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Walking Jesus' Path
The real reason historian, author and speaker Jemar Tisby seeks justice.
After my friend Vanessa Sadler and I interviewed Jemar Tisby on the Center’s Peace Talks Podcast, I told a number of friends that I was deeply encouraged by the Jesus-centeredness from which Jemar thinks, speaks and acts. I said, “I think he used the name Jesus about a million times!”
As an example, Jemar said at one point: “I'm an addict. I'm a Jesus addict. Because somehow, some way, I … said some things and did some things that people didn't like, but I thought it was remaining faithful to Christ. And then Jesus showed up in a way I've never experienced before. And I can't get enough. Like, OK, I gotta have that. I got to have Jesus right by my side. And what does it take to experience Jesus’ presence? You walk Jesus' path.”
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When Jemar centers Jesus, it is not just spiritually nourishing to those who hear him, it is a crucial grounding and basis for justice-seeking. The far right of our country, for the most part, debunks the need for social justice. The far left is often animated by secular values and a worldview that does not include at its heart the perspective of the world’s One, True, Creator God. Jemar gives us a powerful third way by rooting both personal transformation and justice-seeking in the person and work of Jesus.
Being older than Jemar, and a product of the Jesus Movement, I have often said, “I am a Jesus freak.” It has taken me a lifetime to discover what Jemar knows: Such rootedness in Jesus will inevitably take me down the path to loving my neighbor, seeking their good, and procuring justice on their behalf.
I invite you to listen to our compelling interview with Jemar.
Dr. Jemar Tisby is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the Church’s Complicity in Racism, How to Fight Racism, and How to Fight Racism: Young Reader’s Edition.
He is also a Professor of History at Simmons College of Kentucky in Louisville. Jemar has been a co-host of the “Pass the Mic” podcast since its inception seven years ago.
His writing has been featured in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and the New York Times among others. He is a frequent commentator on outlets such as NPR and CNN’s New Day program.
He speaks nationwide on the topics of racial justice, U.S. history and Christianity. Jemar earned his PhD in history and he studies race, religion and social movements in the 20th century.
You can follow his work through his newsletter,
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