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Faithful Antiracism

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Member Reviews

This was a really good read! The authors did a great job with this one; both of them are Christian anti-racists. This book focuses on teaching Christians on how to be an anti-racist. It was very well researched. I actually learned some new things especially as a black women myself. I was familiar with a lot of things the book discussed. I was already familiar with anti-racism having read some literature. But this one is different because it’s through a Christian perspective. Both authors shared stories, give history lessons, and showcases bible verses and passages and interpret them. Christians of any race needs to come together, with God as our guide, to combat racial Injustice. 

I highly recommend this book for those who want to be a faithful antiracist!
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When I read this book’s description, I was definitely intrigued. I appreciated some of the statistics and studies that were mentioned, as that does feel important to include. At the same time, though, it felt like a weird conversation to even be having with Christians. Yes, there are people in the Church that need this information, but I worry the only people reading it will be those who already know a lot of what was included here. I hope I’m wrong and that this was simply not the right fit for me.
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Faithful Antiracism is a book that is written for people who see past and present systemic racism and ask, "well what can I do about this?" Built on the premise of research done by Chad Brennan and Dr. Christina Edmonson from 2019 to 2020 (called the Race, Religion, and Justice Project, or RRJP for short) and how scripture addresses the way we should engage with racial justice, Mr. Brennan and Dr. Edmonson equip their readers with practical steps towards having a more racially inclusive church environment and lifestyle.

On pages 2 and 3, the authors define faithful racism as:

"We are using two senses of the term faithful. First, faithful describes someone who is trustworthy and loyal: faithful antiracists are steadfastly committed to working towards antiracism. Second, faithful antiracists are full of faith or faith-full. We believe it is essential to rely on God's power and leading in order to make progress. As Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

By racism, we mean race-based discrimination and social hierarchies where individuals receive advantages or disadvantages because of perceived racial differences. If you find that sentence confusing, hang in there. We will explain what we mean by these concepts. By antiracism, we mean working against the forces that sustain racism."

From there, the authors tell their stories of how they've been affected by racism and race in general and what lead to them writing this book and explain their research. The research was particularly noteworthy to me and I would have loved to see more information on the research, but I understand that having more of that would also make the book significantly less accessible for the general public to read. They also made it clear that they weren't able to include the views of biracial/mixed (they use multiracial, but as someone that is biracial/mixed, that's generally not the term I choose to use for myself) people or Indigenous people because their sample size didn't have a significant number of people in either group, so they couldn't make accurate statements about the views of each group. As I understand it, the book was in the process of being written before the US census information had been released, so the authors may not be aware that racially mixed Americans now make up about 8.8% of the population. While I understand why our voices were not heard in the research, it is unfortunate nonetheless.

The first 5 chapters outline what it looks like to be an antiracist further, by looking at how an antiracist should have wisdom, read and apply scripture, stand for justice, understand the past, and understand the present. At chapter 6, the book turns to look at racial trauma, which was one of the most helpful chapters to read and it was very compelling. I highlighted many parts of the text because not only did it highlight so much of Dr. Edmonson's expertise and passion, but it also resonated strongly with me while pointing to God's care for his children and his heart for justice  in these situations.

After chapter 6, the book primarily looks at solid action points that Christians can take to work towards racial justice. One of the most important things to me was how much Dr. Edmonson and Mr. Brennan emphasized that this is not easy work, it will take time, and it will be uncomfortable. Yet, it is also worthwhile and should be done. While I appreciate many of the action points given and agree with a lot of the diagnosed issues given, I don't know if I am fully on board with some of the proposed solutions. Additionally, parts of the book were hard to read, not because I couldn't understand them or was disinterested, it was just a writing style that doesn't necessarily appeal to me. That said, I do recommend this book as a way to grow and give food for thought. I'd recommend reading it in the context of a group, especially if you are in ministry, so that you can discuss together ways to implement some of the suggestions given.
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A good, well-researched look at how the church has handled racism in the past and focuses on helpful and not-so-helpful ways that the church can and does handle racial diversity. The authors back up their points with personal examples, excerpts of interviews and surveys from other people, as well as factual data. Excellent discussion questions are included that make you delve into your own perceptions and practical next steps are given. Definitely a book that churches and other Christian institutions should read. 

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This is an excellent and necessary book that tackles the Church's historic and modern-day roles in racism and antiracism.

Recommended for anyone looking to learn more about how Christians should approach racial issues within and outside of the Church, even if they are new to (or even skeptical towards) the idea of antiracism.

The chapters are supported both by scripture and data. The authors frequently referenced survey data which showed how opinions on systemic racism differed between Christians vs. non-Christians. This was particularly heartbreaking and really emphasized how we need to do better. Many Christians just are not thinking about racism in a biblical way, and reading books like this can be great stepping stones to progress.

I read this by myself, but the discussion questions at the end of each chapter would make this perfect for a Bible study or discussion group.
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Excellent book for church small groups and Sunday school classes. This book includes scripture, eye-opening research data, history, terminology and more. I appreciated the discussion questions and prayer at the conclusion of every chapter. Faithful Antiracism would make a wonderful choice for starting honest conversations and raise awareness about racism. 

Thank you to NetGalley and InterVarsity Press for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a great book for discussion groups, particularly in a religious context like a Sunday School class. It was pretty light on substance and context, but it is a great way to launch into deeper discussions and serves as a good companion for other, denser texts. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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As a pastor, I often have conversations that end with someone telling me, “We don’t need to talk about racism. We just need to talk about [fill in the blank… usually The Bible or Jesus].”

What I love about Faithful Antiracism is that it’s a concise book that takes a few different avenues into a conversation about antiracism that is firmly rooted in the story of God’s people.

I imagine this would be a great book for a church group hesitant to discuss race to read together because of the ways it centers discussion in prayer and scripture. At different times, this book takes a historical approach, trauma-informed approach, and ultimately lands on an appeal to traditions of faith as expressed in scripture to make its point.

It’s a good addition to the conversation for its pragmatism and usefulness for beginning conversations where church folks may be more hesitant.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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"Faithful Antiracism: Moving Past Talk to Systemic Change" was co-written by Christina Edmondson and Chad Brennan. This book is practical, helpful, and very easy to read. According to the authors, people who are faithful antiracists are described as: having wisdom, applying the Bible, standing for justice, understanding the past and present, understanding racial trauma, and helping change society. In each section of this book, the authors give concrete evidence through graphs, charts, and personal anecdotes. Each chapter also has reflection questions and a prayer as well. I was surprised by the results of the surveys, specifically from white Christians.

This book would be an incredibly useful tool to use in a small group or working with Christians who have a sincere desire to be a part of the social change that is so very needed. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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This is the perfect book for a church book club that wants to learn how to be anti-racist and do better. If you are searching for how to learn more about anti-racism and are a Christian, you will find this book incredibly helpful.
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"Faithful Antiracism" is timely, challenging, and inspiring. Anyone who takes race seriously, as well as Christianity seriously, will want to read this powerful book!
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A necessary book, full of findings that assures Us that this subject must to be talked about in churches. It is urgent for believers of Christ to undestand and start to reflect  about. The data research showed here is fantastically accurate and clear , and also hit the main purpose of this book: We have to start the change, of mind, of attitude and show the real justice, respect and love that Christ has showed to Us.
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The authors provide a good mix of research-based claims and wise commentary, helping readers understand the need to be proactive about fighting racism and build a worldview that simultaneously revokes lies and promotes change.
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