Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry Vol. 1
Mission and Society Research Institute Sahmyook University
Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry (AAMM) Vol. 1 Published by Mission and Society Research Institute Sahmyook University 26-21 Gongreung 2-Dong, Nowon-Gu, Seoul, 139-742 Rep. of Korea â“’ 2009 by Mission and Society Research Institute ISSN 2092-741X Printed in Korea Published on October 30, 2009
The First Step toward the Globe Byungho Jang Director of Mission and Society Research Institute
For last 100 years, Sahmyook University has nurtured and educated its students to become world-wide missionaries with its motto of "Change the Man, which Will Change the World." As result, many of this university's graduates are working in variety of mission fields in South Korea as well as overseas. The university will continue to foster programs and dedicate time and money to continue this wonderful world-wide evangelism. The university sponsors many missionary trips to foreign countries during the Summer and Winter vacations. Students, faculty, and other volunteers devote themselves during the academic break to participate. The results of evangelism have been awesome, and the university has been looking for an avenue to share testimony, information, and other valuable resources that have been obtained from these special mission trips in the hopes of sharing the experience with other Christians through out the globe. Thus, the Mission and Society Research Institute of Sahmyook University is a vital tool for sharing the mission and ministry information through its publication of Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry (AAMM). We should praise God for helping us launch another International Journal such as this one. I wish all theologians, pastors, students, and lay leaders can unite their efforts to share their practical and theological ideas through this journal and to make a better environment for mission and ministry in Asia and Africa. I want to thank all editorial members, and may the Lord Jesus Christ bless all writers and readers of this journal from now on until the coming of Jesus Christ.
Abundant Source of Mission and Ministry Kigon Kim President of Sahmyook University
God has bestowed on us the inherent mission of bearing witnesses to the ends of the earth. This world-wide evangelism has always been a part of our historical mission and mission of all ages. Even Mrs. Ellen G. White wholeheartedly appeals to us with the importance of such mission; she reminds us that the primary purpose for the existence of an organized church is for evangelism. There is a limitation on what an individual can accomplish, whereas a well organized church is without bounds to evangelize God’s message. The church’s function in spreading of the Gospel through world-wide evangelism is crucial as follows: Train its members; provide resources; conduct research and study to analyze each mission field for most effective evangelism. For the successful operation of world mission, I understand that Mission and Society Research Institute has organized and published its first Asia-Pacific Journal of Mission and Ministry (AAMM). I welcome and congratulate such a happy event. I hope that through publication and distribution of these journals, may the good news of Asian and African evangelism be reached every part of the world. In addition, I hope and pray that all the valuable information from the journal—research data and wonderful testimony—shall be used in furtherance of fulfilling our historical and everlasting evangelism. Again, I want to thank, encourage, and congratulate the editor, publisher, and all members affiliated with the publication of this journal.
Reaching Beyond Boundaries Jairyong Lee President of Northern Asia-Pacific Division
I am greatly delighted to know that the Mission and Society Research Institute of Sahmyook University is publishing a new international journal, the Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry (AAMM), and I wholeheartedly congratulate you on its publication. Mission and ministry are the two pillars of the Christian church’s activities. They cover both the expansion and nurture of the church. Through a rich and fruitful ministry church members will continue to grow spiritually. Mission-focused church activities will result in the growth of the church both in quantity and quality. In conjunction with Christ’s instruction found in Matthew 28: 18-20, what is also known as the great gospel commission, the main responsibility of all of Christ’s followers and church organizations and entities is to spread the gospel message of Jesus Christ to “every nation, tribe, language and people.” (Rev 14:6) Mission is the very reason of the existence of God’s church here on earth. God has planned to use His church on earth to finish the gospel work in the entire world. Therefore, when the church neglects mission, it loses its true identity as the people of God. Asia and Africa are two large continents where the Christian church faces some serious mission challenges. Most of the major world religions—Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam—have a sure footing across these vast continents. In addition to these major world religions, secularism, materialism and many forms of atheistic philosophy and alternative lifestyles on the one hand and poverty, disease and hopelessness on the other hand, are prevalent in these areas. I am glad that our church scholars and theologians are devoting their time and energy to express their concerns, make suggestions, share insights 5
and provide inspiration on the topic of church mission and ministry in writing to share them with people within the wider church community. I am sure the presentations of their thoughts in the journal will make a tremendous contribution to international readers and help shape theological understanding on a variety of biblical topics. My sincere thanks go to Sahmyook University which has launched this monumental scholarly journal that reaches beyond geographical, cultural and ethnic boundaries. I wish the publication of the Asia-Africa Journal of Mission and Ministry great success and Godâ€™s richest blessings.
