The Voice of Conscience: The Church in the Mind of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated widely as the quintessential model of Christian activism in his time, but his understanding of and vision for ... Show synopsis Martin Luther King, Jr. is celebrated widely as the quintessential model of Christian activism in his time, but his understanding of and vision for the church has been surprisingly neglected. In this book, Lewis V. Baldwin contends that King was fundamentally a man of the church. Beginning with King's roots in Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, Baldwin traces the evolution of King's attitude toward the church through his college, seminary, graduate school, and civil rights years. The emphasis is on King's concept of the church as "the voice of conscience." Baldwin persuasively claims that King challenged the church over the need for a higher spiritual and ethical ideal, and that King's moral leadership and eventual martyrdom did much to reestablish the credibility of the church at a time when some theologians were declaring the death of God. Baldwin critiques the contemporary church on the basis of King's prophetic model, and concludes by insisting that this model, not the entrepreneurial spirituality of the contemporary megachurches, embodies the best potential for much-needed church renewal.