Christians have struggled with racial issues for centuries, and often inadvertently contribute to the problem. Many proposed solutions have been helpful, but these only take us so far. Adding to this complex situation is the reality that Christians of different races see the issues differently. Sociologist George Yancey surveys a range of approaches to racial healing that Christians have used and offers a new model for moving forward. The first part of the book analyzes four secular models regarding race used by Christians (colorblindness, Anglo-conformity, multiculturalism and white responsibility) and shows how each has its own advantages and limitations. Part two offers a new "mutual responsibility" model, which acknowledges that both majority and minority cultures have their own challenges, tendencies, and sins to repent of, and that people of different races approach racial reconciliation and justice in differing but complementary ways. Yancey's vision offers hope that people of all races can walk together on a shared path--not as adversaries, but as partners.
Part 1: Four Secular Models of Dealing with Racism
1. Two Views of Racism
5. White Responsibility
Part 2: Finding a Christian Approach to Dealing with Racism: The Mutual Responsibility Model
6. Toward Constructing a Christian Solution to the Problem of Racism
7. Sin Nature and European Americans
8. Sin Nature and Racial Minorities
9. Jesus: The Ultimate Reconciler
10. The Fear Factor
11. What Would a Christian Solution Look Like?
. . . This book is useful not only for casual readers who wish to develop a broader perspective on the issue of racism but also for seminary courses on race relations.
If pastors and lay leaders were to read this book and humbly take its principles to heart, we could see a change in race relations in this country, and our churches could be a multiracial witness to the world of reconciliation, healing and grace.
"George Yancey has taken the complexity of the racial issue and has distilled it into a clear and comprehensive diagnosis. The best part about his work is that he gives us the ultimate solution that attacks the race problem at its core. Anyone who wants to have a serious discussion about racial issues in American culture must crack open this book!"
"In Beyond Racial Gridlock, George Yancey once again challenges us to think in fresh ways about the ministry of reconciliation. His assessment of the pros and cons of current strategies is extremely helpful in understanding the present state of racial reconciliation. Yancey's creative thinking further leads the reader to examine racism and the need of reconciliation in new ways using a central premise from an ancient source--the Bible. This book is a much-needed resource for pastors, students, professors, laypersons and others who hunger for a united church in a divided world."
"I am so drawn to this book. It gets me beyond my guilt, denial and defensiveness. Yancey, as a black man, is coming along beside me, a white man, and acknowledging that this is our mutual task to figure out how to treat one another well. I don't feel condemned; I feel welcomed into a conversation. What a winsome and inviting way of framing the racial divide in our country."
"A much-needed book! George Yancey proposes to do what is long overdue--systematically analyze race and race relations to suggest a thoughtful Christian approach to racial problems. And I cannot think of a better person to write this book. Dr. Yancey has been working in the area of race relations for many years, written several influential books on the subject and knows how to write readable, to-the-point books for Christians."
George Yancey (Ph.D., University of Texas) is associate professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, specializing in race/ethnicity and biracial families. He is the coauthor of United by Faith, coeditor of Just Don't Marry One, and the author of Beyond Black and White and One Body, One Spirit. He is the founder of Reconciliation Consulting, helping churches and ministries develop and sustain a multiracial emphasis.