From time to time prophetic Christian voices rise to challenge our nation?s "original sin." In the twentieth century, compelled by the Spirit of God and a yearning for freedom, the African American church took the lead in heralding the effort. Like almost no other movement before or since, Christian people gave force to a social mission. And, remarkably, they did it largely through nonviolent actions. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?s words and historic efforts as the Moses of this civil rights movement stand out as perhaps the most significant instance of a modern Christian leader acting in a prophetic role to instigate political change. In many ways "The Letter from Birmingham Jail" stands at the center of that movement. In this book African American journalist Edward Gilbreath explores the place of that letter in the life and work of Dr. King. Birmingham Revolution is not simply a work of historical reflection. Gilbreath encourages us to reflect on the relevance of King's work for the church and culture of our day. Whether it?s in debates about immigration, economic redistribution or presidential birth certificates, race continues to play a role in shaping society. What part will the church play in the ongoing struggle?
"The calling of a prophet is a glorious burden. The prophetic voice of Martin Luther King is as needed by the church today as it was half a century ago. Edward Gilbreath allows us to hear it with depth and power."
"Today, the historical significance of Dr. Martin Luther King has either been virtually forgotten or has given way to a slew of one-dimensional caricatures. In Birmingham Revolution, Ed Gilbreath not only gives a fresh analysis of an important chapter of the civil rights movement, he also thoughtfully reintroduces Dr. King to a whole new generation. He challenges us to reexamine Dr. King's renowned 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail' in order to rediscover the clear biblical concerns and mandates for justice. This book will prove to be a valuable tool in equipping those we disciple with a fuller application of God's Word in the cultural marketplace."
"This book offers a unique facet to the multifaceted jewel of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Birmingham revolution. The one who dares to take another look into the life, work and ministry of King by reading this book will experience the transition from a glimpse to a glance to a glaze."
"Edward Gilbreath has written a smart, thoughtful and contemporary account of Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail.' He analyzes the depth of King's theological convictions concerning racial injustices and the controversies they provoked in the city of Birmingham in 1963, as well as the nation. Gilbreath's book prophetically challenges evangelical Christians to reexamine King's theological convictions in light of racial and social class inequities facing the United States and the world today."
"Edward Gilbreath has provided us with a truly magnificent look at Martin Luther King Jr. and the Birmingham civil-rights campaign of 1963 in this fiftieth anniversary year. Those new to King will be intrigued, informed and inspired. Those very familiar with King and the events in Birmingham will gain fresh and engaging insights. Birmingham Revolution is a must-read for students, activists, pastors, community leaders and all persons who claim the Christian community as their home."
"We remember Martin Luther King Jr. because he spoke truth to power. We remember Dr. King because he cast a vision for what we could be, rather than what we often are. Now, Edward Gilbreath uses historical insight, theological sensitivity and nitty-gritty honesty to help us remember King for his challenges to the church. If you want your congregation to be and remain on the side of justice, you will get a copy of Birmingham Revolution for your pastor. If you want it to change your life, you?ll get another one for yourself."
"Ed Gilbreath offers a masterful retelling of key times in the life of King. He gives us a holistic view that helps us to understand the great civil rights leader. Gilbreath does not sidestep controversial issues so that we will engage in an unspiritual worship of King but places the man in a proper context so that we gain qualitative insight into the civil rights movement."