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Missiological Framework in Africa: The Missional African Church and Its Missionary Praxis.

Let me, at the very outset, state that Africa is, no doubt, a religious continent. Therefore, I start with an African parable on the spiritual and politico-economic awakening of the continent:
A visitor interrupted me. "Excuse me," he said. "Could you tell me the
way to Africa?" "Easy," I said. "You'll recognize Africa from the
people. They'll all be crying." "That's funny," said the man. "When I
was a litde boy and a refugee there, Africans were smiling. They were
full of hope. They had leaders who promised them that if they worked
hard and loved one another they would prosper." As we were coming to
Africa, I asked him a question. "By the way," I remarked, "What is your
name?"
"My name is Jesus Christ," he said. Soon Jesus Christ and I came to a
lake in Africa. We sat down, took off our shoes, and washed our feet.
Jesus' feet were soon sparkling clean but I couldn't wash the dirt off
mine. The more I washed, the dirtier they got. The dirt ran into the
lake and soon the lake was completely covered in green scum and
everything started to die. Fish gasped for air, water snakes writhed in
agony, and rats lay on the surface, feet up, breathing their last.
Jesus Christ stood up, waved his arms, looked to the sky, and shouted,
"Long live Africa!" And at that the waters cleared, the fish recovered,
and elephants, lions, rhino, springboks, goats, sheep, cattle, dogs,
and cats came to the lake to drink. Then Jesus said, "Look, the giant
is awakening! It is now your turn to make sure the giant is walking."
(1)


Such stories are not merely stories or a wish for a miracle, but contain the age-old message of ora et labora (pray and struggle for justice). In other words, to pray and struggle for justice means to fully grasp that "prayer holds the word of faith the way the earth holds the seed until it sprouts." (2)

As Christians, believers, and citizens of this world, we are called upon to pray and to work simultaneously by linking orthodoxy (correct teachings and doctrines of the church as contained in the holy scriptures), orthokardia (right-heartedness or spirituality toward God and neighbours), and orthopraxis (transformative social action and involvement in the affairs of this world). Such direct and intimate linking insists that spirituality and faith inspired by God's word must express itself in social action. In other words, God must not be de-emphasized, faith not neglected, and praxis not avoided.

As an introductory note, let me state that the participation of Christians in the mission of God is something much larger than the church itself or any mission society or missionary. In the mission of God, the church and Christians are mandated to participate in the work of the triune God in co-bringing the liberation, freedom, justice, reconciliation, and healing of the world. To be concise, mission is God's job description, capturing both who God is and what God does.

This earth-shaking fact of who God is and what God does is the heart of the beginning of Jesus' mission and ministry that is transcending religion, economic status, gender, ethnicity, race, and class. Such ministry is in line with the model of God's mission as praxis for healing and reconciliation today, which is "to bring the good news to the oppressed... to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour" (Is. 61, Luke 4).

From such a background, this article has three parts.

The first part deals with the understanding of mission in the context of Namibia, which was interpreted primarily in soteriological terms, i.e., as saving individuals from eternal damnation; in cultural terms, i.e., as introducing Africans to the European way of life; or even in economic terms. But Namibians, and in general Africans, did not reject Christianity; instead, they regarded the Bible as the instrument of salvation and liberation.

Part two deals with a profile of African spirituality and its politico-socio-economic implications or its missionary orthopraxis. Here I am thinking about the African parable on the awakening giant. This awakening is, in itself, not new. It is as old as Africa itself. Ever since the era of the slave trade followed by colonization, Africa has tried on various levels to reinvent itself with varying degrees of success. There is ample evidence of the resistance put up by our forebears throughout slavery and the colonial era that bear testimony that Africans have always tried to assert themselves and break loose from bondage.

