Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Decline of African American Theology

Boundless Webzine features an excerpt from Thabiti Anyawile's book by that title. Here's a sample:
There is a place in Christian theology — stemming from a deep reflection on the Person and work of Christ — for radical jeremiads against bigotry, injustice, and oppression of all kinds. The earliest African Americans understood this and, consequently, were able to hold both a conventional Christology and an active political praxis. The two are not mutually exclusive, and yet, the theological trajectory followed in the last seventy-five years seems to treat them as such.

To the extent that African American thinkers obfuscated the centrality of Jesus' spiritual mission to purchase a special people for Himself, then they participated in that grand lie of the serpent in the garden that promised knowledge beyond imagination but only ended in the destruction of souls.

This is no victimless crime. Materialism and black nationalism masquerading as Christology overthrow the faith of many — shrouding the cross of Jesus in the temporal affairs of this world, which in turn choke the seeds of the Gospel.
Thabiti's article is a poignant reminder of how our cultural-historical contexts can serve to both sensitize and blind us to biblical truths, thus making it imperative that we humbly listen to saints from ethnic groups and times beyond our own.

3 comments:

Ken Abbott said...

If I only knew of a way to get Mr. Anyawile and Bishop Harry Jackson on a national news program...

These men have a lot of positive contributions to make to the current "discussion" regarding Senator Obama and Jeremiah Wright. But nobody's listening to the men who can talk sense.

rosemarie said...

Amen, Ken. I am praying for a platform that will allow that very thing.

Thanks for the post, Mr. Resource.

Mr_Jargon said...

This article looks excellent and hits very, very close to home.