Looking for Solutions of Mission Challenges Geoffrey G. Mbwana President of East-Central Africa Division
I wish to pass a very warm congratulation to the University of Sahmyook for starting this venture of the AAMM journal of missions. And on behalf of the East Central Africa Division, and the other divisions in Africa, I want to thank you for inviting us to be a part of this very important venture which I believe will contribute a lot to the enhancement of mission in our respective regions. And I believe that through this journal a very valuable exchange comes of ideas and scholastic presentations, the missions will benefit a lot. Our regions are faced with a lot of mission challenges which are looking for solutions and we look forward to have this platform to one such as will generate ideas that will benefit the work. Again, we congratulate you and thank you for having us as a part of the journal.
“The Poor/Poverty” Alleviation Motif in Proverbs: Missiological Applications to Maha Mission in Africa Chunsik Park ABSTRACT⎯The book of Proverbs mentions “poverty” or “the poor” more than any other book in the Hebrew Bible. It uses seven different words to refer to “the poor/poverty.” The book advises us to accept poverty as a reality of life and to avoid contempt for the poor, and provides counsel on the type of relationship we should have with the poor both in the vertical (God-fearing) and horizontal (human ethical) sense. Proverbs shows us that poverty affects human life in all of its aspects —physical, mental, spiritual, and social. Since 2006, Maha Mission has been providing community service and leading local development projects for two indigenous tribes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Pigmies and the Lugbara (naked people). Proverbs provides practical guidance for evaluating these activities in order to direct the project to benefit even more from biblical principles. Proverbs provides instruction on helping “the poor/poverty.” This has been applied to the evangelistic policies of the Maha Mission. It can also help other Christian missionary organizations that serve in poor countries and localities to formulate a wholistic mission policy that is based on biblical principles.
Manuscript received June 11, 2009; revised June 30, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Chunsik Park (Ph.D., Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org) is with Religious Studies Department, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea.; Director, Global Outreach; Secretary General, Maha Mission World Office
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Keywords: Amenemope, charity organization, community development, community service, Democratic Republic of Congo, wholistic service, Lugbara (naked people), Maha Mission, mission policy, NGO, Pigmy, the poor, poverty, Proverbs, Ur-Nammu
I. Introduction The first of the Millennium Development Goals—global aims signed by world leaders from 147 countries at the Millennium Summit in New York in 2000—is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The World Bank reports that 44 percent of the world’s population (2,735 million people) lives on a mere $2 per day (Chen, 2004, p. 153). “Each year, some 18 million of them die prematurely from poverty-related causes. This is one-third of all human deaths – 50,000 each day, including 29,000 children under age five” (Pogge, 2008, p. 2). Poverty is a global problem which the church must participate in solving. Since 2006, Maha Mission (MM, founded by Elder Yang, Seung Chun) has been providing medical, educational and evangelistic services for the poor in Africa. It began its ministry in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This region has become impoverished through a decade-long civil war, and is home to indigenous peoples, among them the Pigmies and the Lugbara, who have not been affected by outside cultures. Proverbs, a wisdom book from the Old Testament, contains much practical advice concerning poverty and wealth. This study aims at providing guidance for missionary organizations serving in poor countries through the study of the “the poor/poverty” motif in Proverbs, and through the example of MM to provide policy suggestions for service efficiency. Elder Yang’s mission reports and interviews have provided invaluable source material on MM’s activity. II. “The Poor/Poverty” Motif in Proverbs A. Technical Terms for “The Poor/Poverty" The Hebrew Old Testament contains ten different terms that refer to poverty or the poor (Domeris, 1997b, p. 868). The book of Proverbs uses seven of these terms, an indication that the poor are a major theme in Proverbs. (1) `änî (ynI[', “poor, humble, oppressed,” 9/80 times]. This is the most common term used in the Hebrew Scriptures, and appears nine times in Proverbs (3:34; 14:21; 15:15; 16:19; 22:22; 30:14; 31:5, 9, 20). It refers to 10
