j blum

Great books I’ve read recently and recommend

Cleopatra: A Life
by Stacy Schiff

The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America
by Edward J Blum

The Case for God
by Karen Armstrong

The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
by Thomas Cahill

They were not only willing to address the whiteness of Jesus but to state flatly that it was false and sinful.
But for all the change revealed, the devotional also exposed the limits of how far most whites would go. The devotional attached the historical construction of the white Jesus to extremists: Klan members and German Nazis. It distanced everyday people from the production, dissemination and consumption of white Jesus figures. It failed to mention that Sunday school teachers, popular preachers, Hollywood directors, and children’s authors had done far more than the Klan or Nazis to populate the world with white Jesus images. McDowell did not mention that his friend Billy Graham or artists he knew or books that he bought or churches that he attended or college Christian fellowships that he had helped to form were instrumental in teaching the world to worship a white Jesus.
Even more, the devotional called for no action beyond prayer and a personal change of heart. It made no reference to righting the wrongs of the racist past or battling the racial discrimination of the present. As the leading sociologist of racial segregation in churches, Michael Emerson, has pointed out, the white evangelical emphasis on individualism and emotionalism has severely limited churches’ capacity to engage with social and racial problems. Through historical misdirection and by spiritualizing social problems, the devotional gave white evangelicals absolution without any requirement to take action.
—  The Color of Christ