Mark Charles is the son of a Navajo man and a woman of Dutch heritage. He is a speaker and writer focused on forging a path of healing and conciliation in the United States by fostering a deeper understanding of American history regarding race, culture, and faith. Currently, much of his emphasis is on the Doctrine of Discovery and how it has shaped the foundations of our nation. He is currently writing a book about the Doctrine of Discovery with Dr. Soong-Chan Rah. After living on the Navajo reservation with his wife and three children for over a decade, Mark and his family moved to Washington, D.C. where he serves as the correspondent for Native News Online. He continues to write at In this episode of the RePlacing Church Podcast, part one (#55) of a two part conversation, he joins me to discuss:

  • How boarding schools were used to assimilate Native Americans into Western European American culture.
  • Why contextualizing the gospel in native communities is challenging
  • How different cultural perceptions of time play themselves out in church and culture
  • An eye opening, but common story that captures the failure of the western european church to promote gospel contextualization

In part two (#56), we discuss:

  • What the Doctrine of Discovery is and how it has shaped the foundations of the United States
  • How the church’s complicity with the empire led to the Doctrine of Discovery
  • What white trauma is and how it manifests itself
  • Why white america can’t fix racism
  • Why Racial “Conciliation” is a more appropriate term than Racial Reconciliation

Are you creating or leading a neighborhood expression of church?

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Episode Song Credits: “Another Wrong to Right” and “You Won't Walk Alone” by Mercir. “Closed” by Zadok Wartes. Used with Permission.

Production Assistance by Nate Tubbs.