Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Oneness Embraced" Book Review

Oneness Embraced by Tony Evans is an outstanding, weighty book that deserves wide circulation. In it, Tony Evans traces what he calls a "kingdom agenda" for both blacks and white. Dr. Evans pulls no punches--he addresses issues such a racism, divided worship, and stereotypes heads on. However, at no point in the book does he seem to be beating a dead horse. Each chapter struck me as fresh and relevant to the conversation.

Perhaps the greatest strength in Evan's book is that it is profoundly biblical. Nearly every chapter oozes with scripture citations and stories. Evans is a masterful expositor of God's Word and, as a result, his book should be considered a significant theological contribution to race-related discussions. 

The most enlightening chapters to me were his chapters on the history of the black church. Not only were they informative but they also challenged many of my own presuppositions. Evans draws attention to black people in the Bible and church history and, subsequently, that chapter was the most exciting to read.

In the final few chapters, Evans outlines a strategy for advancing the kingdom. As a result, Evans moves seamlessly from theology to application. While I would have preferred that he spend a bit longer spelling out in greater detail his strategies, he at least points the way forward and provides some good resources for the pastor/missions strategist.

I suppose the biggest flaw in the entire book is its length. While each chapter is necessary, Evans at times repeats himself and advances his argument little. There were times where anecdotes and illustrations would last pages, simply to advance one point. I found myself thinking at times, "I get it! Let's move forward!" As a result, I think the book could have been significantly shorter. Nevertheless, it is still a good (albeit lengthy) read.

I would recommend Evans book. As someone who has not really delved into this critical issue, I found this book to be an excellent introduction and stimulating read. Hopefully, this book will receive widespread circulation and attention.

*Thanks to Moody Publishing for providing me a free review copy in exchange for a fair review*

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