After Mark Hamilton and Jeff Childers approached me about co-editing a book that would honor Doug Foster’s life and work, we quickly landed on the book’s angle of exploration. We asked authors to explore the intersection of American Christian history, race relations, and unity or division in the church. These topics are at the center of Doug’s life and work in the academy and church. So we proposed chapter topics that focused on specific eras of American history, all with one central question: how did race relations in that era affect unity or division among Christians?
R&R makes a compelling case that the theological distinctives of Churches of Christ put them in an unusual position vis-à-vis contemporary Christian groups, sometimes allowing them to push the boundaries of segregated society in productive ways, while at other times inhibiting more substantial efforts towards racial justice and, later, reconciliation.