The rift between black theology, with its social and political concerns, and black churches, with their emphases on pastoral care and piety, has been growing. Here, Dale Andrews offers a way to bridge this gap by redefining the paradigm of church as "refuge" in terms of a faith identity that brings together a concern for liberation with a pastoral focus on spirituality. This faith identity emerges from dominant biblical themes that shape preaching and pastoral care.
Andrews' insightful analysis of the gulf between black churches and black theology reveals the invasive influence of individualism in black religious life as well as the shared values for social change and care of the soul. Notably, it is this influence of individualism that has disrupted communal solidarity and brought about the neglect of liberation ethics within black church life. This practical theology will contribute greatly towards renewing the pastoral and prophetic ministry of black religious life.