The Myth of the Black Matriarchy During Slavery

Uncategorized on March 29th, 2013 No Comments

This article. WOW.

Coming May 2013: Aliens In The Promised Land

Books on March 16th, 2013 6 Comments

Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions

Edited by Anthony B. Bradley

    Book Outline

CHAPTER 1: General Introduction ~Dr. Anthony Bradley.

CHAPTER 2: Black Pastoral Leadership and Church Planting. ~Rev. Lance Lewis,

CHAPTER 3: Race, Racialization, and Asian-American Leaders in Post-Racist Evangelicalism ~Dr. Amos Yong

CHAPTER 4: Serving Alongside Latinos in a Multiethnic, Transnational, Rapidly Changing World ~Dr. Juan Martínez

CHAPTER 5: Ethnic Scarcity In Evangelical Theology ~Dr. Vincent Bacote

CHAPTER 6: Blacks and Latinos In Theological Education as Professors and Administrators ~Dr. Harold Dean Trulear

CHAPTER 7: Blacks and Latinos In Theological Education as Students ~Dr. Orlando Rivera

CHAPTER 8: A Black Church Perspective On Minorities in Evangelicalism~Dr. Ralph C. Watkins.

CHAPTER 9: Theology and Cultural Awareness Applied: Discipling Urban Men~Dr. Carl Ellis

CHAPTER 10: Afterword ~ Dr. Anthony Bradley

APPENDIX: Racism and the Church–Overcoming The Idolatry (A Biblical Theology of Race and What The Gospel Says About Racism).

    Contributors

Vincent Bacote, Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics, Wheaton College—Ph.D., M.Phil., Drew University; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; B.S. in Biology, The Citadel.

Anthony B. Bradley, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The King’s College—Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary; M.A. in Ethics and Society, Fordham University; M.Div., Covenant Theological Seminary; B.S. in Biological Sciences, Clemson University.

Carl F. Ellis Jr., Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Redeemer Theological Seminary—D.Phil., Oxford Graduate School, Memphis; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary; B.A., Hampton Institute.

Lance Lewis, Pastor, Christ Redemption Fellowship (PCA)—M.Div., Chesapeake Theological Seminary; B.A., Temple University.

Juan Martínez, Associate Provost for Diversity and International Programs, Academic Director of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community, and Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Pastoral Leadership, Fuller Theological Seminary—Ph.D., Th.M., Fuller Theological Seminary; M.Div., Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary.

Orlando Rivera, Assistant Professor and Department Chair of Pastoral Ministries, Nyack College—PhD., in Organizational Leadership, Regent University; M.B.A., Rollins College; M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary; B.A., State University of New York, Albany.

Harold Dean Trulear, Associate Professor of Applied Theology, Howard University School of Divinity—Ph.D., Drew University; B.A., Morehouse College.

Ralph C. Watkins, Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, Columbia Theological Seminary—Ph.D., The University of Pittsburgh; D.Min., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; M.A., The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary; B.A., California State University, Sacramento.

Amos Yong, J. Dean of the Divinity School and the Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University— Ph.D., Boston University; M.A., Portland State University; M.A., Western Evangelical Seminary; B.A., Bethany College.

    Endorsements

“This is a terrific book. For years, evangelicals have discussed among themselves ways to reach minority communities, without much participation by minorities themselves. This book is a game changer. Here, black, Asian, and Latino writers say what they most want to say to the evangelical (and specifically Reformed) community. If you are tired of the usual arguments about race, as I am, this book will wake you up with some new ideas, like Lance Lewis’ suggestion. He urges a moratorium on evangelicals (even black evangelicals) planting churches directed toward blacks. I’m not sure I agree. But like many ideas in this book Lewis’s are clearly written and backed up by good arguments. That a Reformed publisher has undertaken to publish a book like this is itself a very promising development. I urge a wide readership by all who are seeking to carry out Jesus’ Great Commission.” ~ John Frame, Ph.D, J.D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary

Never before have ethnic minorities within this “tribe” of conservative evangelicals addressed directly such explosive questions of white privilege, structural sin, unequal opportunity and the suburban cultural captivity of their churches. What I like most is that these contributors don’t dwell on past pain—and there is plenty of it! Rather, this volume is about reconstructing in faith a path towards God’s sovereign vision of human community. Anyone who cares about the future of Christianity in the North America needs to read this. ~John Nunes, Ph.D., President and CEO, Lutheran World Relief

Those that have ears to ear, let the American evangelical church hear what the Spirit is saying through these teachers. The importance of this book cannot be over-stressed. In order for evangelicalism to survive into the next generation, the warnings of Dr. Bradley, et al. must be heeded. This book not only offers personal stories and insightful analysis into the role of race in American Christian institutions, but it offers practical ideas to actively move these institutions forward. I pray that this book will be read and applied by every major American evangelical leader who wishes to honestly explore the future of American evangelicalism. ~Soong-Chan Rah, Author of The Next Evangelicalism

