The Black church has a gift for American Christianity. Are we all willing to receive it? New Testament scholar Esau McCaulley, author of “Reading While Black,” talks with Amy Julia about Black biblical interpretation, distorted views of the gospel, the importance of identity within a Christian’s story, and the Black church’s commitment to both the theological tenets of Christianity and advocating for justice.
LISTEN HERE (This podcast was originally recorded for amyjuliabecker.com).
"If you find a perfect church, don’t join it. You’d spoil it."
Maybe time away from church this year has caused you to reevaluate what your relationship with your local church will look like going forward. It is the kind of reevaluation that often happens at midlife, but the pandemic has amplified the question of what church is for a whole lot of us.
CONTINUE READING (This blog was originally posted on theperennialgen.com).
Awakening to racism is the start of a lifelong journey.
Pre-pandemic, a friend described me as woke when she introduced me to a Black woman. I couldn’t have been prouder. And yet, as we come to grips with the ongoing racial disparities in our country, much has had to change for many of us. For me, my pride took a fall when I realized how untrue my friend’s statement was and how un-woke I really am.
CONTINUE READING (This op-ed was originally published in the Dallas Morning News).
More than other groups, black Americans dive deep into the Word.
It’s a Sunday evening and we’re just kids—black kids, in fact. We should be outdoors in fading daylight, slurping Mama’s homemade ice cream, catching fireflies, watching our parents laugh with neighbors, changing the record player—turning it low to soft-serenade our long-running, after-church meal.
Instead, dinner’s over and we kids are back at church. And get this: We kids are happy about it. “Sit next to me,” a friend whispers, pulling me over to her. We compare the outfits we’ve worn. Our summer sandals. Our straw summer handbags. As the boys come in, we try to act aloof, as if we don’t care. One boy pulls my friend’s curly ponytail. She starts to protest, but in walks our teacher.
CONTINUE READING (This article was originally published in Christianity Today).
One of my friends lived for many years in Dubai and is fluent in Arabic. If you were chatting with him, you'd notice how often he says the word "Inshallah," tagging it on the end of every sentence that has to do with his - or anyone else's - future plans. When he speaks the word, he shrugs. "I'll see you next Thursday," he'll say, and then, shoulders rising, "Inshallah."
CONTINUE READING (This blog was originally posted on eliasmorgan.com).
Lapsed artists are still pilgrims, walking in the mystery of God.
Whether I’m reading, watching a movie, listening to music, or looking at visual art, I’ve found I can usually spot artists who bear the stamp of the religious imagination, even if they aren’t directly engaging with religion in their work. It goes like this: An old Patty Griffin song comes up in my music rotation, sparking a moment of recognition in me, and on a hunch I Google her and find out her dad was discerning to be a Benedictine monk before he married her mom.
CONTINUE READING (This article was originally published by uscatholic.org).