Category Archives: Where Are All The Brothers?

Repost: Brothers in the Local Church: Serving or Throwing Stones?


I am grateful to the brothers at The Front Porch for posting this interview.

In this interview, Thabiti Anyabwile chops it up with Dr. Eric Redmond, executive pastoral assistant and bible scholar in residence at New Canaan Baptist Church in Washington D.C. The brothers discuss what makes a good senior and assistant pastor, how to transition from the former to the latter, and focus on Eric’s book: “Where Are All The Brothers?” How do you speak to men who are skeptics about the church in a loving, winsome way? How do you correct theirs errors and encourage them to lovingly engage accurate perceptions they have about the church — even if they’re negative?  Pull up a chair and join Eric and Thabiti up on the porch as these brothers discuss how black men can taken from A to Z in the life of the local church.


Reblog: Racists Can’t Own An NBA Team But They Can Go To Heaven

By Jarvis Williams

The recent racist rant of LA Clippers’ owner, Mr. Donald Sterling, caused an enormous outrage throughout the NBA and beyond. Virtually every major news and entertainment source, from ESPN to late night talk shows, applauded the NBA’s decision to ban Mr. Sterling from any association with the team that he owns or with the NBA. In essence, both the league and most major media sources have categorically stated that Mr. Sterling has forfeited his right to be part of the LA Clippers’ organization, although he purchased it with his own money, because he is a racist. Now that much of the controversy has ended, I think it’s time for an African-American Christian to provide his perspective on Mr. Sterling’s racism and to provide his perspective on what the gospel says about the eternal destiny of racists. In my view, the Christian gospel promises that Mr. Sterling and all racists can go to heaven.

As an African-American Christian, I think Mr. Sterling’s comments were both a sinful offense to God and hateful racist speech toward African-Americans. His comments violated Jesus’ basic commandment of loving God above all and loving one’s neighbor as oneself (Luke 11:27). But if Mr. Sterling confesses his sins to God, turns from them, and gives his life to Jesus Christ by faith, the Christian gospel promises that God will forgive him of his sins (1 John 1:9), even his gross sin of racism, even if the NBA will not.

The NBA and the media have focused on the content of Mr. Sterling’s words toward African-Americans, and many African-Americans were rightly disgusted, hurt, and angered by his explicit racist comments. But the Christian gospel says that we should be more concerned with why Mr. Sterling perceives of African-Americans in the precise ways that he expressed in his private conversation with his girlfriend. The Christian gospel emphatically states that Mr. Sterling expressed racist comments and embraces a racist worldview because of the dominating power of sin in his life.

Genesis 1-3, for example, states that God created human beings; human beings sinned by disobeying his command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and God cursed the entire creation as a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Consequently, as Romans 5:12 states, sin and death entered the world through Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, and his sin transmitted sin to the entire creation so that all human beings are conceived in sin (Psalm 51). According to Genesis 3:8, after Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from God. This reflects that their relationship with him was broken because of sin. According to Genesis 4, shortly after the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin likewise severed humanity’s relationship with one another. Cain murdered his very own brother, Abel. Thus, it is evident from the narrative of Genesis 3-4 that sin shattered humanity’s relationship with God and with one another (see also the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9).

However, the New Testament states on numerous occasions that Jesus died on the cross and resurrected from the dead to save all sinners from their sins. He even died for the sin of racism and he even died to save racists! He died to restore both humanity’s broken relationship with God (1 Peter 3:18) and humanity’s broken relationship with one another (Ephesians 2:11-22). For example, John 3:16 states that God gave his son to the world to die on the cross to save anyone who believes in him. Romans 1:16 states the gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s power unto salvation, and by means of the gospel God will save anyone from any race who believes. Romans 3:21-30 states that Jesus died on the cross to satisfy God’s wrath against all sins and all sinners so that they would be justified by faith. Romans 4:7-8 states that God counts the sins of sinners against Jesus on the cross and that he counts Jesus’ righteousness on behalf of the sinner who has faith in Jesus so that the sinner can be saved from his sin and from God’s wrath. Romans 5:8-9 states that God demonstrated his love for sinners by offering his son to die for their sins in order to save them by faith and to reconcile them to God.

