1. Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation
    Dhati Lewis
    B&H Books / 2019 / Hardcover
    Our Price$1.99 Retail Price$12.99 Save 85% ($11.00)
    4.5 out of 5 stars for Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation. View reviews of this product. 2 Reviews
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  1. Rebekah Hargraves
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Must-Read in Today's Cultural Climate
    August 20, 2019
    Rebekah Hargraves
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Since the fall of 2016, the Lord has been taking me down a path towards opening my eyes up to all the racism that still exists in this country and giving me a heart for racial reconciliation. So, naturally, when the opportunity arose to read and review a book with a title like this one, I jumped at it right away!

    I now make it an effort of mine to regularly immerse myself in the books, Instagram posts, blog posts, podcasts, and other writings of folks who are passionate about racial reconciliation and seeing racism done away with in this country, but I must admit that much of it is rather imbalanced at times. Some folks claim there is no more racism in this country, others say that the treatment of blacks has come such a long way that they have nothing to complain about any longer. On the other side of the coin you have those who almost make anything and everything out to be an issue of white supremacy as well as those who want to demand much of whites even whites who have never mistreated or enslaved blacks in any way.

    This commonly seen imbalance when addressing issues of racism and racial reconciliation made Dhati Lewis' book a thoroughly refreshing and inspiring read.

    Dhati lets no one off the hook neither whites who have behaved as racists or who have been complicit in racism by their lack of action to the alternative, nor blacks who want to blame whites for everything.

    Dhati realizes and addresses the fact that all of us have ways in which we could grow and become better advocates for one another. This book is by no means one-sided, and I love that about it.

    Dhati begins the book by answering the questions, "Where are we?" and "How did we get here?", addressing the issue of where we are culturally. Then he moves into answering the questions, "Where does God want us to be?" and "How do we get there?", making this book supremely practical which is crucial if we hope to effect change.

    One thing I appreciate about Dhati and his work so much is that he is so careful to define his terms, which is so helpful and crucial in conversations such as this one.

    He defines words such as "reconciliation", "racism", "advocate", and "aggressor". He also defines and explains the 3 types of aggressor that exist, helping us to determine which type we have been and where we need to change.

    Dhati then takes us through the book of Philemon showing us how God desires for racial reconciliation to take place. He goes beyond even just that excellent teaching, though, to also show us, through a survey of the Word, that racial reconciliation is truly a gospel issue, a family issue, a body of Christ issue. If you, as a believer, don't come away from reading this book feeling incredibly inspired and fired up to be on mission to work towards racial reconciliation, I will be greatly surprised! I highly, highly recommend you read this timely, Bible-saturated, love-driven book. It is just the book we need in this time!



    *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
  2. Theron St. John
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Book that Brings Hope for Racial Reconciliation
    November 19, 2019
    Theron St. John
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Growing up, I was ignorant of the racial divide and issues plagued in history and present with current events. Then, in Bible college I took a course called "Culture, Race, and the Church". My eyes were opened to the racism that had not yet died and to the racial inequality that still exists. I was made aware of the problem and reality of racism. Since that class, numerous news headlines have exposed how far we have to go in race relations. Even within the church, there is a hesitancy to bring up and address matters of race. Yet, what our culture needs is not for the church to be hesitant but to bring hope. That is the very thing Dhati Lewis brings forth in his new book Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation.

    A Biblical Path Forward

    Whereas many conversations on the racial tension we see tend to bring heat, Dhati Lewis makes the focus of his book about examining our own hearts and how to engage the "personal, relational, and systemic issues of racial division" (Lewis xiv). Dhati is one who knows the issue well as a black man who is married to a white woman and serves as a pastor of a multiethnic church. He lays the foundation that his guide in dealing with these issues is the Bible and a the book is described as re-discovery of its rich content on this matter. The preface of the book is wisely filled with clarifying terms with biblical definitions of words like reconciliation and justice and explaining what it means to be biblically woke. It also provides disclaimers for the conversation presented in the book and emphasizes the importance of the local church for the health of the Christian.

    The main section of the book is a call to Christians to pursue the path of racial reconciliation guided by the gospel. The book walks this path forward in four parts: (1) Awareness, (2) Vision, (3) Strategy, and (4) Courage. The author spends the better half of the pages putting forth the vision of what it means to be an advocate for a biblical understanding and pursuit of racial reconciliation, using the book of Philemon to show advocates rely on Christ (chapter 3), run to the tension (chapter 4), and respond with dignity (chapter 5). The book closes with an appendix on practical strategic initiatives on how to REP (Reflect Personally, Empathize Corporately, Pursue Reconciliation) Christ.

    Being a Part of the Solution

    From the opening pages of the book it is clear Dhati Lewis is interested in how to work toward the solution of racial reconciliation. He has done this in his church using the REP Christ paradigm. While it is tempting (and many tend) to be aggravators in discussions on the racial tension in our culture, Lewis shows throughout his writing how the testimony of Scripture calls for Christians to live out the gospel reality of being one in Christ and to talk about the vision in terms of what God is for, not what God is against, which impedes too many of the conversations at present. Dhati is honest in the issues surrounding the racial tension and humble that only by God's strength and wisdom can those who advocate practice and persevere in racial reconciliation.

    A Late Mention

    With rich biblical content throughout the book, I was surprised the book of Philemon doesn't get mentioned until page 39. To be fair, the majority of part 2 of the book focuses primarily in Philemon. However, considering how the synopsis of the book was presented as using Philemon as a model (for example, see the back cover), I had expected to at least read a reference to Philemon at the very beginning of the book. In the end, though, Philemon was adequately used in the conversation and for the purpose of the book.

    A Hopeful and Handlebar of a Book

    Advocates: The Narrow Path to Racial Reconciliation by Dhati Lewis is sure to be a handlebar to steer church leaders and Christ-followers toward biblical solutions in conversations on racial reconciliation. As church leaders and believers listen and learn from the heartfelt lessons Dhati shares, they will find themselves examining their hearts and asking how they can be more intentional in serving as an ambassador of Christ in reconciliation. If you are someone, like me, who has become aware of the racial tensions and problems we are facing but needs courage and guidance on becoming an advocate who speaks up, then you will want to pick up this book of hope by Dhati Lewis.

    I received this book from B&H/Lifeway Bloggers Program in exchangefor this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
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