In the third part, the focus is on the African missional church and its missionary praxis. Let me state that for the missional church, mission is not only what the church does (missionary activities), but also on the centrality of preaching the gospel and administrating the sacraments. In short, the triune God creates the church and sustains it through the gifts of word and sacrament by the power of the Spirit. Such missional church understands its participation in God's mission (missio Dei) as contextual by addressing faithfully the challenges in a comprehensive and holistic way

The Missional Church and Missionary Praxis from a Namibian Perspective

Namibia is located in Southern Africa. It is a large, predominantly Christian, sparsely populated country on the Atlantic Ocean. With one of the world's biggest gemstone diamond deposits; large quantities of copper, zinc, uranium, and salt; vast tracts of land ideal for cattle farming; and fish-laden coastal waters, Namibia attracted European settlers. In 1884, the Germans made the territory a colony known as Deutsch-Sudwestafrika (German Southwest Africa) and began a sustained drive to subdue the Indigenous communities through "protection treaties," which granted German companies the right to "develop" the area economically. The settlers grew rich, but the indigenous people became impoverished. Missionaries who arrived with the Germans attempted to Christianize Namibia based on the strategy of the four "C"s: commerce, Christianity, civilization, and conquest. (3)

However, Africans were conscious of the strategy of the four "C"s and started to employ their own discourse based on African spirituality, with its anthropological core value of ubuntu ("I am because we are"). Instead of rejecting Christianity outright, Namibians Africanized the religion by contextualizing the gospel. Such contextualizing of the gospel resulted in a major paradigm shift in Southern Africa. The defining moments were reached when in 1990 and 1994, Namibia became independent and South Africa became democratic after the abolishment of apartheid.

Therefore, to avoid such a terrible and tragic history of colonialism coupled with missionary work or the alliance between the throne and altar, it is essential to start any discussion on God's mission correctly. The proper beginning of Christianity starts by participating and walking in the footsteps of the triune God who is missio Dei, i.e., the mission is not a human activity of witness, proclamation, and service, nor is it the work of a particular church or mission society; it is primarily God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit sending the church into the world. (4) In short, "The church can be in mission authentically only in obedience to God as missio." (5)

In other words, mission in the context of Namibia was interpreted primarily in soteriological terms, i.e., as saving individuals from eternal damnation; in cultural terms, i.e., as introducing Africans to the European way of life; or even in economic terms, as aptly summed up by Stephen Neill in the hat-trick formula "gold, ivory, and slaves." (6) Africans could not see Christianity as their religion, especially as its missionaries were easily seen as the precursors of the trans-Atlantic slave traders or, as John Mbiti puts it, "there is no priest and a European--both are the same." (7) In other words, colonialism and Christian mission, as a matter of course, were interdependent: the right to have colonies carried with it the duty to Christianize the colonized. This did not happen by accident. According to Bosch, the aim was to make "the whole tribe" English or German in "their language, civilized in their habits, and Christian in their religion." (8)

This "right" to impose one's views on others is described by Julius Richter as "Protestant missions" that should be part and parcel "of the cultural expansion of Euro-American peoples." (9) Such missionary activity was understood to be vested in a church or a mission society aided and protected by colonialism. The reason for this support was that a typical German missionary Weltanschauung was a brand of Darwinism and pan-Germanism. The main tenet of this line of thought was to uncritically apply the notion of nation (Volk) to the "strongest" nation, the "most highly developed" nation, and to suggest that the "underdeveloped" nation or people needed colonial protection. (10)

Therefore, it is not surprizing that the missionaries coming from Germany under the Rhenish Missionary Society (RMS) had already hoisted the Prussian flag on its buildings at Otjimbingwe, Namibia, 20 years before Otto von Bismarck declared, by telegram (11) on 24 April 1884, that Namibia had become a German colony. The missionaries assumed that Christianity was the only answer to solving Africa's problems. For example, by undermining African Traditional Religion and African culture, knowingly or unknowingly, they contributed to the destruction of African identity.

Africans were taught that their religion and culture were deficient or even pagan and evil and had to be put aside. Consequently, a somewhat narrow and judgmental attitude toward culture opened the door to the danger of almost substituting a Western Weltanschauung at the expense of African morality rooted in the spirit of ubuntu--or humaneness, Khoexasib, Menschlichkeit.

In this ubuntu culture and ethos, we say, "A person is a person through other persons." It is not one of "I think, therefore I am." Instead it says, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." In other words, a person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, and does not see the other as an enemy, but as a brother, a sister, a comrade. (12) Harmony, friendliness, community are great goods, the summum bonum after a person has been justified by God.

