Instead, God brought them, for the God described in the Bible is none other than the God who was already known in the framework of our traditional African religiosity. By: Lenny Miles Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) began in 1893. But to the disappointment of those theological exporters, this fish was not attracted by the bait. On the one hand they were driven by a strong desire to genuinely serve humanity and bring about material and social changes which would improve its quality of life. 1. In this overpowering environment, one simply accepted this stand and looked at the world from its perspectives. In the Zulu Kingdom Nomkhubulwane was known as the bringer of rain. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the World Council of Churches is a great witness of the Christian response to the prayer of our Lord that we may all be one. One important task, then, is to see the nature, the method and the implications of God’s revelation among African peoples, in the light of the biblical record of the same revelation. And this witness deserves one’s support through service and prayer. The missionaries who introduced the gospel to Africa in the past 200 years did not bring God to our continent. “Children, here is a nation that God The previous year I had published African Religions and Philosophy (Doubleday, 1969). This was an extremely liberating word in my theological thinking. There is not space here to argue the case for the role played by African religion in the establishment of the Christian faith in Africa. They constitute an important channel of the church’s prophetic witness today. Also, if you look to a map of Africa you will (Read: Nature Knows No Colour Line by J. Missions to Africa and South America Although Christianity had existed in Ethiopia since the 4th century, much of Africa remained a mission field into the 20th century. Currently I am about to complete a book on this question of the encounter between the biblical faith and African religion. My findings were used in teaching, but eventually I put them together in a book, Concepts of God in Africa, published by the British publisher SPCK (1970). It sensitized my thinking in many areas, one of these being the quest for Christian unity. Current articles and subscription information can be found at www.christiancentury.org. Africa occupies the 20% of the world area and has the 14% of its population. While planting churches is inevitably essential, it should not undermine the opportunity for the missionary’s spiritual formation through encountering believers from other cultures. Missionaries felt that if they could bring the word of God to these people, as well as modernize their villages and educate them, they would be able to … That which had been seen as the enemy of the gospel turns out (to me) to be indeed a very welcoming friend. We also acknowledge who we are and our past. The blog seeks to take the readers through a journey of how Ndumiso Cain's consciousness has metamorphed and also give a brief snippet on the book. They were names of one and the same God, the creator of the world, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ. That said, their efforts were not all that successful at the time. What impact did the missionaries have? David Livingstone: An African Hero In particular, the concepts about God provide one area of great commonality. About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features I want to walk with Jesus of Nazareth on the shores of Lake Galilee and the hillsides of Judea, through the gates of Jerusalem. -- Father Wolf Schmidt, SJ, St Canadians Walter Gowans, Roland Bingham, and American Thomas Kent had a vision to evangelize the 60 million unreached people of sub-Saharan Africa. I have received much in a short period. A. Rodgers, 1952. Dr. Mbiti is on the staff of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland. According to the Bible a man who hasn’t paid lobola is not married, this is true also with Africans. View all posts by ndumisocain. Deuteronomy 26:1-4 speaks of the feast of the first fruits known as ukweshwama/Umkhosi wenxwala in Nguni. Jesus himself was called “Son of David” and during his ministry David was long dead and was never resurrected (Acts 2:29). I have seen the quest more sharply. When missionaries came to Africa the village that they chose to settle in often welcomed them and gave them Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. When one answers “No!” to the question above, then we open flood gates to justify colonisation. With it, one began to explore afresh the realm of God’s revelation and other treasures of our faith. Most of the Jews had left Jerusalem before the ministry of Christ which explains the continued sacrificial systems in Africa. These armchair scholars went as far as believing that the sub-Saharan Africa is one country with one religious belief and practice. What factors are responsible for it? two localities in Africa to draw conclusion about the ontology of God, divinities and spirits in Africa. The Laws contained therein are communal and these Laws have been an integral way of life for Africans – UBUNTU – “You are because we are.”. - Ndumiso Cain. This number has since grown rapidly, to the point that in 1980 there are estimated to be 200 million Christians (or about 45 per cent of the population). The WCC’s very existence as a council of churches is a living hope. In Africa the traditional religions are a major source for the study of the African experience of God. So I read on and on, and conducted field research to learn more and more. That finished the interview. The secret between God and Abraham was and is widely practiced in many African ( Log Out /  Missionaries believed that they were acting in the interests of non-Western peoples, often defending them against the land-grabbing intentions of white settlers by encouraging them to accept the supposed protection of British colonial governments. In this case, so-called "salvation history" must widen its outreach in order to embrace the horizons of other peoples’ histories. Consequently, people are discovering that the biblical faith is not harmful to their religious sensibilities. There are other areas of exploration in which I continue to be engaged. Did he then reveal himself only in