AbstractThe Africa Bible Commentary is a unique publishing event—the first one-volume Bible commentary produced in Africa by African theologians to meet the needs of African pastors, students, and lay leaders. Interpreting and applying the Bible in the light of African culture and realities, it furnishes powerful and relevant insights into the biblical text that transcend Africa in their significance. The Africa Bible Commentary gives a section-by-section interpretation that provides a contextual, readable, affordable, and immensely useful guide to the entire Bible. Readers around the world will benefit from and appreciate the commentary’s fresh insights and direct style that engage both heart and mind. Key features: · Produced by African biblical scholars, in Africa, for Africa—and for the world · Section-by-section interpretive commentary and application · More than 70 special articles dealing with topics of key importance in to ministry in Africa today, but that have global implications · 70 African contributors from both English- and French-speaking countries · Transcends the African context with insights into the biblical text and the Christian faith for readers worldwide
Ajambo, Nyegenye Rebecca Margaret. “A Study of Discipleship in Mark 10:35-52: A Model for Leadership Development of Clergy in the Church of Uganda (Anglican).,” 2012.
AbstractThe study is about discipleship in Mark 10:35-52: a model for leadership development of clergy in the Church of Uganda (Anglican). In this thesis I engage with three contextual models that have impacted on the leadership development of clergy in the Church of Uganda (Anglican) namely: the Ganda model of kingship, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) model and the East African Revival (EAR). Kingship models reflect oppressive codes of patronage and authoritarianism which have influenced all sectors of the church leading to constant struggle for power. The East African Revival emerged as a resistance model against the two “banking models” of Christianity. The movement managed to decode the banking models through their values of simplicity manifested through hospitality, fellowship and Bible study. They overcame the racism and ethnic hostility that had been cultivated by the CMS missionaries and the Ganda. These three models are then brought into dialogue with the Jesus model of servant leadership to develop a model which is both Biblical and contextual. Social historical criticism coupled with the Freirian pedagogical approach is used to analyse and critique both the contextual models and the text of Mark 10:35-52. Oppressive codes such as hierarchy, honour and status, kyriarchy, and patronage have been identified in both the text and contextual models of leadership. These oppressive codes have been decoded using Jesus’ model of servanthood in which he embodied the oppressive codes as the New Human Being, resulting in equality for all irrespective of ones’ social status or gender. Jesus embodied the servant role which was meant for the slaves and the poor by laying down his life as a ransom for many. Jesus’ shameful death was a way of decoding the power of the cross where the slaves, insurrectionists, and servants were crucified. Since then the cross became a symbol of liberation where the slaves, insurrectionists and servants could find victory and justification. The cross brought equality between the oppressed and the oppressors. Women found favour before Jesus in the face of a kyriarchal culture where only a male figure counted. The poor, sick and blind and those considered outcasts in society found victory and liberation in Jesus. Appropriation of Jesus’ discipleship model of servanthood creates a place of dialogue, where the situation in the Church of Uganda (Anglican) can enter into an extended conversation with Jesus’ discipleship model. This thesis suggests that the contextual models of leadership development in the Church of Uganda (Anglican) in dialogue with the Jesus model of leadership can result in a contextual model of an egalitarian church where everybody irrespective of gender, status and tribe, could enjoy the privilege of being a member of the family of God.
Alana, Emmanuel O. “The Secret Disciples of Jesus.” Deltion Biblikon Meleton 22, no. 1 (1993): 43–48.
Asamoah-Gyadu, J. Kwabena. “‘Go Near and Join Thyself to This Chariot...’: African Pneumatic Movements and Transformational Discipleship.” International Review of Mission 106, no. 2 (December 2017): 336–55.
Asumang, Annang. “‘And the Angels Waited on Him’ (Mark 1:13) : Hospitality and Discipleship in Mark’s Gospel.” Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary 8, no. 09 (September 1, 2009): 1–25.
AbstractThe emphasis on discipleship in Mark's gospel, particularly in its relationship to the cross, is well researched. Little has however been made of a parallel expression of discipleship through the extension of hospitality to Jesus. Yet, beginning with Mark 1:13 where angels table-served Jesus in the wilderness, several of His followers, including the disciples, also contribute to Jesus' mission by extending Him hospitality. After briefly reviewing the motif of table-serving God in the Old Testament and the literature of second temple Judaism, this article will examine the incidents in Mark's Gospel in which individuals express their discipleship to Jesus through hospitality. It concludes by outlining the contemporary implications of the findings to Christian witness in the African as well as non-African contexts.
Bangura, Joseph Bosco. “African Neo-Charismatic Discipleship in a Context of Secularization.” In Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa, edited by Joseph Bosco Bangura, Benno van den Toren, and Richard E. Seed, 191–208. Secularization and Discipleship in Africa. Oxford: 1517 Media, 2020.