To put it differently, love of God and love of neighbour cannot be separated. In The Freedom of a Christian, Luther speaks of being a Christ to one's neighbour. That is, in serving one's neighbour, Christians are not serving God: on the contrary, they are being united with God by faith and are participating in the work of God. (13) In short, the Lutheran confessional heritage on the issue of being a Christ to one's neighbour is almost identical to the African ubuntu heritage. Therefore, no matter how brutal colonialism was, even to the degree of causing African anthropological poverty, the colonizers could not touch the soul of African spirituality and ubuntu.

To illustrate the link between spirituality and ubuntu, the story of the Bible and land is relevant. It is usually said that, after the divine service, the Bible was in the hands of the Africans but their land was gone. Instead, this should be seen as "when the service ended and the land was gone, the liberation struggle started in light of the teachings of the Bible." (14)

For every Christian, the issue is how to read the Bible. According to Luke Lungile Pato, African theologians and instructors also need to "go beyond the Bible and Christian documents, not with a view to undermining Christian faith, but to recover the integral connections which can hold African tradition and its world-view together with the Christian faith. Rather than dismissing the African folk-tales and myths as pagan and evil... African theologians must place them alongside the biblical stones. (15)

African Spirituality and Its Politico-socio-economic Contexts

Let me briefly recap the history of Christianity worldwide, with special focus on Africa. Over the past century, the Christian faith has spread throughout the world, especially in the global South. Since the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the majority of Christians are Africans, Asians, Latin Americans, and people from the Pacific. Over the last 100 years, we have experienced drastic demographic shifts in Christianity. (16)

Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder, two professors from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, use the following example to illustrate the trends of Christianity throughout history. (17) Imagine, they say, a long-living scholar of religion from another planet who periodically received grants to study Christianity. On his first visit the scholar encounters the first generation of Christianity around 37 CE. They are all Jews and are using the Hebrew Bible and concentrated in and around Jerusalem at the time of the origin of the church on the day of Pentecost. The second visit is the occasion of the first ecumenical Council of Nicaea that started in 325 CE. The Christians were Greek-speaking and none of them were Jewish. While the participants still respected the Hebrew Bible, another set of writings were used and they debated whether a term that does not appear in the Hebrew Bible or New Testament, the Greek word homoousios (co-existing or one in being), can be used to best express their faith in Jesus. On the third visit, several hundred years later, the scholar encounters Irish monks, no longer called rabbis. They are wearing strange robes and are expressing their faith in Jesus by performing rites of penance, and they live in seclusion by withdrawing from the world. During the fourth visit, in the 1840s, the scholar is encountering European or North American Christians who are preparing to send missionaries to Africa. The well-fed European/North American missionaries still spoke of holiness, but they were hardly committed to withdrawal from the world and physical penances. During the fifth visit the visitors are in Nigeria, Africa. Nigerian Christians are wearing white robes and dancing and singing while using drums on their way to the church in a most lively and joyous way. To put it differently, they are spirit-filled.

In the history of Christianity, the word "spirituality" or being "spirit-filled" is as challenging, if not as threatening, as the words "social activism." Both are subject to misunderstanding and misuse. When we speak of a spiritual person, we generally understand this as being someone whose "head is in the clouds." When we speak of an activist, we sometimes intend it as a warning: here is a person at the forefront, inevitably causing problems.

However, in Africa and elsewhere, such concepts are not threatening but directives toward the sphere where God is praised and one's neighbour is served. Consider the following down-to-earth example, vividly described by Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu:
It is only a "living God" interested in the everyday concerns of his
children who can also make his mind known to them through prophecy,
visions and dreams. It was also striking to see how such belief in the
reality of God had influenced and been incorporated into the popular
Ghanaian imagination. Thus in Ghana, car bumper stickers carry biblical
and religious slogans like "Angels on guard keep off" and "Satan is a
loser." A number of small businesses also advertise their ventures in
religious language: "Anointed Hands Hairdressing Saloon," "Jesus is a
Winner Restaurant" and "Blessed Hands Tyre Repair Services." What makes
such spirituality distinctive is that the African traditional heritage
within which such spirituality is expressed is itself intensely and
pervasively religious. (18)


Against this background, in Africa and generally in the global South we are witnessing an ever-increasing interest in the phenomenon of spirituality. Prayer and meditation groups are burgeoning; retreat centres cater to an increasing number of lay women and men in addition to religious workers who are seeking a deeper spiritual life; radio and television documentaries, seminars and conferences, centres for the study of spirituality--all these have come to the fore in the last decades. (19)

