Thursday, August 7, 2008

Where are all the Brothers?

What a great, and sad, title for a book.  

Pastor Eric Redmond has written a short book designed to passed out to (and perhaps by) African American men who have lost interest or fail to see the value in the church -- and by extension, faith in Christ.  

When one enters a black community it quickly becomes apparent that a whole lotta brotha's are missing.   What look like bizarre statistics that often appear in mainstream US publications come alive as painful reality within inner-cities.  Too many black men are "missing".  

There is one set of realities that come together that remove or alienate black men from family and community (e.g. out of wedlock births and incarceration rates) and for most of us who didn't grow up in a black family or black community that particular set of realities is pretty much all we can see.  But, for the record, most black men are not in prison, on drugs, or living below the poverty line.  (My black friends will think this is so obvious as to be stupid to write. . . . but, sorry brothers, too many white folks I talk with don't seem to get this!)  

There is another set of realities that are far too common in the church that drive black men from the church who are present in the community and whose presence is sorely needed in the body of Christ.   Pastor Redmond understands this second set of realities and addresses them head on:  Apathy, disenchantment, a sense of hypocrisy, veneration of pastors, and the approach to money are all examples of such issues. 

This is an important book.  As one of my black pastor friends said when I gave it to him "anything for the men is key!"

The book is easy to read, engaging, and short -- therein containing a good formula for a book designed to be passed out and to get a guy thinking.

It also has good resources, however, as follow up reading for further study.  I think its a brilliant little book for its purpose and pray God will use it for it's intended purpose.  

Eric Redmond blogs at "A Man from Issachar


Aaron said...

thanks for the book Joel! I haven't started yet but i look forward to diggin in soon!

hammerdad said...

no problem Aaron! Sorry I haven't caught up with you on the phone!!

I have been slowing down on the blogosphere too. .

Am eager to find out responses to this book. Pastor Ford told me he loved it and plans to use it widely.

Another brother told me that he thought it was interesting but didn't know that the struggles addressed were in anyway unique to black men and black churches. . . . . I thought that was interesting.

Given your experience. . . what do you think?

hammerdad said...
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l. l. hargrove said...

I'm glad I stopped by today. I've been wondering the same thing, "Where are all the brothers?" I'll be sure to check this book out and buy some for my church leadership. Thanks.