Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

A response to critiques of Rev. Warnock, Black theology, and the Black Church tradition

12-18-2020 by

Dr. Jennifer M. McBride and Dr. Kristopher Norris

When family members of the Charleston Nine forgave the white supremacist who murdered their loved ones after Bible study in their church, white Christians marveled at their witness to Christian faith, holding them up as models to be followed. Although a controversial move, at its heart it was a commitment to obey the direct commandments of Jesus, those teachings found in the Gospel narratives.

Although demonized by Raphael Warnock’s Senate opponent, this is the Black Church tradition in which Warnock was raised and in which he is now a leading pastor. It is an American tradition born from enslaved Christians reading the Bible in light of the experience of enslavement.