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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: Merobin
The conversation that gathers at the intersection of black and reformed theology is fraught with complexity and often requires much presuppositional ground clearing in order to just get on the same page. Thick concepts like views of race (essentialism ‘black is to the bone’ or constructivism ‘we weren’t black until we got off the boat’) and theology (the science concerning God that was established upon his voluntary self-revelation to man’ or the ‘application of scripture to all of life” or otherwise) inevitably come to fore and may obstruct productive dialogue.

Terminological conceptual complexity notwithstanding, it is a discussion worth having and it is one which ch. 2 - Biblical Theology: Experiencing the Truth about God seeks to advance. Michael Leach and the other contributors are to be commended for creating new needed literary space and continuing to expand the canon of black reformed literature.

Lamentably, this brief review of chapter 2 will be selective and somewhat cursory. Hopefully, the interaction will provoke further engagement and refinement of an already rich and rewarding conversation.

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Category: Study Projects
Posted by: RBAFounderX


In a time when the message of the crucified and resurrected Jesus – victory through the cross/suffering – has been almost eclipsed by exclusive declarations of prosperity, Experiencing the Truth: Bringing the Reformation to the African American Church has rightly called such proclamations and their implications into question. In dealing with such matters, the book is spot on in that many men, particularly African American, are growing dissatisfied with many churches’ preoccupation with material gain and demagoguing. This work attempts to respond to the health and wealth or better yet, the capitalistic messages that fill so many American pulpits. And the response offered by the book is basically found in its subtitle: Bringing the Reformation to the African-American Church. More specifically, this reformation should take place within five areas of the church as outlined by each chapter: theology, preaching, worship, spirituality, and grace/salvation.

Although, Experiencing the Truth should be appreciated for attempting to engage these problematic messages, unfortunately, the book’s prescriptions, particularly the theoretical model of a reformation extraneous to the Black church undermine the valuable theological resources of and intrinsic redemptive elements present within the Black church. This work also might have been more worthwhile if it was less likely to make superfluous proclamations without careful and detailed analyses that respect the integrity and context of the Black church. Therefore, with such gross shortcomings coupled with the perennial nature of this critical discussion among many Black Reformed people, a review seems to be mandated.

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Category: Culture
Posted by: RBAFounderX

Nike's new ad campaign for its Hyperdunk shoes features a series of pictures of basketball players getting dunked on in what's considered the worst way possible: the dunker dangling off the rim, his balls dangling in the face of the man being dunk-ee. They all have dynamic slogans like "That Ain't Right!" The company has been plastering them around NYC's most famous streetball meccas, like Harlem (home to The Rucker) and West 4th St. Their rollout coincides with a big foofaraw this week (which some critics say is stupid oversensitivity) over whether the ad industry is making blatantly homophobic ads. All of which raises the question: Are these Nike ads a new low in homophobic advertising? Or do the gays just not understand basketball?

Let's lay out the facts:

1. These ads do indeed depict what is widely considered to be the most humiliating possible thing that can happen to someone on a basketball court.

2. That humiliation arises from the balls-in-face aspect of the dunk, meaning it is fundamentally a homophobic sentiment. At least subconsciously.

3. Nike's ad placement shows they're appealing to a very specific basketball player/ fan demographic. It's doubtful they'd use this same ad campaign for the general public, without some tweaks.
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