Daniel Hill 2

I am the pastor of River City Community Church, author of the books White Awake and 10:10 – Life to the Fullest, husband to Elizabeth Arnott-Hill, and father to Xander and Gabriella.

River City is a vibrant, multiethnic church in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, and our vision is oriented around the 3 pillars of worship, reconciliation, and neighborhood development. Started in 2003, we have always longed to see increased spiritual renewal as well as social and economic justice in both our city and world, demonstrating compassion and alleviating poverty as tangible expressions of the Kingdom of God.

Prior to starting River City, I worked at Willow Creek Community Church for 5 years in Axis, their 20-something ministry. Before that I was in the business world for awhile, including participating in three different technology start-ups in the mid-90’s.

I never planned on being a pastor (God has a sense of humor that way), so my undergrad was in Business from Purdue. It was the HR director of Willow Creek – a guy named Paul Krause – who first called out ministry gifts in me. When the time came to embrace that call I began to pursue formal theological education, and have since earned an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Moody, a certificate in faith-based community development from Harvard Divinity School, and a DMin from Northern Seminary.

The two books that I have written represent a snapshot of my theological interests. In 10:10: Life to the Fullest, I share my journey of studying Scriptures in search of a more holistic, Biblical worldview. In White Awake, I share my journey to understand the ways in which the historical, social construct of race has advanced an evil and deadly lie about human value, and then which charts out stages for recovering a more Biblically-shaped view of human identity.

So thanks for visiting my blog and joining my online community! It would mean a lot if you would sign up or follow the blog here on the main page so we can stay connected. Another great way for us to stay connected is through Twitter – follow me here, and I’ll follow you back.

44 thoughts on “About

  1. I found your site while looking for Daniel L Hill, my 23yr old grandson who will be attending Dallas Theol. Sem. His site is letters2thechurch.blogspot.com.

  2. I didn’t know you were writing a blog Daniel, so now I can keep track of how things are going on that as well as facebook. I didn’t know that River City will have a new place to call home until Julie told me about it, recently. I’m remembering that my first visit to your Church there was when you and Holt were roomies right nearby…..I also, didn’t know that you were a graduate of Purdue. Julie’s dad and I lived at Purdue in married student housing and I loved the campus life. All the best you , Liz and the Kids…

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  4. So glad to meet you on twitter, Daniel. My husband & I are MBI grads in Bible-theology. After an excursion into “professional ministry” and several years at Dallas Seminary, the Lord led us back to “secular’ life, my husband John as an engineer and myself as a part-time teacher of adult language and writing. But my first love has been teaching the Scriptures to small groups of women.
    We have 2 adult married children and 4 lively young grandsons. I blog regularly at http://www.abranchinthevine.com and am awaiting the publication of my first book, The With-ness of our God: Relationship in Every Dimension (CrossBooks/Lifeway). I’m looking forward to reading 10:10. Great title! John 10:10 is one of my favorite verses! Congratulations on that work!

  5. Daniel, how do you define “economic and social justice” in terms of your church? Every time someone uses those terms that I have read about or heard speak, they are really catchy terms for a Marxist ideology they are pushing that vilifies liberty and free markets; the very things that make this country great, prosperous, and allows us to truly help people.

  6. Hey Greg – I don’t think “economic and social justice” need to defined in contrast to liberty or free markets. And while Marxist ideology may have borrowed from Biblical ideals, I don’t think that should minimize the focus that the Bible has on justice. It’s too exhaustive of a topic for me to try to respond to via a comment, but i could recommend a number of books if you’re interested in reading more. Dr. Timothy Keller is well respected in the evangelical community, and his book “Generous Justice” does a solid job of showing how justice is central to the Gospel from beginning to the end

  7. Daniel, I certainly appreciate your heart for your church, for people, and the Kingdom. But I would strongly encourage you to re-look at your position on Marxism and Biblical ideals. There is nothing in common between Marxism and God’s word. Marxism pre-supposes that there is no God and the path to a utopia on earth is through a classless society. That goal requires an oppressive government, which is inherently corrupt (as mankind is involved) and has resulted in the death of tens of millions of people in the last 100 years and in impoverishment of 100’s of millions more. The Bible is very clear about freedom, free will, property rights, etc but also very clearly states the need to help the poor. However, it never even hints that is the government’s role to do so; that is the role of the Church. God ultimately delivers justice, as well as Grace, and it is not our role to try to make life equal for all. History has proven that approach to be one of “shared misery” and destruction; just ask the former Soviet bloc countries. Overall, I would encourage you and your church to focus on equipping the saints for ministry, serving the local community, enabling people with skills to work, and lobbying government to remove the shackles that prevents the free market from generating real opportunities for economic advancement and bettering their lives. The Gospel is what sets people free and puts us equal with each other in the eyes of the Lord for all who call on His name; a government program or social movement does not. May God bless you and your family.

