I’m sure you’ve had the experience within the course of a normal conversation, when you stumble across something profound and unexpected. This happened to me as I was in the process of writing my first book United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. I was already underway in the writing process, so I clearly believed in the importance of diversity and had been moved by what I saw on the subject in God’s word. My wonderful friends at Moody Publishing had captured the vision as well and had blessed me with their partnership on the project, but here I was having a conversation halfway through the writing process that was refocusing for me the need for a biblically based theology of diversity.
I wasn’t experiencing vitriolic racism and injustice, it was…indifference. It was, in short, a life that had missed seeing the beauty of God’s creative, diverse children. A life that thought issues of integration and equality were a thing of the past and that diversity was best handled by adopting a well-intentioned “colorblind” mindset – ignore the differences, don’t see the beautiful shades and hues. And, tragically as a result, miss the amazing unique designs that God has built into the human race. Refocused, I wrote United for my friend, because I want him to see in color and be captured by how God has made us different but united together inside of His family.
United was written to cast a vision for diversity in the church, but also in all of life. I spend the first section sharing about my own journey and testimony. The second section highlights the benefits of diverse friendships through taking a closer look at my friendship with two young women and how the Lord used it in our lives. I also write about the theology of race and our adoption into one family, the church. Finally, I realize that the pursuit of diversity can be difficult, so I write about the hindrances and yet the hope we have in the gospel to unit all tribes and tongues and nations.
United does not dwell on negative or discouraging aspects of our culture; instead I share what it would look like practically if we pursued diversity. I do this mainly by focusing on a diverse friendship I experienced with two other women after opening with a few chapters explaining my personal perspective, struggles, and fears about diversity. My goal is not to leave readers defeated and condemned but, rather, encouraged by the vision of the family of God made up of all nations. What an amazing family this is!
My prayer is that this project would be used to encourage pastors and their churches but the book is about the beauty of diversity in relationships and therefore it is for everyone. Ultimately, I pray this little book would magnify and glorify the Lord.
You can learn more about me and United by visiting my website at www.trillianewbell.com. You may also visit Shop Moody, Amazon, or your favorite retailer to purchase United. I can’t express enough my thankfulness to Moody Publishers for allowing me to share with you about this project. I hope that it blesses and encourages you.
Trillia J Newbell