What does it mean to have privilege? Is it real or imagined? Why is it something the church should care about?
Ken Wytsma, in his new book The Myth of Equality, explores these questions, going beyond the concept of privilege to show why it's important that Christians grasp it, and quickly. Wytsma sees this as one of the most important needs the church has today, unpacking what readers need to know to be grounded in conversations about today's race-related issues.
"There is a lot of confusion around issues of race and privilege," says Wytsma, who brings his own history with justice work to this particular project. "Far too often, people in the dominant culture or evangelicals either don't understand the complexity of race, their complicity in the systems and structures that have oppressed others, or their biblical responsibility with regard to their neighbors."
Across the country the story of race and privilege in America is only picking up speed. Wytsma's guide is not only a missional necessity, but is one that will have growing relevance as more and more people are anxious and desirous to go deeper and understand more specifically why America is the way she is and, more importantly, what we can do to more intentionally promote unity and equality, starting with the church.
"It is impossible to deny that Christ is moving his church today toward racial reconciliation," says Paul J. Pastor, author of The Face of the Deep. "It is likewise impossible to deny that many white Christians like me are not as comfortable with that movement as we say we are. In The Myth of Equality, Ken engages a visceral topic with clarity, compassion, and inspiring conviction. He prompts us to engage the deep and bitter roots of racial bias and privilege in American faith."
Some of the points The Myth of Equality addresses include
Race isn't just a good cause, but a necessary one.
Race isn't just a deeply troubling issue from our past, but a very complicated issue in the present.
Racism is much more complex and subtle than we think and it involves all of us.
There are ways we can start moving forward on reconciliation immediately by listening, lamenting, and learning.
The voice of others will help us see more broadly and understand how to walk more constructively. Wytsma adds, "I'm hoping that this book can serve as an introduction for people who feel that something is wrong, are looking for a way to understand some of the roots, or are looking for language to make sense of their experience."