When it comes to the ethnic divisions in our world, we speak often of seeking racial reconciliation. But at no point have all the different ethnicities on Earth been reconciled. Animosity, distrust, and hostility among people from various ethnicities have always existed in American history. Even in the church, we have often built walls—ethnic segregation, classism, sexism, and theological tribes—to divide God’s people from each other.
But it shouldn’t be this way. God’s people are the only people on earth who have experienced true reconciliation. Who better to enter into the ethnic tensions of our day with the hope of Jesus?
In Intensional, pastor D. A. Horton steps into the tension to offer vision and practical guidance for Christians longing to embrace our Kingdom ethnicity, combating the hatred in our culture with the hope of Jesus Christ.
D. A. Horton is one of the great young minds in the American church. Intensional is theologically rich, incredibly practical, and inspiriting.
by Dr. Derwin L. Gray, lead pastor at Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader
Horton has blessed Christ followers with a needed exhortation, framed in biblical language and categories. Perhaps this will give the saints pause in the world of needless jabs and barbs on social media. Chapter 7 is especially helpful with its categories and questions. Prayerfully, this book will lead to us ramping down the rhetoric and ramping up the thinking! Horton has served the body of Christ—yea, the Christ that prayed that His followers would be united.
by Kevin L. Smith, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware
D. A. Horton is the rare Christian leader whose superior intelligence and eloquence are matched and even exceeded by his exemplary Christian character. Those qualities come through in this magnificent little book grounding ethnicity in the imago dei and urging the Christian community toward ethnic conciliation. Even—and especially—for the reader who might disagree with certain aspects of Horton’s treatment of this controversial topic, Intensional offers much food for thought. Highly recommended.
by Bruce Riley Ashford, author of Letters to an American Christian
D. A. Horton is well positioned to address the issue of ethnic conciliation and the reduced gospel that has enabled churches to perpetuate ethnic divisions throughout the North American church. D. A. is an outstanding thinker and missional practitioner, and in this book, he brings these skills to bear on this crucial topic. A worthy read.
by Alan Hirsch, author of numerous books on missional leadership, organization, and spirituality; founder of 100Movements, 5Q Collective, and Forge International
In my opinion, one of the greatest challenges facing the body of Christ in today’s world is how to navigate with grace and wisdom an ever-increasing cultural divide between ethnicities within the church. In Intensional, D. A. Horton has given us an incredible work that will help Christians move forward with compassion, humility, and true repentance regarding those longtime ethnic tensions. This is a timely, much-needed book that I cannot recommend highly enough.
by Matt Carter, pastor of preaching at Austin Stone Community Church
When I was an assimilated soldier in the army, I only saw green—and Jesus was green, too, since that’s where I thought I met him. When I transitioned out of the army and into full-time ministry, I thought Jesus didn’t see our colors, just our hearts. Jesus then began to begin to chip away at me and brought me to the reality of my own heart.
Intensional is a powerfully written perspective for the reader who chooses to consider and engage in the conversation about ethnicity and the people of God. D. A. Horton goes into the depths of where the issues are: in the heart. This is a great resource for those who are really willing to look and engage. I’ll be chewing on this for a bit; this book has been a breath of fresh air as I’ve been trying to figure out how to engage and implement these ideas in my ministry. I am encouraged to have had the chance to read this.
by Victor Hugo Padilla, The Navigators--Military
I’m so grateful for my friend D. A. Horton, who has provided redemptive language that enables us to engage across the ethnic divide in a way that glorifies God and honors our fellow image bearers. His is a needed prophetic voice for such a time as this.
by Bryan Loritts, lead pastor at Abundant Life, author of Insider Outsider
In a world where things are often black and white—even in the church—it’s so refreshing to hear yet another voice, a powerful one, that can add to the greats of our time, saying things others avoid, yet with love. To use D. A.’s own words, “The complexion of America is browning both socially and spiritually.” As a Latino, I’m so grateful for this voice, perspective, and transparency to the church from his heart! #EnHoraBuena
by Rudy Rubio, pastor at Reformed Church LA
D. A. Horton has yet again given the church an accessible work to help Christians pursue the unification of all things and all people in Christ—and to help them make this pursuit a normal rhythm of their Christian discipleship. Readers may not agree with everything herein, but they will learn much from this gifted brother!
by Jarvis J. Williams, associate professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
I’m thankful for the voice of my friend D. A. Horton, for such a time as this. With pastoral care and prophetic courage, he provides an honest assessment of the church’s need for “ethnic conciliation.” Intensional is as much a compass as it is a magnifying glass. It helps us better see the sins of partiality and color blindness in the church in America, and it also provides tangible ways for Christians to live out their Kingdom identity. Pick up this book, and you’ll find that there’s much work to do—and a reason for esperanza (hope).
by Eric Rivera, lead pastor at The Brook
From the very beginning of this book, I sensed that this is what the church needs—honesty, hope, and direction in a fractured time here in America and abroad. Let us remember to be intentional in the midst of the tension.
by Osaze Murray, Bowie State campus director, The Navigators
God has lovingly but firmly compelled me to labor for “ethnic conciliation,” D. A. Horton’s preferred terminology, as opposed to “racial reconciliation”—“ethnic” because our construct of race is biblically unsound and practically harmful, and “conciliation” because “reconciliation” assumes we were previously living in unity. This pursuit has sometimes left me feeling like Horton, “flirting with the belief that hate [has] won.” But Horton brings the esperanza (hope) of the gospel into everyday experiences. His life experiences and biblical scholarship deliver practical and eternal guidance. By the end of the book, I’d been inspired to engage more deeply, convicted enough to change, and equipped enough to move. Please, my friends, read this book and join us.
by Brian Jennings, author of Dancing in No Man's Land