Promoting Racial Diversity and Biblical Truth--Two RTS Students Launch the Reformed African American Network

Anyone who desires to see biblical truth promoted among racially diverse peoples has reason to be excited about the Reformed African American Network (RAAN). 

Christ commanded His disciples to take the Good News of His salvation to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).  To the extent Reformed theology teaches the Gospel, it, too, should be found in communities of all kinds of races and ethnicities. 

My name is Jemar Tisby; I am earning my MDIV at RTS Jackson.  I am also one of the co-founders of RAAN along with my fellow RTS classmate and friend, Phillip Holmes.

On Labor Day weekend in 2011, I journeyed to Chattanooga, TN to meet up with several African American students from other Reformed seminaries around the country.  We were a small gathering of about 15 students who were invited by Wy Plummer, MNA African American Ministry Coordinator for the PCA.  He wanted us to worship at his church, so we could see Reformed theology contextualized for a multi-ethnic, urban setting. 

Although I had never met the other students before, it felt like we were having a family reunion.  We had so much in common both culturally and theologically that I longed for a way to continue the fellowship.  Out of this desire the concept of the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) was born.

RAAN exists to fuel modern reformation in the African American community and our multi-ethnic nation beyond.  We seek to achieve this vision through a website that links visitors to biblically faithful materials--including websites, books, and other resources--in the Reformed tradition.   Our website also serves as a hub for Reformed African Americans and other Christians to network with each other.  Most significantly we compose original articles in the form of blog posts about theology, culture, spiritual growth, and a variety of other topics--all from Reformed perspectives.

RAAN is helping to shape Reformed theology in the twenty-first century.  With its specific initiative toward African Americans and an ethnically diverse array of contributors, RAAN is including more voices from various backgrounds in today's dialogue of the ever-reforming Reformed tradition. The more Reformed theology is shaped by Christians from all kinds of races and ethnicities, the more robust and comprehensive our doctrine becomes, and the more thoroughly we will be able to address each culture's most critical issues. 

Since launching RAAN in October 2011, we have gained over 2,800 "likes" on Facebook, more than 1,200 followers on Twitter, and thousands of visitors to the website each month.  RTS has been critical to the growth of RAAN in a number of ways.  Most importantly Phillip and I have been pleased to apply the Reformed theological education we're receiving at RTS to various core concerns and topics in the African American community. 

We encourage you to learn more about RAAN and to spread the word to help us see biblical truths impact all tribes, tongues, people, and nations.   Here are a few resources to help you get started exploring RAAN:

RAAN Intro Video 

African Americans and Big God Theology 

Interview with Dr. Carl Ellis Jr. Part 1

Hair and the Black Woman

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@ReformedAFAM)!

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