Show Notes:

Guest Bio:
Dr. Esau McCaulley holds a PhD in New Testament, and specializes in unpacking the intersection of race, Christian identity, and the pursuit of justice. He serves as assistant professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. Is one of the co-founders of Call and Response Ministries, and serves as director of Next Generation Leadership for the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America). He is married to Mandy, a pediatrician and a navy reservist. Together, they have four children.

“My understanding of faith growing up was a Jesus who obviously loves you, and forgave you for your sins, and wanted you to act right, but also a Jesus who cared about what’s happening to us.”

Episode Links:

Verses Mentioned in Show:  

  • Romans 14:13-23 “Don’t cause another Christian to stumble.”
  • Isaiah 5:6-11
  • Isaiah 58 and 61 quoted by Jesus in Luke 4
  • Luk 1:46-55 “the Magnificat”
  • Revelation 17 “Babylon the prostitute”
  • 1 Timothy 1 and 2
  • Deuteronomy 15:18

Notes and Quotes: 

  • “So in our context, the civil rights movement was the Christian movement.”
  • “My understanding of faith growing up was a Jesus who obviously loves you, and forgave you for your sins, and wanted you to act right, but also a Jesus who cared about what’s happening to us.”
  • “And so there is a strong emphasis on what you call personal transformation and holiness of life, and social action.”
  • “And so now whenever I preach or I speak somewhere, I think of the student, or the person who’s in the back of the church, who’s thinking I’m in the church today. I don’t know if I’m going to be there tomorrow.”
  • “And so I realized at that moment that I wasn’t going to college just for me, I was going to college for all of you who never got a chance.”
  • “Because the same Bible that racists used to take away black hope was the Bible the black people said was the source of our hope.”
  • “What happens when you’ve received everything that you want, but it’s not sufficient to bring you joy?”
  • “I wanted to write something that’s going to inspire African American Christians to continue to see in the text of the Old and New Testament, hope. Because I think that’s what’s marked the African American Christian tradition throughout all of our history, right? That we looked in these texts and we saw in them a God who loved us.”
  • “The association in the mainline Protestantism where the social gospel people were also the Bible deconstruction people.”
  • “From the beginning, the African American church had to be involved in social action in order to actually get free. So there’s a habit in the African American context from the beginning, of engaging issues of social concern.”
  • Three responses to culture in African American church: 
    • Black Accommodationist Tradition
    • Black Revolutionary Tradition
    • Revolutionary Reformist Tradition
  • “The three largest slave revolts in American history were led by black pastors.”
  • “So there’s three things that are going on in Isaiah. A call to faithfulness of the one God of Israel, a critique of the social practices of Israel, like the actual social injustice and personal morality.”
  •  “[Mary’s] not worshiping the social liberation, she’s worshiping God who brings about social transformation.”
  • “It is simply exegetically dishonest to say that you can get from one end of the Old Testament to the New Testament and not see some engagement of Christians in the public square.”
  • “If you want to understand, like, you know, anything, you have to waste time.”