Subtitle: Engaging Syncretism in the African Church Through Philosophical Analysis of Worldviews
The title comes from our Lord’s Great Commission given in Mathew 28: 18–20. The imperative in the commission is to ‘make disciples of all nations.’ The way that imperative is to be accomplished is by going, baptizing and teaching. Based upon my years of teaching at The Evangelical College of Theology, Sierra Leone, it became evident that unless the African Christian holds a biblical worldview the teachings of Christ and Christianity will not be accepted at the heart level. They may try to change their behaviour to act like a Christian, but unless their worldview changes, what they are supposed to believe will not make sense to them and in a crisis they will abandon what they are taught.
This book presents an analysis of the belief systems of the worldviews behind the religions of Christianity and African Traditional Religion. The book’s purpose is to aid the Christian church in Africa, where Christianity is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, help its converts from African Traditional Religion to hold a biblical worldview in the areas where the biblical and traditional African worldviews conflict. The two worldviews are analyzed and compared using answers to sixteen basic philosophical questions of a worldview and the religious dimensions of how a worldview is lived out in culture. When an African converts from African Traditional Religion to Christianity he encounters a conflict of beliefs in certain philosophical elements of his worldview. Upon the conviction that beliefs determine practice, unless the African convert to Christianity changes his beliefs he will not change his practice, and syncretism will be the result. After analyzing the two worldviews, the areas of conflict in beliefs are presented along with recommendations for bringing the African Christian’s worldview beliefs into conformity with the Christian worldview. This book is directed toward discipleship of the converted in Africa rather than evangelism of the unconverted, in order to help the African church grow deeper as it grows wider.
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Langham Global Library (imprint of Langham Publishing) (14 Sept. 2013)
“In this insightful book, Chalk identifies one of the key problems facing the burgeoning church in Africa, namely that the African worldview, rather than the biblical worldview, dominates the life and practice of the African Christian. This book provides a timely intervention in an area of African Christianity where few have ventured to go.”
Dr Reuben van Rensburg, Principal, South African Theological Seminary
“Chalk has correctly put a finger on what the evangelical church in Africa considers to be a critical challenge to its mission- the duality of African Christians; divided loyalties between Christian and traditional beliefs. This is a significant work in exploring the de-syncretization of the church for Africa’s emancipation and eternal salvation.”
Aiah Foday-Khabenje, General Secretary/CEO, Association of Evangelicals in Africa
“This work turned out to be one of the richest gems of guidance that God used to help structure the vision for a Christian higher education institute formulated to transform Africa through the breadth of Biblical worldview education across theology, the humanities and the sciences.”
Kenneth D. Turnbull, Ph.D., Executive Director, African Christian University
“In his book, Making Disciples in Africa, Dr. Chalk lays out an analysis of the African worldview that is a must read for all non-African Christians who plan on working anywhere on the continent.”
Jim Dearman, Assemblies of God World Missions
Highly recommended to anyone ministering in Africa or to African people. A good overview of the African Traditional Religion (ATR) and the African World View. My observations after two years in Uganda ring true to a lot of what is written here, and I hope to implement some of his suggestions to help produce true believers following a Biblical World View.
D.R. – Review on http://www.Logos.com
I am pleased to say that this book is in the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge and other major universities in the UK and Australia. It is also in the libraries of seminaries across the US and Anglophone Africa. The South African government’s Human Sciences Resource Council has reviewed and credited the book for use in the Department of Religious Studies in all state universities in South Africa, thus promoting its use in other southern African countries. All royalties received from this book will go to the ministry of Langham Partnership International.