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Where Are All The Brothers?

July 20, 2011

A few years ago our good friend and fellow worker in the gospel, Eric Redmond, wrote an excellent little book entitled Where Are All the Brothers?: Straight Answers to Men’s Questions About the Church.  The book is basically an apologetic for church and church attendance in an age where many young men in general, and young black men in particular, have been turned off by church for various reasons.  Admittedly, we understand that the number one reason for their disenchantment with the church is their own sinful and selfish hearts.  Nevertheless, many of the surface objections can and should be answered even while praying God will soften hard hearts through the proclamation of the gospel.  Eric does this.

Recently, Eric did an interview on The Ed Brown Show.  Below is the first part of the interview.  Unfortunately, the conversation does moves away from the book :), however Eric is yet still insightful as he deals with questions expected and unexpected.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 11:02 pm

    Pastor Carter, I agree with you that the ultimate cause of Black men not attending church is their sinful hearts but I disagree with you that their objections are on the surface. I deeply respect what you do and have read your books but I feel your analysis fails to take into consideration the vestiges of history, sociology and economics and most of all the problems that pervade the traditional Black church today.

    You posit Reformed theology as the best system for African-Americans in your writings without seriously engaging the objections that Black people have to the actual history of Reformed people towards them. If you are willing to actually listen deeply and provide a sharp response to what they say you deserve a fair hearing. Otherwise, your words will fall on deaf ears in our community. This is sort of sad, given that Reformed theology has much to offer the Black church. As you well know, I am not Reformed but a convinced Wesleyan Pentecostal who endured with my theology intact at Calvin College. I engaged Reformed theology seriously at Calvin but found it wanting but I did consider it. Will you consider the consternations of the brothers? And answer them on their terms before attempting to convert the discussion to yours?

  2. ajcarter permalink*
    August 4, 2011 2:58 am

    Well my brother, I do appreciate you taking the time to read my musings. I am amazed that people would not only read some of my thoughts, but even think enough of them to let me know. Thanks for the encouragement.

    I am also glad to see that we are in agreement on the root of sin that lies in the heart of objectors to church. That being said, I would bet that we are in more agreement than you might believe. I hear your cautionary remarks concerning my reference to surface objections, however if these objections are not surface, what are they? People may be passionate about their objections and believe they have reasons for them, but as you know, when it boils down to it, the heart is what keeps them from God and the church.

    As far as Reformed theology is concerned, you are right. I would not only posit Reformed theology as the best system for African-Americans, I suggest that it is the most biblically consistent of any theological system suggested. Ultimately, however, a theological system is only as good as it is biblically faithful. And while Reformed theology is not perfect, it has a stronger, more tried, and more sustainable tradition than any other.

    I agree that some people may have objections to some reformed people, but this does not necessitate the rejection of reformed theology. If it did then African-Americans should reject every theological system because no theological tradition is blameless when it comes to race relations (especially the Wesleyans and Pentecostals, but that has not caused you to shy away :).

    To your last point, those who know me know that I have engaged people and their objections to Reformed theology wherever and whenever I can. I have listened intently to “consternations” and have had a few of my own :). However, just like you, I don’t apologize for seeking to convince people of the truth. I pray to do it humbly and lovingly, but never shy away from it (2Cor. 10:4-6).

    If you are ever in the Atlanta area, I would love to hear your story and how you found Reformed theology “wanting.” I am sure it is an interesting one. Keep up the study brother. God bless.

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