SUMMARY: Primarily written to the American church pastor Drew Hart weaves personal narratives with a little bit of church history, a little bit of American history and a little bit of theological history as a call to the church to change the way it views racism.
“For too long, the church has gone about its business as though nothing were wrong,” Hart says. “Meanwhile, it has been a racialized organism, not only fractured relationally but actually practicing, perpetuating, or remaining silent to the racial oppression of others.”
Hart drives the point home that we live in a racialized society that is dominated by white supremacy. Unfortunately the church by and large is no different. We have missed the point of Jesus coming to earth as a poor, marginalized servant and his focus on the vulnerable and the oppressed. In today’s terms, generally speaking, the poor and oppressed are people of color. It is our duty to actively resist racism and reject any form of white supremacy.
“The church must confront its popular definition of racism, which has historically never implicated the white majority by its framing of the problem,” Hart says. “We are not seeking to merely be the church for the poor and oppressed; as we work toward a more Jesus–shaped way of Christian community, we hope to be the church of the poor and oppressed.”
Hart is a talented writer with his prose exceling in the theological realm. The Trouble I’ve Seen is similar to White Awake by Daniel Hill (which we also recommend), but Hart comes at the problem from a black person’s perspective – as someone that is not only actively working against racism, but has been subjected to racism his entire life.
KEY QUOTE: “We are not seeking to merely be the church for the poor and oppressed; as we work toward a more Jesus–shaped way of Christian community, we hope to be the church of the poor and oppressed.”
BONUS: Don’t have time to read the book? Listen to Hart discuss The Trouble I’ve Seen on The Zeitcast.
DID YOU KNOW?: Sunday to Saturday has a Good Reads page where we post all of the books we have read – even the ones that didn’t make the cut.
More curated books on racism:
To this day church services across the nation are some of the most segregated times of the week. Is this by random chance or was this intentional? Author Jemar Tisby details the sordid history of the American church and its complicity with racism in the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller The Color of Compromise.Read more
Grounded in Genesis in the Imago Dei The Gospel in Color firmly traces the evolution of racism back to the garden of Eden when sin entered the world. But, Jesus coming into the world and dying on a cross allows us to be reconciled to him while modeling what it takes to be reconciled to each other.Read more