Reginald F. Davis believes there is a crisis in black America. Disproportionately, black Americans rank at the top in crime, murders, drug abuse, unemployment, incarceration, poverty, education deficiencies, and HIV/AIDS cases. Physical slavery is past and the civil rights bill has been signed, yet the black community is not saved, is not healed, is not organized, is not liberated. Davis’s latest book, The Black Church: Relevant or Irrelevant in the 21st Century?, emerges from his great love, admiration, and deep concern for the future of the black community and the black church. Davis contends that a relevant church struggles to correct oppression, not maintain it. An irrelevant church sees the self-destructive behavior, oppression, and powerlessness of the oppressed but refuses to take the necessary steps to eradicate it. How can the black church focus on the liberation of the black community, thereby reclaiming the loyalty and respect of the black community? Davis also challenges the white church to understand and acknowledge what the malignancy of racism has done and still does to the body of Christ. He asserts that the white church cannot continue to remain silent on issues of oppression; it must preach against racism as well as be an agent of justice and liberation. Ultimately, churches—both black and white—must come together to be the Word of God to the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized.
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