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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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
. 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.