AbstractThis article entails a critical investigation of the role of Africa and Africans in the scheme of Salvation in the Old Testament. It identifies the terminology used to refer to Africa and Africans in the ancient period, and critically examines the salvific events in which God used Africa and Africans to deliver the children of Israel.
Adelakun, Adewale J. “A Theological Reflection on Mbiti’s Conception of Salvation in African Christianity.” NEBULA: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship 8, no. 1 (December 1, 2011): 25–33.
AbstractIn his book titled Bible and Theology in African Christianity, Mbiti shared his beliefs about some theological issues such as faith, prayer and salvation and how they are understood among African Christians. He was able to prove that Africans have internalized Christian beliefs to the extent that Christianity is no more regarded as a foreign religion but a traditional religion. He was able to show how traditional religion greatly contributed to the spread of Christian beliefs. This paper attempts to reappraise his views on salvation from a Christological point of view. The paper is of the view that Africans’ understanding of salvation as total deliverance not for sin alone but from all misfortunes is informed by untoward socio-economic situation in the continent. The methodology adopted is theological method.
Adeyemo, Tokunboh. “African Traditional Concept of Salvation in the Light of Biblical Teaching.” MDiv, Biola University, 1976.
Ahoua, Raymond. The Transference of the Three Mediating Institutions of Salvation from Caiaphas to Jesus: A Study of Jn 11:45-54 in the Light of the Akan Myth of the Crossing of a River. Bern: Peter Lang, 2008.
Abstract«It is better one man dies than the whole nation perishes» (Jn 11: 50). Caiaphas' sentence goes beyond ethical principles and religious expectations. It appears as the saying of a cynic politician. Besides, it is seen as the perfidious advice of a corrupted high priest to the members of the Sanhedrin. Who is this man on whose saying a school is formed? Who is this man who played the most important role in the death of Jesus? Indeed Caiaphas' sentence gives rise to the following relevant question: is the prohibition of killing (Dt. 5: 17), even the killing of a single individual in order to save a whole nation, legitimate? Thus, many issues that are associated with this high priest are associated with Jesus. The book is mainly an exegetical and comparative analysis of Jn 11: 45-54 and the Akan myth of the crossing of the river. By providing new theological insights into Caiaphas link to Jesus' death, it gives pertinent answers to the above questions.
Akangbe, Michael F. “Salvation of Soul and Body for Onesimus in Philemon.” UMTC Journal of Theological Studies 1 (1995): 1–15.
AbstractAfter considering Paul's theological categories and the concept of salvation in the OT, the article shows how the theme of salvation cuts across his whole letter to the Romans, and how he found the historical, christological, soteriological, and eschatological implications of the condition of humankind in the fall narratives in Genesis 3. It concludes that Paul's teaching on salvation can only influence Nigerian Christians who have totally imbibed the Judeo-Christian beliefs as written in the Scriptures.--D.J.H. Abstract Number: NTA47-2003-1-311
Anyanwu, H. O. “Salvation in African Tradition in Biblical Concept: The Igbo Perspective.” African Journal of Biblical Studies 6, no. 2 (1991): 123–29.
AbstractStudies on African Religions have neglected the topic of animal sacrifice in African Initiated Churches. I examine the role and meaning of sacrifice in a Liberian church called the United Church of Salvation I encountered over two decades ago. The church observed two forms of sacrifice: a Sin Sacrifice that mandated immolation of a goat; and a Life Sacrifice that mandated immolation of a ram. Animal sacrifice provided an effective ritual strategy that obviated direct accusations of witchcraft, yet reminded each member of his or her responsibility to the moral order of the church. The church's practice of sacrifice, however, would change with the emergence of Diaspora branches, new affiliations, and circuiting with global Pentecostalism. I contend that sacrifice needs to be understood in terms of ritual struggle, denoting an agonistic theme that continues whether sacrifice persists or disappears.
Bruner, Jason. “‘The Testimony Must Begin at Home’: The Life of Salvation and the Remaking of Homes in the East African Revival in Southern Uganda, ca 1930-1955.” Journal of Religion in Africa 44, no. 3–4 (2014): 309–32.
AbstractThe late colonial era in Uganda was not an easy time to keep families intact. Colonial officials, missionaries, and concerned East Africans offered their diagnoses of the problems and prescriptions for responding to the dilemma. In this context, Balokole Anglican revivalists articulated new patterns and ideals of family life. These new patterns of family life were not uniform across Uganda or East Africa, but they did share common characteristics that were derived from the spiritual disciplines and religious beliefs of the Balokole revival. As such, this essay argues that the revival movement was not simply a new message of eternal salvation or primarily a form of dissent, but rather a means through which a group of African Christians sought to address quotidian domestic problems and concerns of late-colonial East Africa
Bruner, Jason. Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda. Vol. 75. Rochester, NY; -: University of Rochester Press; Boydell & Brewer, 2017.
AbstractStarting in the mid-1930s, East African revivalists (or, Balokole: "the saved ones") proclaimed a message of salvation, hoping to revive the mission churches of colonial East Africa. Frustrated by what they believed to be the tepid spiritual state of missionary Christianity, they preached that in order to be saved, converts had to confess publicly the specific sins they had committed, putting them "in the light." By "walking in the light" with other revival brethren, converts reoriented their lives, articulating this reorientation in the stark terms of light and darkness: they had left their dark past and now lived in the light of salvation. This book uses missionary and Colonial Office archives, contemporary newspapers, archival collections in Uganda, anthropologists' field notes, oral histories, and interviews by the author in order to reexamine the first twenty years of the East African revivalmovement (roughly, 1935-1955). Focusing upon the creative, controversial, and remarkable efforts of the ordinary African Christians who comprised the vast majority of the movement, it challenges previous historical analyses that have seen in the revival the replication of British evangelical holiness spirituality or, alternatively, a manifestation of late colonial dissent. Instead, this study argues, the Balokole revival was a movement through which African Christians articulated and developed a unique spiritual lifestyle, one that responded creatively to the sociopolitical contexts of late colonial East Africa. Jason Bruner is Assistant Professor of Global Christianityat Arizona State University.
Buthelezi, M. “Salvation as Wholeness.” In A Reader in African Christian Theology, edited by J. Parratt, 95–102. London: SPCK, 1987.
Cahill, Lisa Sowle. “AIDS, Evil, and Salvation: African Light on Faith in Jesus Christ.” In HIV & AIDS in Africa: Christian Reflection, Public Health, Social Transformation, by Jacquineau Azetsop, 389–97. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2016.
AbstractThis article which is taken form my book African Christianity in Britain will be devoted to how salvation is understood in African Christianity. The first task will be to describe how salvation is understood on the African continent. This will be followed and compared with the understanding of salvation among African Christians in Britain. The comparison will be based on material from a variety of sources, but most particularly the work of African Instituted Church preachers.
Chitsiku, D. A Comparative Analysis of the Concept of Salvation in Christianity and ATRS. Harare: United Theological College, 2001.
Conradie, Ernst M. “The Church and the Environment : Seven Stations towards the Sanctification of the Whole Earth : Church and Environment.” Scriptura : Journal for Contextual Hermeneutics in Southern Africa 107, no. 1 (January 1, 2011): 156–70.
AbstractThis contribution offers a broad orientation regarding theological discourse on the church and the environment. The question is what the church as church can do in addressing environmental threats. The eschatological uniqueness of the church is taken into account, as well as the different dimensions of Christian witness (marturia), namely kerygma, diakonia, koinonia and leitourgia. The argument is structured in the form of seven spiritual 'stations' towards the sanctification of the whole earth. The thesis is that the 'and' in the phrase 'church and environment' requires theological reflection. If we also reflect on the situatedness of the church in the environment, this opens up possibilities to see the distinctive place of the church within the larger household of God - which would then also offer a theological re-description of the term 'environment'.
Conradie, Ernst M. “The Salvation of the Earth from Anthropogenic Destruction: In Search of Appropriate Soteriological Concepts in an Age of Ecological Destruction.” Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture & Ecology 14, no. 2/3 (August 2010): 111–40.
