Christian Century has an engaging article reviewing three recent works by African-Americans giving a theological account and critique of traditional theology and “race.” I mentioned one of those works yesterday: J. Kameron Carter’s Race: A Theological Account. But the article also reviews two other important books along these lines: Brian Bantum’s Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity (Baylor University Press, 2010) and Willie J. Jennings’ The Christian Imagi­nation: Theology and the Origins of Race (Yale University Press, 2010).  The article, “The New Black Theology: Retrieving Ancient Sources to Challenge Racism,” is well worth the read.

One of the things that caught my attention and encouraged me was the review’s highlighting of the fact that each of these authors reach back into pre-Enlightenment Christian tradition for resources to reformulate “race” and challenge racism.  That methodology is encouraging in its own right, but it’s all the more heartening since each of these men stand somewhat close to Cone’s school of Black Theology.  Hence the reviewer’s speculation about the emergence of a “new Black Theology.”  Such an emergence, representing a re-appropriation of classic Christian sources rather than a rejection of them (a la Cone), would be a huge move toward theological health.  I suspect there would still be tendencies and conclusions we’d all differ on at places, but re-centering Christian dogmatics and tradition significantly improves the viability of “Black Theology” as unqualified theology.

If you’re interested in thinking more along these lines, I’d encourage a read of the article/review.  Here are the final three paragraphs:

In other words, black theology is reclaiming the theological tradition as its own and, under the banner of orthodoxy, taking on all comers. By rethinking the Enlightenment’s promises of enlightenment and rearticulating racial existence in the language of the church’s most sacred doctrines, black theology is now (or once again) making a case that cannot be denied. The debate is no longer fixed on racial identity politics (a quagmire from which none can escape); rather, it takes place on the level playing field of orthodoxy.

The new theology reminds us that it was a mistake to call black theology “black theology” in the first place. Consistency at least would have required that European theology equally bear the burden of qualifications (“colonizing theology”). To be sure, patronizing name-calling allowed black theology to develop its own voice in its own time, just as the segregated black church developed its own styles, saints and stories. But because the margins were managed by white theologians, those voices were heard by whites, and when heard they were regarded as less than equal and so were not allowed to challenge white hegemony and help white theology be anything other than white theology.

Accordingly, the new black theology is best described as the new theology, no (dis)qualifying adjective necessary. In it we see Christian theology at long last incarnating the material conditions whereby the good news becomes good news.

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23 thoughts on “A New “Black Theology” without the (Dis)qualifying Adjective”

  1. bold blog post! I’d expect you to get some negative feedback from this, although I do agree :)

  2. Jesse Newman says:

    Personally i think you write some fantastic blogs…
    But i don’t think i will read anymore of your blogs, or any of the TGC for that matter until you all, and you particularly apologize to your brothers Ps James, Ps MArk and Ps TD Jakes.

    You may not agree entirely with him, but you publicly called him a heretic (Now shown to be false) and publicly and harshly attacked your brother and TGC member for inviting him.

    As it turns out, the Elephant Room was a huge success.

    Please let me know your thoughts… Also, PUBLICLY apologize as you PUBLICLY attacked.

    Ps Jesse Newman

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Jesse,

      Thank you for your comment, brother, and for your frequenting the blog. I’m sorry you feel you can’t frequent the blog or any TGC blog in the future–especially since TGC itself hasn’t attacked anyone or labeled anyone. I’m curious to know why you make the association with TGC–my actions on this blog aren’t any more representative of TGC than MacDonald’s hosting of the Elephant Room. Assuming you aren’t involved with the leadership of TGC or party to any of the conversations that have gone on, I’m left to assume that you’re unrighteously judging TGC bloggers–the vast majority of them having said nothing about ER. Recall the proverb which says a thing sounds right until it’s answered. Whatever you’ve heard about TGC, you perhaps should treat as either hearsay or one person’s opinion until you know the facts. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry my brother.

      As for publishing an apology, suffice it to say that you and I disagree regarding the “success” of ER and the orthodoxy of Jakes. We also disagree about the character of my earlier post–it was not a harsh attack on anyone. There were no personal words directed at either MacDonald or Driscoll–so I’m at a loss for why you would charge me with attacking either of them “publicly and harshly.” In fact, I publicly empathized with the position MacDonald found himself in, committed to pray for him (which I have done both privately and with him), and exhorted others to pray. All of my email and personal telephone conversations with MacDonald have included my empathy for him, care, and prayers. But you wouldn’t have any possible way of knowing that, would you?

