Enduring Truth argues that faithfulness to Scripture is the solution to a “crisis” among African American preaching. Though misinterpreting God’s Word is not restricted to one race or culture, author Aaron Lavender identifies three factors that have precipitated the decline of black preaching specifically: racial segregation, black liberation theology, and prosperity theology.
The book’s first chapter recounts the history of the crisis, noting how discrimination in theological education led black ministers to liberal colleges and seminaries that prophetically confronted Jim Crow but taught the social gospel and other forms of theological error. Such schools ultimately were harmful to the spiritual health of black churches.
Subsequent chapters discuss the role of biblical exegesis in preaching, develop a theology of preaching, and suggest preaching methods for the postmodern world. Every biblical text has one meaning, according to Lavender. The preacher’s job is to determine and communicate that meaning, then show its relevance in the cultural context of his hearers. Proof-texting and relativism, Lavender writes, are two great enemies of biblical preaching.
While focused on the African American context, this volume addresses topics relevant to all preachers. Enduring Truth is suited both for ministry practitioners and preaching courses. It will help readers elevate the Word of God over the worldly allures of any ministry setting.
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“Enduring Truth is a powerful and passionate call for African Americans to re-institute sound theological preaching to the pulpit. Christ is exalted at the turn of every page and Lavender’s steadfastness to the Bible’s authority will keep the reader grounded in the truth and thesis of the work. The discussion questions are good for personal reflection and small group discussions. I would recommend Enduring Truth for any pastor seeking personal growth or a resource for pastoral training programs. In addition, it’s a great book for faculty teaching a preaching course.”
—Kevin Jones, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Boyce College
“Dr. Lavender is a pastor committed to expository preaching. The information on the history of preaching and its failure to maintain the historic fundamentals is helpful and up to date, and the helpful solutions to the problems caused by poor preparation and training prove to be very valuable. The thought-provoking questions asked in the book will need an answer, and I believe that Dr. Lavender’s comments will bene t any preacher. I am happy to recommend this book to anyone interested in the faithful communication of God’s Word.”
—Daniel J. Griffin Sr., international pastor and director of international training, Sanctuary Outpost
“Dr. Aaron Lavender addresses the textual accuracy and the relevance of biblical preaching. He expounds on elements of racial segregation: historical, social, educational, and religious. Dr. Lavender explains the awareness of discrimination and the struggle with African Americans having a distorted view of God’s Word, and answers the age-old question, ‘What is truth?’ Every serious student of the Word would bene t from reading this book.”
—Allen R. McFarland, senior pastor, Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church
“This book is a candid, succinct, and needed treatise on why so many African American pulpits are under-serving their congregants. As a teacher of church history, I heartily endorse this book. The author fearlessly names people and ministries that have contributed to the abuse and misapplication of God’s Word, even today. And while the emphasis is on African American pulpits, the need to restore sound theology is universal. It is a must read!”
—LeRoy Randolph Jr., president emeritus and director of institutional advancement, Carver Baptist Bible College, Institute, & Theological Seminary
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Editor’s note: Order Enduring Truth: Restoring Sound Theology and Relevance to African-American Preaching at Amazon, B&H Academic, Barnes and Noble, or Christianbook.com. Request a faculty review copy here. Download a sample chapter here.