There is a place in Christian theology — stemming from a deep reflection on the Person and work of Christ — for radical jeremiads against bigotry, injustice, and oppression of all kinds. The earliest African Americans understood this and, consequently, were able to hold both a conventional Christology and an active political praxis. The two are not mutually exclusive, and yet, the theological trajectory followed in the last seventy-five years seems to treat them as such.
To the extent that African American thinkers obfuscated the centrality of Jesus' spiritual mission to purchase a special people for Himself, then they participated in that grand lie of the serpent in the garden that promised knowledge beyond imagination but only ended in the destruction of souls.
This is no victimless crime. Materialism and black nationalism masquerading as Christology overthrow the faith of many — shrouding the cross of Jesus in the temporal affairs of this world, which in turn choke the seeds of the Gospel.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
The Decline of African American Theology
Boundless Webzine features an excerpt from Thabiti Anyawile's book by that title. Here's a sample: