Racism, History, and the Gospel, part 1 - New Denver Church
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Racism, History, and the Gospel, part 1

In this week’s message, pastor Norton Herbst discusses the history of American slavery and segregation and how the Gospel breaks down racial barriers.

Discussion Questions for Racism, History, and the Gospel Pt1 | June 21, 2020

Key Passage: Galatians 3:28

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you have any personal encounters with racism from your childhood? Share with the group.
  2. What part of the history that was shared in the message was new for you to learn? How did it challenge you?
  3. If race is a social construct, what does that mean and how is it different from ethnicity?
  4. A racist idea is one that considers another racial group as inherently inferior. How have you consciously or unconsciously believed racist ideas?
  5. Reflect on this statement: it is not enough for followers of Jesus to not be racists; they must be antiracists. 
  6. Have you ever actively listened to a Black, Hispanic, or other minority person describe their experience of inequity? What did you learn?
  7. What does it mean for white Americans to own our racist history?
  8. Read through the list of book resources below and share which book you are drawn to and why.

Moving Forward

  • Purchase one of the book resources below and begin reading it. Commit to finishing the book and finding ways to personally engage what you learn.

Book Resources

  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi // a thought-provoking look, by a leading historian, at what racism truly is and how we can work against it
  • Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson // biography and history woven together to tell the story of civil rights in America
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown // the compelling story of a young black girl growing up in suburban white neighborhoods and churches
  • The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby // how racism and the church have often been tangled and how to untangle them
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DeAngelo // the title says it all; this is the book for you if you’re white and defensive right now
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander // the most important book on the least understood form of racial inequity in America today
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas // young adult fiction (warning: explicit language) with a hard-hitting message for teenagers

Other Resources

  • “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (article) by Martin Luther King, Jr. // the most inspiring description of King’s nonviolent protests and his disappointment of white Christians
  • “ The Case for Reparations” (article) by Ta-Nehisi Coates // America’s history of injustice and what we must do
  • Just Mercy (film) // a story of justice and the death penalty in the South
  • 13th (film) // the problem of mass incarceration in modern America 

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