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“Unsettling Truths” wins 2019 ASM Book Award for excellence in missiology

WESTMONT, IL— InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery by Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah won the 2019 American Society of Missiology Book Award for Excellence in Missiology. 

Al Hsu, senior editor at IVP, said, “We at IVP congratulate Mark and Soong-Chan on this important award. Given the ongoing impact of Western imperialism and colonialism, the future of missiology depends on our willingness to reckon with the mistakes of the past. So I am glad that Unsettling Truths can contribute to a more just and holistic vision for mission today.”

Written by United States independent presidential candidate Mark Charles and coauthor Soong-Chan Rah, Unsettling Truths reveals the damaging effects of the Doctrine of Discovery and calls the nation and churches to a truth-telling that will expose past injustices and open the door to conciliation and true community.

Together Charles and Rah put in nearly a decade of research, three years of writing, and another year of editing. Jeff Crosby, publisher for IVP, said, “Unsettling Truths is an unsettling book because it challenges its readers to evaluate what we have long been taught and perhaps blindly accepted regarding American history and our country’s notion of its ‘exceptionalism’ and forces us to consider another viewpoint. It also helpfully and with precision probes questions regarding the intersection of Christian doctrine and a faithful pursuit of justice. While we may not agree with all of Mark’s and Soong-Chan’s interpretations and applications, we will benefit—as individuals, as communities, and as a nation—from giving the work careful, reflective attention.”

Charles, a man of Navajo and Dutch descent, is a speaker, writer, and consultant on the complexities of American history, race, culture, and faith. He and his family live in Washington, DC. Rah was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States shortly after his sixth birthday. He currently serves as Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. Rah is the author of Prophetic Lament, The Next EvangelicalismMany Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church, and others.

Charles and Rah wrote, “The coauthors of this book have been friends for many years. . . . Our connection stems from our mutual love for Jesus and our mutual passion for Justice, both of which have found expression in our mutual lament for the church. In our journey together, we have discovered the power of developing common experiences and a common memory, which moves us toward a common purpose.” 

Darrell Whiteman, publisher for the American Society of Missiology, said, “The discipline of missiology and the field of mission studies and world Christianity has entered a new era of reflexive examination replacing a former spirit of triumphalism. Deeply committed to understanding and participating in God’s mission in the world, we now realize that much of our worldview and our methods of mission and evangelism became wedded to Christendom and fell far short of following Jesus. We are therefore delighted to choose Unsettling Truths as the 2019 American Society of Missiology Book Award for Excellence in Missiology. In so doing we recognize the significant contribution of Mark Charles and Soong-Chan Rah in furthering our understanding of how mission studies are examined, understood, and interpreted.”

As the ecumenical professional association for mission studies in North America, the American Society of Missiology includes more than six hundred academicians, mission agency executives, and missionaries in a unique fellowship of scholarship and mission. The ASM also publishes the quarterly journal Missiology: An International Review.

Contact: Krista Clayton | 630.734.4013 | kclayton@ivpress.com