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God Is Not a White Man: And Other Revelations [9781529349078]

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Expand the description and scroll down to view the Preach magazine review.

What does it mean when God is presented as male?
What does it mean when - from our internal assumptions to our shared cultural imaginings - God is presented as white?

These are the urgent questions Chine McDonald asks in a searing look at her experience of being a Black woman in the white-majority space that is the UK church - a church that is being abandoned by Black women no longer able to grin and bear its casual racism, colonialist narratives and lack of urgency on issues of racial justice.

Part memoir, part social and theological commentary, God Is Not a White Man is a must-read for anyone troubled by a culture that insists everyone is equal in God's sight, yet fails to confront white supremacy; a lament about the state of race and faith, and a clarion call for us all to do better.

'At a time when I believe people of faith should be the loudest voices crying out for hope in the midst of the despair, the silence of my white brothers and sisters has at times been deafening. When we say black lives matter, we are met with a cry that all lives do. When we demand racial justice, we are told not to play into identity politics. When we request a seat at the table, we are told there's no room just yet. When we call out unfair treatment, we're told we're praying the race card. Is this the best we can do?'

Black women are silently exiting the church, no longer able to grin and bear its casual racism, colonialist narratives and lack of urgency on issues of racial justice. In this searing memoir, Chine McDonald looks at what it means to be a black woman in the white majority space that is the UK church. Part memoir, part social and theological commentary, God Is Not a White Man holds up a mirror to Christians who profess that everyone is equal in God's sight, while failing to confront white supremacy and the UK's colonial past.

 

PREACH REVIEW:

In this poignant book, which is part autobiographical, part social commentary, Chine reveals what it is to be black and female in a world – and a church – that has elevated a view of God as white and male above all other views of the Divine. Written during a pandemic, and around the time of George Floyd’s death which sparked the Black Lives Matter protest, this is a timely, eye- opening book recommended for anyone seeking to better understand the ongoing issues of racism and sexism in our society, and become part of a conversation as to how we challenge them.

As a white, middle-class millennial woman, who has grown up and lived in predominantly white spaces (including churches), I have been aware of these issues and moved by them, but have perhaps been unsure of where I can (or should) step in. In worrying about whether I might come across as ignorant or unhelpful, or simply make things worse, I have often opted for passivity. You might feel similarly. Chine helps to pull back the curtain on the conscious – but also, potentially more dangerous, unconscious – biases that permeate our culture and our churches, and she makes us more aware of how they impact our black brothers and sisters. Her book makes for a great place to start to address these issues, and she provides a wealth of footnotes and references that make it easy to continue to explore further.

One thing is for sure: this is a not a book that you can simply put back on a shelf and forget about. Once you have read it, there is no going back. And that is as it should be. Chine’s words are not condemning – they are a reveille, meant to wake us up and get us going. Perhaps the most touching part of the book is the final chapter, where she tells us why she wrote the book: ‘I want my golden-brown boy to grow up in a world where he never doubts whether he reflects the image of God.’

God Is Not A White Man is vital reading – and not just for preachers. If we want to seriously tackle racism and bring an end to it, all of us need to get involved. We all bear the image of God – and it’s about time that every single one of us knows it.

Review by Rebecca Coatsworth for Preach magazine, Issue 29. Rebecca is from Oxfordshire and works for Open Doors; she is passionate about preaching and church.


AUTHOR:

Chine McDonald leads the media & PR team at Christian Aid. Prior to that, she worked at World Vision and before that was director of communications at the Evangelical Alliance.

She read Theology & Religious Studies at Cambridge University before training as a newspaper journalist. Chine has been named in lists including Christianity magazine's '33 under 33' and Keep the Faith's 'Most Influential Black Christian Women' and 'Most inspiring black Christian millennials'. She is a regular contributor to BBC Religion & Ethics programmes, including Thought for the Day on Radio 4's Today programme, the Daily Service, Pause for Thought and Prayer for the Day; she is also a regular presenter for BBC One's Sunday Morning Live. This is her second book.

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SKU:
9781529349078
UPC:
9781529349078
Availability:
Delivery usually in 2-6 working days.
Author:
Chine McDonald
Publisher:
Hodder Faith
Publication:
27-May-2021
Format:
Hardback
Pages:
256
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