Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference | Recommended Readings for Seeking Racial Understanding, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 

Kainos Movement 2015 Conference Recommended Books and Authors


Last week, I had the privilege to go to Memphis, Tennessee for the Kainos Movement's 2015 Conference. The purpose of the conference was to gather leaders who either seek to start multi-ethnic ministries or churches, or who aspire to transition their current homogenous ministries into a multi-ethnic trajectory. My prayer, hope, and striving is that Emmaus City will be a transcultural and multi-ethnic church in Worcester, of Worcester, and for Worcester. 

Previous Kainos Movement 2015 Conference posts:



While I will provide more posts in the next few days featuring my notes from the strong collection of Kainos 2015 pastors, nonprofit leaders, and sociologists who prophetically spoke into our segregated American culture, in this post I want to share the selection of books that were not only recommended by the Kainos Movement, but many were given away at the conference by the publishers. While I have read some of them, I will be reading, finishing, and teaching from these books in the months and years to come so that Emmaus City will not only have a raised racial IQ, but so that we will be challenged and engaged with the dynamics surrounding cultures, ethnicities, and races, and how Christ has come and crushed the dividing wall of hostility in His body on the cross so that He can form a new humanity reconciled to God and each other.

A Cross-Shaped Gospel: Reconciling Heaven and Earth by Bryan Loritts

 

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 

Today's church is continually being confronted with the question, "What is the gospel?" Bryan Loritts, a pastor in the heart of one of America's most racially divided urban centers, seizes the opportunity to answer that question in ways that may challenge your beliefs, practices and relationships.

Bryan clearly articulates the vertical dimension of the Christian faith as well as looking at the implications of salvation for growth, service, and relationships with the surrounding culture. He provokes readers to think about the implications of living out that faith. He explores what the gospel means for issues of race relations, political engagement, and class distinctions. A Cross-Shaped Gospel is a great look at how to biblically live out the whole gospel on earth by following the greatest heavenly commandments of loving God, and loving your neighbor.

 

Letters to a Birmingham Jail: A Response to the Words and Dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. edited by Bryan Loritts, featuring John Perkins, Matt Chandler, etc.

 

 Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

  

On April 16th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was published and soon became the manifesto of the civil rights movement. Dr. King did not pick up his pen and react to hate filled racists. Instead, he found any scrap of paper that he could write on and responded to the passive pleas of white clergy, "Isn't there another way around this, a more subtle and patient way? Can't you just wait, Dr. King?" Thankfully, over the half century that has elapsed since the publication of Letter from a Birmingham Jail, much has transpired and progress has been made. Long gone are the burning crosses, biting police dogs and angry mobs; in its place we find passivity, cynicism and avoidance. In God's sovereignty, voices from today's church have emerged declaring that we cannot wait. These diverse voices are grateful for the laws that the civil rights movement were able to change, but also acknowledge that while the movement could change laws, it could never change hearts. Only the cross and empty tomb of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can do that.

Letters to a Birmingham Jail is a collection of essays written by men of various ethnicities and ages, yet all are committed to the centrality of the gospel, nudging us to pursue Christ exalting diversity. The gospel demands justice in all its forms spiritual and physical. This was a truth that Dr. King fought and gave his life for, and this is a truth that these modern day "drum majors for justice" continue to beat. 

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith


Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 Through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people and an additional 200 face-to-face interviews, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probed the grassroots of white evangelical America. They found that despite recent efforts by the movement's leaders to address the problem of racial discrimination, evangelicals themselves seem to be preserving America's racial chasm. In fact, most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks. But in Divided by Faith, the authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement's emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality.

Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, Divided by Faith throws sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, the authors conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.

Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith by Mae Elise Cannon, Lisa Sharon Harper, Troy Jackson, Soong-Chan Rah


Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 Too often the church has proven to be a source of pain rather than a place of hope. Forgive Us acknowledges the legitimacy of much of the anger toward the church. In truth, Christianity in America has significant brokenness in its history that demands recognition and repentance. Only by this path can the church move forward with its message of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace. From Psalm 51 to the teachings of Jesus to the prayers of Nehemiah, confession is the proper biblical response when God’s people have injured others and turned their backs on God’s ways. In the book of Nehemiah, the author confesses not only his own sins, but also the sins of his ancestors. The history of the American church demands a Nehemiah-style confession both for our deeds and the deeds of those who came before us.

