Conversations, VOLUME 6

Desmond Tutu – The Bible as a Revolutionary Tool [Video]

Desmond Tutu

Today marks the 82nd birthday of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Tutu is author of many books, including:

No Future Without Forgiveness
Desmond Tutu

Paperback: Doubleday, 1999.
Buy now:   [ [easyazon-link asin=”0385496907″ locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]  [ [easyazon-link asin=”B001RLBWSK” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]
*** [easyazon-link keywords=”Desmond Tutu” locale=”us”]Other Books by Desmond Tutu[/easyazon-link]
The following is a video clip from Tutu’s recent visit to Indianapolis.  (The audio isn’t the greatest, so a rough transcript is included below the video.)



The Bible as a Revolutionary Tool

When the missionaries came to our part of the world, they had the Bible and we had the land.  And they said, “Let us pray,” and we dutifully shut our eyes.  When they said, “Amen,” we had the Bible and they had the land. Well, some people reckon that we had made a very bad bargain, but NO! [laughs].  Dear friends, No.  For in a situation of injustice and oppression, the last thing you want to give to those who are oppressed is a Bible!  It’s one of the most revolutionary things, you could have ever had.  You tell people: “You, you can’t come here because you are Black; You can’t go to that university because you are Black; You are ever inferior”  “HA!” we said, “Really?”  They were picking on some biological irrelevancies, and they were saying that it was those that invested persons with worth.  The Bible says that any credible statement that is made about us – about you, about me – that [we] are created in the image of God, that you are someone of infinite worth, a worth that is intrinsic to who you are.  It’s something that comes with the package.  [The Bible] says some shocking things about us: that you and I are stand-ins for God. You are God’s viceroy; you are a sanctuary of the infinite one, and to treat anyone as if they were less than this is not just painful, as it has been so frequently for us [Black Africans], it’s not just evil; it is downright blasphemous, you are spitting in the face of God!


Watch another excellent video
from Desmond Tutu’s visit to Indianapolis

C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

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