Racism, History, and the Gospel, part 2 - New Denver Church
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Racism, History, and the Gospel, part 2

In the second segment of our mini-series Racism, History, and the Gospel, pastor Norton Herbst discusses racism in the modern era, the history of racist policies, and our response as followers of Jesus.

Discussion Questions for Racism, History, and the Gospel Pt2 | June 28, 2020

Discussion Questions

  1. What book are you currently reading about this issue and what are you learning?
  2. Historian Ibram Kendi suggests that we use the phrase “policies of oppression” rather than “systems of oppression.” How does changing this term change the idea?
  3. What would you say to the notion that we can only be responsible for our personal behavior toward people of different races?
  4. What new insights did you learn about policies of housing segregation and mass incarceration? How did it challenge you? 
  5. Think about where people of different races live in Denver. What is different about these neighborhoods and the lives of people that live there?
  6. How is our willingness to engage this issue connected to our spiritual transformation? What might God want to teach us personally about him or ourselves?

Moving Forward

  • Now: 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.
  • In two months: commit to doing something.
  • In four months: vote for candidates who are antiracist.

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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