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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: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,395 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.

Review

In this book the author encourages people to be gracious to minorities and help them live a quality life. Anderson skillfully explains this biblical mandate to care for the marginalized. (Book Bargains and Previews, May 2008)

If you have been exposed to this idea of God desiring ethnic reconciliation and justice but have felt overwhelmed by the task or wondered why it should even be a priority, this book is for you. (Being Redefined Blog, May 25, 2007)

Anderson has practiced what he preaches, which is to honor diversity and be committed to the dignity of other races and cultures. His concept of gracism--as opposed to racism--involves not accepting special treatment at the expense of another and not just ministering to the "least of these," but standing alongside them. (Outreach, July/August 2007)

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. (Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2007)

"After reading this book, I am convinced: we need gracism. Division and inequality are consequences of our fallen world. But as the members of the church we must walk against division and injustice. The brilliance of this book is that we are shown how to overcome individual-level racism, clearly and plainly. Dr. Anderson provides us with real tools for real life. Gracism is an act, a state of being. Members of the body, let's be gracists." (Michael Emerson, Founding Director, Center on Race, Religion, and Urban Life, Rice University, and coauthor of Divided by Faith and United by Faith)

"Dr. David Anderson is one of the finest reconciliation practitioners that I know. In this book, Gracism: The Art of Inclusion, he honestly shares his journey into a profound concept that has the potential to revolutionize how we confront racism to create a society with liberty and justice for all." (Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, President, Salter McNeil & Associates, LLC, Co-author of The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change)

"David Anderson speaks, lives and is called to the truth of multicultural relationships and ministry. This book is not a book just for black people to work with whites or whites to learn how to be sensitive to blacks, but a book about God's practical, real transforming grace for all people to be kingdom people." (Phil Jackson, lead pastor, The House, coauthor, The Hip-Hop Church)

"David Anderson addresses one of the real solutions to the issue of racism with this difficult practice of grace! David's take from an African American perspective enlightens us to how deep racism runs even in Christian institutions and relationships, but more than that, he also offers us a biblical initiative to lead us to the vision of being a community that reflects the diversity of God." (Dave Gibbons, lead pastor, NewSong Church, and CVO, Xealot Inc.)

"A tough-minded book and clear-sighted look at what it means for Christians to 'overcome evil with good.' If metaphor is metamorphosis, the metaphor of 'gracism' will change how we do church like it's changed how I do life." (Leonard Sweet, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism, The Theological School, Drew University, and Visiting Distinguished Professor, George Fox University)

"With profound concepts and a compelling voice, Gracism creates an accessible tool for navigating culture clashes. Anderson merges a sophisticated understanding of cultural dynamics with real-time, everyday advice. He takes old-time concepts like 'favor' and gives them flesh and blood for a modern world." (Nikki A. Toyama, coeditor of More Than Serving Tea: Asian American Women on Expectations, Relationships, Leadership and Faith)

"Dr. David Anderson has given us both a great new word and a fresh way to approach our racial and cultural divisions in the church--and in life. I'm hoping a huge audience will read this book and discover the heart and passion of one of the racial reconciliation movement's most dynamic young leaders." (Edward Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity)

"Anderson provides us with more than just a theoretical or political rationale for Christians to work toward racial reconciliation. He also provides us with practical methods by which this reconciliation may be achieved. Gracism needs to become a term common to Christians of all races. As we follow the advice in this important book we will find ourselves becoming inclusive of those who are different than us. As Anderson so ably demonstrates, it is when we develop the heart and skills necessary for such a conclusion that we will be able to truly adopt Christlike attitudes toward our racially different neighbors and colleagues." (George Yancey, associate professor of sociology, University of North Texas, author of Beyond Racial Gridlock)

"What a beautiful--and needed!--book. Dave Anderson calls people who are saved by the grace of God to extend grace to their neighbors, whoever they are. I can't imagine anyone reading this book without being marked for life as an agent of gracism, which may be the best synonym for reconciliation ever invented." (Brian D. McLaren, author/activist)

"David Anderson is a powerful voice of hope and a national leader in racial reconciliation. This book provides a new--and the only--'ism' that can heal the deep wounds of racism." (Donald T. Floyd Jr., President and CEO, National 4-H Council)

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Customer Reviews

God will bless you through this!
ALIKAT
There are so many things wrong with this book that I am guessing that anyone who reads this and doesn't feel offended is because he/ she has never experienced racism.
Sofia
Dr. Anderson has great insight into what Christ and grace bring to this politically charged issue.
Jeff

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 Amazon Customer 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 ALIKAT 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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