Awakened Church: Part 3

Race and the American Church

Unfortunately, the United States of America has consistently denied all these Scriptural principles to African Americans. African Americans have been consistently segregated to the worst parts of the cities.[1] Policing, past and present, has often enforced the law unequally on African American communities.[2] In the past, the financial industry consistently denied African Americans involvement.[3] And African Americans suffer under a two-tiered justice system in the courts that consistently gives harsher sentences to them.[4]

The White side of the Evangelical Church often downplays these injustices.[5] In reaction to this in his book Woke Church, Eric Mason calls on the Evangelical Church to become aware of these issues. This book aptly summarizes the condition of the Black Evangelical Church in America. His work on the sociological and applicational level is presented well. But his Scriptural arguments lack some depth so that many white Evangelicals reject his arguments. This next section works through some of his arguments in order to add depth to them.

Racial Unity in Christ

Eric Mason specifically cited the Imago Dei as “a key part of the foundational biblical and gospel education for all believers.”[6] But in his book he never exegeted Genesis 1:27 even in his section entitled “Imago Dei As Foundational Bible Doctrine.”[7] This may not have been necessary for his purposes, though a brief explanation would have strengthened his argument.

His argument could have been furthered by developing the story of that image. Because Adam sinned, he marred humanity and brought death on the world (Gn 3:6; Rom 5:12). Humanity still retained the image of God, but it was now imperfect (Gn 9:6). The curse of Ham did not remove this identity. But because all have sinned in Adam, all are equally savable by Christ’s work (Rom 3:19ff). Christ is that perfect image of God.[8] Those who believe Jesus are baptized into him regardless of their ethnicity (Gal 3:27-29). And all who believe are predestined to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29). Therefore, regarding salvation, there is no difference between anyone for all are conformed to Christ.

Racial Diversity in Christ

While nearly all interpreters agree on the Imago Dei,[9] the conflict arises on the expression of racial diversity in Christ especially regarding whether “color-blindness” is appropriate at the Lord’s Table. In recent years, the debate was developed on the ever-so-scholarly platform of Twitter. James White proposed: “When the body gathers around the Lord’s table, there is only one space—the Savior space, the Redeemer space, the Mediator space. Anyone who drags color or ethnicity into that space is completely missing the point, and the blessing.”[10] Anthony Bradley shared his post, calling it out as a “unhelpful mainline ‘colorblind’ white privilege theology.” Then he added, “The beauty of the Lord’s table on this side of the eschaton is celebrating its multi-ethnic victory over death, sin, & the devil.”[11] After some posts, Eric Mason chimed in: “I’m talking about the false doctrine of color blindness, denying racism and injustice towards African Americans which is not in step with the gospel based on Galatians 2!”[12] The discussion degenerated from there.

When Mason published Woke Church, he included much of this Twitter feed as part of his book. Using his definition of color blindness (ignoring the ongoing effects of racism), he stated that color blindness destroys the unity at the Lord’s Table mandated in the gospel.[13] James White responded to Mason with a podcast, maintaining his same argument that there should be no differences at the Lord’s Table.[14]

Color-blindness, as James White defined it, is not a problem: the church should not segregate at the Lord’s Table. Creating separate “white” and “black” spaces denies the essential unity of the Church. The unity of the Church is best seen when contrasted with the Mosaic Covenant Assembly. The Assembly was restricted to Hebrew males or strangers who essentially become Jewish by the rite of circumcision. Further, certain ethnic groups were denied access to the assembly until a certain number of generations had passed. And, unless you were part of the Assembly, you could not celebrate the Passover. In this way, the people were segregated along ethnic lines. Only “natural” Hebrews and those who became Hebrew could be part of God’s people. The New Covenant Church, in contrast, welcomes those “who are called ‘Uncircumcision’ by the so-called ‘Circumcision’” (Eph 2:11). Instead of maintaining the distinction as a stranger, Gentiles are “fellow citizens with the saints” (Eph 2:19). God reconciled “both into one new man” and “both in one body” (Eph 2:15-16). As for the Lord’s Table, Christians are not a Jewish homogeneity, but they are “one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:17). And ultimately, if Christians separate along racial lines, they commit again the sin of Peter and Corinth (Gal 2:11-21; 1 Cor 11:17-22).

