By Daniel Hill
Published September 19, 2017
Daniel served on staff at Willow Creek Community Church for five years before founding River City Community Church in 2003. He earned an M.A. in Theology from Moody Bible Institute, A certificate in Church-based Community and Economic Development from Harvard Divinity School, and his D.Min. from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.
If you are a believer in Christ and read the bible to seek direction in your walk with God then you are the audience for this book. For non-followers of Christ, this book will give you insight into how Christ followers could address the issue of race.
In the book, Daniel Hill relates his journey of understanding racism in America and shares scripture on this issue. The first time he was aware of the problem is when he told a non-white friend that he was jealous because he did not have an ethnic culture and the friend replied to him;
“Daniel, you may be white, but don’t let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture.”
This started his journey to understand that he lives in a white culture.
His basic premise is that if you believe that all people are created in God’s image and are equally loved by God (John 3:16) then looking down on any race is sin. He goes further and discusses how, as Christians, we claim that our identity is being transformed into the likeness of Christ but if we do not understand how racial identity affects us then we miss out on the fullness of that transformation.
As Christians, we believe that our old self was ruled by sin. As we grow in our relationship with God we must address our sins and understand how our sins affect our views and affect our society.
Racism is sin. Racism has shaped American culture and how we operate in that culture. To be transformed in Christ we must understand and address that sin.
He states that once we understand and accept the nature of our racist formed society our natural response is “What should I do?” (Let me just roll up my sleeves and fix this issue because no one like ME has tried.) This is the wrong response as it puts us in the driver’s seat to fix the problem We first must go before God and lament. To express our sorrow about the situation so we can clearly see as Jesus sees.
The racial situation in America is made worst if we don’t acknowledge that sin and how racism has affected our society. This problem is clearly demonstrated by the negative reviews on Amazon. Those reviews clearly miss the point of the book and they mostly claim that there is no racism in American, that the reviewer is colorblind, or that this is a book of self-hate. These reviewers miss the point that our society has been formed by racism. It is not enough to be not racist. To walk with Jesus requires us to be against racism. There is no middle ground. You are either full out for God’s love for all or you are not.
To confront sin we need to name the sin. Without admitting sin Christ does not have the ability to transform us.
Hill covers the seven stages of cultural awakening and how we navigate them;
- Active Participation
He finishes by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is…the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’…”
Do you want to do something as a follower of Christ because of the shock you had watching the video of George Floyd’s murder? read this book.
WARNING TO TRUMP SUPPORTERS: In this book, there is a short section that explains why the non-white evangelical church finds Trump scary.