10/07: RBA’s Contemporary Study: The Covenant With Black America
Lavaris, Randall, Mark and the RBA Founders - Michael and Xavier - will be responding theologically chapter by chapter weekly to The Covenant with Black America edited by Tavis Smiley. As the first of its kind, beginning Wednesday, July 12th, our study will commence on this New York Times Bestseller, which communicates some of the most pressing concerns in the black community.
The Covenant with Black America is a national plan of action to address the political, social and economic issues of African Americans today.
From health to housing, from crime to criminal justice, from education to economic parity, African Americans continue to face devastating disparities on nearly every level. However the time has come for African Americans to shift the conversation from talking about our pain to talking about our plan.
This Covenant is not revolutionary but evolutionary in the sense that it will be another catalyst in our struggle to make Black America better. I believe that when we make Black America better, we make all of America better.
This Covenant with Black America calls upon all parents, education, preachers, social service providers, community leaders, and policy-makers to act now and create a brighter future for our children. The words of writer and environment activist Terry Tempest Williams make clearer the urgency of this book’s message: ‘The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.
The objective of this study is to emphasize the importance of Black America while also setting the reality of a Black America within the context of a Reformed world and lifeview. Our desire is not merely to set reformed theology against the current state of Black America as a sort of religious checklist, but "do theology" by realizing how our entire makeup and personhood, all that we are and encounter, can be used to make us better theologians and better ministers for Christ. Therefore, our interaction with this work should enhance our theology, make it more real, more evident and more understandable. In an effort to further define reformed theology from the standpoint of "What reformed theology should be doing," we must look around and observe our context, our place in life. The basic question we are attempting to answer is: "What does it mean to be reformed today?"
Moreover, since God is providential and over all things, the experiences and issues which Black Americans face must reflect God and draw greater attention to the way in which we can better serve Him. So if we are not aware of the questions that Black America is asking, then we cannot provide timely and relevant biblical answers that need to be heard. This is why we must and have chosen to respond poignantly to these matters. Because if reformed theology is going to be progressive and meaningful, then it must deal with issues (e.g. Black issues) that come about through redemptive history as it benefits everyone in Christ's kingdom. Therefore, through RBA’s contemporary study, we will seek to discover how reformed theology works itself out today in the world around us, particularly among African-American people.
The RBA Founders
Chapter 1: "Covenant I - Securing the Right to Healthcare and Well-Being"
Chapter 2: "Chapter II – Establishing a System of Public Education in Which All Children Achieve at High Levels and Reach their Full potential"
Chapter 3: "Covenant III - Correcting the System of Unequal Justice"
Chapter 4: "Covenant IV – Fostering Accountable Community-Centered Policing"
Chapter 5: "Covenant V – Ensuring Broad Access to Affordable Neighborhoods that Connect to Opportunity"