Challenges of Collaboration and Construction in Majority World Theological Development
When: June 10, 2022, 9:00 am - Friday
Where: Ezell 211
This session features critical reflection, response, and discussion among leaders of Majority World theological institutions on specific obstacles present in strengthening the church’s witness.
Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah and Nathan Bills, Heritage Christian (Univ) College, Accra, Ghana, “We Do Not Come Empty-Handed: Gifts the Majority World Church Offer to Western Partners”
Churches across Africa have experienced exponential growth in the last one hundred years and are still expanding at an incredible rate. While this growth owes much to earlier, 20th century Western mission efforts, many 21st century churches in Africa have moved beyond the tutelage of Western oversight. Yet, the West’s “custodial supervision”—either in past memory or current practice—has too often stymied the development of genuine partnership with mature African congregations and their mission efforts. This paper reflects on the cases of the Nsawam Road church of Christ (Accra, Ghana) and Heritage Christian College (Accra, Ghana) and the gifts they offer that must be instrumental for future partnering. It suggests that the West has much to gain from these gifts with regard to their own domestic missional imagination and practice.
David Baer, Theological Education Initiative, Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia, “Response to Twumasi-Ankrah and Bills: Why Is This Not Easier?”
This paper interacts with Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah and Nathan Bills’s paper “We Do Not Come Empty-Handed: Gifts the Majority World Church Offer to Western Partners,” presented in the same session.
Komi Hiagbe, Global Theological Seminary, Accra, Ghana, “Thy Kingdom Come: The Church and Cultural Reconstruction for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”
Increasingly, Christianity is becoming a majority religion in many Sub-Saharan African countries. The impressive numbers of adherents of the faith, in most cases however, is at odds with the cultural beliefs and practices of the peoples of these nations. This paper examines the influence of Christianity on selected cultures to argue that organized religion, particularly Christianity, holds the key to the development of Sub-Saharan Africa by conscious reconstruction of major tenets of cultures of the peoples. African theological and missiological reflections directed towards the challenges of cultural deconstruction and reconstruction should be the goal of the Church.
Gerry Wheaton, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC, “A Prophetic Challenge to Cultural Norms: Lessons from an Early Christian Community for Cultural Reconstruction”
In regions of the world where the church is growing rapidly leaders of Christian denominations and educational institutions are asking how the church should challenge and even overturn cultural norms that are in conflict with the view of human community found in Scripture. This paper investigates Paul’s counsel to two congregations, Corinth and Philippi, whom Paul urges to overturn certain societal norms, actively pursuing the best interests of others even at the expense of one’s own best interests. It challenges Christian communities to embody a prophetic witness in their societies that challenges the present and anticipates the future.
Nathan Bills, Heritage Christian College, Convener
- Sam Twumasi-Ankrah and Nathan Bills, Heritage Christian College (Accra, Ghana), “We Do Not Come Empty-Handed: Gifts the Majority World Church Offer to Western Partners”
- David Baer, Theological Education Initiative, “Response to Twumasi-Ankrah and Bills: Why Is This Not Easier?”
- Komi Hiagbe, Global Theological Seminary, Accra, Ghana, “Thy Kingdom Come: The Church and Cultural Reconstruction for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa”
- Gary Wheaton, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, “A Prophetic Challenge to Cultural Norms: Lessons from an Early Christian Community for Cultural Reconstruction”