AbstractIn the 1990s, African neo-Charismatic movements¹ arose that reconfigured the religious landscape of the continent. However, even though these movements are currently the most buoyant expression of Christianity that brought a nuanced approach to existing socio-cultural issues in Africa,² little research has been carried out that probes the movement’s Christian discipleship programs, either from the perspective of its transformation of the faith³ or the emerging secularization experiences in Africa.? This situation is not helped by the fact that interest in probing prosperity theologies tends to stifle any serious attempts at understanding the creative innovations and contextual discipleship theologies espoused by
Bangura, Joseph Bosco. “Secularization Influences on Second Generation and Mixed-Race African Pentecostal Migrants in Flanders (Belgium).” In Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa, edited by Benno van den Toren, J. Bosco Bangura, and Richard E. Seed, 139–53. Oxford: Regnum, 2020.
Bjork, David E. “Endangered Discipleship: Secular and Religious Resistance in Africa.” In Is Africa Incurably Religious?, edited by Benno van den Toren, Joseph Bosco Bangura, and Richard E. Seed, 175–90. Secularization and Discipleship in Africa. Oxford: 1517 Media, 2020.
AbstractIn his contribution to the conference on secularization and discipleship in Africa, held in December 2014, Jacob Haasnoot reported that African leaders he interviewed recognize the need for effective discipleship in the African church in order for the Gospel to have more impact in people’s lives and in society.¹ He further stated that, although those leaders see the church as healthy when its members are being discipled, the truth is that a lot of people are not going through this process. This observation is corroborated by the testimony of many of my seminary students coming from different countries in Africa,
Botman, H. Russel. “Discipleship and Practical Theology: The Case of South Africa.” International Journal of Practical Theology 4, no. 2 (2000): 201–12.
AbstractThis article examines the cameo appearance of an unnamed woman in the gospel of Mark, a member of a crowd following Jesus (Mk 5:24b–34). Chronically ill and probably dying, she thinks she is inconspicuous. The text identifies her in terms of her gender, illness, covenant status, prolonged suffering and penury. Yet, a careful reading reveals her stealth, desperation, courage and eloquence ? all elements of character and, it turns out, of a faith focused on Jesus. Combining both literary and canonical insights, this article shows how the story of the anonymous woman, set within the larger context of the healing of Jairus’ daughter, sheds light on the developing concepts of faith, fear, purity, discipleship, confession and family matters in Mark. The woman’s interaction with Jesus adds depth to Mark’s portrait of him and contributes to the ongoing revelation in Mark that Jesus is indeed the Son of God (Mk 1:1). Hierdie artikel ondersoek die reliëfverskyning van ’n naamlose vrou in die evangelie van Markus. Sy was deel van die skare wat Jesus gevolg het (Mark 5:24b–34). Omdat sy kronies siek en moontlik sterwend was, het sy gedink sy is onopvallend in die skare. Sy word in die teks geïdentifiseer in terme van haar geslag, siekte, verbondstatus, langdurige lyding en armoedige voorkoms. ’n Noukeurige bestudering van die gedeelte openbaar ook haar heimlikheid, desperaatheid, moed en welsprekendheid – alles eienskappe van ’n sterk karakter en, soos dit later blyk, haar gefokusde geloof op Jesus. Deur die letterkundige en kanonieke insigte te kombineer, wys die artikel hoe die verhaal van die anonieme vrou, gesien teen die agtergrond van die genesing van Jaïrus se dogtertjie, lig werp op die ontwikkelende konsepte van geloof, vrees, suiwerheid, dissipelskap, belydenis en familie-aangeleenthede in die boek Markus. Die vrou se interaksie met Jesus verskaf diepte aan Markus se uitbeelding van Hom en maak ’n bydrae tot Markus se deurgaanse openbaring dat Jesus inderdaad die Seun van God is (Mark 1:1).
Budde, Michael L. “Pledging Allegiance: Reflections on Discipleship and the Church after Rwanda: Church as Counterculture.” In The Church as Counterculture, 213–25. Albany, 2000.
Cochrane, Renate. “Equal Discipleship of Women and Men: Reading the New Testament from a Feminist Perspective.” In Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Women in the Church in Southern Africa, edited by Denise M. Ackermann, Jonathan A. Draper, and Emma Mashinini, 21–36. Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 1991.
Dickie, June F. “Revisiting the Practice of Bible-Translation : The Need to Engage Ordinary Believers When Translating the Psalms: Original Research.” Verbum et Ecclesia 39, no. 1 (January 1, 2018): 1–9.
AbstractMany young isiZulu speakers find the 1959 Bible translation difficult to read and understand. However, they are interested in getting inside the black box of Bible translation, and being participants in the process. Moreover, they have a culture of composing and performing poetry, which lends itself to their involvement in the translation and performance of biblical poetry. An experimental study sought to see if Zulu youth could compose translations of some praise psalms and perform them such that the community would accept them as ‘biblical material’, and relevant and engaging for young people. The methodology was to invite interested persons to participate in workshops that provided basic training in Bible translation, features of oral communication and performance, Zulu and biblical poetry and Zulu music. The participants then made their own translations of some short psalms, and performed them as songs, rap or spoken poetry items. The results suggest several benefits that could be replicated in other situations and with other language groups. These include new, vibrant ways to share Scripture, and a means for individuals to engage with the Scriptures and ‘own’ the translation. In conclusion, there is an open door for ‘ordinary’ members of the community (especially those interested in poetry and music) to contribute significantly to poeticallybeautiful and rhetorically-powerful translations of biblical psalms. Moreover, the experience they gain will not only support the discipleship ministry of the church, but also its outreach to other young people, drawing them in by engaging and relevant performances of the biblical message. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This study challenges the traditional perspectives of Bible translation and Practical Theology, suggesting that ‘ordinary’ members of the community can enrich the translation of biblical poetry, and their engagement in the process can have many positive outcomes in terms of church ministry.
