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How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family's Story of Hope and Survival in the American South
How Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley makes sense of his journey as a Black man and a Christian
I vividly remember the first time I heard Esau McCaulley speak.
It was at a Courageous Conversations conference hosted by the Jude 3 Project. He was on a panel with other commentators, but his remarks stood out to me.
Rev. Dr. McCaulley—an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of North America, a New York Times opinion contributor, and an associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College—spoke with a precise theological acumen that showed he was at home in even the most adroit academic settings. At the same time, he talked about blackness and race with the facility of both a student of and a participant in the culture.
In that sense, our missions are similar. We both hold academic degrees (his in theology and mine in history) and we both speak to issues of race from our perspectives as scholars, Christians, and Black men.
We now have the opportunity to hear much more about McCaulley’s journey and how he incorporates faith, race, and scholarship.
I got to interview McCaulley on my Footnotes podcast about his new book, How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South.
I had the privilege of reading the book before it came out and offering an endorsement.
In his latest book, How Far to the Promised Land, Rev. Dr. Esau McCaulley says we are people made of "trauma and miracles." In this memoir you will see evidence of both as he relates the difficulties of his childhood alongside the resilient and caring community that ushers him into his destiny. A brisk and engaging narrative full of practical and spiritual wisdom, How Far to the Promised Land is a revelatory look at the U.S. South, race, poverty, and the strength needed not only to live with one's past but make peace with it.
In the clip below, McCaulley explains how understandings of Christianity for Black people have been shaped by the struggle against racism and how that differs from the way many white Christians understand the faith (the sound comes on after a few seconds).
We talk about how Black Christians in white evangelical spaces get "pushed out, burned out, or sell out" and how McCaulley has endured in his place of work
How he thinks about his interracial marriage in view of the historic and ongoing Black experience with racism
What he teaches his biracial children about racial identity and the role of police in the midst of anti-Black police brutality
McCaulley gets on his soapbox about an issue that's at the forefront of his attention right now
I’m giving away three FREE copies of Dr. McCaulley’s book! To enter:
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