In each chapter of Forgive Us two pastors who are also academically trained historians provide accurate and compelling histories of some of the American church’s greatest shortcomings. Theologian Soong-Chan Rah and justice leader Lisa Sharon Harper then share theological reflections along with appropriate words of confession and repentance. Passionate and purposeful, Forgive Us will challenge readers and issue a heart-felt request to the surrounding culture for forgiveness and a new beginning.

Welcoming Justice: God's Movement Toward Beloved Community (Resources for Reconciliation)


Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

It was not that long ago that African Americans and other minorities were excluded from many spheres of American public life. We have seen remarkable progress in recent decades toward Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of beloved community. But this is not only because of the activism and sacrifice of a certain generation of civil rights leaders. It happened because God was on the move. 

Historian and theologian Charles Marsh partners with veteran activist John Perkins to chronicle God's vision for more equitable and just world. They show how the civil rights movement was one important episode in God's larger movement throughout human history of pursuing justice and beloved community. Perkins reflects on his long ministry and identifies key themes and lessons he has learned, and Marsh highlights the legacy of Perkins's work in American society. Together they show how abandoned places are being restored, divisions are being reconciled, and what individuals and communities are now doing to welcome peace and justice. The God Movement continues yet today. Come, discover your part in the beloved community. There is unfinished work still to do.

We Can Do Better: Healing the Racial Divide (Part 1) by Tony Evans


Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

"That they may be one even as we are one."  Jesus the Messiah (John 17:21)
In a response to today's racially charged climate, Dr. Tony Evans speaks from a spiritual perspective and discusses the need for racial healing in our nation and in our churches. He proposes that at the core of racial disunity lies the failure to understand and execute righteousness and justice from God's perspective. In this timely book, which concludes with a personal challenge to all believers, Dr. Evans calls readers to be intentional about embracing God's desire for oneness.

We Can Do Better: Strategies for Racial Unity through Community Restoration (Part 2) by Tony Evans



"His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known ..."  Paul (Ephesians 3:10)
Churches have been uniquely called to impact our society for good. In this timely book, Dr. Tony Evans offers "the plan" we have all been looking for to not only bring about racial unity in our country but to also restore our communities. He unveils a local model for the church that will impact your community and effect change in the lives of many. This step-by-step plan is sure to transform communities, and our nation.

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-Chan Rah

 
Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement


Philip Jenkins has chronicled how the next Christendom has shifted away from the Western church toward the global South and East. Changing demographics mean that North American society will accelerate its diversity in terms of race, ethnicity and culture. But evangelicalism has long been held captive by its predominantly white cultural identity and history. 

 In The Next Evangelicalism, the 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner, professor and pastor Soong-Chan Rah calls the North American church to escape its captivity to Western cultural trappings and to embrace a new evangelicalism that is diverse and multiethnic. Rah brings keen analysis to the limitations of American Christianity and shows how captivity to Western individualism and materialism has played itself out in megachurches and emergent churches alike. Many white churches are in crisis and ill-equipped to minister to new cultural realities, but immigrant, ethnic and multiethnic churches are succeeding and flourishing. This prophetic report casts a vision for a dynamic evangelicalism that fully embodies the cultural realities of the twenty-first century. Spiritual renewal is happening within the North American church, from corners and margins not always noticed by those in the center. Come, discover the vitality of the next evangelicalism.

Recovering from Racism: City Ministry in a "Post-Racial" America by Larry Lloyd

 

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 Recovering From Racism: City Ministry in a "Post-Racial" America is a story about how Larry Lloyd, a privileged white Evangelical, grew to love his city, particularly the city that so many don't want to see. A pioneer in urban ministry, Lloyd has helped countless others love the city, too. This book is about his story and how that story can inform each of us as we seek the well-being of the city to which God has called us. But first we have to see the city as God sees it. We have to look at our own heart and motivations for engaging the city, particularly as we engage neighborhoods that are in downward spirals. Paternalism, racism, and white privilege can blind us if we are not careful and our engagement can quickly turn to cynicism and frustration. 

But Recovering From Racism is not just for urban warriors. It s for each of us who dare to embrace the city as God s playground. It s for each of us who seek meaningful engagement in the middle of society's toughest issues. It s for each of us who want to be agents of God s grace and justice in our own city. 

The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches by Korie L. Edwards

 

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement


It is communion Sunday at a mixed-race church. A black pastor and white elder stand before the sanctuary as lay leaders pass out the bread and wine. An African-American woman sings a gospel song as a woman of Asian descent plays the piano. Then a black woman in the congregation throws her hands up and yells, over and over, "Thank you, Lord!" A few other African-Americans in the pews say "Amen," while white parishioners sit stone-faced. The white elder reads aloud from the Bible, his soft voice drowned out by the shouts of praise. Even in this proudly interracial church, America's racial divide is a constant presence.

