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Books by Dr. Brenda

Becoming Brave

Finding the Courage
to Pursue Racial Justice Now


Reconciliation is not true reconciliation without justice! Brenda Salter McNeil has come to this conviction as she has led the church in pursuing reconciliation efforts over the past three decades. McNeil calls the church to repair the old reconciliation paradigm by moving beyond individual racism to address systemic injustice, both historical and present. It’s time for the church to go beyond individual reconciliation and “heart change” and to boldly mature in its response to racial division.


Looking through the lens of the biblical narrative of Esther, McNeil challenges Christian reconcilers to recognize the particular pain in our world so they can work together to repair what is broken while maintaining a deep hope in God’s ongoing work for justice. This book provides education and prophetic inspiration for every person who wants to take reconciliation seriously.


Becoming Brave offers a distinctly Christian framework for addressing systemic injustice. It challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality.


“In Becoming Brave, Dr. McNeil exercises uncommon courage. Part confession, part biblical reflection, part call to storm the gates, Becoming Brave declares that the Christian call to do justice cannot and shall no longer be guided, shaped, and defanged by sensibilities more loyal to white people’s comfort than to God. McNeil has led two generations of evangelical Christians into the value and practice of racial reconciliation. With Becoming Brave she returns and calls her followers to gird their courage and engage like never before, for the sake of the gospel. This book is a must-read.”

Lisa Sharon Harper

Founder and President, Freedom Road



“Brenda Salter McNeil has been a giant in the work of racial reconciliation among evangelicals. Like Tom Skinner and Bill Pannell in previous generations, she defines for this generation of evangelical scholars and pastors what real racial reconciliation means on the ground. There is simply no one who has worked with more thoughtfulness, theological precision, and faithfulness at this vital work than Brenda Salter McNeil. There is no one who understands more clearly what is necessary to move white evangelicals forward beyond their racial captivity than McNeil, and there is no more important book that must find its way into the hands of students, pastors, Christian activists, and all those who understand the urgency of this moment than Becoming Brave.”

Willie James Jennings

Professor, Yale Divinity School; author of After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging



“Rev. Brenda illuminates a justice path for those seeking to be brave or simply responding to the times. With truth-telling, vulnerability, and profound scriptural insights, Rev. Brenda’s work reflects the complex struggles that come from a long engagement in reconciliation work. In Becoming Brave, Rev. Brenda, one of the American church’s great leaders of racial reconciliation, delves into the unexpected disruptions she has encountered during her journey toward deep reconciliation. She models and illuminates a path for others. A fantastic resource for advocating for and embodying justice.”

Nikki Toyama-Szeto

Executive Director, Evangelicals for Social Action at the Sider Center of Eastern University



“For years, Dr. McNeil has been a pioneer in awakening churches to the biblical call to racial reconciliation. She is now taking a bold and courageous step forward into new territory. My prayer is that all who have received and appreciated her ministry will follow her into the wilderness—in a parallel journey to that of Moses and Miriam leaving Egypt. In this brilliant and powerful book, Dr. McNeil makes a case for recognizing this kairos moment when traditional reconciliation models don’t go far enough to liberate us from fear and captivity. This book is a clarion call that cuts through the fog of our partisan arguments and blazes a path to abundant life for all. All of those who are suffering unjustly at this time need you to read this book and respond. This book will equip you to hear your equivalent to the call of Queen Esther—that you are who you are in order to speak out in your place for such a time as this.”

Alexia Salvatierra

 Centro Latino professor, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

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