We Need to Talk About Race

By Ben Lindsay: Review by Ian Johnson (From Seeds Issue 96 – July 2020)

Are you prepared to be disturbed?

This is a book that Justin Welby said is

a must read for the UK Church. This book is shaped deeply by the gospel call for transformation: of individuals, of communities, of society at large.

As I started to read the first chapter, I found it challenging so put the book down because it made me angry that here was someone who was suggesting that I was a racist. I left it for a couple of weeks but then, when the present racial tensions erupted, I felt drawn to find out why anyone should say these things about me without knowing me. I had to find out why the author felt he had a right to speak to the readers in this way and very quickly found that he was not making such statements without reason.

Ben Lindsay (above) is a pastor at Emmanuel Church in London. He explained how he had grown up in the church and had wanted to do more but found his way blocked. Our church would love to find volunteers who wanted to do more. At the end of each chapter he asks questions that make Black and White, individually and together, consider what they have read.

I found it a thought-provoking read in these times and is a book of today.

It made me question:

  • Is our Church racist?
  • Why is BAME underrepresented in our Church?
  • Do I want my church to change?

A hard-hitting book that will challenge its readers but also has the power to transform.

Eternal God,
in our praying,
let us not just talk to you,
but yield to your love;
in our anger,
let us not just rail against injustice,
but manifest your love; in our actions,
let us not just flail about aimlessly,
but build the civilization of love.
Until none of us are disregarded for who we are nor any diminished by what we fail to be,
we keep on praying in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen

(extract from statement and prayer offered by the URC in response to George Floyd’s death)

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