On April 16th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from a Birmingham Jail was published and soon became the manifesto of the civil rights movement. Dr. King did not pick up his pen and react to hate filled racists. Instead, he found any scrap of paper that he could write on and responded to the passive pleas of white clergy, "Isn't there another way around this, a more subtle and patient way? Can't you just wait, Dr. King?"
Over the half century that has elapsed since the publication of Letter from a Birmingham Jail, much has transpired and progress has been made. Long gone are the burning crosses, biting police dogs and angry mobs; in its place we find passivity, cynicism and avoidance. In God's sovereignty, voices from today's church have emerged declaring that we cannot wait. These diverse voices are grateful for the laws that the civil rights movement were able to change, but also acknowledge that while the movement could change laws, it could never change hearts. Only the cross and empty tomb of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can do that.
Letters to a Birmingham Jail is a collection of essays written by men of various ethnicities and ages, yet all are committed to the centrality of the gospel, nudging us to pursue Christ exalting diversity. The gospel demands justice in all its forms - spiritual and physical. This was a truth that Dr. King fought and gave his life for, and this is a truth that these modern day "drum majors for justice" continue to beat.
Contributors include: Bryan Loritts (General Editor), John Piper, John Perkins, Matt Chandler, Crawford Loritts, Sandy Wilson, Charlie Dates, John Bryson, Soong Chan Rah, & Albert Tate
BRYAN LORITTS is the Lead Pastor of Fellowship Memphis Church, a multi-ethnic church ministering to the urban Memphis community. Bryan has a Master's Degree in Theology and is currently working on his PhD. In addition to serving the community of Memphis, Bryan's ministry takes him across the country as he speaks to thousands annually at churches, conferences, and retreats. He is the author of God on Paper and A Cross Shaped Gospel. He was also a contributing author for the book entitled Great Preaching. Bryan was recently voted as one of the top thirty emerging Christian leaders in the country by Outreach magazine. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Biola University. Bryan is married to Korie, and is the father of three sons: Quentin, Myles, and Jaden. You can follow Bryan on twitter @bcloritts.
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