AbstractThis article offers a conceptual map of soteriological discourse in the field of Christian ecotheology. On the basis of an adaptation of Gustaf Aulén's famous analysis in Christus Victor of three types of atonement, the following three soteriological models are identified and made relevant for Christian ecotheology: a) God's victory over the forces of evil, death and destruction; b) Reconciliation amidst alienation; and c) Moral influence in the form of environmental policy making. It is proposed that these may be related on the basis of discerning the present consequences of human sin in the many forms of evil, the deepest (past) roots of such evil in human sin and the need to limit the future consequences of evil.
Conradie, Ernst M. “What Is the Place of the Earth in God’s Economy? Doing Justice to Creation, Salvation and Consummation.” In Christian Faith and the Earth: Current Paths and Emerging Horizons in Ecotheology, edited by Ernst M. Conradie, Sigurd Bergmann, Celia Deane-Drummond, and Denis Edwards, 65–96. London: T&T Clark, 2014.
AbstractChristianity has often been accused for being complicit in ecological destruction. In response, Christian ecotheology offers both a Christian critique of environmental destruction and an ecological critique of Christianity. It thus encourages an ecological reformation of the Christian tradition for the sake of the whole earth. This volume focuses such a dual critique on the content and significance of the Christian faith in order to confront those aspects that may undermine an environmental praxis, ethos and spirituality. Each of the essays explores one of the core Christian symbols, seeks to capture the current state of the debate in this regard, identifies emerging horizons for such an ecological reformation and invites conversation on the road ahead. This volume includes essays on the trinity, Christology, pneumatology, creation, anthropology, natural suffering, providence, sin and salvation, the nature, governance, ministries and missions of the church, eschatological consummation, a Christian ethos, the role of liturgy, religious plurality andunderlying methodological problems. It thus complements several other discourses in ecotheology on biblical hermeneutics, a retrieval of particular traditions, environmental ethics, animal studies, ecclesial praxis, Christian missions and religion and ecology. The volume captures insights emerging from a collaborative research project on 'Christian Faith and the Earth' in which more than one hundred leading ecotheologians from six continents participated since 2007. It builds on the culminating conference of this project held in Cape Town in August 2012.It extends the conversation on the road ahead through inputs from contributing authors and various respondents.
Conradie, Ernst M. Creation and Salvation: Dialogue on Abraham Kuyper’s Legacy for Contemporary Ecotheology. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
AbstractEcological destruction is taking place on such a scale that it prompts the need to make sense of the world in which we live and of this moment in history. This study explores the ecological significance of seeing the world as the whole household of the triune God and, more specifically, in terms of God's acts of house-holding (economy), including creation, salvation, and eschatological consummation. (Series: Studies in Religion and the Environment / Studien zur Religion und Umwelt - Vol. 10) [Subject: Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, Ecology]
Daneel, Marthinus L. “African Independent Church Pneumatology and the Salvation of All Creation.” International Review of Mission 82, no. 326 (1993): 143–66.
AbstractFocuses on the birth, proliferation and phenomenal growth of sub-Saharan African independent churches. Origin of churches through a variety of schismatic processes; Acceptance and application of scripture; Belief in a triune God; Pervasive presence of an indwelling Holy Spirit.
De Villiers, Pieter G. R. “The Eschatological Celebration of Salvation and the Prophetic Announcement of Judgment : The Message of Revelation 8:1-6 in the Light of Its Composition.” Neotestamentica 41, no. 1 (January 1, 2007): 67–96.
AbstractThis article investigates the composition of the heavenly scenario in Revelation 8:1-6 and the implications of composition for the understanding of this passage. The first section discusses some of the major problems of New Testament scholars with the coherence of the passage. In response to these concerns about its composition, the well structured form of the passage is analysed in terms of textual and intertextual links. The article finally spells out how the composition of this passage determines its twofold message of salvation and judgment.
Dillon-Malone, Clive. “Salvation, Healing and the Transformation of Consciousness in Some Indigenous Churches of Zambia.” Mission Studies 2, no. 1 (1985): 107–8.
Du Preez, Jannie. “The Exodus Character of Biblical Salvation.” In Salvation Today for South Africa: Report on a Consultation of the Missiological Institute at Lutheran Theological College, Mapumulo, Natal, September 11-20, 1973, 19–40. Paperbacks of the Missiological Institute at LTC, Mapumulo, No.2. Durban, South Africa: Lutheran Publishing House, 1973.
AbstractThe hymns in the Apocalypse of John function as interpretative commentary on decisive events in the unfolding of the plot. From narratological perspective, it is clear that the reader becomes involved in responsive worshipping through association with the hymns. The reader, representing the faithful, experiences a catharsis in associating with the hymns, to live from the perspective that God's kingly rule is visually manifested through the decisive Christ-event. From an analysis of 12:10-10 and 15:3-4 it becomes even more clear that the struggle between good and evil, represented spatially in heaven and on earth respectively has been won by God. Therefore, the faithful have reason to praise God for his deeds, ways and righteous acts and the fact that his kingly rule and salvation have arrived on earth.
Du Rand, Jan A. “The New Jerusalem as Pinnacle of Salvation : Text (Rev 21:1-22:5) and Intertext.” Neotestamentica 38, no. 2 (January 1, 2004): 125–53.
AbstractTo a large extent, the apocalyptic eschatology of the Apocalypse is shaped within the framework of soteriology. The descent from heaven of the new Jerusalem is the eschatological fulfilment of Old Testament as well as early Jewish apocalyptic expectations within the restorational frame. Particularly Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zechariah have made meaningful contributions in this regard. The rebuilding of the temple within the relationship of the heavenly Jerusalem to the new Jerusalem is of utmost importance. The architectural elements of the new Jerusalem and the eschatological blessings were expected in a couple of early Jewish writings. The co-textual framework as well as the textual analysis of 21:1-22:5, with the exegetical results, make up the last part of the discussion.
Du Toit, Philip La Grange. “The Salvation of ‘All Israel’ in Romans 11:25–27 as the Salvation of Inner-Elect, Historical Israel in Christ.” Neotestamentica 49, no. 2 (2016): 417–52.
AbstractIn this article, prevalent interpretations of Romans 11:25–27, which envision Israel as a separate entity apart from the church or understand Israel ecclesiologically, are criticised on the basis of (1) the anachronistic relationship of current Judaism with the Ἰουδαῖοι/Ἰσραήλ in Paul, (2) the constraints posed by the connotations inherent to these designations in the time of the Second Temple, and (3) Paul’s thought on Israel and the identity in Christ outside of Romans 9–11. The terms Paul uses and the grammar he utilises in Romans 11:25–27 are re-examined in respect of the context of the letter to the Romans and the larger context of the Pauline corpus. The salvation of “all Israel” (Rom 11:26) is interpreted as the salvation of ancient, inner-elect Israel, in distinction from national Israel (outer-elect), who lived before the Christ-event.
Ekem, John D. K. New Testament Concepts of Atonement in an African Pluralistic Setting. Accra: SonLife Press, 2005.
AbstractThe article intends to show that community in Nigeria contributes effectively to the experience of salvation as a concrete reality in daily life if salvation is exposed in African cultural context. The varied activities of the Annang independent churches examined betray (in contrast to the mission churches) strong traits of this culture and show how the Christian value, salvation, is brought home to the Africans. Consequently, the old churches face a massive drift of their members to the new ones. If Christianity is to maintain its value in Africa, its truths must be cast in African cultural moulds.
Enang, Kenneth. “Concept of Salvation in the Nigerian Independent Churches.” Neue Zeitschrift Für Missionswissenschaft 37, no. 1 (1981): 8.
Falconer, Robert. “Veni Sanctus Spiritus: The Coming of the Holy Spirit in Inaugurated Eschatology and the Emergence of an Enchanted African Christian Society” Conspectus Special Edition (December 16, 2018): 95–115.
