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This newsletter was born from a lot of conversations I’ve been having lately, and interactions I’ve had over a long period of time. I’m a Christian and a journalist, and in the regular course of life I’ve found myself in conversations with people from different backgrounds.

Some of my earliest memories are growing up in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, in a church my father pastored. My formative years were in a diverse high school in Silver Spring, Maryland. I went to college in rural Indiana, and worked my first post-college newspaper job in Lexington, Kentucky. I’m a member of a multi-ethnic church in New Jersey led by an African-American pastor. My best friend is a white pastor in California, and my wife is the daughter of Korean-American immigrants.

I decided to start this newsletter after my friend Josh Kwan invited me to give a talk about race at The Gathering, a community of Christian philanthropists.

I told him I didn’t want to give a talk. I wanted to be on a panel. “I don’t have 10 minutes worth of monologue that will be valuable,” I told him. So he scheduled me for a panel. But then the schedule got mixed up (which was partly my fault), and the only place he could fit me was … giving a 10-minute talk about race.

I can take a hint. And after some prayerful reflection, I realized I did have a 10-minute talk about race. It had to do with the Great Commission and Pentecost, and I’ve been thinking about it since college. I set about writing out some notes, because I generally don’t speak from a script. But the notes turned into an essay. So I gave the talk, and that essay became the first installment of this newsletter: Race, the Holy Spirit and the Great Commission.

Here’s that first essay, and a video I made to go with it:

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A Christian exploration of the Bible as a guide for cultural understanding.