The so-called “Black Jesus” comedy currently running on Adult Swim is a lesson in Christian theology and doctrine, particularly, the doctrine of grace (not to be confused with the Doctrines of Grace within Reformed Theology).

Of course, this is not the first disparaging portrayal of Jesus but, then again, that’s exactly my point.

The advent of Jesus Christ into the world initiated for mankind a New Covenant , one of grace, mercy and forgiveness (Romans 5:1-2), making obsolete the Old Covenant in which law and punishment dominated.

As such, Jesus, of all His immutable attributes, is viewed primarily as a God who exemplifies and exhibits the characteristic of grace (graciousness); One who is ready and willing to forgive, regardless the transgression, even such egregiously blasphemous ones as the series ‘Black Jesus’, which is exactly why it is but the latest in a long line of secular depictions that malign the God of the Bible.

Let’s contrast this defamatory treatment of Christianity with Islam, for example, a worldview in which the concept of grace is totally foreign.

The Qu’ran does not speak of grace – at all.

You can study it from cover-to-cover but you will not find it.

This stark contrast between Christianity and Islam is why individuals at Adult Swim feel quite comfortable mocking the God of the Bible as opposed to the god of the Qu’ran, because there is no grace in Islam. Produce a comedy series mocking Muhammad and the decision makers at Adult Swim know unquestionably that there will be hell to pay – literally – because, again, Islam is completely devoid of grace.

That the doctrine of grace is inherent to one faith but not the other is a key reason why Christians don’t go around bombing and killing people whenever a Bible is burned and, conversely, why Muslims will absolutely not tolerate such a thing when it comes to their own holy book, the Qu’ran.

What I’m saying here is that “Black Jesus” isn’t simply some comedy program that was done in ignorance or “bad taste”.

To view it in such a superficial light is to entirely miss the larger theological picture.

My commenting on this is solely to encourage believers in Christ to be able to respond apologetically and give a sound theological defense for why “Black Jesus” is not only bad but wrong.

“Black Jesus” is but one of the more blatant examples of how we take for granted the redemptive grace offered by the One who died in our place on the cross, making possible the impossible, even for those at Adult Swim who would dare to place their faith and trust in this very Jesus whom they choose to mock – and at whose expense they will no doubt profit.

And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”Revelation 19:16 (NASB)

May God have mercy on us.

Post tenebras lux

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About the Author Darrell B. Harrison

Darrell Harrison is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He currently resides in Covington, Georgia (about 45 miles east of Atlanta). Darrell attends Rockdale Community Church, a Reformed Baptist congregation located in the Atlanta suburb of Conyers, Georgia. Darrell is a 2013 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI) of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and is a 2015 graduate of the Theology and Ministry program at Princeton Theological Seminary. Darrell studied at the undergraduate level at Liberty University, where he majored in Psychology with a concentration in Christian Counseling. Darrell was the first African-American to be ordained as a Deacon in the 200-year history of First Baptist Church of Covington (Georgia) where he attended from 2009 to 2015. He is an ardent student of theology and apologetics, and enjoys reading theologians such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, and B.B. Warfield. Darrell is an advocate of expository teaching and preaching, and has a particular passion for seeing expository preaching become the standard within the Black Church.

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