DrivenByDiscipleship. “DrivenByDiscipleship.” Accessed January 13, 2022.
AbstractA thorough understanding of Johannine discipleship goes hand in hand with perspectives on the Johannine community as well as the narratological function of the Farewell Discourses. To elaborate on these perspectives compels the exegete to obtain relief information on discipleship from extra-textual data. The distinctive character of a Johannine disciple, from the viewpoint of terminology, is determined by belief, knowledge and love, to name but a few. Within a sociological framework the Johannine community is finding its identity through a view on discipleship, implemented by the 'new' commandment and the Paraclete as manifested in the beloved disciple. The Johannine narrative contributes to this sense of identification by telling the story from a retrospective ideological view of transparency, concentrating on two lines, the Jesus-ministry and the disciple-ministry. The result is identification between reader and discipleship which leads to definite self-definition of discipleship as the appropriation of realised eschatological salvation.
Duncan, Graham A. “Church Discipline: Semper Reformanda as the Basis for Transformation.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 136 (March 2010): 57–75.
Ebong, Epiemembong Louis. “Signs of Secularization and Challenges for Discipleship Among the Urban Elite in Yaoundé, Cameroon: A Personal Reflection.” In Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa, edited by Benno van den Toren, J. Bosco Bangura, and Richard E. Seed, 131–37. Oxford: Regnum, 2020.
Feller, Jeremy, and Christo Lombaard. “Spiritual Formation towards Pentecostal Leadership as Discipleship: Original Research.” Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin Vir Christelike Wetenskap 83, no. 1 (June 6, 2018): 1–12.
AbstractThis contribution, a further development of the first author’s recent thesis, investigates aspects of leadership in the Pentecostal tradition as it encourages discipleship. First contextualised broadly within unfolding post-secular sensitivities internationally and then contextualised specifically within the nature and history of Pentecostalism, the understanding of leadership and spiritual formation within the latter is then analysed. Leadership and spiritual formation within Pentecostalism are then developed towards an understanding of discipleship.Hierdie bydrae, ‘n verdere ontwikkeling van die eerste outeur se onlangse proefskrif, ondersoek aspekte van leierskap binne die Pentekostalistiese tradisie onderweg na die aanmoediging van dissipelskap. Eerstens breedweg gekontekstualiseer binne internasionaal ontluikende post-sekulêre sentimente en daarna meer spesifiek gekontekstualiseer binne die eie-aard en geskiedenis van die Pentekostalisme, word die verstaan van leierskap en geestelike vorming binne hierdie groepering geanaliseer. Leierskap en geestelike vorming binne die Pentekostalisme word ontwikkel in die rigting van ‘n dissipelskapsbegrip.
Freeman, S. E., and Richard D. Calenberg. “Understanding Honor-Shame Dynamics for Ministry in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Bibliotheca Sacra 175, no. 700 (October 2018): 425–38.
Abstract[It is argued that the model of relationality-response best epitomises the ethical direction of the Scriptures. In examining the ethical teaching of the farewell discourses (Jn 13-17), attention is given to discovering the ethical emerging from the narrative of Jesus' relationship-response to the Father, to his disciples and to the world. The account of the footwashing with which the farewell discourses begin presents a connection to the salvific work of Jesus. By this action Jesus prophesies in a symbolic way that he is to be humiliated in death. The ethical life of Christians remains a response to what Jesus has done on their behalf. What emerges from this examination of the farewell discourses is that love gives rise to the whole ethics of discipleship. United with Jesus the believer is called to lead a specific way of life. It is not an ethics of laws or ends, but an ethics that has a person, Jesus, as its very centre. Love is the cornerstone for this relationship. The call and choice that God has made of believers is one that results in love and in bearing fruit. In the final analysis the response to which the disciples of Jesus of all generations are called is that of a unity of love in imitation of the response that Jesus demonstrated through his relationship with the Father.]
Hategekimana, Prudence. Setting the Captives Free: The Development of a Catechetical Programme for Southern Africa (1965-1991). Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 2002.
AbstractTo address the puzzle of the naked young man story in the Gospel of Mark, the article approaches this text through its first verb, ????????????. It suggests that following/discipleship is a subtext. Seeming to invoke verisimilitude, the subtext is shown to be self-referential and metalinguistic. "Following" is a fictional index that opens up a gap, creates a time warp, and violates textual space. The text's materiality upsets the reader. The narrato-semiotic analysis leads to an understanding of this text as comedy. It is humorous metalanguage that halts the reader's progress and abandons denotative signification. The young man mimics the disciples, and the text mimics itself and the subtext. The young man text assumes the subtext's role as hermeneutic key.
Herman, Stewart W. “Divesting Discipleship: Toward a Unified Witness against Apartheid.” Dialog 23, no. 3 (1984): 202–6.
