The Reformed Church Center Explores Black & Reformed Theology
Say the words “Black Theology” to many people—especially people who aren’t Black—and they become confused, maybe even nervous. They know a little bit about what it is, or more likely what others have said it is, but not enough to relate it to their everyday lives. They assume it has something to do with Black Power as that was expressed in the 1960s, and they might worry that it’s anti-White.
Say the words “Reformed Theology” to many people—including people who are Reformed—and they become dismissive, maybe even nervous. They may know a little about what it is, or more likely what others have said it is, but not enough to relate it to their everyday lives. They assume it has to do with Zwingli and Calvin and other sixteenth-century White men, and they assume it is stuffy and stagnant, and they might worry that it’s racist and sexist.
Neither of those analyses is completely true, of course. What if we were to consider how each of these theologies might speak to contemporary congregations of various races? What is we were to consider how they might speak to one another, and especially how Black Theology might inform the work of Reformed congregations, even those that aren’t Black? What if we imagine a theology that is Black & Reformed, and what we can learn from it?
For the first discussion of the 2022-2023 academic year the Reformed Church Center will consider Black & Reformed Theology. We’ll have this conversation on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm, via Zoom. And we have a great leader and respondent for our discussion.
Peter Watts is pastor at The Rock Church in Los Angeles, California, and coordinator for the RCA African American Black Council (AABC). He is a doctoral candidate (2023) at Fuller Seminary whose focus is on racial justice initiatives that build bridges between suburban and urban churches. His work is centered around creating spaces for lament, repentance and the ongoing work liberating all people from the tyranny of inequality and racism.
Gregory Dunlap is pastor of Woodcliff Community Reformed Church in North Bergen, New Jersey, where he has served for the last twenty years. Previously, he was active in ministries in two Baptist congregations and worked in the energy industry for thirty-four years, retiring as Vice President-Consumer Operations for Public Service Electric and Gas in 2019. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Prophetic Urban Ministry at NBTS, where he also is a member of the Board of Trustees and where he was the first student to participate in the NBTS Presidential Scholars Program.
After a presentation by Peter and a response by Gregory, we will welcome everyone into the discussion.
This Zoom webinar will be free for everyone, but registration is required. Go to https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tml5VVfnSrSk0hbiylgF1w to sign up.