More Free, At Least
In Atlanta, few predominantly white churches within the I-285 beltway are growing. Most, in fact, are rapidly declining, despite a variety of reform and renewal efforts. But most black churches and those of other ethnic groups are growing. While I don't fully understand what is going wrong in the white churches, I am beginning to sense what is going right in so many African American congregations. They are by no means perfect, but life is there. The whole self is engaged there. The Spirit moves there.
What if it turns out that the greatest source of renewal for Christianity in America is to be found in churches led by those once called "racial and ethnic minorities"? What if the day is coming, or is already here, when white Christians will have to undertake yet one more releasethe release of our sense that we are the ones who know best how to do church? What if we find ourselves crossing those invisible but real racial boundary lines on a pilgrimage to discover where true Christian vitality is to be found?
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Gushee's columns are available online.
Other articles on racial reconciliation include:
Exit Interviews | Why blacks are leaving evangelical ministries. (January 15, 2007)
Behold, the Global Church | It's time we figured out how to talk--and listen--to one another. (November 11, 2006)
Catching Up with a Dream | Evangelicals and Race 30 Years After the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan. 17, 2000)
Playing the Grace Card | Christians hold the missing key to racial reconciliationbut it won't be popular. (July 13, 1998)
Breaking the Black/White Stalemate | Jesse Miranda and William Pannell discuss the next step in racial reconciliation. (March 2, 1998)
The 'Jackie Robinson' of Evangelism | When Howard Jones broke the race barrier on Billy Graham's platform, he faced rejection from both sides. (Feb. 9, 1998)
Racial Reconciliation: After the Hugs, What? | The next step for racial reconciliation will be harder. (February 3, 1997)
Christianity Today's series on evangelicals and racial reconciliation includes:
Color-Blinded | Why 11 o'clock Sunday morning is still a mostly segregated hour. An excerpt from Divided by Faith. (Sept. 22, 2000)
Divided by Faith? | A recent study argues that American evangelicals cannot foster genuine racial reconciliation. Is our theology to blame? (Sept. 22, 2000)
The Lord in Black Skin | As a white pastor of a black church, I found the main reason prejudice and racism hurt so much: because we are so much alike. (Sept. 25, 2000)
Shoulder to Shoulder in the Sanctuary | A profile in racial unity. (Sept. 28, 2000)
Common Ground in the Supermarket | A profile in racial unity. (Sept. 27, 2000)
We Can Overcome | A CT forum examines the subtle nature of the church's racial divisionand offers hope. (October 2, 2000)
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