Tuesday, February 20, 2007

William Wilberforce and Amazing Grace

As evidenced by the slide above created by Glen Kehrein from Circle Urban Ministries, many American evangelical denominations have a history of being on the wrong side of social justice issues. Many of the evangelical denominations in the US split over the issues of segregation and slavery and took stands that we now acknowledge were racist. William Wilberforce (1759-1833) is an example of an evangelical who fought for social justice during that time. He was heavily influenced by John Wesley and the Methodist movement and became an Anglican evangelical. He organized for the abolition of slavery in Great Britain. A month after he died, Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act that gave all slaves in the British Empire their freedom. The movie Amazing Grace which opens Friday, is the story of his life. John Newton, the composer of the song, Amazing Grace, was a slave trader who fell to his knees and found forgiveness in Christ.

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