Racial and ethnic hostility is one of the most pervasive problems the church faces. It hinders our effectiveness as one body of believers. It damages our witness. Why won't this problem just go away?
Because it is a spiritual battle.
In response, we must employ spiritual weapons—prayer, repentance, forgiveness. In this book Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson provide a model of racial reconciliation, social justice, and spiritual healing that creates both individual and communal transformation. Read this book if you want to learn how to
This classic is now part of the IVP Signature Collection, which features special editions of iconic books in celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of InterVarsity Press. It includes a list of definitions and a discussion and activity guide for groups. A new companion Bible study is also available.
"This is a much-needed work that properly and firmly locates the ministry of racial reconciliation in the biblical context of spiritual warfare and of spiritual transformation. The book identifies God, not us, as the main actor of this kingdom ministry, passionately calling us to join him."
"Brenda and Rick, through their partnership and new paradigm, are providing us a way through the increasing racial and ethnic divide in our world. Racial and ethnic divisions require reconciliation that transforms the whole person and issues in corporate change. This new paradigm does not make the process easy but provides a path of hope forward for an increasingly troubled and divided world."
"The combination of profound spiritual insight and powerful social application is unique! Brenda and Rick have written an important book for communities of every ethnicity. Read it and be transformed!"
"If there is hope that our country will ever see progress in race relations, it undoubtedly lies in the hands of our next generation. Thankfully, this book by Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson equips them—and the rest of us slow learners—with astute insights, grounded strategies, practical help and heavenly visions. It reminds us that diversity was no accident; it was God's idea all along, and these two visionaries invite us to embrace it and celebrate it as it was always meant to be."
"In a time when we are surrounded by social cynicism toward issues of race, The Heart of Racial Justice welcomes us back to the table of redemptive love and community. It is not set with easy answers but with honest and passionate conversation about the irrefutable reconciling nature of the gospel. We are drawn to this table because the authors embody in their own lives the very nature of the reconciliation which they envision. They are wise teachers more than harsh prophets, loving mentors more than judgmental critics, and experienced guides more than sermonizing spectators. They dare to believe there is hope at this table, and we leave nurtured with provisions to join the movement for reconciliation."
"Brenda Salter McNeil is one of the most compelling voices for reconciliation in our day. She has joined with Rick Richardson, one of her long-term partners in the ministry of racial reconciliation, to write this important book. In this book the authors challenge emerging leaders in the church to choose to become a reconciliation generation. To this end The Heart of Racial Justice provides spiritual tools to equip people to dismantle the social construction of racism. This book makes a valuable contribution to the growing conversation on racial reconciliation."
"What Rick and Brenda do in this biblically grounded book is to make reconciliation practical through the example of their friendship, reflecting on those who have gone on before them and building on (and appreciating) what each one has to offer. I highly recommend that you take time to read The Heart of Racial Justice. It is a blueprint for the Christian church."
Foreword by John M. Perkins
Preface to the Signature Edition
1. Is There Still a Race Problem?
2. Mission Impossible?
3. A Better Way
4. A New Model
5. How Worship Builds Bridges
6. Embracing Our True Selves
7. Receiving and Extending Forgiveness
8. Denouncing the Powers and Principalities
9. Ongoing Partnerships
10. The Trumpet Call
Appendix 1: Definitions
Appendix 2: The Principalities and Powers
Appendix 3: Exploring the Heart of Racial Justice: A Strategic Tool for Leaders