Al Mohler took up the mantle at the T4G and exhorted us to "Preach with the Culture in View." There are few men today who can speak so eloquently and even whimsically about the impact American Christianity must have upon the culture in which it finds itself swimming. This is a daunting task when one considers the extent to which our culture goes to make all capitulate to its agenda. Yet, if Christ is Lord of all (Romans 14:9), then we must be prepared, as faithful ministers of the gospel of His glory, to proclaim Him in our present context. However, the struggle is that we are far more influenced by our culture than we realize or are prepared to admit. Subsequently, too often we listen to the culture in order to find our agenda for proclaiming the truth of Christ to the culture. In other words, we ask the culture what it wants, and then we give it, thinking we are reaching it. Yet this is the height of folly. As RAM (R. Albert Mohler) so insightfully reminded us, the last person you want to ask what it means to be wet is a fish. What we are called to do is to study the Word of God and there discover what the world around us needs, and then give that to them. This is particularly of important to African-Americans.
When RAM was speaking, I could not help but say to myself that the American culture is a culture made up of cultures. In simplistic terms (overly simplistic I admit) there is the dominant culture of White America, and there are the sub-dominant cultures - one of which is Black America. Black America has long seen their culture as compatible with their Christianity. This is why to be Black in America has almost always meant to be Christian. Black atheists are an anomaly. However, if art is a demonstration of the values of a culture, then we must know that Black American culture today is as anti-Christ as is any culture the world has known and therefore needs to have the truth claims of Christ brought to bear upon it. However, this is our charge, not to get overly nostalgic about a time gone by and relish the days of our youth when our doors could remain unlocked at night or a key could be left under the door mat. Indeed those days are gone, but contrary to Bruce Springsteen, they were not Glory Days. Glory Days are ahead of us as we preach Christ and pray for His Kingdom to come on earth (Mt. 6:10). I rejoice to live in the 21st century, and do believe that God is raising up Reformed African-Americans for such a time as this. We have the truth, my brothers and sisters. Let the Reformed of the Lord say so! (Psalm 107:2 :-). And may our culture bow or burn to the glory of God.