Healing Conversations on Race: Four Key Practices from Scripture and Psychology

Race complicates our relationships, even when we reject racism and seek to walk a better path together. How can we get our thinking—and our conversations—unstuck from entrenched patterns? In this book, four experts in psychology and social work present a model for how to build and deepen the cross-race relationships we want.

The starting place, they testify, must be a biblical understanding of the problem of racial disunity, grounded in the grand narrative of Scripture, followed by practical insights about psychology and social behavior.

This book is the culmination of professional—but also deeply personal—conversations the authors have had with each other, wrestling together over current events, their own stories, and their roles in the healing process. They combine biblical teachings with psychological science to help Christians develop the skills to discuss race and ethnicity.

In each chapter, you will be guided through essential information, biblical examples, case studies, activities, and journaling exercises to prepare you to practice healing conversations. Using research from psychology, attachment theory, and emotionally focused therapy, this process will build your knowledge, self-awareness, other-awareness, and specific relational skills.

Jesus embodied love, challenged injustice, welcomed those rejected by society, and engaged in healing conversations with everyone he encountered. The insights and practices in Healing Conversations on Race will help Christians grow in Christlikeness and follow his example.

What would you do if one of the people you trusted most deceived you? What if that person was your pastor? Deceived by her pastor and now forced to create a new life for herself, Beth Martin struggles to discover the key to healing. As Beth searches for the truth, she finds herself facing the demons of her youth and questioning God’s love and faithfulness. When a man from her past comes back into her life, Beth is tempted to find solace in the memories of their romance. Beth and her husband, Matt, grow further and further apart as Matt faces his own internal battles. Will their marriage and Beth’s faith survive? Or will Beth only find the answers she seeks in the arms of another man? 

Jake is tired of feeling like a loser. Failure at baseball, feeling like a wannabe at school and facing bullies like a weakling, that’s his life. He’s starting to wonder if things will ever change or if even God can fix his problems. It’s not until he comes across a rare nickel with an intriguing story that life really starts to look different. But will things get better? Or will Jake end up feeling like an even bigger loser than before? 

What would a 12-year-old boy do to help save his family from financial ruin? In Jake King’s case, he’d do just about anything. But uncertainty sets in as his plans go awry, his friendships start to fail and his faith takes a few hits. Finding a rare coin worth a fortune might be the answer. But what if it’s not real? Will Jake lose his best friend and his family’s future at the same time? Only God knows and, hopefully, he’ll let Jake in on it. 

Jake is almost 13 years old and its finally time to change his reputation. He’s no longer going to be known as the History Nerd–at least, not if he can help it. Joining the most popular Crew on campus will change things–but only if they let him in. All he has to do is complete three Dirty Deeds. With his lucky quarter by his side, what could go wrong?