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United: Captured by God's Vision for Diversity Paperback – March 1, 2014
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Jim Crow is dead; Jesus Christ is alive. But like a zombie, the spirit of Jim Crow keeps walking. The answer is a gospel that is as big as the Kingdom of Christ. Trillia Newbell, one of the most powerful young voices in evangelical Christianity, asks us to imagine what it would look like if reconciliation were more than rhetoric and programs but a Christ-shaped vision of an empty tomb that casts out fear, hate, and division.
Russell D. Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
Meet Trillia Newbell. Warm. Gracious. Clear. Honest. Realistic. Friendly. And eager to see the Lord's Church united across ethnic lines. In United she has a surprisingly simple but profound idea: Racial unity happens through friendship. By the time you're finished with this book you'll think Trillia is an old friend, you'll be ready to make new friends with people not like you, and you'll want to stick with it until meaningful diversity in the body of Christ happens-all because of the gospel.
Thabiti Anyabwile, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman
Here is a voice that brings us together, a testimony that encourages, and an aspiration that is contagious. Trillia Newbell does so many things well at the same time in this book that it is hard to articulate them all. She invites you into a fruitful conversation about the beautiful unity in multiethnic diversity that the church is meant to experience and be and manifest. Her skillfully told and deeply moving stories from the past and present are heartbreakingly real and joy-givingly hopeful. This kind of unity does not happen; gospel unity in the church is the gift and work of God's grace by His Spirit, but it also requires a deliberate response and embrace on our part. Trillia inspires me here, and evokes in me a holy hope for what can (and should) be. I think she will for you, too.
Ligon Ducan, chancellor, Reformed Theological Seminary, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi
United encourages a pursuit of unity in the midst of our diversity as believers. Trillia's personal story of fighting for unity in the body of Christ, points to a greater story of oneness that has been purchased for us by Christ's blood regardless of our ethnic, socioeconomic or cultural makeup. The message of pursuing diversity in the local gathering is timely, challenging, and necessary in order to fulfill God's vision of that glorious multicultural worship service when "every tribe and language and people and nation" will be before God's throne crying out with one voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!"
Blair Linne, spoken word artist and conference speaker
Trillia writes with abundant grace, while firmly and unapologetically calling the church to examine her perception of race in the body of Christ. She asks tough questions and encourages thoughtful introspection as she offers personal stories, biblical support, and compelling insight into historical and demographic realities. This is a theology of diversity, and it is an important read for anyone who desires to tear down the walls we've built up to keep one another at a distance.
Deidra Riggs, managing editor, The High Calling
United is the story of one woman's encounters with ethnicity. It examines how ethnicity and race intersect with living out the gospel in personal relationships and in the body of Christ. The warm, conversational tone makes this book a great resource to read with another Christian who is interested in exploring the intersection between culture and faith in Christ.
Kristie Anyabwile, wife of Thabiti Anyabwile, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman
Trillia bleeds unity with conviction and she lives unity in her every day. She loves well, she builds bridges and she will lead us to do the same. She is a voice for deeper reconciliation in our generation.
Jennie Allen, author of Restless: Because You Were Made For More and Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul
Race and ethnicity are tough subjects to handle. Trillia treats them with the gravity that they deserve and yet winsomely weaves in her own story of ethnic discoveries and the glories of identity in Christ. As the church continues to wrestle with realizing unity in diversity, Trillia has given us a shot of encouragement with this book. Let's thank her by reading and sharing her story.
Anthony Carter, pastor of East Point Church
Trillia loves Jesus her Savior and loves the church He saved. Out of that love she tells her story and gives her call for unity in God's diverse family. Diversity is more than a subject for Trillia; it's what she has learned to live. Her words come with graciousness and grace. They are words that all of us in the church need to hear.
Kathleen B. Nielson, director of Women's Initiatives, the Gospel Coaltion
United is like a picture of a wedding rehearsal dinner. Trillia shows how the table is set for a feast of grace provided by Jesus, while Christ's multi-ethnic bride, the church, waits for her Bridgegroom. Grounded in Scripture, Trillia weaves together stories of precious friendship that are all because of the precious blood of Christ. United is a celebration of God's grace in reconcilation where every tribe, tongue, people, and nation are invited.
Gloria Furman, cross-cultural worker, author of Glimpses of Grace and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full
United is one woman's attempt to understand issues of race and interpret her own spiritual journey through the lens of Scripture. Trillia's personal story gave me new insight into the struggles and feelings of my African-American brothers and sisters. Meanwhile, the passion with which she pursues relationships with people unlike herself gave me a renewed hope that churches in America will one day resemble more closely the church in all its multifaceted glory.
Trevin Wax, managing editor of the Gospel Project, author of Clear Winter Nights, Gospel Centered Teaching and Counterfeit Gospels.
Trillia Newbell has written a heartfelt, biblical, and gospel-centered vision of racial unity in the body of Christ. Ultimately, this is Christ's vision. But Trillia has written a clear and strong witness for true Christian unity. Read this book. Share it with your friends. Pray this vision becomes a reality to the glory of God.
H.B. Charles, Jr., pastor-teacher of Shiloh Metropolitian Baptist Church
Trilla Newbell shares a compelling account of of two familiar quests-how to balance ethnic identity with identity in Christ and how to achieve spiritual unity with cultural diversity. For anyone desiring to see the church on earth reflect the church in heaven, United gives helpful insights toward realizing this great goal.
Dr. Carl Ellis Jr., assistant professor of practical theology at Redeemer Seminary and associate pastor at New City Fellowship
From the Back Cover
What’s the view from where you worship?
Do you see similarity or variety? While it’s easier to gather with others like ourselves, the beauty and richness of diversity surpasses all we could imagine.
It’s time to capture a glimpse of God’s magnificent creativity. In the pages of United, Trillia Newbell reveals the deeply moving, transforming power of knowing—really knowing—someone who is equal yet unique. As we learn to identify in Christ rather than in our commonalities, we begin to experience the depth and power of gospel unity.
United will inspire, challenge, and encourage you to pursue the joys of a theology of diversity lived out.
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What was particularly refreshing for me to read was her view of the church and the importance of diversity within the church. She is clearly biblically grounded in her understanding of what the church should be like. The church should be comprised of diversity and unity. Newbell makes this point very clear in her book and she skillfully shows how those two concepts are completely compatible.
This is a good book. If thinking about diversity from a theological perspective is a new venture for you, this book will be of great help as you begin that important journey. And if you have been thinking about racial (or ethnic) diversity within the context of the local church for a long time now, this book will give you a new perspective from which to think through the issues.
May God use this book to end the racial segregation that is in so many hearts and churches today so that Christ may be all and in all!
Colossians 3:11: Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Thank you, Trillia Newbell, for writing it!!
Keep fighting he good fight! You have blessed many with this treatise.