More Information
ISBN: 9781783684731
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 16
Publication Date: 14/08/2018
Pages: 308
Series: Africa Society of Evangelical Theology Series
Language: English

African Contextual Realities


Everyone who has “eyes to see” acknowledges the growing importance of the African church to the future of global Christianity. But what does it mean for the church to take root in Africa? How should the message of the gospel and the practice of Christianity be contextualized for Africa? African Contextual Realities addresses many of the questions surrounding contextualization from a practical point of view and is the fruit of the 6th Annual Conference of the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology held in Nairobi in 2016. The book explores such questions as:

  • In what ways should the mission of God be universally recognizable in every cultural context?
  • In our efforts to contextualize, how do we avoid compromising the very gospel we are to proclaim?
  • How can the African church wean itself away from dependency on the Western church?
  • How does Christianity speak into some of the cultural and social issues arising out of contemporary African settings – issues like widow cleansing, Christian-Muslim relations, and peace-building?

All those who are interested to learn more about the contextualization of African Christianity will find this volume to be an important resource.

Author Bios

Rodney L. Reed
(Edited By)

RODNEY L. REED is a missionary educator who has been serving at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, since 2001. Currently, he is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, a position he has held since 2010. Prior to that, he served as the Chair of the Department of Religion for nine years. He holds a PhD in Theological Ethics from Drew University and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene.


African Contextual Realities is a serious study by theologians who have an intimate grasp of African Christianity. The authors of this exciting book have met the goal of the book, namely to contextualize the Christian message. I enthusiastically recommend this book to church leaders, pastors, mission students, missionaries, etc. It is a book that scratches where the church is itching!

Samuel Waje Kunhiyop, PhD
Author and Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics,
ECWA Theological Seminary, Kagoro

African Contextual Realities showcases an outstanding collection of contextually oriented theological essays. They analyze spiritual and pastoral challenges of everyday life and suggest models for healthy contextual theological engagement and formation. Highly recommended.

Robert J. Priest, PhD
Professor of Anthropology, Taylor University
Former President, American Society of Missiology

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Part I: Contextualizing Theory and Theology for Africa
    1. 1 – Holiness, Missio Dei and the Church in Africa
      1. Gift Mtukwa
    2. 2 – A Theology of Spiritual Power in African Christianity
      1. Johana Kariuki Gitau
    3. 3 – Contextualization of Pastoral Theology in African Christianity: Theory, Models, Methods, and Practice
      1. Ndung’u J. B. Ikenye
    4. 4 – The Significance of Johann Ludwig Krapf ’s Mission Work in East Africa
      1. David Kimiri Ngaruiya
  4. Part II: Addressing African Realities
    1. 5 – Syncretism in African Christianity: A Boon or a Bane?
      1. Joseph D. Galgalo
    2. 6 – Dependency’s Long Shadow: Mission Churches in Kenya and Their Children
      1. Joseph William Black
    3. 7 – The Impact of an Essential African Christian Theological Reconciliation Schema in Peace-Building in Africa
      1. Fredrick Amolo
    4. 8 – Widow Cleansing in Rural Kenya: Toward a Critically Contextualized Theological Response
      1. Mary Thamari Odhiambo
    5. 9 – Religion, a Means to Disobedience: A Reflective Analysis of the Story of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32
      1. Hermann Mvula
    6. 10 – Interfaith Dialogue between Christians and Muslims as a Response to Religious Radicalization in Kenya
      1. Patrick Mburu Kamau
  5. Part III: Christian Education in the African Context
    1. 11 – African Christian Universities and the Old Testament Concept of the Lev
      1. Daryll Gordon Stanton and Rickson Nkhata
    2. 12 – A New Model of Theological Training in Nairobi: Tyrannus Hall at the Nairobi Chapel
      1. David Bawks
    3. 13 – From the Classroom to the Pulpit: Navigating the Challenges
      1. Elizabeth Mburu
    4. 14 – Toward the Propagation of KAG Christian Schools in Kenya: An Investigation of Stakeholder Perceptions
      1. Rev Isaac Kasili
    5. 15 – Spirituality, Work Conditions, and Job Satisfaction of Distance Education Personnel in Kenya’s Christian Institutions of Higher Education
      1. Rosemary Wahu Mbogo
  6. List of Contributors


Fredrick Otieno Amolo

FREDRICK OTIENO AMOLO is an ordained minister and educator of the Church of the Nazarene, having served for eight years in full-time pastoral ministry and two years in youth ministry. He received his MDiv from Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology and is currently taking his PhD at Kenyatta University. He is a lecturer at Africa Nazarene University where he has served for the past six years.

David Bawks

DAVID BAWKS is a minister with Nairobi Chapel, having served in Kenya since 2008. He graduated from Wheaton College, IL, with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical/Theological Studies and History, then went on to complete a Master of Divinity at Africa International University. Previously, he taught at Carlile College and led the Nairobi Chapel Tyrannus Hall training ministry. Currently he leads a new church plant at Nairobi Chapel Karen.

Bill Black

BILL BLACK is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology at St Paul’s University. He has also served as lecturer and Deputy Dean at the Makarios III Patriarchal Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi. Bill received his MDiv at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He served as an ordained Presbyterian minister for twenty-one years in the US, UK, Ethiopia, and Kenya before converting to Eastern Orthodoxy in 2011. From 2018 Bill will be based in Kisumu and serve as an assistant to the Bishop in the Diocese of Kisumu and Western Kenya.

