Show Host Adam Coleman Speaks Out on Christian Apologetics in the Black Community
The Urban Struggle
Who is Adam Coleman?
Tune into the Tru-ID show on any given week, and you are sure to hear the smooth sound of Adam Coleman, the show’s host. On his program you’ll get testimonies, interviews, history and informative talks – all related to the area of Christianity and the defense thereof.
With a decade of Gospel Rap experience under his belt, Coleman’s podcast has a rhythm and pace that can’t help but to draw the listener in.
This writer recently had the opportunity to speak with Adam about his ministry. Although the podcast is his main avenue of ministry, Adam is also a Christian Apologist for the Free Thinking Ministry and for the KING movement. But what Adam does is a unique departure from those things with which most fans of Christian Apologetics are familiar.
How it all Began
Adam grew up a deeply churched individual. Like so many in his community, his family was in church every time the doors were open, and spent time praising God and studying the Bible when they weren’t attending. Adam bowed his knee and found salvation at a very early age, and was thrilled at a whole new avenue of Christian worship when his parents gave him a DC Talk CD at age 14. With the vista of Gospel Rap at his fingertips, Coleman quickly found himself writing his own lyrics and performing his own rap.
Adam’s talent at rap became immediately apparent, and he channeled his passion into his own brand of ministry. But in his freshman year at college, Adam hit a speed bump. A group of dissidents challenged Adam’s beliefs, accusing him of being an “Uncle Tom” because his beliefs were grounded in the “White Man’s Religion.” Adam was stunned to hear them say that the black man had no ties to Christianity before they were taken into slavery, and that Christianity was the white man’s method to control the black community.
These accusations rocked Adam’s world. But then he remembered a series his preacher had done years before. The sermon was called “Seeking the Lost.” In it, Adam’s pastor talked about black people from the Bible, showing that the African race was represented in scripture from the very beginning. In fact, the story of scripture features a great deal of history set in Northern Africa. African churches were among the first in the early Christian community, and included some of the most influential early Christian Apologists.
After facing this challenge head-on, Adam doubled down. Christ was his life, and he was going to press toward the goal by surrendering his entire purpose to God. With this goal in mind, Adam used his talent at music and his extensive church experience to speak and sing at churches, in prisons, and abroad on the mission field. Deeply immersed in the Lord’s work, Adam saw God do amazing things in the lives of the people to which he ministered. Little did Adam suspect that his experiences were preparing him for a very personal challenge. Adam describes the event this way:
“[My wife and I] had been trying to conceive for about a year or so and found out that my wife was pregnant about 3 weeks before a missions trip to Jamaica with my church. I did gospel rap, preaching, and fed the homeless on that missions trip and we saw God do amazing things in the people we were there to minister to. Unfortunately, a week after I returned to from the Jamaica missions trip, my wife had a doctor’s appointment at which we were informed our child’s heart had stopped. Of course, we were devastated. By God’s providence, 5 or so months before the miscarriage, my parents had sent me a few books on Christian apologetics. They gave me books from Norm Geisler, Frank Turek, and William Lane Craig. As soon as I received the books I was hooked on apologetics … It afforded me a support for my faith in Christ that I didn’t know was available to the believer and helped me to further solidify my foundation in Christ. Little did I know that I was building up my faith to withstand the worst storm I’ve walked through: losing a child. Christian apologetics gave me what I needed to make it through that season which is why I am so passionate about it now.”
Since this tragedy, the Lord has blessed Adam and his wife with three children and a family love for Christ. Adam’s new calling as a Christian Apologist has led him to rub shoulders with some of his heroes of Apologetics, including William Lane Craig, whom he was able to personally thank for the strength his book provided.
Adam's Unique Ministry
Adam may be a Christian Apologist, but he is providing something to the Apologetics community which it desperately needs. Says Adam:
“I have a particular interest in addressing the questions and objections to Christianity that are problematic in the black community. Unfortunately, the sentiment that Christianity is the ‘white man’ religion’ is an undercurrent in the black community that is causing unbelievers to reject the gospel and believers to walk away from Christ. There is a sub-culture that can loosely be referred to as the Conscious Community that is highly Afrocentric and anti-Christian. My goal is to use my ‘Tru-ID Podcast’, blogs, and public speaking to provide believers with rational defenses against the sorts of challenges to the faith that circulate within the Conscious Community.”
While the black community in America has historically been very grounded in Christianity, the field of Apologetics has failed to gain much of a voice. Says Adam:
“There is a massive lack of awareness in the black church when it comes to apologetics. One of the goals I have for my ministry is to introduce African-American believers to the apologetics resources that are out there and to inform apologists of the types of challenges to the faith we’re seeing in urban communities. With my Podcast I believe I’ve been able to capture a balance between providing listeners with a solid diet of apologetics content and an urban ‘flavor’. I believe in doing so I’ve created a platform that will draw people into apologetics that may otherwise not have been exposed to it.”
Adam has seen success in what he does, but he also sees that a great deal of work needs to be done. In the course of the interview, Coleman unburdens himself of a message he feels everyone ought to hear:
“There is no way for me to [say this] without being blunt. During slavery, Christianity was a vital internal resource for African slaves as they fought to survive that ordeal. As slaves were generally not taught to read, their engagement in Christianity was principally experiential (i.e. song, dance, oral tradition derived from Biblical themes) and devoid of theological resources. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, the ‘black’ church has not made the intellectual pursuit of God a component of what parishioners in black churches regularly receive. There is an imbalance within many, and I would say probably most, black churches that favors emotionalism and even anti-intellectualism over engaging the mind. Young African-Americans aren’t interested in ‘grandma’s religion’ if it means appealing to blind faith and emotions to base their lives on. Whether it’s by going to college and falling victim to an anti-Christian philosophy teacher or scrolling through Facebook and seeing a meme claiming that black people didn’t know anything about Christianity before slavery, young black Christians are faced with challenges to their faith that emotionalism won’t solve. They need information. I am a testament to that… We must equip our youth with the information they need to withstand the challenges to their faith and I would like to see African-American churches make a concerted effort to do so.
“Lastly, we cannot medicate injustice with anger. I am a firm believer that we ought to oppose injustice wherever it arises but we must be careful to not be consumed by it. I believe racial reconciliation within the church would be a powerful tool in bringing about racial reconciliation outside the church. To have a united Body of Christ in the face of the social unrest we are seeing in America today would be a potent display of the power of the gospel.”