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Seeking to unite generations, the Rev. Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble wrote children and adult versions of his new book to affirm that God is the source of hope for every era and situation.
The book for adults is entitled, ‘Jesus, the Hope of Every Generation’ and the one for youth is ‘Hip Hop Hope: Jesus Makes Me Glad.’
“Each biblically based chapter offers insight on the good and bad of contemporary culture, with the goal of building bridges between baby boomers, the hip hop generation (my age group), and teenagers and children of the new millennium,” said Dr. Noble, the pastor of Crenshaw United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
“Cross-generational dialogue would bring us all together to work on the many problems Black people face in the United States and even beyond this country.
“Of course, talking and talking alone will not solve all of our problems, such as crime, the cradle to prison pipeline, economic injustice, and educational underachievement, but we will never solve problems if we fail to talk to each other and achieve some common ground,” he declared.
To encourage conversation between generations, the adult book covers contemporary topics including how to appreciate the hip-hop culture, developing an intergenerational worship experience that all age groups will enjoy, and imitating Jesus’ willingness to reach out to people that society often casts aside.
“In Chapter 4, ‘Glad For Salvation,’ I discuss Jesus’ meeting with Zaccheus, a known thief and traitor to his race, and how that meeting with a non-judgmental Jesus, in a crowd of judgmental church-folks, transformed Zaccheus’ life for the better,” noted Dr. Noble, who added, “If Jesus was willing to love all people regardless of their issues, then why can’t we?
“The youth version of the book takes it a step further and lifts up some real life success stories such as Michael Eric Dyson, Michelle Obama, and Michelle Alexander,” he explained.
“The book shows how these people have been willing to go beyond their own comfort zones and make a difference in the lives of others.”
While the values in the book appear directed mainly to Christians, Dr. Noble is finding that non-believers benefit from reading it as well.
“The most enthusiastic response I have gotten has been from those outside of the church who have said, ‘It’s good to know that Jesus welcomes all of us with open arms.’
“Often Christians can be so busy trying to protect and preserve God that we actually make it difficult for non-believers to know that God is not some stuffy, starchy white man on a throne ready to hit you with a lightning bolt whenever you have a so-called impure thought.
“We make arbitrary rules about the types of clothes people can wear, whether or not one can have a tattoo and be saved. These are man-made rules that I believe have absolutely nothing to do with the love of Jesus,” said Dr. Noble.
“I think this book will create lots of dialogue, which I believe is a healthy thing. My ultimate hope is that it will cause grandparents, parents and children to actually talk to one another and see that we have much more in common with other generations than we may think.”
Crenshaw United Methodist Church will host a book-signing by Pastor Noble on Saturday, August 17 at 4 p.m., at 3740 Don Felipe Drive in Los Angeles. Also, percussionist Fred Dinkins will perform. For information, call (323) 292-0141.
About the Author
A native of Little Rock, AR, Pastor Noble is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He graduated from the historic Central High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Angelo State University, a Master of Divinity degree at Morehouse School of Religion, and Doctor of Ministry at Ashland Theological Seminary.
Pastor Noble’s next book, ‘Praise Break,’ is set for release in 2014 and he is completing a third book entitled ‘Mad Enough To Cuss: Biblical Strategies for Handling Anger.’ Both are published by Abingdon Press.