November 14 – November 16, 2018
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by George Williamson
Born in Sin, Upended in Grace is a recent memoir from BPFNA Founding President George Williamson.
Paperback, 204 pages.
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“George has been for me and countless others a cheerleader, ally, educator, spiritual soul-mate and above all, friend. His memoir — replete with a litany that rivals Augustine’s Confessions of youthful missteps and with reflections on the breakthrough of God that recalls the title of T. E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom — will nourish activists working to bring the Beloved Community to reality.” –Paul R. Dekar, Professor emeritus of Church History, Memphis Theological Seminary
“A progressive Christian is not simply hatched, but incubated and coaxed out through grace, decision and intention. George Williamson shares his story with us in this memoir with wit and wisdom that left me hungry for more, yet grateful for his willingness to pursue the paths placed before him. We are better for it. I certainly know I am. I found myself eagerly turning the pages and conversing with George through the lines like an old friend.” –Cheryl Dudley, Regional Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York
"George Williamson here gives us a kind of Pilgrims’s Progress for the 20th and 21st centuries. Unlike that more famous Pilgrim, this one is thoroughly American. He has not only witnessed the major events of our country in his time, he has been, as he puts it, upended by them. His is a story about America’s major cultural and political crises in the last 50 years as they have transformed a Southern Baptist white segregationist into the most humane preacher and activist since William Sloane Coffin. This book is about how divine grace can knock you down, pick you up, and turn you around. Read and enjoy." –Tom F. Driver, The Paul J. Tillich Professor of Theology and Culture, Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary
"Born in Sin documents a cascading progression of confrontations with assumed privilege... With this dawn’s crack, light began to illumine awareness of a larger horizon of corruption: the specific threat of nuclear weapons and, more generally, the US’s warmongering habits and imperial impulses; our inherited and reinforced patterns not just of sexual discrimination but outright misogyny; and then an increasingly conflictual, prophetic engagement with the forces of homophobia (especially within the church) and devoted pastoral presence within the LGBTQ community... The stories in this book of adventures in faith are vast: from shackling outside a Woolworth lunch counter, to the apartment of Soviet dissidents during the Cold War, to Bangkok hotel gatherings with insurgent leaders in South Asia, to Central American jungles, to Saddam’s parade grounds and the Warsaw Cathedral during Solidarity’s ascension. There is abundance here." –Ken Sehested, Founding Director of BPFNA (Click here to read Ken's full review.)
Read a press release about the Memoir from Wake Forest University School of Divinity.