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As the church and society try to navigate the tumultuous field of injustice and privilege in the world, the challenge is to make sure that everyone is heard, understood, and valued. Ken Wytsma, in The Myth of Equality, helps unpack what we need to know to be grounded in conversations about today’s many race-related issues. He clearly explains both the origins of these issues and the reconciling role individuals and the church are called to play as ministers of the gospel. Wytsma challenges us to increase our concern for others by learning about them, standing in solidarity with them, and making sacrifices for them.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in AmericaMichael Emerson, Christian SmithOxford University Press / 2001 / Trade Paperback$15.99 Retail:
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The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial WorldBrian BantumFortress Press / 2016 / Trade Paperback$15.29 Retail:
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"White progressives, evangelical and not, seem to enjoy feeling bad about racial injustice and wagging self-righteous fingers at others, but they often exacerbate the injustices of racism by hardening the lines of defense. Far too often the only solutions proposed are more laws, tightening existing laws, and social engineering through public education. What we need are not resolutions but solutionssolutions emerging from real people in real settings, with leaders who have discovered the long, painful path that leads from white privilege and white invisibility to social integration, racial reconciliation, and churches abounding in fellowship across racial lines and celebrating the glories of ethnicities. Ken Wytsma is the kind of leader who offers real solutions toward social integration and racial reconciliation, and he comes from that kind of community and church. The Myth of Equality is a genuine contribution for those of us looking for ways forward."
"This book is truly amazing! Ken tackles the essentials of a major issue of our times with humility, honesty, intellect, and vulnerability. The result is a terrible beauty, a true invitation to come to terms with our own capacity for harm and goodleading us toward change and the hope of a generation reconciled. If you are perplexed about racial tension in this country, read this book. If you are worried about your complicity because of the color of your skin, read this book. If you feel ill equipped to speak about this issue, read this book. If you aren't sure what your faith requires of you in this space, read this book. Honestly, read this book. It's important."
" The Myth of Equality is written so skillfully that it's easy to miss how much it accomplishes. The first part brings to light, with unflinching honesty, how deeply racism and white privilege are embedded within the founding documents and practices of the United States. The second part masterfully shows that this inequality violates the call of the gospel to justice and unity. And the third part offers some wise suggestions to those of us who are white Christians about how we can 'lay down' our white privilege. I have no doubt that some readers will be angered by the claim that they participate in and benefit from structures of racism and white privilege, well supported though that claim is. I predict that there will be more who are convinced and inspired by the patient, passionate, and nondefensive way in which Wytsma makes his case. It's a book that someone had to write."
"This is an important and courageous book. At this moment of national tension around racial questions, Ken Wytsma stakes out unique territory, building the bridges necessary for many white evangelicals to grasp the core of the issue and become faithful brothers and sisters to Christians of color. I am thankful for his hard work and fearless dedication to justice."
"It is impossible to deny that Christ is moving his church today toward racial reconciliation. It is likewise impossible to deny that many white Christians like me are not as comfortable with that movement as we say we are. In The Myth of Equality, Ken engages a visceral topic with clarity, compassion, and inspiring conviction. He prompts us to engage the deep and bitter roots of racial bias and privilege in American faith. A must-read resource for those beginning to feel that 'the way things are' is not okay. A readable, well-reasoned push toward Christ's justice."
"We must know our past to understand our present. Racial injustice in America's history has constructed massive systemic challenges we face today. To move forward well, we need a variety of voicesespecially minority voices. The conversation is further strengthened by white voices willing to own the privilege this history affords rather than ignore or deny it. In the pages that follow, Wytsma, a respected Christian leader in the justice conversation, gives a strong introduction to our country's brutal history with race, confronting the 'myth of equality' in America, joining a multiethnic chorus of voices grappling honestly and prophetically with how to best move forward."
"With great sensitivity, wisdom, and boldness, Ken takes on the tough, often-taboo topics of privilege and race. He makes a cogent, powerful, and compelling argument for why addressing race and understanding privilege allows us to more fully live out the gospel. He boils down complicated concepts to relatable points through his interweaving of scholars' writings, activists' thinking, historical realities, and personal stories. His humility and posture of learning from others, particularly people of color, make this book an authentic, effective tool for followers of Christ taking seriously the call to pursue justice. This book is needed, timely, and will help reshape the conversation around race in America."
"Ken Wytsma goes where few dare to tread. He asks hard questions about race, justice, and equality and presents proven and practical solutions. Above all, Ken personifies these solutions; he is seeking to live justice, not just do it. The message in The Myth of Equality is urgent; it's a must-read."
"These are challenging times in our larger cultureand within the church. In the midst of these tensions, I'm grateful for voices like Ken Wytsma who are seeking to help the church not only to engage the various challenges but to do it from a posture of humility and deep self-reflection. In The Myth of Equality, Wytsma broaches an incredibly sensitive but pertinent conversation about equality, privilege, race, injustice, and reconciliation. But herein lies the challenge: many of us love the idea of reconciliationuntil we learn that it inevitably involves the messy and arduous work of listening to others' stories, truth telling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, healing, and peacemaking. The Myth of Equality is an important and timely book that helps us dig deeper on the journey of justice and reconciliation."
" The Myth of Equality is a book for our times. Tumultuous times do not create problems, they reveal them. Political disruption, racial division, and extreme polarization mandate that the church looks itself in the mirror. We must recognize that to whom much is given, much is expected. Privilege is not just a modern progressive agenda, it is an ancient, biblically recognized reality. Ken Wytsma has done the church a favor that can help us recapture the blessed virtue of giving. Leaders seriously interested in helping Christians navigate these important issues would be well served to engage this book."
"One of the greatest obstacles to the journey toward racial justice and reconciliation within the US church is the refusal of white Christians to confront the realities of white supremacy and white privilege. Here, Ken Wytsma comes alongside white Christians to help them tackle this issue, not from the perspective of a distant expert, but as one who continues to wrestle with how privilege and racism impact his own discipleship journey. Rooted in Scripture, history, and personal experience, The Myth of Equality is a valuable primer for anyone struggling to understand racism and privilege."
"The American church stands at an important crossroads. Will we embrace God's plan for the church as revealed in Revelation 7:9, or will the church disintegrate into the chaos, confusion, and cacophony akin to the story of the Tower of Babel as we build dividing walls of hostility? In order to move into God's heart for the church, truth-telling must occur. Without truth, we simply rebuild the Tower of Babel rather than become the people of God. In this book, Ken Wytsma embraces the courage needed to speak the truth in love. Wytsma speaks the truth even at the risk of putting himself in peril. That kind of truth-telling is much needed in our turbulent world. Thank you, Ken, for the courage expressed in this book. May you who engage this book also find the similar courage to take these truths and be transformed by them."
"Stretching back to the earliest arrivals of Europeans on our coasts, the United States has been built on a long history of racial and ethnic injustice, and white Christians have been strikingly reticent about this history. Ken Wytsma's The Myth of Equality gently and gracefully initiates a conversation with white Christians about the racial brokenness of our land. This is a timely book that speaks bluntly about our past and in so doing orients us for the long, slow journey toward healing these wounds."
"Ken Wytsma is a white evangelical man from a conservative white evangelical world, and he is doing his homework on race. I've witnessed Ken's journey toward deeper understanding of the construct of race, its impact on individuals and communities of color, and what redemption requires. I've witnessed the wrestling and the transformation as aha moments have moved him into deeper love, more solid commitment, and earnest work toward the healing of our world. Through The Myth of Equality, Wytsma offers a peek at his homework. But this is no cheat sheet. It's a journal of discoveries shared with humility, grace, and unrelenting commitment to truth."