In The Elusive Dream, Korie L. Edwards presents the surprising results of an in-depth study of interracial churches: they help perpetuate the very racial inequality they aim to abolish. To arrive at this conclusion, she combines a nuanced analysis of national survey data with an in-depth examination of one particular church. She shows that mixed-race churches adhere strongly to white norms. African Americans in multiracial settings adapt their behavior to make white congregants comfortable. Behavior that white worshipers perceive as out of bounds is felt by blacks as too limiting. Yet to make interracial churches work, blacks must adjust their behavior to accommodate the predilections of whites. They conform to white expectations in church just as they do elsewhere. Thorough, incisive, and surprising, The Elusive Dream raises provocative questions about the ongoing problem of race in the national culture.

 

Worship Outside the Music Box: Theology of Music & Worship and Multi-Ethnic Ministry by Stephen Michael Newby

 

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 

Worship Outside the Music Box calls for Christians to set aside personal preferences, to welcome different musical and liturgical genres, to learn from each other about what pleases God, and to model His love for a multiethnic, multicultural congregation of believers. The importance of bringing diverse styles of worship together cannot be overstated. 

Stephen Michael Newby explains that God is glorified by the sincere worship practices of all of His children, and blending these practices edifies each of us. Examples of multiethnic worship gatherings from the Bible and Scripture that support the necessity of all-inclusive worship are included in this timely book. 

 

United: Captured by God's Vision for Diversity by Trillia J. Newbell

 
Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement


Every tongue and tribe is represented in the glorious chorus that praises God. Yet today our churches remain segregated. Can we reflect the beauty of his family today? Civil rights leaders of fifty years ago fought hard to overturn the "separate but equal" Jim Crow laws. America has come a long way since the 60's. Our public facilities, parks, pools, and educational facilities once segregated are now filled with a variety of ethnic groups enjoying the benefits of togetherness. Yet, our churches remain separate but equal. In a time of great progress, why does the church remain relatively unmoved?

United will inspire, challenge and encourage readers to pursue the joys of of diversity through stories of the author's own journey and a theology of diversity lived out. Trillia Newbell explores the importance of pursuing diversity in the church by sharing her unique experiences growing up in the south and attending a predominately white church. She champions the theology of diversity throughout the book through the Scriptures providing compelling reasons to pursue diversity.

Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah 

 

Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 The United States is currently undergoing the most rapid demographic shift in its history. By 2050, white Americans will no longer comprise a majority of the population. Instead, they'll be the largest minority group in a country made up entirely of minorities, followed by Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans. Past shifts in America's demographics always reshaped the county's religious landscape. This shift will be no different.  

Many Colors is intended to equip evangelicals for ministry and outreach in our changing nation. Borrowing from the business concept of "cultural intelligence," he explores how God's people can become more multiculturally adept. From discussions about cultural and racial histories, to reviews of case-study churches and Christian groups that are succeeding in bridging ethnic divides, Rah provides a practical and hopeful guidebook for Christians wanting to minister more effectively in diverse settings. Without guilt trips or browbeating, Many Colors will spur individuals, churches, and parachurch ministries toward more effectively bearing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News for people of every racial and cultural background.

Right Color, Wrong Culture: The Type of Leader Your Organization Needs to Become Multiethnic (Leadership Fable) by Bryan Loritts

 

 Emmaus City Church Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Transcultural Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities Kainos Movement

 
Increasingly, leaders recognize the benefit of multi-ethnic organizations and are compelled to hire diverse individuals who will help them reflect a new America. As a speaker at the Global Leadership Summit, Bryan Loritts challenged leaders in his talk entitled Instigating Change through Personal Sacrifice to have a vision that is about more than the stuff that perishes. To have a vision for making sacrifices that make a difference and help to bring about transformation in the lives of others. He brings a similar challenge to leaders in this fable of self-discovery and change, as he explores the central, critical problem leaders often encounter when transitioning their church, business or organization to reflect a multi-ethnic reality. Transitioning a church or organization to move toward multiethnicity requires the right kind of leader. One who is willing to immerse themselves into the environments and lives of people who are different from them and make a difference.

In Right Color, Wrong Culture you enter into a conversation between individuals who are grappling with changing neighborhoods while struggling to remain relevant within communities growing in diversity. Known for his passion to build diversity in organizations, Bryan Loritts equips individuals with the tools necessary to recognize and value the culture that's often hidden behind race and color. This will allow you to identify the right person needed in order for your organizations to become multi-ethnic.

  
– Sully

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