Does this unity require homogeneity? White’s rhetoric indicates that there is no place for any recognition of racial distinctives in the Lord’s Table. But the unstated assumption in White’s argument assumes that the Lord’s Table has not been adapted to different cultures. If the practice has been adapted to different cultures, then cultural adaptations may be present in the way the Evangelical Church practices the Lord’s Table. And since cultural lines usually fall along racial lines, this means that racial elements may be present in the Lord’s Table.

The historical record indicates that the Church has adapted the Lord’s Table over time. The Corinthian church seems to have celebrated the Lord’s Table with a full meal at the end of the day. Paul contrasts the Lord’s Table with the pagan sacrificial meals (1 Cor 10:20-21). And he uses the word δειπνον which was a main meal at the end of the day (1 Cor 11:20).[15] The Didache (ca. 120 CE) also indicates that the people ate a full meal.[16] By the end of the second century, the evening meal became a morning ceremony.[17] As the church moved into Africa, the Ethiopian church developed their own chants for the service. In addition, within the church yard there was a small building “used for the preparation of the Holy Communion . . .. This house represents Bethlehem.”[18] In the East, the Nestorian Church had leavened communion and kept the bread and wine separate. The Chaldean Church used unleavened bread and dipped the bread in the wine.[19] And in the time-sensitive West, Christians have shrunk the Lord’s Table into a tiny snack at the end of a service. While the essential elements (bread and wine) remained the same, the accents have changed from culture to culture.

Further, Paul seems to acknowledge that there were multiple ethnicities present yet distinct at the Lord’s Table in Corinth. Paul emphasizes the diversity of the Lord’s Table: “we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor 10:17). First Corinthians 12:13-14 shows that Paul has racial differences in mind: “we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks . . . for the body is not one member, but many.” In the body of Christ, Christians are all one, but that does not erase the racial differences that exist. In addition to ethnicities, Paul also notes in a similar passage that male and female are also one in Christ (Gal 3:28). But this oneness does not erase male and female roles in the body of Christ (1 Tm 2:12). The church, to borrow a Trinitarian term, is a perichoresis.[20] All are one, forming one unit together. But all retain their distinctions. In the context of the Lord’s table, all approach the table as one, but each brings with them their unique person which includes their racial diversity.

Moreover, it is this unity in diversity that differentiates the New Covenant Church from the Mosaic Covenant Assembly. In Mosaic Assembly, strangers were required to be circumcised in order to participate in the Passover. Further, the Passover was a celebration of the salvation of Israel—an ethnic group not theirs by birth. However, Christians are not a homogenous ethnic group but a racially diverse group celebrating God’s work of unity. In the Lord’s Table, Christians celebrate the salvation of humans from sin. And all humans have the same shared experience because all have sinned.

In the end, it is not a question of if cultures should be represented at the Table, but which cultures are represented. With so many interracial connections in modern times, it seems proper for the church to display this diverse unity when gathering for the Lord’s Table. For example, this display can be done by a shared communion practice. Assuming the soundness of Faith, churches in the same area could join regularly to show their unity around the Lord’s Table. And if they do, one church (e.g., the White church) could not be the sole regulator of the service. The other churches (e.g., the Black or Hispanic church) could take turns leading the service in their language and worship style. This practice would show the ontological unity and equality of the faith.

Care for Different Racial Groups through Christ

Does the gospel demand our participation in correcting the injustices of society? The answer to this question defines how much people get involved in social justice. Black Liberation Theologian James Cone argues:

The Christian affirmation of God’s overcoming of evil in Jesus’ cross and resurrection is not a substitute for making a political commitment on behalf of the liberation of the poor. Rather, Jesus’ cross and resurrection demand that we make an option for the poor, because God is encountered in their struggles for liberation.[21]

In more recent times, Mason also argues along similar lines. While the gospel is the death and resurrection of Christ, the implications of the gospel is that “we are to proclaim the gospel to change people within systems.”[22] As for the purpose of the church, Mason is equally as clear:

