cover image Resisting Apartheid America: Living the Badass Gospel

Resisting Apartheid America: Living the Badass Gospel

Miguel A. De La Torre. Eerdmans, $24.99 (286p) ISBN 978-0-802-88216-5

De La Torre (Decolonizing Christianity), a professor of social ethics at the Iliff School of Theology, adds an uneven third volume to his Badass Christian trilogy. He argues that the United States has always been an apartheid regime, because its “laws, customs, and traditions [are constructed] to ensure the power, privilege, and profit of whites.” Accordingly, “Eurochristianity”—De La Torre’s term for white Christian nationalism—views those pursuing social justice as “enemies of the one true white God.” This version of religion, De La Torre argues, “reject[s] the truth Jesus promised about being set free.” He asserts that believers in a Gospel that truly centers the disenfranchised have no alternative but to resist the apartheid state and overturn received ideas of patriotism and Eurochristianity—the work, he writes, of being a “badass Christian.” Given the country’s white supremacist roots, “to embrace radical democracy where each person’s vote counts equally and all... participate freely is to be un-American”—a goal the author believes all readers should strive for. While boldly argued and timely, the book’s flaws undermine its message. De La Torre sprinkles discussions of the 2020 election throughout, but offers minimal new insight, and he provides few pragmatic suggestions of how readers can implement the work of a “badass Christian.” Writers like Anthea Butler and Willie James Ray have recently tackled similar themes to a more original and powerful effect. (Feb.)