Anthony Bradley has assembled an impressive cast of Hispanic, black, and Asian scholars to analyze the “alien” status of minorities in the “Promised Land” of evangelical America. Informed by personal, theological, and practical reflection, these sobering and often uncompromising essays challenge culturally dominant white evangelicals to move beyond their tribalism and embrace ethnic and racial diversity in their midst. “Wake up,” these contributors are saying, “The multi-cultural future of evangelicalism is now.” ~David W. Kling, Ph.D. Chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of Miami

Make no mistake – this is not a book to be pigeonholed as merely one more addition to the ongoing conversation about faith and race. It is, rather, a book about the viability of Evangelicalism and therefore the future of western Christianity as a whole. No longer can white, western Christians conveniently turn a blind eye to their own privilege, underlying racism, and the absolute necessity of repentance and change. The question is, will the blind eyes be opened? Will evangelicals heed the prophetic word offered by the voices in Aliens in the Promised Land, or will we fade into obscurity as the rest of global Christianity comes to resemble a body of every tribe, tongue, and nation? I’ve heard it said that Christians sometimes answer questions that no one is asking. Here, Bradley and a host of emboldened pastors, scholars, and theologians answer questions that many Christians are afraid to ask. As such, the volume serves as a significant catalyst for conversation, prayer, and the hope that the faith once delivered can indeed be proclaimed and revealed by a diversity of members within the body of Christ. It is an effort worthy of the highest commendation. ~Rev. Adam S. Borneman, Second Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL.

Available soon at Amazon.com

There are 3 Types of African American (Black) Reformed Christians

Religion, Uncategorized on January 15th, 2013 7 Comments

The elephant in the room in the discourse about what it means to be black and Reformed is that black Reformed leaders and churches have the same exact diversity and variety as their white counterparts but people act as if they do not.

The following is a summary of reflections Tim Keller gave back in 2010 on three Reformed cultures in the PCA that I copied from Jeff Gissing. What follows in a combination of Gissing and Keller. The repetition is for emphasis. The categories and discussion can be found in George Marsden’s essay in this book on Reformed Theology in America.

Doctrinalists place a high value on creedal orthodoxy and working through the councils of the church rather than, say, through parachurch ministries. Uniformity is the name of the game–a common (regulated) way of worship, a common theological language (subscription to the Confession), and the maintenance of traditions in worship rather than innovation. Doctrinalists are suspicious of engagement with culture because of the risk of theological compromise. There is more stress on uniformity of faith and practice than on freedom and diversity. Historic tradition is valued over innovation, and social adaptation is looked upon with great suspicion. These last two factors mean there is less freedom for individual Christians and local Sessions. Things are more tightly regulated.

Pietists place a high value on the personal and experiential. They do ministry through church courts yes, but also in partnership with parachurch ministries. While not atheological, they place the highest value on core or essential doctrines. The emphasis is more on personal holiness than confessional precision or uniformity. Many of these churches emphasize personal evangelism and church growth. Contemporary worship is typically a high value for pietists because of the emphasis on conforming the worship experience to something that is person and experiential–something that if perceived to be more difficult when the genre of music is one or more generation removed from the worshipper. The pietist impulse puts the emphasis on the individual and the experiential. Pietists do ministry through church courts, but they are also supportive of ministry through para‐church ministries.

Pietists stress core doctrines over secondary ones, and feel more like part of the broader evangelical movement than do doctrinalists. This branch, like the doctrinalists, are generally suspicious of an emphasis on social justice and cultural engagement. While the doctrinalists fear cultural accommodation, the pietists are more afraid that it will detract from the pietists’ main concern—evangelism, mission, and church growth. The culturalist impulse is like the doctrinalist in that it values theological reasoning and is suspicious of the individualism and pragmatism of the pietists.

The culturalist approach values redemptive engagement with culture and theological reasoning, feeling an affinity with the Great Tradition that links the historic church. Many of these churches are more comfortable appropriating liturgy from the church’s liturgical tradition. They are more open to innovation than the doctrinalists although they tend to have a slightly higher view of music and the arts than the pietists. Additionally, they place a higher value on modern scholarship than either the doctrinalists or the pietists–they are eager to engage with new ideas. They monitor the culture and seek to interact with it in a constructive way, often avoiding overt evangelistic programs or emphasis on church growth.

Culturalists emphasize community and the corporate in ways similar to the doctrinalists. However, culturalists are more like the pietists in their openness to social adaptation. Indeed, they usually are more open to the ‘new’ than the pietists. And the culturalists pay the most attention to what goes on outside the church in the culture. In particular, they usually give more heed to modern scholarship. Culturalists may show less concern with ‘church growth’ and overt evangelistic programs than either of the other two branches. Also feel more affinity to ‘the Great Tradition’—the Anglican, Catholic, and Eastern churches—than do the doctrinalists and the pietists.

First of all, calm down. These are broad generalizations by Marsden and Keller so there’s no need to freak out about the lack of precision on certain points. It’s ok. Breath.

