I’m thankful for 8th Street Community Church, where we are reading portions of the Letter from Birmingham Jail every Sunday morning during the month of February. We will not be skipping the inconvenient parts.
Is there space in your church to think about and be influenced by prophetic black Christianity? Would it be too controversial?
It is normal for Christians to admire Dr. King from afar as a vaguely Christian figure who preached love and tolerance. It is harder and more necessary to grapple with King as a serious Christian thinker who speaks to our time and critiques our theology.
The Letter from Birmingham Jail is far from a complete record of King’s thought, but it’s a great introduction to it, especially for Christian audiences. One of my dreams is for more white evangelical churches to make space for these ideas. If your church would like to have an event in the Philadelphia area, I am available to facilitate reading and discussion of the letter. I’ve got lots of practice!