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In chapter 5, Esau McCaulley discusses the issue of black identity.
For some people, he says, Black Christianity is a false notion, foisted upon black people by their oppressors.
History says otherwise. In the days of the early church, there were three centres of Christianity – Rome, Antioch and Alexandria. It cannot be true, then, that Christianity first came to Africans via slavery. Christianity belongs to Africans as much as it belongs to Europeans. Ethiopia was evangelised in the 4th century, and Nubia (in what we now call the Sudan) by the 6th century.…
Chapter four is subtitled: ‘The Bible and the Pursuit of Justice.’
The burden of this chapter
Luke was a Gentile Christian. As such, his very place in the Christian community would have been a matter of some controversy at first.
Luke’s Gospel reflects the resolution of this early controversy by heralding the fulfilment of God’s age-old plan to create an international, multi-ethnic people for his own glory.…
In chapter three, Esau McCaulley discusses ‘the New Testament and the Political Witness of the Church’.
The white Christian consensus in America, writes McCaulley, has reduced its political theology to two things: prayer (as per 1 Timothy 2:1-4) and law and order (as per Romans 13:1-7). Not, of course, that that there is anything wrong with these two things! But to limit political theology in this was is to misread those very texts, and also to ignore the wider witness of the New Testament.…
Chapter 2 of Esau McCaulley’s book Reading While Black discusses ‘The New Testament and a Theology of Policing.’
McCauley selects two texts for consideration. The first has implications for the state, and the second for the individual law enforcer.
13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 13:2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 13:3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad).…
Having read Ben Lindsay’s book We Need to Talk About Race, I have now turned to Esau D. McCaulley’s Reading While Black (IVP, 2020).
I am finding it a more satisfying read.
McCaulley is an American biblical scholar and Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, Illinois.
Subtitled, ‘African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope’, this book advocates an approach to biblical interpretation that is faithful to the inspired Scripture but that also reflects the experiences, needs and perspective of black readers.…
Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, began to plant a vineyard. 9:21 When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered himself inside his tent. 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. 9:23 Shem and Japheth took the garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in backwards and covered up their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father’s nakedness.…
Text: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
You should be ashamed of yourselves!
And these are all Christians suing one another! What are the godly doing, asking the ungodly to resolve their differences?
‘Why not rather be wronged?’ (v7)!
Root problem: Christians are using worldly means to settle their petty disputes.
Norwich in 2021 is not the same as Corinth in AD50. …
Mark Brumley, a Roman Catholic author, asks: Did the early Church endorse slavery?
George Whitefield (1714 – 1700) was an outstanding evangelist. When, in 1740, he first traveled to North America he was appalled by the way slaves were treated:
It seems incredible to most of us today that mature and thoughtful Christians leaders in the American South (including J.H. Thornwell and R.L Dabney) persisted in defending the institution of slavery.
It should not be supposed, however, that they did so from simple-minded malice. Anyone who thinks about the matter would do well to reflect on the ways in which they attempted to justify the practice.
An article in Christianity Today summarises the key reasons given by church leaders in the South:
• Abraham, the “father of faith,” and all the patriarchs held slaves without God’s disapproval (Gen.…