      Even my comments regarding Jakes’ teaching were not harsh attacks of his person. I did use the word “heretic” in relation to Jakes and his teaching. But two things should be noted:

      1. “Heretic” is not far from the label “false teacher” that Driscoll and MacDonald have used in reference to prosperity teaching/teachers; and

      2. “Heretic” is the appropriate historical label for someone who denies the Trinity.

      Nothing happened in the ER that has not already happened on several previous occasions with Jakes. Others have already written at length about the discussion of the Trinity on the ER, so I’ll avoid repeating well-reasoned critiques. If you know Jakes’ previous preaching and writing, then you will know that he said what he always said and he neither renounced modalism or clearly articulated a Trinitarian position (at least based on Trevin’s transcript).

      Brother, I would be one of the happiest men on the planet were there to be fruit worthy of repentance re: Jakes’ teaching. But the ER performance wasn’t repentance. Ask yourself: if an elder in your church publicly taught heretical or even confusing things about core Christian doctrine, what actions would you require him to take as evidence of repentance and care for the flock? It’s not likely you’d softball him some yes/no questions and allow him to equivocate on various points. I suspect you would require far clearer statements than those Jakes made, including an explicit rejection of modalism as heresy, acceptance of historic Christian language, and probably some public teaching to correct for the previous public error. That, it seems to me, approaches repentance. Again, the ER didn’t rise to that occasion.

      I await the Lord’s continuing work, and until then I’m afraid I continue to stand where I’ve stood on Jakes for nearly 20 years.

      Again, brother, I’m sorry you’ve chosen not to talk with someone you disagree with. As a supporter of the ER, I’d hope you would be consistent with your own principle of charitable engagement with those who don’t agree with you. I hope and pray you might still abide by your own principle.

      All the Lord’s richest grace to you,
      Thabiti

  3. JN says:

    Thanks for reply…

    I didn’t hear it from anyone, I actually read your posts on the TGC website last Oct/Nov… And have since been hoping you would have a change if heart!

    You are entitled to opinions, and expressing them! I wonder if you have ever spoken with Ps Jakes regarding the grievances you have with him? I don’t even listen to his messages, or involve myself in his ministry, I heard him once and was not a huge fan of his style etc… But when the Oneness topic, along with the ER came to light late last year I had the common sense to Stop, Wait, and see what the man has to say! I am glad I waited!

    As for the TGC, I love the TGC, and I was probably out of line saying I’d stop reading their posts, but it is absolutely fair for me to associate your views with theirs as it was on their website that I read your blog post, and Justin Taylor’s reference to it! (I also love Justin’s blogs).

    I wonder if you would better represent yourself fight for the cause rather than against others who love Chirst! Ps Jakes did say he is Trinitarian, that he now fully believes the traditional Trinitarian theology of the Godhead, his only two differences were 1. He prefers the word manifestation than person (I prefer the word person) – but reiterated he is Trinitarian! 2. He believes some in Oneness churches are fully in love with and in relationship with Christ!

    But I do not expect you to change your opinion on the man, it seems you have decided what he is!

    With love, pls know that I will not throw everything you say away just because we disagree with this topic, pls forgive me for my earlier comment regarding not reading your posts anymore – I most certainly will, as I know you love the Lord, and have great insight!

    Jesse

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Jesse,

      Thanks for your reply. Now we’re talking! :-)

      I’m grateful to hear your willingness to give the other TGC bloggers another look. That’s gracious of you, and humble to point to statements you regret in your earlier comment. I’m thankful for the evidence of the Lord’s presence in your life and words, brother.

      As far as I know, at least insofaras I know my own heart (deceptive, isn’t it?), I am fighting on both fronts–for the cause and simultaneously against error. I would understand that to be a basic pastoral responsibility (Titus 1:9). And, I hope it’s the case that the bulk of my time and energy is spent on the positive, affirmative, cause-advancing side of the gospel. I covet your prayers in that regard and any specific admonishments you’d like to offer me (feel free to email me if you’d rather).

