This book. Oh. This book is so needed right now.
Is Brenda Salter McNeil a prophet? Did she know this was going to happen? I feel like many of us knew the night after the 2016 election. It is why we cried and were so distraught. We knew that the US was headed for this point.
Using her own personal experience to show how she got to where she is now, McNeil doesn’t sugarcoat anymore. Illustrating when she realized she needed to add more action to her words, she shows the reader how to be the change we want to see, and how to do that. She is not all talk.
Using the book of Esther, she breaks down and expands on the themes of womens rights, identity, culture, racism, and so SO many other very poignant topics right now.
Learning Spanish so she could help to minister to and understand another culture, she is the living embodiment of practicing what you preach.
She brings up topics that may make white people uncomfortable to reflect on and that is the point. Jesus did not put us here to stay quiet while our fellow humans are being mistreated. He put us here to be the voice.
The amount of History covered in such a short work is a testament to her writing prowess. This is easily consumable in one day, yet has so much to draw from and ponder as history truly does repeat itself.
A passage that stood out to me in particular was one in which McNeil discusses Germany. She tells how Germany has acknowledged the wrongs of their past and expressed horror at the lives lost due to their own citizens and leaders of that time. She goes into much more detail, but essentially she makes the correlation of how Germany has handled their transgressions versus the lack of that handling in the United States. How we as citizens haven’t acknowledged the treatment of Native Americans (This part hit hard for me as I am of Potawatomi heritage) and slaves. How we collectively haven’t owned up to our mistakes and are going to keep repeating them unless we learn from our past to change.
This book spoke to me in many ways on many different levels. As a Christian. As a woman. As a human.
I highlighted many important passages that I will be referring back to again. This book was short, but POWERFUL.
I don’t want to highlight everything this book covers as I believe you should read it yourself. I recommend this one if you think you can handle it, BUT EVEN MORE IF YOU THINK YOU CAN’T because that means you really NEED it.
Engaging. Inspiring. Empowering. ♡
“[A] powerful work. . . . Provides a road map for any Christian seeking greater racial justice.”– Publishers Weekly
Reconciliation is not true reconciliation without justice! Brenda Salter McNeil has come to this conviction as she has led the church in pursuing reconciliation efforts over the past three decades. McNeil calls the church to repair the old reconciliation paradigm by moving beyond individual racism to address systemic injustice, both historical and present. It’s time for the church to go beyond individual reconciliation and “heart change” and to boldly mature in its response to racial division.
Looking through the lens of the biblical narrative of Esther, McNeil challenges Christian reconcilers to recognize the particular pain in our world so they can work together to repair what is broken while maintaining a deep hope in God’s ongoing work for justice. This book provides education and prophetic inspiration for every person who wants to take reconciliation seriously.
Becoming Brave offers a distinctly Christian framework for addressing systemic injustice. It challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality.
Page Count: 192
Genre: Christian Non-Fiction
Publisher: Brazos Press
Expected Publication Date: August 18th, 2020