Thinking Together Column 2/23/2016

The Half Has Never Been Told is on the short list of books that have changed my life. It invites readers to see slavery as “America’s Original Sin” (as Jim Wallis’ new book calls it) and to recognize slavery’s effects in the subtle and not-so-subtle forms of racism and white privilege prevalent still today.

In a sense, author Edward Baptist’s intention is similar to what I seek to do each week in preaching—reframe the familiar narrative. For Highland, our work is reframing the narrative of God, sin, grace, and Jesus into a force which transforms how we see and respond to life.

Some prefer a traditional understanding of Jesus and the cross. They’ve sung and honored Jesus and the cross in ways that feel familiar and comforting.

I like comfort too. But I long for truth that sets us free, heals divisions, and creates abundant possibilities for peace.


Sincere thanks in advance to all who are coordinating Highland’s hospitality for this Monday’s public gathering to hear Edward Baptist. We anticipate close to 600 people attending. Tickets are still available for Fellowship Hall where there will be a live video feed.

May God use this event, and all our efforts at Highland, to unite, harmonize, and bless. ~ Joe