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In this clarion call to African American churches, Demetrius Williams points to the next stage in their historic march to freedom: overcoming sexism in the church. Williams demonstrates how the Bible--and especially the liberating message and ministry of Jesus, which broke through the taboos and social barriers of his day--have been powerfully exerted by black churches to confront society's racism and class injustice. Now, he argues, that ancient vision and proud legacy must be employed again to address the inequities of women in the Christian churches themselves. A model for how biblical studies can illumine and inform the contemporary scene, William's important work will help all Christian churches to renew themselves in light of the biblical message and to reaffirm the equality of all people before God.
Williams's important work argues that taking the New Testament and particularly Galatians 3:28 seriously should lead black churches to challenge sexism and racism not only in society at large but also in African American churches and denominational bodies. By addressing oppressive practices in African American and other churches, they remain true to the liberation principle of the Bible-the equality of all people before God-which has been used effectively by black churches. His argument unfolds first through looking at the biblical text, especially the figure of Jesus and his ministry and how he broke the social barriers of his day. It then shows how African American Christians have historically appropriated this lens and legacy in their own religious and social experience and explains how this vision pertains to the state of black women in the churches today. Williams's book will help all Christian churches reappropriate the biblical text and serve as a model for how the Bible can be responsibly employed in the churches and the public arena to promote equality for all people.