Van Til Tool

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Thursday, October 22, 2009


Black and Reformed

A review of

Anthoney J. Carter, ed Glory Road: The Journeys Of 10 African-Americans Into Reformed
Christianity (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009)
$15.99 192 pp ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-0584-3

Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz

While I was a student at Westmisnter Serminary in Philadelphia (back then it was only located in Philly) I remember a very vivid scene which was enacted in the student lounge. This theologically liberal (white) student goes over to this black student and berates him, thusly, " What are you, a black man, doing here? Don''t you know that Reformed Theology is white??". This was back in the day -- late sixties & early seventies -- when "Black Theology" was one of the "in" things, so that this kind of notion was par for the course.

Although that notion may not be expressed so blatantly today, there still is a sort of lingering feeling that the Reformed Church and the Reformed Theology is somehow not the sort of thiing that a black man would want. I think that the next time I hear that I will respond by pointing out that Augustine was an African, and Pelagius was British!

Be that as it may, it is a fact, which is noted a number of times in the book under review here, that until very recently, there were very few blacks who were Reformed. The book documents the beginnings of a reversal of this state of affairs in the lives of ten contemporary African-Americans who recently completed "journeys" into Reformed Christianity. The percentage of blacks who are Reformed is still very small but it is now growing.

The stories of these ten men are too diverse to be summarized into any kind of simplistic model. Each man tells his own story in each of the ten chapters of the book. One of these men is Anthony J. Carter, who is the Editor of this volume and who writes both a Preface and an Afterward. Carter is also the author of Being Black and Reformed.

Carter receives high praise both for his theology book and for Glory Road from Wy Plummer, the African-American Ministries Co-ordinator of the Presbyterian Church in America, who is using both books to help promote "an indigenous Reformed movement in the African-American community". The book is also recommended by Bryan Chapell, the President of Covenant Theological Seminary.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in the subject of the relationship between Reformed Theology and being a black American. If anyone out there still thinks that Reformed theology is only for the white man, I invite him to read this book.


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