The problem with racists and with Mr. Sterling’s comments is not fundamentally that they are racist. But the fundamental problem with racists and with Mr. Sterling’s comments is that racists and racist comments reveal the spiritual deadness of humanity’s spiritual heart and the need for God through Christ and by his Spirit to resurrect one’s spiritual heart from the dead (Eph 2:1-10). The solution to Mr. Sterling’s racism is not banishment from the NBA, which will neither change the way he feels toward African-Americans nor the fact that he’s a racist. But the solution to his racism is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If he trusts in and follows by faith Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and resurrected from the dead for all types of sins and for all types, races, and kinds of sinners, then Mr. Sterling can be liberated from racism. If Mr. Sterling chooses to become a Christian, the Christian gospel promises that he will go to heaven, a place filled with many sinful Christ-followers—even liberated racist Christ-followers. The NBA has decided that a certain kind of sinner (a racist) can’t own an NBA team, but this African-American Christian believes that racists can go to heaven by faith in Jesus Christ. May God give the church of Jesus Christ the grace to seek to win all lost people with the gospel of Jesus Christ, even racists!


Jarvis J. Williams serves as Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern Seminary. He is the author of Maccabean Martyr Traditions in Paul’s Theology of Atonement: Did Martyr Theology Shape Paul’s Conception of Jesus’s Death?One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology, and For Whom Did Christ Die? The Extent of the Atonement in Paul’s Theology.

From the SBTS Souther Seminary Blog:

President Obama’s Less Visible Faith

altCHURCH-popupIn considering Ashley Parker’s, “As the Obamas Celebrate Christmas, Rituals of Faith Become Less Visible,” (NYT, December 28, 2013), I really can’t say that I’m surprised about President Obama’s meager public expression of a Christian faith.  Yes, his job is different from any other job in the country. But let’s not be disingenuous: A daily “devotional” reading, an annual prayer call, and the infrequent paraphrasing of one Old Testament verse (or even a few verses) are not reflective of any depth of faith at all, especially when such a devotion (to God?) only leads one to corporate worship 18 times in five years, and when given a choice, college basketball (on TV, no less!) is a more attractive option. Saying that the President’s practical piety and Sunday church attendance mirror a trend in the country is to say that the President is no different from your average religious, American sinner. It is a backhanded way of saying he is not a man of Christian faith.

Harold Dean Trulear: “Young black men are created in the image of God, too”


In following as much as I can on the nation’s reactions to the Zimmerman trial verdict, I missed this opinion piece by Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, professor at Howard University School of Divinity. Trulear writes,

In addition to the calls for a conversation on race, there must be a parallel public discussion of the meaning of justice. Each of us must turn to our religious traditions for definitions of justice which reflect our sacred texts and belief systems. We cannot afford to engage serious issues of public justice solely based on popular, uncritical definitions, regardless of the side which they emerge. And there exist other religious resources in our traditions which need to be applied.

One critical tenet for me is the “image of God.”

Read the full opinion here.


Women in Combat and the Undoing of Civilization

From Denny Burk. Perfectly said. Ponder his cartoon. Thank you, Burk.


012313_2107_WomeninComb131Our civilization just took a gigantic leap backward today, though I’m wondering if anyone will notice. Today Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta removed a rule that restricts women from serving in the front lines of combat. The U. S. military already has women serving in various roles in forward areas, but this latest move crosses another line. Here is the report from the Associated Press:

Leon Panetta is removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.

The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta’s decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

I understand that we are living in times of tremendous social change. Americans have by and large cast aside the “quaint” view that men and women are different and that they ought to have roles and responsibilities that correspond to those differences. So for many people, I’m sure this news merely appears as the next stage of progress toward equality in our society. I have a different view.

Are the fortunes of women in our country really enhanced by sending them to be ground up in the discipline of a combat unit and possibly to be killed or maimed in war? Is there a father in America who would under any circumstance risk having his daughter shot or killed in battle? Is there a single husband in this country who thinks it okay for his wife to risk being captured by our enemies? To risk becoming a prisoner of war? Is this the kind of people we want to be? Perhaps this is the kind of people we already are. I would sooner cut off my arm than allow such a thing with my own wife and daughters. Why would I ever support allowing someone else’s to do the same? Why would anyone?

