Incarnational Theology and Intercultural Mutuality

In a Masters class that I taught recently, one of the students asked me a question that I found tricky: “can missional incarnation happen upwards?” Knowing the student, it was clear to me that I was faced with a good trap. On the one hand, I would have to process this question in the light…

Self-theologising In The Diasopra

Liberating Theology: Can Africans Self-theologise in the Diaspora? In the mid–1800’s, two missionary leaders, Henry Venn and Rufus Anderson, suggested that the new churches that came out of the Western missionaries’ work in Africa and other places needed to be self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting in order to be considered mature enough to be left on…

Mission At The …

Mission At The Margins Our Father which art in the ghetto, Degraded is your name. Thy servitude abounds, Thy will is mocked, As pie in the sky, Teach us to demand, Our share of gold, Forgive us our docility, As we demand our share of justice, Lead us not into complicity, Deliver us from our…

Mission Is The Telos Of Theology

Mission: The Telos of Theology I have just had the privilege to re-read Martin Kähler’s “Schriften zu Christologie und Mission” (of course, auf Deutsch) and among many issues that he discusses, I really like his suggestion that mission is the mother of theology. To say that theology “comes out of mission” makes perfect sense to…

In Stillness an…

In Stillness and Silence Silence your body to listen to your words. Silence your tongue to listen to your thought. Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating. Silence your heart to listen to your spirit. Silence your spirit to listen to His Spirit. In silence, we leave many to be with the One….

Conversations With African Pastors in the Diaspora: An Introduction

For the large part of my life in the Diaspora, I have been in conversations with pastors. Many of the pastors have been preachers from many countries in Africa trying to do their ministry work in the West, but I have also spoken to equally many Western pastors. A good number of these conversations have…

Can Immigrant Christians Be Missional in the West?

Mission, as in the mission of God, missio Dei, has always been connected to migration of followers of Christ from one part of the world to another. In fact, the spread of religions, whatever they are, is generally dependent on the migrations of their adherents. For instance, the spread of Christianity in the twentieth century…

Getting Beyond the Clash of Christianities

The arrival of world Christianity in the second half of the twentieth century has implications that we are yet to begin to comprehend. To borrow the language of Samuel Huntington who talks about the clash of civilizations, my long engagement (as an African) with Western Christianity in Europe and North America has led me to…

Three Reasons You Should Never Say "Reverse Mission."

It has to be said now that “reverse mission” is not the most appropriate term for the rising presence of African Christians and missionaries in Europe and North America. While the term has gained popularity among some schools of missional thought, and has been used extensively since the turn of the millenium, there is now…

Umunthu as Missio Dei

A person, in the umunthu sense of the word, is one who humanizes others through selfless and sacrificial generosity. This is what the mission of God is for humanity. The missionary God–the Great Munthu–through the Crucified Son, sacrificially shared God’s own personhood with us, humans, to give us life, make us persons, and draw us into a…

Quoting Nina Gunter

“If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers.” — Nina Gunter

Wanted: Talking Strangers.

At the center of contemporary Western missiology (or missional theology/ecclesiology) is the voice of Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, a British missionary theologian who spent some thirty years working in India. When he returned to England in the mid-70s, he was shocked to see that the Christian Britain that had sent him to India in the 30s…