Sept. 26—As the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference begins today in the Twin Cities, Northwestern professor of systematic theology Kenneth Young, Ph.D., is preparing to introduce conference-goers to his book, The Trouble with Racial Reconciliation: Why John Perkins' Theological Approach Works. With "RECONCILE" as its theme, the conference is an ideal launching point for the book, which reflects the ideas of CCDA chair emeritus Dr. John Perkins.
Young believes CCDA is one of the “most effective instances of applied theology we have operating in the United States,” and encourages people to attend the conference.
As a new member of CCDA, Northwestern is joining churches, nonprofits, businesses and colleges this week in a united mission “to bear witness to the Kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.”
With a vision for true reconciliation, Young develops three related concepts in his book: He exposes the roots of racism in biblical history, reveals a false “compensatory identity” that began after the fall, and encourages people to reject that false identity and embrace the full power of the gospel to reconcile with each other and with God through Christ.
“I think we are low-balling the real power of the gospel, the atonement,” said Young.
David Fenrick, Ph.D., director of Northwestern’s Center for Global Reconciliation and Cultural Education (C-GRACE) is on the host planning team for the conference, and expressed his hope for true reconciliation:
“Wherever there are broken relationships, between human beings, but also between us and the environment, or broken relationships historically, that’s where the good news of reconciliation speaks and brings life and hope,” he said, “The gospel reconciles us to God but it also reconciles us together in the new community.“
Students from the Urban Cross-Cultural College Consortium (U4C) will be attending the conference as well, according to Fenrick. U4C is a partnership between University of Northwestern, Concordia University and Crown College that allows students to live and study in an urban setting.
Young will present his book with Perkins on Friday, September 28 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton hotel in Minneapolis. The general public is also invited to attend free plenary sessions with speakers like Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo and John Perkins.