I just pray and pray for God’s new creation to be a reality in his church

Join the Journey

Get a few of these books and read them.  Rent the movies and watch them.  Get a friend and discuss them. The Journey to New Creation continues as we strive to restore the future in the present … We as disciples belong to the future remembering who and what we are has profound implications as to why there is no “Jew or Gentile, barbarian or Scythian” in the One who is the first born of the New Creation – the Jewish Messiah from Nazareth.

Related Posts made on the Journey …

Gospel Racial Reconciliation: Compass Points for Beginning

“Social Concerns” in Churches of Christ, Trends Since the King Years, 1950-2000

Nobody Knows My Name … Thoughts Prompted by James Baldwin & Black History Month

Love the Road Less Traveled, Jn 13.1-17

Loving When it Ain’t Easy: Reflections on John Perkins & Jesus’ Parable

S. R. Cassius: Booker T. Washington on the Family Tree

Pardee Butler: Amos on the Family Tree

A Black Intellectual Writes to Thomas Jefferson


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