With the rise of Afrocentric thought in American culture, evidenced most recently by the release of Spike Lee’s movie Malcolm X, Christianity Today interviewed black evangelical leaders and found similar discontent and debate raging there.
Anthony Evans swims in the evangelical mainstream. He holds a doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary. His Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas boasts 3,000 members. Evans has even launched a radio ministry that has gained listeners throughout the nation.
But not in Dallas. “KCBI in Dallas won’t let me on the air,” Evans says. “Many radio stations have turned me down, saying a black speaker would offend their white listeners.”
This is not the only rebuff Evans has received. He has issued a new book on blacks and Christianity through his own publishing company, partly because some white-owned evangelical houses declined to publish it. Evans adds that many Christian bookstores will not stock it.
Evans may be disappointed, but he is not surprised. “Unfortunately, the concerns of black Americans are not of dominant concern, by and large, to white evangelicals,” he says.
Evans’s opinion may sound extreme to many white Christians, but among black evangelicals, he is in the mainstream. Evans’s criticisms of racism among white evangelicals were echoed and amplified in conversations Christianity Today had with a number of prominent black Christians. As they see it, many conservative white Christians view their black brethren with attitudes ranging from apathy to hostility, with room for a little condescension.
The result: a sense of frustration among many black Christian leaders—frustration that has helped to spawn an increased willingness ...1
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