A Tremendous Sermon

A particularly painful aspect of the Trump presidency has been that some Christians have supported this man as Christians. There may be good reasons for advocating for Trump, none of them have any biblical or Christian theological basis. Originally printed with The Denver Post, Garrison Keillor underscores this in a humorous way with his parody on the Sermon on the Mount as if delivered by The Donald:

Continue reading

Beginning With God: Thoughts on Preaching and Anti-Racism

Who Lynched Earle?  Preaching to Confront Racism is to be published in late February.  I hope that my fellow preachers will receive encouragement to speak up and speak out on this, America’s “original sin.”

Preaching that confronts racism begins with God, focusing upon who God is and what God is up to in the world. A number of theological moves typically precede repentance in Jesus’s name: Continue reading

The Way Things Are: Conversations on Who Killed Willie Earle?

We had a wonderful day at Wofford College focused upon the issue of the Willie Earle Lynching and Preaching to Confront Racism. The many clergy, students, and scholars who gathered there explored the subjects of our racist past and our responsibilities for race and bias in the church today and tomorrow. Who Lynched Earle?  Preaching to Confront Racism is to be published later this month. 

It’s my modest contribution to the church’s conversation about race in America. Even though such a conversation makes many white Christians nervous, it’s my contention that Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, gives us the means to have this challenging but essential conversation.

Continue reading

A Short Review of Who Killed Willie Earle?

This review originally appeared on International Baptist Theological Centre, Amsterdam, Community Blog. IBTSC is an internationally focused ‘baptist’ research and higher education institution with an intentionally European perspective focused on the issues of baptist identity, missiology and practical theology. Check out their website for full details of study programms and extensive library facilities – www.ibts.eu .  Their staff and students come from many cultural backgrounds and ethnic groupings throughout Europe, the Middle East and beyond. You can read the original review here. Continue reading

Pastoral Care Worthy of the Name


willie_earle_coverDuring February Abingdon Press will publish my, Who Lynched Earle?  Preaching to Confront Racism.  The book is a “labor of love,” a tragedy that has captured my imagination over a lifetime, a topic that has been one of my major concerns. 

Who Lynched Earle? opens with a lynching in my hometown when I was one year old.  After the lynching, a young Methodist preacher, Hawley Lynn, preached a courageous, historic sermon to his all white congregation in the South Carolina town where the lynching occurred.  I move from a narrative of that great sermon to an appeal to white preachers like me to preach to their mostly white congregations about the sin of racism. 

We are having a day-long conference with scholars, bishops, and students at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. on February 17 (seventieth anniversary of the lynching of Willie Earle) to talk about the book and its concerns. 

Continue reading