Source: "Fodder for Pastors" inMinistry, Spring 2009. (excerpted from a lecture entitled 'The Shape of Colored Preaching in the 21st Century' at Palmer Seminary delivered by Cleophus J LaRue.)
Keywords: sin, salvation, liberation
The black church resembles the church of the future because the church of the future remains largely committed to the Augustinian view*. Most of the healing of brokenness in black life has come through an Augustinian understanding of the human situation. We are a broken people. We live and minister among broken people. Our homes are broken, hearts are broken, relationships are broken, promises are broken, friendships are broken, bonds of trust (even win the church) are broken. But that is why Jesus came. Something was wrong, broken at the very center of our existence. And we had not within us the means to fix it.
In our day there has been such a cheapening of the gospel, such a shallow pronouncing of the unsearchable riches of His grace, that if one were to give full ear to the popular preaching of our day you could come away thinking that Christ died just so that we could get a job, a car, and a house. But Jesus did not die for our material success, worldly gain, or creature comforts. He died because there was something seriously wrong at the center of our existence and we had not within us the means or the resources to fix what was broken. Thus, God sent Jesus into the world to bring us back into right relationship with God.
*Humanity is corrupted by the fall. We live by God's forgiveness and grace.