Chapter 1: This chapter explores the meanings of revelation and liberation in the black church. God's revelation has a unique meaning for African-Americans based on their status as the "other" in society. Despite this social status God, both loving and gracious, has revealed Himself to blacks in a personal and special way. Liberation is likewise multidimensional. It involves physical liberation, spiritual empowerment, and cultural liberation.
The theology of the black church reflects the African-American past, present, and future. The expression of its essence often takes the form of story: "Narrative is the form of African-American theology because it is wholistic and praxiological" (31).
Chapter 2: This chapter examines the biblical foundations of black theology. During the nineteenth century, whites misused the Bible to define African slaves as less than human: "Before the barbarity of modern slavery could be justified, it was necessary to define the African an outsider" (39). In response, blacks either identified themselves with the oppressed Israelites or with the Cushites (Ethiopians). Thus the Bible has always been intimately related to African-Americans' struggle for freedom. Blacks have been critical of the misuse of the Bible to deny their liberty. They have interpreted the Bible more in terms of what it means for them in the present than in a historical context, with the story being more important than the text. Blacks have interpreted scripture in ways that are consistent with their understanding of themselves as children of God.
Chapter 3: This chapter addresses the idea of God in the African-American experience. The author labels God as "ungiven" because God's nature can never be fully apprehended, yet God's reality is revealed in the experience and history of oppressed people like the Hebrews and blacks. Just as blacks have been labelled "others" throughout history, so their perception of God a...