Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism

Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Deborah Jian Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I give this book 3 stars for two reasons (1) it made me more aware of conservative evangelicalisms attitude, as a whole, as perceived by the liberal, progressive Christian culture, and (2) it has made me more sympathetic to the concerns of progressive liberal Christians.

That doesn't mean I agree with the views held by the author - there are many theological positions the author takes of which to strongly object without apology - but it does mean I appreciate her perspective and, more importantly, the insights provided regarding the church's attitude she perceives (not altogether unjustified) within white conservative evangelicals towards people of color, women, and queer "christians."

As I read it, this book seems to explicitly challenge conservative evangelicals (particularly white) to hear the other side - the liberal, progressive evangelical - and to acquiesce to it's position accepting them as genuine Christians and, therefore, opening the doors of their churches to their participation in the Christian community. The author seems to suggest that this is what is happening in any case and, sooner or later, a change that the conservative evangelicals must embrace if they are to be spiritually and culturally relevant.

Whatever position you hold, whether you are progressive or conservative (but especially the latter) this is a book that should be read, in particular, by conservative evangelical pastors; and not necessarily to persuade a change of mind as to one's theological, Biblical, and cultural views but more to gain a better understanding of how the attitude and actions of the conservative white evangelical community has affected others and to gain a more sympathetic ear to the complaints of Christian liberal progressives.

This may be a book that annoys those who are already firmly and uncompromisingly settled with a theological or cultural attitude that resists change or, at least, seeking understanding. If your one of those kind of evangelical conservative Christians, then I hope you will allow yourself, at least, this once to be annoyed and read this book.

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