AbstractThe Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and the American Lutheran Church (ALC) have different policies regarding divestment from church pension funds of companies doing business in South Africa, but the results are similar. Their witness has been frustrated by their failure to acknowledge the powerful logic of rational investment which governs their pension funds. The LCA further dilutes its witness by its desire to be "effective" in consultations with particular companies. The church bodies ought to unite in a discipleship which acknowledges their subjection to the logic of rational investment and political effectiveness.
Hill, Joseph. “Charismatic Discipleship: A Sufi Woman and the Divine Mission of Development in Senegal.” Africa (Cambridge University Press) 87, no. 4 (November 2017): 832–52.
AbstractMidwife Rokhaya Thiam joined the Fay?a Tij?niyya Sufi Islamic movement in 2005 and soon became aware of her divine mission to found the Association Mame Astou Diankha. This organization provides free medical services to needy people and organizes economic development projects for women. Rokhaya Thiam exemplifies a broader trend of ‘hybrid’ religious subjects in the Fay?a Tij?niyya movement who embed neoliberal notions such as ‘development’ and individual entrepreneurial initiative into mystical notions of selfhood, agency and moral order. Such charismatic disciples seem to approach discipleship in liberal fashion, pursuing an individualized mission in contrast to the classic Sufi disciple who passively follows instructions from the shaykh. However, these disciples defy reduction to individual, neoliberal subjectivity, subsuming their agency under a larger spiritual entity responsible for revealing and realizing their mission. This article asks whether such hybridities may be intrinsic to neoliberal subjecthood, which entails being shaped by neoliberal power and knowledge while domesticating them to other ends, rather than being exceptions that emerge on the still-enchanted edges of neoliberalism. (English)
Houston, Peter. “Blue Theology and Watershed Discipleship in South Africa.” Acta Theologica 39, no. 2 (2019): 31–47.
AbstractThis study seeks to discover how African Traditional Religion (ATR) is viewed by Pentecostal church leaders in Lusaka, Zambia. The convenience sample focused on fourteen Pentecostal churches of various denominational affiliations within the city of Lusaka, Zambia. A thirty-one-item survey tool, the Assessment of Traditional Religious Practices (ATRP), was developed and administered to 128 leaders regarding the prevalence of traditional religious practices among their congregants. The ATRP also assessed how these leaders typically respond to concerns related to ATR within their ministerial context. Findings indicated that traditional beliefs and practices continue to persist, though at nominal levels, within these churches. More importantly, a majority of these leaders feel adequately equipped to handle issues related to ATR because they understand their ministerial calling in terms of spiritual empowerment. The study concludes that the challenges presented by ATR regarding Christian discipleship continue to persist in local Pentecostal churches. However, leaders have employed a practical theological understanding of Pentecostalism, allowing them to overcome many of these same challenges.
Jacob, Emmanuel M. “Discipleship and Mission: A Perspective on the Gospel of Matthew.” International Review of Mission 91, no. 360 (2002): 102–110. 10.1111/j.1758-6631.2002.tb00332.x.
AbstractAmidst contemporary culture’s obsession with superheroes as the basis of the new mythologies of our day, and numerous religious communities’ ‘sterilized’ version of Jesus, the church has to rediscover the paradoxical life and teachings of Jesus, as narrated in the Gospel of Mark. Within the honour-and-shame-based Mediterranean culture, within which Mark was written, Jesus’ atypical demeanour and his radical teachings on self-sacrifice, coupled with his shameful death, were perplexing. His opponents did not find any proof in his scandalous teachings and inglorious outward appearance to confirm his messianic claims. In terms of the present obsession with superheroes, Jesus was never in a costume in public. He did not take on a temporary public persona in a staged drama en route to the cross. At all times, Jesus was the slave-like Son of God who came to serve and lay down his own life as a ransom for many (Mk 10:45). The crucified Jesus, stripped of all honour and godforsaken, is the paradoxical sign and physical embodiment of the kingdom of God. The risen Jesus is no different. He still is who he is. This largely undiscovered Jesus of Mark’s Gospel must capture the imagination of the church all over again, the kind of imagination that elicits admiration, amazement and life-change. Only when the church begins to embody the kenotic route of Jesus that it will become clear to her and others that she, in fact, possesses paradoxical ‘superpowers’ – the self-sacrificing kind.
Kaunda, C. J. “On the Road to Emmaus: Together towards Life as Conversation Partner in Missiological Research.” International Review of Mission 106, no. 1 (2017): 34–50.
Kgatle, Mookgo Solomon. “Discipleship Misconceptions : A Social Scientific Reading of James and John’s Request for Seats of Honour (Mark 10:35-42).” Stellenbosch Theological Journal 3, no. 1 (2017): 185–204.
AbstractThis article is a social scientific reading of James and John’s request for seats of honour in Mark 10:35–42. It argues that when James and John made such a request they misunderstood the meaning of discipleship. The argument is established by looking at the literature review on Mark 10:35–42. Discipleship as presented in Mark is described to understand the type of discipleship demanded by Jesus. The discipleship misconceptions are also outlined in detail. The purpose here is to demonstrate that the disciples of Jesus, James and John, in Mark 10:35–42 misunderstood the meaning of discipleship as presented in Mark. The article makes a contribution to the ongoing research on New Testament scholarship by studying Mark 10:35–42 through a social scientific criticism.
