“In the United States, power runs along color lines, and white people have the most influence,” Tisby states (6). Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise is a difficult book to read. Why has the white evangelical church supported racial injustice? Tisby claims that the black exodus from white churches in the last two years is principally a reaction to white evangelicals’ support for Donald Trump, so any attempt at racial reconciliation in the church must address white evangelicals’ political choices. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. In Chapter 6, "Reconstructing White Supremacy in the Jim Crow Era," Tisby details the events and movements following the end of the Civil War. His new work, The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, is his effort to put down on paper what he has been calling for over the past several years. He holds that his faith inspires his profound investment in issues of social justice. The Color of Compromise: A Review A Sharper Historical Picture. If we follow our sinful inclinations, we will likely seek ways to evade Tisby’s charge that we’re guilty of abusing power. He also claims that “Christian complicity with racism remains [in the present], even as it has taken on subtler forms” (190). In the 20th century, Christianity Today cautiously endorsed some civil-rights legislation, but sharply criticized Martin Luther King Jr. for his tactic of civil disobedience. Copyright © 2021 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. From Jonathan Edwards’s slaveholdingto Billy Graham’s support for President Richard Nixon’s racially charged policy of “law and order,” participation in racial oppression has tainted the legacies of many of the most gifted preachers and theologians in the white evangelical church, Tisby argues. While believing in blacks’ spiritual equality with whites, white Southern evangelicals rejected the idea that their equality as brothers and sisters in Christ should lead to any change in the slave laws, the racial balance of power in society, or even race relations in the church. The Color of Compromise takes listeners on a historical journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War, covering the tragedy of Jim Crow laws and the victories of the Civil Rights era, to today's Black Lives Matter movement. What about the white evangelical antislavery advocates of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they might ask. In Tisby’s view, white racism in both the past and also the present isn’t primarily an attitude of hate but an action of refusing to share power with blacks. Trump's election three years after the organization's formation, seemed to reverse many of its efforts. Citing religious sociologist Michael Emerson’s view that Trump’s election was “the single most harmful event to the whole movement of reconciliation [in evangelical churches] in at least the past 30 years,” Tisby argues that white evangelicals bear responsibility for the racial polarization that ensued when they cast their ballots for Trump—regardless of their reasons for doing so. Please make sure all fields are filled out. The Color of Compromise The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (Book) : Tisby, Jemar : A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller! help you understand the book. In fact, both American evangelical theology and traditional Reformed doctrine include tools for addressing social injustice and repenting of complicity in societal sins. Similarly, 19th-century revivalists’ insistence that conversion should produce a changed life led some Northern evangelicals to campaign against slavery on the grounds that African Americans were their brothers and sisters, and it was therefore wrong to enslave them. The Color of Compromise is a brief survey of the history of racism in America that specifically focuses on the role the American church has played in allowing racism to persist. “They fail to recognize how rarely believers made public and persistent commitments to racial equality against the culture of their churches and denominations. Realizing the hypocrisy of white Christians, and the seeming impossibility of securing their freedom, they began staging insurrections. But rather than address this imbalance, “when faced with the choice between racism and equality, the American church has tended to practice a complicit Christianity instead of a courageous Christianity. After the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence, equated liberty with whiteness, bondage with blackness. everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Color of Compromise. Is this correct? Attempting to escape the oppressive southern climate, many blacks flocked to Midwestern, western, and northeastern cities. SHOW: The Color of Compromise By SundaytoSaturday.com on September 6, 2020 • ( 0). In Chapter 2, "Making Race in the Colonial Era," Tisby shifts back in history, describing Columbus' arrival in the Americas. Instead of cowering before these dissenting viewpoints, Tisby boldly proceeds. They actively sought the conversion of blacks to Christianity, yet used these paternalist principles to disempower blacks and demand their submission to white masters. As Mark Noll and other historians have demonstrated, American white evangelicalism has been both a force for racial egalitarianism and an excuse for racial oppression. The Color of Compromise The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (Book) : Tisby, Jemar : Churches remain racially segregated and are largely ineffective in addressing complex racial challenges. He outlines his explorations and arguments to come, while also posing possible counterarguments to his writing. But Tisby also makes a more controversial claim: He argues that white conservative politics and white evangelical theology are currently exacerbating the racial divide. An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have worked against racial justice. If Tisby and other Christians point out ways in which the president’s actions or rhetoric have hurt racial minorities, white Christians shouldn’t hesitate to join their brothers and sisters in condemning these sins and advocating for justice—even if they voted for President Trump. A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller! He identifies himself as a Christian believer, and a lover of the church. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism. SUMMARY: Author Jemar Tisby traces the intertwining of race, the church and politics from the 1400’s into the 21st century in his 12-part study series with episodes ranging from 5 … The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Print Word PDF. In Chapter 3, "Understanding Liberty in the Age of Revolution and Revival," Tisby examines the pre- and post-Revolutionary War period in America. He identifies a wealth of tangible forms of activism, encouraging his reader, and the church to pursue racial reform as soon as possible. And when white Christians see ways in which their own church traditions’ records on race are laced with sin, they should admit the wrong and seek justice and racial reconciliation. This Study Guide consists of approximately 38 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Color of Compromise. But the First and Second Great Awakenings also created Southern evangelicalism, which almost immediately distanced itself from antislavery activism. