More than Ferguson

After the St. Louis County (MO) Grand Jury in Ferguson declined to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, chaos ensued.  Certainly, chaos ensued in the streets of Ferguson as protests turned into riots throughout the city.  At the same time, chaos of a different sort emerged among evangelicals.  In the aggregate, evangelicals [Read More...]

Race, Religion, and Teaching in Prison

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The St. Louis County grand jury tasked with determining whether enough evidence exists to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown will announce its decision later this month.  Regardless of the outcome of that inquiry, large groups of people will be disatisfied, even angry.  Unfortunately, their reaction will not be [Read More...]

How the Federal Council of Churches influenced The Sunday School Times

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After twenty-one years of marriage, my wife and I know each other pretty well.  We are in that stage of our relationship where we often know what the other person is thinking in a conversation with a third party and can, at times, finish each other’s sentences.  Often, we find ourselves exclaiming, “that’s exactly what [Read More...]

Black religion and Vietnam

Beyond Vietnam

On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. preached at Riverside Church in New York City. In his sermon (listen to it here) he publicly broke ranks with the policies of President Lyndon Johnson and the white liberal establishment (which still largely supported the war) as he condemned American involvement in Vietnam. King articulated what [Read More...]

Evangelicals and Dr. King

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Edward Gilbreath’s Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church (InterVarsity, 2013) offers both a stirring challenge and a strong dose of hope to American evangelicals. Gilbreath, an editor at large with Christianity Today and executive director of communications for the Evangelical Covenant Church, focuses his gaze at King’s 1963 “Letter from [Read More...]

Mormons and Race

Last week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new, detailed statement on “Race and the Priesthood” on its “Gospel Topics” website. For those unfamiliar with the topic, during Joseph Smith’s lifetime the church ordained a number of black men into the priesthood, an expected progression for any male member of the [Read More...]

Civil Rights and the Federal Government in the African American Experience

Last month, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington.  Led by veteran civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, the event sought to provide a public demonstration of support for a comprehensive civil rights bill being proposed by President Kennedy.  Most well-known for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have [Read More...]

Evangelicals and White Supremacy (part II)

While a national denomination fitfully advanced an agenda of social justice and civil rights, my local congregation fractured. The session moderator, a host of leading congregants, and much of the attendance disappeared. Week by week, the numbers dwindled. Empty pews were disillusioning. Across the country, congregations were leaving and joining a splinter denomination, and bitter [Read More...]

Evangelicals and White Supremacy

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Carolyn Renée Dupont’s Mississippi Praying: Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975 is a challenging book, both in terms of history and theology. What follows is the first of a two-part review. This week, I lay out Dupont’s arguments. Next week, I’ll flesh out the story and assess those arguments. Dupont challenges much [Read More...]

The Quandary of African American Evangelicalism

Guest post from Miles S. Mullin II, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies: John Fea’s recent Anxious Bench post, “Where Are the Studies of Twentieth-Century Black Evangelicalism?” raised an excellent question, one that confronted me over a decade ago as a graduate student in Dennis Dickerson’s Religion and the Civil Rights [Read More...]


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