Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience Print-On-Demand Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From the Back Cover
About the Author
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As I read the newly re-released Signature addition of “Free at Last? The Gospel in the African American Experience” by Dr. Carl F. Ellis, Jr. I thought of Mose a number of times. Ellis, Provost's Professor of Theology and Culture at Reformed Theological Seminary, Senior Fellow of the African American Leadership Initiative, and Academic Director of the Makazi Institute, penned an earlier edition of this manuscript in 1983, and it’s second version in 1996 was picked up by IVP as a Signature Edition. Now in 2020, this 296-page paperback is being re-presented to the world, and it is just in the nick of time! Between these covers lies a friendly, factual and faith-filled case study of Black heritage in America. Though it is friendly, it is not facile. The author will challenge readers, black, white, northern, southern, secularist, Christian, Evangelical, Fundamentalist and Reformed, right where each needs to be challenged. The factual comes from a man who has lived and sweat through many of the seasons he recounts. And the faith-filled is because the Gospel of Jesus Christ pulses through the arteries and capillaries of each chapter.
After the intriguingly insightful forward by Amisho Baraka, Ellis takes his readers on a journey. This pilgrimage leads from Africa to America, and up the unfolding slopes and stages of the centuries. Our traveling companions and trail guides are African Americans who have pushed forward, trying to bring their fellow Blacks more fully into liberty and justice. The author maps out the ideological genealogies of various movements and endeavors. This was incredibly helpful, because it gave me a clearer perception of certain groups that now exist, and which ancestral stream they spawned from. There is also a chronicling of several of our guides and companions, which was similarly enlightening, especially regarding Malcolm X and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Finally, the glossary, which takes up one-fifth of the book, is an educational resource in and of itself.
Though this volume is academically rigorous, it is not heartless or stoic. God’s grace comes through as the reason and the remedy. For example, while the author tackles oppression and resistance, he declares that “the oppressed, when they resist oppression, are resisting unrighteousness. It does not mean that the oppressed are more righteous than the oppressors. It does mean, however, that they have the opportunity to demonstrate more righteousness…resisting oppression is more righteous than giving in to it or inflicting it on others, especially if the oppressed resist righteously.” But then, unexpectedly, Ellis states clearly that the “oppressed must fight to break the back of oppression so they can seek God’s solution to their own unrighteousness” (29-30). Again and again, the author comes back to the sobering realities that save people and movements from utopianism and secularist perfectionism, for “the closer a people get to liberation, the more their own ungodliness and God’s judgment will show…Liberation is insufficient if it is not accompanied by the empowerment that results from a quest for godliness in every area of life” (189). I heard strong supporting strains from Martin Luther King and John M. Perkins in the background while Ellis was riffing through his topics. There was a tonal beauty that blends together in these pages to catch up a soul!
“Free at Last?” is a work I will always be grateful for, not only because it reminded me again of Old Mose, but also because it gave me a greater appreciation for that aged man of faith. I look forward to seeing him again when, by the grace of God, we can gather together on the other side of the Jordan. If you’re a white Christian, especially in my own Reformed tradition, you need to snatch up this book and pour over it with a heart wide open before God. If you’re a black believer, I implore you to get a copy and make it your own. And together, with arms interlocked, let us rejoice together that God gives us dignity, and say together “if God is somebody, which he is, then I am somebody because I in some ways resemble God” (31). Yes, indeed, I highly recommend this book!
Thanks to IVP for providing, upon my request, a gratis copy of “Free at Last?” It is the specific manuscript used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions, requirements, mandate, or malfeasance.