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The Myth of Colorblind ChristiansEvangelicals and White Supremacy in the Civil Rights Era$
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Jesse Curtis

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809370

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809370.001.0001

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Two Gospels on a Global Stage

Two Gospels on a Global Stage

(p.138) 5 Two Gospels on a Global Stage
The Myth of Colorblind Christians

Jesse Curtis

NYU Press

In the years after the civil rights movement, evangelicals on a global stage argued over the very meaning of the gospel. This chapter traces this debate from the famous International Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in 1974 to a lesser-known conference named “Evangelizing Ethnic America” in 1985. While black and Latin American evangelicals argued that racism had to be confronted and social justice could not be separated from the gospel message, leading figures in the Church Growth Movement and Southern Baptist Convention took a pragmatic approach, seeking to use race for the purposes of conversion. While concern for social justice seemed to gain the ascendancy at Lausanne, the trajectory to Houston ’85 signaled that colorblind Christians in the United States could become multiethnic without becoming antiracist.

Keywords:   Lausanne, Clarence Hilliard, Church Growth Movement, C. René Padilla, Donald McGavran, Black liberation theology, Southern Baptist Convention

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