We are called to advocate for the poor as an outworking of being a wise covenant community. This is the legacy of the church. Defending the cause of the needy and oppressed is a huge role that we are to be known for as the people of God. It should be an expectation that they have of us and that we have of ourselves. God’s people must function in such a way that we become identified with those who are needy and do not have a voice.[23]

On the other hand, James White and many other signed The Statement on Social Justice and the gospel. In his article on the SJ&G website, he wrote this about unity:

Since all believers stand upon the exact same ground, and have peace with God through the exact same means, there is no basis whatsoever for divisions based upon ethnicity or any other man-derived source. The supernatural unity of the body transcends anything that happened to my ancestors or any long-standing political realities. It requires us to recognize the radical break that has taken place with our sinful past, and, as a result, the radical nature of the unity of the redeemed.[24]

He clarifies the significance of this statement on his own website. His conversation was not directly linked to his article on the website.

In the body of Christ, we are reconciled to God, and to each other, and our primary orientation is no longer ethnic but eschatological. That new man looks forward to the consummation of all things, not backwards to sources of hurt and animus between ethnic groups. This is why, again, the Christian church can bring peace in the most horrific of human conflicts. But that all ends when we import the lens of “race” into the body.[25]

White, in effect, denies that the gospel mandates social justice regarding racial relations because Christians should not be concerned with the sins of racists in the past.[26] The problem with this position is that the past inescapably affects our future. In the context of racial relations, the African American community is in need because they were systematically impoverished in the past. And this impoverishment has systemic effects into the present. Gravelling in self-mutilating sorrow is not the answer, as White accurately notes. But ignoring the past shuts down any effort to recognize the needs of this historically oppressed minority. Instead, the church should understand the past so that they can help in the present.

Embedded in the gospel is this statement: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord . . . you will be saved” (Rom 10:12). Since Jesus is Lord, then Christians must obey his commands (Jn 14:15). And his command is that Christians “love one another” (Jn 15:12). Jesus points to the Law to explain what he means: “love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Lv 19:18). The command to love ethnic minorities also appears in that same context: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (Lv 19:34). Christ develops the command to love your neighbor with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan, who was not in the covenant community, loved a Jew, who was in the covenant community. So, while the command does include those within the covenant community (“one another”), it also includes those who are without.

Paul also develops what it means to love one’s neighbor in Galatians 5:13 and following. He commands in 6:10, “While we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” Paul commands the whole church (“we” and “us”) to do good to all people. The priority falls on those in the Faith. But this fact does not excuse the church as a corporation from doing good to those outside of the Faith. Therefore, in obedience to the command to love, Christians ought to be helping the African American community whether they are part of the covenant community or not. While the church should prioritize fellow brothers and sisters, it should not neglect doing good for all others.

How is the church to do this? The treatment of the stranger in the Mosaic Covenant gives a lens through which the majority church can love their minority brothers and sisters. First, the stranger as an ethnic minority was generally viewed as poor. He was classed alongside of the widow and orphan. In the context of the church, Christians should recognize that the African American community is generally poorer and deserves special attention.[27] To remember the poor is what the Jerusalem Council asked Paul to do (Gal 2:10). Remembering the poor is what the churches of Macedonia, Achaia, and Rome did when they contributed to the saints in Jerusalem (Rom 15:26). James lambasted the Christians because “they dishonored the poor man” (Jas 2:3-5). And Jesus himself gave money to the poor (Jn 12:5-6; 13:29).[28]

Second, the stranger’s status as a member of the Covenant did not relive the other members of the Covenant from their duties to care for him. The Covenant, which was the government, mandated that individuals allow the stranger to get the second pickings of the produce. The tithe, essentially a government tax, was designated for the stranger every three years.[29] Applying these texts to modern times, the church should critique the usual right-wing viewpoint that welfare is wrong or suspect. There should be consistent effort both within and outside of the church to promote programs which help ethnic minorities. Certainly, these programs need the checks and balances and there needs to be constant vigilance against corruption. But the abuse should not be used as an argument to dismantle the system.

