In the Yoruba worldview, an individual's identity is closely tied to the community. It might be said of a person that 'the community is, therefore I am.' Out of this context emerges the Oriki. It is a praise poem celebrating the individual as a member of his family or clan. And it summarily recounts … Continue reading Oriki Mi (My Oriki)
The ultimate goal of communication is not just to share information but to build community. The aim is to create unity among disparate entities. When we share information, we hope to reach a mutual understanding and agreement so we can work or live together. It is thus a social function. In a world … Continue reading Communication in an uncertain age
It’s everywhere. Recently, scores of people were slaughtered in a middle belt state here in Nigeria by people believed to be herdsmen from the northern part of the country. Years ago, I lost a dear cousin to HIV. Many have also lost loved ones to cancer, malaria, and several other diseases. A hurricane swept through … Continue reading The problem of evil: a Christian response
*Why bother about someone who lived about two centuries ago? As the preface to the ‘Theologians on the Christian Life’ series, of which the book under review is a part, points out, studying past theologians and believers gives us perspective: “We tend to lack the perspectives from the past, perspectives from a different time and … Continue reading A Christ-centred ministry: Book Review of ‘Spurgeon on the Christian Life’ by Michael Reeves
An editor is a midwife - a midwife of ideas. Women have been given that unique position and privilege of conceiving a baby and having the precious human being gradually develop within them. While the child grows, she supplies all that is needed for growth. After a period of around nine months, the … Continue reading Who is an editor?
I had a discussion with a friend recently, and our discussion veered towards how many Nigerian schools were not teaching history. We reflected on the little instruction in history we both received as young pupils compared to the apparently worse state the subject is in today.
Our brief conversation later got me thinking about how crucial the subject of history is to the Christian faith and worldview. And the relationship is such that the believer cannot afford to neglect the subject.
Unlike the traditional African ‘God’ who is aloof from his creation, the Christian believes in a God who acts in history. Right from his creation of our first parents, he gets involved in their lives. Planting a garden and commissioning Adam to tend it, He reached out to save them when they fell. He sent Abraham to a foreign land, rescued his descendants generations later…
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Grace is central to the Christian worldview. At the core of the Christian understanding of reality is that although man has fallen from his exalted position in which he was created, God has stepped in to secure his salvation. And this salvation Paul has declared to be by grace:
“For by Grace are you saved” (Eph. 2:8)
How then does grace play out? What is involved in God’s display of saving grace? Let us briefly examine five themes which highlight how God’s grace works out in the salvation of individuals.
Man’s utter sinfulness
The Bible describes the condition of fallen humanity as one of death. God issued this threat if our first parents disobeyed His injunction (Gen. 2:17). Sadly, they did. And the sentence was passed in keeping with divine justice. All the miseries and ills befalling humanity ever since – crime, broken homes…
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National Assembly, Abuja
If you grew up in Africa, the word ‘idol’ immediately conjures up images of ancestors offering food items or performing rituals to some sculpted artifact or a natural feature (rocks, rivers, or trees). And your reaction would probably go like this: “Our ignorant ancestors were uneducated; that was why they could hold to such silly beliefs. We, their descendants, know better than to kneel before such lifeless and unresponsive gods.”
Such a view would be sorely mistaken. Idols are way more than we think.
According to Brian Walsh and Richard Middleton in The Transforming Vision, idols are good, created things which we have absolutized and religiously pursued to give us fulfillment. They are aspects of God’s world, but we put them in God’s place to provide what only God can give. So many things have been thus misused, including money, sex, fame, and even reason.
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Recently, I stated that Africa needs the Christian worldview. Here’s why.
Truth: What is real?
Not a realm of divinized humans and ancestral spirits, but a God who has created a universe in which living creatures dwell. A false view of reality will distort our ethics and affect other facets of our lives. The Christian worldview gives a reliable basis for morality and ethics; it finds the ground for goodness in God’s own character. Sexual purity, honesty, and mercy are right because they are reflections of God’s own nature.
Identity: Who am I?
I am a human, created in the image of the God who created all things. I have value on this account, and not through submission to the will of my community. My allegiance is ultimately to the God who rules over all.
Security: How can I be…
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