Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2015
We can see the injustice and inequality in our lives and in the world. We are ready to rise up. But how, exactly, do we do this? How does one reconcile? What we need is a clear sense of direction.
Based on her extensive consulting experience with churches, colleges and organizations, Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil has created a roadmap to show us the way. She guides us through the common topics of discussion and past the bumpy social terrain and political boundaries that will arise. In these pages she voices her call to all believers:
"It's time for the followers of Jesus to embark on the prophetic journey that leads to reconciliation and transformation around the world. Many of us may already be aware of the need for reconciliation in our own backyards. . . . We cannot ignore the plight of the people around us and as globalization continues its relentless march onward, we cannot turn a blind eye to the world at large either. We have to face the realities here at home and we must also embrace the stories of people all around the world."
Each chapter lays out the next step in the journey. With reflection questions and exercises at the end of each chapter, it's ideal to read together with your church or organization. If you are ready to take the next step into unity, wholeness and justice, then Roadmap to Reconciliation is for you.
Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is a dynamic speaker, author and trailblazer with over twenty-five years of experience in the ministry of racial, ethnic and gender reconciliation. She was featured as one of the fifty most influential women to watch by Christianity Today in 2012 and is an associate professor of reconciliation studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, where she also directs the Reconciliation Studies program.
Salter McNeil was previously the president and founder of Salter McNeil & Associates, a reconciliation organization that provided speaking, training and consulting to colleges, churches and faith-based organizations. She also served on the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for fourteen years as a Multiethnic Ministries Specialist. She earned a MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, a DMin from Palmer Theological Seminary and was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from North Park University. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church and is on the pastoral staff of Quest Church in Seattle. In addition, she serves on the board of directors for Wycliffe USA and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA. She is also the coauthor of The Heart of Racial Justice and the author of A Credible Witness. Brenda lives in Seattle with her husband Dr. J. Derek McNeil and their two children.
Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is a legend. She's one of the church's greatest thinkers on one of the world's greatest challenges - reconciliation. Fifty years ago Dr. King lamented that the most segregated hour in the world is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning. Here is Dr. Salter McNeil's plan to change that. There could be no better time for this book to release than now as we see a new movement for racial justice sweeping across this country. Read this book and get ready for a holy revolution.
author, speaker, activist
In our desire to be agents of reconciliation in our neighborhoods as well as our churches, where do we begin? . . . In Roadmap to Reconciliation Dr. Brenda provides not only a compelling call for biblical reconciliation, but practical ways we can grow in our understanding of racial injustice and social inequity and begin to engage in these complex issues. . . . Reading this book is like taking a journey with an experienced reconciliation docent who knows the path and leads the way, pointing out what is significant and life-changing along the way. This book is a must-read for those of us in the church who want to pursue justice.
associate pastor, Lighthouse Christian Church, Bellevue, Washington
As a member of our board, Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil has challenged Wycliffe Bible Translators USA to better understand our work of Bible translation in the context of the global narrative of church community, and her new book will do the same for readers. Her heart for justice and reconciliation shines through this book, and she will inspire you as she has inspired us.
president, CEO, Wycliffe USA
While many evangelicals express angst over a perceived decline of Christianity in the United States, there is a burgeoning movement of reconciliation that is capturing the imagination of a new generation of believers. The ministry of reconciliation sorely needs an ecclesial center and Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil presents this text as a positive response. This book offers helpful categories to sharpen our discussions and useful exercises that are both practical and applicable. Dr. Salter McNeil provides a roadmap to reconciliation that needs to be embraced by Christians who seek a way forward.
North Park Theological Seminary
This book continues to solidify Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil as a practical theologian and a prophetic voice of biblical reconciliation and justice. Her insights and wisdom within this resource are a powerful classroom of unifying principles and concepts. Everything she writes should be read and applied by people of faith that we might be a force of transformation in a broken and divided world.
president and CEO, World Impact
For more than two decades I have listened to the voice of Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil. Because she is honest, I have heard things spoken in a timbre of truth. Because she is a prophet, I have heard things I don't always want to hear. Because she is one of the great living preachers of the day, I have heard things articulated with gospel clarity. Because she is a trusted friend, I have heard things spoken in fierce love. Because she is a teacher of reconciliation, I have seen her stand in contested places with bold, unwavering courage. Her voice is to be trusted, heard and honored. Read her words and listen for a voice of wise and honest truth. Listen. She writes words we need to hear.
president, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology
Roadmap to Reconciliation is both practical and deeply theological, and a welcome addition to the ministry of reconciliation. Drawing from qualitative data as well as practical experience, Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil offers a a step by step process for reconciliation that both new and seasoned reconcilers will find profoundly useful. For the newcomer, Salter McNeil shines a light on the often enigmatic and challenging path toward reconciliation, uncovering potential pitfalls. For the road-weary old timer, she dips into the well of her experiences as a lifelong reconciler to offer wisdom that promises to demystify the process and bring hope to even the most cynical. I recommend this book as a practical handbook for small groups, leaders and anyone willing to engage in justice-based reconciliation.
Center for Reconciliation, Duke Divinity School
The world's most authentic and inspiring reconciler shows believers how to stop talking about reconciliation - and start being it together. Gripping to read and exciting to receive, Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil's roadmap on how to reconcile offers a wake-up call and a course map on how to apply biblical principles to coalesce our racially divided and unjust world by building peacemaking communities rightly engaged for Christ. Passionate, equipping and downright brilliant.
"More than ever, our polarized world needs Dr. Brenda's voice. Her love and respect for people creates a healing place to express our hopes, fears, dreams and confusion. We all want reconciliationour hearts long for itbut most of us do not know where to start. Brenda patiently and humbly guides our journey toward peace."
"This new hardback is a great, great little book and gives a fabulous overview of the Biblical basis for racial reconciliation and pushes us towards true and lasting answers. We can see the inequality, we understand the problems, but are we ready to rise up in faithful action? What steps should we take to offer gospel-centered, wholistic, spiritual answers for racial justice? This new book claims to be nothing short of a roadmap to show us the way."
"Salter ( A Credible Witness), a teaching minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church and an associate professor at Seattle Pacific University, believes there is a path forward for racial fairness in the world. In this book, she has created a roadmap to help communities of faith find harmony in a hurting world. . . . This book might work well in communities of faith experiencing some kind of strife and seeking a path forward."
"Now, in a time when near-constant headlines about racial inequalities draw attention to perceived white privilege and the disparity between races in our nation, Brenda's book, Roadmap to Reconciliation, is a timely, practical work about an incredibly important issue. . . . Because Roadmap to Reconciliation is highly accessible, it's a great primer for staffs and congregations to work through in order to better understand their roles in the ministry of reconciliation, a ministry to which all people of faith are called."
"Dr. Brenda is arguably one of the leading voices on reconciliation in our country today. She is honest, humble, credible and the right leader to influence many on this timely and important topic in today's culture. Listen to her and learn from her!"
"Everything I know about Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil reflects her godly spirit of compassion, mercy and justice. In fact, she's a major reason why I continue to believe that the gospel ministry of reconciliation can bring transformation in our increasingly divided world. Brenda is one of the most important leaders we have today on issues of racial righteousness and diversity in the church, and I have no doubt that this book will help others on their journeys toward a deeper and more complete faith."