Joseph D. Galgalo

JOSEPH GALGALO is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Kenya and an honorary Canon of All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi. He holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of Cambridge. He is the current Vice Chancellor of St Paul’s University in Kenya, a position he has held since 2010.

Johana Kariuki Gitau

JOHANA KARIUKI GITAU studied at the University of Nairobi and the international Leadership University where he obtained a Master of Divinity. He is an ordained pastor with the Worldwide Gospel Church of Kenya in Nairobi and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Theological Studies at the International Leadership University.

Ndung’u John Brown Ikenye

NDUNG’U JOHN BROWN IKENYE lectures in Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Theology at St Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice for individuals, marriages, families, and organizations. He is also currently Director at the Institute of Leadership, Counseling, and Congregation Development, and Archdeacon in the Anglican Diocese of Thika. Prof. Ikenye holds a PhD in Counseling, Personality, and Culture from Northwestern University, USA; a DMin in Counseling and Psychotherapy; and an MTS in Pastoral Psychology from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, USA.

Patrick Mburu Kamau

PATRICK MBURU KAMAU is a lecturer who has served in the School of Religion and Christian Ministry at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, since 2008. He has been the coordinator of the Master of Arts in Religion degree at the same university since 2011. He holds a PhD in Religion from Kenyatta University, in which he focused on interfaith relations, and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene.

Isaac W. Kasili

ISAAC WAMALWA KASILI is an ordained pastor with Kenya Assemblies of God. Currently he is a lecturer and a dean of the School of Education at KAG EAST University. He received his BA in Bible and Theology from East Africa School of Theology, his MA in Biblical Studies from Global University, and his PhD in Theological Studies, with special emphasis on education, from Pan Africa Theological Seminary in Lome, Togo.

Rosemary Wahu Mbogo

ROSEMARY WAHU MBOGO is a Senior Lecturer of Education at Africa International University, and the Dean of the School of Education, Arts and Social Sciences (SEAS). She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Administration from Biola University (USA). Her research interest is in the areas of assessing leadership and administration of Christian higher education, out of which she has authored several books and academic articles. She is married to Dr Stephen N. Mbogo of Africa Enterprise, with whom she keeps abreast on mission work. Together they are blessed with two children.

Elizabeth Mburu

ELIZABETH MBURU was the first woman to gain a PhD from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, North Carolina, USA. She is an Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at International Leadership University, Africa International University and Pan-Africa Christian University in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr Mburu is on the board of the Africa Bible Commentary and is the editorial coordinator and New Testament editor for its revision, as well as the Africa Regional Coordinator for Langham Literature. Professor Mburu is also the author of Qumran and the Origins of Johannine Language and Symbolism, T & T Clark, 2010 and a contributor to all three books published so far in the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology Series from Langham Global Library: Christianity and Suffering, 2017, African Contextual Realities, 2018, and Governance and Christian Higher Education in the African Context, 2019.

Gift Mtukwa

GIFT MTUKWA earned his PhD in Biblical Studies at the University of Manchester, UK. He is lecturer and department chair in the school of Religion and Christian Ministry at Africa Nazarene University, Nairobi, Kenya, where he teaches biblical studies, New Testament Greek, and Christian ethics. Dr. Mtukwa is an ordained minister with the Church of the Nazarene and currently serves as lead pastor at the University Church of the Nazarene, Nairobi, Kenya.

Mzee Hermann Yokoniah Mvula

HERMANN YOKONIAH MVULA attended Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, where he obtained both bachelor and master degrees in Theology. Mvula obtained his doctoral degree at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi. His field of research interests is political and public theologies, ethics, and governance. Currently, he is a lecturer in Biblical Studies (Old Testament Theology and Ethics) at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, where he headed the Department of Theology and Religious Studies for two years.

David K. Ngaruiya

DAVID K. NGARUIYA is an Associate Professor and former Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Director of PhD in Theological Studies Program at International Leadership University. He holds a PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He served as chair of the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology (2015–2016). He has published journal and book articles and served as co-editor and contributor to Communities of Faith in Africa and African Diaspora (Pickwick Publications, 2013) and was a director of the research study that produced African Christian Leadership (Langham Global Library, 2019).

Nkhata Rickson

RICKSON NKHATA is a member of the Faculty of Theology at Southern Africa Nazarene University in Manzini, Swaziland. He has a Bachelor of Theology and Master of Arts in Religion from Africa Nazarene University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry there. He is an ordained minister in Church of the Nazarene where he has also pastored several churches for over twenty-five years.

Mary Thamari Odhiambo

MARY THAMARI ODHIAMBO has been involved in missions in community development for over ten years. She currently serves as the Country Director for Life In Abundance (LIA) Kenya program and has previously led development projects in rural and urban informal settlements. She has also worked as adjunct faculty in development studies at PAC University, teaching gender mainstreaming and NGO coordination courses. Mary holds a Master in Missions from Africa International University and is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Development at the University of Birmingham. Her research in rural Kenya is focused on women’s negotiations of gender relations in the context of strained livelihoods.

Daryll Stanton

REV DR DARYLL STANTON is an ordained missionary and educator of the Church of the Nazarene, having served for thirty-five years in eastern and southern Africa. He received his EdD from California Coast University (Santa Ana, USA). Currently he is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Religion at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi, Kenya, where he has served for the past twenty years. Previously he trained and mentored pastors and Christian religion educators in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia.

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