Christianity and Race in America is a modified lecture intended to be a brief introduction to why Race is an important issue to the Christian Church in the United States.
At this point, I find it a bit hard to think that anyone can think that race and discrimination and the history of slavery, segregation and separation in the United States isn’t a big issue. But just a few minutes of pursuing current polling shows that there is still wide ignorance of the history of race in the US, especially within the world of White Evangelicals.
Christianity and Race in America is a good brief pamphlet. Although I think if you are not really convinced, then reading either Mark Noll’s God and Race in American Politics: A Short History and/or Ken Wytsma’s recent The Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege are probably better options. All three are calls from White Evangelical Christians to the White Evangelical church to pay attention the indictment against the church that continued racism makes to the message of the gospel.
Although if you want read stronger calls directly from African-Americans, then Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson or, from a secular perspective, Between the World and Me by Ta’Nahasi Coates or a Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin are well worth reading.
It is hard to be too clear about this. African-Americans and other minorities are still widely discriminated against within the church. That discrimination has a long and incriminating history. The call of the gospel is that we are all sinners, but that we are all loved by God and created in the image of God. The idea that some may be more loved by God is contrary to the gospel.
I am still convinced that much discrimination within the church is more about ignorance than animus. But it is hard to continue to believe that in the face of mountains of evidence that many White Christians are continuing to ignore.
Another book, The Half that Has not Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, I finished last week. It is yet another strong case for why, even if you are a recent immigrant to the US or if your ancestors never held slaves, our the very act of living in the US and participating in our economy implicates all of us in the history of slavery.
Christianity and Race in America: A Brief History by Bobby Griffith Purchase Links: Kindle Edition