AbstractIt is argued in this paper that the Holy Spirit is an agent of an inaugurated eschatology, the tight tension of the kingdom today and the kingdom to come. The Holy Spirit comes offering much more than the charismata, he comes as the eschatological Spirit bringing gifts of change and renewal for an eschatological reality (of which the charismata are a part). Such a reality finds its home primarily in the eschatological community, the church. Pentecostalisation has enjoyed considerable influence in Africa, a continent that is traditionally enchanted. Consequently, Africa is giving way to the emergence of an enchanted Christian society where traditional worldviews and a new form of Christianity synthesise. The effects are significant, sometimes laudable and encouraging, but at times troubling, especially when we consider pentecostalism's elevation of capitalism, the growing theology of prosperity, and syncretism with African Traditional Religion (ATR). This article explores a theology of the coming Spirit of the resurrected Christ as an agent of inaugurated eschatology whose function is to shape and sanctify the ethos of such a Christian society. The renewal of the Spirit's work in this re-envisioned enchanted community is to work in and through his people in the spirit of koinonia and social transformation, freeing Africans from misplaced desires and religious demands, bringing peace, working with them in nurturing the disenfranchised, and caring for his creation. It is argued that through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the enchanting of Africa will flourish.
Fatokun, Samson A. “The Concept of Salvation in the Old Testament Dispensation and in African Indigenous Churches.” African Journal of Biblical Studies 22, no. 2 (2005): 15–31.
Folarin, George. “The Origin, Development and a Brief Appraisal of the Doctrine of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria.” HTS Theological Studies 69, no. 1 (December 1, 2012): 1–8.
AbstractThis article traces the development of the Christ Apostolic Church's (CAC) doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, its current official stance and the church ministers' interpretations of the doctrine. To gather data for this work, focus-group discussions were held with groups of CAC ministers in 1992 and 2012. Data gathered were analysed. Selected leaders of CAC were interviewed, and the data from the two sources were compared, interpreted and discussed in terms of related literature. A theological appraisal concluded the work. The findings are that, whilst CAC tenets appear to conform to the Classical Pentecostal model, the opinions of the church's ministers are divided along Pentecostal and Evangelical lines. The official view of the CAC is that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is distinct from the initial work of salvation and that the visible signs of receiving this baptism are multiple, but there are significant disagreements amongst the church ministers to this. The appraisal reveals that the tenet of the church needs to be reworked to conform to the teaching of the Scripture.
Gaba, Christian R. “Man’s Salvation: Its Nature and Meaning in African Traditional Religion.” In Christianity in Independent Africa, edited by Edward W. Fasholé-Luke, Richard Gray, Adrian Hastings, and Godwin Tasie, 389–401. London: R. Collings, 1978.
Godwin, Colin R., and Saphano R. Chol. “‘God Gave This Land to Us’: A Biblical Perspective on the Tension in South Sudan between Tribal Lands, Ethnic Identity and the Breadth of Christian Salvation.” Mission Studies: Journal of the International Association for Mission Studies 30, no. 2 (October 2013): 208–19.
AbstractLike many parts of Africa, South Sudan has experienced ethnic animosities which have led to violent clashes, destruction of property, and loss of life. Many of these conflicts are over land and resources and are rooted in a spiritual attachment to traditional tribal lands which are seen as gifts of God to both steward and protect. In dialogue with an African theology of place, this paper seeks to propose biblical foundations for ethnic coexistence, as seen in Acts 17:22-31, and to examine how Paul's Athenian sermon balances the ethnic particularities of land and tribe with the universal call to Christian salvation. Drawing on twenty interviews with South Sudanese nationals, this paper uses an integrated research method, accessing theological, biblical, and sociological perspectives to ask whether Acts 17 might suggest an approach to issues of land and tribalism in South Sudan.
Golo, Ben-Willie K. “Redeemed from the Earth?: Environmental Change and Salvation Theology in African Christianity.” Scriptura 111 (2012): 348–61.
AbstractThe growth and development within African Christianity have attracted the attention of Christian theological researchers in recent decades. However, this has obviously not witnessed a corresponding growth in environmental theology. This paper argues that this is due to the human-centred and otherworldly nature of the thinking about salvation – a way of thinking which African Christians have not only inherited from missionary Christianity but also radicalised. The paper argues that for African Christians to better configure salvation theology to creation faith there is the need for configuring Jesus Christ through an ecological lens and consequently correlating the implications of the theological claims to salvation wrought through Him to the salvation of creation. Consequently, in this paper, I do a theological ecological anatomy of salvation theology in African Christianity, as it is currently, and explore a constructive configuration of salvation theology from the perspective of creation faith.
Han, Yong Seung. “The Understanding of God in African Theology : Cotributions of John Samuel Mbiti and Mercy Amba Oduyoye.” Thesis, University of Pretoria, 2013.
AbstractThis study investigates how Mbiti and Oduyoye articulate their understanding of God in connection with the African traditional religio-cultural heritage to make the concept of God to become relevant to African Christians and to help African Christians feel at home in the Christian faith. Chapter 1 briefly describes the background of the study, the problem statement, the purpose of the study, the research hypothesis, methodology, delimitation, and structure of the study. Chapter 2 provides a historical sketch of origins and development of African theology and diverse types of African theology. This chapter maintains that African theology emerged not only as a theological reaction to the dominant Western interpretation of the gospel in Africa, but also as a theological attempt to secure the African cultural identity by reaffirming the African past. Chapter 3 describes the basic beliefs in African traditional religions, several African ethnic groups’ concepts of God, and the African theologians’ Christianization of the African God by employing Christian theological terms. This chapter concludes that it is not possible to presume a homogenous or one unified concept of God in Africa. One and the same God whom all Africans have worshipped is not real. In chapter 4, Mbiti’s understanding of God is scrutinized in relation to his methodology, the African concept of time, his understanding of revelation and of salvation. Mbiti has maintained African monotheism and ATR(s) as a praeparatio evangelica and has arrived at his conclusion that the God revealed in the Bible is the same as the God worshipped in ATR(s). This chapter criticizes Mbiti’s way of Christian theological interpretation of anthropological data of the African concepts of God. Chapter 5 presents Oduyoye’s understanding of God, her methodology, the status of African women in ATR(s) and the African church, her appreciation of salvation, of the Bible, and of the locus of experience. In Oduyoye’s theology, women’s experience becomes a crucial factor for doing theology, and salvation is understood as liberation from all oppressive conditions. Her understanding of God is closely connected with the theme of liberation. Chapter 6 examines the similarities and differences between the two theologians’ understanding of God, critically compares their way of understanding the interplay of the gospel and African culture, and categorizes the two theologians’ ways with their models of contextualization: Mbiti’s gospel-culture oriented model of contextualization and Oduyoye’s gospel-liberation oriented model of contextualization.
By a comparative-dialogical study of the two theologians’ models of contextualization, this chapter attempts to make a dialogue possible between the two, and suggests the interculturation model of contextualization in which each theology keeps its own theological characteristic and has an open mind to learn from the other through mutual understanding. It aims to overcome the absolutism of contextualization, syncretism, cultural relativism, and provincialism, to keep a balance between locality and catholicity, and to affirm cultural identity and Christian identity. On the basis of the interculturation model of contextualization, this chapter proposes some criteria for African Evangelical theology in order to do a biblically faithful and practically relevant theology in Africa. This study also suggests some guidelines to articulate the understanding of God so that it has theological relevance and legitimacy to African Christians as well as to Christians worldwide. Chapter 7, as the final chapter, gives a general summary and concluding suggestions for further research related to the subject of African theology.
Hinga, Teresia M. “An African Understanding of Salvation.” Thesis, University of Nairobi, 1980.
AbstractThe religious situation in Kenya is characterized by a noticeable proliferation and diversity. This is mainly because freedom of worship is constitutionally protected, and thus, most world religions are represented.
It is Christianity, however, which dominates the religious scene in Kenya. Christianity itself, however, is not a monolithic phenomenon, but is characterized by division and denorainationalism. This has been explained as a legacy from the missionaries who introduced Christianity
along denominational lines such that it has retained a fragmented appearance . This explanation, however, fails to account for the Churches which exist independently of the traditional denominations. These independent Churches are about 6,000 in Africa, and the numbers are increasing.
The question pertaining to the causes of this tendency to schism has been asked. The reasons given are mainly non-theological, and it is argued that independency is a result of the Africans’ reaction against the cultural- political imperialism implicit in the imposition of Christianity
It has also been pointed out that schism could also result from religious motives, particularly disagreement on theological issues. Students of the phenomenon of independency
however, have tended to concentrate on the non- theolpgical causes, at the expense of the theological ones which may be equally important.
In this study, we take an independent group, popularly known, among the Agikuyu as Ahonoki (saved ones), and we explore, to what extent theological factors were behind their separation from the established Church.
