The Witness

The Journey from RAAN to “The Witness: A Black Christian Collective”

Comments (20)
  1. George Luke says:

    As one brown-skinned brother to other brown-skinned siblings, I’m discouraged by this, because I think it’s capitulating to a schema-mistake that we minority Christians often make in positioning our ethnic identity relative to our identity “in Christ.” Whereas for gender where the glory of diverse parts in being created male and female is united in marriage as Christ’s Bride, it seems that different ethnicities comes about in their cultural divisions as a consequence of rebellion at Babel and God’s victory over that rebellion through Jesus ending hostility between different cultures and uniting them into one new “Israel of God” which simultaneously is a crowd of people “from every tribe, tongue, and nation.” That is, cultural difference underneath the spread of all the families descended from Noah seem to be a consequence of our striving for equality with the God of heaven, and being reprimanded. Which makes Pentecost, and the reunification of our tongues to a common revealed object of worship, so beautiful and such a beautiful anticipation of the unity of the age to come!

    More succinctly, while gender is essential to our Image-bearing-ness, I’m uncertain of how to defend ethnic identity (“Black,” “White,” “Brown”) as more than a construct being overcome by God’s glory to make us one new “ethne” that forever bears the marks of rebellion and God’s mercy through our distinctiveness being conquered by uniting love. I find that often, the conception of race in America tends to have a retroactive effect on coloring our definitions for valuing ethnic distinctiveness, and that American Christians of every color are often guilty of ethnic idolatry that feeds into the very problem we’re trying to destroy: ethnic discrimination.

    But I’m willing to learn and aware that this is a difficult topic for our culture especially; would listening to the episode of the podcast corresponding to this day help in understanding the motives in dropping “Reformed”? Is it primarily because “Reformed” has been historically associated with white brothers and sisters in Christ, and you think it’ll be a stumbling block to more black brothers and sisters growing in grace? Do you have resources that would help me understand why dropping that label will help your mission to serve black Christians with the Gospel, especially when the Gospel (the body of doctrine communicating the Person and work of the Triune God) isn’t clear among white or black evangelicals right now?

    Thanks so much for charity and patience in reading the above. I do not at all mean to bruise any reeds, and I really do appreciate the work you have done through this ministry, in making the Reformed Gospel accessible to so many who have historically discarded it because of so many different variables, personal and systemic. Regardless of your choice in re-naming, I’m grateful for the Day that’s coming as we labor for the Gospel’s advance to every tribe, tongue, and nation, that we may all be one, as He is.

  2. Vuyi says:

    Love the mission! Where can I get info on having a piece considered for submission?

  3. Everett Thomas says:

    I only recently discovered your podcast, and only listened to it for the second time today, when you were announcing the name change. I chuckled when one of you (Tyler?) joked that he wondered how many listeners you would lose by dropping the “reformed” tag. I happen to be a white brother who cares very deeply about my black brothers and sisters. I was interested in the podcast in order to gain more insight into issues that you would hopefully discuss. Ironically, the “reformed” tag put me off a little. Although I’ve been reformed myself, I’ve changed some of my views as a consequence of my interaction with the larger Body of Christ. So, in an odd twist for me at least, the fact that you’re dropping “reformed” in recognition that there are other credible streams of orthodox Christianity makes me even more likely to look to you as a valuable resource. So, Amen brothers!

  4. William Douglas says:

    !) I appreciate the thoughts and understand — I believe — the point being made.

    2) I consider us both brothers and servants of the one true Savior. I hear in this announcement — and hope I am correct — that such is reciprocated.

    3) I would not seek to minimize your experience or unique perspective and appreciate that you are trying to say that Christ and salvation is THE reality out of which we speak and live — other things are smaller.

    4) is there to be a message for the non-black audience other than “Here is who we are and what life on our side of the wall is like?”

    5) Some affirmation/re-affirmation of gospel ID points is probably going to help the rest of us if we are still welcome.

    (My best to Otis Pickett)

  5. Bill Emanon says:

    Wass the haps Jemar? You need to get Ron Burns aka Thabiti Anyabwile on board this ship. When you start talking about the need for reformation of the black culture you’ll have some credibility , at least on “social” issues.

    But if you keep telling “blacks folks” (your phrase, not mine) that the problem is on the other side of the cultural divide, and their culture is just as valid as anyone else’s, then you and Ron-aka-Thabiti will continue to perpetuate minority politics and the non-gospel of “reverse racism”.

  6. Edward Royster says:

    Yes! Great name change. A witness is someone who has seen a event and can speak to it. When we identify with Christ it has a command attached to it. Be a “Witness”. I find that the black Christian experience has moved too far from sharing our faith to just learning about our faith.

    Be blessed as you endeavor to enlighten the masses.

    1. Sandy says:

      awesome!!!!!!
      How can I be apart and contribute? Someone please email me.
      sancouben@yahoo.com
      Thank you!!

      1. Elodie Quetant says:

        Sending now!

  7. Hans Rees says:

    Hi, been reading and following you since 2012 from Africa. Make you tent larger. Invite reformed christins in Africa to be part of this as well.

  8. Jonathan Newman says:

    May the Lord bless you and your ministry, using it to give sight to the blind and freedom to the captives!

  9. I’m loving this change. I feel more directly that you’re speaking to me now, and I’m more likely to share what I read here, because I don’t have to deal with the baggage of what “reformed” means.

  10. Love the look. Love the mission. Love the Witness. Thank you.

  11. Carlos says:

    I came at first because I found out that there were other African Americans who were reformed and I needed to hear your voice even as I live overseas. You’ve got me hooked now and I’ll stay even with a name change.

  12. Conrad Deitrick says:

    Love it!

  13. Hansoo Jin says:

    Awesome! Thankful for your wisdom and payig for you all.

  14. Vaughn says:

    Thank you for the clarity around the name change. As soon as I saw The Witness I immediately thought about Jehovah Witness. Do you think there will be some confusion?

    1. Kim says:

      I also thought the same about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  15. Beautiful! This is encouraging and a bold reminder that theology helps us understand God but isn’t our God. Praying for you all in this!

  16. Daniel Kleven says:

    I love it! This shift in a name captures perfectly the complex dynamics within Christianity in the 21st century. I came on board in part because of the “R” in RAAN — I’m gladly staying on board without it.

  17. Art Denney says:

    Press on!

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