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Strength to Love Hardcover – January, 1963
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Most of the sermons in the book begin with a Bible verse which ties in to the theme of each sermon. One of the main themes of the collection as a whole is King's passionate denunciation of racial prejudice and of the tangible injustice that springs from that phenomenon.
King is also very critical of those sectors of the Christian world that have historically used the Bible and Christian theology as tools for promoting slavery, American racial segregation, and South African apartheid. Indeed, in the sermon entitled "A knock at midnight" he refers to the Christian churches' historic support of racism as one of "the shameful tragedies of history." And he is also critical of those Black churches that have reduced Christianity to either a frenzied form of "entertainment" or a snobbish social club. These are hard words that contemporary Christians need to hear and heed.
King's own vision of Christianity is bold and revolutionary. And this vision is firmly grounded in the person of Jesus, whom he describes as "the world's most dedicated nonconformist.Read more ›
This book has a foreword by King's daughter, Coretta Scott King, who speaks of this book as one that is most influential to others - the primary feature of King's theology and practice, nonviolence, is contained here. King's sense of justice, the love of the divine, the interconnectedness of all peoples in the human community, and King's ultimate sense of optimism come through the powerful words of these sermons.
King's words often take conventional phrases and ideas and bring out new meanings. King's ideas of the practical meaning of being a nonconformist, or of loving one's enemies, put new interpretations on these ideas. King talks of the difficulty of being a nonconformist, and the echoes of the Transcendentalists such as Emerson and Thoreau are present, as are theologians such as Niebuhr. King does not speak of the kind of simple nonconformity that typifies teen-age rebellion and angst (which is, in itself a very conformist kind of nonconformity), but rather a working against the prevailing norms of society toward a transformation in love and furtherance of the gospel message.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was one of two books Dr. King had in his briefcase the day he was killed in Memphis. This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Steve Kilpatrick
Fantastic book. This was an encouraging, well written and extremely thoughtful book that provided some great insight into MLK's idea of the Beloved Community.Published 1 month ago by Lester Meriwether
such an important book, a friend first gave it to me about two decades ago and since I have often gifted it to those that need inspiration.Published 2 months ago by Charlene Smith
Read maybe one chapter, but the one chapter I read on having a strong mind is so needed. Look forward to completing.Published 4 months ago by Dot
I can really understand what makes MLK great after reading this book. Good stuff!Published 5 months ago by JAMES E WARE