What kind of a society puts its women on the front lines to risk what only men should be called on to risk? In countries ravaged by war, we consider it a tragedy when the battle comes to the backyards of women and children. Why would we thrust our own wives and daughters into that horror? My own instinct is to keep them as far from it as possible. Perhaps this move makes sense with an all volunteer force, but what if the draft is ever reinstituted? Are we really going to be the kind of people whopress our wives and daughters to fight in combat?

I cannot improve upon John Piper‘s 2007 article for World magazine in which he writes:

If I were the last man on the planet to think so, I would want the honor of saying no woman should go before me into combat to defend my country. A man who endorses women in combat is not pro-woman; he’s a wimp. He should be ashamed. For most of history, in most cultures, he would have been utterly scorned as a coward to promote such an idea. Part of the meaning of manhood as God created us is the sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of our women.

Everyone in America ought to be scandalized by this news, but I’m wondering if it will even register on the radar of anyone’s conscience. To the extent that it doesn’t, we reveal just how far gone we are as a people. God help us.

Posts Related to African American Culture for my Friends at Covenant College

This week I had the joy of speaking on, “The Advancing Gospel and Cultural Conflicts,” for Covenant College’s Global Gospel Advancement Week. Covenant is an outstanding school. I am grateful for their invitation, hospitality, and an overall gracious visit.

The links below are to some blog posts and other articles reflective of my attempts to interact with culture – African American culture in particular – as a Christian, as I mentioned before my Friday morning talk. For members of the Covenant community who are looking for my book that makes an attempt at cultural apologetics and evangelism toward the skepticisms of African American men, please click on the book cover in the right margin, or the “Where Are All the Brothers?” tab at the top of the page. Also, my social media contact links are listed.

Covenant, may your tribe increase! Thank you for a great week.

On Culture

No Rights on Maryland Question 6

Julian Bond is Wrong on Same Sex Marriage

Atheism Behind the Black Church Veil

Reaching Men: Culture, Church, and the Gospel

Obama, Gay Marriage, and the Black Church Vote

The President’s Church Dilemma

The Gray Matter of African American Syncretism: Giving Honor to the King of Pop

How Can Any Christian African American Vote for Obama? Throwing the Race Card on an All Black Table

Living Soli Deo Gloria Under Obama

Review of John: St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary (Reformation Trust), by R. C. Sproul, Themelios 35.2:302-304 (See the last two paragraphs.)

Social Media



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Atheism Behind the Veil

The Gospel Coalition graciously posted my article on the growth of atheism within the African American community. The original title was “Atheism Behind the Veil,” of which you might recognize the reference to The Souls of Black Folk. The published title was an editorial choice.



Atheists Behind the Black Church Veil

Statistics on the religious beliefs of African Americans are part of Western cultural literacy. Many are familiar with the findings that reveal African Americans to be among the most religious ethnic group in America, largely holding a particular Christian expression of belief. In 2009, the Barna Group found that “blacks were the group most likely to be born again Christians (59 percent, compared to a national average of 46 percent) and were the ethnic segment most likely to consider themselves to be Christian (92 percent did so, versus 85 percent nationally).”

Mark Hatcher at an anniversary event for African Americans for Humanism in Washington.

Similarly, in 2011, Barna examined 15 years of religious beliefs among Americans and found that African Americans are “the segment that possesses beliefs most likely to align with those taught in the Bible.” Specifically, African Americans were more likely than other segments to say that they believe that God is “the all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfect Creator of the universe who still rules the world today,” and were the most likely to engage in church-centric activities, and to read the Bible other than at church events during a typical week. According to Barna’s research, African Americans are only half as likely as either whites or Hispanics to be unchurched. Therefore, the announcement of the report justifiably noted, “From the earliest days of America’s history, a deep-rooted spirituality has been one of the hallmarks of the black population in the country. . . [and] the passage of time has not diminished the importance of faith in the lives of African Americans.

