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ISBN 9781496413291

The author is a professional athlete playing in the NFL in the USA.  As a result of the shooting of Michael Brown, a young unarmed black man in August 2014, Watson posted some comments and analysis on Facebook.  He himself is black and writes predominantly from that perspective.  Possibly his initial Facebook posts and televised interviews more reflect his Christian position,  This book does not do him justice because in it he paints with rather large brush strokes and carries a message that, although it is Christian in content is biased in ways that perhaps he does not intend.  The idea that every black person is terrified when pulled over by a white policeman is one of those broad brushstrokes.  Almost certainly many white persons feel pretty scared when the sirens of the law sound to bring them to a halt.  It seems that the early posts were summed up under the words that he was angry, introspective, embarrassed, frustrated, fearful and confused, sad and sympathetic, offended, hopeless, hopeful, encouraged and empowered.  All these words indicate the chapter titles of this book and in them he develops ideas under those headings.  The title clearly shows the central truth that we are all the same ‘under our skin,’  we are all made in God’s image and that the only answer to the racial divisions is Jesus Christ and the redemption that is in Him.  For sure Benjamin Watson is right about these things.  At points he does try to also point to some things that can be done practically by both black and white Christians and church goers but these suggestions are rather sparse and unless there are deep heart changes they will never occur in the South of the USA.  The parts of the book that seemed to be the greatest benefit were those that take the reader back into the years following slavery and in particular about the life of the author’s grandfather and father.  The picture painted in these more historical aspects, the injustice, the horror and suffering and racial bigotry serve well in the case being made.  The power of the gospel dealing with the issues of racial divide between black and white is seldom written about and maybe even thought about by many in places like Europe but the biases live on, along with some lies that condition hearts to perpetuate the evil of racial prejudice and all its dreadful fruits.  Mr Watson writes in the charged atmosphere of the continuing tension in the USA but those living elsewhere can be helped by a thoughtful reading of these pages.  

Last modified: December 8, 2016

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