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Theology in the African American Church

African American theology had  its earliest roots in an experience of pain and suffering. Mourning freedom and agonizing over loss of identity and opportunity were a huge part of the Southern African American experience. But, with civil rights and a more socially engaged African American population in the North and the West, black theology has evolved into more of a need for empowerment and survival.

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Changing Realities

In the face of changing demographics in America, many African Americans find themselves becoming a minority-minority, or shrinking minority.  For instance, in the west where I live, Asian and Latino populations are increasing dramatically as a result of immigration and soaring birth rates.  The U.S. black population has shrunk from about 17% to 12% as we enter the second decade of the third millennium. The white population has shrunk to 72% while the Latino/Hispanic population has risen to over 16%.

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Only the Lonely

What did it feel like? It felt like being hungry, I suppose, in a place where being hungry is shameful, and where one has no money and everyone else is full. It felt, at least sometimes, difficult and embarrassing and important to conceal.

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Kingdom Fail

The opening of the book of Luke is filled with hope and lofty speeches and songs. Underlying it all is the promise of God's kingdom where the rich and powerful are put in their place, the poor and weak are lifted up and all is made right. It is pretty heady stuff.  As John the Baptist comes on the scene Luke uses words ...

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Kingdom Fail II

The promise of the kingdom in Luke 1-3 is a kingdom of great hope where the rich and powerful are brought down and the poor and struggling are lifted up. The promise builds and builds and then it comes crashing down: John the Baptist, the great announcer of this kingdom, the harbinger of the kingdom is put in prison by Herod. The powerful take...

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Books Part 2

More Books for under the Tree . Perhaps it is an occupational hazard of being a minister, but around this time of year a lot of family and friends decide to give books as the perfect Christmas present.  In the spirit of that giving and perhaps to enhance your asking here are seven more books that I’ve found helpful from a number of different genres. 

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Growing Churches

Though this five-year span has not been easy in North America, with the downturn of the economy directly affecting our churches and their members, there were 42 CRC churches and over 30 RCA churches who showed significant growth.

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Growing Churches Part 2

Today’s entry continues with the factors that led to growth in CRC and RCA churches.The church was at a point where it was ready to take risks and to make changes.

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What Counts?

The attendance and membership of some CRC churches grew by more than 20% in a recent five year period. But, if we dig a little bit deeper into the statistics, maybe we’ll find that we’re missing something important.

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Dwelling in the Bowery

Every church planter has a story and mine started in 2004. God used family relationships to open doors for us in New York and to teach us much about the culture and context from the very beginning.

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