Nathan Phillips and Catholic boys have Much to Teach Us

I have been delayed in sharing this piece, and am doing so now because we tend to move on too quickly in our culture without learning our life lessons.

A couple weeks ago, a short video clip of a white male Catholic student named Nick Sandmann from Covington Catholic School in Kentucky, along with a group of his predominately white classmates seemingly disrespecting an indigenous elder, Nathan Phillips, went viral on the internet. People were appalled at the student’s disrespect. Within days, the school issued an apology, the families of the students were given a platform to defend their children and tell the world of the death threats they had received.

Then a longer video was released revealing a more complicated situation. The Atlantic article, “I Failed the Covington Catholic Test,” cautioned the viewers who rushed to judgment, encouraged readers to wait for more facts to emerge, and implied that the white students were the victims. The credibility of Nathan Phillips was in doubt.

It was a clashing of three people groups in a polarized society. A situation like that can become dangerous very quickly.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.

On Being Black, Woman, and Evangelical

On Being Black, Woman, and Evangelical

 

I’m thrilled that important conversations are taking place about the history and condition of the American evangelical church. I am humbled and honored to contribute to these conversations.

This week I’m sharing at Missio Alliance about the intersectionality of being black, a woman, and an evangelical.

Over the past few years, I have wrestled with identifying as an evangelical who is Black. The past couple years have made it all the more difficult because of the troubling marriage of evangelicalism (mostly reported by those in the majority people group) and American politics, that often does not reflect the priorities or interests of many black people that I know.

I just finished reading Dr. Douglas A. Sweeney’s book, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement. While reading, I was encouraged to know that the debates for evangelicalism—what it means, who belongs in the group and who doesn’t, and how marginalized people are often left out of the conversation—are not new ones.

In fact, uncertainly about the definition of evangelicalism, its mark on the American and global church, and how that has impacted various people groups has been a reality since the beginning of the evangelical movement.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.

 

My friend, Lisa Sharon Harper, also makes an important contribution here. Thank you, Lisa, for answering the question, “What does repentance look like for the white church?”

Natasha’s Study: The American Evangelical Story

Today for “Natasha’s Study” I am reviewing the book, The American Evangelical Story: A History of the Movement by Dr. Douglas A. Sweeney.

The American Evangelical Story

Why I picked up this book:

I haven’t read a lot of history since finishing seminary, but this was one of the books I have wanted to read for some time.

Who Should Read The American Evangelical Story:

There is a lot of debate and uncertainty right now, both inside and outside of the American church, regarding the word “evangelical.” People are struggling to determine what the term actually means. Some are discouraged by the way the word has been associated with politics, and the right-wing political leanings. Others are discouraged by the evangelical history, particularly concerning its marginalization of People of Color (anyone who doesn’t identify as white) and women.

If these are your concerns or questions, then I would invite you to read this book.

Continue reading “Natasha’s Study: The American Evangelical Story”