      One of the difficult things about this situation is that people who admittedly know very little of Jakes’ ministry and message have concluded after one 15-minute(?) panel that they know the man’s position, movement and growth, and orthodoxy. Many of those people are willing to dismiss the considered, decades-informed opinion of people who have studied Jakes, published articles and books examining him and like-minded teachers, and been working for years to privately engage, admonish, and instruct Jakes and care for the people left in the wake of his ministry. I honestly think folks who have only come to know Jakes through a couple sermons or youtube clips in the wake of the ER invitation should continue to stand back a bit and not be swept in by one appearance and set of comments.

      I’m sorry you think that I’m intractable where Jakes is concerned. Again, as best as I can discern my own heart, I am not. I’m happy to be proven wrong about Jakes or to accept Jakes’ own change of position. But it will take more than the kinds of comments he made at ER, which really are substantively no different from comments he has made in other forums when he was being less conciliatory–calling defenders of the Trinity “wolves.” So, I hope you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt, as you’ve attempted with Jakes, and perhaps take me at my word when I say I’m not grinding an ax with anyone–Jakes included. I am willing to change my position publicly should there be something that commends such a change.

      Again, I’m grateful for your engagement and I pray the Lord blesses you with great joy and strength for His Name’s sake. Much love in Christ,

      T-

      1. I don’t want to hijack this blog post too much (hence I am replying to this discussion and not creating a new comment.) but Voddie Bauchman, a man and whose ministry I deeply respect, has written a superb blog post on ER2. It is full of grace and truth and well worth the read. http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/blog/elephant-room-2012-01/

        1. Jesse Newman says:

          Hi Chris,

          Thank you for your reference to the blog. I do unfortunately feel that many of the points that the gentleman made were in reference to possibilities and not actual facts… He repeatedly mentioned things that “Might” happen, or “Could” happen…

          He also mentioned things like Stereotyped, and racial possibilities, all of which are stereotypes in and of themselves, which again (While i do not favor them Mans ministry) are not fair and accurate assessments of the man, but “possible outcomes”, and “stereotyped possibilities”.

          When in actual fact, the Elephant room was designed to make it possible to walk past racial stereotyping, walk past roomers, gossip and the like, and have a discussion, to see what a man, professing to love Jesus, believes about the trinity. During which he did state that he affirms trinitarian theology, and yes made some other statements we may not agree with, but make no mistake, he is our brother!

          God bless

          1. Hi Jesse,

            I appreciate you trying to keep the tone irenic and I hope I do the same. Let me hone in on this comment of yours. “During which he did state that he affirms trinitarian theology.” Let us assume you are right and he affirmed trinitarian theology. Let us also assume he was sincere in his intentions. The former is far more arguable than the latter since we cannot examine his heart but let’s just assume these things are true.

            Here’s a question we have to answer about TD Jakes. Does he claim to be a pastor and minister of the gospel with a highly visible and public platform? The answer is obviously YES.

            Where am I going with this? TD Jakes, a minister of the gospel who once embraced heresy (assuming he has forsaken it) and publicly taught it, must publicly repent and confess the error of his former teaching. When the sin and error have been publicly taught for so long the repentance and confession must also be public. I have known ministers who have done just this regarding public sins, but TD Jakes to my knowledge has never publicly repented or confessed that his former teaching was wrong.

            To publicly affirm the trinity is part of repentance but confessing the error is absolutely, positively necessary for such a public figure and minister of the gospel.

            Again, let me reiterate, this heresy was taught publicly and there is plenty of evidence for this therefore the repentance and confession must also be public. I have not even mentioned the prosperity “gospel” that also needs to be publicly repented of because I am sure this message is becoming long enough!

            I would LOVE to see TD Jakes publicly confess his error but until that happens, any Bible-believing Christian cannot 100% accept his ER2 affirmation, especially since it seemed like double-speak to many Christians.

            Grace and peace,
            Chris

      2. Jesse Newman says:

        Thanks again Pastor,

        I must clarify a few things that i may not have been clear about.
        1. I have seen, and heard much about Ps Jakes, especially as he preaches here in Australia rather often, though i personally do not appreciate his ministry style or his emphasis on wealth etc, but have only sat in on one of his sermons. I have read a lot about him, as he is a common preacher here.

        But having said that there are particular topics and or flavors in almost all preachers that i do not love, but there is much i do love and respect in them.

        I am very careful to never bad mouth a preacher if i have not had a conversation with them, and even then i would be very careful.

