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Archive for February, 2010

The Bondage of Black Liberation Theology, True Liberty found in Christ

“Black History Month is a time not only to honor our past but also to survey the progress yet to be made,” writes author Anthony Bradley in a recent article in The Detroit News. “Disadvantaged blacks are generationally doomed until we recognize that social mobility flows from the expansion in tandem of dignity and freedom, not from pursuing the siren songs of riches and power.”

Bradley’s new release, Liberating Black Theology sounds a similar warning. Prior to 2008, black liberation theology was an unknown among many Americans. As President Obama began campaigning, Bradley found opportunities to give context to the seemingly angry preaching against whites that was broadcast on Fox News. Bradley addresses a theology that grew out of the civil rights movement, with theologians who sought to apply the gospel in a way that affirmed the humanity of blacks—that they would understand that their lives matter to God.

However, as leadership transitioned within the movement, victimology wove its way in through those who rejected traditional biblical interpretation. The victimologist skews the doctrine of sin and redemption and creates a worldview that considers black suffering the lens through which all else should be evaluated. The end goal is not the glory of God, but the dignity of the black experience in America. The unfortunate result of this thinking reduces the core identity of blacks to that of a victim. “Rather than finding a way forward, victimology is perpetuating problems for black America, not solving them,” explains Bradley.

Bradley suggests developing a redemptive-historical approach for understanding the black experience in America while remaining faithful to Scripture. He explains, “The fact of the fall and the accomplished redemptive work of Christ serve as the true foundation for the liberation of black people.”

Read intro and chapter 1 here.

February 28, 2010 | Posted in: Books,Race | Author: Crossway Staff @ 9:00 am | 0 Comments »

New from Crossway

Here’s a sneak preview of Crossway’s March releases! Stay tuned at the blog, on twitter, and facebook for more details.

February 27, 2010 | Posted in: Books | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:23 am | 0 Comments »

Now Available: ESV Study Bible, Large Print

9781433514814 The large print edition of the hardcover ESV Study Bible is now available. Leather editions are not yet available but we’re working on it!

February 26, 2010 | Posted in: Editions,ESV,Study Bibles | Author: James Kinnard @ 11:59 am | (8) Comments »

Trusting When We Don’t Understand, Believing When We Can’t See

A Guest Post by Nancy Guthrie

My husband and I recently began hosting Respite Retreats, weekend retreats at which we bring together a dozen couples who have faced the loss of a child. Over the weekend we provide a safe place for these couples to share their sorrow with others who understand, and we bring the truth of God to bear on what seems unbearable.

The question that haunts most of those who come—in fact most people who experience significant suffering and loss—is, “why?” There is a deep need to be able to determine and articulate the “good” that God has brought or intends to bring out of our loss. For many, until we can identify God’s purpose, it is nearly impossible to believe that he has one or that it is good—at least good enough to balance out our own pain.

Many find the purpose they are looking for in being able to name someone who came to Christ because of their child’s life or death. And certainly God is good to give us glimpses of how he is using our losses for his good purposes in this world in such ways. But ultimately, trusting God with our losses, trusting him to work them together for good is, like everything else, a matter of faith.

The writer to the Hebrews says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and confident in what we cannot see with our eyes. So faith, in the face of significant loss and sorrow, is believing that God can and will use our loss for good, even if we never see it with our eyes or can never explain or define it to our full satisfaction.

Os Guiness speaks to this in his chapter in Be Still My Soul, taken from his book, God in the Dark:

Suffering is the most acute trial that faith can face, and the questions it raises are the sharpest, the most insistent, and the most damaging that faith will meet. Can faith bear the pain and still trust God, suspending judgment and resting in the knowledge that God is there, God is good, and God knows best? Or will the pain be so great that only meaning will make it endurable so that reason must be pressed further and further and judgments must be made? To suffer is one thing, to suffer without meaning is another, but to suffer and choose not to press for any meaning is worst of all. Yet that is the suicidal submission that faith’s suspension of judgment seems to involve. If the Christian’s faith is to be itself and let God be God at such times, it must suspend judgment and say, “Father, I do not understand you, but I trust you.”

At a recent Respite Retreat, one of the participants said, “It comes down to this: Am I willing to trust God with this or not.” And the truth is, this is not just the case for grieving parents. The Christian life is not about the one time we trusted God for something we cannot see—that he will make good on his promise to make us his own for eternity. The Christian life is about an on-going trust and reliance on the promises of God, believing that the day is coming when faith will no longer be needed because our faith will have become sight.

Ruth’s Story through the Eyes of Obed

screen-shot-2010-02-22-at-24702-pmLife was bleak for Naomi. Her husband and her sons were dead. She found herself in a foreign land with only one friend, her daughter-in-law Ruth. But as she returned to her hometown of Bethlehem, a ray of hope broke through the dark clouds of providence. It was the barley harvest, and she wasn’t alone.

This collection of poems by John Piper is a perfect compliment to his recent release, A Sweet and Bitter Providence. In Ruth: Under the Wings of God, Piper creatively portrays the story of God’s care for Naomi and the love affair between Ruth and Boaz through the eyes of their son. An aged Obed narrates the account to his eight-year-old grandson David, the future king of Israel.

“The story starts with God, as all
True stories do. As I recall,
Almost a hundred years ago
God stopped the rain and broke the flow
Of blessing in the fruitful land
Of Ephratha. By his command
There was a famine from the shores
Of Lebanon south to the doors
Of Hebron and beyond. And none
Could stay his hand or make undone
The deed of God. he had his aims,
And one of these was Ruth. God names
Whom he will have and moves the earth
To bring them to himself. By birth
She was a Moabite, outside
The Law, and Israel, the bride
Of God, cut off from sacrifice
And priest and covenant. No price
Paid to her gods of wood and stone
Could ever cleanse her heart, atone
For sin, or satisfy the just
And holy claims of God. Sheer dust
Upon the scales, all this, to weigh
Against idolatry each day.
And yet God had a plan to bring
her out of darkness, make her cling
To him, and give her royal seed.”
(Excerpt from Ruth: Under the Wings of God pp15-17).

| Posted in: Author,Books | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:42 am | 0 Comments »