More Information
ISBN: 9781839736674
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 20
Publication Date: 31/07/2023
Pages: 376
Language: English

Byang Kato

The Life and Legacy of Africa’s Pioneer Evangelical Theologian


In this in-depth study of the legacy of Byang Kato, Dr. Foday-Khabenje traces his extraordinary life from a boyhood immersed in African traditional religion to his conversion to Christianity as a young man, his education in Nigeria and abroad, his global leadership within the evangelical church, his tragic, untimely death, and the long-lasting impact of his prophetic voice. In the realm of African theology, Kato is often remembered for the oppositional stance he took towards many of his contemporaries, arguing passionately for the dangers of universalism and syncretism and urging the church to place the Bible at the heart of African Christianity. Foday-Khabenje engages these debates while demonstrating that Kato’s contributions to the African church cannot be reduced to polemics. His biblical hermeneutics, perspectives on African Christian identity, and tireless work for the expansion of theological education in Africa are each explored and celebrated, along with their implications for the contemporary church in Africa and beyond.

While nearly fifty years have passed since Kato’s death, his legacy is still as relevant as ever for a church facing the challenges of secularism and pluralism in the twenty-first century. In an age that seeks to de-emphasize the uniqueness of Christ, Kato’s testimony of the radical transformation offered by authentic biblical Christianity is good news for us all.

Author Bios

Aiah Dorkuh Foday-Khabenje

AIAH DORKUH FODAY-KHABENJE has served as general secretary for both the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA). Originally an optician, he is ordained in the Presbyterian Church of Sierra Leone and has held a variety of roles over his lifetime, from directing a vocational center to working in university administration. He has a PhD in Historical Theology from South African Theological Seminary, Sandton, and a DMin from Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky, USA.


Based on fresh research and presented with verve and insight, this study of Africa’s pioneering evangelical theologian, Byang Kato, represents a singular contribution towards a better, fuller understanding of Kato, his life and his legacy. This volume will be a benchmark for all Kato research going forward.

Paul Bowers, PhD
Former Director,
Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) andInternational Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE)

Aiah’s book is a laboratory or information bank, a mine of an important jewel of evangelical theology. Every evangelical will do well to have it in order to avoid common pitfalls and to fortify mainstay biblical conscience for the current generation and future posterity.

Master Oboletswe Matlhaope, PhD
General Secretary,
Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA)

Byang Kato: The Life and Legacy of Africa’s Pioneer Evangelical Theologian is a rare gem that discusses the contributions of a very important African figure and the father of African evangelicalism. Christian leaders, pastors, students and historians will find this book a rare resource. I highly recommend it without reservation.

David Tarus, PhD
Executive Director,
Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA)

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. List of Abbreviations
  4. Chapter 1
    1. General Background for the Study
    2. Problem Statement
    3. Research Questions
    4. Importance of Study
    5. Research Design and Methodology
    6. Delimitations of the Study
    7. Overview
  5. Chapter 2
    A Synopsis of the Life and Times of Byang Kato
    1. Introduction
    2. Sources of Information for the Biography
    3. Socio-political and Cultural Context of Kato’s Time
    4. Birth and Early Childhood
    5. Dedication as Fetish Priest and Rite of Passage to Manhood
    6. Conversion to Christianity, Spiritual Formation and Elementary Education
    7. Marriage and Family Life
    8. Further Education
    9. Vocation and Ministry
    10. Background to Theological Debates
    11. Global Engagement
    12. Kato’s Tragic Demise
    13. Byang Kato’s Accomplishments
    14. Failures and Deficiencies of Kato
    15. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 3
    Byang Kato’s Theological Legacy in Biblical Hermeneutics, African Christian Identity and Evangelical Theological Education
    1. Introduction
    2. Kato’s Hermeneutics
    3. Kato’s Contribution to African Christian Identity
    4. Kato’s Contribution to Evangelical Theological Education in Africa
    5. Summary of Kato’s Theological Legacy
    6. Kato’s Theological Pitfalls
    7. Current State of the Church in Africa in View of Kato’s Theological Legacy
    8. Contemporary Resonance of Kato’s Hermeneutics, Identity and Theological Education
    9. Legacy of Mission and Culture Debates
    10. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 4
    Theological and Biblical Foundations for African Christian Identity, Hermeneutics and Evangelical Theological Education
    1. Overview
    2. Tenets of Evangelicalism as Background to Kato’s Theology
    3. Historical Sketch of the Development of Evangelical Orthodoxy
    4. Theological and Biblical Foundations of Kato’s Theological Legacy
    5. Summary and Conclusion
  8. Chapter 5
    A Model for Biblical Fidelity in African Evangelical Christianity
  9. Introduction
    1. Outline of Kato’s Theological Construct
    2. Description of Kato’s Theology
    3. Summary
  10. Chapter 6
    Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
    1. Introduction
    2. Summary of the Study
    3. Conclusions of the Study
    4. Contributions of the Study
    5. Recommendations of the Study
  11. Bibliography

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