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. They should use their wealth to lessen the racial divide by contributing to college scholarships for black Americans and debt relief for black families. Most of these steps—listening to Christians of another race, learning about history and theology, and using personal wealth to help individuals in need—are so obviously biblical that it’s hard to imagine how any Christian could object to them. The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. While he marched in the streets with his supporters, Graham assumed a laissez-faire stance. Countless slaves began organizing, only to have their plans foiled by a nervous member of their effort. Moral Combat: How the Sexual Revolution Infiltrated the Church. As colonial economics grew, colonizers looked for more labor to support their farms. In Chapter 10, "Reconsidering Racial Reconciliation in the Age of Black Lives Matter," Tisby describes inception and foundation of the Black Lives Matter movement and organization. He also claims that “Christian complicity with racism remains [in the present], even as it has taken on subtler forms” (190). Finally, Tisby claims that Christians who insist they can simply preach the gospel without talking about systemic racism are complicit in racial injustice. White supremacists rose to power and used violence and terror to enforce segregation statutes. 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. Racial reconciliation, Tisby argues, won’t occur without confession of sin and repentance from white Christians—a repentance that some Reformed churches have already started to model, but which hasn’t yet occurred en masse. As a theologically trained historian, Tisby assumes the arduous task of … He uses Bible verses to fortify the reader's spirit. The Color of Compromise The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (Book) : Tisby, Jemar : An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. 2:1–8), we’ve been given the grace to resist these sinful inclinations and seek reconciliation, even at the cost of personal discomfort or our own perceived interests. The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Tisby, Jemar. 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. Conservative politicians, like Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Donald Trump, gained power by winning the vote of the Religious Right. This section contains 913 words. This study guide contains the following sections: This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Meanwhile, the church continued defending these practices as moral, seemingly constructing theological stances to support their egregious behaviors. Colonizers invaded African nations, kidnapped their people, transported them across the ocean, and enslaved them. In Chapter 5, "Defending Slavery at the Onset of the Civil War," Tisby argues that the Civil War conflict did not merely occur on the battlefields; it occurred in the Bible and the church as well. Even the most enthusiastic evangelical defenders of race-based slavery in the early 19th century advocated evangelism among slaves. The book isn’t just interested in historical facts as they are–it is interested in presenting those facts through a very specific lens and for a very specific purpose. Overview of The Color of Compromise The book calls out the history of American Christianity complicity with African slavery and racism. The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. And when white Christians formulated visions for racial reconciliation, they often did so without engaging black Christian theology or the black church. 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. The Color of Compromise Study Guide, used together with The Color of Compromise Video Study, unpacks the content of the video study for an in-depth diagnosis of a racially divided American church, suggesting ways to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. It makes a meaningful contribution to the conversation about race in the church and in our society. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases on Amazon.com. In Chapter 11, "The Fierce Urgency of Now," Tisby uses the ARC (Awareness, Relationships, Commitment) model for racial justice to propose a thorough series of possible actions to promote change. Most white Christians can be described as complicit in racism” (6). Summary & Conclusion. Home › Racism › SHOW: The Color of Compromise. This may sound, on the surface, as though Tisby is doubting the gospel’s power to change lives, but it actually accords with historic Reformed theology. The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right, Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement before, The Countries Where It’s Most Dangerous to Be a Christian in 2021, The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About QAnon, The Fantasy Ideology of the American Insurrectionists, Damn the Curse of Ham: How Genesis 9 Got Twisted into Racist Propaganda. Jemar Tisby. “All too often, Christians name a few individuals who stood against the racism of their day and claim them as heroes,” he writes. The Color of Compromise The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (Book) : Tisby, Jemar : Churches remain racially segregated and are largely ineffective in addressing complex racial challenges. A survey of the ways Christians of the past have reinforced theories of racial superiority and inferiority provides motivation for a series of bold actions believers must take to forge a future of equity and justice. Northern Christians said Jesus' teachings proved slavery immoral. Even the most ardent Christian segregationists of the early 20th century believed in the necessity of black churches, because they wanted blacks to hear and believe the Bible. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby is a historical survey that examines the interconnectedness between American history and the American Christian church by exploring its complicity in maintaining racism throughout the centuries. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. The policies of these presidents, have thus excluded the concerns of black citizens. On the one hand, the evangelical revivals of the 18th century were partly responsible for introducing African Americans to Christianity en masse and creating the black church. Repenting of complicity in racial injustice may be difficult, because it’s far easier to believe that we’re victims of religious persecution than to admit that our own churches—and we ourselves, as white evangelical Christians—have perpetuated wrongs toward others. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response. Though chattel slavery had effectively ended, Jim Crow laws created a new social order which consigned emancipated blacks to a new form of bondage. The book is primarily meant to be a historical survey of the American church’s complicity, both actively and passively, in racism towards ethnic minorities. The Southern Baptist Convention has passed resolutions repudiating its historic denominational support for slavery and its use of the “curse of Ham” as justification for racial discrimination. The Color of Compromise, from author Jemar Tisby, is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. He cites how discriminatory government orders further marginalized blacks. The difficulty does not result from a complex argument or dense prose, for the book’s argument is simply and straightforwardly made. Reformed Christians who believe in the “third use of the law” have insisted for five centuries that Christians need to hear the law of God to grow in sanctification. To pretend that any politician or political party is above criticism is theologically dangerous. . The Color of Compromise The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism (Book) : Tisby, Jemar : An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. Turner's story empowered blacks and terrified whites. Even today, white Christians are reluctant to relinquish their power and race-based advantages, Tisby writes. It treats dismissively a well-established theological … Though colonists were fighting for independence from imperial British power, they had no intentions of extending this liberty to enslaved blacks. 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