In the last four decades, desegregation has revolutionized almost every aspect of life in the United States: schools, businesses, government offices, even entertainment. But there is one area that remains largely untouched, and that is the church. Now comes a major new call for multiracial congregations in every possible setting--a call that is surprisingly controversial, even in the twenty-first century.
In United By Faith, a multiracial team of sociologists and a minister of the Church of God argue that multiracial Christian congregations offer a key to opening the still-locked door between the races in the United States. They note, however, that a belief persists--even in African-American and Latino churches--that racial segregation is an acceptable, even useful practice. The authors examine this question from biblical, historical, and theological perspectives to make their case. They explore the long history of interracialism in the church, with specific examples of multiracial congregations in the United States. They cite examples ranging from the abolitionist movement to an astonishing 1897 camp meeting in Alabama that brought together hundreds of whites and blacks literally into the same tent. Here, too, is a critical account of the theological arguments in favor of racial separation, as voiced in the African-American, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American, and white contexts. The authors respond in detail, closing with a foundation for a theology suited to sustaining multiracial congregations over time.
Faith can be the basis for healing, but too often Christian faith has been a field for injury and division. In this important new book, readers will glimpse a way forward, a path toward once again making the church the basis for racial reconciliation in our still-splintered nation.
"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 "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 "Their detailed and, indeed, loving work should spark useful conversations."--Washington Post Book World "Drawing on questionnaires, interviews with church members and leaders, and on-site studies of four racially mixed congregations, the authors probe both the promise and pitfalls of church integration. They respond to minority critics who value uniracial churches as hothouses for distinctive worship styles, rallying points for activism and refuges from white social hegemony, and stress that integrated churches can and should guard against assimilationist pressures, preserve the unique cultures of all racial groups and cultivate a racially diverse church leadership.... The authors make a good case that this is a cross that Christian churches should take up."--Publishers Weekly "An important book that guides believers toward a post-racial form of worshipping and living together. I look out to my multiracial congregation on Sunday mornings and see that it is beautiful, that it works, and that it is a paradigm for the society we must strive to build in the 21st Century. May this volume increase the places we discover that in Christ there is no East or West."--The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister, Riverside Church, New York "A beautifully explosive exposé of the power of true Christianity to break down any and all barriers of segregation and usher in the new creation of the Spirit wherein no one will be excluded-a courageous, visionary and realistic blueprint for congregations of the 3rd millennium."--Fr. Virgilio Elizondo, Mexican American Cultural Center, San Antonio, and University of Notre Dame "Finally, we have a reasoned and hopeful response to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s oft-quoted indictment of Christianity in America, that 'eleven o'clock is America's most segregated hour'; a clear and powerful articulation of Jesus' vision of the church as a 'house of prayer for all nations,' projecting a compelling vision for the North American church in the 21st century--racially inclusive, culturally diverse, fully invested in the principle and practice of Christian unity. Together with its companion volume, Divided by Faith, United by Faith demonstrates how Christians can enhance our witness to the world by rejecting racism and modeling reconciliation in our own congregations." --Cheryl J. Sanders, Professor of Christian Ethics, Howard University School of Divinity, and Senior Pastor of the Third Street Church of God, Washington, D.C.
|Introduction: Divided or United by Faith?||p. 1|
|Biblical Antecedents for Multiracial Congregations|
|A House of Prayer for All the Nations||p. 9|
|Congregations in the Early Church||p. 21|
|Multiracial Congregations in the United States|
|Congregations and the Color Line (1600-1940)||p. 41|
|The Emergence of Multiracial Congregations (1940-2000)||p. 62|
|A Closer Look at Four Multiracial Congregations||p. 75|
|Rationales for and Responses to the Racial Segregation of Congregations|
|Rejecting the White Man's Religion||p. 99|
|Separate but Equal||p. 113|
|Arguing the Case for Multiracial Congregations||p. 128|
|Developing Multiracial Congregations in the Twenty-first Century|
|The Truth of the Gospel||p. 147|
|The Promise and the Challenges of Multiracial Congregations||p. 162|
|Epilogue: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race||p. 181|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 222
Published: 1st October 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.47 x 16.36 x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.34