Outreach Magazine Resource of the YearForeword INDIES Award FinalistFor a generation or so, society has tried to be colorblind. People say they don’t see race. But this approach has limitations. In our broken world, ethnicity and racial identity are often points of pain and injustice. We can’t ignore that God created us with our ethnic identities. We bring all of who we are, including our ethnicity and cultural background, to our identity and work as God's ambassadors.Ethnicity and evangelism specialist Sarah Shin reveals how our brokenness around ethnicity can be restored and redeemed, for our own wholeness and also for the good of others. When we experience internal transformation in our ethnic journeys, God propels us outward in a reconciling witness to the world. Ethnic healing can demonstrate God's power and goodness and bring good news to others. Showing us how to make space for God's healing of our ethnic stories, Shin helps us grow in our crosscultural skills, manage crosscultural conflict, pursue reconciliation and justice, and share the gospel as ethnicity-aware Christians.Jesus offers hope for healing, both for ourselves and for society. Discover how your ethnic story can be transformed for compelling witness and mission.
Part I: Redeeming Our Ethnic Stories 1. Beyond Colorblind 2. Ethnicities Made for Good 3. The Cracks in Our Ethnicity 4. Ethnicities Restored for Better 5. Redeemed Ethnic Identities Sent Out to HealPart II: Stewarding Our Ethnic Identities 6. Trust-Building with Ethnic Strangers 7. Crosscultural Skills in Community 8. Responding to Crosscultural Conflict in Community 9. Prophetic Ethnic Justice 10. Culture Re-creators Acknowledgments Notes
“Colorblindness, though well intentioned, is inhospitable. Colorblindness assumes that we are similar enough and that we all only have good intentions, so we can avoid our differences.” (source)
“Ethnicity refers to common ancestry, tribe, nationality, and background, often with shared customs, language, culture, values, traditions, and history. Race, on the other hand, is the classification of people according to their supposed physical traits and ancestry. Race, though a manmade historical construct, has real-life present day realities. Power, access to employment and education, and social status historically have been unevenly applied to racial groups, leading to slavery, segregation, apartheid, and obstructed civil rights.” (source)
“The second point that Tutu and Franklin raise is that differences are not inherently bad. In fact, according to Tutu, ‘differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.’4 Colorblindness seems to deny the beautiful variations and cultural differences in our stories.” (source)
“To be human is to be made in the image of God. Sin is the thing that makes us un-human; it undoes the image of God that was placed in our DNA. Only Jesus can restore us back to our intended humanity.’ To be made human is to be made beautiful, in the image of God.” (source)
“education is the answer to racism, why do even our top schools seemed plagued by racial brokenness?” (source)
"Sarah Shin does what no one else has been able to do: connect a clear gospel summary with our stories of ethnic identity and reconciliation. I hope that not only all campus ministers but also every student leader in the country will read this book. I can't remember the last time I was so expectant for an upcoming book to arrive."
"This is groundbreaking work: first, it highlights how a lack of ethnic identity is a barrier to being effective witnesses, and then it calls all people to ethnic identity, awareness, healing, and reconciliation through the gospel. It's brilliant and it's good news!"
"How might Christian communities break away from the powerful grip of a colorblind narrative? By challenging Christians to reinterpret the significance and meaning of ethnicity through the lens of the good news of Jesus, this timely work points to a clear pathway forward that is biblical, pastoral, and prophetic. I strongly recommend Sarah Shin's work to all Christians who seek to better understand how our Christian and ethnic identities intersect in today's multicultural world."
"In Beyond Colorblind, Sarah Shin offers us a personal and practical resource as we explore the issues of ethnicity, race, and diversity in our fractured world. This important book will prod at your heart at times, perhaps challenging you to reflect on your own assumptions. But it also serves to equip you—as a friend or neighbor, as a church or community leader, in work or in love. With humility, wisdom, and compassion, Sarah calls us to 'become ethnicity aware in order to address the beauty and brokenness in our ethnic stories and the stories of others.' Essential reading for today."
"I will never forget hearing Dr. John Perkins say that if we want to disciple people in the Christian faith, a primary focus should be on stewarding ethnic identity. I also will never forget having no idea what that meant or how to do it! I wish I had Beyond Colorblind when I first heard those words. In this critical work, Sarah Shin lays the foundation for ethnic identity in a winsome manner and with a thoughtful approach. I'm convinced that when the light bulb turns on for the importance of ethnic identity, this book will become a can't-miss resource."
"Beautifully written and astute. Sarah Shin takes readers on a deep, honest, and spiritual journey through the complications of our racial history. Along the way, she dismantles the objections of thin thinking and religious sentimentality while depositing a rich, nuanced, and healthy soil in its place. Whatever your background or level of experience in this conversation, Sarah's voice and wisdom will add rich texture to your understanding. I can't recommend Beyond Colorblind highly enough."
"Sarah Shin is brilliant! Beyond Colorblind is revolutionary; it is a prophetic, pragmatic, and plucky guide for recovering the gifts and blessings of our ethnic journey. Grounded in Scripture and empowered by personal narratives, this masterpiece is kingdom-focused, Christ-centered, and full of healing. Beyond being a 'must-read' book, this is a 'must-study' resource."
"The unbiblical and unhelpful approach of being colorblind in a diverse world has resulted in significant unintended negative consequences that have adversely impacted the work of the multiethnic church. Sarah Shin calls us to move beyond our superficial understanding of culture, race, and ethnicity toward a more biblical theological approach that offers the hope of healing."
"Ignoring our diversity is not faithful to the Scriptures, the reality that we live in, or the future of the church. Sarah's experience as a minister of the gospel as well as her voice as a woman of color bring a unique perspective that is both deeply theological and richly experiential. What a gift it is to have a resource on crosscultural fluency that is crafted for the whole church."
"Shin has authored a thoughtful and intelligent book on the misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding racial and ethnic tensions today. Readers will gain much-needed insight as well as practical recommendations on better understanding their own position, then addressing it. . . . Shin discusses how Christ followers can grow in their sensitivity to those from differing ethnic backgrounds and speak in ways that build bridges of understanding rather than reflect disrespect and fear. Readers will especially value her careful word of chastisement to the church to make the effort to face its own wounds to be able to fully welcome and serve others."
"Sarah Shin's Beyond Colorblind is a needed exploration of how to talk about race in America, urging Christians to move beyond simple political correctness towards building wholehearted, diverse communities. . . . Beyond Colorblind explores how religious communities can create spaces where ethnic identity is not just respected, but celebrated for the richness it offers."