Growing Atheism

It might seem anomalous to turn from the pages of that report to find that there is a growing atheistic movement within the African American community. Local chapters of organized African American atheistic groups are appearing in major American cities. There are vocal activists for this atheism, including comedians and journalists. Rice University professor of humanities and religious studies Anthony Pinn and Harvard University professor of African and African American studies and of philosophy Tommie Shelby also lend their intellectual muscle to the movement through their writings.

Although equal to its white counterpart in its denial of the possibility of and need for a Divine Being, African American atheism differs in its object of attack from “The New Atheism.” Whereas Richard Dawkins positions science against Christian belief and the late Christopher Hitchens attacked Christians’ claim of God being “good,” African American atheism directs its “no-Creator” tirade at the character of the black church and history of African Americans.

The popular discussion has two primary foci. The first is to suggest that many within the African American community have participated in the Christian faith because “going to church” is a cultural expression of this community. To go against this expression in ages past would have brought the sort of ostracism previously experienced by African American homosexuals. African American atheists tend to employ the “coming out of the closet” language when speaking of sharing their humanist conversion experiences with their family members.

The second focus is the black church itself—or its iniquities. While the church plays a prominent role in the lives of African Americans, the community shows signs of disaster in almost all other social indicators, including education, wealth and poverty, unemployment, marriage, and crime. Thus, the evangelists of African American atheism can point to an apparent absence of divine power among the black church’s ardent followers, and thus an absence of a deity.

In contrast, the academic discussion attacks long-held scholarly and popular consensus concerning the place of the church in the success of the African American community. Accurately, the African American atheists demonstrate that many people of prominence in the African American community (from its inception in antebellum period to the present) gave deference to the church for utilitarian purposes—for the sake of the liberation and empowerment of a people given to religion. The images we have of the civil rights movement anchoring itself in fiery worship services and community gatherings in churches local to the nearest protest march mask the quiet internal compromises many of the non-religious made for the sake of uniting with the massive cause for justice.

Pefect Conditions

Just as many discover this anti-Christian organism, it already has evolved into a fully grown system fighting for its place alongside of the church in the lives of African Americans and American society. Observably, a few factors within the African American community have created the perfect conditions for its appearance. Heterosexual marriage is on the decline; as Joy Jones recognized, some African Americans even view marriage as a white institution.  Single African American women are asking whether the church is contributing to their singleness and loneliness, due to the church’s high standards for sexual purity and low numbers of single African American men. Following the majority culture, homosexuality is accepted as a family member within the African American community, with many church leaders acting as advocates. Finally, the internet gives African American atheism a powerful communication tool for unifying the movement and preaching its platform.

The non-believers behind W. E. B. Du Bois’s veil are correct on one part of their historical analysis: Atheistic tares have grown in the fields home to the Negro spirituals and gospel music, the SCLC, the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., and the founding of many historically black colleges and universities. Yet the inference they draw from this reality is incorrect. The historical presence of atheists of color does not invalidate the black church’s role as the uniting force in the survival of the African American community.

While some sought the resources of the church for political gain or “the greater good” of an oppressed people, this is not true for the majority. Many members of today’s black church attend because their parents, who introduced them to Christ and the church, are believers—believers themselves who are the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren of slaves and freedmen who went to church because they believed in a God who would free them from slavery just as he freed the children of Israel from Egypt. My grandfather, great-grandfathers, and great-great grandfathers, all humble, land-owning (but not well-to-do) farmers, had no ambitions or motives for being churchgoers other than to please Christ, their faithful Lord. The same could be said for the faith of millions of African Americans who preached, prayed, sang, and gave their monies so that their children might follow in the faith as free members in the land of the free.

The African American community, at large, however, still presents a huge mission field ripe for the gospel. The statistics on attendance can be misleading: Attendance should not be equated with conversion, spiritual maturity, biblical literacy, or theological knowledge. Believers should pray for God’s mercy upon unbelievers inside and outside of the black church’s pews. If the Lord is merciful to us, maybe the atheists, too, will be converted.


Eric C. Redmond is the author of Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men’s Questions About the Church (Crossway). He is executive pastoral assistant and Bible professor in residence at New Canaan Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

No Compromise or No Standards?