Third, the Mosaic Covenant emphasizes the necessity of equal treatment for the stranger in the judicial system. The church should love their neighbor by fighting for equal treatment under the law in America. For example, the abuse of minorities by the Ferguson Police Department should have been protested by all the Church. However, a typical right-wing Evangelical response to the shooting and investigation was to overlook the problem. Randy White stated it most clearly:

Ferguson, MO has erupted in barbaric violence that should cause all law-abiding citizens to demand the restoration of the rule-of-law, but the Evangelical world is preaching kum-ba-ya sermons about race-relations. I’ve gotta say, I just don’t get it. . .. It seems to me that racial reconciliation is a good thing and is a social issue, not a doctrinal or theological issue, and certainly not a ‘gospel demand.’”[30]

Certainly, “rule of law” is necessary. But this attitude ignores the deeper question: why were they rioting in the first place? As was discovered by the Justice Department, the FPD was systematically targeting African Americans with citations in order to raise the income of the city.[31] The abuses of the FPD should have gained more protest by the right-wing Evangelical church. Instead, they let the protest fall into the hands of the #BlackLivesMatter organization.[32]

Conclusion and Personal Reflection

These conclusions may sound odd coming from a white southerner writing for a school well-documented for its previous racist policies.[33] But after examining the Scriptures and having studied both sides of the racial relations divide, I do not think I could come to any other conclusion.

There are several personal takeaways I gained in this whole process. While I did not discuss this topic in depth in the paper, I was moved by how seminaries historically banned African Americans from enrolling. There were a few schools that accepted them, but these were mainly liberal such as Union Theological Seminary. And so, coming to today, the social justice movement has not had solid exegesis because the schools that teach accurate exegesis were run by segregationists. While this has been changing, by God’s grace, the effects of this methodology are still felt. Thankfully, there has been a rise in orthodox theologians who are concerned with social justice.[34] This observation makes me consider applying the skills of my trade to the theological education of America’s minorities.

Another point that surprised me from my studies was the fact that part of the taxation system of Israel provided for the needy. In my right-wing climate, I had heard plenty about how the poor were supposed to go into the fields and gather the grain for themselves. It was up to the individual to decide how much he left behind. The implications for American politics was clear: small government and smaller welfare. But this method for helping the poor was only part of the picture in Israel. They had taxes that provided food directly to the poor without their having to work for it. (If America took its income tax every third year and designated it to poverty relief, this would change the climate of America.) God does provide for the poor via the state, and Christians should participate in programs that help the poor. Certainly, where there is money, there is corruption. And we should fight it. But the corruption should not stop the greater good of caring for the poor.

[1]. Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

[2]. For a lay explanation of policing and African Americans: Ava DuVernay, 13th, Documentary (Netflix, 2016); United States Department of Justice: Civil Rights Division. 2015., Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, March 4, 2015, accessed December 7, 2019, https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf; United States Department of Justice: Civil Rights Division. 2016. Investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department, accessed December 7, 2019, https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/883296/download; Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New York: New Press, 2010); John F. Pfaff, Locked in: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration – and How to Achieve Real Reform (New York: Basic Books, 2017); Ian F. Haney López, “Post-Racial Racism: Racial Stratification and Mass Incarceration in the Age of Obama,” California Law Review 98, no. 3 (2010): 1023–1074; Michelle S. Phelps, “Ending Mass Probation,” The Future of Children 28, no. 1 (2018): 125–146.

[3]. Mehrsa Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).

[4]. John Perkins, Let Justice Roll Down (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014).

[5]. Bob Jones Sr. argued that the African American community was equally oppressed as the poor whites: “Do not let people lead you astray. ‘Well,’ you say, ‘The colored folks have not been treated right.’ I agree with you. Neither have the poor white people been treated right. . .. The colored people in the south today are better off than they are anywhere else in the world.” Jones drew from his own experience, rather than researching his position. The sad reality was that African Americans were nor treated right because they were black, not just because they were poor. Even well off African Americans were treated with contempt. Bob Sr. Jones, Is Segregation Scriptural? (Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University, 1960), 11–2. See also, Jemar Tisby, The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019).

[6]. Woke Church, 155.

