Biblical Interpretation for Black and Brown Marginalized Contexts Part 2: The Importance of Reading Black and Brown Authors

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Comments (11)
  1. Jon Dansby says:

    I have scoured the internet for a systematic theology written by a black person. Besides one or two works, where are all these theological and biblical resources by black authors that I’m supposedly ignoring? This is very frustrating because I’m trying and barely finding anything. Almost all of the works that are in the RAAN bookstore or Front Porch bookstore are by blacks writing strictly about the black experience or diversity. That’s great, but that certainly isn’t the only thing a black person is qualified to write. Where is a commentary written by a black person on Romans or any book (thank you Dr. Williams for Galatians)? I will buy it! Where is the defense of paedobaptism or credobaptism by a black person? I will buy it! Where is the hermeneutics book written by a regenerate black scholar or pastor? I will buy it!
    Or church history? Or biblical theology? Or treatise on theodicy? Or pastoral theology? I’m ready to read and learn and point others to them!
    And don’t tell me “read Augustine” or “read Athanasius” because that would satisfy precisely zero who admonish and urge us to read black and brown people.
    I must say, this might be the most frustrating admonishment to receive. Perhaps you could start encouraging young black students to aspire to write these books, rather than writing more books about “The Black Perspective On ____________.” I don’t mind those books. I read them, in fact. But they aren’t helping the problem that this blog post surfaces.
    Thanks for reading.

    1. The books you’re looking for are there. I have been compiling a list of such books for a while now. You can find theology books on ethics, commentaries, study Bibles, systematic theology, you name it. All by African authors. If you’re interested in these books here’s a list I compiled:
      25+ Christian Theology Books By Africans

      1. Jon Dansby says:

        Wonderful list, brother! Seriously, I can’t wait to buy and read some of these.
        I have a question for you. I did a Google site search here at RAAN and at The Front Porch for every single name from your top 25 list. None of the authors you listed appeared in even one article from either RAAN or TFP (2 are named in comments by you). Why is this?
        Also, do you (or anyone reading) know of ANY books I’m overlooking that were written on the North American continent by African American believers (since this is RAAN)? For some reason, when I’ve been encouraged/admonished by African American brothers to stop overlooking black contributions to theology, I didn’t assume that they had in mind a list of names exclusively from the African continent. Make sense?
        I can’t wait to read, brother. What a great service you’ve provided!

      2. IMO I think the authors in my list are considered inferior in most Reformed circles, except for Conrad Mbewe. His book featured on my list was recommended by 9Marks, Themelios and TGC. But their biblical scholarship speaks for itself. They’re solid.

        I discovered my library didn’t have people of color and came up with the same wall you’re facing: no organization had recommendations for such resources. I searched on Amazon for books by African theologians and bought books printed under Zondervan’s Hippo Books imprint.

        In the process, I came along John Stott’s Langham Partnership – an organization devoted to helping people of color make their own theological resources. The theologians on my list are solid – I don’t agree with some of what they teach. But they have stretched me and helped me study better.

  2. Angela says:

    We have to have an understanding of how all people think in spreading the Gospel Of Jesus the Christ….
    God does not see color but the world sure does…………….

  3. Jane says:

    I would love some suggestions of some evangelical, theological books written by black and brown authors. Are there some solid/good titles you would share?

    1. Angela says:

      Respectfully I would suggest you look at the works of Saint Augustine. He was a man from North Africa….

  4. Angela says:

    I think that some people do not think that Black/Brown people have anything to say and this is not true. The world is basically made-up of Brown and Black people, so lets hope and pray that things change.

  5. george canady says:

    “(interpretations that question the working mom’s love for Jesus and their families because they’re pursuing a career outside of the home).” Are you saying that the Bible teaches that it is wise for some women to leave their children to pursue a carrier? Or are you saying that the Bible teaches that it is some times necessary, therefore wise to leave her children in order to care for them?

    1. My wife worked while I was in grad school and we had two kids. According to my culture, a man is supposed to be the breadwinner. I could have refused her to work and twist Scripture to support my cultural inclination. But that doesn’t mean the authors of the Scriptures I use to support my position intended to say that. I guess that’s what Jarvis mean.

      1. george canady says:

        Hi Edmond. I don’t think Dr. Williams is talking about necessity here. What I mean by my question is, is he increasingly supporting an egalitarian view of scripture in the family and church as to the role of women? I have read him here for many years, and unless I missed it earlier, this new perspective sure seems a newer development in his thinking. I support his main points of racial reconciliation in the church but I think there is more to it now than that. By the way, my wife works. We both wish she had time and resources to serve the church and our neighbors with out working. But that is not our circumstance now. I do not consider myself the judge of anyone else in there circumstance ether. But Dr. Williams is a technical teacher of scripture. He will be held accountable for what he teaches us about what the Bible means by what it says. He is not just another blogger or commenter like you and me. He is teaching pastors what to teach. Much more serous than what you and I think.

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