Today I have a review of A Time for Burning, an excellent documentary about race relations in the church in the 1960s that echoes prescience today. You can also read, rate, and comment on my review at Amazon.
A Time for Burning is a film that grabs your attention immediately, both mind and heart. This 1966 documentary shot by the Lutheran Film Associates examines the efforts of Rev. Bill Youngdahl to rally his all-white congregation to have ten families meet with ten families from an all-black congregation in their mutual city, Omaha, Nebraska. What starts as what Youngdahl calls, “Just a little thing” soon blows up into conversations political, economic, personal, ethical, and theological.
Youngdahl is a wonder to witness as he never loses his cool during his uphill battle with his congregation. His calm demeanor is matched in word and wisdom by 30-year-old black neighborhood barber, Ernie Chambers, who gives Youngdahl the foreboding warning,
“If you try to do something, you’ll get kicked out of your church” in the first six minutes of the film.