From Publishers Weekly
Anderson, pastor of Bridgeway Community Church in Baltimore (and author of Multicultural Ministry
) advocates "gracism" and encourages people to focus "on race for the purpose of positive ministry and service." Against conventional wisdom, he argues that Christians should extend favor to people based on "color, class, or culture." Because of the increasing number of minorities in America, Anderson argues, this makes good demographic sense, but it also makes biblical sense, because Scripture enjoins Christians to extend themselves on behalf of the downtrodden and the outcast. Anderson outlines many steps Christians can take toward gracism: they can lift people up in prayer, and celebrate with people from other ethnic groups. He encourages churches to partner with, rather than adopt, poorer churches around the globe. On a very practical level, Anderson calls those who have personal ties with bankers to leverage those relationships and help minorities, who are often discriminated against when they try to secure a loan or buy a house. This is a thoughtful but flawed book. Too-cute phrasing abounds ("racism is not... a skin problem but is a sin problem"). Occasional digressions, like Anderson's musing about his wife's immodest dress, are distracting. Still, Anderson's framework is innovative, and the discussion questions included after each chapter will usefully guide the conversations that this provocative manifesto is sure to inspire. (June)
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