Friday, February 16, 2007

Who's Who in Black Spirituality

Beliefnet recently published their list of "who's who" in African-American spiritual circles (HT: Tim Challies). It's an interesting smorgasborg of spiritual ideas, and exhibit A in why the African-American church needs to be reformed! And what a most tragic report to release in African-American history month....

The list includes (see if you can match my description with the actual person):

1. A man who denies the Trinity

2. A New Age Yoruba priestess

3. A man with the rare experience of being disciplined by his denomination for heresy and even shunned by the likes of the man who denies the Trinity!

4. A preacher who "discipled" Touch By An Angel co-star Della Reese

5. The dean of black preaching (whom I like in a grandfatherly sort of way, but I've never read a clear gospel presentation in his collected sermons)

6. Dubbed "cashflow" by family members, this preacher needs a personal jet to fly to his million dollar Manhattan weekend apartment.

There are others that might be named as more influential than many on the list. Tony Evans? James Cone? Ken Hutcherson??? Even Al Sharpton and Jessee Jackson.

If you've been following the posts "Can the Predominantly African-American Church Be Reformed?" you'll notice the social justice/economic and social development strain of the church prominently on display in many of the biographies. It would be interesting to know how many of the people that tout these achievements and interests are consistent in their proclamation of the Gospel. I honestly don't know. I pray that they all do. But if not, then you'll no doubt see the problem: it's tremendously easy to lose the gospel in the midst of caring for seemingly intractable social ills.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what denom your trinity guy is, but I go to a Christian Church/Churches of Christ school, and mentioning the trinity to them makes them quite nervous. They won't DENY it, persay (except maybe our dean), but they won't want to talk about it.