Paul Harvey on Howard Thurman

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Paul Harvey on Howard Thurman

Postby Stephen Fox » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:04 am

Everybody in leadership in the Baptist progressive movement should read Paul Harvey's little gem of a book, Southern Religions in the World. Its a publication of a lecture series he did recently at Stetson College in Florida, Adrian Rogers and Bill Self's alma mater.

In a beautiful close to his presentation of Harvey, he compares his legacy and vision to that of Billy Graham. here are a few sentences from the conclusion.

What made Thurman so valuable as a mentor and model for the nascent Civil Rights movement in the 30s and 40s was that he embraced his own contradictions, seeking the unity of God amid the bitter fractures and divisions of humanity, seeking an intensely spiritual and mystic religion, not as a refuge from the insistent responsibilities of the search for a better world, but as a way to realize it.

The true genius of the church was revealed by what it symbolized as a beach head in society in terms of community and as an inspiration to the solitary individual to put his weight on the side of a society in which no person need be afraid.

Thurman moved History. mostly through his translation of universalist ideas to an American religious idiom. Thurman was a "seeker" before we had such a term, and he paved the way for contemporary ideas of religious freedom. In that sense he really was (and is) America's pastor, as much if not more so than Billy Graham, because America's religious ideals today look more like Thurman than like Graham"s. Thurmoan labord under anonymity, but ultimately the arc of history is bending his way.
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Stephen Fox
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