An American Dream, a Nigerian Lesson

The Christian Mind

martin-luther-king-3

Several years ago, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He stood there not to preach nor to campaign, but to share a dream – a dream inspired by the belief that all men are created in God’s image and are therefore equal. His thought and civil action were clearly driven by his belief in the truth about humanity as revealed in the gospel.

Martin Luther King is an inspiration for a different but related challenge in our own society.

Nigeria may not have a challenge of racial injustice, but she does have a problem of ethnic intolerance. Like most countries in Africa, she is blessed with a racial homogeneity. However, the uniformity in race is more than offset by a diversity in tribal groups. According to the CIA World Factbook, she has more than 250 different ethnic groups. Over the decades…

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A Cause for the Nigerian Church

The Christian Mind

claire-anderson-60670

A God of Justice

God is righteous and just in himself and he desires justice in his creatures. His divine righteousness is thus the basis and obligation for human justice.

When we say that God is just, it means that ‘God always acts in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right’. According to the late Dutch-American theologian Louis Berkhof, “Justice manifests itself especially in giving every man his due, in treating him according to his deserts.” This is what God does, and he does so because that is what he is. In other words, God acts justly because he is just.

In Deut. 32:4, Moses declared concerning God that, “All his ways are justice. A God of truth and without injustice. Righteous and upright is he.” Abraham also appealed to this attribute of God when he asked rhetorically: “Shall not the judge…

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We need Christian Schools

The Christian Mind

school-in-lagos A school in Lagos, Nigeria

We need Christian schools.

I believe many Christians would agree with that assertion. And some would even mention that we already have a number of them in Nigeria. They may be expensive, they may be few, but we have some. However, I don’t mean a school run by Christian individuals or churches, or a school where it is normal to have prayer meetings and bible studies, or a school where Christian knowledge is part of the curriculum. What I mean by Christian school is a school where the whole philosophy and practice of education is shaped by a Christian worldview.

A Christian school, at least its faculty, will understand that the world, both its physical and non-material aspects, was created by God. And because that world was pronounced good by its Creator (Gen. 1:31), every sphere of life is rendered worthy of our study and participation. Humanity is created in God’s own…

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Biblical Principles, Biblical Story

The Christian Mind

separating-the-ethical-principles-of-the-bible-from-its-story-of-redemption-is-like-dividing-a-foetus-from-its-mother

Ethics is crucial, and the Bible has a lot to say about it. Marriage, Trade, Parenting, and Politics are just some of the areas for which we can find some scriptural guidance. Nevertheless, these principles are communicated within the unfolding of the story of redemption – the narrative of God restoring his kingdom on earth after humanity’s rebellion. Therefore, every moral principle should be understood and taught in light of this grand story. If we fail to do this, we debase the Bible into a mere collection of rules and principles, and we transform Christianity into Moralism.

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Customer Service begins at the top

Service Culture

Top Executive at work

One of the frustrating experiences of a Customer Service representative is having an expectation or directive from the company’s top management to offer excellent service to customers yet receiving no real commitment from the same management. The company as a whole has no realistic customer oriented vision or mission, it lacks a strategy for truly satisfying her customers, and feedback from customers is never taken seriously unless it’s about to degenerate into a PR crisis.

The global drive towards excellent customer service has been on now for no less than two decades, yet for many companies, it’s still just an issue for a department. The company is yet to grasp that customer satisfaction is not an aspect of the business; it is the business. We simply cannot offer excellent service unless the whole company believes in it and aligns all – I mean all – her processes, goals, and decisions toward…

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The God my Ancestors knew but didn’t know

The Christian Mind

My Yoruba ancestors (along with most African cultures) believe in a supreme being; they call him Olodumare. They revere him as the source of all life and the originator of all that exists. He is too great to come into contact with the universe, so he is somewhat distant and aloof. This task of dealing with the mundane affairs of humanity is handled by the lesser gods, the orisa. Thus in theological terms, we have a transcendent deity who is not immanent, but reigns as the king over a large group of smaller deities, spirits, and forces.

Abstract Africa in a Tiger Camouflage Abstract Africa in a Tiger Camouflage

Centuries ago, in the very different climate of Palestine, God was unveiling himself to us. Amidst the ruggedness of the middle eastern terrain, and the simplicity of their diet and clothing, Jesus was born. Earlier prophecies about him, as well as his subsequent life and…

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Even If …

The Christian Mind

The hand of God does not always reflect his heart. God loves his children, even though he sometimes does not grant the healing, blessing, or success they seek. James was killed by Herod, Stephen was stoned to death by the Jewish elders, Paul had a thorn in the flesh still. Yet God’s heart toward them was unchanged. Through any painful trial, delayed blessing, or denied healing, his assurance to the believer remains:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”(Jer. 31:3 ESV)

 

As the Christian rock band Kutless reminds us, we know God is loving, good, and faithful even if…


 

Sometimes all we have to hold on to

Is what we know is true of who You areChild on hospital bed

So when the heartache hits like a hurricane

That could never change who You…

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A Reflection on Joy – Pope Benedict XVI

The Christian Mind

A striking reflection on joy by Pope Benedict XVI.


Pope Benedict XVISomething I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don’t have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice.

I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better – and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is…

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What’s a Worldview all about?

The Christian Mind

Boy with camera

Everyone has a worldview; we just don’t think much about it.

What is it anyway?

A worldview is like your conceptual picture of reality (the world, life, everything). It is how you ‘see’ things, and how this picture helps you make sense of the little things and the big things in your life. Compare it to a camera or lens through which you see the world.

Your worldview will shape how you view politics, education, relationships, entertainment, work, etc. It governs your outlook on life. It is the silent and unnoticed group of assumptions you bring to everything you do.

There are multitudes of worldviews, and it is not uncommon for us to mix elements of different worldviews together. For instance, many Nigerian Christians who are educated have imbibed aspects of a secular worldview such as the belief in an autonomous rational universe which can be known through scientific investigation…

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Truths of Calling

The Christian Mind

For the past several years, the theme of Calling has been very dear to me. I have increasingly come to see that it is a crucial truth for escaping the humdrum of modern life. As such, I am always on the lookout for books which help to clarify what it’s all about and provide much-needed guidance to all who are seeking to uncover the mystery. And, lately, I read Os Guinness’s masterpiece on the subject. It is at once thorough and lively, learned and interesting, with a continual focus on the Saviour who obediently surrendered to his Father’s call. His book is a delight to read and a feast to relish. I can do little more than offer his points on calling which he carefully develops throughout the book and hope they stimulate you to get the book for yourself and devour its nutrients.


Calling is the truth that God…

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