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  9. Yes! Finally someone has the courage to say white folks should repent. Even though many of us have not personally intentionally discriminated, it is a burden of sin/guilt on us as American white folks. We need to say we are sorry and try to reach out and make real connections with black Americans.

    • Have you lost the good sense God gave you? I will not repent or ask forgivness for something I have not done. Nor will I be bullied into believing it either. For all of you with white guilt, keep it to yourself. I’ve done nothing to any race that I should have to apologize for. If I wrong someone, that is the only person I will reach out to, not the color of that person. Keep your fake shame to yourself.

    • No. I refuse to accept guilt for the wrongs of others unless I can also accept the credit for the good they do. I you are correct in your worldview, your “social view,” then a white baby just born is saddled with a secondary “original sin,” that of “whiteness.” Realize or at least consider that you might be increasing racial tensions and animosity by your rhetoric. You are helping to polarize all whites in the eyes of “people of color” while at the same time feeding resentment among whites for being so polarized (and demonized). If rhetoric and “the tone” of discourse can have real world effects (as our media friends assured us is so in the wake of the Tucson shooting), then consider your own rhetoric to possibly have the effect of spurring certain individuals to violence against whites.

  10. I am 73 years old, NOT a racist, NEVER have been and NEVER will be. I didn’t appreciate hearing your pompous declaration today on Fox stating that if I’m white, I’m automatically racist. Comments such as yours are responsible for much of the racial strife we’re seeing these days.

  11. Dec. 1, 2015, 12:35 p.m. PST – Today I saw your interview on CNN with Brook Baldwin. I was totally blown away with the video of your prayer. Your courage and bravery to stand strong and speak out on a nearly impenetrable ideology is heroic. And you seemed fearless. I see how you can move people to change. You are clearly a leader. You have made a community of people feel that they are not alone. You were so charitable and hopeful in a great heartfelt way. What you did was honorable and so admirable. Thank you.

  12. As a fellow Purdue grad I have respect for you, but for you to call all whites inherently racist is judgmental and goes against your faith. Are white’s racist, yes. Are all whites racists, NO. Likewise, can Blacks be bigots and racists, yes.
    People can be bigoted and not racist, please do not confuse the two. With the state of racial relations deteriorating due to actions and statements of Obama and other prominent Black leaders, it’s very easy for whites to become even stronger bigots.
    You are just as bad for fanning the flames of hatred by making claims that demonizes people that aren’t what you state they are.

  13. How dare you presume to speak for me as a white person. I and only I can ask for forgiveness for my sins. You have no clue what my sins are yet you presume to pray for “white brothers and sisters” to repent for our sins of being white?! Get this straight, you ask forgiveness for your sins and I’ll ask for mine. Also, my whitness has nothing to do with what happened or has happened to blacks or any race for that matter in this country and I will not feel guilt for any of it. If your guilt of some slight you may have done gets the better of you, remember to speak for yourself and yourself alone. God hears me just as well as he hears you.

  14. You are not a pastor. Your are a divisive activist disguised as a pastor. You are an actor. The definition of repent is to turn to God. There are a whole lot of people in this nation that need to repent, or turn to God. And it has NOTHING TO DO with skin color.

  15. Wow, CNN thinks public prayer is a good thing finally!! Thanks for your contribution.
    What an outrageous “prayer” you offered on “behalf of your white brethren”. You sound like an activist seeking to gain public attention for yourself–not unlike other race mongers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. How dare you presume to know my heart or anyone else’s? To proclaim publicly that our laws are somehow racist? Please show evidence of these ridiculous claims. Not laws from 50 years ago, but from today.
    Show me how the devaluing of black people are ” white supremacy has effected our judicial system and our police system”?
    What a steaming pile of BS!
    Please apologize to the police officers you just blanketed as racists. PUBLICLY, like this “prayer” was. Spoken like a publican to draw attention to yourself.

