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United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation As an Answer to the Problem of Race Paperback – September 23, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Groundbreaking in establishing the moral and ethical basis for multiracial churches. It is truly prophetic in asserting that to be the church of Jesus Christ, the American church needs a multiracial movement." --Religious Studies Review
Top Customer Reviews
The book only touched upon different approaches to multiracial congregations. For example, one approach would be assimilation in which the strengths of the different ethnicities would be submerged into a common culture, probably overwhelmed by the dominant culture. A second approach would be diversity in which the congregation would be more of a mosaic of different ethnicities; this presents the challenge of insufficient interaction among those different components. (Personal note: I strongly prefer the latter.)
The book cites some positive examples of multiracial congregations. Most of them are liberal Christian churches, which evangelicals are likely to reject as models.
On a personal note, sometimes I got the impression that the authors were more interested in achieving a multiracial congregation than in who or what that congregation worshiped. Put another way, sometimes I got the impression that multiracial constitution *was* their god. Again, this is just an impression that I got and other readers could disagree.
Overall, this is like some movies. The sequel was not nearly as good as the original.
Cons: In one section, there is a heavier leaning to discussion about the Church of God’s history in multicultural churches (one of the writers is a member of this denomination) than other denominations. They allow “congregations” to include very liberal Protestant denominations and Roman Catholicism, both of which would not be considered orthodox at all. There is a heavy leaning toward pragmatic means to establish churches that are multicultural, and whites come off generally as demeaned as the bad guy, which seems to be the norm with this topic and which can actually lead to further division in doing so. It mentions a white, black, Asian, Latino style, etc….The book stops short in defining what the different “styles” actually are for varying racial groups. It leans heavily toward cultures being based primarily on skin color, which to me is not entirely accurate. As with a lot of the more pragmatic thinkers in this area, it sells itself short by thinking that a congregation is unified based on its elevation of mixed cultural practices in worship and percentages of different races…rather than by correct doctrine and practice of it.
The book's outline of the problem, its biblical exposition, and its narratives of possibility lay a strong foundational argument for greater, wider reflection from Christians in North America, and elsewhere for that matter. Further consideration of diverse forms of congregational tradition and cultural context could enhance a continuing discussion, but the authors have already succeeded in their inspiring call for a greater engagement and faithfulness by the Church. This book should be read and discussed in real-life congregations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This should be a must read for all who profess to follow Jesus Christ. And every American Christ follower should evaluate their faith practices by those who started the Christian... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Book was in great condition... It's an easy read. It was for a class so had to buy the book.Published on May 14, 2014 by Vev
Emerson has convened a multicultural team of co-authors to follow-up his earlier work "Divided by Faith. Read morePublished on July 31, 2007 by Robert W. Kellemen