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Building on 1 Corinthians 12:23, “The parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor,” David Anderson presents a Scripture-filled model for anti-racism in his 2010 book of the same title. This expanded volume continues the same conversation, and the concept of “gracism" still sounds prophetic for churches today.

The author defines gracism as “the positive extension of favor to others regardless of and sometimes because of their color, or culture.” As a Black Christian, he experienced and witnessed the trauma of systemic racism in the broader society and in the church. The biblical mandate of inclusion means that Christians should go one extra mile to welcome those who occupy different positions in structures of privilege from themselves, especially those from historically marginalized communities.

Gracism is our response to a God of grace. Therefore it is both in our beliefs as well as our practices. “A gracist recognizes the beauty of diversity. A gracist will go to any length and work as diligently as possible to ensure that such beauty is seen and celebrated.” Today, with many uni-cultural churches moving toward multiculturalism, everyone should adopt this gracist mindset. To achieve this goal, Anderson identifies eight phrases from 1 Corinthians 12 to form gracist sayings on honoring, covering, sharing, dignifying, standing with, considering, celebrating, and healing with marginalized members of Christ’s body.

This book devotes eight chapters to these eight themes. For example, when Paul said that those who are “unpresentable” should be covered with special modesty, the author applies it to covering, shielding, and advocating for people “who aren’t the popular race or church or powerful class.” The price Christians pay for fulfilling this task often involves a sense of embarrassment by affiliation. But when believers intentionally reach out to those who are on the fringe, this gracist act dignifies them. Following these thematic chapters is a section of guided questions for discussion, making this book a valuable small group study material for any racial reconciliation ministry. (IVP)

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