More Information
ISBN: 9781907713712
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 11
Publication Date: 14/08/2013
Pages: 208
Series: Global Perspectives Series
Language: English

Making Disciples in Africa

Engaging Syncretism in the African Church through Philosophical Analysis of Worldviews


With two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa professing to be Christian it should be a concern to all Christians that the biblical worldview has had little impact on the shaping of contemporary African culture. In this book Jack Chalk analyses the belief systems of the worldviews that are based on Christianity and African Traditional Religion. The analysis, conclusion and recommendations are presented with the view to helping the church in Africa deal with syncretism and the effect it has on the beliefs and practices of its members.

Author Bios

Jack Pryor Chalk

JACK CHALK worked as a Certified Public Accountant in Florida, USA for 25 years before being called to full-time missions. He, with his wife, Ann, has served in Mexico, Sierra Leone, and Scotland, and is now pastor of a new church plant in Córdoba, Spain. During his six years in Sierra Leone he served as Dean of Students, Chaplain and Senior Lecturer in Theology, Apologetics, Anthropology and Missions. He holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of South Africa.


In this insightful book, Chalk identifies one of the key problems facing the burgeoning church in Africa, namely that the African worldview, rather than the biblical worldview, dominates the life and practice of the African Christian. This results in a syncretism which belies true faith and practice. Having compared the tenets of the two worldviews, Chalk concludes his book by suggesting a number of solutions to the problem. This book provides a timely intervention in an area of African Christianity where few have ventured to go.

Dr Reuben van Rensburg
South African Theological Seminary

Chalk has correctly put a finger on what the evangelical church in Africa considers to be a critical challenge to its mission- the duality of African Christians; divided loyalties between Christian and traditional beliefs. Simply put, ‘syncretism’. This is a significant work in exploring the de-syncretization of the church for Africa’s emancipation and eternal salvation.

Aiah Foday-Khabenje
General Secretary/CEO,
Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA)

In his book, Making Disciples in Africa, Dr. Chalk lays out an analysis of the African worldview that is a must read for all non-African Christians who plan on working anywhere on the continent. This book will answer a lot of questions and maybe save many from hours of frustration for someone trying to understand why the Africa church is miles wide but only inches deep.

Jim Dearman
Assemblies of God World Missions
Missionary to Burkina Faso, Togo and Sierra Leone

Feast on the depth of Dr. Chalk's research which so clearly sets an African worldview in the light of a Biblical worldview. As Africa is poised for a Reformation to becoming a leader of the global body of Christ, now is the time to thoroughly digest the research contained herein.

Kenneth D. Turnbull, Ph.D., Rev.
Executive Director,
African Christian University

Dr Chalk’s philosophical approach brings a new nuance to the issue that was not known before. I believe the book provides a useful basis, not only for a philosophical assessment, but also for a biblical examination of the problem of syncretism in the African Church. 

J. Boscoe Bangura
Academic Dean,
The Evangelical College of Theology

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Acknowledgements
    1. 1 Introduction
      1. Relevance of Study Due to Syncretism
      2. Why Use ‘Worldview’?
      3. Value of Genesis 1–11
      4. Value of Africans
      5. The Problem
      6. Pathway to Recommendations
    2. 2 Worldview
      1. Definitions
      2. History of the Worldview Concept
      3. Religious Dimensions of Worldview Analysis
      4. Philosophical Elements of Worldview
      5. Which Worldview(s) Reflect Reality
    3. 3 Biblical Worldview
      1. Christian Religion as Philosophy
      2. Use of Genesis 1-11 in Establishing the Biblical Worldview
      3. Genesis 1-11 and Science
      4. Revelation as Postulating Christian Philosophy
      5. Delineation of the Christian Worldview
      6. Philosophical Elements of the Christian Worldview
      7. Religious Dimensions of the Christian Worldview
      8. Culture in Genesis 1–11
      9. Conclusion
    4. 4 African Worldview
      1. Is There ‘an’ African Worldview?
      2. ATR as Philosophy
      3. Vital Force as Postulating the African Worldview
      4. Delineation of the African Worldview
      5. Philosophical Elements of the African Worldview
      6. Religious Dimensions of the African Worldview
      7. African Worldview and Culture
      8. A Worldview in Transition
    5. 5 Two Worldviews: Conflict or Conformity
      1. The Two Worldviews as Philosophy
      2. Basic Postulates of the Two Worldviews
      3. Philosophical Elements Compared
      4. Religious Dimensions Compared
      5. Relationship of Christianity to ATR
    6. 6 Conclusions and Recommendations
      1. Religious Conversion
      2. Paths of Divergence in Worldview Beliefs
      3. Effects of Holding Both Worldviews on the Christian Church in Africa
      4. Recommendations to the Church in Africa
      5. Conclusion
  3. Bibliography

Related Books

Related by Classification

  1. Božija Rijeè za današnji svijet
    Božija Rijeè za današnji svijet
  2. Seeking a City with Foundations
    Seeking a City with Foundations
  3. Mission through Diaspora
    Mission through Diaspora
  4. Unashamed Servant-Leadership
    Unashamed Servant-Leadership
  5. Give Up the Purple
    Give Up the Purple
  6. Biblical Shalom for Sustainable Holistic Transformational Development in Nigeria
    Biblical Shalom for Sustainable Holistic Transf...
  7. Integration
  8. Governance and Christian Higher Education in the African Context
    Governance and Christian Higher Education in th...
  9. Initiatives théologiques en Afrique
    Initiatives théologiques en Afrique
  10. Prêcher la Bible
    Prêcher la Bible