Tough Love for the Black Church

The black church has long stood as a pillar in the black community in the United States. For centuries, it has served as the theological, political, and social center of black life in America. But there are growing concerns from within about its present health and future prospects. As debates rage about an enduring legacy of racism in the United States and Christians’ response, Thabiti Anyabwile, who pastors a church in a black community in southeast Washington, D.C., has written a heartfelt plea for spiritual renewal in Reviving the Black Church: A Call to Reclaim a Sacred Institution (B&H Books). John C. Richards Jr., founding editor of Urban Faith magazine and author of The Tenacity of Hope, spoke with Anyabwile about why he celebrates—and critiques—the institution that has nurtured him over so many years.

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