Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Just wanted to share a fascinating article I found today. Atheist Matthew Parris explains why Christianity is necessary to turn Africa around as a nation.

Here's an excerpt:

"Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.

"Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the knowhow that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

"And I'm afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete."



Like a Mustard Seed said...

"...a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being..."

Amazing isn't it, that an atheist can recognize this fundamental aspect of the gospel, and how it is contrary to the ways of the world, while it is lost to so many who claim to represent the Kingdom...

A small correction said...

First, Africa is a continent composed of many, many nations, and Christianity has been on the continent since the book of Acts (see the Ethiopian eunuch). It then moved west to Libya (Cyrene) and Alexandria and was most notably the early African church produced Origen, Augustine, Tertullian and others.

Since that time, Christianity has been on the continent in Ethiopia and Egypt through the Orthodox church, in the former European colonies through the Roman Catholic and Reformed churches, and most recently through the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

Obviously, there is still much work to do, many battles to fight, but God has not left Himself without a witness on the continent of Africa.

Keith Giles said...

Yes, there are Christians in Afica aplenty, but this quote below illustrates the challenges they are going through as we bring Christianity to them but forget to make disciples:

"In 2008, Kenya shocked the world with its violent ethnic conflicts that produced a wave of house burnings and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Stories filled the news of machete-wielding men hacking their neighbors to death for belonging to a different tribe. How could such atrocities occur in a country where over 80% of the population claims to be Christian? Faustin Ntamushobora, who survived the Rwandan genocide and now works to reconcile tribal factions suggested this answer: “African’s are converting to Christianity, but they’re not being taught how to live it. These people are churchgoers, but they’re not disciples of Jesus Christ.” (from “The Biolan”, Spring ’08, p.20)."

Do we really need any more proof that making converts isn't good enough? We were commanded by our Lord to "Go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to do everything I have commanded".

Can we start making disciples now?