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Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church Paperback – June 9, 2008

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Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church + On Being Black and Reformed: A New Perspective on the African-American Christian Experience + Glory Road: The Journeys of 10 African-Americans into Reformed Christianity
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (June 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581348878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581348873
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Gives great acclamation to black church worship, black preaching, and the black Christian experience, rightly showing the strength of Reformed theology for these traditions. I hope Experiencing the Truth will be an impetus to move the African-American church from the self-deprecating darkness of theological liberalism into the divinely nourishing light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Eric C. Redmond, Bible Professor in Residence, New Canaan Baptist Church

"Provides a biblical diagnosis and prescription for what ails the African-American church and much of the larger church world as well. From theology to preaching to worship and Christian spirituality, these veterans of the church and pulpit apply the scalpel of truth to every major area of church life."
Thabiti M. Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman; author, What Is a Healthy Church Member?

"The authors show no fear as they tackle tough issues facing the African-American church in particular and the evangelical church in general. I say get it, read it, and discuss it."
Louis C. Love Jr., Pastor, New Life Fellowship Church, Vernon Hills, Illinois

About the Author

Anthony J. Carter (MA, Biblical Studies, Reformed Theological Seminary) serves as the assistant pastor of Southwest Christian Fellowship in Atlanta. The author of two books, the Non Nobis Domine blog, and numerous magazine and journal articles, Carter frequently travels as a conference speaker and guest lecturer. He is also an organizing member of the Council of Reforming Churches.

More About the Author

A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL, and Point University of East Point, GA, Tony is lead pastor of East Point Church, East Point, GA. He is author of several books including "On Being Black and Reformed"; and "What is the Gospel: Life's Most Important Question". He is co-author and editor of "Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church"; and "Glory Road: The Journeys of Ten African Americans into Reformed Christianity." Pastor Tony live in East Point GA with his wife and five children.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on November 23, 2008
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Anthony Carter, Michael Leach, and Ken Jones write in the growing new tradition of Black Reformed pastors and authors like Eric C. Redmond and Thabiti Anyabwile. "Experiencing the Truth," as the title suggests, is not an either/or book. Some feel that the Black Church has at times surrendered truth in the search for experience. Others feel that the Reformed Church would not be a home for Black worshippers because at times it has surrendered the experience of God in search of doctrinal truth. Carter, Leach, and Jones cogently argue that all churches, of all ethnicities, can and should combine truth and experience.

The authors outline a theology of Black church worship, Black preaching, and Black Christian experience that can grow out of the Reformed tradition. In doing so, they take the Black Church back to some of its earliest American roots (see "Beyond the Suffering" for portraits of heroes of Black Church history).

As the authors argue, this book is not only for the Black Church. It is for any Christian concerned with a Christian church experience that combines truth and love.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lionel Damon Woods on August 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I wanted to give the book 3.5 stars but if I am to error I will do it on 4 rather than 3.

The purpose of this book as defined by the authors is the bring reformation to the black church. This I agree with. The black church for too long has continued to be high on experience and low on theology and doctrine. Both are important but if your theology is wrong your worship is wrong. Jesus is clear on this with the woman by the well in John 3. Her theology and doctrine was wrong thus Jesus corrects her about true worship.

All 3 of the books authors are Reformed Shepherds so I expected some reformed leanings. I got a little more than I bargained for thus the book loses one star for me. The opening section by Michael Leach seemed to be heavy in Reformed Tradition and Ecclisology and very little on practical Reformed Theology. I am not of the Reformed persuasion as it relates to this so this could be a matter for me and not all readers.

The book also lost a star due to the terminology in the first chapter. I felt like I was reading a seminal book and if I were to hand it off I don't think it will be well recieved. It seemed the book was trying to prove something in the first chapter and because of that I fell that it would alienate the very audience it was attempting to reform. We must be careful with that if we are going to come to the table and have any meaningful dialogue.

So my problem with the books would be some of the word choice, the heavy emphasis on reformed ecclisiology, and maybe a tone of arrogance. But that leads to what I enjoy.

The book focuses on a high view of worship, the Bible, and even practical holiness (Jones Chapter). That I enjoyed. Mr.
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Format: Paperback
This author's answer to the problems facing the African-American church is to systematically reintroduce classic Calvinism as a dominant teaching. This small volume will be helpful to readers to understand the challenges the church currently faces in this atomized and aimless North American society. Carter and the two other authors (who each have written one chapter) lays out very well some of the social and family dynamics that he feels need Gospel attention. This is well written and readable.

Carter and Associates focus on the core doctrine and dynamic of God's Grace. He calls American Christians and the African-American church in particular to renew and reclaim a focus on the sovereign Grace of God and build on that. The upshot of this in my view, however, is that more information will fix the problem, as though this is a conceptual problem.

He is more on track in the opening chapter, where he states the foundation needs to be the Scriptures. Chapter 4 on Christian Worship is excellent. The closing chapter is a paeon to Grace and so a good positive note to end on.

Carter would refocus the church on study of what the scriptures really say in their own context. But as he develops his ideas in the second chapter, what he actually emphasizes is the historical Creeds and Confessions, and spends most of his energy on those.

But Leach (who wrote Chapter 2 on the Creeds) and Carter seem unaware that the early Creeds and the Reformation Confessions were also culture-bound, arising at a particular time in response to particular questions or problems that arose out the worldview of that particular period and society.
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