        What i really need to know from you (so i can better understand your position on Ps Jakes) is
        1. Have you ever spoken to Pastor Jakes at all?
        2. Have you ever asked him these questions yourself?
        3. If given the opportunity to speak with him, would you take that opportunity?
        4a. He also (On top of affirming Trinitarian theology) affirms that he Loves the Lord Jesus Christ – Do you believe that this is true, or do you believe he is lying to us about this?
        4b. If he is telling the truth, then is he not a brother?

        I personally would be willing to help put some money towards to the airfare for you to fly / travel to meet with him, and then i feel you would actually have an argument worth listening to, and worth some measure of respect.

        I am enjoying our discussion, i personally hope i have the privilege of meeting you some day!

        Jesse

  4. graham and nicola says:

    Pastor Anyabwile

    You are, without doubt, one of the most honourable and gracious Christian bloggers online. So we are distressed by some of the comments that you received on recent posts. (We are referring here to some of the comments that you received on your posts about race.)

    As regards the Elephant Room 2, we believe that your interpretation of events is correct. The following is taken from James Leo GarrettSystematic Theology: Biblical, Historial & Evangelical Volume:1 (Eerdmans:1990) p278

    Sabellius
    A Libyan condemned and excommunicated at Rome, Sabellius represented full-orbed Modalism…His view has been called a “more sophisticated modalism”. God is essentially one. The Trinity is one of manifestation and not of essence. These manifestations are modes: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sabellius used prosopa to mean “role” and not “person”, and seemingly he understood the roles as successive.”

    This is a whisker away from Mr Jakes “statement of faith” in the Elephant Room. While he is happy to use the language of “persons” (as Sabellius was prepared to use the language of prosopa) Mr Jakes believes that “manifestations” is more accurate.
    What is at stake is the very character of God. Does each person exist in an “I-Thou” relationship with the other persons of the Trinity? Does each person love the other with a “self-denying” love? And have they done so essentially from all eternity? To be Biblically Orthodox you must answer “yes” to each question (and to this extent, evangelicals have a stricter interpretation of the creeds than one might expect.)
    Because Mr Jakes did not explain why he prefers “manifestations” to “persons”, we do not know that he does not interpret “person” as “role”. Mr Jakes was not asked if he believed that God was eternally and essentially Triune. We do not know, then, if Mr Jakes believes that love is at the centre of God’s character (love requires another; if God is not Triune, he cannot have loved throughout all eternity). Love might not be eternal on Mr Jakes theology. And given his appeal to mystery, we have no idea what Mr Jakes does endorse.
    The best that can be said is that Mr Jakes does not reject Trinitarianism, that he does not reject Oneness Pentecostalism, and that he might feel that each is inadequate.The very idea that Mr Jakes has embraced Trinitarianism is premature and, possibly, irresponsible. So your note of caution was warranted. We are deeply alarmed that we can find writers on TGC who praise God for Mr Jakes orthodox confession.

    To return to the topic at hand, we have been disturbed and sickened by the rise of “white” racism on US conservative blogs, and at the evidence of racism in US society and US evangelicalism provided by Bradley Wright in “Christians are Hate Filled Hypocrites…and Other Lies You’ve Been Told”
    Recent events in Australia show the importance of this issue to the worldwide Church. (Even in Northern Ireland there is still a residual appeal to Gaelic or Ulster-Scots identity). We are so glad that you have addressed this issue; your message is important at this moment. Please know that we have found your posts insightful, encouraging, uplifting, and we’ll pray for you.

    The Veale Family

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Thanks guys for stopping by and adding to the discussion. Your analysis of Sabellius and Jakes’ comments are precise, discriminating, and revealing. Thanks for the light in a heated discussion.

      Thanks also for the comments re: racism, ethnicity and the like. We certainly need to continue fighting against that plague and looking for a healthier, biblical view of ourselves.

      I do hope that the next time I’m in N. Ireland or thereabouts we can have some fellowship together. Grace and peace,

