The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity
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The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity  -     By: Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Mark A. Noll

The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity

InterVarsity Press / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

Social psychologist and pastor Anyabwile offers a challenging and provocative assessment of African American Christian theology from its beginnings to the present. Arguing that modern representations have digressed from their origins, he traces a weakening of doctrinal direction from one generation to the next---and concludes with an unflinching look at contemporary figures.

Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. He has a strong professional and educational background in community psychology, with special interest in the history and development of the African American church.

Product Information

Title: The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity
By: Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Mark A. Noll
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Weight: 14 ounces
ISBN: 0830828273
ISBN-13: 9780830828272
Stock No: WW828272
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Publisher's Description

Who were Jupiter Hammon, Lemuel Haynes and Daniel Alexander Payne? And what do they have in common with Martin Luther King Jr., Howard Thurman and James Cone? All of these were African American Christian theologians, yet their theologies are, in many ways, worlds apart. In this book, Thabiti Anyabwile offers a challenging and provocative assessment of the history of African American Christian theology, from its earliest beginnings to the present. He argues trenchantly that the modern fruit of African American theology has fallen far from the tree of its early predecessors. In doing so, Anyabwile closely examines the theological commitments of prominent African American theologians throughout American history. Chapter by chapter, he traces what he sees as the theological decline of African American theology from one generation to the next, concluding with an unflinching examination of several contemporary figures. Replete with primary texts and illustrations, this book is a gold mine for any reader interested in the history of African American Christianity. With a foreword by Mark Noll.

Author Bio

Thabiti M. Anyabwile is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Thabiti has a strong professional and academic background in community psychology, with special interest in the history and development of the African American church.


Mark A. Noll (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is Francis McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is advisory editor for Books Culture and subeditor for the new Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Noll's main academic interests concern the interaction of Christianity and culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American societies. He has published articles and reviews on a wide variety of subjects involving Christianity in modern history. Some of his many books include The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, Is the Reformation Over?, The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield and the Wesleys and The Old Religion in a New World.

Editorial Reviews

A welcomed addition to every pastor's library, whether African American or not. It will benefit African American pastors by giving them an excellent summary of the history of the African American theological heritage. Pastors of other cultural backgrounds will benefit from seeing some of the depth of theological insights in cultures different from their own. The last section of the book is also very valuable. In it the author gives a four-point plan to correct what he feels are the deficiencies in the categories of theology he has addresses. Anyabwile is to be commended for pointing out the problems and also for offering solutions.

-- John Bray with Glenn R. Kreider, Bibliotheca Sacra, October-December 2009

A good starting point to learn about trends current in African American theology.

-- J. Alan Branch, Midwestern Journal of Theology,

. . . A triumph. . . Anyabwile's work is a resounding call for the African-American church to return to orthodox views of Scripture held by the earliest Christians, the Reformers, and leading African-American theologians of the past.

-- C. E. Moore, The Christian Manifesto, February 20, 2008

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