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On Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Christian Experience Paperback – October 1, 2003
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History To Repeat & Some To Not
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This book needed to be written, and more importantly it needs to be read. --ÃÂKeith A. Mathison, Ligonier Ministries
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was a hard read because it's painful to think about the way black Christians have been mistreated by white Christians throughout American history. And it was a harder read because it points out that mistreatment continues. It was hard because it made me weep for my brethren of all races, and because it made me hunger for reconciliation that I cannot reach quickly enough. In short, it was hard because it was real. And in this case, reality is hard.
But it's not bitter. In fact, the book is anything but a tirade against the oppressor. It's pastoral. It's insightful. It's forgiving. It inspires compassion. And it's wise, written by a man that has personally jumped the chasm and tied his rope to both sides, and who now shows all of us how to do the same so that together we might build a bridge.
Thanks, Pastor Carter, for loving the church enough to write this, for loving truth enough to be honest and accurate, and for loving Christ enough to do it with a shepherd's hand.
It is painful to see so few blacks in the Reformed movement, but Carter shows this has not always been and does not have to always be. In fact, much of the black American experience should (and sometimes has) make them especially well-suited for a Reformed theological perspective. When this has failed to be the case, the blame lies with both whites and blacks. Both have neglected important elements of the Gospel, and the result has been a sad lack of a dynamic Reformed witness in the black community. Carter's critique is biting, but never angry or hurtful.
I bought four copies of this book. I think every seminarian, pastor, and church officer, at minimum, should read this.
(BTW -- As result of the footnotes in this book I bought two copies of Black Puritan, Black Republican, which was somewhat dissappointing and dry. It tells a great story, but 90% of it I could have gleaned forma book review or even the dust jacket).
Some may wonder what's so novel about that declaration. A careful reading of most modern presentations of Reformed theology exposes the truth that God's glory is always emphasized (rightly so), while the saints' comfort is often minimized (sadly so).
Reformation theology has historically offered great treatises on anthropology (human creation and God's design), hamartiology (human sin and depravity), and on soteriology (Christ's salvation and human deliverance). Historically, what has been lacking is a biblical sufferology--a theology of suffering that brings comfort to human misery, that brings hope to the hurting.
Throughout "On Being Black and Reformed" Carter's subtext reverberates. Reformed theology has much to offer African American Christians. And, African American Christians have much to offer Reformed theology. When separated from Reformed theology, African American Christians, according to Carter, are tempted toward a lower view of God, truth, and theology. When separated from African American Christianity, Reformed theology, according to Carter, is tempted toward a lower view of comfort, love, and contextual experience. Reformed theology and African American Christianity need each other equally.
Nowhere is this juxtaposition more clearly revealed than in the Reformed African American theological interpretation of American enslavement. How could a good and sovereign God allow an entire people group to be enslaved for centuries?Read more ›
First, white evangelicals have to realize that their Christian experience is predominately a Caucasian-cultured experience. Too many white evangelicals tacitly walk around assuming that their Christianity is a universal expression that is universally applicable, rather than a culturally conditioned expression that only represents a slice of the Christian experience. This is vitally important to reckon with. Most evangelicals are not racist, and their top-level orientation is desirous of racial reconciliation within the church and larger culture. This is very good. But in failing to realize the degree to which our Christianity is a 'white Christianity', we greatly hinder our efforts at diversity and fail to realize how inhospitable and exclusive we are, even though our church doors are wide open. A rather vicious circular state results, in which we desire greater diversity, but are too inflexible about our worship and preaching to encourage it, so diversity never happens even though we say we're committed to it. All of this is the result of believing that our particular expression of Christianity is universally normative. This is what needs to change, and Carter does a great job of demonstrating this.
Carter also highlights the very real power of worship to supernaturally change things. This is one of the great truths of Christianity that the African American Christian expression gives such wonderful voice to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I first read this in 2004 about a year after I fully embraced Reformed Theology. Rev Carter does an excellent job of showing some history and of explaining why Reformed Theology is... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Champ Hampton
I am digging into the multiple facets discussed in this book. Spent the past 3 years struggling as a Black lay leader (whom has attended seminary) in a 4600 member "white"... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rob Harris
This was a very encouraging and enlightening book. I would especially recommend this book for African American Christians seeking a deeper understanding of their Christian... Read morePublished 13 months ago by EaronJames
Great book, informative & sound biblical perspective Mr Carter. We truly need more of a reform way of life in the brown church. Read morePublished 15 months ago by CLADIUS TOKUNBOH
Thankfully this book gives us a good look at the Reforrmed theology/church, and causes one to reeevaluate ones position. Read morePublished on August 31, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I really liked this book. I chose to become a reformed christian and then a reformed pastor and this book helps to explain this type of chistianity to those not exposed to it. Read morePublished on June 28, 2013 by Rev. Wayne
I love this book. The description of Reformed theology (Calvinism, if you must) is much better than my book, and in much less space. Read morePublished on February 25, 2013 by Dan Q
I am not going to give a bunch of verbiage. Please purchase this book, read it and pass it along. It is conversational without being shallow, informative without being wordy, and... Read morePublished on October 12, 2007 by Lionel Damon Woods
Anthony Carter is one of the leading voices in a small but growing movement of black Reformed pastors and churches. Read morePublished on September 17, 2007 by Jake Hunt