More Information
ISBN: 9781839739187
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 23
Publication Date: 31/10/2023
Pages: 434
Series: Africa Society of Evangelical Theology Series
Language: English

Salvation in African Christianity


“What must I do to be saved?” That question, raised in the book of Acts by the Philippian jailer, is a question for the ages. Yet what, even, does it mean to be saved? Is salvation for this life or the next? Is it purely spiritual or does it have physical and material implications? Can salvation be lost? Do we determine who will be saved or does God? What role does Christ play in salvation? Such are the seemingly unending questions soteriology strives to answer.

In this eighth volume from the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology, African theologians articulate their understanding of salvation – and its widespread implications for life and practice – in conversation with Scripture and the rich diversity of an African cultural context. Salvation is examined from historical, philosophical, and theological lenses, and scholars address topics as wide-ranging as conversion, ethnicity, fertility, poverty, prosperity, the Trinity, exclusivism, African Pentecostalism, rural community, eschatology, wholeness, and atonement. It is a powerful exploration of the holistic nature of salvation as articulated in Scripture and understood by the African church.

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.

David K. Ngaruiya
(Edited By)

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).


This book introduces the heartbeat of an African theological agenda developed around the critical question: “What does salvation means for us?” It reads the Bible with an African hermeneutic that is distinctly different from a Western one as it deals with the continent’s colonial heritage, African Traditional Religion, and various challenges facing Africa. The consensus of the book is that salvation is holistic, it addresses life and afterlife issues. Experiencing salvation is about following Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in enacting the kingdom of God.

H. Jurgens Hendriks, PhD
Emeritus Professor Practical Theology and Missiology,
Network for African Congregational Theology Advisor,
Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

In response to the question “What must I do to be saved?,” the distinguished contributors to this book have provided compelling answers to not only this question but most of the critical issues around salvation through the eyes and ears of the African Christian. They have provided a biblically grounded intellectual piece that is encouraging, readable, and extremely practical using excellent case studies of African communities. Consequently, this piece will help lay people, theology and Bible students, and prospective foreign missionaries to Africa to understand and appreciate the role of African theologies in global theological discourse.

John Kpaleh Jusu, PhD
Africa International University, Kenya
Theological Education Consultant, United World Mission

Salvation is a central theme in both Christian teachings and in African Christianity. This volume addresses salvation in African Christianity by seasoned and emerging African theologians from an evangelical perspective. The topics discussed in this volume are relevant, biblically grounded, and well articulated by African scholars who are engaging with some of the critical issues facing African Christianity. I strongly recommend this volume to all who desire to know and learn more about Christian theology emerging from the Majority World.

James Nkansah-Obrempong, PhD
Professor of Theology and Ethics,
Dean, NEGST, African International University, Kenya

