Recently, I have begun listening to a variety of podcasts while at the office. I primarily work a desk job and this allows me to listen to while I check emails and take care of paperwork. One of the shows that I recommend is the Confessional Collective. This podcast has been particularly impactful in my life recently because I have been attending a non-confessional Baptist church as a confessional presbyterian.
In episodes 8 and 18, Aaron Carr (the host) interviewed Cameron Triggs (Epiphany Church, Camden) and Jemar Tisby (Reformed African-American Network, RAAN) respectively. The interviews with these two men about the confessions from an African-American perspective have been enlightening to myself. One thing that came up was the Reformed heritage and how men like RL Dabney (A Defense of Virginia and the South) had defended American slavery.
I had not previously thought through many of these cultural issues from the historically Reformed perspective. How hard it must be for our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ to be asked to read men like Dabney. This leads us to all sorts of question that must ask ourselves, as a primarily white tradition:
- Do we dismiss their feelings, hurts, and thoughts because they are things that we don’t feel, hurt, or think about?
- How are we reaching our black brothers and sisters with our tradition?
- Are we quick to think that our black brothers and sisters are not as theologically astute as we are?
These questions stem from a systemic pride that has been built up in America about the differences between the African-American community and the white evangelical community. We need to actively look to break down these walls, welcome all who come to our churches, no matter what their cultural backgrounds are, and to preach the Gospel to all.
Recently, Jemar Tisby commented on the election of Donald Trump on Pass the Mic and this has been responded to by James White on the Dividing Line . I highly recommend listening to both. Tisby, lays out some really good information about what our black brothers and sisters in Christ are going through in light of the recent election, where, White lays out a good analysis of some of the more objective aspects and worrisome portions of Tisby’s comments. That being said, I would like to see both men sit down on either of their programs and talk through this issue together.