people who do not own land and consequently suffer from economic pressure and exploitation (Domeris, 1997a, p. 228; Pleins, 1992, p. 408). (2) `ánäwîm (~ywIn", “poor, pious, humble,” 3/24 times). This is the plural form of a word (`änäw, wn"[') that is closely related to (1), and occurs in Proverbs as the spoken form (Qere) for the written (Kethib) plural of `änî (Pro 3:34; 14:21; 16:19). It is not frequently used, but it has recently drawn much scholarly attention as a term which links the concepts of poverty and piety (Pleins, 1992, p. 411). (3) ´ebyôn (!wOyb.a,, “poor, needy, oppressed,” 4/61 times). In Proverbs, this word is translated as “the needy” (Pro 14:31; 30:14; 31:9, 20). In Proverbs, this word is translated as “the needy” (14:31; 30:14; 31:9, 20). It refers to what might be called the tramps of ancient times, the destitute day laborers who relied entirely on the favors of others to make their daily living (Domeris, 1997a, p. 228). (4) Dal (lD;, “poor, helpless, powerless,” 15/48 times). More than half of the use of this word in the Hebrew Scriptures occurs in the prophets (12 times) and wisdom literature (31 times; 15 in Proverbs: 10:15; 14:31; 19:4, 17; 21:13; 22:9, 16, 22(2x); 28:3, 8, 11, 15; 29:7, 14 ; 16 in Job). “It is the preferred proverbial word for expressing the wisdom tradition’s understanding of poverty” (Pleins, 1992, p. 406). It refers to the materially impoverished lower class of Israel (2 Kings 24:14; 25:12) (Coppes, 1980, p. 190). (5) rûš (vWr, “to be poor”, 16/22 times). It occurs mainly in wisdom literature, and indicates people who belong to the politically and economically inferior classes (10:4; 13:7, 8, 23; 14:20; 17:5; 18:23; 19:1, 7, 22; 22:2, 7; 28:3, 6, 27; 29:13) (Holwerda, 2002, p. 905; Pleins, 1992, p. 407). (6) maHsör (rwOsx.m;, “need, poverty,” 8/13). The Hebrew root for this term was first used to designate the decrease of the waters after the Flood (Gen 8:3, 5), and in Proverbs, maHsör is used in the context of showing the causes underlying poverty (Pro 6:11; 11:24; 14:23; 21:5, 17; 22:16; 24:34; 28:27). (7) wwärëš (vreW" , “impoverish, to be poor,” 3/4 times). It is the Niphal form of yrš (vry , “take possession of, to be heir to,” 232 times), probably related to rwš , “to be poor” (Wright, 1997, p. 547). As in (6), it connects poverty with its causes: laziness and heavy drinking (Pro 20:13; 23:21). B. “The Poor/Poverty” Alleviation Motif in Proverbs Lessons from Proverbs are not narrowly applicable to Israelites life only. The book’s scope is universal, and has a historical connection to other ancient Near Eastern wisdom literature (Murphy, 2002, pp. 287–290). The remarkable resemblance in sequence and content between Proverbs 22:17AAMM, Vol. 1,
24:22 and the Instruction of Amenemope, an Egyptian wisdom text, reflects the fact that the Israelites utilized the wisdom of neighboring countries, bringing to it a monotheistic perspective (Garrett, 2008, p. 575). In both texts, the very first admonition following the introduction is a prohibition against robbing the poor (Prov 22:22) (Lichtheim, 1997, p. 116; Murphy, 2002, p. 293). This illustrates that social justice was of universal concern. Interest in social justice is found even in the earliest law in human history. In its prologue, The Laws of Ur-Namma (Ur-Nammu) declares that King Ur-Namma (2112-2095 BCE) established justice: “I did not deliver the orphan to the rich. I did not deliver the widow to the mighty. I did not deliver the man with but one shekel to the man with one mina (i.e., 60 shekels)” (Roth, 1997, p. 409). Similarly, Proverbs admonishes kings to be guardians of the poor, the dumb and the destitute (29:14; 31:8-9. cf. 16:12; 20:8). Among the books of the Hebrew Bible, Proverbs most frequently mentions the themes of wealth and poverty (Washington, 1994, p. 1; Whybray, 1989, p. 333; Wittenberg, 1986, pp. 40–45). The book has an optimistic outlook on contemporary life and focuses on practical ethics. References to the poor and to poverty in Proverbs can be summarized as follows: (1) The poor and the wealthy are equal before God because both are God’s creation. Anyone who oppresses or mocks the poor reviles the LORD, who is the Creator of both the rich and the