It is evident from our case study that, though sociological factors were not absent in the formation of this group, the theological factors were the dominant ones. In particular, the Ahonoki feel that they differ from other Christians in their understanding of the issue of salvation,
an issue that is central to Christianity as a whole. Their very name Ahonoki, which they have earned due to their explicit claim of being saved implies their preoccupation with salvation.
Their exlusive claim of being saved, has also earned the Ahonoki some perjorative attitudes from non-members, who, on this account consider them as Pharisaical. They, on their side, are suspicious of the non-Ahonoki whom they regard as nominal Christians.
In this context, we may ask what is the cause of this variant interpretation of the cardinal theological issue of salvation. Could this variant interpretation be a result of a piece-meal-interpretation or a mis-interpre- tation of the scriptures which is the common basis for Christian doctrine. - —
In short, thesis attempts to answer two questions.
(1) To what extent is disagreement on
theological issues a causative factor in division within Christianity?
(2) To what extent is disagreement on
theological issues due to a piece-meal approach to the scriptures?
When we analyse the causes which led the Ahonoki to secede from the established Church, we conclude that they secede^mainly because of disagreement on certain theological issues, particularly that of salvation. Secondly,
there is evidence that these theological differences are mainly due to a failure to view the scriptures as a whole.
The thesis therefore, in conclusion, points out the need for a comprehensive view of the scriptures, if discrepancy
of opinion on theological issues, which may lead to schism, is to be minimized. Our recommendation then, is that, viewing the scriptures more wholistically, may take us a long way on the path of unity and tolerance, rather than division and exclusiveness which have riddled Christianity since its introduction to this country
Igba, Jacob T., and Henk G. Stoker. “Salvation in Acts 16: Meaning and Missional Implication Derived from the Sociohistorical Method.” Verbum et Ecclesia 39, no. 1 (2018): 1–9.
AbstractIn Acts 16:17, a slave girl proclaims: 'these men are the servants of the Most High God who have come to show a way of salvation!' The Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30 asks, 'What must I do to be saved?' What do they have in common regarding their understanding of the meaning of salvation? How is it similar or different from the understanding of salvation in Africa? Are these in line with the salvation narrative aim of Luke in Acts 16? Through the sociohistorical method, this paper explores the Greco-Roman context of the slave girl and the jailer. In this process, a contextual similarity between the Greco-Roman context and the African context is identified and the impact of these contexts on the understanding of the meaning of salvation is examined. Placed in conversation with the Lukan meaning of salvation in the passage, an alternative meaning of salvation emerges, along with implications for the Greco-Roman and African contexts.
INTRADISCIPLINARY AND/OR INTERDISCIPLINARY IMPLICATIONS: This article shows interdisciplinarity by an engagement with a theological concept through the utilisation of the sociohistorical method in generating meaning and understanding of a New Testament text. It navigates the disciplines of New Testament, Biblical Studies, Mission and Apologetics.
Igba, Jacob, Risimati Hobyane, and Henk Stoker. “Salvation in Acts 16:16-40: A Socio-Historical Exploration of the Graeco-Roman Understanding.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 75 (October 24, 2019).
AbstractThis article demonstrates the value of understanding the socio-historical background of a specific text in the task of interpretation and the search for meaning. This is done here by utilising the socio-historical method in the search for meaning and understanding of the concept of salvation in the narrative about the slave girl in Acts 16. Substantial integration of the understanding of words and concepts at the time of writing the text and the cultural and social background is relevant and leads to an in-depth understanding of the Biblical text and is therefore essential for thorough New Testament studies. Through the socio-historical method, the article explores the Graeco-Roman understanding of salvation as a necessary precursor to arrive at the meaning of salvation in Acts 16. Theos upsistos [Most High God] and the Lukan usage of πνεῦμα Πύθωνα [python spirit] are explored in the light of their Graeco-Roman allusion in relation to the girl who was a slave in the narrative of Acts 16. The article argues that Luke’s point in the narrative is to expose, engage, challenge and counter the long-held assumptions about what is the meaning of salvation and how to obtain it. The article contributes an exemplification of the use of the socio-historical method towards the broader and in-depth understanding and credible meaning-making of the Acts 16 text. The article challenges assumptions about the point of the text in the narrative of Acts 16 and opens up possibilities for further interpretation that could be found meaningful to modern-day interpreters of the text.
Kä Mana. Christians and Churches of Africa: Salvation in Christ and Building a New African Society. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
AbstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research project interprets Calvin’s views on the work of the Spirit in sanctification. It
then evaluates Calvin’s views from a Luo perspective. The study of Calvin focuses on the
1559 edition of the Institutes, while the evaluative study of his views is taken from the
perspective of the Luo of the Africa Inland Church (A.I.C.) of Kenya. The Africa Inland
Church was founded under the influence of Calvin’s legacy, particularly concerning matters
regarding Christian sanctification. Therefore an evaluative study of Calvin’s views from a
Luo perspective is relevant.
The study of Calvin focuses on Calvin’s views on “the Christian life” and specifically “the
Christian life as a life of Grace and Gratitude.” It is from these views that the evaluative
study of his views is undertaken from a Luo perspective. The chapters in the study are
developed in the following manner:
Chapter One forms the introduction to the study itself. It defines the “problem statement” of
the research project and demonstrates what is being investigated in the study. It outlines the
“purpose statement” of the research project and makes clear the contribution being made. The
“purpose statement” outlines the perspectives of Calvin’s views that are explored in the study.
The statement further points to the fact that a thorough study of the Luo also develops in the
process of the research project. This chapter of the study further states the limits of the study
of Calvin and that of the evaluation of his views. It states that the study only focuses on the
perspectives of Calvin’s views already outlined and the evaluative study of his views from the
perspective of the Luo members of the Africa Inland Church of Kenya.
Chapter Two centres on a study of how Calvin’s influence found its way into the Christian
practices and beliefs of the Luo. The chapter outlines a number of works published on the
study of Calvin through which Calvin’s influence is seen; a brief outline of Calvin’s life
demonstrating the nature of influences upon his own life through which he acquired skills that
subsequently became useful to him in his contribution towards the development of the
doctrine of the Holy Spirit; the cultural background of the Luo people; as well as the nature
and characteristics of the Christian beliefs and practices which form the background of the
Luo members of the Africa Inland Church. Such Christian beliefs form the basis on which
Calvin’s influence on the Church and the Luo people is evaluated. Furthermore, this chapter
of the study forms the basis upon which the succeeding chapters in the study are developed. It
is necessary to understand the manner in which Calvin’s influence found its way into the
Christian beliefs and practices of the Luo before interpreting Calvin’s views and evaluating
such views from a Luo perspective.
Chapter Three focuses on the study of Calvin’s views. It explores Calvin’s understanding of
the work of the Spirit in the sanctification of “the Christian life” and specifically of “the
Christian life as a life of Grace and Gratitude.” Concerning “the Christian life,” the study
demonstrates that Calvin understood the Spirit as the power that effects sanctification in the
Christian life, firstly, by bringing forth faith in an individual, and secondly, by working
through the aspects of faith, namely repentance, Christian life (a life of righteousness) and
The aspect of justification, however, which Calvin also discusses under “the Christian life,”
though an activity through which renewal into the Image of God takes place by the work of
the Spirit, is not a process through which sanctification takes place. The Spirit is only
involved in the work of justification in the sense that justification is imputed by God who
exists in Three Persons (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) and the Spirit
therefore forms part of the Being and function of the Godhead. Furthermore, concerning Calvin’s understanding of “the Christian life as a life of Grace and
Gratitude,” the study demonstrates that Calvin understood the Spirit to sanctify believers
through the elements of the Word, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and the Church. Calvin
understood the elements as means through which the grace of God is attained and gratitude is
demonstrated to God for His work in creation and salvation. Firstly, God’s gracious “acts”
are extended to the people through the elements and, secondly, individuals, as they observe
the elements, honour God, hence expressing gratitude to him, since the elements have been
instituted by him for this purpose.
