The vision of the Reformed African American Network (RAAN) is to fuel modern reformation in the African American community with a multi-ethnic mindset.
The mission of the Reformed African American Network is to fuel modern reformation in the African American community with a multi-ethnic mindset by providing biblically-faithful resources, by connecting Christians who adhere to Reformed doctrines–especially African Americans, and by building theology in community from a Reformed and African American perspective as well as with others from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
The Reformation of the 16th century sparked a worldwide turning to God through careful study of the Bible and application of its teachings. Christians began to collect the various doctrines espoused in the Reformation into the body of teaching that became known as Reformed theology. Theologians such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, J.I. Packer, John Piper and more preached and wrote about God and the Christian life through a Reformed understanding of the Scriptures. These teachings, however, have largely been confined to Western European and Anglo cultures.
The Reformed African American Network (RAAN) provides access to
trustworthy, biblical resources in the Reformed tradition. The term “Reformed” is used to distinguish rather than divide and the network adopts a broad definition of “Reformed” comprised of two main components:
A) Assent to the “Five Alones”
1. Grace alone
2. Faith alone
3. Scripture alone
4. by Christ alone
5. to the glory of God alone
B) Rooted in the historic Christian Reformation
The Reformation of the 16th century was, at its core, about recovering the Bible and its doctrines over against corrupt human traditions that had assumed primary importance. The Reformers of this era used the phrase “semper reformanda” which means “always reforming”. So the Church is always in the process of reminding, redeeming, and re-committing herself to Christ as revealed in His inspired, infallible, inerrant Scripture.
While the term “Reformed” may have negative connotations for some, RAAN hopes to broaden the cultural connotations associated with the term through a wide network of Christians from a diverse array of backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.
The Reformed African American Network joins with all sincere believers in seeking God’s truth from Scripture and constantly examining our faith and practice in its light. We, however, must acknowledge that the tremendous body of teaching handed down to the Church from the Reformers has not been as accessible to some groups as others. The African American church in particular has been isolated in many ways from the great Reformed thinkers of past and current generations–most of whom have been Western and Anglo. Therefore, while African Americans stand to benefit tremendously from the theological formulations of the Reformed tradition, Reformed theology itself stands to benefit from the rich theological tradition that African Americans bring. We understand this engagement as a two-way exchange, not a one-way deposit.
The Reformed African American Network provides resources and contemporary theological thought from a Reformed perspective. RAAN gathers resources from across its diverse network and centralizes them in one location. On the RAAN website you will find links to blogs, seminaries, churches, videos, articles, books, pastors, professionals, and more. Our hope is that if you are new to the Reformed tradition or simply desire access to reliable Christian resources and people, RAAN is a doorway.
In addition, the cornerstone of the RAAN website is a blog with articles from a variety of Reformed Christians–pastors, counselors, campus ministers, missionaries, accountants, teachers, bus drivers, and more. In the true spirit of developing theology “in community” there is no special class of Christian uniquely qualified to contribute on the network. While we will have regular contributors and guest contributors, any visitor to the site is welcome and encouraged to submit a post for review. If the writing is well-done, gracious, and contributes to the overall mission and vision of the network we’re open to posting it. You will be able to visit the website to find current Reformed African American thought on issues like: race and ethnicity, urban culture, music, marriage, sexuality, vocation, literature, and more. Any topic is fair game as we attempt to bring the Gospel to bear on all segments of life from a Reformed African American perspective.