poor (14:31; 17:5; 22:2). (2) God has the power to make one either rich or poor. One can become rich through the blessing of the LORD (10:22), and fearing the LORD is rewarded by riches, honor and life (22:4; 21:21). (3) Choosing the way of the Woman Folly results in poverty. The intended reader of Proverbs is a young man who has a choice of two women from which to pick a lifelong partner— the Woman Wisdom (1:20-33; 8:1-36; 9:1-6, 11) and the Woman Folly (9:13-18), i.e., the true God and false gods (Longman III, 2008, p. 550). Human destiny here on earth and in the next world is determined by the choices one makes (Longman III, 2005, pp. 37-50). Those who choose the Woman Folly become poor through laziness (6:6-11), negligence (10:4-5), seeking of pleasure (21:17), loving of sleep (20:13), drinking (23:21), being an idle talker without labor (14:23), and oppressing the poor to profit themselves (22:16). (4) Poverty is a source of evil. The poor are likely to steal (30:9), because hunger might tempt one to take something that does not belong to him or her (6:30). Even the pious may be tempted to dishonor God’s name through unfaithfulness in the face of poverty (30:9). (5) The poor can be the victims of social injustice. While a third of the proverbs on wealth and poverty state that the poor have received what they 12
deserve, a large portion of the proverbs describe social and economic oppression and assert that the cause of poverty is that the rich are robbing the poor (Garrett, 2002, p. 56; Gottwald, 1993, p. 573). Because the fatherless, widows, aliens, and the needy are powerless, their rights may at times be severely threatened. They are the objects of hatred and mockery (14:20; 17:5), oppression (14:31; 22:16; 28:3, 15; 29:13), rough treatment (18:23), and indifference (21:13; 28:27; 29:7). Their property rights are forfeited in favor of the strong (15:25; 22:22, 28; 23:10; 30:14. Cf. Deut 19:14; 27:17). They are estranged from family and friends (19:4, 7), are not vindicated in lawsuits (31:5), and are robbed of their harvest by wicked landlords, rulers, and officials (13:23. Cf. 18:23; 28:8). However, the poor have hope for a better life when we consider God’s attitude toward them: (6) God is the guardian of the poor. God is their Maker (17:5), and protects them. He forbids the removal of landmarks that set off the field of orphans (23:10, 11) “who have no family head to protect their interests,” for God will be their goel (redeemer) “who will restore to them that which they have lost” (Keil & Delitzsch, 2002, p. 6: 341; Reyburn, 2000, p. 492). (7) God does not curse the poor. God’s curse is directed at the wicked (3:33) and at those who hide their eyes from the poor (28:27). The righteous poor are better than the perverse rich (19:1; 28:6. cf. 19:22). Perversity in one’s lips and ways are more horrible than living in humble circumstances (Lange, 2008, p. 172). (8) God esteems morality and spirituality to be higher than material prosperity. Wealth is not a guaranteed token of God’s blessing. Proverbs is suspicious of the value of wealth acquired through oppression (22:16), evil eyes and works (28:6, 22), in haste instead of through diligence and labor (28:20). The wealth of the foolish does not last long. Proverbs teaches the value of honesty and righteousness, and these are the attributes which guarantee the safety of wealth (11:18). People should shun gaining wealth through foolish ways like “deceitful wages” (11:18), “vanity” (13:11), and the “lying tongue” (21:6). Wealth is not everything, for it will not be useful on “the day of judgment.” Only righteousness delivers from death (11:4). People need to reach beyond present material prosperity to grasp eternal things. (9) God encourages charity for the needy. The wealthy should be generous. A society is judged by its attitude toward the poor. A kingdom that maintains justice in favor of the poor endures for ever (29:14). Whether or not one helps the poor determines whether one is righteous or wicked before God (29:7). Blessings are bestowed on the generous giver, and curses on the non-giver (28:27). (10) God values wisdom more than wealth. It is clear that Proverbs prefers wealth to poverty, but wealth is not the ultimate goal. The fear of AAMM, Vol. 1,
