Prophet Jakes?

My friend Rod Garvin has some great reflections on Bishop T.D. Jakes over at Soul.

And also a tribute to the late John Johnson, a trail-blazing Afro-American business man.


7 thoughts on “Prophet Jakes?

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  1. Hey Ant, thanks for the post. Interested readers might want to take a look at the work of sociologist Shayne Lee, formerly of the University of Houston (my school), but now at Tulane.

    T.D. Jakes, America’s New Preacher (New York University Press, 2005)

    “The Structure of a Spiritual Revolution: Black Baptists and Women in Ministry,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 33/2 (2004):154-177

    “The Church of Faith and Freedom: African American Baptists and Social Change,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42 (2003):31-42

  2. Hey Ant, I have had a little contact with Bishop Jakes and his teachings. Recently, my cousin (who works in the Cruiseline industry) helped host a cruise for a conference Jakes held. As an unchurched young man, my cousin found him… interesting and a tad overwhelming. What’s your take?


  3. Jamie,

    Well Jakes is an interesting syncretism of health and wealth gospel and black pentecostalism. He is a very eccletic thinker and preacher. Me and my friend Rod went to a leadership conference he put together in DC a couple of years ago. I went in their a little cynical towards Bishop Jakes thinking that he would preach us under the table and then start up offering line. But he starts off quoting from the personal journal of Mother Theresa. I was quite impressed by his thoughtfulness. He is not your typical black pentecostal preacher.

    But I think Bishop could be futher strengthened by delving more into the liberation motifs that were in the nascent stages of black Pentecostalism. Black Pentecostalism in North America has been close to embracing its liberative motifs but it hasn’t been able to embrace it fully. Alot of it has to do with the convergence of New Thought beliefs and black pentecostalism that you see prominent in popular black pentecostal preachers like Fred Price and Creflo Dollar…and to a lesser extent to black pentecostal preachers like Bishop Eddie Long and T.D. Jakes.

    Its a bitter-sweet thing for me. In alot of their preaching I see potential but they seem to be dragged down by the same thing that is dragging down much of North American Christianity: materialism, reductionist accounts of the gospel, and other-worldliness. But there are many virtues in black pentecostals like Bishop Jakes. One being the importance of asking Jesus to show up when Christians are worshipping together. Something I see little of in many Evangelical circles I have visited. You have to forgive the Pentecostal in me.

  4. Phil,

    I’ll have to check those reads out. I got my copy of Amos Yong’s book today, “The Spirit Poured Out On All Flesh: Pentecostalism And The Possibility Of Global Theology”. Man…this is some great stuff brother. He is giving me a greater appreciation for my black Pentecostal roots.

  5. Anthony,

    Hope you caught some of the NPR coverage of Johnson. It was an interesting segment. You might search for it on their site, as I can’t remember who covered it: Terri Gross, Neil Cohnen?

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Jakes because of a sermon he preached at ICBM (Int’l Charismatic Bible Ministries) Conference several years ago. ORU hosts it every year in conjunction with Rhema, and Jakes told a whole crowd of Word of Faith pastors that sometimes God wanted us on the cross and that there was no shortcut to the crown. They looked PISSED! 450 of them. It was such a Mount Carmel moment. This is not to say he hasn’t successfully syncretized WoF and Pentecostalism to his own benefit since then.

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