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Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church Paperback – June 9, 2008
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"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, Pastor, Anacostia River Church, Washington, D. C.; 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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."
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›