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Healing the Divides

How every Christian can advance God’s vision for racial unity and justice

from 3 reviews

A biblical perspective on race and how Christians and churches can advance God’s vision for racial unity and justice.

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The Bible paints a compelling picture of a diverse people united in worship of Jesus. In a society that is divided along lines of race, culture and class, such a vision can feel out of reach. But in the power of the Holy Spirit, it really is possible for our churches to increasingly become the communities of unity and justice that they are called to be. So, what are the practical steps every Christian can take to help make this a reality?

This book combines the voices of Jason Roach, Director of Ministries at London City Mission and founding pastor of The Bridge Church, a multi-ethnic church in London, and Jessamin Birdsall, a researcher and consultant with a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University specialising in religion, race and ethnicity, and inequality. Together, they give a biblical perspective on race, ethnicity and justice. Readers will see that in the gospel, Jesus has done something miraculous: he has made us one in him.

As well as inspiring readers with God's vision for unity and diversity, this book will help them better understand the experiences of others and become aware of any blind spots in their church culture that may be putting up barriers to inclusivity. It will also help them to engage constructively with the wider conversation in our culture around movements like Black Lives Matter.

So be inspired by God’s vision for racial unity and justice, consider things from a different point of view, and play your part in healing the divides—to the glory of God.

Product details


  • 1. Surveying the scene
    2. The call to celebrate ethnicity
    3. Black Lives Matter, CRT and anti-racist activism
    4. What about culture and class?
    5. Barriers within the church
    6. What change looks like for the majority culture
    7. What change looks like for minority-ethnic people
    Appendix, glossary and further reading

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Contributors Jessamin Birdsall, Jason Roach
ISBN 9781784987275
Format Paperback
First published June 2022
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 13mm
Weight 0.19 kg
Language English
Pages 144
Publisher The Good Book Company

Israel Oluwole Olofinjana

Director, One People Commission, Evangelical Alliance

There are not many books written by evangelical Christians in the UK context on racial justice and unity. Healing the Divides therefore fills a gap that is missing in our evangelical mission theology. One of the unique things about this book is the authors. One is a black British male of Caribbean background; the other is a white American woman. The authors’ different perspectives and experiences illuminate and animate the book.

John Root

Blogger, Out of Many, One People

‘Will Christians respond to the current turmoil over race with “wise actions” or as “passers-by”?’ That is the question posed by the authors. Drawing on wide-ranging biblical foundations, shrewd sociological understanding and closely detailed personal experience they point us to thoughtful and constructive ways ahead.

Clare Williams

Founder, Get Real Apologetics

Healing the Divides is a biblically faithful, data-rich and culturally relevant challenge to the UK church regarding racial justice. It calls for repentance and practical steps to reconciliation with the hope of the gospel.

Customer reviews

20 Jul 2022

“An excellent book that helps all of us live as God calls us to”

Thank you for sharing your thoughts @Craig. I’m interested to understand where you get the idea that practicing love across racial difference is a distraction from the gospel. Given that the Bible doesn’t separate preaching the gospel from loving our neighbours and valuing all people with the dignity of those made in the image of God, I’m curious to know why you believe we should do one without the other? Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to “just preach the gospel” but to “make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”. Living as a disciple of Christ includes preaching the gospel, pursuing justice for the poor, oppressed and marginalised and practicing love across racial and cultural difference. I cannot see that any of these are made optional in the Bible. Yes, there is a cost and it is hard but our Heavenly Father equips us for everything He asks us to do and I believe this book is one way He is graciously equipping all of us to take practical steps in this direction.

18 Jul 2022

“Very practical”

In ‘Healing the Divides’, Jason Roach, and Jessamin Birdsall give us a short and practical book as they unpack the issues of race, culture, and class, and how the church should respond to these challenging topics as we strive for unity and justice in our local congregations.
Jason is a Black British pastor, born in London with parents of Bajan heritage, and Jessamin is a White American researcher and consultant at L’ Abri Fellowship, born in Tokyo.

The book has seven chapters. The first five chapters are co-written while chapters six and seven are written individually as the authors discuss what change looks like for the majority culture [Jessamin] and what change looks like for minority-ethnic people [Jason].
I liked that the authors had and understanding and awareness of the differences in the British Racial Landscape compared to that of the United States. Chapter one explains that due to the historical and demographic differences between the US and the UK, all theories and policies are not a one size fits all, and therefore understanding the root of the racial disunity is key to achieving an effective solution.
What I didn’t like was the amount of time and effort expected (especially from the majority – White people) to be spent on these “social justice issues”. In my opinion, not enough attention is given to the Gospel. I understand that our God is a God of justice, and hates partiality (Rom 2:11, Acts 10:34, James 2:1), but what I am constantly seeing in our time and culture are Gospel distractions, and this book for me was another example of that.
Personally, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the book (or books on this topic in general) for the reason I mentioned above. Perhaps others may find this helpful, but for me I felt it to be mentally draining, if I’m being honest.😣
This book was given to me by the @thegoodbookcompanyuk in exchange for an honest review.

25 Jun 2022

“A Helpful Contribution to the Discussion of Race and the Church”

Having read a number of books on this subject, this is a really helpful contribution to the discussion of what it looks like for the church to be both diverse and united,learning from our mistakes on race. The hurt caused in the church is significant from not living up to God's vision for the unity and value we have together. I'm particularly encouraged that this book balances the theological vision (e.g. thinking through the epic purpose of the church) with practical tips for what healing the divides might look like in our local churches. I'd particularly recommend it for church leaders who are considering whether this is something that you need to teach on and how to positiviely shape the culture of your congregation.

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Healing the Divides | Jessamin Birdsall, Jason Roach |
£8.99 £7.64