the LORD (15:16), loving community (15:17), righteousness (16:8), wisdom (16:16), domestic tranquility (17:1), a good reputation (22:1), and integrity (28:6) are better things, and the fruits of wisdom. The phrase “the fear of the LORD” (yir´at-yhwh) frames the whole book, providing an all encompassing framework upon which the literary structure of the entire book is built (1:7; 31:30). It presents an essential hermeneutical key to the book of Proverbs. It represents the vertical relationship between human beings and God, and encompasses secular wisdom in daily life, made manifest in the horizontal relationship between human beings and things (Jang, 2004, p. 101). The vertical and horizontal dimensions of human relationships in reference to the poor require special attention. Concerning the vertical dimension of human relationships, God is on the side of the poor. God forbids the oppression of the poor. The Torah provided legislation that protects the sojourner, the widow, the fatherless child, and the hired servant (Ex 22:21-24; 23:9; Deut 24:14-18; 27:19), and Proverbs is firmly grounded in the tradition of the Torah (15:25; 22:22-23; 23:10-11). Because God is the compassionate Savior of the poor and the needy (Ps 72:13), He works as their Redeemer (22:22; 23:11), promises hope (23:18), and punishes oppressors (14:21, 31; 17:5; 24:18). From the horizontal dimension of relationship, human beings have a moral responsibility to take care of the poor. They should not oppress the poor (22:16, 22-23), and instead should be kind (14:21, 31; 19:17; 28:8), give liberally (22:9; 28:27), advocate for the rights of the poor in front of their oppressors in legal settings (31:9), and honor them as fellow beings made by God (22:2; 29:13). C. Missiological Implication of the Motif These vertical and horizontal dimensions of human relationships demand a wholistic ministry to the poor. Human beings lead a wholistic existence that involves bodily, mental, spiritual, and social capacities. People in developing countries often suffer great loss in many of these areas. Only a wholistic approach that encompasses physical, mental, spiritual, and social dimensions can truly answer their need. (1) Physical aspects. A generous supply of the necessities of life can allow people in poor countries to feel God’s love. The visible dedication of God’s people makes the gospel real and tangible. To the poor, a loaf of bread and appropriate medications can be signs of the approaching kingdom of God. Pure religion as far as God is concerned is demonstrated through our meeting the physical needs of the poor (11:24, 25; 14:21, 31; 19:17; 28:27; Ps 68:5; Isa 58:6-7; Jas 1:27). 14
(2) Mental aspects. Major causes of poverty are rooted in lifestyle. Change of lifestyle comes when people intelligently accept higher values. Believers can appeal to the minds of the poor to embrace the values of industry, diligence, honesty, self-reliance and self-control (10: 4; 13:23; 19:1). People need to put off the old man that indulged in works of darkness, and put on the new man through enlightenment and education (Eph 4:22; Col 3:9). The power of the Woman Folly should be broken. Knowledge should be refreshed through the Christian worldview. Christian educational institutions bring profound change to the mission field. Thieves, robbers, sluggards, drunkards, and those habitually oppressing others will be transformed and will begin to work to feed others and serve their communities. (3) Spiritual aspects. Permanent change is possible only when the poor have a spiritual motivation. They will respond to God’s highest calling and live a better life. Stewardship is to be emphasized. Once recognized, the limitations and vanity of worldly wealth will draw the minds of people to eternal and divine values. People can be changed into spiritual beings, regardless of their financial status. (4) Social aspects. Wealth attracts friends, but poverty has a negative effect on relationships in the family and among relatives (14:20; 19:4, 6, 7). The gospel breaks down the barriers of race, class, sex, and wealth. It invites all into the harmonious fellowship of God’s kingdom. The gospel is not for individual persons only, but also for communities as a whole. Christian ministry can bring about a productive community through worship, education, and social service. “One recurring image in Proverbs is found in the reference to food (12:11; 20:13; 28:19) and feasting (15:17; 17:1) as an indication of wealth, or the lack of it as an indication of poverty (13.25)”(Kassis, 1999, p. 159). The need for wholistic care is implicitly expressed in the usage of leHem (“bread, food”), the lack of which is the first and foremost indicator of poverty. LeHem occurs twenty three times in Proverbs. Except in the following seven figurative cases this Hebrew word refers to literal food: “bread of wickedness” (4:17); poverty on account of a harlot (6:26); an invitation from the Woman Wisdom (9:5); “bread eaten in secret” signifying unwise acts (9:17); the “bread of deceit” (20:17); oppressors of the poor are compared to a sweeping rain that leaves no food (28:3); and the “bread of idleness” (31:27). Literal food is vitally connected to the physical, mental, spiritual, and social dimensions of a human being. Meeting physical needs is a priority. A person belonging to a lower class and who has servants is better off than the person in an honored higher