the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel and other personalities of the Bible? But this new Africa, he believed lay far in the future. He must have been active among African peoples as he was among the Jewish people. Since I myself had never heard any lectures on African religion, I set out to do research on the subject in order to teach the course adequately. In the previous article we discussed Gentiles (http://bit.ly/2en4Wvf) which then came back to Africa as missionaries. RESCUED FROM SLAVERY The … Most missionaries new to Africa believed Africans were lazy and were not using their land adequately so it was in their best interest for Europeans to use it. If Jesus is a Jewish boy and he claims that the church is his wife then he must have paid lobola for her. It may be, and needs to be, a qualified and critical Yes. This is, obviously, a general statement, one which needs detailed elaboration. Years of guidance by Christian missionaries and settlers would be needed to bring it into being. The first and most intriguing topic that immediately engaged my attention was the thinking of African peoples about God. I want to make a pilgrimage into Christ. A close geographical correlation exists between the location of African religion and the rapid expansion of the Christian faith. It is true to some extent. They will certainly be overwhelming, and I feel very excited about them. Missionaries of Africa have converged at the Catholic Shrine Namugongo, Uganda for celebrations of 150 years “sesquicentennial Jubilee” since they were founded in 1968 in Africa to spread the Gospel. In its place there emerged the word "also." Of course, behind all these factors is the Holy Spirit working through them. I completed my doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in 1963, the year that Honest to God, by J.A.T. They proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ. In fact, the Bible is African History. It is a religion derived from the era of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. Since the Bible tells me that God is the Creator of all things, his activities in the world must clearly go beyond what is recorded in the Bible. If they are two wavelengths, they make sense only when they move toward a convergence. ( Log Out /  On returning home, the learned professor wrote an article using my brief answer as his title. Revelation is given not in a vacuum but within particular historical experiences and reflections. In all African Tribes there are names of God that the missionaries did not teach to Africans but were commonly used, in fact imperialist knew the presence of the knowledge of God in Africa and sent in missionaries as their middle man (Refer to Letter from King Leopold II of Belgium to Colonial Missionaries, 1883-http://bit.ly/1EzqmyY). Earliest dates must all be considered approximate 33 – Great Commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations; Pentecost, a day in which 3000 Jews from a variety of Mediterranean Basin nations are converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Many people in Africa wanted education; and missionaries taught people to read, in order that they might understand the word of God. Or did the imperialist bring the missionaries to Africa? This statistical tilting of Christendom from the north to the south, after 2,000 years, holds tremendous prospects and challenges. But I am grateful for that one step I may be taking under the light of this vision. Most of the rituals are directly linked to the bible. On the other hand, Western missionaries come to Africa as a remnant of the Western church to prepare Africa to send missionaries to Europe in the future. Did Africans believe in God or was it the missionaries who brought God to Africa? I have been greatly enriched by working at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, 1974-1980. Instead, God brought them. My interpretation of Israel’s history demands a new look at the history of African peoples, among whom this same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has indeed been at work. In the book, the reader explores the metamorphosis of his consciousness. During the Babylonian Empire many Jews ran to Egypt and some went into the interior of Africa (Igbo). 817-820. But the basic truth seems to be that God’s revelation is not confined to the biblical record. But whatever the shortcomings of these and my other publications, the materials that went into these two have raised extremely important issues for me that have continued to engage my reflection. I simply and honestly answered him that "for us in Africa, God is not dead." We can list some obvious and often publicized factors. Missionaries are important because their goal is to bring the good news found in the Bible to people who have never heard it. I feel deeply the value of biblical studies in this exercise, and the contribution of biblical insights in this development. In one case the thinking and experience of the people produced a written record of God’s dealings with the Jewish people in particular. But I feel that the issue of looking at African history in light of the biblical understanding of history is clearly called for. As always in human history, no single answer to such a question will do. But in practical terms, there is a Christian Yes to African religiosity. That means colonisation was a fare price to pay for the gospel, for us being ignorant of God. But God’s dealings with the African people are recorded, nevertheless, in living form -- oral communication, rituals, symbols, ceremonies, community faith. Following a period of parish work in England, I went to teach at Makerere University, Uganda, where I remained for ten years until 1974. The book comprised ideas that I had gathered from 300 African peoples ("tribes" -- a term that today is sometimes used in derogatory ways). No doubt there still remain much research and reflection to be done in order to work out a consistent theological understanding of the issues entailed here. The Babylonian Empire many Jews ran to Egypt and some went into the Interior of Africa ( )! Not all that successful at the cross and we are now waiting for the wedding day as an. €¦ Africa of independent Christian nations would come into existence simply because was. 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