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

Drew G. I. Hart (Author)


What if racial reconciliation doesn't look like what you expected? The high-profile killings of young black men and women by white police officers, and the protests and violence that ensued, have convinced many white Christians to reexamine their intuitions when it comes to race and justice.

In this provocative book, theologian and blogger Drew G. I. Hart places police brutality, mass incarceration, anti-black stereotypes, poverty, and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. He argues that white Christians have repeatedly gotten it wrong about race because dominant culture and white privilege have so thoroughly shaped their assumptions. He also challenges black Christians about neglecting the most vulnerable in their own communities. Leading readers toward Jesus, Hart offers concrete practices for churches that seek solidarity with the oppressed and are committed to racial justice.

What if all Christians listened to the stories of those on the racialized margins? How might the church be changed by the trouble they've seen?

"This book is a gift from the heart of one of the sharpest young theologians in the United States. Hold it carefully, and allow it to transform you--and our blood-stained streets."--Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution

Free downloadable study guide available here.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Herald Press (VA)
Publish Date
January 19, 2016
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.45 pounds

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About the Author

Drew G. I. Hart is a public theologian and professor of theology at Messiah University. He has ten years of pastoral ministry experience and is the recipient of multiple awards for peacemaking. Hart attained his MDiv with an urban concentration from Missio Seminary and his PhD in theology and ethics from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences, campuses, and churches across the United States and Canada. His first book, Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism, utilizes personal and everyday stories, theological ethics, and anti-racism frameworks to transform the church's understanding and witness. Hart lives with his wife, Renee, and their three sons in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


In this emotionally wrenching yet accessible book, Hart--theologian and minister--provides an overview of the systemic racism that nonwhite people, particularly African-Americans, face in the U.S. today, as well as the responses of Bible-based Christian theology. Hart uses a mixture of personal anecdotes, research, and explications of Jesus's New Testament teachings to show that the church has not provided racial justice. Hart's voice is friendly and warm, despite the heaviness of the subject matter, and once the problem has been thoroughly outlined and dissected, he presents practical suggestions and a call to action for Christians. The book provides a notable amount of information given its relatively short page count. Though much of the material will be familiar to anyone who has read more extensively about racial justice or Jesus's approach to equality, the book has a savvy and balanced blend of the topics that should serve as a useful introduction for Christians of all races who haven't yet understood the full scope of the problem and been inspired to enact change.

--Publisher's Weekly "Reviews "

"Drew Hart masterfully cuts through all the platitudes and good intentions to reach the fleshy, beating heart of true justice. An unforgettable read, Trouble I've Seen deserves the church's full attention and considered action. It certainly challenged and changed me."

--Rachel Held Evans "Reviews "

"In this raw, honest, truth-telling book, Drew Hart offers himself--his life, his story, his tears, his fire--in the most vulnerable way in the hopes of interrupting the vulgar disposability of black lives in our society. This book is a gift from the heart of one of the sharpest young theologians in this country. Hold it carefully, and allow it to transform you--and our blood-stained streets. Drew Hart's Trouble I've Seen is a memoir in the tradition of the is theological blues...and it will move you to do something about the ugly residue of racism that still haunts us./i>

--Shane Claiborne "Reviews "

"Reader, brace yourself! Trouble I've Seen, one of the best books I've encountered on race and Christian faith, will illuminate and challenge the assumptions that you don't even know you possess. I urge you to pay close attention to Drew Hart's eye-opening analysis."

--Christena Cleveland "Reviews "

"Drew Hart makes a courageous and compelling call to the church to get on the road to racial reconciliation and righteousness. He provides practical insights and deep theological reflections in this challenging and necessary resource. You won't be comfortable with this read, but you will be led into the deep waters of the social dilemma and reality of the race matrix. In the end, there is an opportunity for the church to be a bridge over these troubled waters."

--Efrem Smith "Reviews "

"Drew Hart is an emerging voice in the one of the most difficult conversations facing the church today--the reality and ongoing effects of white supremacy in American Christianity. He challenges the church to take a long, hard look at its complicity with the racism that still permeates our society and to be transformed in thought, word, and deed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. A provocative, powerful, and necessary book."

--John R. Franke "Reviews "

Trouble I've Seen makes it plain: in repenting of white supremacy, we have nothing to lose and everything to be liberated from. Hart refuses to silence two gospel scandals that cannot be separated: that in Christ, Pharaoh's armies are invited into the Promised Land, but the only way in is through the waters, where 'Pharaoh's supremacy' and his chariots are 'drown-ded.' This is the saving solidarity of Christ's cross."

--Jarrod McKenna "Reviews "

"In a critical moment of American history, Drew Hart has given us a book that is vital for the church. Trouble I've Seen captures the complexity of race in its systemic and personal consequences and points us to why race should be central to any Christian's life as a follower of Jesus. It is a book for people who are just beginning this journey and for those of us who need encouragement along the way."

--Brian Bantum "Reviews "
"Drew Hart has contributed to the growing literature on the Church and race relations. Part memoir, part social theory, and part theology, this is a wellrounded, accessible work that refuses to shy away from arguably the most important issue facing Evangelical churches today--their complicity with systemic racism."--Eric M Washington "Reviews "
Trouble I've Seen challenges us to lament our past, to recognize the depth of racism in ourselves and our churches, and to change our ways, beginning to move toward the rich fellowship that God intends for all people.--RELEVANT "Reviews "