Kim, Kirsteen. “Mission after the Arusha Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, 2018.” International Review of Mission 107, no. 2 (2018): 413–27.
AbstractThe aim or this research was 10 investigate the views of church leaders about the causes of tribalism in CEBCE church in Nord-Kivu province. Literature Review discussed the following subjects: tribalism ill the Old Testament, Israel and the Canaanites, tribalism in the New Testament, views of people about the causes of tribal conflict and effects of tribal conflict. . The population of this research were church leaders from CEDCE church and from the "Eglise du Christ au Congo"(ECC). 56 members of the population were selected for the study and a questionnaire and oral interviews were used. The data was collected from church leaders by<the~ use of closed and open ended questions which arc recorded ill tables in chapter four. The findings revealed that there were factors (causes) that are a basis for the Tribal conflict in CEBCE church.. These are lack of discipleship, tribal segregation ill leadership, leadership greed, lack of structure, inferiority complexes, financial greed, and the creation of feudal societies. Recommendations for CEBCE church leaders and [or further studies are made in chapter five.
Lee, Sug-Ho, and Jan G. Van der Watt. “The Portrayal of the Hardening of the Disciples’ Hearts in Mark 8:14-21.” HTS : Theological Studies 65, no. 1 (2009): 1–5.
AbstractThe goal of this article is to consider the literary-theological function of the hardening of the disciples' hearts in Mark 8:14-21. The disciples are remarkably characterised by faithlessness, which is associated with hardness of their hearts. Although Mark uses the same language, 'hardness of heart', at different points in his Gospel to describe both Jesus' opponents and the disciples, he nevertheless retains a distinction between the two groups. With regard to the opponents' unbelief, the language means a divine judgement for their unbelieving rejection (cf. Mark 3:5-6). By contrast, when the language is used in relation to the disciples, it warns them (or the Markan readers) to beware of falling into the opponents' unbelieving attitudes (6:52; 8:17-18).
Light, Vernon E. Transforming the Church in Africa:: A New Contextually-Relevant Discipleship Model. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2012.
AbstractPresents a thesis entitled "Sonship for Africa: Discipleship by Grace," submitted to the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina in April 16, 1998. Law, spirit and faith in sanctification; Justification and sanctification; Means of sanctification; Role of the law in new covenant life; Relationship of faith and the spirit in sanctification; Power of sanctification by faith; Purpose and value of sonship training; Gospel and sonship; Justification and sonship; Discipler's guide for sonship for Africa.
Magagula, S. J. “John 8:17: The Life of Costly Discipleship.” Ministry 4, no. 3 (1964): 125.
AbstractThe study sought to find out the factors contributing to low enrollment into the discipleship program, from the perspective of adults in the discipleship program of NPC Buruburu. The research revealed that in realizing the vision and the set goals for the church, adult discipleship program is very important. To carry out this research the researcher used qualitative research method, and interviewed fifteen registered members from NPC Buruburu. In addressing the central research questions, as to why the total number of registered members in the church is not reflected in the number of people who enroll for the discipleship class, the researcher critically analyzed the data and came up with five factors that have affected the enrollment of adult discipleship at NPC Buruburu. The researcher established the following factors that contributed to low enrollment of members into the adult discipleship program; lack of awareness of the program, poor planning, location where the program is held, curriculum issues, and age disparity. Based on these findings, recommendations were made that would address the running of the adult discipleship program. The church, therefore, needs to make it a priority in creating awareness to all her members about the importance of adult discipleship program. The program should be put in the bulletin, and the bulletin be issued to all members in every meeting of the church. For learning to take place, the environment must be conducive, apart from relocating the class. The program should also run concurrently with all the three services that take place each Sunday morning, according to the NPC Buruburu program. In regards to age disparity, the facilitators of the program should consider the age difference when grouping the members into various groups, or put them in different classrooms, depending on their age-groups. This research also recommends that the church re-evaluates the material for the program, and shorten the duration so that more members can be motivated to enroll into the program. There are also other materials on discipleship which take a shorter time, and very relevant.
Muoneke, M. Bibiana. “Universalism and Mission in the Bible. Women Discipleship and Evangelization in Lk 8:1-3.” Revue Africaine de Théologie 17, no. 34 (1993): 163–80.
Nation, Mark. “‘Pacifist and Enemy of the State’: Bonhoeffer’s ‘straight and Unbroken Course’ from Costly Discipleship to Conspiracy.” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 77 (December 1991): 61–77.
AbstractThe research attended to the call by the World Council of Churches in the mission affirmation Together towards life to renew methods of evangelism and to communicate the good news with persuasion, inspiration and conviction, by providing a theological framework for reflection on joy and flourishing life, and its place in mission studies. The link between mission, evangelism and discipleship was developed as a basis to expand the understanding of evangelism as an invitation to personal conversion and discipleship. Discipleship was defined as participating in the Triune God’s life-giving mission and as being on a journey towards flourishing life. It showed that the gospel message of joy, good news and life in fullness serves as a counterculture against the prevailing rhetoric of religious and secular prosperity gospels, consumerism and individualism. It also warned that discipleship in mission is costly and radical. Discipleship is a life of generosity and service, where the true disciple delights in justice, gives generously and cares for the weak. The research concluded with a discussion of practical holistic practices of embodied discipleship – practices that will form habits where disciples will live a flourishing life.
