Negro Strivings

Currently reading Michael Eric Dyson’s new book, Is Bill Cosby Right?, (along with a grip of other books) in preparation for a panel I’ll be sitting on for the After Evangelicalism conference in September. I will be dealing with the subject of race and diversity in the emerging church movement. Dyson’s reflections have been helpful for me as I navigate through this discourse on race.

I am also writing a review of Carson’s book for an online journal, Reformation Revival. Reading this book has been quite informative. To be honest I have never read any of Carson’s work before. Hopefully, I will get to meet him one day so I can ask him to further elaborate on this particular thought in his book. The context of this thought is in the middle of his criticism of McLaren and those in the emerging church supposed over-emphasis on narrative preaching and presentation over and against a didactic form of the old, old story:

Yet, to put things in perspective, I have heard a fair number of African preachers handle narrative texts very ably, but can think of only three or four African preachers who can expound on Romans very well. The narrative culture of many Africans (though that is now changing somewhat) produced certain limitations; the heritage of Western epistemology and culture produced another set of limitations. (p. 67)

I’d be interested in knowing what an exemplary exposition of Romans looks like? Also, what are these limitations in African narrative culture? And why does he suppose that all African theologizing is in the form of telling stories?


2 thoughts on “Negro Strivings

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  1. Excellent questions. If you ever get to an answer from him, please share it with us. I sympathize with the beating Carson has taken in some circle, regardless of how I feel about him perspectives. I have been encouraged by the news that he has agreed to an “exchange” of some kind with McLaren. Any ideas what/when/etc that might be? Have you heard?


  2. I didn’t get that far in Carson’s book. After eagerly awaiting the book, listening to his lecture that preceded the book, and reading much of the book, I concluded that for all of his intellect Carson simply does not understand what the Christ-followers who call themselves “emerging” are about. Carson’s categories for evaluation are precisely the problem. And his underlying assumptions come glaring (eg. propositional preaching is “better” than narrative preaching. I’m actually surprised that he recognizes that “the heritage of Western epistemology and culture produced another set of limitations”). I’ll be interested in reading your review. And I too would like to hear the “exchange” between him and McLaren.

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