Are Blacks Spiritually Inferior To Whites? The Dispelling of an American Myth. By Anthony T. Evans. Wenonah, NJ: Renaissance Productions, 1992. 158 pp. Paper, $7.95.
I commend Evans for the courage to go public with his unpopular biblical views. His impeccable credentials will confirm his conservative evangelical scholarship, since he earned both a Master’s and a Doctor’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Evans is an African-American who serves on the boards of several evangelical institutions and is a widely sought-after speaker. He is senior pastor of a racially mixed church with over three thousand in weekly attendance. He has his own thriving national urban missionary organization and daily national radio program.
A few readers might predictably react to the title of the book by rejecting it as sensational. However, such conclusions are incorrect. The daring reader will be more than compensated by its well-written contents. Chapter 7 alone, “The Biblical Mandate,” is worth the price of the book. Here, as throughout the book, Evans demonstrates his insights into world history by showing how God uses not only individuals, “but also cultures and races and people groups as well” (p. 134). He points out that “God gives cultures strengths that become important for the on-going … of His activity in history” and that cultural groups are “free to express themselves … unless … they impede the program of God” (p. 135).
Following his comments on the meaning of unity and the limitations of culture, he gives a passionate description of unity’s price. Evans believes that [black and white] “pastors are going to have to begin preaching the whole counsel of God … stop skipping James’s condemnation of class distinction in the church … [and] explain to our congregations the racial implications … in terms that are meaningful and applicable to the contemporary Black-White debate” (p. 140).
Evans correctly asserts that there is a skeleton in our evangelical Christian closet: black and white dissension. He “desire[s] that this work will be used by sincere Christians in putting the myth [of racial superiority/inferiority] to rest and placing race relations in its proper perspective” (p. 9). The author makes several significant contributions toward this end. For example, readers reap the fruit of Evans’s theological expertise when he skillfully relates African-American history and evangelical theology. The book is brimming with narrations and interpretations of African-American church history, with theology, and with practical suggestions. His forceful, balanced writing speaks equally to both sides, and (what is more important) for biblical unity.
This book should be welcomed by those who embrace the biblical teaching of grace and who hold to its practical implications for Christian living. What a colossal failure it would be if black and white evangelical Christians did not exercise grace toward one another! I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Willie O. Peterson
Bethel Bible Fellowship