As an example, take the ministry of the African Independent churches on spirituality or what is known as soul-stirring worship. Like in the Hebrew Bible, for Africans "soul" (or in Hebrew nephesh) does not mean the invisible part of a person. African Christian worship seeks to stir the soul. Soul connotes the whole person. Soul is every part of me; it's every part of you. Consequently, in such African Independent churches, worship speaks to every part of a person. It stirs the body, head, heart, and soul. It is the experience of theology of worship where God is speaking directly to the heart of the worshippers. (20)

Therefore, the concept of orthokardia becomes central. It brings the totality of people's humanity into a redemptive rendezvous with righteous God. During such spiritual encounters, an African worship service unapologetically plumbs the depths of people's emotions. It rejects the philosophical dualism between "body" and "soul" and insists that the presence of emotion does not equal the absence of intelligence.

Thus, for example, worship services are thoroughly embodied, deeply musical, highly choreographed sacred drama--with hands clapping, feet tapping, elders humming, choirs swaying, ushers marching, preachers sweating, and congregants shouting, all for the glorification of God, the edification of the human spirit, and the transformation of a troubled world. When the cognitive and emotive intensity of worship is manifesting itself in the worshipper, some African Christians will joyfully declare, "I feel the fire burning." (21)

In contrast to former views of spirituality, which considered it to be separate from earthly concerns, contemporary spirituality of the missional church understands its participation in God's mission as contextual, addressing faithfully and passionately the challenges of contemporary praxis. According to Martin Luther, "he or she who wants to be a true Christian... must be truly a believer. But he or she does not truly believe if works of love do not follow his/her faith." (22) To put it differently, having been made righteous by Christ, we become "a Christ" toward the neighbour by enabling the poor to have their daily bread. (23)

This fascinating growth of and widespread interest in spirituality and its close and direct link to socio-politico-economic praxis reflect important trends in African Christianity. Therefore, I opine that a rereading of the African theologies awakens in us the rediscovery of spirituality or orthokardia as "thirst for God." To quote David Bosch, when Christians proclaim the gospel, it links the "word" with the "deed." The "deed" or action without the "word" or prayer is dumb; the word/prayer without the deed/action is empty. (24)

Today, spirituality or orthokardia has to become part of our theological tradition along with orthodoxy and orthopraxis. These three aspects are essential, so that the divine human encounter might acquire greater depth and meaning. Therefore, a true understanding of the nature of spirituality will effect personal, societal, and structural transformation and help to bring about more united, peaceful, reconciling, and healing communities.

I am now in the position to throw down the gauntlet, and let me use the following story as an illustration: When the missionaries and colonialists came, the missionaries gave the Bible to Africans and the colonialists took the land. They thought, based upon their strategy of the four "C"s, that the story had ended. But Africans were conscious of the colonizing strategies and started to employ their own discourse based on African spirituality and ubuntu principles. They sang loudly, praised God, closed their eyes in prayer, and listened diligently to the word of God. At the same time their souls, hearts, and brains were wide open to contextualize the gospel, while their hands and feet were ready for liberative action.

To rephrase, let me say that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, Victor, and Liberator, and we humans are minor liberators engaged in securing provisional and relative yet joyful victories over our individual and socio-cultural-religious-political and economic sins such as terrorism, violence, wars, violence against women and children, economic exploitation, racism, gender inequalities, sexism, and political oppression. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus comes to us in those who are hungry, homeless, sick, and imprisoned. Basic human needs are listed here--food, clothing, shelter, health care, and, by implication, the basic political need for human dignity and integrity.

Put plainly, a Christian's zeal for God's honour and dignity must show itself in corresponding action that is directed toward the neighbour. Such an understanding of Christian ministry means that God breaks into our world and invites us to be involved in the creative and liberating dynamics of God's love in history. Moreover, while human efforts cannot remove sin from the world, God's creativity involves us in these dynamics, so that we engage in seeking partial, provisional, and relative victories, and this is the missio Dei in which the African missional church is participating today.

