InterVarsity Press is the publisher of my forthcoming book. Long before I became an InterVarsity Press author, I was and am a devoted InterVarsity Press (IVP) reader. I don’t get to read all of the books that I want, but most of the time I am reading books that are written or influenced by InterVarsity Press authors. I find that IVP books are thoughtful, timely, highly theological, and engaging. This book delivered on that standard of consistency and excellence.
Today’s culture is bombarded with noise, messages, and information. Sometimes it is easier to tune out when we really should be dialing in. At other times, we may feel so overwhelmed or powerless by the messages that we receive that we opt to do nothing. Regardless of whether or not we find ourselves actively watching, listening to, and engaging the constant stream of information available on our televisions or electronic devices, we need books like this one.
We need a book to remind us of who we are and why we speak up even when it is hard and when we are afraid.
In recent months, diverse groups of Christian leaders have spoken up against injustices against people of color and other oppressed people within our society.
Beth Moore shared an open letter about the importance of women leaders and the misogyny and racism within American Evangelicalism. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also joined the great cloud of witnesses by taking a stand against President Donald Trump’s incitement of racism and his unjust, unethical, and immoral practices in his personal, public, and political life. When Beth Moore speaks, her posts go viral. When Russell Moore speaks, he gets featured on CNN. While I deeply appreciate when sisters and brothers like these use their platforms to influence and speak as the Holy Spirit pricks their hearts, I want us to also ask why the voices of the people of color who have been fighting the good fight and speaking against these same injustices for years, some for decades, go unheard?
White allies and sisters and brothers must acknowledge that when things are bad for White women in society and in the church, they are far worse for women of color. Allies, in their confessions and laments, must also use their platforms as an opportunity to elevate, sponsor, and share space with people of color who have been consistent in their witness and faithful in their work and convictions for years. Whenever the words “race” or “reconciliation” are mentioned within the Christian framework, I need the names and contributions of those like the Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, professor Drew G.I. Hart, Edward Gilbreath, LaTasha Morrison, and the Rev. Efrem Smith elevated.
Since I write book reviews, I normally receive new releases from publishing houses. I don’t get to read all of them, but I normally prioritize the ones that are directly linked to my ministry focus areas, or I select the resources that provide a fresh perspective. In this day, I also find it particularly important to intentionally read Christian books that are written by leaders are who people of color.
I care about discipleship, and this NavPress book was written by a person of color, who is well read, trained, and experienced in pastoral ministry. That is how this resource worked its way to the top of my reading pile.