Tell the Whole Truth
The benefit of preaching through the redemptive historical narrative.
Some weeks back, I began teaching an African American Church History course. When assembling the syllabus, my initial concern centered on where to start the story of black church history in America. You can imagine that this is a sticking point for ethnic minority students, let alone the professor! Depending upon who you consult some scholars, and noted itinerant preachers from the 18th century, actually think that African slaves were gifted Christianity as a perk of their enslavement. Some noted American church leaders owned slaves, participating in the dehumanizing enterprise while writing books on the sovereignty of God. The reality is that African people, and those of African descent, were Christian long before the transatlantic slave trade, including some of our most influential church fathers like Augustine, Origen, Athanasius, and Tertullian–to name a few were North African. Some of the oldest and strongest Christian witness hails from Ethiopia, Nubia, and the Kongolese.