Reposting from the site:

No Compromise or No Standards?

Twenty years ago, President Clinton was accused of engaging in…uh…not your normal sex acts with a young intern, in the Oval Office.  One of the defenses presented for him was “He’s the president, not a pastor.”  The thought here seemed to be that he shouldn’t be held to the same standard as a pastor or other person who “does” religion for a living.

Fast forward twenty years and the sitting president makes it clear that he endorses legal liaisons (I refuse to call them marriages) between same-sex individuals.  The defense?  He’s the president, not the nation’s pastor.  While I disagree with the sentiment, I can at least see how the supposed differences can be justified.  But you folks are going to have to help me out here.  I obviously don’t understand the idea of holiness and uncompromising service to our Lord and Savior by those who profess to follow Jesus Christ as Lord.

We don’t expect the unsaved to live up to our standards.  But apparently we give those who ARE pastors the same pass.  Again, I probably just don’t understand.  After all, I teach in a church that has fewer than twenty families as members. We don’t have a choir to die for, and we rent space from the Lutheran church.  And it must be that I’m just too focused to have realistic expectations.

I would expect Jerry Bruckheimer  to produce, direct, and otherwise create some movies and television shows that are, at times, vulgar and, shall we call it immodest.  And you’d expect Christopher Nolan  to direct movies with a fairly worldly point of view.  But would you expect the same behavior from a man who insists he is the highly anointed But the guy who says he’s the highly anointed pastor of a church and is the “covering” (whatever that is) for hundreds of other churches?

Several weeks ago, I took the wife to see “Sparkle.”  Though going to movies isn’t the easiest thing in the world for us, I figured it would be good for us to get out and see a movie.  She wanted to see “Sparkle” so I worked it out for us.  It was a mistake.

After watching the previews for coming attractions, I settled down into my stadium seating chair with a big bucket of popcorn (no butter), set to watch the movie.  And it opened with that foul-mouthed performer Cee Lo Green.  While he was relatively clean in the movie, I wouldn’t have picked him as the first thing the audience sees.  And I certainly would have looked for a less foul-mouthed performer to put on the pay roll.

The movie has four-lettered expletives sprinkled throughout.  And I’m not just talking about theological terms like “hell.”  I’m talking aboutscatological ones.

The only thing some of the shots of the performers were missing was a little bump-and-grind music (I would direct to some sites that explain that reference, but the sites’ contents were worse than the movie I’m complaining about).

The clothing was way past suggestive.  While I don’t want to be a prude, I did have to look away several times.  Here’s one of the milder wardrobe choices made by the director.  I felt somewhat obliged to do a little editing on this very mild example.

So, any guesses as to who produced the movie?  Bruckheimer?  No.  Nolan?  No.  Or maybe theBroccoli brothers?  Okay, okay! The Broccoli brothers are dead, but you get the idea.

No, “Sparkle” was produced by none other than (drum roll), T. Dexter Jakes.

What’s my point in all of this?  Simple.  Is T. Dexter a Christian and a church leader, or is he an entrepreneur willing to do whatever it takes to make a profit?

I’m becoming more and more certain of the latter, with respect to both theology and economy.

Make no mistake about it:  I think it is outstanding for Christians to be involved in the arts, to mirror creation, and to be creative in giving glory to God.  I don’t have a problem with Christians writing books (heck, I’m trying to sell one right now), with Christians painting,  or with Christians’ involvement in any and all of the arts.  Why leave that area of culture to the unsaved?  All they will generally do with it is corrupt it through the glorification of man or the promotion of rebellion against God.

Does a movie have to have an explicitly Christian theme?  Certainly not.  Should a movie producer, one who professes not just to be a Christian, but a leader, produce a work that glorifies ungodly behavior?  Certainly not.

Of course, I don’t limit this to “Christian Leaders.”  It’s applicable to all Christians.  Paul told us in 1 Cor 10:31 to  do whatever we do to the glory of God.  Granted, he was speaking primarily about the observation of the Law and its strictures on what a person could eat or drink.  But I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to follow this out to the arts.  Do you really think a Hip Hop artist is “giving glory to God” when they receive some award wearing pasties?

