by Brenda Salter McNeil – Brazos Press
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“[A] powerful work. . . . Provides a road map for any Christian seeking greater racial justice.”–Publishers Weekly
Reconciliation is not true reconciliation without justice! Brenda Salter McNeil has come to this conviction as she has led the church in pursuing reconciliation efforts over the past three decades. McNeil calls the church to repair the old reconciliation paradigm by moving beyond individual racism to address systemic injustice, both historical and present. It’s time for the church to go beyond individual reconciliation and “heart change” and to boldly mature in its response to racial division.
Looking through the lens of the biblical narrative of Esther, McNeil challenges Christian reconcilers to recognize the particular pain in our world so they can work together to repair what is broken while maintaining a deep hope in God’s ongoing work for justice. This book provides education and prophetic inspiration for every person who wants to take reconciliation seriously.
Becoming Brave offers a distinctly Christian framework for addressing systemic injustice. It challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality.
“Once again, Dr. McNeil proves herself as a leading theologian and practitioner of reconciliation and justice. She brilliantly uncovers, through the book of Esther, how God uses the marginalized as brave vessels of transformation. I am grateful for her reminding us of the courageous women of the Bible and how they can inspire justice-oriented disciplemakers today.”
—Efrem Smith, co-senior pastor, Bayside Church Midtown, Granite Bay, California; author of Killing Us Softly
“Rev. Brenda, one of the American church’s great leaders of racial reconciliation, delves into the unexpected disruptions she has encountered during her journey toward deep reconciliation. She models and illuminates a path for others. A fantastic resource for advocating for and embodying justice.”
—Nikki Toyama-Szeto, executive director, Evangelicals for Social Action at the Sider Center of Eastern University
“Brenda’s stories, rooted in women of action in Scripture, inspire us to deepen our faith and take the whole gospel to the whole of creation. Paul admonishes us that ‘the whole of creation awaits the revelation of the children of God.’ Perhaps this is less about us being revealed than it is about us experiencing the gospel more fully. In Becoming Brave, Brenda challenges us to be woke!”
—Terry LeBlanc, director, NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community
“I want to be a leader for racial reconciliation. Dr. McNeil’s book is an essential tool for my leadership education. And while I was inspired by the wisdom of the book, it’s going to challenge you. It pulls no punches. For these reasons, it is an essential read.”
—Shirley Hoogstra, president, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
“This book is a clarion call that cuts through the fog of our partisan arguments and blazes a path to abundant life for all. All of those who are suffering unjustly at this time need you to read this book and respond.”
—Alexia Salvatierra, Centro Latino professor, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary