When the beliefs of Barack Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, assumed the spotlight during the 2008 presidential campaign, the influence of black liberation theology became hotly debated not just within theological circles but across cultural lines. How many of today’s African-American congregations-and how many Americans in general-have been shaped by its view of blacks as perpetual victims of white oppression?
In this interdisciplinary, biblical critique of the black experience in America, Anthony Bradley introduces audiences to black liberation theology and its spiritual and social impact. He starts with James Cone’s proposition that the “victim” mind-set is inherent within black consciousness. Bradley then explores how such biblical misinterpretation has historically hindered black churches in addressing the diverse issues of their communities and prevented adherents from experiencing the freedoms of the gospel. Yet Liberating Black Theology does more than consider the ramifications of this belief system; it suggests an alternate approach to the black experience that can truly liberate all Christ-followers.
Reviews and Endorsements
“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. The was a significant need for a work of this type and its arrival is long over due.”
—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 biblically, orthodox perspective while being sympathetic to the issues and concerns of black liberation theologians. The book should be required reading for seminary students and pastors interested in understanding the history and struggles of the black church in America. Liberating Black Theology needs to be on the list of required reading in any seminary class on biblical interpretation.”
—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 1G and 2G 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, Senior Pastor, Reformation Alive Baptist Church, and Assistant Professor of Bible and Theology, Washington Bible College, Lanham, MD