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. 1 Jeremiah 29:11 : Rightly Applying an Old Testament “Salvation” Text
    1. Jamie Viands
  4. 2 Concepts of Repentance and Sanctification in African Perspectives : An Assessment of Biblical and African Understandings of Salvation in African Christianity
    1. Daniel M. Mwailu
  5. 3 Salvation – Prosperity or Poverty? An Assessment of African Pentecostal Christianity
    1. Mica Onserio Moenga
  6. 4 “Jesus Is My Personal Savior” : Engaging Evangelical Themes of Individual Salvation in African Communal Contexts
    1. Kyama Mugambi
  7. 5 Household Conversions in Acts and Their Significance for House-to-House Evangelism in Africa
    1. Isaac Ampong
  8. 6 A Pauline Theology of Justification and Its Implications for Ecclesiology in Kenya amid Ethnic Divisions : An Exegesis of Galatians 2:11–21
    1. Danson Ottawa Wafula and Edwin Mwangi Macharia
  9. 7 Past, Present, and Future : Paul’s View of Salvation in the Thessalonian Correspondence
    1. Gift Mtukwa
  10. 8 How Can Women Be Saved? : A Reinterpretation of 1 Timothy 2:15 Within a Nigerian Context
    1. Moses Iliya Ogidis
  11. 9 Understanding the Soteriological Conceptualization of the Early Church Fathers : An Exploration of the Legacy of Athanasius and Its Relevance to African Christianity
    1. Henry Marcus Garba
  12. 10 The Sacrifice of Christ in African Perspective : A Contribution to the Atonement Debate
    1. Samuel K. Bussey
  13. 11 Critical Analysis of the Doctrine of Adoption through the Honor and Shame Paradigm : An African Perspective
    1. Kenosi Molato
  14. 12 A Balanced Approach to Understanding the Concept of Salvation in Contemporary African Christianity
    1. Joseph Mavulu
  15. 13 An Exploration of Understanding Seven Dimensions of Salvation in African Christianity
    1. David K. Ngaruiya
  16. 14 Holism in Salvation
    1. Philemon Ongole
  17. 15 The Logical Implications of Trinitarian Exclusivism
    1. Joseph B. Onyango Okello
  18. 16 Emerging Soteriological Issues in African Christianity in the Light of Resurgent African Cultures : The Practice of Ancestral Debts
    1. Kamau Thairu
  19. 17 Finding New “Alphabets” for Proclaiming Salvific Faith in Africa
    1. Julius Kithinji and Pauline K. Mwaura
  20. 18 Salvation and the Problem of Negative Ethnicity and Schism in the Church in Kenya : Toward an Ubuntu Salvation Theology
    1. Rev. Jackline Makena Mutuma and Rev. Dr. John M. Kiboi
  21. 19 An All-Embracing, Contextual, Challenging, Now and Not Yet Salvation for Ugandan Rural Communities
    1. Timothy J. Monger
  22. 20 An Exploration of Pentecostal Theology and Praxis of Salvation in Kenya
    1. Kevin Muriithi Ndereba
  23. Contributors
  24. Subject Index
  25. Scripture Index


Jamie Viands

Jamie Viands earned his PhD in Old Testament from Wheaton College (USA). He has served as a theological educator in Kenya since 2012. He taught at Scott Christian University until 2017, and currently teaches in the Biblical Studies department at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (Africa International University). He also serves with Africa Inland Mission as the agency's Theological Education Consultant.

Daniel M. Mwailu

Daniel M. Mwailu has been an Adjunct Professor in Theology and Biblical Studies at Africa Nazarene University, Nairobi, Kenya, since 2011. He received his BA (Hons.) in Theology and MA in Aspects of Biblical Interpretation from London School of Theology, UK. He was awarded a PhD in Theology by Birmingham University, UK, in 1989 with a dissertation on Christology in Africa. He is a minister in the Methodist Church of Great Britain where he has served for twenty-six years, thirteen of which as superintendent minister and eight years as local preachers’ tutor. He has also served as associate chaplain at the University of Birmingham.

Micah Onserio Moenga

Micah Onserio Moenga is currently an adjunct lecturer at Pan Africa Christian University (PACU). He is also an ordained Calvary Assemblies of God minister and serves as a lead pastor of Grace and Power of God International Ministry, a ministry of Calvary Assemblies of God. Micah holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology from PACU, and a master’s in Biblical Studies and a postgraduate diploma in Education, both from Africa International University (AIU). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Biblical Studies at AIU.

Kyama M. Mugambi

KYAMA MUGAMBI, PhD (Kenya / USA) is assistant professor of World Christianity at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut. He was previously at Africa International University, where he has been serving as a senior researcher and faculty member at the university’s Centre for World Christianity. He specializes in ecclesial, social, cultural, theological, and epistemological themes within African urban Christianity. His 2020 book, A Spirit of Revitalization: Urban Pentecostalism in Kenya, which traces the history of Pentecostalism in Kenya, has been hailed as a singular contribution to the fields of mission studies, world Christianity, and intercultural theology. He also served as the editorial manager of African Theological Network Press, an initiative advancing theological discourse among academics and church workers. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Dictionary of African Christian Biography [] and Missio Africanus. He remains connected to the local church having served as a pastor for more than 20 years.

