J. Wilson-Hartgrove -Reconstructing the Gospel [In Conversation]

March 30, 2018


A good book is a conversation, engaging other books and ideas in conversation, and setting the stage for future conversations…

This is the first in a series of posts that explore the conversation into which a particular recent book emerges. 

(Use the comments below to let us know what you think. Is this approach to a book helpful to you?
ALSO, feel free to suggest other books that are vital to this conversation…)


Reconstructing the Gospel:
Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Hardback: IVP Books, 2018.
Buy Now:  [Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Watch for our review of this book in our May 2018 magazine issue!



Wading into the Conversation

(Helpful pre-reading)

What is Slaveholder Religion?


Author’s Background:

Free to Be Bound: Church Beyond the Color Line

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (2008)

Wilson-Hartgrove’s memoir of how his understand of race and Christianity was changed.


Introductions to the Racial History of Christianity in America:

Trouble I’ve Seen:
Changing the Way the Church Views Racism

Drew Hart (2016)


America’s Original Sin:
Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America

Jim Wallis (2016)


Broadening the Conversation

(Books that explore similar themes)

Books by William Barber:

Churches Living into God’s Work of 
Healing / Reconciling:

Reconciling All Things:
A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing (Resources for Reconciliation)

Chris Rice /
Emmanuel Katongole (2008)

Roadmap to Reconciliation:
Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice

Brenda Salter McNeil (2016)

Extending the Conversation

(If you’ve found this book helpful,
here are some that will take you deeper into its themes)

The Christian Imagination:
Theology and the Origins of Race

Willie Jennings (2010)

A deeper look at the history of modern Christianity and its role in the emergence of racism

Race: A Theological Account
J. Kameron Carter (2008)

Carter traces the pre-history of race back to the earliest days of the church.



The relevance of monastic practices (especially stability) to a new, reconciled way of being church.

Wilson-Hartgrove makes this suggestion in the final pages of Reconstructing the Gospel.

The Wisdom of Stability:
Rooting Faith
in a Mobile Culture

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (2010)
Staying Put:
Making a Home
in a Restless World

Scott Russell Sanders (1994)