This week I heard that Rev. Thabiti Anyabwile‘s book, The Decline of African-American Theology has been released. After getting his book The Faithful Preacher, I am very excited to get this book as well. Thabiti loves the Church, and especially longs to see his people come to a knowledge of the Savior.
Today in chapel, Rev. David Brickner spoke in chapel on behalf of Jews for Jesus. He expressed his passion for seeing God’s covenant people come to Jesus for salvation. He loves the Church, and especially longs to see his people come to a knowledge of the Savior.
I admire these men and others who are zealous for the Gospel to spread to the ends of the earth, yet have such a unique passion for the Gospel to reach their own. This is the very heart of the apostle Paul. The same Paul who longed to preach the Gospel in places where Christ was not known (Rom. 15:20) also had a burning desire for his own people, the Jews, to come to Christ (Rom. 9:1-5, 10:1). Such desires are not contradictory. Instead, they could be evidences of God’s design in our ethnicity. Could it be that God created us in our ethnicities both to be a witness of the multi-ethnic work of God in forming the Church and to be a particular witness to those within our ethnic group?
I long for my people to come to the Savior. But I fear that with liberation theology, prosperity theology, black Islam, and countless other ideologies, many blacks in America do not know the God of the Bible, nor do they know that Savior that has come to redeem them. God has uniquely designed the events of black history so that Christ would be exalted and the Gospel would spread. I long that the truth of the Gospel would be heard in black churches and spread throughout communities for the glory of God.
I pray that I will live to see the fruits of reformation in our churches and communities. I pray that there will be a day where next to our Carsons and Pipers and MacArthurs are black pastors and theologians who are exegetically sound and theologically astute. I pray that there will be a day when those pastors and theologians will be the voice of the communities, not the heretics and hucksters who neither know what is best for black America, nor do they truly love black America, for they have no fellowship with the God who is love. I pray for a day when black men will be known for loving leadership of their wives, bringing their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I pray for a day when black women will be known for their faithful submission to their husbands, spreading the Gospel in their homes, not in the pulpits. I pray for a day when black churches will be leading the way in sending and funding missions.
I am convinced that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. I want to see all peoples experience such power. But with all my heart, I pray that God will raise up faithful Gospel preachers and faithful Gospel churches among blacks in America. May God give us lenses to see what God could do in drawing people from the farthest reaches of the world, and may he also grant us to see what he could do in drawing even people from our own ethnic groups to his Son.