The opening line of Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth might be one of the most chilling ever written: “The boys came early for the hanging.”

The current political context is forcing Americans to discuss race, and churchpeople have some serious reckoning to do. Not only did the church turn a blind eye to racism, but congregations would often let out early on days there was to be a lynching in the town square so parishioners could get a good seat for the festivities. The church came early to the hanging.

Pastor, activist, and scholar Drew Hart calls readers to investigate how, throughout Ameri­can history and today, the church not only condones but also contributes to antiblack racism and white supremacy. Why does the church participate in modern-day lynching, or at most turn a blind eye, rather than protesting as our faith would dictate?