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"Although the African American Christian experience is not monolithic, we have generally sought to understand the Bible and live according to its teachings. Along the way, many of us have rejected white supremacist readings of the Bible while clinging to the God of the Bible. In Reading While Black, McCaulley does careful exegetical and historical analysis, explaining and illustrating how interpretations of Scripture by Black people can bolster faith in a liberating God. McCaulley gives us more than a theoretical methodology; he demonstrates how we can approach and apply texts—even ones that were previously used against us—without jettisoning our faith or succumbing to oppressive readings. Reading While Black is a welcome addition to the study of African American hermeneutics."
-Dennis R. Edwards, associate professor of New Testament at North Park University
"I'm extremely grateful to have a voice in my time to speak with nuance, grace, and cultural awareness. Esau has given us a healthy marriage for understanding theology and blackness. This is a must-read!"
-Lecrae, hip hop recording artist
"It is enlightening, moving, and galvanizing to overhear these notes of appreciation and reciprocated encouragement from a son of the Black church to the Black ecclesial interpreters who nurtured and continue to nourish him. From here on out, this book will be required reading in any course on biblical hermeneutics that I teach."
-Wesley Hill, associate professor of biblical studies, Trinity School for Ministry
"When I was a student, I was explicitly and implicitly trained to focus exclusively on the ancient context of Scripture and read 'objectively.' Bible study could easily become a disembodied experience. McCaulley makes a compelling case, in this engagement with African American biblical interpretation, that not only is the reader's culture and experience not a hindrance to interpretation per se but can enrich it greatly. Reading While Black is a unique and successful blend of biblical hermeneutics, autobiography, black history and spirituality, incisive cultural commentary on race matters in America, and insightful exegesis of select New Testament texts."
-Nijay K. Gupta, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary
"Throughout history the church, as it strives to be faithful in particular times and places, has had to bring the core cultural concerns of their neighbors to Scripture for answers. This is the work of loving our neighbors well. What does God have to say about the animating issues of our lives and communities? In Reading While Black, Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley puts in bold relief before us the historic and present concerns of the African American community. Does God have a word for us about policing? Is there any guidance from on high about Black identity, justice, righteous anger, slavery, and oppression? With sound exegetical method, deep cultural insight, and skillful application he brings us into the heart of God on these issues. Know, however, that this is not just a book for Black people. Far from it. Anyone who desires to engage these questions with gospel hope should take up and read."
-Irwyn L. Ince Jr., director of the GraceDC Institute for Cross-Cultural Mission and author of The Beautiful Community