Book Review: Forgive Us

Confessions of a Compromised Faith

 Authors: Mae Elise Cannon, Lisa Sharon Harper, Troy Jackson, and Soong-Chan Rah

Why I picked up this book:

I received this book from my publisher, Zondervan, because I share a similar concern and passion for biblical justice like its authors.

Who Should Read Forgive Us:

This academic resource is for anyone who has a sincere desire to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).” It is for those who are interested in the Lord’s requirement “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”

Forgive Us book cover

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Introducing the African American Voices of Missio Alliance

Missio Alliance Writing Team Banner

At the end of last year, I announced that I would be joining the writing team of Missio Alliance. Missio Alliance is a network of people who are passionate about the Northern American church, evangelicalism, and engaging the cultural challenges of our day. One thing I love about Missio Alliance is their intentionality in building a diverse learning environment and leadership community. Last month, I introduced my friend, Carolyn Custis James, and Dr. MaryKate Morse as leading women voices of Missio Alliance. Today, I have the privilege of introducing leading African American male voices within Missio Alliance.

 

Efrem Smith

Efrem Smith

Meet Efrem Smith. Efrem is the President and CEO of World Impact, a Christian missions organization committed to facilitating urban church planting movements through evangelism, discipleship, and the empowerment of the unreached urban poor. You can read more about his passion for the African American church and multi-ethnic church planting here. He is the author of The Post-Black and Post-White Church and Jump into a Life of Further and Higher. I also recommend reading one of his recent blogs, “#BlackLivesMatter and Evangelicalism.

I am so honored that Efrem Smith has endorsed and written the forward for my upcoming book, “Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship.” I am also honored to be a part of the writing team and friends of Missio Alliance with him.

 

Dennis R. Edwards

Dr. Dennis R. Edwards

Next up is Dr. Dennis R. Edwards. I have not personally had the opportunity to meet Dr. Edwards, but he is the senior pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis and I look forward to hearing and learning from him. You can read about his passion and concerns for the church here. His concerns about power, violence, and lack of interest in biblical engagement are of particular interests to me. His hope is that “Christians will continue to be enthusiastic about engaging Scripture and also to let Scripture inform us regarding issues of power and privilege.” I look forward to listening to some of his sermons and drawing from his as well.

 

The co-founder of Missio Alliance, JR Rozko, recently posted on his Facebook page, “I’ve learned that one of the most crucial dimensions to evaluating which leaders are worth following is taking a good hard look at the wells they draw from for their own intellectual formation and who they look to as heroes and exemplars.” I could not agree more, so I close with the question:

 

Who are two leaders that you learn from and why?

 

Blessings, Natasha

 

 

 

Diversity is not Nice

I am so excited to join the Missio Alliance writing team! I have written for them before but now, I will be contributing to their blog monthly. You can find out more about them at their new website. My first post is up today titled, “Diversity is not Nice.”
Diversity is Not Nice

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to speak at a women’s event at my church. The question I was asked to answer is, “Why does God call us to diversity?” Even looking at the question now causes me to sigh. This emotional response is because I believe that people in the church, at least my multi-ethic congregation, know the answer to that question. Some of us can even quote scripture and maybe tell a story or two about it, but there are still hurt feelings, unasked questions, topics we don’t address, a silent strolling of offensive posts by our so called “friends” on social media, and suddenly, we (the minority group) realize that “they” don’t know us well at all. Perhaps they have not even tried, that is what undergirds the sigh. It is the weariness of understanding that what God calls us to is quite clear, at least for those of us Jesus-loving, Bible-toting, Sunday morning worshipping, bridge building believers. But for some reason we don’t always have a passionate pursuit of diversity. We have simply gotten comfortable with our love of the idea of diversity.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.