Posted on: 01/29/08:
It’s been more than 70 years ago since Carter G. Woodson wrote the classic, The Mis-Education of the Negro. Educational opportunities for Blacks have been transformed probably more than he would have imagined. Having such opportunities have undoubtedly afforded many Blacks passage to unforeseen heights.
Today, we have an unprecedented number of black owned businesses, CEOs, individuals in middle to high-level management in different areas, such as government, education, and religious settings. In fact, we have more trained Black clergy than ever. However, given all the black advancement and achievement in those areas of life, I am afraid in my estimation that we have yet to see the full potential of Blacks, particularly in theology.
Although, there are a growing number of conservative Black seminary students and Black Reformed folks in general, this is an illusion of meaningful progress. The progression I have in mind is not merely an increasing aggregation of Blacks in each field, but rather Blacks advancing their respective field. Even though, we have more Blacks attending seminary (still in disproportionate numbers), we are not producing seminal Black theologians/thinkers, specifically from reformed and/or evangelical seminaries.
Of course, there are a number of reasons that have been offered to explain this phenomenon, such as a lack of scholarships, Black faculty, Black applicants, cultural insensitivity, and so on. There is no question that these factors are important and need serious attention by most reformed and evangelical seminaries. But I want to suggest an alternative explanation to this problem. I want to argue with Woodson, as my conversation partner, that we as Reformed Negroes have been miseducated by these respective institutions and their debilitating ideologies to such a degree that, unless something radically changes, it will continue to retard a healthy production of Black Reformed theologians/thinkers who are self-conscious, socratic and constructive.
Posted on: 12/21/07:
Reformed Blacks of America, Inc. (RBA) is pleased to announce in partnership with Reformed Theological Seminary – Orlando (RTS-Orlando) the creation of the African-American Imagination and Theology Project. The African American Imagination and Theology Project with its corresponding scholarships seeks to unearth and impregnate a generation of Black seminal thinkers to reflect upon and interact with the experiences, thoughts and lives of Black people and the world theologically.
We are thoroughly excited about the creative energy taking place. Several students who are enrolled in RTS-Orlando from across the country are already participants in this project. For those interested in biblio-critical thought and desire to be a constructive agent in the theological and cultural landscape, the African-American Imagination and Theology Project is for you!
Here is an official RTS-Orlando video from the Founders of RBA introducing a portion of this project:
If you are interested or know someone who might be a fit for this project, please email us at info@ReformedBlacks.org with "African-American Imagination and Theology Project" as the subject of the email, including educational background and relevant contact information (e.g. email and phone number).
Posted on: 08/20/07:
Thank you for your nominations! The results are back and we have great news. Reformed Blacks of America's blog is a finalist for 2 categories: Best Faith-Based Blog and Best Group Blog.
This presents a great opportunity for more interaction between other Blacks, Christian and non-Christian alike, and Blacks doing reformed theology in creative and exciting ways. Therefore, we need you all to show up and vote one last time so that we can win our two categories. So if you did not vote the first time, you have one last chance.
Please take just a few minutes to vote for Reformed Blacks of America's blog to be the winner of the Best Faith-Based Blog and Best Group Blog at www.blackweblogawards.com before August 31st. Vote now before you forget!
Posted on: 08/10/07:
It is now time to show your support for RBA's blog articles by casting your ballot for Reformed Blacks of America. Please take about 2 minutes to nominate Reformed Blacks of America's blog by entering
" www.reformedblacksofamerica.org/blog " for the following categories below at www.blackweblogawards.com:
Best Faith-Based Blog
Best Group Blog
Blog to Watch
Blog of the Year.
We appreciate your support as soon as possible before the voting is over. So cast your vote now!
The RBA Team
Posted on: 05/17/07:
Black. Reformed. What do they mean? Better yet, what does it mean for the two to be integrated? Or for the two to become one? For “Blackness” and “Reformedness” to stand separately from one another in theological context is to run the risk of one dominating the other in a conversation of utmost importance. Currently, within the conversation between Reformedness (i.e. Reformed theology) and “Blackness” (i.e. Black heritage in its broadest sense), Reformed theology seems to control where the conversation should go and on a most basic level even prescribes its fundamental categories of theological formulation that determines one’s world and lifeview. And the unfortunate reality in this conversation is that those who are Black and Reformed do not realize the lopsidedness of this dialog. We are predominately sitting at the feet of Reformed theology waiting to receive all that it has to give us as though it is the ark of salvation without contributing anything to the conversation.
