The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity (Anyabwile)

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InterVarsity Press

Who were Jupiter Hammon, Lemuel Haynes and Daniel Alexander Payne? And what do they have in common with Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman and James Cone? All of these were African American Christian theologians, yet their theologies are, in many ways, worlds apart.

In this book, Thabiti Anyabwile offers a challenging and provocative assessment of the history of African American Christian theology, from its earliest beginnings to the present. He argues trenchantly that the modern fruit of African American theology has fallen far from the tree of its early predecessors. In doing so, Anyabwile closely examines the theological commitments of prominent African American theologians throughout American history. Chapter by chapter, he traces what he sees as the theological decline of African American theology from one generation to the next, concluding with an unflinching examination of several contemporary figures. Replete with primary texts and illustrations, this book is a gold mine for any reader interested in the history of African American Christianity.


Table of Contents:

Foreword by Mark Noll

1. "I Once Was Blind but Now I See": The Doctrine of Revelation in the African American Experience

2. "A Father to the Fatherless": The African American Doctrine of God

3. "Ain’t I a Man?": African American Anthropology

4. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus": The Christology of African Americans

5. "What Must I Do to Be Saved?": African American Soteriology

6. "Gettin’ in De Spirit": Pneumatology in the African American Experience



Thabiti M. Anyabwile is pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC. Pastor Anyabwile and his wife, Kristie, have three children.



". . A triumph. . . Anyabwile's work is a resounding call for the African-American church to return to orthodox views of Scripture held by the earliest Christians, the Reformers, and leading African-American theologians of the past." - C. E. Moore, The Christian Manifesto, February 20, 2008

"Thabiti Anyabwile builds on rich religion scholarship for the black church in the U.S.A." - Dwight B. Hopkins

"An impressive array of historical and theological reflections on the African American church's religious tradition. Anyabwile presents a cogent argument that places the demand on the church's leadership, its theologians and its laypeople to continually evaluate its biblical and theological foundations for both the church's self-understanding as the people of God, and its objectives as God's agents in the world." - Bruce L. Fields