I continue to think that The Color of Compromise is an excellent short introduction to the role of the church in historic racism in the US. I read the book originally last year.
I am not going to address the content here but only talk about the format. There are now several options. The book has paper, kindle (ebook) and audiobook versions. There is also an audio-only version of the video study and the video study on either DVD or digital format.
The video study is excellent. There are 12 sessions of approximately 20 minutes each. That is a large number of sessions for a normal small group (I think that 4 to 6 is usually ideal if meeting weekly or else people get distracted.) Because the sessions are about 20 minutes, you can watch more than one in a session. But to give adequate discussion time, you will probably want to schedule at least an equal amount of discussion as watching.
I have not gone back to re-read the book, but it felt to me like there were a few sections of the video study were explanations were tightened up just a bit or were a little clearer than in the book. That may have been the nature of watching a video, or just part of the editing process. There is detail that is not explored in the video that is in the book, but I do think that you can watch the video without reading the book and get the main points without any difficulty.
I really do like the video series and I have purchased three copies and given two away. The DVD is less than half the price of the streaming version on Amazon, which is a little ridiculous in my mind. I like many people no longer have a DVD player. But I also was pretty reluctant to pay $40 for a 4-hour video discussion series. That lead me to buy the audio track, which I do not recommend and discuss below. And then I purchased 2 DVD copies to give away while trying to find time to go and watch them at someone else’s home. But you just don’t quickly invite yourself over to someone’s home for four hours. After about three weeks I gave up and purchased the streaming option. It probably would have been cheaper for me to buy a cheap DVD player.
I disagree with Zondervan releasing the audio of the video study as an option. I have picked up two different audio versions of these video studies, The Color of Compromise and NT Wright and Michael Bird’s book The New Testament in Its World. In both cases simply selling the audio track of a video does not mean that it is a complete product. In both cases, the video had video segments that were shot on locations. There were sometimes graphics or quotations. And the quality of the audio, especially on the location scenes was not always very good. When you are watching a scene on a location, you naturally change your expectations of the audio quality for things like the wind because you can see what is going on. When you are listening to an audiobook, you expect the quality of the audio to be consistent and very high. I do not think the audio-only lectures should have been released for sale.
I have now covered this material three times, once in the book, once in the audio-only track of the video series and once watching the full video series. I do recommend them strongly in either the full book or the video series. Do not buy the audio-only version of the lectures. (The audiobook of the book is read by Jemar Tisby and is great.)