Share with your friends










Submit

While many people look to the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) to represent the unified opinion of Reformed Blacks, RAAN is not the voice, it’s a microphone.

Reformed Blacks Are Not Monolithic

It would be a mistake–though perhaps an understandable one–to read a post on RAAN and suppose, “This is what all Reformed Blacks think about this subject.”  The reality is Reformed Blacks are not a monolithic group.  We’re as diverse as any other demographic.  We have varied educational backgrounds, ethnic blends, regional characteristics, economic levels, and theological convictions.  And we at RAAN welcome that variety.

Even my RAAN co-founder, Phillip Holmes, and I differ in significant ways.  He’s from a small town in Mississippi, I’m from a city near Chicago.  He went to a Protestant Christian college, I went to a Catholic university.  He learned of Reformed theology through personal relationships, and I learned of it through books and other resources.  If the founders of RAAN display such dissimilarities, how much more our readers and writers?

This doesn’t mean that we don’t also have important commonalities.  Inasmuch as there is no single “Black experience” all Reformed African Americans share a history and certain aspects of a culture that make connections natural and refreshing.

Building Theology in Community

But our goal with the RAANetwork is not to present one Reformed Black perspective, but many.  For that matter we’re not even just seeking African Americans.  We’ve been glad to have Whites, international, and interracial believers as well as both men and women contribute content.  Within RAAN, as long as you’re a bible-believing Christian, you can take the mic.

[Tweet “our goal with the RAANetwork is not to present one Reformed Black perspective, but many.”]

One overarching purpose of the Reformed African American Network is to build theology in community.  We have inherited a rich tradition from Reformed theology as it stands.  But African Americans and Christians from other ethnicities and cultures have been developing their own theological expressions as well.  We want to avoid any sort of theological imperialism that simply imports a culturally situated theology into different cultures without giving proper attention to adapting the forms and categories for better communication.

[Tweet “Within RAAN, as long as you’re a bible-believing Christian, you can take the mic.”]

We’re not talking about a different Gospel, which is no gospel at all (Gal. 1:6-7).  The Bible teaches us universal, trans-cultural, timeless truths that apply to all people regardless of their circumstances.  But these truths are understood and applied in a context.  Thus, as Dr. Carl Ellis, Jr. often says, the Heidelberg Catechism already existed.  So why was there a need to write the Westminster Catechism?  It’s because each theological formulation was written to answer specific questions and with deal with particular issues.

In a similar way, RAAN wants to continue applying Reformed theology to new questions and issues.  Specifically we desire to address African American core concerns biblically.  And since every believer “does theology” as they try to work out biblical truths in their own lives, we invite any of our readers to submit posts to us.

[Tweet “RAAN wants to continue applying Reformed theology to new questions and issues.”]

Not the Voice, but the Microphone

But many of our contributors aren’t well-known.  They haven’t written books, spoken at big conferences, or pastored large churches.  They are everyday Christians walking in the fear of the Lord. Nevertheless, they have treasures of wisdom to share.  So the staff and supporters of RAAN endeavor to enlarge its audience so that our writers will be heard.

[Tweet “Many of our contributors aren’t well-known. They’re everyday Christians walking with the Lord.”]

RAAN wants to be the stage, not the actor. The platform, not the player.  And we hope that as we put more and more Reformed Blacks and other like-minded Christians of all ethnicities on display, our understanding of biblical theology will become more multifaceted and robust.

[Tweet “RAAN wants to be the stage, not the actor. The platform, not the player.”]

So as you engage with our content, remember that, with each piece, you are reading only one person’s perspective.  The next day you may very well find other material on the website that represents a different point of view.  And we like it this way.  The microphone doesn’t dictate the opinions of the speaker; it merely amplifies his or her voice.

[Tweet “The microphone doesn’t dictate the opinions of the speaker; it merely amplifies his or her voice.”]

So let your voice be heard, and pass the mic…

 

Privacy Preference Center