Niemeyer, Larry L. Discipling: A Kingdom Necessity in the African City. Nairobi: Harvest Heralds, 1999.
AbstractIn order to accomplish the task of establishing and advancing the Reign of God, Jesus chose disciples as part of his plan. The way of being Christian is about striving to live faithful discipleship at all stages in life, from childhood to adulthood. Fostering discipleship among young adult Catholics of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Ghana is accomplished through a method called Discipleship Training School (DTS). Through interviews with young adult participants of the DTS in Ghana and engaging the context of Ghana, resources from Scripture and Tradition and experience in a mutual critical dialogue, six areas of concern emerged calling for a new praxis.
Nkansah-Obrempong, James. “Africa’s Contextual Realities: Foundation for the Church’s Holistic Mission.” International Review of Mission 106, no. 2 (December 2017): 280–94.
AbstractEffective discipleship of Christian believers is often neglected by churches. This course encourages the student to foster a culture of discipleship in their own ministry context. There are several definitions […]
Selfudge, J. Following Jesus. Kisumu: Evangel Publishing House, 1975.
AbstractThe changing practices of ministry will no doubt have an impact on the way the leadership will engage in a transformation to a spirit filled way of doing ministry. This professional project will consist of both leadership training and leadership performance evaluation. The research for this project will explore the training of leadership for servanthood discipleship at Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Biblical chapters John 6 and 13, and the book of Ephesians, chapters 3 and 4, offers the Local Advisory Committee (LAC) and me, as pastor, a well-rounded approach to the spiritual formation for leadership towards servanthood ministry. In Quinn Chapel's 163 year history, the leadership practices, the demographics of the faith community, and the works of service have changed. In an endeavor to move the leadership from a frivolous servant to a spiritual servanthood, the project examined the history of spirituality at Quinn Chapel and its impact on the changing practices. The challenge to spiritualize ministry requires the pastor and the LAC to develop a way to transform the leadership's mindset from that of a task-oriented works of service to that of ministry-oriented servanthood discipleship. The methodology permitted the development of the leadership training that was used as a guideline to enhance spirituality. The results from the evaluation of the project indicated how the training was received by the leadership and reveals their desire to spiritualize their service to the church and to disciple others to do the same. The time frame was planned from February through March 2015. The project has impacted the leadership in their understanding of spiritual formation. They enjoyed the spiritual disciplines, Bible Study, the meditations, and the PowerPoint presentation on spiritual formation's direct impact on a ministry. Several developments resulted from this project, including the need to pray about what we do and the desire to equip and serve others with quality servanthood that glorifies God. The leadership's understanding of spiritual formation has led them to develop new ministries.
Spencer, Leon P. “Radical Discipleship and the African Church: Historical Reflections.” In Communities of Faith and Radical Discipleship, edited by G. McLeod Bryan, 105–11. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1986.
AbstractThis article presents the conclusions and recommendations for further research that resulted from the GZB consultation “De-clining Religious Participation: Secularization and Discipleship in Africa,” which was held at the Evangelical Theological
Toren, Benno van den, Joseph Bosco Bangura, and Richard E. Seed, eds. Is Africa Incurably Religious?: Secularization and Discipleship in Africa. Regnum Studies in Mission. Oxford: 1517 Media, 2020.
AbstractThe contributions in the volume question the widespread thesis that Africa is 'incurably religious' by studying both the presence and meaning of secularization in sub-Saharan Africa and among the African diaspora. This exercise requires sustained interest in the notion of secularization itself. It explores whether the
understanding of secularization will need to be challenged and
enlarged to properly detect and understand the secularization
processes in this continent that is known for its religious
fervour. The essays in the first part focus on Africa's cultural
and religious traditions. Though the modern term of secularization cannot be uncritically applied here, the different authors argue
that there are both signs and seeds of secularization present in
Africa's traditional worldview and practices. Essays in the second part study secularization in contemporary Africa, in for example, the world of higher education and the rise of neo-Pentecostalism. It also contains regional reports from both Africa and the African Diaspora. The final section explores what the reality of
secularization in its various expressions means for Christian
discipleship in contemporary Africa.
Toren, Benno van den. “African Neo-Pentecostalism in the Face of Secularization: Problems and Possibilities.” In Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa, edited by Benno van den Toren, Joseph Bosco Bangura, and Dick Seed, 107–20. Regnum Studies in Mission. Oxford: Regnum, 2020.
Toren, Benno van den. “The Relationship between the Creation Mandate and Mission Mandate: Intercultural Reflections on African Christian Discipleship in a Secularized World.” In Is Africa Incurably Religious? Secularization and Discipleship in Africa, edited by Benno van den Toren, Joseph Bosco Bangura, and Dick Seed, 157–73. Regnum Studies in Mission. Oxford: Regnum, 2020.
Tucker, A. Roger. “Some Thoughts around Developing Missional South African Congregations Based upon the Church Rediscovering Its Identity in the Grace of God.” Stellenbosch Theological Journal 2, no. 2 (2016): 467–94.
