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Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In an age when church growth is centered in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, evangelicalism must adapt to changing demographics or risk becoming irrelevant. Yet many evangelicals behave "tribally" valuing the perspective of only those like themselves while also denying any evidence of racial attitudes in the church. Anthony Bradley has gathered scholars and leaders from di ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 10th 2013 by P & R Publishing (first published May 6th 2013)
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Start your review of Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions
Jon Pentecost
Like any edited volume, the chapters range widely in terms of quality.
Highlights for me were Amos Yong's chapter which helpfully explains how racialized ideas can negatively impact society even after racist laws are abolished, and Carl Ellis's chapter on discipling in the ghetto.

The book is helpful in making the reader aware of the disparity of involvement in theological and Christian education between whites and non-whites in America. While the authors provide the beginnings of proposed soluti
Tim Hoiland
May 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As the demographics of the United States continue to evolve, and as our communities – city, suburb, and country alike – diversify before our very eyes, many North American evangelical churches nonetheless remain strangely vanilla. What’s more, the global church is becoming increasingly non-white and non-western. If people like us (WASPs, roughly) ever were the “center” of global Christianity, that’s certainly no longer the case. The face of Christianity isn’t a recognizable mega-church CEO with ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short Review: Verbally, many Christians would advocate greater diversity within Christian churches and denominations and institutions. Often even when there is leadership in place that is committed to increasing diversity, that diversity is slow to take root. There are many reasons for this, but some of these are rooted in how difficult it is to be a minority within a culturally White institution. The lack of understanding of how White culture dominates these institutions means that minority sta ...more
Stephen Hoogerhyde
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a hard book to read, because it challenged my thinking and caused me to examine my prejudices. But it was a necessary book to read, for the same reasons.

In the introduction, Bradley indicates he struggles to understand why "evangelicalism struggles with diversity in church leadership and in the Christian academy". This book is an attempt to bring the issue to the fore. Due to changing demographics, multi-ethnic leadership is necessary (and by leadership token representation is not what
Aarik Danielsen
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A true must-read for any and every white Christian. Bradley draws on the earned and natural wisdom of thinkers such as Amos Yong and Carl Ellis to construct a portrait of the failings of white evangelical institutions — and to illustrate what all Christians miss out on when we fail to fellowship, collaborate and colabor across racial and ethnic lines. A book both full of diagnoses and ways forward, it contributes much to the conversation about reconciliation and solidarity.
Roger Leonhardt
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this book was going to be about Minorities, Race and the Church, I had a great desire to read it. There is a big need in dealing with racism today. Racism comes from the fall of man and should be repented of through Christ.

I am Reformed in belief, a Caucasian, and a member at a Multicultural church. My church is not reformed but is associated with the Southern Baptist. It has been one of the greatest experiences in my life to see people of different races and backgrounds worshiping th
Matt Diaz
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These chapters were definitely hit or miss, but what's a miss for me, might be a hit for someone else. The Appendix might be good, but I wonder if it's necessary to include here instead of just referencing it.
Brandon Wilkins
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is an exploration of the problem of race in evangelicalism (and particularly Reformed Christianity), but it is set within the specific reality of, well, as the subtitle says, "Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions"

The book is a collection of essays, many of which are written by either Reformed Christians (mostly PCA) or Christians in other parts of evangelicalism.

There are several ethnicities represented in the book: Black, Asian American, a
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking. It is easy to read in that it is clearly and succinctly written (and passionately so). I read it in two days! This is important for conservative evangelical, Reformed Christians, whether minority or not. Regardless of your views, this book is critical to help readers who may be clueless of some minority realities (myself included) to be informed and willing to listen.

This book was challenging in that I found myself unsure of what to agree or disagree with. Yet, I found the au
Tyler Brown
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
When I started following Bradley on Twitter, I had to get this book. I thought I’d love it; I wound up only liking it.

This feels more like a collection of testimonies (which is much needed and very helpful), then an attempt to answer why minority leadership is overlooked (the book’s subtitle). As a local church member and para church worker, I hoped that Bradley would address identifying and rooting out racism in local churches: most focus in on Christian schools and seminaries though.

The dive
Benjamin John
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Helpful read, focussed on America which sometimes not applicable (Not a criticism just we don’t have as much of a Latino community as in America). Some of the essays could definitely be developed, especially the first which critiques church planting (targeting a specific group) and then tags on an alternative right at the end, which is much more what I want / should read (i.e more detail on what *does* work). All in all good, but still have a lot of questions (which is good as gets you thinking ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this one. Bradley edits together several biblical scholars and their views on the church and minority leadership. I really enjoyed Ralph C. Watkins chapter and the report from the Lutheran church- missouri synod.
DeAron Washington
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Bradley uses this book to amplify the voices of minorities who offer a needed critique of white evangelical institutions. However, they critique and offer a way forward. For any minorities working or thinking about working in a white evangelical institution they should read this book.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-justice
Really good.

Really appreciated Carl Ellis’s essay on discipling in an urban context, first because I live in the city, and second because it provides principles applicable to other communities I interact with.

But I appreciated all of these essays. They all bring important insights to the table.
Bob Ayres
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a "must read" for anyone serious about racial reconciliation and cross-cultural ministry. Excellent... insightful... challenging.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
A strong collection of essays on the issue of the relationship between U.S. minorities and a caucasian dominated Evangelical movement. I say movement, because the book doesn't just speak to the realities in churches, but also in educational institutions, publishing companies, and other parachurch organizations. The authors include numerous personal anecdotes to illustrate the difficult realities for minorities congregating in organizations that are in many ways, for them, other. The book is an e ...more
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aliens in the Promised Land is a collection of nine essays from nine different minority American evangelical church leaders about the struggles and differences faced in a dominant culture that assumes a great deal of white privilege.

Anthony Bradley, the editor and a black man from the South and active in the Presbyterian Church in America and professor at a New York college, is well placed to lead the reader from the assumptions of mostly white, conservative evangelical culture towards seeing ho
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A good book that won't be widely read, except by minorities. Though I have a few disagreements, the authors points are clear, about the need to learn about theological movements. This however mat become a doctrinal issue, for example, feminist theology, which in my mind is unbiblical. ISo we can and should expose ourselves to differing views, but at some point these issues will no longer be cultural, only doctrinal.
Leigh Kramer
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
More academic in tone, this collection of essays should be read by every pastor. Also, anyone who is interested in racial reconciliation- which should be all of us. Insights abound. I found Carl Ellis's essay to be the strongest of the bunch but each was well worth reading.
Jonathan Latshaw
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dr. Anthony Bradley did a great job in compiling and editing this book. He shined light into a lot of dark areas of American Evangelicalism. He also outlined many problems evangelical churches and institutions will face in the very near future.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very important and well written book. Enjoy the diversity of perspectives inside and outside of the Academy on the issue of racism.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
As in all multi-author works, the chapters are hit and miss. I found mostly misses. The best part of the book is the appendix.
Kody Masteller
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Some great points, lots of weak ones. Worth a read.
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Dr. Anthony Bradley (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a professor of religious studies, chair of the program in Religious and Theological Studies, and director of the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King’s College.

Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious and

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