Friday, March 11, 2022

How We Love Matters by Albert Tate

About the Book:

This powerful book reimagines discipleship by begging us to acknowledge that racism exists in the Church—and offers the hopeful message that we can disciple it out.

It is not an accident that racism is alive and well in the American church. Racism has, in fact, been taught within the church for so long most of us don’t even recognize it anymore. Pastor Albert Tate guides all of us in acknowledging the racism that keeps us from loving each other the way God intends and encourages siblings in Christ to sit together in racial discomfort, examining the role we may play in someone’s else’s struggle. 

How We Love Matters is a series of nine moving letters that educate, enlighten, and reimagine discipleship in a way that flips the church on its head. In these letters that include Dear WhitenessDear America, and Dear Church, Tate calls out racism in the world, the church, within himself and us. These letters present an anti-racist mission and vision for believers to follow that helps us to speak up at the family table and call out this evil so it will not persist in future generations. 

Tate believes that the only way to make change is by telling the truth about where we are—relationally, internally, and spiritually. How We Love Matters is an exposition of relevant Biblical truth, a clarion call for all believers to examine how they see and understand each other, and it is a way forward toward justice, reconciliation, and healing. Because, yes, it is important that we love each other, but it is even more important how we love each other.

My Review:

This is a very personal account. Tate begins by explaining his motivation in writing the book. He was with his family at a scenic overlook in the California foothills, enjoying the view, when a police car drove in the lot and parked some distance away. The policemen were just chatting, taking a break. Soon Tate's nine year old son went to their own car and sat in the back. When questioned, the boy said he was afraid of the police. “I could die.” Tate realized there was a new generation already marked by racism. He wrote this book to have a candid discussion on the issue.

Tate combines personal experiences, stories of racial injustice, and biblical injunctions to help readers understand the reality of racism and what we can do. The book is very enlightening as to how Blacks feel in danger in so many situations that would not concern us whites. He also drew my attention to the difference between equality and equity.

Part memoir, part enlightening account of racism experienced in the past and today, this is a good book for Christians to understand the situation. It is also a challenge. Tate writes, “Our connection with God fuels our connection with one another because it is through our love of Jesus that we're able to love our neighbor...” (249/3180) That's a challenge to really evaluate our relationship with God. And the challenge that stopped me short. “You don't get to love me in whatever way is most comfortable to you.” (880/3180).

You can watch the book trailer here and another short video here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author:

Albert Tate
 is a pastor, public speaker, podcast host and Mississippi native who accepted a call to ministry at 21 years old. Albert graduated with his Bachelor’s degree from Wesley Bible College and is also working towards a Master’s degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Raised in the church, Albert began to preach at revivals and lead retreats for people eager to grow closer to Jesus. Albert followed God’s lead to Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, California. Albert moved from Youth to Senior Youth Pastor to the Sunday night service Pastor and finally, to Intergenerational Pastor where he essentially functioned as a Teaching Pastor.

In 2011, Albert left Lake Avenue to found Fellowship Monrovia in Monrovia, California which has a loyal congregation and has 20,000 viewers watching its online services. He often speaks at camps, colleges and revivals. Albert’s speaking engagements have taken him all around the United States as well as abroad to places like South Africa, Thailand, China and Ecuador. He now serves on the board of Azusa Pacific University and the advisory council of the Fuller Youth Institute. He is also deeply involved in international church planting and is a Co-Catalyst of LA Church Planting.

Albert hosts the Albert Tate Podcast and Good News Today, a live weekday morning devotional show with thousands of daily viewers. The Albert Tate Podcast features prominent Christian leaders and voices (such as Leonce Crump, Terrell Owens, David Kinnaman, Phil Vischer, and others). Good News Today was started as an encouraging morning devotional at the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic and has evolved into a space for interactive community and a necessary reminder that God is in control in all seasons and situations, even when He seems disobedient. Albert is also the teaching pastor at Willow Creek Church. In a visit to Fellowship Monrovia, Ray Johnston of Bayside Church said that Albert could very well be the most influential Christian in America in the next twenty years. Albert works tirelessly not to prove Mr. Johnston right, but to ensure that through all things, God is glorified.

FaithWords, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. 

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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