[7]. Ibid.

[8]. 2 Corinthians 4:4 states that Jesus “is the εἰκών of God.” εἰκών is the word used in Genesis 1:27 LXX.

[9]. On the black liberation side: James H. Cone, “The White Church and Black Power,” in Black Theology: A Documentary History, vol. 1 (New York: Orbis Books, 1993), 67. On the traditional reformed side: James White, “The Racialist Lens Disrupts True Christian Unity: A Response to Thabiti Anyabwile,” accessed December 7, 2019, https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2018/04/09/the-racialist-lens-disrupts-true-christian-unity-a-response-to-thabiti-anyabwile/..

[10]. James White, Twitter Post, May 11, 2018, https://twitter.com/DrOakley1689/status/9950427817006776 32.

[11]. Anthony Bradley, Twitter Post, May 12, 2018, https://twitter.com/drantbradley/status/99527636821565 8496.

[12]. Eric Mason, Twitter Post, May 13, 2018, accessed December 7, 2019, https://twitter.com/pastoremase/status/995749823168040972.

[13]. Mason, Woke Church, 115; See also, Mika Edmondson, Twitter Post, May 12, 2018, accessed December 7, 2019, https://twitter.com/mika_edmondson/status/995365143524626434.

[14]. James White, “Dr. Mason’s the Woke Church’s Misrepresentation, Open Phones,” accessed December 7, 2019, https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/2018/10/18/dr-masons-the-woke-churchs-misrepresentation-open-phones/.

[15]. Douglas Mangum et al., eds., “Δεῖπνον,” The Lexham Theological Wordbook (Bellingham, WA: Lexham, 2014); Valeriy A. Alikin, “The Lord’s Supper in the Early Church,” in The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering, Origin, Development and Content of the Christian Gathering in the First to Third Centuries (Brill, 2010), 104.

[16]. “The Lord’s Supper in the Early Church,” 108; H. J. de Jonge, “The Early History of the Lord’s Supper,” in Religious Identity and the Invention of Tradition., ed. J. W. van Henten and A. Houtepen (Assen, Netherlands: Royal Van Gorcum, 2001), 222.

[17]. “The Lord’s Supper in the Early Church,” 142.

[18]. Marcos Daoud, trans., The Liturgy of the Ethiopian Church (1959: Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Kingston, Jamaica), 10.

[19]. George Percy Badger, The Nestorians and Their Rituals, vol. 2 (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), 241–2; Joseph Elders, “The Lost Churches of the Arabian Gulf: Recent Discoveries on the Islands of Sir Bani Yas and Marawah, Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates,” Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 31 (2001): 51.

[20]. Liberation theologian Leonard Boff also uses the concept of perichoresis, though in a different context. I arrived at my position independently from him. He says, “This understanding of the mystery of the Trinity is extremely rich in suggestion in the context of oppression and desire for liberation. The oppressed struggle for participation at all levels of life, for a just and egalitarian sharing while respecting the differences between persons and groups; they seek communion with other cultures and other values, and with God as the ultimate meaning of history and of their own hearts. As these realities are withheld from them in history, they feel obliged to undertake a process of liberation that seeks to enlarge the space for participation and communion available to them. For those who have faith, the trinitarian communion between the divine Three, the union between them in love and vital interpenetration, can serve as a source of inspiration, as a utopian goal that generates models of successively diminishing differences. This is one of the reasons why I am taking the concept of perichoresis as the structural axis of these thoughts. It speaks to the oppressed in their quest and struggle for integral liberation. The community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit becomes the prototype of the human community dreamed of by those who wish to improve society and build it in such a way as to make it into the image and likeness of the Trinity.” Leonardo Boff, Trinity and Society (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988), 6–7.

 

[21]. James H. Cone, For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1984), 188.

[22]. Woke Church, 54.

[23]. Ibid., 137.

[24]. James White, “A Biblical View of True Unity in the Body,” accessed December 7, 2019, https://stateme ntonsocialjustice.com/articles/biblical-view-unity.

[25]. White, “The Racialist Lens Disrupts True Christian Unity.”

