What Was Wrong with My Review of A Just Mission?

What Was Wrong with My Review of A Just Mission? April 22, 2023

Flickr/Jernej Furman

Today I have taken down a pair of my recent posts (a two-part review of the book A Just Mission by Mekdes Haddis) and revised a third one. Here’s why.

I was not sufficiently sensitive to the ways people might read my review. As one friend helpfully remarked, I need to look at this situation through the lens of contextualization. So true. This is not the same country I left over two decades ago. I needed to be more aware of and sensitive to the current race-related dynamics involved. For my hastiness and oversight, I genuinely apologize.

Furthermore, I erred in another matter. Typically, academic book reviews begin by summarizing a book’s content and then highlighting points of agreement before entering into criticism. In this case, my review woefully reversed the normal sequence. This is something I regret. I apologize for not first expressing points of agreement and appreciation. In this breach of custom, my review did not show Haddis proper respect. For that as well I apologize.

Indeed, I love Haddis’s ambition to alert the missions world to latent racism and bias. Such work is a labor of love. As painful as it can be, it will most certainly produce a harvest of righteousness (Galatians 6:9).

I especially do not want people to confuse my assessment of the book with an attack on her personally. Therefore, I’m taking down the two posts that critique A Just Mission. At this point, I’m not convinced that keeping the posts up would yield a net benefit to the body of Christ or his kingdom.

The third post, which is about the recent change in my use of a pseudonym, contains information that I believe still needs to be available, but I’ve revised it to more clearly express my intentions and apologize for similar oversights.

My initial post reviewing A Just Mission was perhaps the most provocative post I’ve written, and I failed to understand that provocative posts can take us into dangerous territory. I intended my review to shed light on my concerns with the book, and overall, I hoped to catalyze ongoing discussion about the most fruitful approaches to honoring Christ as a diverse global church.

My earnest desire remains the same: to invite conversation, not cause confusion. I hope that Haddis and other readers will discern my sincerity and extend grace to a fellow believer on the journey to Christlikeness. But the mistakes I’ve made remain mine alone.

Most sincerely,

Brad Vaughn

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