Moving Past Talk to Systemic Change
Foreword by Korie Little Edwards and Michael O. Emerson
It’s time to move past talk. It’s no longer news to most of us that our society has a deep-seated racism problem. Christians of all ethnic and economic backgrounds are tired of seeing the ugly legacy of racism play out before their eyes and feeling ill-equipped to respond. They watch as friends and family members leave the visible church over this issue, or fall prey to a gospel of White nationalism that is an affront to the cross of Christ.
Racism presents itself as an undefeatable foe—a sustained scourge on the reputation of the church. In Faithful Antiracism, Christina Barland Edmondson and Chad Brennan take confidence from the truth that Christ has overcome the world, including racism, and offer clear analysis and interventions to challenge and resist its pernicious power. Drawing on brand-new research from the landmark Race, Religion, and Justice Project led by Michael Emerson and others, this book represents the most comprehensive study on Christians and race since Emerson’s own book Divided by Faith (2001). It invites readers to put this data to immediate practical use, applying it to their own specific context.
Compelled by our grievous social moment and by the timeless truth of Scripture, Faithful Antiracism will equip readers to move past talk and enter the fight against racism in both practical and hopeful ways.
Faithful Antiracism provides biblical, practical, and essential steps toward racial healing and equity. Many Christian individuals and organizations get stuck at verbalized support, tokenism, or superficial relationships. This book helps us to move beyond limited, ineffective approaches that only produce discouragement and a false sense of progress. It helps us to work toward the systemic changes that are required for us to become the just and unified community that Christ has called us to be.
founder and CEO of Be the Bridge and author of Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
Faithful Antiracism is bound to become a standard in churches and religious organizations that aspire to pursue racial justice. Dr. Christina Edmondson and Chad Brennan combine the precision of scholars with the compassion of pastors who patiently love and care for others. This book is packed with application and is ready-made for group or individual study. Whether you’ve been committed to antiracism for years or you are just beginning the journey, Faithful Antiracism will equip and inspire you for the struggle.
author of The Color of Compromise and founder of The Witness, Inc.
Deeply informed and immensely clarifying, Faithful Antiracism equips readers to move beyond easy platitudes and good intentions. Its sophisticated engagement with biblical teaching, history, and the social sciences sets this book apart, yet it is so beautifully crafted and compellingly written that it still manages to be a page-turner. This book is a gift to the American church.
author of Jesus and John Wayne
This is an important book, one that offers a compelling response to the question that burns in the hearts of countless Christians today: What can we do to confront racism in our communities? Most impressive, perhaps, is Edmondson and Brennan’s multidisciplinary approach. Their brilliant synthesis of current research, scriptural insight, personal story, historical analysis, and practical wisdom is not only unparalleled among Christian treatments of the topic, it is also deeply persuasive. Eminently helpful and relentlessly hopeful, Faithful Antiracism is an essential resource for any individual, church, or organization seeking to take concrete steps toward measurable change
lead pastor of Grace Meridian Hill and coauthor of Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair
In Faithful Antiracism, Christina Edmondson and Chad Brennan provide a substantial template for confronting racism that includes a necessary combination of theology (the biblical analysis is fantastic), sociology (the data from their interviews is very insightful), and history (you will learn so much valuable information about both Christian and American history). This book is necessary equipment for the antiracist journey ahead!
pastor and author of White Awake and White Lies
What should be uncontroversial—working against the forces of racism (antiracism)—is fraught with contemptuous rhetoric in our current climate. What we need are voices and practitioners who call us out of contempt and into an embrace of what is possible. This is exactly what Christina Edmondson and Chad Brennan have done for us in Faithful Antiracism. They lay out a blueprint for change that is grounded in the Scriptures and attuned to contemporary research on racial views within the church in the United States. This is your book if you are among those who want to know how Christians can actively press against racism and promote justice.
author of The Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best
Faithful Antiracism will help you discern how you can advance racial justice in word and deed, with care for the orientation of your heart as well as for your actions and activism. Edmondson and Brennan will help you oppose racism without making it all about you. I can see many churches and communities benefiting from this thoughtful work, and I’m grateful for the hearts and minds the authors bring to the vital endeavor of promoting racial justice.
founder of Public Square Strategies and author of Reclaiming Hope
This book prophetically illustrates how and where Scripture calls the body of Christ to pursue antiracism. It goes beyond theory and lays the foundation for practical application. This book will equip believers to live out a holistic gospel.
author of Subversive Witness: Scripture’s Call to Leverage Privilege and Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores
What. A. Book. This is one of those books that moves you in your head and in your heart. The authors resist the temptation of rehearsing old clichés and paralyzing polemics. It is a well-researched work of art, firmly grounded in Christian faith and Scripture and weaves together ideas and practices as few books are able to. Faithful Antiracism doesn’t leave you stuck in shame and guilt, not knowing how to move forward, but casts a vision for how we can move forward together. This book is a gift to the world.
author, activist, and cofounder of Red Letter Christians
Brilliantly researched, superbly written, brazenly honest, and inspiringly transparent, Faithful Antiracism answers the questions left from reading other texts on the subject. With grace, courage, and wisdom, Edmondson and Brennan offer a dialogue-inducing, interactive guide with practical steps grounded in Scripture that will stimulate measurable change. This is the book we have all been waiting for!
president and CEO, Black Christian Experience Resource Center (BCERC)
Edmondson and Brennan weave together data and statistics, church and cultural histories, Scripture and personal narrative, inviting readers into a spiritual journey of repentance and conversion—both personal and communal. Faithful Antiracism is a timely reminder that seeking justice ought never be a trend for the church to follow, for it is core to the church.
speaker and author of Raise Your Voice
This book is written by experts who take the Bible, history, research, and data seriously. Faithful Antiracism seeks to change behavior. As an educator and Christian leader, I want to be my best. This book challenged, taught, and inspired me to be, and more importantly to do, my best. Being antiracist is a gospel goal. Engage this material individually or in a group and grow so that you will be a kingdom actor to end racism.
president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
In Faithful Antiracism, Edmondson and Brennan provide a comprehensive blueprint for understanding and addressing racial injustice. Their fresh research is accessible; their recommendations are practical. Edmondson and Brennan have produced a guide for Christian individuals, congregations, organizations, and universities who sincerely commit to replace systems of racism with biblically envisioned community. They invite and demand that we be faithful and become antiracist!
CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches
Faithful Antiracism is the book so many Christians have been waiting to read. Clear, accurate, and informative, it is both an eye opener for the skeptics still unsure about racism and a practical guide for the many already committed to this work. Biblical, historical, and accessible, Christina Edmondson and Chad Brennan’s book provides a broad overview of how racism works and what people of faith can do to confront it. Readers will find a rich resource for helping us to see not only that racism exists but also showing how people of faith have sought to address it, and then advising us on what we can all do today. Read, then share!
professor of sociology at Davidson College and author of Worship Across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation
Christian leadership today requires an intentional approach to faith and justice. In this powerful and necessary resource, Dr. Christina Barland Edmonson and Chad Brennan give us everything we need to faithfully navigate and dismantle the systems that keep us apart. Every changemaker needs this book!
author of Made to Lead: Empowering Women for Ministry