Chapter Four deals with the evaluation of Calvin’s views from the perspective of the Luo of
the Africa Inland Church. It reconsiders Calvin’s views discussed in chapter three and
compares those views to those of the Luo. Consequently, a Luo response to Calvin’s views
develops. The chapter demonstrates that the Luo of the Africa Inland Church interpret the
work of the Spirit in “the Christian life” and “the Christian life as a life of Grace and
Gratitude” in a manner more or less similar to that of Calvin. Furthermore, the chapter
demonstrates vividly that, in spite of coming from a cultural background where belief in the
ancestral spirits is firmly rooted, the Luo make a distinction between the “Holy Spirit” and the
“ancestral spirits;” hence they submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in their Christian beliefs
and practices in spite of the fact that the concept “Holy Spirit” is translated in the Luo Bible,
the Muma Maler, as “Roho Maler” which, in plain “Dholuo” (Luo language), just means
“Clean Spirit.” The term “Clean Spirit” does not bear any reference to God the Father and
God the Son, compared to Calvin’s interpretation of the identity of the term “Holy Spirit.”
Chapter Five provides the Conclusion. It is in this chapter that the views of Calvin and the
Luo of the Africa Inland Church are reassessed. The chapter outlines the fact that Calvin’s
views have indeed had a remarkable influence on the Luo of the Africa Inland Church as
evidenced in the manner in which they respond to Calvin’s views. The Luo understand the
work of the Spirit in the sanctification of “the Christian life” and “the Christian life as a life of
Grace and Gratitude” in more or less the same way as Calvin did. This implies the enormous
influence of Calvin’s views on the people. Furthermore, the chapter also points out that,
though the Luo Christians understand who “Roho Maler” (Clean Spirit) is and understand his
related work in the sanctification of a believer, when the term “Clean Spirit” is used in a
context where the audience consists of non-believers, the non-believers in particular are not
able to make a clear distinction between what the “Holy Spirit” and “ancestral spirits” are,
since people from a Luo cultural background believe that not all spirits are bad. Some would
be seen as good depending on how they relate to the living – whether they return to haunt the
living or not. The “good spirits” may therefore be understood as “Clean Spirits” by
unbelievers. The chapter therefore concludes by offering two necessary principles for
interpreting the Holy Spirit in a Luo Christian cultural dimension. Those principles are,
firstly, that of focusing on the study of the Scripture and secondly, understanding the
dimension of “Community” in a cultural background where Luo traditional cultural values are
the dominant values.
Finally, the chapter points out that, though Calvin’s views are useful when interpreting Luo
views, the Luo need to focus, more than anything else, on the study of Scripture, in this case,
the Muma Maler – as Calvin also based his interpretation on Scripture.
Kato, Byang H. “The Theology of Eternal Salvation.” In Issues in African Christian Theology, edited by Tite Tienou, Mark Shaw, and Samuel Ngewa, 192–98. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, 1998.
AbstractThis dissertation discusses the topic of baptismal convergence in relation to sacramental baptism. It is a theological exercise arising from pastoral concerns, for which both Biblical and theological answers are considered and required. The study relates to the enduring problems surrounding the practice of infant baptism in the MCSA, with concomitant requests for rebaptism. Statistical and anecdotal information drawn from across a number of sources confirm that, in some regions of the world, the practice of infant baptism is in decline, with an alarming drop in membership growth from new conversions. Methodist Ministers also struggle to cope pastorally with members who, despite being loyal, take issue with MCSA baptismal policy and practice. These members either feel obliged to leave the Church, or are compelled to do so, because of the MCSA’s ruling that baptism is non-repeatable. Whilst in the past the MCSA has blamed the intrusion of rebaptism into sacrament squarely on Baptist and Pentecostal denominational influences, indications are that the MCSA’s baptismal woes also derive from its own understanding and practice of paedo-baptism. Attempts at resolution emanating from the WCC Lima Text Baptismal Directive seem however to have provoked new attempts at unity, and this enquiry into the possibility of the conjoining of two baptisms with current MCSA paedo-baptist practice is seen as a possible valid measure intended to bring unity to the Church, overcome the problem of rebaptism, and allow this rite to become more sacramentally and evangelistically effectual. Qualitative insights concerning baptismal understanding have been obtained from as wide a spectrum of scholars as possible, along with other sources of theological debate, and from various paradigms of consensus which are being tried and tested in various parts of the World Church. The notion of convergence as a possible alternative to rebaptism arises from the idea of combining both baptisms into MCSA practice in sacramental and evangelical tandem. The combining of these practices into a single sacrament is a gap issue which seems to carry potential, especially since a union between the two baptisms seems to be the logical next step towards baptismal unity in the Church. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral of Authorities is the framework guiding this investigation, with dependence on a qualitative method of research which has been used, not only to find out whether baptism, if practiced in this way, is theologically acceptable, but also to provide the opportunity for members of the Methodist Church to become more united in their search for the true nature of the Spirit of Divinity. The findings of this study are tested according toMCSA sacramental and evangelical hermeneutical requirements, because such principles form the basis of what it ultimately means for the Bible to be the highest authority for all matters of faith and practice within MCSA doctrine and theology. The modus operandi for this task is to find movement in the discussion of the tenets of a debate surrounding this issue regarding convergence within baptism, which logically marks the stages through which this enquiry must pass for conclusions which would be, as nearly as possible, accurate and objective, to be arrived at with regard to this highly concerning matter.
Kwenda, Chirevo V. “Affliction and Healing: Salvation in African Religion.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 103 (1999): 1–12.
AbstractThis article argues that, despite the widely held view to the contrary, the traditional religions of
Africa do have an elaborate system of salvation which, unfortunately, is often lost sight of by
scholars owing to its difference from the Christian theological norm. The locus of salvation in
ATR. it will be maintained, is in the cults of afﬂiction and healing, about which much has been
written, but much continues to puzzle scholars. I shall attempt an interpretation of some rituals
of afﬂiction and healing that is based on a general model of African theodicyl according to
which the goal of life is to become an ancestor. This spells out what it means to be human,
namely, to travel the road of the life cycle, reach the portals of ancestorhood, enter the latter's
courts, and exercise its privileges and responsibilities. So important is this that both the living
and the living-dead will do everything in their power to ensure its achievement. The
phenomenon of afﬂiction and the response of healing it elicits represent a corrective element of
this do—or—die battle for ancestorhood. In other words, they are signals that something has gone
terribly wrong, seriously enough to debar someone from entering ancestral bliss, from attaining
salvation. But they are also heralds of hope, declaring that all is not lost; that those excluded
from the pale of ancestral fullness may still be included, by all means necessary. This paper
seeks to serve as an introduction to indigenous African theodicy.
Lang’at, Robert K. “The Holiness Movement in Africa: A Historiographical Study of the Quest for Sanctification as a Theological Framework for Understanding the Emergence of Christianity in Africa.” Drew University, 2003.
Marini-Bodho, D. “Salvation.” In Facing the New Challenges- The Message of PACLA, December 9-19, 1976, Nairobi, edited by Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly, 252–60. Kisumu: Evangel Publishing House, 1978.
Matthew, Lauren Claire. “Humanity and Salvation : Exploring Concepts of Humanity within the Spirituality of Wesley’s Understanding of Salvation and African Perspectives within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.,” 2013.
AbstractThis thesis seeks to explore the concepts of humanity within Wesley’s soteriology and African perspectives in response to the call of the leadership of the Methodist church of Southern Africa (MCSA) to develop theology that is informed by our Southern African context. The central problem of the paper attempts to understand how people within the life of the MCSA interact with an understanding of humanity that is formed within the frameworks of Nguni and Sotho culture as well as Christian perspectives. The thesis maps Wesley’s anthropology through his own experience of God and particularly within the trajectory of his soteriology. It also seeks unpack an understanding of humanity within the framework of Ubuntu. In attempt to ground the conversation within the lived experience of the MCSA the paper also draws in data from two focus groups that are comprised of laity and ministers in training, respectively as well as through feedback from questionnaires that the participants in the two focus groups completed.
The thesis makes use of an interpretive qualitative approach to explore the interplay of the different world – views in the lives of the participants as they share who they understand themselves to be and why they hold those particular views. The paper concludes with the observation of a pattern within the feedback from the participants that within the lives of the participants there seems to be a difference in their theoretical conception of humanity and their lived experience of their humanity. Within their theoretical understanding the participants were able to draw equally from their cultural perspectives and their Christian understanding, whilst within their lived experience, participants drew their understanding mainly from their Christian perspectives.
