Understanding the Social Construct of Blackness

As a non “white” or non “black” Christian looking in as the church attempts to makes sense of whiteness, I have many concerns. When Christian’s resort to using terms like whiteness or blackness to explain the myriad of sinfulness expressions of partiality and with the current conversation more focused on the social construct of whiteness, very little attention is given to the social construct of blackness.

Psychological theories on Black racial identity began about 48 years ago with the premise that Americans with darker skin needed to find their own cultural identity.  William E. Cross’s 1971 Nigrescence Black Racial Identity theory proposed to define black identity by explaining the stages that a person of color goes through as they seek to “become more authentic in their identity”. Cross initially entitled his theory the Negro to Black Conversion Experience: Toward a Psychology of Black Liberation. In essence, Cross sought to offer a process of becoming “Black, with a capital B.

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Twice A Year Bible Reading Plan

For 17 years my husband has been consistently and faithfully reading his Bible daily, without a reading plan. Our local pastor recently shared that he reads the Bible 3 times a year. WOW!

I have tried several plans but was never truly satisfied with them. I have enjoyed the chronological plan a few times but I knew from the beginning that I would not get to the New Testament until the end of the year. I often don’t want to wait to get into the life of Christ or the events and circumstances that led to the creation of the NT church. I needed to hear, sooner rather than later, Paul’s admonishment and encouragement to believers because I need those reminders often, in the context that they were written in.

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For Counselors: Biblical Change and Insight

What is the nature of Biblical change and how do we help those we counsel gain insight?

As Christians who counsel, we need to understand the distinction between Biblical change and insight. Christians who seek counseling will have some degree of insight into their lives, enough to know that something is amiss, either in their interactions with others or how they react to daily life. They might not know what is going wrong or why it’s going wrong, but they know something is not right.

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Counseling: What is Our Foundation for Faith and Practice

– Our foundation and practice for counseling is our faith in Christ and Scripture.

If our counseling practice rests on our foundation, what is the end goal for those we counsel? How are we practicing out our foundation in our counseling? How does our foundation show up in the language of how we counsel? These kinds of questions should be part of our counseling thought process.

In many Christian circles, the field of psychology is often assumed to be neutral objective truth, with many often comparing it to the medical field. However, it is well known that not all doctors interpret objective medical truth the same way, specifically concerning why human bodies break down. There are a plethora of medical opinions about why this breakdown occurs but these opinions are often void of a Genesis 3 framework. Some medical opinions and diagnoses are indeed based on objectivity, especially if there are lab tests to confirm or reveal a clear diagnosis, but for the most part, there are various degrees of subjectivity even when objectivity is present. For example, the medical sciences have recently started to recognize the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) in adult health, even though many who have personally experienced various degrees of chronic childhood trauma have always known something wasn’t right with their overall health. Up until the 1980’s/1990’s San Diego study that linked various expressions of adult physical illness with childhood trauma, historically doctors have never been able to figure out the underlying causes of those illnesses. The crucial objective link between chronic childhood trauma and physical and neurological activity is just now starting to be understood.

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Common Grace: Historical Context (Part 2)

This is a short series on Common Grace in respect to Critical Race Theory. Part 1, Saving Grace Before Common Grace is HERE.

The term “common grace” as a formal designation is often believed to be a Reformed doctrine. Many attribute Abraham Kuyper (1837-1902) and Herman Bavinck (1854-1921), both Reformed theologians, to have been the most influential in its formal doctrinal development, with Bavinck stating that it is “based on Scripture and its main principle was discovered in the Reformation, notably with John Calvin“.1 However, it’s important to know that Calvin never actually used the term gratia communis (common grace) in his written work. There are four instances where Calvin connected the adjective communis with the noun gratia, two of those times when speaking specifically of saving grace.2 For the most part, Calvin’s overall contribution to the concept of common grace is evident in the way he expounded very basic general principles of God’s neutral favor towards unsaved people, neutral in the sense that it does not provide salvation, but not insignificantly neutral. The question that common grace conjures up is defining what exactly that favor entails.

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