I recently finished reading More Than a White Man’s Religion: Why the Gospel Has Never Been Merely White, Male-Centered, or Just Another Religion by Abdu Murray. This is one of the most well-written, well-documented, and interesting books I’ve read concerning Christianity.
Mr. Murray confronts common objections that the Bible is racist and sexist. His explanation of early cultures during the time of the Israelites is fascinating, illustrating that the Jewish laws were much more respectful of slaves and women than those of the cultures around them.
He openly lists the scriptures from Paul that are used in many situations to disrespect women and their rights, those called the “Terror Texts.” He then explains the reasons for those scriptures that have often misrepresented what Jesus taught in other parts of the Bible. He shows that Christ-followers are to uphold justice and equality for all races, genders, and ethnicities.
One of his analogies is of a flowerbed that has many lovely colors and heights. The flowers may bloom at different times, but they all harmonize to make a beautiful whole. Thus should be all the differences of people who are following Christ. All colors, genders, and ethnicities blend together for a harmonious whole. He condemns those who “value religious form over spiritual substance,” inspiring the reader to think rather than just accept what has always been.
This is not a quick read. His footnotes are thorough and his points are in depth. His Introduction with personal confession is humbling and his Acknowledgements reveal his nature as well. If you’re willing to get past vocabulary such as “noetic,” “inculcated,” and “ontological,” you will find this book a challenging, inspiring, and enlightening read.