      T-

  5. Marie says:

    I enjoyed reading this post, even though (to be honest) Im not really the most academic person, I try very hard to take in and understand what you blog about. (I fully understand your basketball blogs though! hehehe) I seemed to get a grip on this post maybe because Im trying to understand in my own country of New Zealand the tensions that exist between what we call pakeha (european) and maori(indigenous) people and then the flow on affect and how this has impacted the church etc.
    Lately there seems to be a really strong ‘anti-God/church’ move amongst young maori people who basically see the role of european missionaries as one on behalf of the crown to colonise maori people and to ‘steal’ their land etc from them. Because of this they see church or God as just a ‘white man tool’ to get what they wanted.
    I fit this age group and I am maori however I belong to a very ‘political’ extended family who have founght for justice and equally for maori people. I love Jesus!(Praise God for saving my parents and thus I came to know and love Jesus at a young age) and I know that we are all of one seed, but where I struggle probably is 1) trying to point maori people to Christ while also trying to help them understand that not all of the information they have is correct and that there were ‘good’ missionaries who believed that all deserved to hear the Gospel etc and then 2) helping people in my local church (who are predominantly european) understand the difficulty that ‘my generation of maori people’ have in trusting ‘the church’ and the Jesus we present to them and helping them to see that maybe we arent really presenting Christ but sometimes presenting a ‘european way of life’??? Am I making sense!!! Sorry if Im not….
    I know there is a big difference I suppose when you your talk about ‘Black Theology’ but what you quoted interests me because of this term ‘colonizing theology’.
    One day, hopefully, maybe if you come to New Zealand I might be able to pick your brain to better understand (in simple terms for me) these things and see if there arent similar racial issues happening amongst our country and then how best to address these within our church to make us better equipped to share the Gospel with all people and then to love them the way Christ would have us love.
    Basically THANKS…thanks for the way you write and what you write and the stand you make for truth!

  6. Sean W says:

    And when you go to New Zealand, could you come across to Australia and visit us too? :)
    My wife (who is Aboriginal) and I really appreciate your posts about race. We are part of a remote Aboriginal church, but we previously spent years in large, white suburban churches. The practical issues confront us every day, including many of the things Marie mentioned. We totally appreciate the questions Marie mentions and realise that although the colonial context here is different from the context in the US, there are lots of themes that are similar. But it seems hard to find deep, nuanced engagement with race in the same place as Christian approaches to race. It seems we must choose between them! So your reflections are fresh and stimulating! I would love to get your advice on a couple things. Is that possible through email? Just a long shot :)
    Thanks again for your work and example! We appreciate it and pray for you.

    1. Marie says:

      Hey Sean W…thanks for your post!
      Im so encouraged to hear of your work among the Aboriginal people! I recently met a ‘white’ woman whose family are missionaries up in Arnhem Land (I think thats how you say/spell it) and I was greatly encouaged by the work up there and the way they work amongst the people for the Gospel and I was encouraged by her observations and how she approaches the Aboriginal people. We talked for a while about the similarities here in NZ. And now to hear of you and your wife and your work in Australia really does encourage my heart.
      I think you summed up the appreciation that we have when people like Thabiti talk about this – straight shooting but lovingly.
      Its scarey sometimes for me to even vaguely mention topics relating to this in my arena because Im looked at like Im some sort of ‘radical’ and that Im turning things into a ‘black & white’ thing and then I must choose my allegiance.
      So its nice to know that there are others who struggle like me! I really have to search my heart sometimes because I think the ‘activist’ in me can quite easily rear its ugly head every now and then! A constant fight for me I know but I press on trusting God and knowing His grace is sufficient!….Who knows – God may provide us with an arena to be able to engage with Thabiti to better equip us for this work we find ourselves in!
      Bless you!

    2. Marie says:

      Sean – I have no idea if he is en-route to Australia but if not then you could start saving now!http://www.standforthegospel.org/conference/stand-2013/

      1. Sean W says:

        Thanks Marie! Auckland might be close enough :)
        Wow, when you talk about the pressure of dealing with reality but minding (or helpfully undermining) the sensitivities of white brothers and sisters, it sounds exactly like the gap we struggle to cross back and forwards all the time. It’s really encouraging to hear you’re taking it on, without sliding either way. It’s hard though. But don’t worry, sometimes a little bit of the ‘activist’ is good for our comfy whitefulla church mates :)
        We’d love to hear from you if you ever want to get in touch. Feel free to email us: spikyspinifex at gmail dot com.

  7. Thabiti says:

    Hi Marie and Sean!

    Thanks, brethren, for stopping by and adding your perspective from New Zealand and Australia! I appreciate the contribution and encouragement. I’m thankful the Lord has made these posts helpful in some way. It does seem that this issue of “race” is a rather universal predicament at the moment and navigating the waters can be quite difficult. But by God’s grace, we’ll do our part one conversation at a time as the Day approaches when we’ll be finally freed from this body of death!