    I cannot imagine someone hearing that from my pastor and remaining under his shepherding.
    That was indeed disgraceful.

  16. I just finished watching the CNN report about you and your “prayer” on behalf of White people. Christianity today is nothing more than Cultural Marxism – and I include the so-called “conservative” denominations in that (50 years ago those “conservatives” fought jew-led desegregation at fed gunpoint; today, they weepily grovel for doing so). That proves that Jesus is worthless to dignified Whites intent on survival. I’m glad I’ve dumped all that mythological garbage in favor of facts, reason & the saving of the dwindling White race here in Real World: it’s the only “saving” we require

    I sincerely hope you suffer an agonizing demise at the black hands of the “African-Americans” you betray us for, sky-fairy. Just imagine the beautiful show of Christer forgiveness your family would be obligated to make!

  17. Dear brother, I’m praying for you. Some of these comments have been vicious to say the least. I’m so sorry! May the Lord comfort and strengthen as you serve His purpose in our generation (Acts 13:36).

  18. During my quiet time today with the Lord, I was so discouraged. I feel as though racism in this country is too deeply entrenched to be uprooted, as is evidenced by some of the comments you’ve received. I don’t doubt that some of them are bible-believing Christians. Too many people don’t realize that racism is rooted in PRIDE, and the Holy Scriptures has plenty to say about pride. For people to be so stiff-necked and recalcitrant, and to refuse to repent because it’s something *they* feel they aren’t “personally” responsible for – well scripture says “the heart is deceitful above all things.” As an example, I have never personally had an abortion, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be falling on my knees before God asking him to forgive this nation for that specific sin. Racism is no different.

    As believers, we should ALL be falling down on our knees brokenhearted before God, asking Him to have mercy on this nation for the sin of pride and racism. Scripture says God is no respecter of persons, and we are called to be holy as He is holy. God thinks racism is disgusting and an abomination, and He will not stand for sweeping this sin under the rug any longer. Philippians 2 encourages believers to not only look out for themselves, but for the welfare of others. Unfortunately Jesus warns us in Matthew that in the last days, the love of many would grow cold. This is why people are unable to feel empathy for others who are different from them. 2 Tim 3 speaks of people loving themselves more than God or others. Yet scripture says if any man says ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother or sister, he is a liar and the love of God is not in him (1 John 4:20).

    This country’s attitude is similar to the Laodicean Church: This country is wealthy, grown rich (off the backs of others labor in the past, which future descendants in this century have directly benefitted from) and feels it is “great,” without realizing it is poor, pitiful, blind, wretched and naked before God. When people are blinded to their sin and refuse to repent, God gives them over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). They will make any and every excuse to continue engaging in the sin, even to go so far as to justify promoting their fellow man, created in the image of God, as worthy of inhumane treatment, using lies and obfuscation. This is with ANY sin God finds abhorrent, including racism. This is why I am so discouraged. God is giving people over to the consequences of their stubborn refusal to repent. Unfortunately, we will all suffer the consequences as a nation due to our hardened hearts of stone.

    Brother Daniel, may you be protected and strengthened by our Lord Jesus Christ as you continue to sound out the prophetic message of the need to repent and turn from this wickedness. Judgment starts with the house of God, and many of our brothers and sisters need to repent. Period. May God have mercy on us as a nation.

  19. I like your blog. Evangelicals need to hear your clear explanation of the counter cultural message of Jesus.
    Hope to visit your church sometime and meet you.

  20. Dan I am on the Reconciliation team at North Avenue Presbyterian in Atlanta ga. Our leadership and several congregants are participating in studies with your White Awake book. We would like to have you lead a workshop and preach at our church to continue along our journey of awakening.

    What is best way to talk in very near future and check on availability.

    Blessings Jane Hubbard

  21. Paul speaks. The Jewish people or if you will, the church ,believed that if we keep the perfect law of God you would be found righteous before God. This bottomless pit of self doctrine continues and is still taught in the church today consequently the evangelist today teach reconciliation through our works. They may think they are teaching correctly, but i wonder when was the last time they opened his real word? The grace that is found in the gospel of Christ will drive a man to his knees. Not just the Jew ,but also the gentile. There is no difference. KJV. Fredscanlan@hotmail.com

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