When God told the artisans to embroider the hems of the robes with pomegranates (Exodus 28:33, 34) He wanted it to look just any kind of way? No.  It’s a pretty safe bet he wanted them to look like the fruit.   And while I’m sure God had a reason for a pomegranate and not a kumquat, the point is, this artistic representation of the physical world seemed not only alright with God, but it was approved.

Then there’s music.  DO you really think music has to be explicitly tied to God to be acceptable to Him?  I suggest not.  But I would also say the music should not promote ungodliness.  The list of songs that are in rebellion to God are the norm rather than the exception.  Theater and cinema are the same way.  I would even go so far as to say literature is the very same way.  The books need not be explicitly Christian, but they should reflect a Christian world view rather than a secular world view.

T. Dexter failed in all of this in the production of “Sparkle.”  But then, should we expect anything different?  He also produced “Jumping the Broom.”  The actors were quite skilled.  And the story line was substantial, more substantial than most of his movies and most of the modern, less violent and sex soaked Blaand less xploitation movies.  But again we come back to why he would produce a movie with some very questionable scenes (the opening scene for starters).  And why would he include at least one character who seemed to go out of its way to make Christianity look like an exercise in self-righteousness.

T. Dexter not only is too dishonest to openly admit that he is a Oneness proponent, or to stop promoting Word of Faith doctrine even while he preaches it, but he is willing to create and profit from blatantly ungodly movies.  And unfortunately a lot of you professing Christians line up and give him your money to he can put ungodly philosophies and images into your heads.

So, am I missing something here?

Piper in 2007: Tattoos 30 Years from Now

I have been trying to work through body tats theologically. While doing so, I ran across a small line from John Piper: “Thirty years from now today’s tattoos will not be marks of freedom, but indelible reminders of conformity.” The full quote is part of the article below:

Christ Suffered and Died to Deliver Us from the Present Evil

Galatians 1:4

[He] gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.

Until we die, or until Christ returns to establish his kingdom, we live in “the present evil age.” Therefore, when the Bible says that Christ gave himself “to deliver us from the present evil age,” it does not mean that he will take us out of the world, but that he will deliver us from the power of the evil in it. Jesus prayed for us like this: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

The reason Jesus prays for deliverance from “the evil one” is that “this present evil age” is the age when Satan is given freedom to deceive and destroy. The Bible says, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). This “evil one” is called “the god of this world” and his main aim is blinding people to truth. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Until we waken to our darkened spiritual condition, we live in sync with “the present evil age” and the ruler of it. “You once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Without knowing it, we were lackeys of the devil. What felt like freedom was bondage. The Bible speaks straight to 21st century fads, fun, and addictions when it says, “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19).

The resounding cry of freedom in the Bible is: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2). In other words, be free! Don’t be duped by the gurus of the age. They are here today and gone tomorrow. One enslaving fad follows another. Thirty years from now today’s tattoos will not be marks of freedom, but indelible reminders of conformity.

The wisdom of this age is folly in view of eternity. “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. . . . The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 3:18-191:18). What then is the wisdom of God in this age? It is the great liberating death of Jesus Christ. The early followers of Jesus said, “We preach Christ crucified . . . the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

When Christ went to the cross he set millions of captives free. He unmasked the devil’s fraud and broke his power. That’s what he meant on the eve of his crucifixion when he said, “Now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). Don’t follow a defeated foe. Follow Christ. It is costly. You will be an exile in this age. But you will be free.


© 2012 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.


Also, you can hear Piper give more thoughts about tattoos at a podcast on the topic.

African American Women Among the Most Religious

The Washington Post reports that African American women are among the most religious in the country. We have suspected this by observation; now we have some statistical data.

Again, it is time for the church to go hard after African American men with the Gospel, to see men’s absences as an issue with great theological and social significance (cf. Ps. 78:5-8; Eph. 5:25; 6:1-4; 1 Thess. 2:11-12), and to recognize that African American men are one of the most unreached mission fields in North America. Wise and loving believers, upon reading this article, might ask, “Where are all the brothers,” and “What am I doing to help get the Gospel to the African American men I see every day?”