Mbiti, John S. “God, Sin and Salvation in African Christianity.” AME Zion Quarterly Review 100, no. 1 (1989): 2–8.
Mbiti, John S. “Some Reflections on African Experience of Salvation Today.” In Living Faith and Ultimate Goals: A Continuing Dialogue, edited by S. J. Samartha, 108–19. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1974.
Munyika, Veikko. “Towards a Holistic Soteriology for a Lutheran Church in an African Religious Context : Utilising Luther’s Theology and the Owambo Traditions to Overcome a Spiritualised and Privatised Concept of Salvation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN),” 1997.
AbstractThis thesis contends that the individualisation, privatisation and spiritualisation of the concept
of salvation in the church in general and in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia
[ELCIN] in particular, where salvation is confined to the soul and its escape from this evil world
into a blessed heaven at some future date after death, with the result that church members are
reluctant to strive for the quality of the present life as believers, must be overcome. This study
must be seen against the background of increasing secularism in Namibia. This encroachment
constitutes a serious challenge to the Namibian Lutheran Churches of which ELCIN is the
largest. The secularisation of a community renowned for its Christianity seems to indicate
deficiencies in the core message of the church.
The concept of salvation must be formulated in response to current deficiencies in the overall
wellbeing of humanity and reality as a whole. Such a paradigm of salvation may be enriched by
the holistic Pauline-Lutheran concept of salvation. The Lutheran message of salvation needs
contextualisation and Africanisation in order to pick up valid concerns of the Owambo tradition
for African Lutherans on this side of the grave. There is, therefore, an urgent need for theologians
in ELCIN to revisit their concept of salvation and to redefine it in the light of the original
Pauline-Lutheran concept of salvation on the one hand, and of the Owambo traditional concerns
for human wellbeing on the other.
This study recommends that ELCIN must integrate her message ofeschatological salvation with
her practical services so that it becomes obvious to her members that the latter is, in fact, the
consequence of the former and both are indispensable to shalom, that is comprehensive
salvation. Such an integration will be her highest token of gratitude for the message of salvation
which she received from the Finns albeit in the vessels of their own culture; the convincing sign
of her theological maturity, and the best possible way to maintain her relevancy at all times.
Muoneme, M. L. “The Terrestrial Jesus and the Celestial Christ : Our Forerunner of Salvation in Hebrews.” Hekima Review 25 (2001): 71–83.
AbstractFrom an African perspective the Jesus presented in Hebrews is a proto-ancestor. The article first considers the following characterizations of Jesus in Hebrews: the anthropological Jesus, the divine Jesus, the priestly Jesus, the soteriological Jesus, and the eschatological Jesus. Next it considers the symbolic language of Hebrews. Finally it discusses the relevance of the Christology of Hebrews for Africa today.--C.R.M. Abstract Number: NTA45-2001-3-1859
Mwangi, R. K. “Missio Dei: The Influence of Early Keswick Theology of Sanctification in Socio-Ethical Life of the East African Revival Movement (EARM), 1930-2015, in the Anglican Church, Mount Kenya Region.” Thesis, North-West University, 2018.
AbstractThe thesis investigates the influence of early Keswick theology of sanctification in the socioethical life of the East African Revival Movement (EARM), 1930-2015, in the Anglican Church, Mount Kenya Region within the framework of missio Dei. It starts with the proposition that early Keswick theology of sanctification is behind the beliefs and practices of walking in the light leading to splits within the EARM that affects church mission. This study poses one primary question, namely, does the Keswick theology of sanctification contribute to the socio-ethical understanding of walking in the light in the EARM and thus influence the mission of the Anglican Church, Mount Kenya region? Following historical and empirical analysis, it has been claimed that walking in the light has led to split in EARM. The study mainly uses qualitative research to document information from primary and secondary sources to analyse historical and empirical data of the current phenomenon. The principal data collection method is focused group discussion and a one-on-one interview. The research employs guided questions to elicit perspectives of respondents’ view of the prevailing situation. The data reveals six themes which are compared with historical themes to culminate into three clusters of conversion, worship style, and moral codes which hinges analytical summary of the current historical and empirical situation and informs undertaking to the preferred trend of walking in the light in EARM. The study has establishes that Keswick theology of sanctification finds affinity with East African socio-historical circumstances which enabled Keswick theology and East Africa sociological worldview to have some significant exchange of concepts and meanings primarily from the viewpoints of exclusion and inclusion. However, the study found that Anglican Church scholarship mainly explores EARM from historical, cultural and theological perspectives and thus have not documented any scholarship on its influence on the walking in the light in the mission of God, particularly in the Mount Kenya region. Indeed the majority of respondents except main stakeholders depicted ignorance of Keswick theology. As a result, the missiological tenets challenges walking in the light fundamentals and motivates Brethren’s participation in the mission of God. Thus when walking in the light is critiqued against the missiological foundations fall short of the mission mandate of the involvement in the missio Dei due to exclusive disposition. Consequently, when the current trend is placed against the mission statement, it is apparent that the prevailing situation of walking in the light has hindered mission in the Anglican Church of Kenya. Thus, ACK mission demonstrates the preferred scenario that suggests a change on the part of Brethren from exclusive to the inclusive predisposition of mutual Christian’s coexistence.
Nel, W. A. G. “Amos 9:11-15 - an Unconditional Prophecy of Salvation during the Period of the Exile.” Old Testament Essays 2 (1984): 81–97.
AbstractThe fact that a message of salvation follows the prophecy of doom appearmg in the rest of the book of Amos has given rise to many questions concerning the authorship of Amos 9: 11-15. This article outlines the problem with reference to the views of certain exegetes. The view advanced here is that Amos 9:11-15 was an unconditional message of salvation to the people of the southern kingdom. The message rests on their manifestly political view of God. This theological tradition is the matrix of the author's message of consolation to his people delivered either during the exile or afterwards. He does, however, make frequent allusions to the preceding sections of Amos. Amos was not himself the author of the promise of salvation.
Ngele, Omaka K., Kingsley I. Uwaegbute, Damian O. Odo, and Paulinus O. Agbo. “Sōteria [Salvation] in Christianity and Ụbandu [Wholeness] in Igbo Traditional Religion: Towards a Renewed Understanding.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73, no. 3 (2017): 1–7.
AbstractDiscourses on salvation in African Christian theology have often focused on the various understandings of salvation in sub-Saharan Africa, as African theology is often understood as sub-Saharan African theology. Thus, in his insightful classification of perspectives of salvation in African theology, the South African theologian, Gerrit Brand, focuses on sub-Saharan African theology to argue that, from an African perspective, Western discourses on salvation have mostly paid attention to the means and how of salvation rather than on the content of salvation. In Africa, however, the focus on the content of salvation has led many to seek to see evidence of salvation. They seek to see evidence of salvation not in the Calvinistic or puritanical sense of transformed morality and church life but the sense of the overall transformation of human life—spiritual, personal, social, political, economic, ecological. This focus on the evidence of salvation has led some to see the Christian view of salvation as elusive.
Ngong, David T. “Salvation and Materialism in African Theology.” Studies in World Christianity 15, no. 1 (April 1, 2009): 1–21.
AbstractThe Holy Spirit and Salvation in African Christian Theology challenges the dominant understanding of the Holy Spirit in African Christian salvific discourse. The most prevalent approach in reflections on the Holy Spirit and salvation in African Christian theology insists that these doctrines be made to address the spiritualized African traditional religious cosmology. This dominant approach to the Holy Spirit and salvation have therefore led to the baptism of African traditional religious cosmology in African Christian theology. Baptizing the African cosmology has, in turn, brought about the emphasis on the miraculous in African pneumatology and soteriology. The Holy Spirit and Salvation in African Christian Theology further argues that such stress on the miraculous blocks other ways by which the Holy Spirit might be understood in African soteriological discourse. In addition, this study proposes that the Holy Spirit be perceived as enabling critical philosophical rationality and the development of science and technology in Africa, features that are crucial to enhancing the well-being of the continent and its peoples.
Ngugi, J. Njoroge wa. “Salvation History as a Hermeneutic Principle in Catechesis: Reflections on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pt. 2.” African Christian Studies 19, no. 1 (2003): 5–30.