The point is that there is no one way to be African American and Reformed. Because followers of John Piper and Mark Dever are more piestist/revivalist (with some doctrinalist affinities) they tend to look on those who are more cleanly doctrinalist or culturalist with suspicion about not being very serious about “the gospel” (translation: unless you lean in the pietist direction your commitment to “the gospel” may be suspect)–and vice versa, although the charge will not be about “the gospel.”

There are black Reformed Presbyterians that represent all three. There are black Baptists who embrace all three. The ongoing myth is that “Reformed,” is monolithic in emphasis. It’s not and the lack of discussion on this point has been used to pit people against each other. Some Reformed African Americans have been influenced by Reformed Anglicanism, English & American Puritanism, Scottish Presbyterianism, Dutch Calvinism, etc., all with different emphases. It will be great some day when there will be space where people are just “ok” with the reality of all three.

Amazing!

Religion on December 2nd, 2012 1 Comment

I long to find a community of Christians who would see this guy as an artist.

The addiction to proving that you matter

Religion on November 10th, 2012 4 Comments

Western Christians of social and economic privilege are the only Christians in history where lay people (not clergy) have had the luxury of reading books and attending conferences about how to be the best, most culturally, sophisticated Christian. Where obsessed with trying to discern why we matter. Is it narcissism? Enlightenment era idolatries temp people to feel pressure to have a deep, winsome, provocative theological justification of every action. It could be new form of legalism: “I have to theologically justify the certainty of all of my actions with aphorisms like “God’s will,” “I feel called. . .” in order for my actions to matter. People want EVIDENCE and PROOF that their lives matter in God’s plan, otherwise, in a Western sense, why be a Christian? What’s so wrong with not being able to see “the reason”? The necessities of life positioned the world’s first Christians in the Middle East and Africa to walk into mystery, love God and neighbor, marry, build families and community, rest, eat well, celebrate life, expect pain and suffering as normal and “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands” (1 Thess 4:11), etc. Sounds liberating, huh? Of course, the only thing WORSE is the opposite extreme that holds we’re just pilgrims passing through and nothing we do in this life matters. Arguing with Christians holding anti-creational eschatology got us in this current mess in the first place some could argue.

How to honor your mother and father, hip hop style

Uncategorized on November 1st, 2012 3 Comments

This is brilliant.

Presidential election foolishness

Politics on October 31st, 2012 3 Comments

Mitt Romney is not a “liar” and President Obama is not a “retard.” Come on, people. Stop it. This is why I’ve avoided writing any election/policy op-eds during this year. Last election I didn’t see as many FB posts so I wasn’t so sickened by people’s trifling and pathetic confirmation bias. If you’re constantly calling Romney a “liar” or Obama a “retard” you’re wearing us out with your blinding confirmation bias. It’s embarrassing. Being wrong on data, in your opinion, doesn’t necessarily constitute “lying” nor does failing to see the logic behind someone’s thinking justify calling someone a “retard.” In fact, what all your “Romney is a liar” and “Obama is a retard” posts are doing is confirming for the rest of us that you may be eligible to be considered as “Exhibit A” for what is known as a “fool” (Prov 10:18, 18:2, 29:11). May Nov. 6th come quickly!! #HowToLoseFollowers”

Bringing Christian spoken word & hip hop to Harlem

Religion on October 22nd, 2012 1 Comment

Hey New York City, in partnership with Greater Zion Hill Baptist Church, I am hosting a monthly Christian spoken word and hip hop open-mic showcase. We want to saturate Harlem with the gospel (Rom 1:16) and sound doctrine (Titus 1:9) using some of the area’s dynamic gospel messengers.

If you know any NYC-based artists that rap well about what God the Father has accomplished and applied in the work and person of Jesus let us know about them.

The first event is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9th at 7pm at Greater Zion Hill Baptist Church 2365 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 127th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. (8th Avenue) New York, NY 10027 in Harlem.

All performing poets and emcees get a free copy of Trip Lee’s book, “The Good Life

The second event is scheduled for Dec. 14 at 7-9pm at the same location.

Follow this event on Twitter where you’ll find the next work. Email us at 127hiphop at gee mail dot com.

Twitter hashtag #harlemhiphop

Join our Facebook group.

Why am I doing this? I blame Braille, Lecrae, and Trip Lee. This is their fault. LOL!

The accomplished and applied gospel

Religion on October 8th, 2012 No Comments

The core of the Gospel is the good news of the redemption accomplished and applied, as promised in the Old Testament, through the ultimate covenant Mediator, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:15).

It truly is the good news, then, of God’s saving work in Christ and the Spirit by which the powers of sin and death are overcome and the life of the new creation is inaugurated, moving towards the eschatological glorification of the whole cosmos (Theodore G. Stylianopoulos). Justification, sanctification, adoption, and so on, are the benefits that follow from the mediatorial fulfillment of God’s covenant with creation.

Introduction Feminist Theology

Religion on September 12th, 2012 1 Comment

Here’s a good introduction to feminist theology.