If the well known acts of the Reformers that symbolize the Reformation found equivalents in 21st Century Black America, what would they look like? Would theses against indulgences become sermons against prayer trinkets advertised for sale at the end of a televangelists’ show? Would debates over infant baptism become debates over the practice of baby dedications? Would eating sausage during lent become… (OK, I’ll leave the sausage one alone). On whose door should I put the nail so that we irk the right king and pope and make the whole African-American community take notice? (Unfortunately, in our community, we may need to irk the right queen.) Would dividing over Psalm-singing versus hymn-singing become a split about traditional Gospel Music versus Contemporary Christian Music?
Even if we could look through the eyes of the Reformers at the modern Black Church, I am not so sure we could figure out what the heart of the Reformation – the Five Sola’s and the Doctrines of Grace – would look like in African American clothing, (and even then we are really only talking about what it looks like in African American Middle Class Christian clothing, as patterned after modern evangelicalism).
Over at the Council for Reforming Churches blog we are beginning to address the question of Reformation in cultural expression. Join us the next few weeks for some good Reformation-styled table talk discussions.
On another cultural note, I just received my copy of The Decline of African American Theology in the mail. It is tomorrow morning’s reading! Get your copy today!
Also on a cultural note, Lance Lewis the TV critic has alerted the church to the Baal Network.
Finally, when is D. A. Carson’s Christ and Culture Revisited going to get here? Can we petition Eerdmans to push up the publication date? I am hoping the Canadian-transplanted-to-the-USA-world-Christian-and-world-class-scholar can help us figure out which way to hold the mallet.