Reconstructing the Gospel

Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion

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Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
  • Downers Grove, IL: 
    IVP Academic
    , March
     2018.
     192 pages.
     $20.00.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780830845347.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Mitzi J. Smith forthcoming.

Description

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove grew up in the Bible Belt in the American South as a faithful church-going Christian. But he gradually came to realize that the gospel his Christianity proclaimed was not good news for everybody. The same Christianity that sang, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound" also perpetuated racial injustice and white supremacy in the name of Jesus. His Christianity, he discovered, was the religion of the slaveholder.

Just as Reconstruction after the Civil War worked to repair a desperately broken society, our compromised Christianity requires a spiritual reconstruction that undoes the injustices of the past. Wilson-Hartgrove traces his journey from the religion of the slaveholder to the Christianity of Christ. Reconstructing the gospel requires facing the pain of the past and present, from racial blindness to systemic abuses of power. Grappling seriously with troubling history and theology, Wilson-Hartgrove recovers the subversiveness of the gospel that sustained the church through centuries of slavery and oppression, from the civil rights era to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond.

When the gospel is reconstructed, freedom rings for both individuals and society as a whole. Discover how Jesus continues to save us from ourselves and each other, to repair the breach and heal our land.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a writer, speaker, and activist. He and his wife, Leah, founded the Rutba House, a house of hospitality where the formerly homeless are welcomed into a community that eats, prays, and shares life together. Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, a nonprofit that pursues beloved community with kids in the neighborhood, through classes in North Carolina prisons, and in community-based education around the country. Jonathan is also an associate minister at the historically black St. John's Missionary Baptist Church.

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