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Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation Paperback – January 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433506734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433506734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dr. Bradley consistently brings poignant insights into the Christian, black, and hip-hop communities. Here he gives worldview-shifting challenges and profound, timeless solutions. I’m grateful to know him and have this book in my hands.”
LeCrae Moore, hip-hop artist, Reach Records

Keep Your Head Up challenges the churches to not let traditions and culture keep them from missing the past two generations of young people who have been unchurched. Bradley encourages the church to be intentional in building open, listening relationships with those who have been influenced by hip-hop and gangsta rap. The church must become more user-friendly to these dear ones in our communities.”
Donovan E. Case, President, African Americans For Missions (AAFM)

“Dr. Bradley’s call for psychological and spiritual wholeness is a daring, needed charge to our ethnic communities. It is my hope that the thorough brand of freedom he envisions will accompany the resurgence of the gospel in our cities and families.”
Jason Wright, 7-year NFL veteran; MBA Candidate, University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Keep Your Head Up is candid, convicting, and balanced. Bradley assembles a great team of Christian thinkers who create a dialog between Augustine, Bell, Hooks, Ice Cube, and William Julius Wilson on one hand and Bill Cosby, Alvin Poussaint, and Eric Michael Dyson on the other. The writers provide great cultural, statistical, and historical analysis of the Come On, People and Is Bill Cosby Right? approaches to complex social issues within Black America and of how far we have to go to overcome. Along the way, they redefine black church, black theology, and what it means to be African-American, producing a fresh new call for the church to hear the truth. This is a significant discussion needed in every church in America so that the ‘One New Man’ can solve the institutionalized and self-inflicted problems facing the African-American community. This work demonstrates that the applied gospel in the hands of the church of Jesus Christ is sufficient to meet the needs of a community that often still faces the reality of living in a present hell.”
Eric C. Redmond, Bible Professor in Residence, New Canaan Baptist Church

“There has been an epidemic among African-Americans for many generations. I am excited that this book highlights the reality of the epidemic from a Christ-centered paradigm, focusing on him and not the false American dream of ‘pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.’ I pray this book alarms the redeemed to the reality of this call. This is a generational issue that beckons the talents, resources, visions, and gifts from the body of Christ at large.”
Adam Thomason, Lead Teaching Pastor, Damascus Road, Flint, Michigan; author, Red Revolution: Seeing the World Through the Lens of Christ

About the Author

Anthony B. Bradley (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is associate professor of theology and ethics at The King's College. He also serves as a Research Fellow for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and is a sought-after commentator on current issues for major broadcast media such as NPR and CNN/Headline News.

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It is only through Jesus can one evade the consequences of sin.
Philip S. Roeda
I highly recommend this book to all who are willing to engage the topic of Black Leadership including the Christian perspective.
Dee Lanier
The fourth chapter written by Ralph Watkins, PhD, advises us to listen the secular prophets of Gangsta Rap.
John Umland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Umland on January 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
When Crossway was offering books to bloggers for review, I was eager and tentative at the same time to take on this book, Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation, edited by Anthony B. Bradley, (2011). Would a middle class white reader such as myself have anything to gain from this conversation? It turns out, I do, partly because we are all believers in Christ, the writers and me, the reader. I highly recommend this to any believer, of any skin color, but I also can recommend this to those who don't share the faith of the contributors, because the church is essential to the discussion of African-American culture.

Each author uses the controversial book by Cosby and Poussaint Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors (2007) as their foil. Regardless of the validity of Cosby and Poussaint's statistics, which were questioned by another black intellectual, Michael Eric Dyson, the authors see these issues in need of spiritual answers, found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dyson's input is acknowledged in the opening and closing chapters, but whether drop out rates are higher or equal to whites, they are still too high. So what are the solutions? There are ten essays with overlapping and non-exclusive proposals. I want to highlight some of them, based on the amount of my underlining.

The first chapter, by Vincent Bacote, PhD, finds a path in discovering the true history of African-Americans, also known as the archeaological approach. For African-Americans this is seen in efforts such as Black History Month (something I've blogged through a few times). But Bacote doesn't want the story to start in the 1600's, when Africans were being brought to North America.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel and Keren Threlfall on March 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The black com­mu­nity is in trou­ble," writes Anthony Bradley. "Some might even call it a cri­sis." So begins a book by America's new black Chris­t­ian lead­ers, deal­ing with social con­scious­ness and the Cosby con­ver­sa­tion. Keep Your Head Up is an attempt to pro­vide bib­li­cal hope to the trou­bles fac­ing the black community.

Why write a book like this?

The rea­son for the book like this is obvi­ous. As edi­tor Anthony Bradley bluntly put it in the pref­ace, "the black com­mu­nity is in trou­ble." In an effort to help, along came Cosby and Pous­sant with their book Come On Peo­ple: On the Path from Vic­tims to Vic­tors (2007). The book served to start a con­struc­tive con­ver­sa­tion -- the "Cosby con­ver­sa­tion" -- but didn't pro­vide a set of com­pre­hen­sive answers. The authors of Keep Your Head Up "believe that we will not make progress until we hear from black reli­gious lead­ers who hold the work and per­son of Christ in high esteem" (17). The authors take the con­ver­sa­tion beyond the cir­cles of acad­e­mia and into the alleys of the ghetto and the pews of the black churches. Although astutely researched and aca­d­e­m­i­cally cred­i­ble, this book is not just about schol­arly inter­ac­tion. It's about con­crete action, Christ-centered answers, and most impor­tantly, bib­li­cal hope for the black community.

Who wrote the book?

The authors are a group of reli­gious lead­ers with the cre­den­tials for writ­ing on this dicey sub­ject. From schol­ars (Bruce Fields, Craig Mitchell) to pas­tors (Eric Mason, Anthony Carter), each writer enters the dis­cus­sion with a decid­edly evan­gel­i­cal, ortho­dox, and Reformed approach. Their col­lec­tive response is bold and con­fronta­tional, but fair and full of hope.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Philip S. Roeda on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
The African American community does suffer from the aftereffects of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism in the United States. There is an industry of organizations and churches that profit and promote the idea of victimization in the African American society. Bill Cosby started a conversation by being critical of the idea of those who promoted the idea of victimization and against the idea of personal responsibility. Being critical of the African American culture and his belief that is holding its members in getting jobs, getting better jobs, improve themselves financially, live in a safer environment, and being more satisfied about their lot in life. This book is not Bill Cosby's Come on People, but an attempt to add to the conversation.

I choose to read this work because I found Anthony Bradley's work on Liberation Theology a valuable read. Anthony Carter also contributes to this work. I have enjoyed his works on Reform theology and the African American community. Ken Jones also contributes to this work. I am well acquainted with him through his contributions to the White Horse Inn. These two contributed in discussing poor theology in the African American Church. Prosperity theology is not biblical theology. Liberation Theology is not Biblical Theology. Craig Mitchell makes a case study by being critical of Michael Eric Dyson and his liberal theology. Lance Lewis calls what people go to church as to tribalizing God. This can be defined as to preach, teach, and to live to promote a group's narrow interest. This will fail those who participate in the church services. The primary goal of worship should not be how to serve the community or even those who attend, but to worship God. To begin to worship God one has to deal with ones own sin in their life.
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