Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion

Book, 2018, 198 pp
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"I am a man torn in two. And the gospel I inherited is divided."

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove grew up in the Bible Belt in the American South as a faithful church-going Christian. But he gradually came to realize that the gospel his Christianity proclaimed was not good news for everybody. The same Christianity that sang "Amazing Grace" also perpetuated racial injustice and white supremacy in the name of Jesus. His Christianity, he discovered, was the religion of the slaveholder.

Just as Reconstruction after the Civil War worked to repair a desperately broken society, our compromised Christianity requires a spiritual reconstruction that undoes the injustices of the past. Reconstructing the gospel requires facing the pain of the past and present, from racial blindness to systemic abuses of power.

When the gospel is reconstructed, freedom rings for both individuals and society to repair the breach and heal our land.
Reconstructing the Gospel is an honest reckoning with the mangled, slaveholding religion that continues to pass for the gospel in the United States. It is not self-righteous or accusatory. Instead, Jonathan vulnerably grapples with his own ongoing repentance of white supremacy's powerful grip. Ultimately, this book is an invitation into the river that has been flowing for centuries in this land, providing a past and present counterwitness to the vandalization of Jesus's name." - Drew Hart, author of Trouble I've Seen

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