AbstractIn this paper an attempt is made to show how the noun ??? is frequently used in a theological sense in the Fourth Gospel to constitute the setting in which Johannine eschatology ought to be interpreted and to be understood. The semantic usage of ??? paradigmatically investigated in order to determine its theological profile. It became clear that ??? not only refers repeatedly to the crucifixion and exaltation of Jesus, but also indicates the eschatological time which is a present reality. "??? designates, in particular, a significant moment (the revelation and inauguration of a new eschatological dispensation), event (Jesus' crucifixion as the constitution of the eschatological dispensation) and dispensation (where salvation or condemnation, a new form of worship and discipleship are the order of the day). These three distinct semantic usages of ??? can be distinguished from each other, but cannot be separated, as they jointly constitute the setting in which the Johannine eschatology ought to be interpreted and ought to be understood.
Van der Merwe, Dirk G. “A Historical Survey and Critical Evaluation Concerning Discipleship in the Fourth Gospel.” Verbum et Ecclesia | Skrif En Kerk 17, no. 2 (April 21, 1996): 427–42.
AbstractA historical survey and critical evaluation concerning discipleship in the Fourth Gospel The historical survey about discipleship in the Fourth Gospel indicates that the literature of the second half of this century was sketchy about this theme. Up till 1972 a thematic-theological approach highlighted some characteristics of discipleship as they appeared in all four gospels. The study of Jimenez (1972) was the first substantial approach to research about discipleship in the Fourth Gospel and caused a paradigm shift to restrict his study to only the Fourth Gospel. During the 80's the interest about this theme increased, due to Rudolph Bultmann. After Bultmann more attention was paid to the situation and circumstances of the audience which contribute to a greater interest on discipleship and ecclesiology in the Fourth Gospel. Although no constant current influence on discipleship has been observed, most scholars are unanimous that the focal point of discipleship lies in the "Last Discourse".
Van der Merwe, Dirk G. “Conceptualising Holiness in the Gospel of John (Part 2) The En Route to and Character of Holiness.” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 73, no. 3 (2017): 1–11.
AbstractThis article attempts to point out that John 17:18 (????? ??? ?????????? ??? ??? ?????? ???? ????????? ?????? ??? ??? ??????) does not refer to the historical sending of the disciples by Jesus, but rather the official appointment of the disciples as his agents to continue his divine mission in the world. The historical sending of the disciples will take place at a later stage, in 20:21 (????? ?????????? ?? ? ????? ???? ????? ????), after Jesus' resurrection. In order to prove this hypothesis the following aspects are considered, namely: The two complementary themes (Jesus' approaching departure and discipleship) in the Last Discourses, also mentioned in Ch 17, point to the continuation of Jesus' mission and converge in 17:17-19; the 'agency' concept in the Fourth Gospel constitutes the theological context in which the continuation of Jesus' mission is to be understood; a semanticlinguistic account and the theological understanding and interpretation of 17:17-19 approves the legitimacy of the abovementioned hypothesis. Finally, a comparison of 17:17-19 with 20:21 also proves that 17:17-19 refers to Jesus' appointment of his disciples to be his agents in order to continue his mission, while 20:21 refers to the historical sending of the disciples by Jesus.
Van der Merwe, Dirk G. “Towards a Theological Understanding of Johannine Discipleship.” Neotestamentica 31, no. 2 (1997): 339–59.
AbstractDiscipleship in the Fourth Gospel indicates a personal relationship between Jesus and his disciples. This relationship is modelled on the Father/Son relationship which is elucidated by the agency model. A descent-ascent schema forms the setting for this concept, with the Johannine dualism as the determining factor for this schema. The 'agency' motif constitutes the conceptual framework from which discipleship flows.
Verwijs, Adriaan. “Growing in Christ on African Soil: Thoughts on Enhancing the Contextualization of Discipleship Training in Rwanda.” Cairo Journal of Theology 2 (2015): 132–51.
AbstractIn his narrative the author of this Gospel starkly emphasizes the humiliation and suffering of Jesus as the Son of Man (i.a. 10:45). In doing so, Mark emphasizes that Jesus’ way to be the Christ is the way of suffering. In several instances Mark describes Jesus’ disciples’ ignorance of this fact. Special focus is placed on the ignorance of Peter when confessing Jesus as the Christ. The point of departure for this article is that the Gospel of Mark was written to a specific believing community. It is argued that Rome, rather than Syria or Galilee, most probably was the Sitz im Leben and reason for the second Gospel. Furthermore it is reasoned that the context of Rome provides a relevant hermeneutical key to the understanding of the text of this Gospel. Seen from this perspective, Mark purposefully emphasized the humiliation and suffering of Jesus on his way to glory in order to encourage his despondent readers during or directly after the persecution in the days of Nero 64 CE. Evidence from tradition has indicated that Peter, the great leader of the Christian community in Rome, died as a martyr. This left the Christians in Rome without a leader, fearful and discouraged. The Gospel displays evidence of a Petrine eyewitness account that implies a close link between this apostle and Mark. Although at first Peter did not realize the necessity for Jesus to suffer, the Gospel of Mark clearly explains it with its focus on the passion narrative. Jesus had to walk the way of suffering. In Mark the word “way” is used in a significant manner to indicate that Jesus’ via dolorosa had implications for Peter and still has implications for all those who follow Him by confessing Him as the Christ. Christians are called to follow in his footsteps with suffering and endurance. Accordingly, Mark adds a paradoxical connotation to the term “Gospel”. “Gospel” is the good news of the salvation in Jesus. This message, however, is also concomitant with suffering and even the loss of life.
