Deborah Jian Lee – Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism

rescuingjesusStereotyped as single subculture in American Christianity, Evangelicals show many faces. They are often characterized by their belief in four main tenets of the faith: the authority of the Bible, salvation through Jesus Christ, the importance of a personal relationship with God, and the imperative to share the Gospel. Upon this foundation different spiritual buildings were made. Looking at denominations and their policies, church order or official standpoints don’t tell the whole story. Many identify as nondenominational or postdenominational. One of Evangelicalism’s pitfalls is to claim exclusive rights to the truth and the true version of a Christian life. For a journalist and drifting evangelical, Deborah Jian Lee there were more than enough personal and professional reasons to delve into the changes challenging strongholds in the evangelical culture and politics. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism is the result. The book takes touches the still sensitive topics of being Democrate or Republican, racism and gender discrimination.

Social conditions influence the church, and vice versa. The same goes for the role of women in churches, ministries and schools. Is there really freedom in Christ and acknowledge that both men and women are made in God’s image? Will you follow David Platt’s position that God barrs women from leadership? Do you identify with Saddleback Sam? Discover the roots of Religious Right, learn how Christian Universities and churches deal with  birth control, homosexuality, keeping their IRS tax-exempt status, poverty and social injustice.

Lee interviewed a bunch of young people, white, black, Asian, and Hispanic, as well as straight and LGBTQ, believers and their struggles to accept themselves, feel truly loved and accepted by fellow believers and seek truth in God’s Word, whether it’s on homosexuality, celibacy, interracial community building or politics. The typical evangelical church seems to have more members of the NRA than people advocating for immigration reform. How biblical is that? Is the homogeneous unity, likeminded flock together in their kind of church, sustainable? Or will the changes the new generation of evangelical believers foresee gain enough substance to awaken the Church at large and reform it from within, without getting trapped in the same pitfalls this book so clearly identifies of the established American Evangelical churches?

About the author

Deborah Jian Lee is an award-winning journalist and radio producer. She has taught journalism at Columbia University, is the 2016 Distinguished Visiting Journalist at Cornell College, and has worked as a staff reporter for the Associated Press. She has written for Foreign Policy, Forbes, Slate, GOOD, Reuters, Religion News Service, WBEZ, and others. She lives in Chicago.