Zambian Theologian: Western Theology Fails to Address African Needs
Rehe, March 7 (idea) – Christians in Africa need to develop their own theology. According to Joe Kapolyo, a theologian from Zambia, many of his African colleagues simply copy Western theology, which is influenced by rationalism.
It fails to address specific African needs, said Kapolyo in his keynote address at the annual meeting of the German Association of Evangelical Missions (AEM) in Rehe near Frankfurt, February 28 – March 2.
According to Kapolyo Western theology cannot provide answers to many African questions. A truly African theology must deal with subjects like poverty, tribalism, corruption, sexuality, and spiritism.
Confrontation with the spirit world is a central element in African thinking. Western theology, on the other hand, regards demons as superstitious trash, said Kapolyo, although Jesus Christ himself drove out demons.
During the last five years Kapolyo has been rector of All Nations Christian College in London, England. Later in the year he will become pastor of an international church in the British capital.
Despite its fast growth in Africa Christianity has not succeeded in penetrating African culture, said Kapolyo. In many instances Africans have only been touched superficially. They often mix the Christian faith with paganism: They are good Christians during the day and consult the witchdoctor at night.
This can lead to grotesque situations. There are thieves in Nigeria, said Kapolyo, who pray for God’s help in robberies and burglaries. They also “tithe” from their loot, and pastors by cars with the stolen money, said Kapolyo.
As the AEM reported, the number of evangelical missionaries from Germany has reached a new record: 2,914 missionaries are active around the globe, 43 more than in the previous year. Evangelicals account for more than 80 percent of all Protestant German missionaries.
370 men and women were sent out for the first time, while 270 finished their ministry and returned home. AEM is the umbrella organization for 90 missionary agencies.
Evangelical news agency idea. Wolfgang Polzer
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