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Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  67 reviews
What if racial reconciliation doesn't look like what you expected? The high-profile killings of young black men and women by white police officers, and the protests and violence that ensued, have convinced many white Christians to reexamine their intuitions when it comes to race and justice.

In this provocative book, theologian and blogger Drew G. I. Hart places pol
Paperback, 189 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Herald Press
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Clif Hostetler
The message of this book is aimed at American Christians with a goal to make them (including me) aware of racism and their own culpability with it. From the inherent contradictions of those who claim colorblindness the author concludes, "... that it is not color that they are not seeing; rather, it is racism that is being missed." He continues, "Colorblind ideology is the twenty-first-century continuation of white Christian silence to racism."

The author uses the language of a preache
Madison Boboltz
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I'm extremely grateful for this book. I've been super confused about this issue lately and have been looking for a resource I can use to educate myself. As I study Jesus and scripture, I've been feeling led to defend and support the black lives matter movement, but I am criticized by those around for doing so because it is in opposition to the police. With this being a major topic in recent news, and with so much division, I have felt lost as far as how to approach the issue as a Christian. This ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book helps me see what I’ve been missing

I think this is a must read for white Christians, particularly in the US. Drew Hart does a good job showing how we have gotten this wrong. It is easy to find scapegoats in the KKK, without seeing my role in injustice. We are socialized into a longstanding system that keeps whites in power, and everyone else valued less than fully human. I want to be part of changing this as a follower of Jesus.
Circle of Hope Pastors
Should be required reading for all Jesus-followers. -- Phil Walton
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic and informative read for any white person seeking to understand racial issues and the role of the gospel. I think every white believer should read this book and listen to the struggles and cries of our brothers and sisters of color.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While this book is dense and thought-provoking and covers a LOT of ground, Hart's writing is accessible and full of candor. I appreciate the practical, historical and social angles that are offered on American racialized hierarchy, but moreover that it is focused on calling Christians back to the necessity of following the subversive Jesus of the scriptures. Probably need to read it 3 or 4 more times to chew on this further. Thankful for Hart's commitment to speaking truth to power.
Jeremy Garber
Drew Hart, now an assistant professor in Theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, provides a readable and accessible introduction to the social construction of race, aimed specifically at church-goers (and more specifically at White church-goers). Hart’s strength is his weaving of his own personal narrative with solidly backed academic research and theory. He moves seamlessly back and forth between stories about his growing up in Philadelphia and the invention of “whiteness” as a fundamental ...more
Shirley Durr
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all people of faith
I read the first chapter quickly because it's narrative and easy to follow Hart's story of his experiences. But I took longer to complete the rest of the book because I kept stopping to underline and ponder his points. Then I typed a "notes" page from those underlinings and used them to write an entry in my blog. This after I was less than half done. It was emotional.

I took a break and read some other books but recommend this one to others -- although I had not finished reading it. After severa
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
I really enjoyed hearing Drew Hart in a conversation about racial reconciliation along with Osheta Moore, April Yamasaki, Tim Nafziger, and a white woman I can't recall the name of (who spoke a lot about Native Americans) back a few years ago now. I really liked all his tweets on #AnaBlacktivism and he has taught me a lot about how the church views racism.

Therefore, when he announced that this book was coming out, I was looking so forward to reading it. Now, I finally got to read it
Timothy Koller
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good beginning book on racism in western society. Definitely a good resource for someone interested in learning more about how western society has been shaped. Hart does a good job of bringing a theological perspective to the work done by Michelle Alexander in New Jim Crow. The reason for 4 stars rather than 5 is for the lack of citation. Several studies and outside resources are referenced without citation, making it a resource I cannot share as readily as I would like. However, coupled with ...more
Ryan Mann
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Haunting yet encouraging, terrifying yet enlightening, I highly recommend this book as one every North American Christian should read. Now I have to make a list and pray about what to do next.
Abby Dollarhide
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Drew G. I. Hart does a graceful and honest job of sharing his personal experience as a black American male as well as highlighting the experiences of others as a challenge to Christians of all races to see with Christ's eyes and work towards reconciliation and equality within and out of the church. This is a great introduction to America's race issues in the church / out of the church. Hart draws on many sociologists, studies, and scriptures in his work.
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've read many books in the past few years that I would highly recommend to my sisters and brothers in the white church, and this ranks highly among them.

White fragility will take a lot of hits reading this clear, powerful dissection of historical and contemporary issues that flow from the idolatrous white supremacy of our nation.

Hart calls us to question our gut assumptions, to leave behind the whitened Jesus, and to count Jesus, the oppressed and marginalized Messiah in his rightful place at
If you're looking for a thesis paper that is a book, this is the book for you. I totally understand the importance of this topic, but it is presented in a very challenging way for the average reader. This would be an excellent book for a college course (undergrad, grad, doctorate).

