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Dear White Christian
What Every White Christian Needs To Know
About How Black Christians See, Think, & Experience Racism in America
by Aaron Layton
“I wrote the book to reveal the emotional racial distance that can, and often does exist between white and black Christian friends and colleagues. I had unconsciously experienced this emotional distance for many years, but it became apparent after the death of Michael Brown and the Ferguson riots. In my world, that was dominated by white Christian colleagues and friends, I wrestled with their silence. My book is personal, and is written to allow white Christians, and all who read it, to look through the eyes of a black Christian man to see why the emotional distance between white and black Christians exists and what to do about it.”
From the book:
Have you ever wondered why race is such a big deal?
In talking about our unity in Christ 1 Corinthians 12:26 says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.”
Emotional distance occurs when we fail to “suffer together.”
What is the difference in how white people and black people look at issues of race?
Jesus and the Gospel are the only real sustainable hope for racial reconciliation and any true reconciliation among humans.
If we are honest, we must admit that we see the issues involving race differently often because our experiences have been so different. If we have any hope of reconciliation, we must begin to ask questions of each other in the pursuit of understanding.
As current events around race intensified, Aaron Layton desperately wanted to know what was going on in the minds of his white friends. So, he did what comes naturally to him …he asked. A trusted white friend responded: “Here is the deal: we don’t understand it: we don’t know what to say, and we don’t know what to do.”
That response propelled Aaron to action. Aaron sought to deepen the understanding of his white friends, with the hope that greater understanding would result in a greater experience of the unity believers possess in Christ. The lessons he learned are the foundation of this book—a letter to the white Christians he dearly loves.
Dear White Christian is intended to be a winsome examination of difficult issues, a humble attempt at “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). This book is designed for any white Christian who seeks practical tools for beginning or continuing conversations with black brothers and sisters in Christ. As you read this book, lean into that which makes you uncomfortable. Allow this “letter” to educate and challenge you for the glory of God.
I am thankful for this honest and open-hearted book from Aaron Layton, who has given his life to demonstrating that Christ’s heart is large enough and strong enough to endure the hard conversations believers need to have to unite their hearts to him.
— Rev. Bryan Chapell, Pastor Grace Presbyterian Church, President Emeritus Covenant Theological Seminary
You’ll see that this book doesn’t just contain merely theoretical recommendations divorced from real life, but actual examples of how the principles and practices are being lived out.
—Rev. Dr. Thurman L. Williams, Associate Pastor, Grace and Peace Fellowship Church