Michael Reddell, firing up again one of his blogs - in another blog he is one of NZ's preeminent economic commentators - reviews two books he has recently read, with the title "All one in Christ Jesus."
Book one is "... Mississippi Praying, with the subtitle “Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975, by Carolyn Dupont a US academic. "
Book two is "Hirini Kaa’s book, Te Mahi Mihinare: The Maori Anglican Church. Kaa is both an academic and an ordained Anglican priest, and his book was a really interesting read. The evangelisation of the Maori population in the 19th century, initially by CMS missionaries and increasingly by Maori Christians themselves is an inspiring story, full of individual tales of heroism, humility, and faith. (Sadly, the decline of Christianity – including Anglicanism – in New Zealand whether among Maori or non-Maori populations is the dominant story now). And the interest in Kaa’s historical material continues well through the 20th century (he stops at about 1990 just before he himself became a member of the General Synod), including the development of Maori bishoprics."
Along the way of the review there are interesting observations which raise important questions about what is admirable and what is not so admirable in church life expressed on racial and/or cultural lines (think, for instance, Peter McGavren's "homogenous unit" principle in church growth theory re what might be admirable and note Carolyn Dupont's concerns re resistance to integration between white and black worshippers re what seems less than admirable).
But what Reddell says about Hirini Kaa's book is particularly interesting to me because I myself am in the midst of reading the book.
Thus likely I will come back to this post to add some thoughts of my own ... but if you have read Kaa's book (or Dupont's), you may wish to comment now!