The Faithful Preacher
by Thabiti Anyabwile
Talking about the faith with my African-American pastor friends are some of the more awkward conversations I experience. We come from totally different backgrounds, with totally different perspectives, and that leaves very little common ground. So I am greatly encouraged to see blogger, pastor, and author Thabiti Anyabwile taking the time to address the nature and status of the black church in a series of blog posts titled, Can the Predominantly African-American Church Be Reformed? I have learned a lot about why my friends and I have a hard time discussion the nature of the church. These blog posts are interesting and engaging.
In seeking the reformation of the “predominantly African-American church” Anyabwile has also set out to present the lives of three black pastors. He does this in his new book from Crossway titled, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three African-American Pastors. The pastors highlighted are Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), Daniel A. Payne (1811-1893) and Francis J. Grimké (1850-1937). The book contains one short biography of each man but is largely comprised of sermon transcripts.
Here is one short example from a sermon by Francis J. Grimké from 1919. Addressing the reconstruction of the damages done by World War I, he says,
“As a minister of Jesus Christ in this co-called work of spiritual reconstruction, I have nothing new to offer, nothing better to offer than I have been offering for the last forty years – the gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus; the taking of Christ’s yoke upon us and learning of Him; denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily and following Him through evil report as well as good. Others may have something new, something better to offer, but I have not, and I have no disposition to seek for anything else or any desire to offer anything else. So far as the world has been saved, the gospel preached and lived is the only thing that has saved it, and the only thing that will continue to save it” (p. 169).
“They were Puritans,” Anyabwile writes of the three preachers. “They committed themselves to sound theology in the pulpit, theologically informed practice in the church, and theologically reformed living in the world.”
Thabiti Anyabwile is serving the greater church well by asking some hard questions but also – building from the lives and preaching of three African-American preachers – presenting a vision for black pastors to be radically Cross-centered. And that’s a vision predominantly white churches can learn from, too.
Title: The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three African-American Pastors
Reading level: 2.0/5.0 > easy
Dust jacket: no
Topical index: yes
Scriptural index: yes
Text: perfect type
Price USD: $15.99
ISBNs: 1581348274, 9781581348279