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Sexual Abuse and Racism Addressed - 2 Recommendations

Pastor’s Bookshelf - Welcome to my bookshelf! Each month I will discuss a recent book that I’ve finished. *disclaimer; I don’t always have time to sit and read physical books, but I do quite a bit of my reading through audiobooks these days.*

During the months of COVID-19 I have had a bit more time to read through some fantastic works, and so I’d like to recommend two books to you this month.

The first is “What Is A Girl Worth?” by Rachael Denhollander.

Rachael was one of the lead survivors who was instrumental in the legal case against Larry Nassar – the Olympic doctor who also served at Michigan State University and was found guilty of abusing over 100 girls over a time period that stretched for almost 20 years. Rachael is an incredibly strong Christian voice whose faith was instrumental in her work in seeking justice from her abuser and a broken system.

If you have a chance to “read” this book in the audiobook format, I highly recommend it. The author herself reads the book, and you can hear the emotion and inflection in her voice. It’s a powerful story about the struggles and obstacles of young women attempting to bring a predator to justice. I had no idea what it takes, and how difficult justice can be for those who suffer from abuse, particularly the abuse of a child. Rachael’s story is both heroic and heartbreaking. I walked away in tears and yet hopeful for a brighter future because of the work of women like her. It reaffirmed my resolve to create a space in our church that is safe for our children and all vulnerable persons.

The second book is called “The Color Of Compromise” by Jemar Tisby. This book is a historical account of racism and its relationship to the Church in America. He tells a lot of stories that I had never heard before – things that are glossed over in public education. Some of them are very hard to read – but it was eye opening, and I am better for having read this work. Given the prominence of race in our social dialogue in the last few months – I felt this was an appropriate recommendation at this time. Jemar gives a fair and balanced account of history, and does a wonderful job of tying the racial struggle of the last three hundred years to the work of the church. He praises what is praiseworthy, and challenges when it is worth challenging.

We have a messy history, and knowing more about it can give us great power to creating a better future.

I highly recommend both of these wonderful works – may they help grow your walk with God as they have grown my own.


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