AbstractThe study is a response to the call for papers that focus on African issues and it discusses the issue of atonement. The question which is raised is whether the Jewish and Luhya traditional concepts of atonement are similar or not. To answer this question, I have attempted to explain the understanding of the concept in Jewish tradition before comparing and contrasting this with the Luhya traditional concept of atonement. The study shows that there is a sense of harmony maintained or restored between worshippers and their objects of worship. Through a study of comparative religions, we find various depictions of atonement in different religious traditions. But the goal is the same—the attainment of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Njoroge wa Ngugi, J. “Salvation History as a Hermeneutic Principle in Catechesis: Reflections on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pt. 1.” African Christian Studies 18, no. 4 (2002): 58–68.
AbstractO.'s comparative study of salvation in the Psalter and African Indigenous Churches illustrates how the concept of šālôm ("peace" or "total well-being") is an important concept both to the Psalmists and members of some African Indigenous Churches (The Christ Apostolic Church and The Church of the Lord [Aladura] Worldwide). All humans, especially in Africa, want to live and enjoy peace. Any threat to such peace is taken seriously by the Almighty God who is the Savior par excellence. [Abstracted by: Joseph E. Jensen] Abstract Number: OTA34-2011-OCT-1816
Ogunkunle, Caleb O. “An African Perspective of the Concept of Salvation in the Psalter.” African Journal of Evangelical Theology 28 (2009): 58.
AbstractThe perception of God, man and salvation, which are related notions, are further bound up with the question of cosmology. A given primary interpretation or revelation (i.e. the meaning) of the world is the raison d'etre of a given religious system. God is meaning; meaning is whatever God (or 'God') is to a given religious system or culture-world; for instance, life (hence our term, ankhological), or mind (hence our nousological term). To both Jewish and traditional African religions God is life. This understanding pervades the biblical data. Jesus is its greatest expresser. The earliest Jewish Christianity had kept to this ankhological perception of God despite the disagreement over whether the Father is still the immediate source and focusser of meaning; Paul and Hellenistic Jewish Christianity maintained that Jesus is, since his resurrection, its immediate focusser; Palestinian Jewish Christianity rejected this 'modification'. The initial mass conversion of the Gentiles meant an inevitable clash between the ankhological and the nousological perceptions of God; the nousological perception was the bequeathment of the Greek world. The Gentile Church's insistence that the biblical data be brought within the nousological terms of reference gave rise to heresies, and to the undermining of the ankhological standpoint. Saint Augustine was a great believer in the nousological re-interpretation of the biblical data. The Western Church was converted to his view point. But the scientific spirit has marginalised both the nousological interpretation and the Western Church. African mission Churches are obviously nousologically structured. And contextualisation theology is a misleading attempt to adapt African cultural data to the nousological viewpoint. Misleading, because African congregations are primarily informed by the ankhological meaning. Instead what is demanded from African Christian theology is the recovery and the holding up of the ankhological revelation as the criterion of Christian theology, African or otherwise.
Olatunde, Allen. “A Comparative Study on Biblical Salvation with Ideas of Salvation of Other Religions.” Blog. Africantheology (blog), February 13, 2016.
AbstractBY ALLEN OLATUNDE INTRODUCTION One of the few elements that world religions share is the assertion that humans don’t live in harmony with the Ultimate Reality. In other words, humanity does not man…
Omoge, Patrick F. “Christian Understanding of Salvation in the Light of Romans 5:1-11 and the Ikale People of Ondo State of Nigeria.” STL Thesis, Pontifical Urban University, 1985.
Parrinder, Edward G. “African Saviour God.” In The Saviour God; Comparative Studies in the Concept of Salvation, Presented to Edwin Oliver James, edited by Samuel G. F. Brandon, 117–28. New York: Manchester University Press, 1963.
Pobee, John S. “An African Anglican’s View of Salvation.” In Anglicanism: A Global Communion, edited by Andrew Wingate, Wilson Sitshebo, Kevin Ward, and Carrie Pemberton, 78–84. New York, NY: Church Publishing Inc, 1998.
AbstractMA Thesis on the link between Soteriology and Socio-Political Involvement in African Pentecostalism. In dialogue with Liberation theology.
Prosén, Martina. “Abundant Life—Holistic Soteriology as Motivation for Socio-Political Engagement: A Pentecostal and Missional Perspective 1.” In The Routledge Handbook of African Theology, 17. Routledge, 2020.
AbstractThis chapter proposes a holistic model for understanding salvation as “abundant life” and suggests that such a model would promote involvement—as Christians and Pentecostals—in societal reform. It presents insights and examples from the Swedish Pentecostal movement, African Pentecostal theology, and Latin American liberation theology from the 1960s. The chapter highlights the term “holistic soteriology” and what it means to say that salvation is “abundant life.” Salvation is not just about what or whom God saves when He saves the world. Nor is it just a question of from what or to what He saves us. Rather, the question that must be asked is: Who is He who saves the world? The essence of soteriology is not about the results of salvation, cause or effect, but rather about He, Himself, because no salvation is possible without a Savior.
Ramashapa, J. M. “Entering the Church in Africa through Israel and Paul: A Comparative Look at the Corporate Salvation in the African King (Chief) and Its Related Meaning to the Church in Africa.” Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif 31 (1990): 582–88.
AbstractJohn S. Mbiti and Mercy Amba Oduyoye have contributed much to theology in Africa. Their immense contributions to the formation of academic African theology cannot be underestimated. The interest of this study is in their theological reflections on salvation in African Christianity as presented in their published works. Mbiti and Oduyoye approach salvation from inculturation and feminist perspective respectively. The study seeks to find out the key features of John Mbiti and Mercy Amba Oduyoye views of Salvation and in what forms do the two views converge and diverge. Textual and conceptual analysis was used for the study. Primary attention was given to their published works as well as the works of their critics.
The finding of the study is that Mbiti and Oduyoye agrees on most aspects of salvation. Their differences are basically Oduyoye’s additions from feminist perspectives. The two share a view of salvation that embraces deliverance from sin and reconciliation with God as well as deliverance from the spiritual oppression. They also agree that God, the father of Jesus Christ, whom African Christians worship, is not different from the God they had known in their pre-Christian religion.
However, while Mbiti focuses more on spiritual deliverance Oduyoye focuses on material impediments. For her, the African understanding of salvation as rooted in human rescue from material impediments must be maintained. But some African indigenous religious beliefs and practices, including some church practices that undermine human material well-being, especially the well-being of women, must be criticized and rejected. Central to Oduyoye agenda as a feminist liberation theologian is the critique of patriarchal tendencies in African Traditional Religion and Christianity.
Setiloane, Gabriel M. “Salvation and the Secular.” In Hammering Sowrds into Ploughshares, edited by B. Thlagale and I. Mosala. Johannesburg: Skotaville Publishers, 1986.
AbstractByang Henry Kato, a promising African Christian leader, passed away in 1975 at only 39 years of age. In spite of his brief career, he has left his imprint on the pages of African Christian history. He is not without his supporters and critics alike. It appears that while his critics have misunderstood him in some aspects, his supporters also have not paid enough attention to his theological conviction and articulation. While this article aims at clarifying some of Kato’s conviction, it also informs readers how, regardless of context and time, others can appreciate, learn, and even adopt some aspects of his contextual model. The writer, an Asian living more than forty years apart from Kato, argues that Kato was indeed an evangelical leader whose theological conviction and model cannot be confined merely to a past era.
Simpson, Theo. “Atonement and Sacrifice: The de-Ideologization of Western Christianity.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 128 (July 2007): 53–70.
AbstractIn the later Middle Ages, Western Christianity was already nurturing the seeds of its own
disintegration. The mistaken assumptions of the pre—Reforrnation church were the direct
cause of the quarrels that split the church. This article proposes the view that mistaken
assumptions about the atonement led to a new ideology of sacriﬁce, and that it was this
rationalistic ideologizing of the faith which had, and continues to have, a destructive
effect on the relationship between Christianity and other cultures. This has caused
particular difﬁculties for African Christians. The African tradition of the family feast is
discussed as a case study. In South Africa we need to decide between ideological and
narrative understandings of Christianity.
Stebbing, M. L. “Concepts of Salvation Amongst the African Independent Churches in Chipinge, Zimbabwe.” University of South Africa, 1986.