I also felt very little about the church was involved in the book. The points made, stories, and perspective were incredible and very valued, but I never truly felt a blend of the two, racism and the church
Adam Houser
Apr 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I struggled to really "get into" this book, but once I did I found it a very good read. Hart examines racism in our American culture and the way in which the church in America has often been complicit or even in supportive of racism. I think especially helpful is the way that he sets out the way of Jesus as defending those on the margins of society. Jesus never served to advance the progress of the upper crust of society, but rather gave value and a sense of belonging to those that were not give ...more
marcus miller
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent look at racism in the church and the United States. A pastor, theologian and Black man, Hart provides a loving, yet harsh critique of the Christian church in America. Hart mixes his analysis with stories from his life and experience which both add to the story and makes it seem as if he would be willing to sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss the difficult topic of racism in the U.S. and in the church. Every Christian in the United States should read this. I would like to read it ...more
Nancy DeValve
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a serious look at racism, written specifically for white Christians by an African-American evangelical leader. It's a pretty heavy book and there are times when the reader will no doubt feel defensive, yet I feel that it is a book every white Christian should read. I took my time working through it, underlining and taking notes as I went.

Dr. Hart explains how, in spite of American white society's claims of being "color blind", systemic racism continues. Probably the majo
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
As a kid growing up in a very rural northern area, I was not exposed to any black people. In my early 20's, I relocated to CA, where I became very exposed. Didn't really think too much of it and went on about my daily life. When Affirmative Action came along, I began to become more aware as I was now competing for my education and employment opportunities. Slowly and gradually, I began having an opinion which was a huge lifestyle change for me. I felt like I was changing my attitude about respec ...more
Anika Rothingham
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: race
This is one of the best books I've read about racism so far. It eases you in briefly, but then quickly delves into the difficult, critical work of assessing our society and our churches (as an arm of society that hasn't tried very hard to distance itself from dominate white colonizing culture). Even if you are not a church-goer, I recommend this book. You can skip over some parts of it, but most if it applies to everyone and any kind of white institution. (And if you do, I'd be curious to know i ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
America is not a colorblind society. This has been true for as long as America has existed. This was true when Obama was president and is true now that Trump is president. Personal bigotry flourishes among people of every ilk and class. Ironically, however, vastly more important than who we individually hate or love is the fact that our political and cultural systems from The Jamestown settlement through today are pre-set to favor and protect some of us much much more than others. Thus book, tho ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this look at racism from a Christian perspective to be very helpful. The chapter, "Don't Go With Your Gut" was particularly useful. Hart talks about how intuition isn't as useful when you're steeped in normative culture and don't have experiences outside of that. Your limited experience doesn't give you the basis you need to have useful intuition to guide you. The last chapter also had a good list of action steps.

I grew up in Southeastern PA near Harrisburg, so I also enjoyed hearing ab
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could convince every single (white) Christian to read this book. Or every single person who loves Jesus and isn't sure what it even means to be a Christian in America anymore (I think I might fall into this category).

But for real, white Christians, we have some WORK to do. This book delivers a lot of truth and some concrete "what to do" baby steps. I love the reviewers who share that this book genuinely shifted their perspective. Hart is brilliant, thoughtful, graceful. Read it, share
Keith Madsen
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book on racism is bound to disrupt the comfort zone of every white person who reads it. But sometimes a person really needs to have that comfort zone disrupted! I read this book because it was chosen as a discussion book at the church I have started attending in my new town of Wenatchee, Washington. I found it profoundly thought-provoking. It gets to the heart of what racism is all about and applies the gospel of Jesus Christ to that heart. It's a great book for discussion by blacks and whi ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a white person reading this book, I felt sadness and shame mixed with ignorance. The stories of what people of color have experienced in a society that values whiteness is shocking and I am sorry that I have been too blind to see it until now. It is a brutally honest account of how racism has played a role EVEN IN THE CHURCH yet Hart offers hope for transformation and encourages repentance. I am left not knowing what to do with what I know now but knowing that I can't (and don't want to) unle ...more
This was a thought-provoking book that discussed the realities of unacknowledged white supremacy and racism as well as how the church and Christians must face and address today's realities for African Americans.
Bryan Cook
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 10-for-2019
I just couldn't get into it. Maybe I've read too much about systemic racism, but it felt kind of shallow. Like an "Introduction to Black People's Lives" that you'd find at LifeWay. I didn't finish it.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is one of the best books about race I've read so far. Would highly recommend for just about anyone.
Randy Shema
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eye Opening

This is a powerful book from a perspective that needs to be communicated. A must read for anyone interested in racial equity.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gave me a lot to think about. Would like to hear the author speak sometime, esp. as he is local.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very insightful book!
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