[26]. I am willing to admit this is an overstatement, if I am corrected. But from my reading of and listening to James White, this best represents his position.

[27]. Massey and Denton, American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass; Baradaran, The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap.

[28]. In these verses, the statement is that Jesus did not give money to the poor. Yet, from the conversation in the passage, it seems that the implication is that Jesus gave money to the poor on a regular basis. And in these instances, it was unusual for this not to be done.

[29]. J. M. Powis Smith, “The Deuteronomic Tithe,” The American Journal of Theology 18, no. 1 (1914): 119–26; Joseph M. Baumgarten, “On the Non-Literal Use of Ma’ăśēr/Dekatē,” Journal of Biblical Literature 103, no. 2 (1984): 245–51.

[30]. Randy White, “I Don’t Understand the Evangelical Response to Ferguson,” accessed December 7, 2019, https://randywhiteministries.org/articles/dont-understand-evangelical-response-ferguson/.

[31]. After the Michael Brown, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the FPD. They found that “City and police leadership pressure officers to write citations, independent of any public safety need, and rely on citation productivity to fund the City budget.” The result of this study found that “African Americans experience the harms of the disparities identified below as part of a comprehensive municipal justice system that, at each juncture, enforces the law more harshly against black people than others.” United States Department of Justice: Civil Rights Division. 2015. Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/opa/press-releases/attachments/2015/03/04/ferguson_police_department_report.pdf

[32]. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Chicago: Haymarket, 2016); Woke Church, 117.

[33]. Is Segregation Scriptural?; Christopher Connell, “Bob Jones University: Doing Battle in the Name of Religion and Freedom,” Change 15, no. 4 (1983): 38–47; Mayer G. Freed and Daniel D. Polsby, “Race, Religion, and Public Policy: Bob Jones University v. United States,” The Supreme Court Review 1983 (1983): 1–31; Aaron Haberman, “Into the Wilderness: Ronald Reagan, Bob Jones University, and the Political Education of the Christian Right,” The Historian 67, no. 2 (2005): 234–253; “Statement about Race at BJU,” Bob Jones University, accessed December 2, 2019, https://www.bju.edu/about/what-we-believe/race-statement.php; Katelyn Beaty, “Bob Jones U. Apologizes for Former Racist Policies,” accessed December 2, 2019, https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2008/ november/bob-jones-u-apologizes-for-former-racist-policies.html; “Bob Jones University Apologizes for Its Racist Past,” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 62 (2008): 22–23; “Bob Jones Univ. Apologizes for Racist Policies,” accessed December 2, 2019, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27845030/ns/us_news-life/t/bob-jones-univ-apologizes-racist-policies/; The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism; Woke Church; “The Nation’s Best Bible College Gets Low Grades on Racial Diversity,” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 31 (2001): 43–45; “Looking Back: Ronald Reagan, a Master of Racial Polarization,” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 58 (2007): 33–36.

[34]. Tony Evans, The Power of Jesus’ Names (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2019); Thabiti Anyabwile, The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2007); Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007); Thabiti Anyabwile, Exalting Jesus in Luke, Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary (Nashville, TN: Holman, 2018); Jarvis Williams, Christ Redeemed “Us” from the Curse of the Law: A Jewish Martyrological Reading of Galatians 3.13, Library of New Testament Studies (New York: T&T Clark, 2019); Jarvis Williams and Kevin M. Sr. Jones, Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention: Diverse African American and White Perspectives (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2017); Jarvis Williams and Thomas R. Schreiner, One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2010); H. B. Charles Jr., On Preaching: Personal and Pastoral Insights for the Preparation and Practice of Preaching (Chicago: Moody, 2014); Eric Mason, Unleashed: Being Conformed to the Image of Christ (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2015); Bryan Loritts, Insider Outsider: My Journey as a Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2018); Bryan Loritts, A Cross-Shaped gospel: Reconciling Heaven and Earth (Chicago: Moody, 2011); James Earl Massey, Designing the Sermon: Order and Movement in Preaching, Abingdon Preacher’s Library Series (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1980); James Earl Massey, Stewards of The Story: The Task of Preaching (Lousiville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2006).

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