Title: Plantation Jesus:
Race, Faith, and a New Way Forward

Authors: Skot Welch, Rick Wilson, Andi Cumbo-Floyd
Genre: Theology / Social Justice
Pages: 196
Rating: 2.5 of 5
Future Release Date: 5/22/18 (Thank you to the authors and publisher for a free eARC through Net Galley…this does not affect the content of the review)

This book addresses a genuine problem in white American Evangelicalism: an attitude that says (though usually not in so many words) “serious racism doesn’t really exist anymore, you lazy, over-sensitive whiners.” However, for a book with “a new way forward” in the title, it offers relatively little practical help in dealing with the issue (just some “how do you think you can help fix this?” questions in the discussion exercises).

The book as a whole focuses almost exclusively on getting white Christians to acknowledge that they are cavalierly ignorant of systemic racism and shamefully benefited by white privilege. The lack of specific applications left me with little more than the (I’m sure unintended) message that “you and your ancestors are bad and you should feel bad.” Add to this the occasional poisoning the well argumentation (implying “if this is painful for you or you disagree with this it’s because you’re racist/ignorant”), and I just wasn’t at all impressed (and slightly worried about writing this review). Basically, I think that these authors do have important things to say (I have observed and confronted serious racism in both churches I have pastored), but I don’t think that those things were said in a helpful way.

3 thoughts on “Racism in the White Church

  1. Shame this didn’t explore some practical solutions and I’m never keen on “you and your ancestors are bad and you should feel bad”- very unhelpful and a little cruel to blame people for something they haven’t done in my opinion. Anyway, I think this was a really good review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. The question of “why should I feel guilty for what my ancestors may or may not have done?” was mentioned but only so that it could be summarily dismissed as “just an attempt to shut down the conversation.”

      I’ve found that a question that might seem impertinent to someone who has a lot of knowledge on a topic is often asked with a genuine desire to understand where they are coming from. Why assume the worst about people’s motives? *sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

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