“The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality of Racial Reconciliation” by Tony Campolo and Michael Battle
Growing up, I truly think I was unaware of racial issues in America, partly because of growing up visiting my mother’s vibrant Mexican family in California. It wasn’t until high school that I realized the great segregation, in my instance in the South, and how different the ‘cultures’ seemed to be. In my time at seminary, I began to engage my African American friends about issues of race, power, and privilege and was shocked to hear of the dim realities that still pervade our country in regard to prejudice. As I have grown in my understanding of God’s calling to His church, I recognize that we are to play a role in uniting His people across barriers that once keep them divided. This book is a vision and guide for anyone who longs to see the church in America reconciled racially. It would probably be easier to accept our dissimilarities across cultures and races, and just declare that we are too different to ever worship together, or we could pronounce that God longs us to be one, even if our styles, histories, and comforts will make us fight for true unity on this side of heaven. Being in South Africa, I see clearly the grief that comes from prejudice and racism, and I think even in America we have many racial issues to still deal with, even if they are not as overt as they were in the 1960’s. I encourage anyone who longs to see the church racially united for all our greater good and fullness of worship, to read this book and begin to put its teachings into practice.
Overall Grade: A