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Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America Paperback – February 28, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Anthony Bradley's analysis of black liberation theology is by far the best thing that I have read on the subject. Anthony's book is comprehensive and in-depth. He covers all of the bases, and thereby provides the reader with all of the information that he needs to understand the critical issues involved with black liberation theology. By covering such figures as James Cone, Cornell West, and Jeremiah Wright, we see all of the nuances involved with their approaches to the subject. His explanation of victimology, Marxism, and aberrant Christian doctrine make a noxious mix of ideas that would make any true Christian wary of anything even approaching black liberation theology. His keen insight into these ideas and his clarity of writing make this book a jewel. Anthony has done the Christian community a great service by writing this book. There was a significant need for a work of this type and its arrival is long overdue."
Craig Vincent Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I have read a number of books which purport to explain, define, or critique black liberation theology, but Liberating Black Theology is the easiest to understand. This is because Dr. Bradley unapologetically maintains a biblical, orthodox perspective while being sympathetic to the issues and concerns of black liberation theologians. The book should be required reading for any seminary class on biblical interpretation and for seminary students and pastors interested in understanding the history and struggles of the black church in America."
Wy Plummer, African American Ministries Coordinator, Mission to North America, Presbyterian Church in America

"With irenic tone Bradley reveals the theological justification of racial separation inherent within the victimization philosophy of both first generation and second generation black theology. His analysis demonstrates how the vision of Cone and his intellectual offspring contributes to rather than resolves DuBois' problem of the twentieth (now twenty-first!) century."
Eric C. Redmond, Assistant Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Pastor of Adult Ministries, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois

About the Author

Anthony B. Bradley (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is associate professor of theology and ethics at The King's College. He also serves as a Research Fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and is a sought-after commentator on current issues for major broadcast media such as NPR and CNN/Headline News.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (February 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433511479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433511479
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Brockman on June 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Bible is about Jesus Christ. This is the historical, orthodox view. As Luke 24:27 tells us, it was also the view of Jesus, "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." The Bible then, is to be read and understood through that lens - it is centrally about the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. This however is not the view of Black Liberation Theology.

According to Black Liberation Theology, the central interpretive lens through which the Bible is read and understood is... well, maybe you should just read the book and find out!

Because most readers will be unfamiliar with Black Liberation Theology, I would rate this book as an "Intermediate" level read.

Strengths:
A helpful introduction to Black Liberation Theology. Bradley's primary focus is on the work of James Cone and Cornel West. Bradley works hard at fairly, respectfully, and accurately representing their views. He is also sympathetic to the historical context that influenced their work, particularly that of Cone, even though in the end Bradley disagrees with the approach of Cone and West to God and Scripture. 5 stars in terms of a very helpful, respectful introduction, and critique of Black Liberation Theology from the perspective of an orthodox Christian scholar.

Weaknesses:
The book needed a better editor. Since many readers will be unfamiliar with Black Liberation Theology each page feels like you are taking in new information (which certainly makes for an enjoyable reading experience). However, it requires some effort and an editor with a better understanding of the potential audience could have served this work better. Minus 1 star for this reason.

I recommend the book.
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I had seen this author on a news commentary show, and the subject seemed so interesting. Being a conservative white (although married to a conservative black) this thinking of Black Liberation Theology seemed so foreign to me - I just wanted to understand the logic behind it. The author does a great job of explaining BLT and why it is not in agreement to Scripture. Although full of reference, I didn't find the book difficult to read. I still don't agree with BLT by any means, but at least I now understand the thinking behind the theology and why so many choose to be a "victim".
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Wow... as an aspiring member of the African-American clergy this critique helps me see where I need to focus. It exposes the flaws in liberation theology at the presuppositions level and then provides a remedy to fix it. Amazing.
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Every American must read this book. Until I attended a speech by the Rev Dr Jeremiah Wright on February 19, 2015, I had no idea what "black church" and "black theology" referred to. However, I think they refer to the consequence of James Cones books in 1969 and afterwards, renewed in 2010. The idea is that the fact that white Christianity did not come to the aid of American slaves is evidence that the Christian god is black and black Americans (not other blacks) will reign supreme. That being accepted, no black should allow himself or herself to be influenced by "whitey," a term that extends beyond persons to a culture of Western Bible interpretation. It is a brand of Marxism; it encourages the individual to dedicate her/his lifetime to a separatist culture based on a narrow view of the past that can rob the individual from collaboration with a civic people in this land to enjoy for now and the future the possible combination personal liberty and domestic goodwill. I have no idea how many Americans are influenced by black liberation theology.
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Format: Paperback
The first time I heard Reverend Jeremiah Wright yell, "God damn America!" I was eating breakfast with complete strangers. My college choir was touring the Midwest and each night we would stay with local volunteer families. There I was, sipping coffee with my host family, when the now-infamous clip of Rev. Wright's sermon began to play on the morning news.

A bit of awkwardness set in, but it was eventually relieved by the mother, who let out a modest laugh and simply said, "Well...that was interesting."

It was the spring before the 2008 election, and that replay of Rev. Wright's sermon was certainly not the last. But throughout the entire media hubbub that followed, I couldn't help but think back to that mother's reaction.

What did most Americans really think of all this? What was it about Rev. Wright's sermon that so thoroughly enraged them? Did it have to do with his core religious beliefs, or was it merely his insult to America? Did they outright dismiss Rev. Wright as a fringe radical, or did they understand that his belief system held prominence in some circles?

For those whose education in black liberation theology ended with media sound bites, theologian Anthony Bradley's new book, Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America, will sufficiently fill in the gaps.

For Bradley, however, the Obama-Wright controversy serves only as a window into the realm of black liberation theology. Without it, most Americans, including most blacks, would be unaware that such theology even exists. Therefore, Bradley's book is not about politics, nor is it even about Rev. Wright. Instead, it focuses wholly on the actual theology -- its history, its anthropology, and its overall implications.
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