The Black church has a gift for American Christianity. Are we all willing to receive it? New Testament scholar Esau McCaulley, author of “Reading While Black,” talks with Amy Julia about Black biblical interpretation, distorted views of the gospel, the importance of identity within a Christian’s story, and the Black church’s commitment to both the theological tenets of Christianity and advocating for justice.
Esau McCaulley (PhD, St. Andrews), author of “Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope,” a priest in the Anglican Church in North America, and a contributing writer for The New York Times. He is also the host of The Disrupters podcast. His publications include Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance and numerous articles in outlets such as Christianity Today, The Witness, and The Washington Post. Connect with him online:
“There’s a whole story in the Bible of God liberating an entire people who are enslaved. This goes to the front of God’s resume. He says it over and over and over again, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’”
“The very practice of going to the Bible and asking God to meet us there is an exercise of hope.”
“Look to the Black church in America. It has a long history of advocacy for justice along with remaining in the great tradition of things Christians will always believe.”
“If our ethnicity is eschatological, if we go into the new creation as black and brown and white people, if we all come into the kingdom as our ethnic selves, then God is glorified in the salvation of each of us and each part of who we are. My blackness is not immaterial to the story of my life. I can’t tell the story of my life and what God has done in my life without talking about what it means to be Black and Christian.”
On the Podcast:
- Articles/Essays in The New York Times
- Scripture: Genesis 48, Exodus 12:37-38, I Timothy 6:1-2, Genesis 1:26-28, Luke 20:4, Sermon on the Mount, Revelation, John 9
- “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride
- “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” by James Cone
- The New York Times: The Bloody Fourth Day of Christmas
- Penny’s diagnosis of Down syndrome
Thank you to Breaking Ground, the co-host for this podcast.
White Picket Fences, Season 3 of Love is Stronger Than Fear, is based on my book White Picket Fences, and today we are talking about chapter 7. Check out free RESOURCES—action guide, discussion guides—that are designed to help you respond. Learn more about my writing and speaking at amyjuliabecker.com.
To go further with Amy Julia:
- Love is Stronger Than Fear | Season 3—White Picket Fences
- AJB Recommends: Books, Podcasts, and Films About Racism and Privilege
- AJB on Racial Healing
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