Isaac Ampong

Danson Ottawa Wafula

DANSON OTTAWA WAFULA serves as an Intern Pastor at Hope City Bible Church. He is the current Acting National Director of Africa Center for Apologetics and Research (ACFAR- Kenya). He holds a Bachelor of Theology from Africa International University and is final year student of Master of Divinity Biblical Studies from the same institution. His research strengths are in Systematic Theology and Apologetics.

Edwin Mwangi Macharia

Edwin Mwangi Macharia is an Assistant Secretary at Ministry of Defence. He pursued BA Communication (PR) at Daystar University. Currently studying MDiv- BS at AIU.

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.

Moses Iliya Ogidis

MOSES ILIYA OGIDIS is a minister with Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Nigeria. Currently he is a PhD candidate in Theology (New Testament) at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya.

Henry Marcus Garba

Henry Marcus Garba is a pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Nigeria. He attended Kagoro ECWA Theological College and ECWA Theological Seminary in Kwara State, Nigeria, and Africa International University, Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a master’s degree in Church History.

Samuel K. Bussey

Samuel K. Bussey is a doctoral student in Intercultural Theology at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen, the Netherlands. His dissertation focuses on how African theological reflection on the concept of sacrifice can contribute to the atonement debate in Western evangelical theology. He is also the managing editor of the website African Theology Worldwide, which aims to make African theology more accessible, both in Africa and around the globe.

Kenosi Molato

Joseph Mavulu

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).

Philemon Ongole

Joseph B. Onyango Okello

JOSEPH OKELLO, PhD (Kenya / US) is professor of philosophy of Christian religion. Dr. Okello received a Th.B. from Scott Theological College (Ke nya), 1994; a M.Div. (1999) and M.A. in church music (2000) at Asbury Seminary; and a M.A. (2004) and Ph.D. (2007) in philosophy at the University of Kentucky. While he was a student at Asbury Seminary, he earned the Frank Bateman Stanger award for excellence in preaching and the Philosophy and Christian apologetics award. Dr. Okello has served as a pastor and choral director at Africa Inland Church. He has published several articles and books, including Revisiting God: A Commonsense Approach to Theism (Xulon Press, 2008).

Kamau Moses Thairu

Julius Kithinji

Julius Kithinji currently heads the Department of Philosophy, Theology, and Biblical Studies in the Faculty of Theology at St Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya. He has been at St Paul’s since 2016, teaching courses in New Testament, Greek exegesis, and biblical interpretation. Kithinji is also an ordained Methodist church minister and serves on several church steering committees.

Pauline Wangari Mukuria

Jackline Makena Mutuma

John Michael Kiboi

John Michael Kiboi is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church of Kenya, serving as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology at St. Paul’s University, Limuru, Kenya. He holds a PhD in Dogmatic Theology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Previously he served as a parish priest in the diocese of Bungoma and as Principal at Wycliffe Centre for Theology. Currently, he is the Leader of PhD programs in the Faculty of Theology at St. Paul’s University.

Tim Monger

TIM MONGER is CEO of Amigos Worldwide, a Christian NGO working to equip churches in Uganda and South Sudan for integral mission. He and his wife, Rachel, along with their two daughters, spent ten years in Tanzania, where he coordinated the work of a cross-cultural team and partnered with local churches in transformative and practical mission among disadvantaged communities. With experience as a research scientist, an educator and a pastor, Tim is passionate about the integration of theology and practice.

Kevin Muriithi Ndereba

KEVIN MURIITHI NDEREBA has a PhD in practical theology from the University of South Africa. He is the head of the Department of Practical Theology at St. Paul’s University, Kenya, and a research fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is the co-founder of Apologetics Kenya and serves in the executive leadership of the Africa Society of Evangelical Theology (ASET) and the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry (IASYM). He also holds a certificate in Christian Apologetics from Talbot School of Theology, California, USA.

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