The Future of the African American Church
Format: Paperback
Book Code: J211
Pages: 160
Size: 5" x 8"
ISBN: 9780817017422
PubDate: 2014

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List Price: $15.99
Web Price: $12.79


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What is the future of African American churches? Authors Ralph Watkins and Justin West don't claim to have a crystal ball. They don't come with a corrective prescription for what the African American church should be. Instead, they come to the conversation as Christian leaders who love the black church as family -- and who want to talk about what the church can be.

The Future of the African American Church invites elders and young leaders alike to the table to discuss, "How does the church serve the present age?" How can "prophetic" churches and "praise" churches come together to reimagine ministry? What can each tradition learn from the other -- and what gifts do we together have to offer the people of God in the world?

Featuring a discussion on the highly debated question "Is the black church dead or alive?" this book offers a new, thought-provoking perspective for reflection and action.

Key features:

  • Contains two distinctive voices offering readers different perspectives and experiences `
  • Responds to recent critiques of the black church by scholars and pastor-authors, Edwin Glaude, Anthony Pinn, and Marvin A. McMickle
  • Invites reconciliation and respect between the "praise and worship" and "prophetic justice" traditions in the African American Church
  • Includes discussion questions for small-group dialogue


Editorial Reviews:

“These authors passionately love and deeply know the African-American church, and their combination of scholarship and cross-generational experience help us to see the great promises and challenges on the horizon.  This book not only helps us to see that the African-American church is a rich and complex phenomenon, but also invites us to consider multiple ways for different church traditions to dialogue with and benefit from each other.  Watkins and West give us a model for dialogue and a clear guide for self-examination and collaboration.  This book is a vital for the future flourishing of the church.”—Vincent Bacote, Ph.D., Director, Center for Applied Christian Ethics, Associate Professor of Theology, Wheaton College

“In The Future of the African American Church, Watkins and West make an important contribution to our thinking on the state and future of black church life. This book offers a refreshing and appreciative treatment of the complexity of the praise and prophetic traditions in the twenty-first century church. As black church insiders—scholar-pastors who love the church enough to call for its best—the authors invite and model intergenerational dialogue that both celebrates and challenges factions of the church that usually talk about one another, rather than with one another.

“West and Watkins build important bridges with this book—between older and younger generations, between traditional and contemporary cultural expressions, and between prophetic and praise-based church traditions. In so doing they help to expand our imagination about what the black church really is and what the future of the church may be.”  —Matthew Wesley Williams, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Fund for Theological Education (FTE)

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