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The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity) Hardcover – December 6, 2013
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"With historical detail and theological nuance, Raphael Warnock has provided an insightful treatment of the complex relationship between the institution of black churches and black theology. His call for a fifth, integrative moment in the expression of a liberationist faith—what he sees as the flowering of a self-critical liberationist community—is a bold and imaginative gesture from someone who occupies one of the most important pulpits in the world. With this book, Warnock has done a great service for black theology and for black churches."-Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.,William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Princeton University
"As a fellow pastor/scholar and public theologian committed to bridging the gap between Black Theology and the Black Church, I applaud Raphael Warnock for this tour de force. With impeccable scholarship, critical insight, and analytical eloquence, he creatively weaves the disparate strands of a complex religious history into a lucid, coherent, and compelling narrative. From professors in the classroom to pastors in the pulpit, and from people in the pews to people in the streets, anyone desiring a deeper understanding of that enduring yet elusive enigma known as `the Black Church’ will find this erudite, comprehensive, and intriguing text to be both an ecclesiological treasure and a theological bonanza."-The Reverend Dennis W. Wiley, Ph.D.,Pastor, Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ
"Warnock carefully traces the history and evolution of the independent black church in America, moving from the black church as a bastion against slavery all the way to the role Ebenezer Baptist and other black churches played in the Civil Rights Movement. He asserts that the black church's roots are in the battle for social liberation of black people, rooted in a progressive understanding of the life and message of Jesus Christ."-Mark Reynolds,Popmatters
"Warnock weaves together an impressive array of subjects to advance his argument on the ‘divided mind’ of the black church….His introduction, five chapters, and conclusion provide much in structure and content for the advancement of his burden, namely, the construction of a ‘self-critical liberationist community’ where ‘piety and protest’ may be held in balance.”-Sociology of Religion
"Raphael Warnock, a son of Pentecostal preachers, a theological protégée of James Cone, and pulpit heir of Martin Luther King, Jr., is brilliantly conversant with the ivory tower of academia, yet works in the ebony trenches for justice and the liberation of the 'least of these.' In this literary gift he has insightfully traced the ecclesial and theological journey of the Black Church in America, diagnosing a 'double consciousness' that borders on bipolarity. He prophetically pronounces liberation from captivity to a borrowed oppressive theology that is illustrated by Black pastors who have a picture of Dr. King in the study, but are influenced by Rick Warren when they preach from the pulpit. This scholar-prophet-pastor, in this wonderful work, is presiding over a wedding ceremony, uniting in holy wedlock, piety and protest, the scholarship of liberation and womanist scholars and the ministry and pulpit of the Black Church, with the hope that this marriage will birth a 'new moment of a self critical liberating community.' This family of freedom and faith proposed by Dr. Warnock will usher in that day when 'justice rolls down like waters and righteousness as an ever flowing stream.'"-Frederick D. Haynes III,Senior Pastor, Friendship-West Baptist Church
“Raphael Warnock is known as one of the most brilliant orators of his generation. This excellent new book reveals him to be a brilliant scholar as well. It is the first major work to critically explore the 'double-minded' relationship between the social practice of black churches and the radical implications of their historical witness against the social oppression of the black masses. Warnock’s path-breaking periodization of the social activism of the black church is a major contribution to understanding the role of black churches in this nation’s often stumbling march toward a racially just society. . . . The Divided Mind of the Black Church is a must read for every black pastor, theologian, scholar, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the history and political culture of black churches and the expanding contours of black theological scholarship.”-Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.,author of The Universe Bends Toward Justice
"As we celebrate the life of the most famous black pastor, Martin Luther King Jr., we should remember that the black church mission connects faith with justice and personal salvation with social transformation, and addresses personal piety and public policy for the well-being of the whole person and the whole community. It fights for the weak and sees the Gospel as 'good news for the poor.'"-Raphael G. Warnock,CNN
"Refusing to be content with the piety or protest divide between the Black Church and Black Theology, Warnock argues with scholarly rigor and pastoral fire for a vital partnership between the two. As a dedicated pastor and astute theologian, Warnock persuasively argues for a fifth movement in the Black Christian tradition—a self-critical liberationist community that represents a public theology founded on the pietistic and liberationist dimensions of the Church. This is a must read for clergy, laity, and the academy."-Emilie M. Townes,Dean and Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
“This well-written and meticulously researched treatment of black church piety and social engagement is a timely and pivotal assessment as we head into the next chapter of American religious life.”-The Christian Century
"Eloquently lays waste to the false theological dilemma between advocates of individual salvation and social justice. Real religion is both personal and political; Warnock skillfully shows how that works by probing creative tensions in the black church between heavenly hunger and earthly engagement. He brilliantly enhances the distinguished intellectual achievement of the historic Ebenezer pulpit by showing how black and womanist theologies partner with the black church to bring God's mighty word to bear on our souls and society all at once."-Michael Eric Dyson,University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University
"Raphael Warnock demonstrates in this book that he is a worthy occupant of the Ebenezer pulpit, following in the intellectual tradition of Martin King and his mentor, Dr. Benjamin Mays. It was faith that led us to activism. Whether one is looking to understand the foundation of civil rights, to understand the role of faith in our public life or seeking to understand a personal call to serve, this book will be enlightening."-Andrew Young,former U.N. Ambassador, Mayor of Atlanta and Executive Vice President of SCLC
"This contribution to the enduring subject of piety and protest in black theological discourse is of special importance because it is written from the vantage point of one who stands in the gap—a competent theologian with a pastoral vocation—validating his craft in the trenches of social justice advocacy and community transformation."-Cheryl J. Sanders,Howard University School of Divinity
"Embodied in this book is the sharpness of mind of one with an earned Ph.D. in theological studies and the human compassion of a pastor of one of the major churches in the United States. Rarely, if at all, do we get to relish such combined matters of the head and heart. Moreover, this groundbreaking work is rooted in deep spirituality and progressive commitment to the Bible. The ponderings in these pages echo the insightful eyes of the prophetic mystic, Howard Thurman and the scholarly activism of Martin Luther King, Jr." -Dwight N. Hopkins,editor of The Cambridge Companion to Black Theology
"The book read as an altar call to action that honors the liberationist roots of a global church community, regardless of race or gender."-Publishers Weekly
"The broadness and depth of Warnock’s theological education and his distinguished pulpit give him the authority to ask the question: piety or protest? Warnock leads us through the history of the tensions and conversations among the black church, black theology and black pastors to boldly change this question into an exclamatory indicative: piety and protest. He admonishes all parties to move beyond the silos of their particular perspective to convene for the broader exchange of ideas, enabling us to fulfill our mission of helping to save the black community and the soul of our nation." -James A. Forbes Jr.,Senior Pastor Emeritus, Riverside Church
About the Author
Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock serves as Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia).
Top Customer Reviews
theology as a historic, legitimate, and provocative presentation of the gospel to the contemporary African American church and community.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a powerful book. The author/writer Dr. Raphael G. Warnock is a brilliant thinker. I see the Black Churches role in a different
perspective. Keep on writing Dr. Read more
Rev Warnock is truly a message from God and this book will take you to another mindset to see where we need to be in this present Church Movement.Published on January 12, 2014 by Atlanta
this is an exceptional book, combining the best of scholarship on the issues with the eye of the pastorate.....i know of nothing to compare with itPublished on January 8, 2014 by david o woodyard