What makes matters worse is that we do not think we need to contribute anything or even have anything to contribute. We would rather remain at the whims of Reformed theology as it guides us to “the most blessed theologically sound life” here in America, even though it does not actually inquire about our lives as Blacks, which it seeks to lead whether we admit it or not. This is partly due to the fact that for many, Reformed theology is an idol that we do not want to change, which then leads to our passivity in conversation. If the truth be told, in idolatry we do not want our idol to change because if it does, we stand the chance of losing something that we think is valuable (e.g. a pseudo- pristine theology). But if we were to expect more from the idol, then our idol must change because it must conform to our particular situations and concerns that it did not address before. As a result, we would now be brought into the conversation as an equal and many times as a more important conversation partner with something significant to contribute for the benefit of both parties. Thus, this thing called Reformed theology that we once idolized will now become a conversational friend where there is much give and take rather than a static idol of lesser value.
Posted on: 05/01/07:
The rebuilding of God’s Kingdom is going on now and God uses the lives of His people in diverse and distinct ways. RBA is particularly focused on building the Kingdom with a distinct focus on the Black Community. While we seek the support and fellowship of any and all believers, our goals necessarily place us at the center of the Black experience, thought and life. It is evident that the growth and content of the American Reformation is not equally proportionate or influenced by various communities. We are seeking indigenous reformation from this community in order that the American Reformation among all communities may increase and profit.
Posted on: 04/27/07:
The late Dr. Harvie Conn, Professor of Missions at Westminster Theological Seminary, from 1972 to 1998, writes, "theology must be culture-specific in recognition of the receptor-oriented character of divine revelation." The condescension of God in communicating to his people through the Scriptures and the very example of Jesus’ incarnation paint a glaring assessment of how pathetic it is for a Black preacher/teacher to stand in front of an audience of Black folks and speak to them as if he is wearing a white powered wig and they are a group of New England Puritans.
The Black regurgitation preacher/teacher does not apply Reformed theology to issues specific to Black communities here and now. Instead, he simply regurgitates the same categories, issues, problems and polemics of a predominantly White evangelical culture that, in many ways, are foreign to the Black folks to whom he is speaking. Of course, some issues like the national epidemic of passive men transcend all neighborhoods in America, while others do not.
Theologizing, writes Conn, is dialogical in character. It is a dialogue not only within the household of faith but also with the world in which it is being applied—the culture, the religion, the politics, the economics and the social systems.
Posted on: 10/16/06:
RBA is on MySpace.com: www.myspace.com/reformedblacks. Myspace will provide the opportunity for RBA to reach a younger generation many of whom are unbelievers and may not have seen the Christian story intersect with their lives and context. This will also allow RBA to develop stronger relationships with other believers. As we push the kingdom forward, it is necessary that lives be impacted; MySpace is one medium through which this can occur. And if you are already on there, please feel free to add us as your friend.
Posted on: 10/13/06:
We, the Founders, are pleased to announce the incorporation of Reformed Blacks of America (RBA)! RBA is a center that seeks to build and maintain an infrastructure and network among African-Americans in a Reformed theological context for indigenous leadership, church growth and theological research for today's world.
RBA was led to its existence due to the lack of an intentional multifaceted structure through which the Reformed Black community in all its diversity can reach its fullest potential in America. The cultivation of this infrastructure will be fulfilled through these three aspects of the mission of RBA: (1) the advancement of indigenous Black Reformed leadership, (2) growth of Reformed Black churches and (3) theological research that addresses the pathologies of Black America and the challenges of this complex world.
To God be the glory for this occasion!
Posted on: 08/29/06:
The Creation of a Kingdom
We may think that the concept of “infrastructure” has nothing to do with the Bible, that it is a 21st century notion for the workplace. But interestingly, the beginning of Genesis opens with God’s creation of an infrastructure through which to display His presence and glory. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created the universe in order to create for Himself a Kingdom where His Kingship Rule and glory would be multiplied (Psalms 103:17-22, Matthew 6:10, Revelation 21:1-4). Basically, in creating the universe, God was creating a Kingdom-a location and habitation for Himself and His servants who would affectionately and fearfully esteem Him as King. This was the purpose for God’s creation-God was building a Kingdom, a land which He would rule and which would be possessed by those who would completely and lovingly serve Him.