African Missional Church and Its Missionary Praxis

I now turn to the contextual and practical implications of such a missionary theology in Africa. At the outset I wish to state that missional church is called into the missionary praxis. For the missional church, mission is not only what the church does (missionary activities), but also how the church is at work in specific contextual praxis. Word-empowered and Spirit-led, the church knows that mission flows from its nature as a witnessing, reconciling, and healing community. (25)

It could also be said that the being-ness (the missional church) and sent-ness (the missionary praxis) of the church are inextricably linked. Such a missional church understands its participation in missio Dei as contextual, addressing faithfully, in a comprehensive and holistic way, the challenges of ever-changing and complex realities in which we humans are living.

For the missional church to be engaged in such missionary praxis, it needs to follow mission as a prophetic practice in faith, courage, bold humility, dialogue, and proclamation. Such mission is based on Micah 6:8, "He [God] has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."

These words are echoed in the letter of James 2:14-17: "What good it is, my brothers and sisters, if you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,' and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."

From a political perspective, these words from the letter of James may be interpreted as follows: In the words of the Kenyan academic and lawyer Patrice Loch Otieno Lumumba,
If Africa is to grow, then all of us must now make a solemn vow that
whatsoever we do, we shall do it for the benefit of the continent. All
men and women in the 54 African countries must roll up their sleeves
and work. Those in positions of leadership must see those positions as
positions of trust not opportunities for material aggrandizement. As Dr
Boima Fahnbulleh, a Liberian politician and diplomat has said, Africa
can rise and indeed must rise, but she can only do so if her leaders
and her people make that choice in their home now. Throughout history,
leadership has been the driver of human progress. Human history is
replete with stories of societies which have known astounding
development because they were led by enlightened leaders. (26)


Such prophetic words are needed both for the church and political leaders. God acts in history by choosing to work through religions, political leaders, and the people. I am now talking about the synergia between God and us humans. Karl Barth declares, "from the belief in God's righteousness there follows logically a very definite political problem and task." (27) Barth is highly specific on the nature and theological orientation of such a task, as can be appreciated when he states, "God always takes His stand unconditionally and passionately on this side and this side alone: against the lofty and on behalf of the lowly." (28)

This is an indication of the concrete political tendency of the biblical message. Nor can this message be heard and believed without awakening a sense of spiritual, political, and economic responsibility to follow in that direction today. This calls for us to provide structures and processes for a fractured society to be reconstructed as truthful and just and to rebuild shattered lives so that kindred live together in unity and in a very good and pleasant household (Ps. 133:1-2).

That is what it means to live together in harmony within healing and reconciling communities. It is in this specific context that the giant is awakening and Jesus said, "Look, the giant is awakening! It is now your turn to make sure the giant is walking."

Conclusion

What can we say about the being-ness (the missional church) and sent-ness (the missionary praxis) of the African church today? For such missional church, participation in God's mission (missio Dei) is contextual. For us as African Christians, it means to be servants of spirituality, social activism, and preachers of the word of the triune God in the church and in the public sphere. We must not be afraid or hesitate to connect missio Dei to politics and economics in order to be the prophetic church.

The African missional church is enabled on the basis of missio Dei to tell the gospel truth in bold humility. Truth-telling, struggling for justice, and working toward reconciliation and nation-building are the ongoing mission activities of the church. These processes imply that churches must endeavour to create safe and hospitable spaces where truth can be spoken, heard, and practiced. In order to achieve this noble task, the churches are always called upon to answer in their own contexts the serious questions concerning the meaning and contemporary validity of teachings and practices on orthodoxy, orthokardia, and orthopraxis. This is a question on the central issue, namely, the Christian response in word (faith) and deed (good works) to our religious traditions and to our socio-political and economic events. This is our missio Dei as African Christians in our being-ness and sent-ness.

Paul John Isaak

Paul John Isaak is a professor at Paulinum Lutheran Seminary, Windhoek, Namibia, and has held various academic positions internationally, including as professor of Missiology at Ecumenical Institute Bossey and University of Geneva, Switzerland.

(1) Paul John Isaak, "The Story of the Rich Christians and Poor Lazarus: Christianity, Poverty and Wealth in the 21 st Century," Journal of Religion and Theology in Namibia, 2 (2000), 72-94.

(2) C. Boff, "Feet on the Ground Theology," in A Brazilian Journey (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1987), 97.

