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Products>The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

, 2019
ISBN: 9780310597278


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A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise:

  • Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War
  • Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today's Black Lives Matter movement
  • Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration
  • Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action
  • Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. Starting today.

Top Highlights

“Europeans failed to acknowledge the longstanding, well-developed religious beliefs and practices of the people they met. Instead, they viewed indigenous men and women as blank slates on which Christian missionaries could write the gospel. This paternalistic view of evangelism permeates American church history.” (source)

“Instead, Columbus’s arrival represented the beginning of an era of European colonization, motivated by profit and predicated on unpaid labor.” (source)

“Another theme this survey reveals is that racism changes over time. Skin color is simply a physical trait. It is a feature that has no bearing on one’s intrinsic dignity. As the following chapters show, people invented racial categories. Race and racism are social constructs. As society changes, so does racism. Racist attitudes produced different actions in 1619 than they did in 1919 or 2020. The malleability and impermanence of racial categories help explain how the American church’s compromise with racism has become subtler over time. History demonstrates that racism never goes away; it just adapts.” (source)

“A corrupt message that saw no contradiction between the brutalities of bondage and the good news of salvation became the norm. European missionaries tried to calm the slave owners’ fears of rebellion by spreading a version of Christianity that emphasized spiritual deliverance, not immediate liberation. Instead of highlighting the dignity of all human beings, European missionaries told Africans that Christianity should make them more obedient and loyal to their earthly masters.” (source)

Product Details

  • Title : The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism
  • Authors:
    • Tisby, Jemar
    • Moore, Lecrae
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • ISBN: 9780310597278


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  1. Sean M. Watkins
    Excellent book by Dr. Jemar Tisby. It details the American church's complicity in national racism, how avoiding looking at race as a discipleship issue has weakened the witness of the western church and provides some solid practical steps of raising our cultural awareness to forge a brighter future from yesterday's traumatizing past.