Wahl, Willem Petrus. “Theological Education in an African Context: Discipleship and Mediated Learning Experience as Framework.” Thesis, University of the Free State, 2011.
AbstractThe purpose of this study is to create a framework for theological education in an African context. It focuses on discipleship and mediated learning experience (MLE) because it encapsulates the fundamental idea of this study, namely that the concepts and principles of discipleship and MLE can effectively contribute to construct a framework that is appropriate for theological education in an African context. In an analysis of the discourse on theological education over the past five decades the following six models for theological education are identified: classical model; vocational model; dialectical model; neo-traditional model; missional model; and ecumenical-diversified model. Further evaluation of these six models lets four central themes emerge, namely leadership stature, practical effectiveness, relational capacity, and spiritual accuracy. These four themes are then compared with a competence-based model for learning in order to conceptualise a broad outline framework for theological education in an African context. The development of this framework must address the primary challenge of competent church leaders in Africa, but also contextual challenges like access to theological education, a lack of resources, socio-political and socio-economic illness, and an Africanized scholarship and curriculum. An analysis of the concept discipleship focuses on its use in ancient Greek, the Old Testament, the Intertestamental period, and the New Testament. Discipleship developed from the general referral to an apprentice in ancient Greek, up to a specialised term in New Testament times. Discipleship in the New Testament is the result of obedience to the call of Jesus, which often requires a cost of self denial. This cost has an effect on the relational proximity within discipleship. Following leads to imitating, this leads to representation. The context of discipleship in the New Testament is the eschatological kingdom of God. Each of the four Gospels emphasises a different aspect of discipleship, which relates broadly to the central themes identified within the discourse on theological education. Discipleship in Matthew largely relates to leadership stature, Mark to practical effectiveness, Luke to relational capacity, and John to spiritual accuracy. The conceptual analysis of mediated learning experience (MLE) focuses on its historical background, theoretical background, and core parameters of intentionality-and-reciprocity, mediation of meaning, and transcendence. MLE is rooted in the belief that the human mind is modifiable. Intelligence is not fixed but is defined as a propensity for change. A lack of MLE results in cultural deprivation but can be altered by MLE interventions. A mediated approach to learning stems from constructivism but stands opposed to its direct approach to learning. In MLE a human mediator (H) is placed between the stimulus (S) and organism (O), and between the organism (O) and the response (R); thus a relational sequence of S-H-O-H-R. Various research studies show that MLE brings about cognitive development for individuals in an African context. MLE and discipleship share a mediated approach to learning. Further comparison between these two concepts bring about three shared foci, namely: a focus on relationship; a focus on process (as opposed to product); and a focus on culture. A framework for theological education in an African context is constructed from two sides, namely: (1) from the previously defined broad outline framework for theological education; and (2) from the concepts and principles of discipleship and MLE. This construction first merges a competence-based model for learning with a mediated approach to learning against a contextual background. This basis is secondly fused with a shared focus on relationship, a shared focus on process, and a shared focus on culture. The third step incorporates the themes leadership stature, practical effectiveness, relational capacity, and spiritual accuracy into the framework as four competences and in so doing creates a three-dimensional diagram. The framework for theological education in an African context, developed by this research study, provides possible solutions for the contextual challenges theological education in Africa is facing. Eight recommendations, in the form of research questions, are made to advance the research findings of this study.
Walls, Andrew F. “The Cost of Discipleship: The Witness of the African Church.” Word & World 25, no. 4 (2005): 433–43.
Wambua, Serah. “Mission Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship: An African Reflection.” In Edinburgh 2010: Volume II. Witnessing to Christ Today, edited by Daryl M. Balia and Kirsteen Kim, 222–44. Oxford: Regnum Books International, 2010.
AbstractMission is first and foremost about God and God's historical redemptive initiative on behalf of creation. In this regard, the Third Lausanne Congress affirms that the Church is called to witness to Christ today by sharing in God's mission of love through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. The World Council of Churches states that 'all Christians, churches and congregations are called to be vibrant messengers of the gospel of Jesus Christ'. How the Church participates in the mission of God is a question on which one should reflect. This article therefore discusses the mission approaches of Ghanaian Pentecostal churches. The article begins with a description of the Ghanaian mission strategic plan, their spiritual approach to mission, and then proceeds with other approaches in the light of Walls' 'five marks of mission' (i.e. evangelism, discipleship, responding to the social needs of people through love, transforming the unjust structures of society, and safe-guarding the integrity of creation) and Krintzinger's (and others') holistic mission approach (i.e. kerygmatic, diaconal, fellowship, and liturgical). This article argues that mission should be approached with a careful strategy.
Sign up here to receive the ATW Newsletter, which provides updates about the platform and showcases valuable resources, as well as special announcements related to the field of African Christian Theology.