October 26th, 2009
Carter, Anthony J. Glory Road: The Journeys of 10 African –Americans into Reformed Christianity. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 192 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster Books.
Reformed Christianity is taking conservative Christendom by storm. It seems as though a resurgence of Calvinism, and particular aspects of Puritanism, have been increasingly influencing many ministers over the last twenty years. Glory Road looks specifically at ten African-American ministers and their personal story of coming to grips with the doctrines of grace and what it meant to their respective ministries.
The contributors to this book range from professors (Michael Leach) to radio programs hosts (Ken Jones) to research fellows (Anthony Bradley). Every contributor save one (Eric Redmond) serve as pastors in the local church. I have had the personal privilege of hearing Thabiti Anyabwile speak and have reviewed his book What is a Healthy Church Member?.
Each story details the context in which these men came to understand Calvinism. Each person shares some of the reservations regarding these polarizing (when misunderstood) doctrines. Through each story, we learn how their convictions led them to make difficult decisions and we see how the Lord blessed their faithfulness. Every story is like a mini-biography that will help today’s young ministers who have accepted the doctrines of grace as a biblical paradigm for understanding missions, evangelism, and one’s general ministry.
Glory Road concludes with an appendix detailing the answers to four questions each man was asked. The questions are:
- What was the first book you read that introduced you to Reformed theology?
- Besides the Bible, list the five most influential books in your Reformed theological journey.
- List three preachers and/or teachers who were most influential in your journey.
- If you could give one book to someone interested in Reformed theology, what would you give them?
The book is worth owning if just for the answer to these questions.
Ultimately, I would recommend this book to anyone who is of the Reformed persuasion or to anyone looking to see how Reformed theology transforms one’s ministry. This book is not meant to add to a 500 year-old debate. Rather, it is meant to show how these doctrines practically impact the gospel ministry.