(3) Paul John Isaak, "The Lutheran Churches' Open Letter of 1971: The Prophetic Voice of Church and Society," in Contested Relations: Protestantism between Southern Africa and Germany from the 1930s to the Apartheid Era, ed. Hanns Lessing et al. (Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications, 2015), 389-90.

(4) Paul John Isaak, The Influences of Missionary Wirk in Namibia (Windhoek: MacMillan Namibia, 2007), 23-25.

(5) Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today. (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2004), 289-95.

(6) S. Neill, Colonialism and Christian Mission (London: Lutherworth, 1966), 266.

(7) John Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (Nairobi: Heinemann, 1969), 231.

(8) David Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1999), 292.

(9) Ibid.

(10) Carl J. Hellberg, Mission, Colonialism, and Liberation: The Lutheran Church in Namibia 1840-1966 (Windhoek: New Namibian Books, 1997), 80.

(11) From an African perspective, one does not become a chief by sending a written message, but by being there and after mutual consultations and democratic acceptance proclaiming the message of such chieftaincy. Thus, Namibians never took Otto von Bismarck's message seriously. Furthermore, merely sending a telegram on such a fundamental life-related issue shows disrespect and arrogance toward the inhabitants of that specific country.

(12) Paul John Isaak, Religion and Society: A Namibian Perspective (Windhoek: Gamsberg Macmillan, 1997), 51-52.

(13) Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 3 (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1955-1986), 364-67.

(14) Paul John Isaak, "Towards Black African Theology," MA thesis, Berkeley: Graduate Theological Union and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1978, 120. In my master's thesis, I link the importance of African religiosity with African ubuntu. Thus, the understanding of missionaries that religion only has to do with "spiritual" matters was a strange idea to the African Weltanschauung. It is for this reason that I stressed the theme of Africanizing Christianity, i.e., having the Bible and the land in the face of vigorous attempts by the missionaries and colonialists to Christianize Africans--taking away their land and culture. In short, when the missionaries and colonialists came, they gave the Bible to the Africans and took the land, and they thought that the story had ended there. But the Africans knew about the whole affair and by being what they are--spiritual and ubuntu-oriented--they sang loudly, praised God, closed their eyes in prayer, and listened diligently to the sermon, all the while with their ears wide open and their hands and feet ready for liberative action.

(15) Luke Lungile Pato, "African Theologies," in Doing Theology in Context: South African Perspective, ed. John De Gruchy and Charles Villa Vicencio (Cape Town: David Philip, 1994), 159.

(16) International Review of Mission 93:369 (2004), 170.

(17) Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission Today (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 2004), 32-33. See also Andrew Walls, "The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture," in The Missionary Movement in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission of Faith (Maryknoll, N. Y.: Orbis, 1996), 3-15.

(18) J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, African Charismatics: Current Developments within Independent Indigenous Pentecostalism in Ghana (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2005), 235.

(19) Celia Kourie, "The Turn to Spirituality," in The Spirit that Moves: Orientation and Issues in Spirituality, ed. P. G. R. de Villiers (Bloemfontein: University of the Free State, 2006), 21.

(20) See Brad R. Braxton, "Worship and Prayer in African American Christianity," https://www.huffpost.com/entry/worship-prayer-african-american-christianirv_b_1028457.

(21) Ibid.

(22) Martin Luther, "Lectures on Galatians--1535," in Lit/hers Works, vol. 27, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan (Saint Louis, Mo.: Concordia, 1964), 30.

(23) Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 31, ed. Harold Grimm and Helmut T. Lehmann (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1957), 367.

(24) Bosch, Transforming Mission, 420.

(25) For further insights see, the outstanding studies on the understanding and practice of mission and diakonia by the Lutheran World Federation's document Mission in Context: Transformation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment (Geneva: LWF, 2004). See also the document Diakonia in Context: Transformation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment (Geneva: LWF, 2009).

(26) Africa: Unleash Thyself," New Era, https://www.newera.com.na/2017/09/08/africa-unleash-thyself.

(27) Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, trans. C. W. Bromiley et al. (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1936-1969). Quotation from Church Dogmatics, vol. 2, part 1,386. See also Paul John Isaak, The Influences of Missionary Work in Namibia (Windhoek: MacMillan Namibia, 2007), 32.

(28) Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. 2, part 1, 386-87.

DOI: 10.1111/irom.12288
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