    By the Lord’s grace, my family and I will be in Autralia and New Zealand Aug.5-20, 2013 for the Stand for the Gospel conference you link to. We’re already excited about the fellowship and opportunity. It would be lovely to meet you guys while there. Until then, the Lord give you grace, mercy, and wisdom in all your labors prompted by faith, hope, and love!

    T-

  8. Craig says:

    Love the line “Good news becomes good news.”

    I came to your blog from the church relevant site top 200 list. They have created a tremendous forum for finding new blogs that impact people.

    I hope my blog can be an encouragement to you also.

    I write it for encouragement and motivation daily.

    http://i-never-fail.blogspot.com

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to watching the connections grow!

  9. mike says:

    I like,this blog post and the direction in which you have focused it in somewhat of a scholary way. Wish you had took a simillar and gracious approach to your ER T D Jakes blog that you wrote last year. I dont want to go back to that issue, i am worried when people throw names like heretic so casually. It is counter productive for those in the body of christ to throw stones rather than engaging relationally with people who might turn out to be a great asset for the kingdom of God. I am finding out that when love is at the core of what we do, our actions are more effective in advancing the kingdom of God. I am a christian and i must admit that when it comes to the nature of God, nobody really knows, there is a mystery to it. I know we can get into historical christian creeds and positions, thats all good but,Lets be critical out of love and again that was a great post.

    1. Thabiti says:

      Dear Mike,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and taking the time to comment, offering both encouragement and critique. I appreciate them both, and I welcome them both.

      I appreciate your sorry at my use of the term “heretic” in the original ER/Jakes post. And I assure you that I did not use it “casually.” I used it with intent because, even though our age shrinks back from public unpleasantries, it is the appropriate and historical label to use when someone repeatedly, with knowledge, and with unrepentance in the face of counsel continues to teach a false view of God. We abandon that word and we abandon the ability to draw necessary lines in defense of the truth. And, Mike, defending the truth is but another way of expressing love for God’s people who are saved and freed by the truth.

      I hope, brother, that you’re not judging the orthodoxy of Jakes’ view of the Godhead based solely on his ER performance, which was just like every other public performance and equivocation he’s given. Moreover, I do hope you don’t fall into the facile position of calling for an indefinite and ultimately courage-less “love” that refuses to hold fast to the truth once and for all delivered to us. If you do that, you will have already proven the point of my first post.

      I love you, brother. Hold to the truth and do not sell it! Speak the truth in love–both things, truth and love.

      For Jesus,
      T-

  10. Mark says:

    I’d like to also point out that as Jakes’ seemed to move closer to Trinitarianism he did not repudiate Modalism. To Jakes the Trinity seemed more like a doctrine were Christians may just disagree. He also claims to have been saved under Oneness doctrine. His words are not much different than those of his I transcribed last year from a radio show he did. Jakes was not very clear then and, unfortunately, was not clear at ER2.

    Thabiti, thank you for standing strong on this issue.

  11. Tom Chantry says:

    Pastor Anyabwile,

    I can’t leave this comment thread without noting the rather obvious irony: you wrote a thoughtful post about the concept of black theology and all the comments are about TD Jakes and Modalism! It is the flip side of last week’s debacle: Jakes made some indefinite comments about the Trinity and all the sudden everyone is drawn into a discussion of the place of race in theology.

    As one of the many who, as Pastor Baucham put it, “simply love Christ, love his church, and want desperately not to offend their brothers and sisters in the Lord by using ‘black’ when they should have used “African American,” or vice versa,” I truly wish that it were possible to discuss something as important as the Trinity without discussing our racial antipathies. I have been accused of harboring hatred in my heart against some of the players in this drama. I hope that is not true. I am fairly certain, though, that my opinions are not based on racial identity. I find myself thinking, “Why can’t we ignore race and just talk about more important matters.”

    But I’ve lived in America too long, and I know how complicated and complicating our racial history – both societal and personal – can be. The racial divide in the churches is a disaster, and one that we can’t ignore out of existence. Thank you for being willing to take on a complicated and painful subject and to write about it with compassion and concern for the whole body of Christ.

  12. Tyler says:

    Stumbled across this blog post a little late to the game, I realize. TGC isn’t a place I come often, but I am glad to see that you have highlighted the really excellent article by Jonathan Tran at the Christian Century and the important work that is being done in the “new [...] theology.” Best.

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Thabiti Anyabwile


Thabiti Anyabwile is assistant pastor for church planting at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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