Augsburg Fortress

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.

Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Shifting demographics and shrinking congregations make all the headlines, but Duncan sees something else at work--drawing a direct line between the church's lack of diversity and the church's lack of vitality. The problems the ELCA faces are theological, not sociological. But so are the answers.

Part manifesto, part confession, and all love letter, Dear Church offers a bold new vision for the future of Duncan's denomination and the broader mainline Christian community of faith. Dear Church rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone--leaders and laity alike--to the front lines of the church's renewal through racial equality and justice.

It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges us to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus.

Dear Church also features a discussion guide at the back--perfect for church groups, book clubs, and other group discussion.

  • In stock
  • Kindle - Nook - Google
  • Quantity discount
    • # of Items Price
    • 1 to 5$16.99
    • 6 to 24$10.19
    • 25 to 99$8.50
    • 100 to 499$7.65
    • 500 or more$6.80
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781506452562
  • Format Paperback
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 138
  • Publication Date July 2, 2019


"This book is the sermon the church most needs to hear and is most afraid to heed."
—The Christian Century 

"An inherently fascinating, inspired and inspiring read from beginning to end...unreservedly recommended and worthwhile reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations."
—Midwest Book Review 

"There are so many necessary voices leading the charge with creating a shameless view of sex for our society and our church. Lenny Duncan's voice is one of them."  
—Danielle Kingstrom, Patheos Blog

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Did We Get Here?

Part 1: Dismantling White Supremacy is the Way of the Cross

Chapter 1: Dismantling White Supremacy and the Power of the Gospel

Chapter 2: The Roots are Infected

Chapter 3: Repentance, Reparations, Reconciliation

Chapter 4: Dylan Roof and I are Lutheran

Chapter 5: Decolonizing the Liturgy and the Power of Symbols

Part 2: Grace is an Ever Widening Circle

Chapter 6: The Church is Queer

Chapter 7: Toxic Masculinity is Killing Us

Chapter 8: Resisting Nationalism is the Way of Jesus,

Part 3: The Church can Lead the Way

Chapter 9: Dear Church, I Love You

Chapter 10: Stretching God's Tent is Front Line Freedom Fighting

Chapter 11: It's Time for a Revolution