AbstractThe following dissertation describes four African Independent Churches in Chipinge, Zimbabwe, setting them briefly within the context of Independency in Zimbabwe. It also sets out to discover whether these churches are as unorthodox and un-Christian as they are often thought to be. The dissertation centres around the theme of salvation since it is ultimately the question, ''Who, then, can be saved?'' (Mt 19:25) which Christians must ask in respect of these churches.
In the process of looking at what the Independent Christians themselves say, particularly on the matters of baptism, God, Redemption, the dead, sickness, witchcraft and sin and comparing them with what mainline Christianity says and has said over the ages, we have concluded that the Independents, at least in Chipinge, are surprisingly orthodox, preach and practise a faith which is undoubtedly Christian and so offer a way to Christ that genuinely leads to salvation.
Strohbehn, Ulf. “Theology: Salvation and the Church.” In The Zionist Churches in Malawi, 274–373. History - Theology - Anthropology. Mzuni Press, 2016.
AbstractSalvation is the central tenet of Zionist thought and life. All distinctions between them and us, in and out, pure and impure, healthy and sick, sinner and saint, danger and safety, blessing or curse – have salvation as their underlying theological concept. All aforementioned issues like healing, dancing or apparel relate to and are based on the belief in redemption. Their theological concept of redemption determines the social hierarchy in the churches as this chapter will show. It is not difficult to see that Zionism is a total way of life. Entering into it will require drastic and encompassing changes.
Suggit, John N. “Freedom to Be: Peter Abelard’s Doctrine of Atonement.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 8 (September 1974): 31–37.
AbstractThe two-fold aim of this paper is (i) to determine whether the description of Jesus as the gardener is symbolic; and (ii) to show that the atonement in the Fourth Gospel is seen in terms of renewal and transformation. Starting with some of Origen's comments, it is then argued that re-creation is a consistent theme of John. This is borne out by a brief look at some early interpretations of John's theology, with special reference to Athanasius, after which consideration is given to the meaning of Jesus as the gardener, and the legitimacy of new interpretations.
Turaki, Yusufu. “The Theological Legacy of the Reverend Doctor Byang Henry Kato.” Undefined 20, no. 2 (2001): 133–55.
AbstractThis article critically discusses Andrew Murray's contention that when Jesus Christ spoke of sickness it was always as of an evil caused by sin and that believers should be delivered from sickness, because it attacks the body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He wrote that Christ took upon Himself the soul and body and redeems both in equal measure from the consequences of sin. Murray contrasts low level Christians who enjoy no close fellowship with God, no victory over sin and no power to convince the world with those who are "fully saved", who enjoy unceasing fellowship with God and are holy and full of joy. Justification and sanctification are thus divided as two separate gifts of God where sanctification is obtained through a new and separate act of faith. He taught that sickness is a visible sign of God's judgment and that healing is granted according to the measure of faith of the believer.
Van der Watt, Jan G. “Salvation in the Gospel According to John.” In Salvation in the New Testament: Perspectives on Soteriology, 101–31. Leiden: Brill, 2005.
AbstractSalvation in the New Testament offers an analysis of the soteriological perspectives and language of the different books of the New Testament. Special attention is given to the exciting world of language and imagery used in expressing soteriological ideas.
Van Veelen, Wouter Th. “‘No Other Name!’ The Contribution of Byang H. Kato to the Salvation Debate.” Exchange 50, no. 1 (March 19, 2021): 53–76.
AbstractAbstract This article attempts to investigate the contribution of the African evangelical theologian and church leader Byang H. Kato (1936–1975) to the salvation debate in the early 1970s. Due to his radical standpoint and at times uncompromising tone, Kato’s soteriological proposals have been characterized as a reproduction of western theology. This article aims to demonstrate that, rather than reiterating a specific American or western concept of theology, Kato’s soteriology should be read as a contextual evangelical response to the ongoing theological debates of his time.
Van Veelen, Wouter Th. “Between Rejection and Revitalization: Tokunboh Adeyemo and African Traditional Religions.” Exchange 50, no. 2 (September 30, 2021): 111–27.
AbstractAbstract This article analyzes Tokunboh Adeyemo’s assessment of African traditional religions in relation to his allegiance to the worldwide evangelical tradition. In the 1970 and 1980s, Adeyemo, who served as the General Secretary of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, was involved in the so-called salvation debates within evangelical circles. Concerned about the rise of contextual theologies on the African continent, Adeyemo, like his predecessor Byang Kato, advocated the exclusive character of Christianity in terms of salvation. Therefore, he is sometimes described as someone who attempted to replace African religiosity with a Westernized form of Christianity. This article argues that while Adeyemo reiterates the uniqueness of salvation in Christ, as attested within the international evangelical movement, he offers a nuanced assessment of pre-Christian religiosity. Navigating between the two positions of rejection and revitalization, he pioneered new ways of developing an authentic evangelical theology that is grounded in the African context.
Verhoef, Anné H. “The Relation between Creation and Salvation in the Trinitarian Theology of Robert Jenson.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 69, no. 1 (March 2013): 1–7.
AbstractThis article explored the relation between creation and salvation as acts of God in the theology of Robert Jenson, an American Lutheran theologian. This is important due to Jenson's growing importance as theologian and because of the current importance of ecotheology (and related themes that were implicated by the relation between creation and salvation). Jenson's theology is an effort to tell God's particular story and it can be described as a Trinitarian, narrative and eschatological theology. His starting point is that God's eternity must not be understood as timeless (this is unbiblical and incompatible with the story of creation and redemption) and that creation (space and time) takes place somehow within the being of God. Jenson qualified this 'withinness', but also emphasised that creation is an intelligible whole, a history with an intended end. It is important for him that God's story - a story of dramatic coherence - is not separated from our own and creation's story. Within this understanding of God's story (as dramatic coherence), creation found its own dramatic teleology because salvation also includes creation. Creation is therefore not subjected to pointlessness any longer, but will find its final place within God. The implication of this is that we must value creation much more and act with more responsibility towards it. According to Jenson we must enjoy creation in an aesthetic fashion and delight in creation as a whole because of its dramatic teleology.
Wachege, Patrick N. “Inculturation and Salvation within the African Context.” AFER 43, no. 1–2 (February 2001): 28–40.
AbstractThe accelerated rate of global climate change has been investigated by many seeking to understand its origins. In 1967 Lynn White Jr. published a short article in Science journal entitled “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” wherein he claimed that attitudes of domination towards nature perpetuated and legitimized by Medieval Christianity, in conjunction with the power to destroy the environment provided by the progress of Western science, were to blame for the 20th century ecological crisis. This profoundly affected theology, as a causal link had been drawn between Christianity and the environmental issues in the world. Having led to the development of ecotheology, it can be argued that all work within this field is, in a way, a response to White. Thus, this project orients itself as part of that response, as it investigates the relationship between two doctrinal loci that have been affected by White’s accusation, namely creation and salvation. This discussion is carried out by means of a critical rhetorical analysis of the interaction between these loci in the work of three theologians. As the scope for this discussion, these theologians, Ernst Conradie, Klaus Nürnberger, and Jaap Durand all write from within a South African context, and all work within the discipline of systematic theology. Each has a distinct approach to how they make sense of the complex relationship between salvation and creation, and this inner logic is explored by focusing on select publications that highlight each theologian’s theological methodology. Comparisons and contrasts are drawn between the three as the discussion asks what the implications of each is for ecotheology in developing a relevant and practical theological response to the pressures of the climate crisis and the underlying accusation by White. Furthermore, this project asks what these three perspectives on salvation and creation mean for ecotheology in a South African context.
Wirba, Gloria. “Understanding Salvation in the African Culture: A Key to Authentic Inculturation.” SEDOS Bulletin 39, no. 7–8 (July 2007): 208–13.
AbstractIn the religious context of East Africa in which the salvific significance of baptism is challenged, the witness of a good deal of New Testament passages concerning the issue of baptism, faith and the importance of both for the attainment of
AbstractThis is a brief descriptionptive account of the Shona Zion Apostolic churches perception of salvation. Most members of these churches are subsistence farmers living in rural areas. It is, intriguing to note that, even though Christianity has gained a firm foothold in these places, old traditions, cultural practices, customs and norms are still alive. Western Christian influence and patterns of life have not replaced the traditional life-style of church members.
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