The recent controversy surrounding Barack Obama’s former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has raised public interest in Black Theology.
What is Black Theology? Are Christ and the Gospel its center? Is it Gospel-centered and driven? Or, does Black Theology preach a different gospel?
H. Wayne House has written a very helpful essay on Black Theology: An Investigation of Black Liberation Theology (Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 139, No. 554 (April 82):159.)
Dr. House points out how Black liberation theology has made valuable contributions, both positive and negative, to theological discussion today. However, his main critique concerns the fact that Black Theology lacks a proper center for its theological emphasis (i.e., theme of oppression rather than Jesus Christ, the principal theme and personality of Scripture).
Dr. House concludes his essay by stating, “Black theologians need to ask the all-important question, Who is Christ? From their answer to that question they may begin to answer whether they have a truly Christian theology.” Dr. House’s point is not only an important reminder for Black Theology but for all of us.
James Hog, one of the Marrow Men (my heroes!) wrote, “Christ is the Marrow of the Word, the Substance of all that’s revealed in it, whether Doctrines, Types, Prophecies, or Promises.”
When we come to read and study the Scriptures, we must come with the express design of finding Christ. “Whoever,” John Calvin writes, “shall turn aside from this object, though he may weary himself throughout his whole life in learning, will never attain the knowledge of the truth…,” (Commentary on the Gospel According to John, p. 218).
For additional reading on this issue see, What the Bible is all About.