This month, the Metro Community Church family was blessed with the presence of Daniel Hill, the author of White Awake: An Honest Look At What It Means To Be White. With unceasing grace, humor and intellect, this man of God spent a full week attending Metro gatherings and events to share his framework for the Christian church’s racial reconciliation. One would think he’d be exhausted, but he never seemed to falter and readily tackled questions about God, Christ, racism and the real work of the church. Pastor Hill willingly engaged all comers.
Full disclosure - I didn’t think I’d be impressed by the book. I tend to think that there is very little caucasian people can teach me about race or racism. I’ve been forced to be aware of the social construct of race since I was 6. I’ve experienced racism in just about every type of environment - at school and work, on the street, in church - been there, done that. I’ve studied the sociology of race and racism. Read the statistics. Lived it. What could Pastor Hill possibly say that would be new to me?
For starters, his passion for the Word, which Pastor Hill knows backwards and forward. Utilizing story after story and verse after verse from the Bible to demonstrate his points, my small group found itself hanging onto his every word, mouths agape. It also sent me scurrying to sign up for a daily bible study session. Clearly, I had missed some things.
In White Awake, Pastor Hill documents the historical beginnings of race and racism with straightforward language, while providing gut-wrenching real-life use cases. The groundbreaking part for me was Pastor Hill’s use of biblical theology to support every point, including his assertion that both race and racism are sinful and dehumanizing sicknesses that affect us all, regardless of color.
Pastor Hill wrote White Awake with a white audience in mind. I fully support and encourage this audience to read the book and do some soul searching, and allow themselves to be transformed. However, this book should be required reading for any Christian serious about doing the Lord’s work - in all of its uncomfortable glory. I challenge both people of color and white people to read White Awake and not see the way we are all being called to the cross. I dare you to see the imago Dei in all of God’s children.
Submitted by Tera Moore