Healing Racial Divides: Finding Strength in Our Diversity
While our faith calls us to Christian unity, the hard fact remains: we’re still tragically divided when it comes to race, even – and especially, many say -- in our churches. Racism pervades our faith, our relationships, and our institutions in deep, often imperceptible ways. In Healing Racial Divides, Terrell Carter takes us on a revelatory journey of the history of racism to show us how we’ve arrived at this divisive place. Understanding racism’s roots – and our place in it – we surface more committed and empowered to combat racism in the church, our communities, and the nation.
Drawing from the Bible, scholarly research, and personal experience as a both a former police officer and a black pastor serving white congregations, Carter unpacks the deep roots of racism in America, how it continues to be perpetuated today, and explores practical strategies for racial reconciliation. Looking forward, he shapes a bold and faithful vision for healing racial division through multicultural communities focused on relationship, listening, and learning from each other.
With a pastor’s heart and an academic’s head, Carter invites us to look at where we’ve been—and where God calls us as spiritually mature Christians, seeking healing and true unity on earth.
Download the Healing Racial Divides Companion Guide
Healing Racial Divides will help you:
- Understand the roots of racism in the world, the church, and ourselves
- Gain a biblical perspective on the sin of racism, as well as the biblical call to Christian unity
- Examine how racism continues to be perpetuated in America today
- Explore the concept of “white normality” and its after-effects
- Discover a way across the divide through the creation of multi-cultural relationships, churches and communities
“Carter considers racism in America and American churches in this balanced, informative book. He begins by walking readers through the civil rights movement, the roots of racial division, the 'normality of Whiteness'” and the subjugation of minorities before turning to strategies for healing racial divides in America. Though Carter admits that racial animus appears nearly intractable and is based on white-centric ideas that have dominated the laws and institutions of America for centuries, he calls on readers to be receptive to the perspectives of others and cites. Carter’s wise work will compel white Christian readers to engage in race relations in a more up-front, graceful, and honest manner."―Publishers Weekly
“In Healing Racial Divides, Dr. Carter touches on the pulse of racialized issues challenging society and our sense of community. Carter uses thorough definitions and insightful examples of lived experiences to raise undeniable incongruities in perceptions that create border walls among humanity. Whether leader or laity, readers are convicted to ponder–How did we move so far from God’s loving-kindness? Achieving solely that reflective outcome is worthwhile, yet Carter astutely moves us to hold up the mirror and ask – What about me?”
"Dr. Terrell Carter provides a must read for religious leaders who take seriously the call to bring awareness to the active, unequal racial systems of today. Combining both historical and biblical lenses, Carter encourages churches to lead the charge in which all are viewed as an equal child of God. This is a timely written book that should not only stand on a pastor's desk, but more importantly seep into a pastor’s heart."―David McDaniel, Senior Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, MO
“Dr. Terrell Carter is an artist, pastor, educator, and former police officer. He combines these experiences with the insights of theology, the social sciences, law, and cultural analysis to address the key issue in America--the racial divide that inhibits our interactions and poisons public discourse. Carter’s very personal engagement with the topic encourages us to find strength rather than division in our diversity. His approach is fresh, informative, and a source of healing.” ―Ircel Harrison, Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Pinnacle Associates
“Healing Racial Divides is a needed book. For some privileged communities, the racial divide is the third rail. Seek a closer look, get too close, and the community of polarized privilege will create more heat than light. Terrell Carter walks the racial divide with some ease as he seeks the light of understanding. This is a strong voice where the lines are drawn. Carter’s closing chapter, ‘Finding Common Ground,’ shines brightly in the dark with its sense of wisdom and hope.”―Dr. Keith Herron, St. Lucas United Church of Christ (St. Louis, MO), author of Living a Narrative Life: Essays on the Power of Stories
“Dr. Carter calls the Church to live into its identity as a vessel of reconciliation in this divided world. I suspect many readers will mirror my experience, quoting this book most everywhere they can.” ―Rev. Mark E. Tidsworth, President, Pinnacle Leadership Associates
"As a pastor what I appreciate most is that Dr. Carter masterfully weaves his own painful personal experiences, scholarly research, biblical teaching, and the history of racial division into a book that is accessible and relevant to folks at any level of understanding in the conversation of racial inequality. His book is a great tool for any pastor or congregant seeking to begin or continue more deeply the important work of racial justice and healing." ―Johnny Lewis, Shawnee Community Christian Church
“Equipped with a pastor’s heart, a scholar’s mind, and a boundless sense of justice, Terrell Carter has provided a work that seeks first and foremost to change the very life of a community of faith. This text dares to address oft-ignored disparities and is approachable enough to offer practical ways that congregations can seek to fully embody their calling.” ―Rev. Tyler Tankersley, First Baptist Church (Cape Girardeau, MO)
"Dr. Carter uses a good blend of honest self-disclosure, personal and theological reflection, and historical recounting in this helpful book about racism and the road to recovery. He pulls us into our own culpability and points us unerringly in the direction of how to begin the journey to make things right. After reading Carter’s words, I feel compelled to help both of us—along with all of our brothers and sisters—become the best versions of ourselves." ―Robin R. Sandbothe, co-pastor, Englewood Baptist Church, and Director of Seminary Relations, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO