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Category: General
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Housing Project

In the late 19th and early 20th century, American Christianity was in a fierce battle. However, the battle that I have in mind is not with “liberalism” and German “higher criticism,” but an internal battle among fellow believers. That is not to say, there was/is no warrant for defending the faith against any onslaught that seeks to undermine the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth, substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ, and miracles. However for our purposes, the question is how should we, as believers, engage the world and each other when important doctrinal matters and its implications need to be addressed. Should we retreat into our doctrinal holes? And once we flee to our ghettos, do we then sling mud pies at each other?

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Posted on: 07/26/06:

Forty Million Dollar Slaves

Category: Black
Posted by: rhkeyman
Wade and Shaq

A few of weeks ago I had a chance to finally meet Xavier and his friend Mark when they came to Orlando to visit Michael and RTS. As Xavier wrote in his blog, “A Couple of Days with Black Reformed Men,“ we had a wonderful time sharing wings and our various perspectives on the many subjects that touch our lives. I wanted to write about the meeting and our many topics of conversation but there were too many strands of thoughts running through my head to choose just one. However, a recent Sports Illustrated review of William C. Rhoden’s book Forty Million Dollar Slaves helped me to sort out some ideas for this post.

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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: RBAFounderMM
Justice Scale

Chapter 3 of The Covenant with Black America is titled, “Correcting the System of Unequal Justice.” The chapter is well-formatted and explains the existence, problems and a game plan to combat an unequal justice system. The first part of the chapter speaks particularly about CPS or the cradle-to-prison superhighway and its effects. “The CPS is a network of legislation, policy, practice, and structural racism that has fostered blacks being incarcerated at unconscionable levels at increasingly younger ages for increasingly minor acts.” If one automatically smirks or doubts the validity of such a comment and routinely sets aside such information for the usual flashback of a beamed in CNN commentary depicting an eccentric black ultra-liberal, they may want to think again. As a matter of fact, if one doubts the validity of such a comment they probably have not read this book and should.

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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: Merobin
Classroom

Public education policy is not an area of expertise for me. Like all American societal institutions, the education system is enormous and extremely complex in its operations. However, one need not be an expert to simply note the devastating disparity that obtains between AA’s and the dominant culture in the area of education. It seems pretty well documented despite pretensions to race blindness in the 21st century.

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Category: Theology
Posted by: RBAFounderMM
Black Youth

Theology and the Black Community
The presence and power of a Godly theological infrastructure within the black community is in question. (There still remains in general among blacks some common ground for discussing the person and work of Christ.) For this reason, we must as reformed folks spend as much time thinking about the way to communicate our theology as we do the content of our theology. If one is to present theology within the context of black folks, he/she must of necessity rethink what they believe and the way in which they came to understand theology. Interaction with the black community should equally influence us as theologians to ask different, unique and compelling questions of Scripture and be shown through the guidance of the Holy Spirit how Scripture so effectively speaks to inquiries and situations. Interaction then with the black community should make us better theologians.

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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: rhkeyman
Healthcare

Chapter 1 of The Covenant, called “Securing the Right to Healthcare and Well-Being”, addresses the disparities in overall health and the healthcare received by African-Americans and other minorities as compared to the majority population. In the introduction to this chapter Dr. David M. Satcher of the Morehouse School of Medicine outlines the issues that influence health and healthcare and the barriers that prevent African-Americans from gaining access to quality healthcare in this country. To support his thesis Dr. Satcher notes that, “If we had eliminated disparities in health in the last century, there would have been 85,000 fewer black deaths overall in 2000”. He goes on the say:
In addition to health outcomes, disparities in health also relate to access to care. Access to healthcare is determined by many factors-insurance status, living in underserved communities, being underrepresented in the healthcare professions, being uninformed about healthcare services and need, and feeling insecure about or untrusting of the healthcare system. These are major barriers to access.
After the introduction, Covenant I presents several pages of facts that relate to the health and healthcare of African-Americans. These are followed by a comprehensive plan to address each of the barriers to health and healthcare (with examples of “What Works Now”) that calls the individual, the community, and our elected officials to action. While both African-American and healthcare advocates have discussed these issues over the years in other forums their presentation here in a plan of action that calls for comprehensive changes in the provision of insurance, the provision of healthcare, and in African-American lifestyles is both challenging and refreshing. By presenting the material in this fashion The Covenant goes beyond giving us mere talking points and achieves its aim of presenting a blueprint and roadmap that could lead to better access to quality healthcare and better lives for Black Americans.

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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: RBA
The Covenant with Black America

Lavaris, Randall, Mark and the RBA Founders - Michael and Xavier - will be responding theologically chapter by chapter weekly to The Covenant with Black America edited by Tavis Smiley. As the first of its kind, beginning Wednesday, July 12th, our study will commence on this New York Times Bestseller, which communicates some of the most pressing concerns in the black community.

The Covenant with Black America is a national plan of action to address the political, social and economic issues of African Americans today.
From health to housing, from crime to criminal justice, from education to economic parity, African Americans continue to face devastating disparities on nearly every level. However the time has come for African Americans to shift the conversation from talking about our pain to talking about our plan.

This Covenant is not revolutionary but evolutionary in the sense that it will be another catalyst in our struggle to make Black America better. I believe that when we make Black America better, we make all of America better.

This Covenant with Black America calls upon all parents, education, preachers, social service providers, community leaders, and policy-makers to act now and create a brighter future for our children. The words of writer and environment activist Terry Tempest Williams make clearer the urgency of this book’s message: ‘The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.

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Category: General
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Leadership

Worm. Sinner. Wicked. Corrupted. Heathen. If we, as Reformed believers, focus on total depravity excessively, I would suggest it impairs us from both viewing humanity as valuable and consequently, leading others to more fully manifesting their imago dei. That is to say, if we have too low of view of human nature, this will also lead to an extremely low view of human relationships, which will inevitably weaken our leadership abilities. When this happens, I believe not only do we lead with impotence, but we also unconsciously may think people are not worth our time, and hence, not worth leading at all or with greatness. Therefore, we seem to have a view of humans that is exceedingly low, but ironically, a high view of ourselves as human leaders. For that reason, it seem as though most of our leadership styles are built upon and shaped by “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” instead of “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet.” So the point I am making here in regards to the doctrine of total depravity is a matter of emphasis.

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Posted on: 07/03/06:

God, Creation and Black Boys

Category: Theology
Posted by: RBAFounderMM
Little Black Boys

A Preceding Word on Application
We as reformed believers must ponder the ways in which to apply the Scriptures to the lives of those who happen to come across our path. In our approach to each text, we must continue to ask ourselves how the text pertains to our lives and question the possible ways it may influence our thought and action. We work so hard to discern the original meaning of the text and often give our last gasp of thought and time to application. Furthermore, once we determine a good thought in applying the text, we do not think of how we may further nuance or shape our application in order to reach a greater depth of relevance. Often, we arrive at good application but it is too general.

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