I have begun reading two books by Thabiti Anyabwile The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity and The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. The first book is a fusion of a history book and a work of Systematic Theology. In it he walks us through history looking at the change in the way we understand, teach, and experience God. The thing that I am enjoying the most, however, are the profiles of black pastors who were there during key moments in the history of this country. Anyabwile includes some great quotes like this one below:
But can mortal man behold him? The eagle with his eyes before he can gaze upon the unclouded sun. Who then can gaze upon the visage of that God whose shadow illumines the sun, who covers himself with light, as with a garment? Nevertheless the pure in heart shall see God. They shall see him in all of his works of nature, providence, and grace. They see him alike in the minute insect, and huge elephant; in the sagacious mocking bird and the stupid ostrich. They see him sprinkling the earth with flowers, and gilding the firmament with stars! They see him walking with Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego, in the fiery furnace, and sitting with Daniel in the lion's den. They see him while a babe in the manger, and a man quelling the raging sea amid the howling storm! They see him amid the lightnings and thunders of Sinai and amid the tears, the groans, and blood of Calvary! - Bishop Daniel Alexander Payne (1811-1893) This is taken from An Address to the Negroes in the State of New York by Jupiter Hammon (1711-1806?)
The Bible is the word of God and tells you what you must do to please God; it tells you how you may escape misery and be happy forever.If you see most people neglect the Bible, and many that can read never look into it, let it not harden you and make you think lightly of it and that it is a book of no worth. All those who are really good love the Bible and meditate on it day and night. In the Bible, God has told us everything we should know in order to be happy here and hereafter. The Bible is the mind and will of God to men. Anyabwile looks at 5 periods within history:
- Early Slavery Through Abolition Era (1600-1865)
- Reconstruction, "Jim Crow" Segregation, Great Migration and the "New Negro" Movement (1865-1929)3. Depression and World War II (1930-1949)4. Civil Rights Era (1950-1979)5. End of Century, Postmodern Era (1980-present)
Just the few chapters have been enlightening for me. I am looking forward to finishing these books.