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Gracism: The Art of Inclusion Paperback – February 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (February 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 083083737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837373
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David A. Anderson is the founder and senior pastor of Bridgeway Community Church, a multicultural congregation in Columbia, Maryland. He is the founder and president of the BridgeLeader Network, a diversity consulting firm, and an instructor of cultural diversity at the University of Phoenix's Maryland campuses. Dr. Anderson received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Moody Bible Institute and his Doctor of Philosophy in the sociological integration of religion and society at Oxford Graduate School. His books include Letters Across the Divide, Multicultural Ministry and Gracism. A sought-after conference speaker, lecturer and consultant, he has had media exposure on over 2000 radio stations and television appearances, including Black Entertainment Television (BET), C-SPAN, TBN, PAX and ABC promoting his message of diversity. He also hosts a live radio show, Afternoons with Dr. David Anderson: Your Bridge Building Voice in the Nation's Capital. Dr. Anderson and his wife, Amber, reside in Ellicott City, Maryland, with their three children, Isaiah, Luke and Asia.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Grant on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
David Anderson has pulled off a feat: he's written something accessible to newcomers and seasoned veterans alike. He can invite people to the table who would rarely otherwise break bread with each other.

Anderson brings a wealth of real experience to this problem, as pastor of a multiethnic church. Drawing on the Apostle Paul's illustration from 1 Corinthians of the church as a single body with different body parts, Anderson discusses how to treat different parts in the most appropriate ways--protecting some, honoring others, treating some with special modesty, etc. The end result is common-sensical and practical while remaining visionary.

As a long-term minority member of my own church, I tend to approach these books with skepticism--perhaps too much. But David Anderson impresses. This is a book for people who might no longer believe multiethnicity is possible this side of heaven: Anderson will remind you of the hope you once had. And for the countless numbers of us who are trapped in the shame loop, where we're told to simultaneously notice and ignore race--and to simultaneously act and restrain from acting on our beliefs about race, David Anderson provides a believable way out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pastor David Anderson builds a thoughtful, practical, balanced Christian approach to multiculturalism. He avoids the extremes of color-blindness and of affirmative action. Skillfully he explains the biblical injunction to care for the marginalized. "Gracism" is a must read for anyone who longs to build bridges leading to racial healing, harmony, and reconciliation.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction, and Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care And Spiritual Direction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leah Chang VINE VOICE on December 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gracism, a word comprised of "racism" preceded by the letter "g" for God, encourages people to extend special favor to others based on their unique class, culture, ability or color and make that preference visible and apparent. In the preface the author writes [page 11]: "Gracism, unlike racism, doesn't focus on race for negative purposes such as discrimination. Gracism focuses on race for the purpose of positive ministry and service." However, race, gender and ethnicity form only a part of the gracism taxonomy, which also includes folks who are less educated, less physically or mentally able than some others, are lower income, less confident and/or posses anything else "different from." On page 20 Pastor Anderson further explains, "The positive extension of favor toward certain people does not have to mean favoritism." The liberation theology buzz-phrase of God's "preferential option for the poor" long ago made it into mainstream vocabulary; gracism is an expression of that type of preference. In what for me is an unexpected twist, Pastor David Anderson describes his church consciously configuring church staff, worship leadership, music group membership (and everything else) to appear visibly diverse rather than uniform.

Like everywhere, in the town and in the venues where I usually hang out we're encountering and potentially meeting lots of assorted 'others' and need to learn not to retreat into righteousness other than Christ's and need to learn to make safe places and space for those unlike us." (this may be old news?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Leigh Hargrove on October 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
David Anderson's little black book turns the war on racism on it's head. Instead of focusing on talking about not being a racist, he advocates letting grace be our guide to including people of different races, abilities, cultures, and so forth.

Becoming a gracist is a matter of extending honor and dignity to others, particularly those who have been looked over before. Anderson cites scripture often, so this may not be a book that non-Christians are comfortable with.

Anderson, a pastor and writer, uses situations from his life in this short book. It's a nice introductory resource for a quick group study at church or a Christian book group. Ideas for community action may also be derived from his book.

Listen. Learn. Love.

--
Linda Leigh Hargrove is the author of two works of fiction: The Making of Isaac Hunt (2007) and Loving Cee Cee Johnson (2008). Her writings blend suspense, humor, and faith into compelling stories about race and class in America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cee Love on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Our adult education class studied this book this summer. Half of us raised in the South - half raised in the North. It was a great vehicle to begin the conversation even if we were all white. Gave us a new perspective to the 1 Corinthians 12 passage. We all benefited from this study. I would recommend the book to any group who needs a graceful way to begin talking about racism, inclusion and Christ centered community.
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By ALISON WARD on April 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want a book that is honest, thoughtful, reflective and healing to the Body of Christ--you have found the right book! Dr. Anderson is gifted and direct in his plea for unity and utilization of ALL members in the Church. Buy this book. You won't be disappointed. God will bless you through this!
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