Friday, February 22, 2008

~ blessed be the tie that binds ~

I have not read Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's latest offering, Free to Be Bound: Church Beyond the Color Line, but I want to recommend it nonetheless. My recommendation stems from three premises:
  1. The bits-and-pieces I have read from Jonathan's other books waiting patiently on my shelf have been both informative and engaging.
  2. Jonathan lives what he teaches. He and his wife live in intentional community at Rutba House, offering hope and hospitality to neighbors in need. He also serves as a pastor in a local congregation.
  3. I had the opportunity to hear him speak last October at the annual CCDA conference on this very subject, and I really enjoyed that workshop, his presentation style, his story and the way he graciously interacted with his co-presenter.
An excerpt from his email announcing the publication summarizes his purpose for writing the book:

This wasn't an easy book to write. I struggled to know just how to convey my own journey -to tell the truth about the feelings I've had, the repenting I've done, the demons I've wrestled, and the ways I've failed in trying to make sense of race and the church. Along the way, I received a number of gifts from saints who've gone before me and friends who know the truth of the gospel. It wasn't an easy book to write, but I wrote it out of a deep joy. I believe there is good news for the broken body of Christ today. I don't just believe it. I've seen it. So I'm excited to share my joy with you.

I've started trying to summarize my own history with race and the church, and I hope to have that posted in the next few days to accompany this recommendation.


the hamster said...

this book sounds great. we have some unorthodox church things happening here on thursday nights in pepe's living room. good stuff. folks getting set free and healed up and the Lord speaking mighty big. plus, we usually have ice cream. the Gospel and ice cream compliment each other so very well. Jesus meant it when He said, "how about if ya'll just get together and love each other well and dine and keep me totally invited" (paraphrase).

the Body is an amazing promise from the Gospel. i'm stoked to even see how the Body extends itself into these little blogospherian ways: ie. kim speaks some Truth, i benefit from the literary edifiable embrace, the rest of my day walks a bit closer to Him. shit like that.

however, as stoked as i am about this book, i'm even more stoked about your history with race and church. not to be rude, but i don't even know this wilson-hartgrove schmoe. i'm sure he's great and all, but he doesn't speak directly into my rodential existence the way you do. so give it to us, kim roth style - all nasty and untidy in the end. i'll be chomping at the bits until publication.

Ramón said...

This guy is going to be in Portland this weekend. I don't really have time to go hear him speak, but now that I know he's got the Kimberly seal of approval, I'm doing to try to make it.

Also, what did you think of Lahiri's short stories?

Kimberly said...

Yes, the reviews of the books I have completed thus far are past-due... but the short in-the-meantime review of Lahiri is "I liked her... a lot." My favs were Mr. Pirzada and Mrs. Sen's, which would suggest a pattern I suppose, which may be a propensity toward simple, childlike observations of humanity.