Book Reviews

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Book review – Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey

Reviewed by Nathan Keller 

Mission Round Table 18:1 (Jan-Jun 2023): 18

To read articles in this edition, visit this post on Mission Round Table 18:1.

Responses to this book will be varied. Some will lament that woke, liberal, ethnicity-centric ideology has maneuvered its way into evangelical belief and practice. Others will celebrate that the message of this book is a much needed prophetic voice calling the church to wake up to the reality of the brokenness of our world manifested in ethnic/racial conflicts and to the beautiful hope that the gospel has in bringing healing and reconciliation in this area. Others, like myself, will frequently alternate back and forth between both of these responses, at times being convicted and inspired, and at other times critically doubting some of the assumptions and conclusions presented within. 

In the first half of the book, the author calls readers to redeem their ethnic stories. She does this by encouraging readers to focus on both the positive and negative cultural traits and histories associated with the ethnic groups that they are part of. She then notes how the gospel is the source of healing and transformation that all ethnicities need. In the second half of the book, the author provides a blueprint for how people whose ethnicities have been redeemed by the gospel can then be stewards of their ethnic identities to help others, culminating in the call to be culture re-creators. 

Downers Grove: IVP, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8308-4515-6. 204pp.

This book is a good read for anyone who would like to critically engage with an issue that is extremely relevant in today’s world. There are many ways that the gospel can speak into the broken areas of our lives, and our ethnic/racial identity is one of those areas, a theme mentioned many times in the Bible. However, ethnicity is not the ultimate need that the gospel addresses. Our sinful rebellion, in all of its varied manifestations, is the ultimate issue. I would caution those who read this book to do so with biblical discernment as you think about social, relational, and pastoral implications of the content and the calls to action promoted. 

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