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Letters Across the Divide: Two Friends Explore Racism, Friendship, and Faith Paperback – February 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801063434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801063435
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

-Why is everything a racial issue with blacks?
-Why do so many whites refuse to believe that racism is a problem in America?
-Should all whites apologize for the wrongs committed against African Americans?

These questions aren't asked out loud, except in the closest and rarest of friendships. David Anderson and Brent Zuercher are the kind of friends who can candidly discuss these thorny issues. Although their letters aren't always-or usually-tension free, Anderson and Zuercher continue the dialogue because the issues are so vital to them.

This intimate view of an intensely personal journey will disturb your coziest assumptions, make you squirm, maybe even incite a riot in your mind and heart-causing you to think differently about racial reconciliation. As you eavesdrop on the discussion of these two friends, you will see that when blacks and whites open their minds and hearts to each other, understanding dawns, healing sets in, and bridges with eternal significance are built.

"I've known, watched, and experienced David Anderson's love for Christ applied to the touchy issues of reconciliation. If you want to be part of the healing work of Christ, this book is a step in the right direction." -Joseph M. Stowell, president

About the Author

David Andersonis the senior pastor of Bridgeway Community Church, a multicultural congregation located in Columbia, Maryland. He is president of a consulting and resource organization called the BridgeLeader Network and a professor of cultural diversity at the University of Phoenix. Anderson received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Moody Bible Institute and is currently a doctoral candidate at Oxford Graduate School.

Brent Zuercher is a CPA and received his undergraduate degree from Southwest Baptist University and his master's degree from DePaul University. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Anyone that reads it will find it difficult to put down.
Cynthia Beard
It is gripping, compelling and will surely touch each person who reads it.
Dana L. Boyer
This book should be a must read for all Christians out there.
Pastor Roger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dana L. Boyer on February 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
The book entitled "Across Racial Divides was an extreamley emotional story of two friends that openly discuss racial issues very openly and honestly. The book touched me dramatically and gave me a new insight on racisim in the world today. Some of the topics hit home and made me realize just how many people feel on the subject of racisim. Across Racial Divides gets to the very heart of the subject. It is gripping, compelling and will surely touch each person who reads it. The book really had a positive effect.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pastor Roger on May 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Let me say upfront that I'm a white conservative male. In & of itself, there's nothing wrong there. However, most white conservative males don't think racism is a problem in America anymore. To anyone out there-white conservative or otherwise-if you share that believe, then this bookmis a must read for you.
This book covers reoccuring things like why most whites don't think that racism is a problem anymore & why African Americans answer it so differently. All too often, most white conservatives 0never ask their minoritiy friends & associates if they think racism is still a problem. If they did, they'd get an earfull, just like what is presented in this book.
In addition to being an ordained minister, the Lord has also called me to the ministry of Racial Reconcilliation. It's been a tough challenge but by his grace, I've stayed with it. This book has already been a valuable asset to my work. It's helped me to see things through the eyes of an African American (David)& through the eyes of a white guy, too (Brent). In listening to their correspondence back & forth, it's helped me look at several key issues connected with racism that never came to my mind at all. This book also helps to explain why America hasn't moved forward inb the area of Racial Reconcilliation. Sure, we've passed many anti-racism laws. But laws don't change the minds & hearts of people. And laws don't prevent individual racism 1-on-1.
This book should be a must read for all Christians out there. If you think you've heard everything there is to know about racism, think again. This book will challenge what you believe on the issue.
As I stated above, I work in the field of Racial reconcilliation. If any of you out there have any thoughts, feelings, opinions, suggestions, etc. on this issue, by all means get in touch with me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia Beard on April 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
Amazing book. Anyone that reads it will find it difficult to put down. I would personally recommend this book for personal use, but also for corporate use in diversity training. Emotional and educational. As you read these remarkable letters shared between two friends, you will examine your own life, both spiritually and emotionally.
Never have I witnessed two people express their emotions and feelings in such an honest and open way. This book is destined to make the Oprah Winfrey Book of the Month Club.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on June 19, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pastor David Anderson and author Brent Zuercher have penned a groundbreaking and unique book. What happens when two friends of different races explore racism and faith? "Letters across the Divide" happens. For a firsthand account of what multicultural relationships could look like, read this book.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction , Spiritual Friends: A Methodology of Soul Care And Spiritual Direction, and Soul Physicians: A Theology of Soul Care and Spiritual Direction.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lauryn on December 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Anderson and Zuercher should be applauded for their courage to tackle the ongoing subject of Racism in America. I found the book very informative and encouraging, especially when Mr. Zuercher admitted to thoughts he did not realized he harbored against Blacks. I found the book informative as Mr. Anderson set an example for all us, on how to deal with persons who hate just because of something they see on the outside (skin color, religion style, etc.) This book is for anyone wanting to grow in their relationships with others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rex M. Rogers on January 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is what its title indicates. It's a series of letters between a White and a Black man, both Christians, wrestling with differing perspectives on race and racism in America. Their different views come from their different upbringings and subcultures, not theology. In fact, their biblical understanding and the values that develops from it are remarkably similar.

What they are trying to do is apply their faith to everyday life. It's a good exercise and they do it well. Whatever your race or ethnic background, you can learn something from this text. It promotes understanding and, therefore, their greater goal, genuine respect and friendship.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George M. Chatham on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the most helpful book I've read on a subject most of us are afraid to dialogue about. I am a pastor of a multi-cultural church and we are using this book to help facilitate our own dialogue. It get's a the core problem of racism, "sin" and it gives some very helpful steps toward "reconciliation".
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