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The Imago Dei and the Minority Experience


This is the third year in a row that Phillip and Jemar will attend the Legacy Conference (legacy, but it is the first year when we’ll able to present for RAAN. Due to the gracious support of the Legacy organizer, Brian Dye, the Reformed African American Network has its own workshop track called “The Imago Dei and the Minority Experience.”

The Image of God is the theme of the entire conference, and we’re privileged to talk about the theme in relation to ethnic and cultural minorities, particularly African Americans. The workshops are arranged according to the grand narrative of the Bible: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. We’ve got a great lineup to teach each of the four sessions. In addition to Phillip and Jemar, Trillia Newbell and Dr. Carl Ellis, Jr. will be joining us as well.

If you’ll be at Legacy, we’d love to see you at any or all of the workshops. If you won’t be able to make it this year, we’re sorry to miss you and we’ll see if the audio can be made available. Below you’ll find the overall workshop track summary and the individual descriptions as well. Please remember us in your prayers as we seek to apply God’s word to minority experiences. Hope to see you in Chicago!


Track Description:

The imago Dei is a wonderful concept. But what if you’re part of an ethnic minority where the broader culture has knowingly or unknowingly defaced that image? In this workshop track we’ll talk about the unique struggles to recover the image of God for minorities in America. All sessions will provide time for interaction, discussion, and questions so feel free to share your thoughts! At the end of our time together we’ll have a biblical view of the image of God in ethnic minorities, a deeper appreciation of the challenges and triumphs in minority communities, and ideas for integrating this knowledge into our daily lives and callings.

Individual Workshop Descriptions

Creation and the Imago Dei

Thursday. 10:15 AM -12:15 PM

Presenter: Phillip Holmes

The concept of imago Dei comes from Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”What does it mean to be created in the “image of God”? What did God intend for human beings? Vice President and Co-Founder of the Reformed African American Network (RAAN), Phillip Holmes explores humanity before the Fall, and guides us to recall God’s original purposes for humankind before we rebelled against our Creator. Through this study you will come away with a renewed respect for all human life and a clearer vision for what the Bible tells us about ourselves in relation to each other and the One who made us.

Redemption and the Imago Dei

Thursday. 2:15-4:15 PM

Presenter: Trillia Newbell

The God of grace does not leave human beings in their sin. By sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, the Father has begun the cosmic work of restoring the imago Dei in humanity. How do we view each other in light of what Christ has accomplished for believers? In particular, how do Christians engage in the hard work of racial harmony in light of Christ’s redemption? Author, blogger, and RAAN Board member, Trillia Newbell guides us in telling the story of how the Gospel redeems the concept of the imago Dei in the lives of believers.

The Fall and the Imago Dei

Friday. 10:15 AM -12:15 PM

Presenter: Dr. Carl Ellis, Jr.

The events of Genesis 3 changed the course of human history. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to rebel against God by eating the forbidden fruit not only was our relationship with God severed, but our relationship with each other was also corrupted. Professor and theological anthropologist, Carl Ellis, Jr., traces the effects of the Fall on human relationships. Using narratives from the Bible, he traces patterns of broken interactions between human beings with a particular focus on the defaced image of God as played out in African American history. You will leave this session with a greater understanding of how sin in our hearts affects how we perceive the imago Dei in ourselves and others. This information will aid you in fighting the temptation to distort the image of God and lead to healthier relationships.

Consummation and the Imago Dei

Friday. 2:15 PM -4:15 PM

Presenter: Jemar Tisby

One day Christ will return on the clouds and with trumpets blaring to make all things new. The time when Christ comes back to earth as supreme King is called the “consummation.”How will the imago Dei be renewed and fulfilled in the consummation? What are the practical next steps for a Reformed movement of ethnic minorities at work in Christ’s kingdom? President and Co-Founder of the Reformed African American Network (RAAN), Jemar Tisby, will lead an interactive workshop discussing the current realities and future possibilities for mission and ministry as we live in the hope of a new creation.

1 Comment

  1. MarkSingleton

    Having gotten to sit down in Carl Ellis’ presentation, I was impressed. Possibly the most biblically sound presentation of race and sin I have ever heard. For real. This guy’s a beast.

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