Michael Thomas (former “Menno” resident and faithful participant at PGIMF) reviewed Paul’s metaphors (1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 2) in which all members of the body are important. Michael recently studied how and what seminarians in Ghana learn about Christianity and some of the ways they view scriptures and faith.
1.Westerners do not bother with wide swaths of the bible dealing with evil spirits, genealogies, healings, visi ons and the like, but African Christians are familiar with these worlds; therefore the bible is very much their book–all of it, especially the Old Testament.
2.African Christians understand the spirit realms (casting out spirits, etc.) far better than Westerners; the spirit world is just a real to well-educated Africans as is the physical world.
3.Believing that the foundation of all things is God, Africans do not separate the sacred from the secular as we do; “theology” (the study of God) encompasses everything in life.
4.Westerners have emphasized individualism in our ethics and increasingly in our churches, but African Christians believe that the well being of the group takes precedence over individualism. One person even commented that democracy is undercutting Christianity in the West, watering it down (letting untrained people have a significant say in what the church should teach).
Western Christianity appears to have the upper hand because of its vast financial wealth and long history of thinking, but there is so much that we can learn from the African “parts of Christ’s body”. [JEK]