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class but who is without food (12:9). Shortage of food and water is to be solved even if the sufferer is one’s enemy (25:21). Solving the food problem for the needy requires mental enlightenment and practical education. When sleep-lovers become vigilant workers, they will have abundant food for their satisfaction (20:13). It is necessary that the poor lazy be inspired by object lessons. They can learn the lesson of diligence from ants (6:8; 30:25). In addition, obtaining and preparing food require technical knowledge, which can be obtained through education in agriculture (cultivating land, 12:11; 28:19), dairy industry (27:27), and commercial business (31:14). Food also has moral and spiritual dimensions. Scantiness of food is the source of crimes (28:21). Resources in the hands of the unwise can be abused to the extent of becoming unbearable to society (30:22). Craving for “deceptive food” (23:3) and “the bread of a selfish man” (23:6) threatens one’s life, and the wise will avoid such people. God-fearers are generous in sharing food with the needy (22:9) and are blessed by God (22:9). The wise approach the problem of wealth and poverty with a spiritual concern that oversees the physical and mental aspects of their being: “Feed me with the food that is needful for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and use profanely the name of my God” (30:8-9). Practical care for the poor is really a spiritual matter in which believers in God’s harvest field should be involved. Food offers opportunities for interaction in and among families and communities (15:17; 17:1; 23:3, 6). The community should be sensitive to the needs of the poor and provide them with food (25:21). Feeding the needy is a responsibility of both the wealthy, and society as a whole. In developing countries, supplying food may involve community development projects that require the participation of local people. In some cases, it can be a nation-wide project like the former Saemaul Undong in Korea. III. The Wholistic Missiological Approach of Maha Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo & Other Countries MM launched its ministry when a retired Korean church elder Yang, Seung Chun arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as a self-supporting missionary on December 12, 2006. Two of Yang’s targets were the Pigmy and the Lugbara (naked) tribes in remote areas of the northeastern corner of the country. Yang’s mission was based in Butembo, a town containing some 600,000 inhabitants, many of whom were refugees from the decade-long Congo civil war which began in 1997. While most 16
Congolese were already poverty-stricken due to wars and smaller conflicts, the Pigmies and the Lugbara were even further forgotten and neglected. Elder Yang organized MM and tried to satisfy their daily needs. Maha means “hope, desire” in Kinande, a Bantu language spoken in the DRC. I will evaluate MM’s work in the DRC and recommend future directions for MM’s mission and ministry from the perspective of the wholistic ministry to the poor implied in Proverbs. Since the outbreak of the Congolese war, 5.4 million people have died. The majority of deaths arose from nonviolent causes like malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. Almost half of the dead have been children under the age of five. People are still dying at an estimated rate of 45,000 per month (Wikipedia; Anup Shah). MM’s challenge to fight this tragedy can be found in its website http://www.mahamission.org. A. The Various Projects of Maha Mission (1) Orphanages. MM runs two orphanages and supports two other children’s facilities: SDA Kavatsi Orphanage in Lukanga, DRC (20 children); SDA Bethel Orphanage, Aru, Talla, DRC (10 children); Konyao Orphanage, North Pokot, Kenya (100 children); Karao, Tanzania (86 Masai children). (2) Pigmy mission. Pigmies, called Bambengas in the Congo language, are a short (average height 150 cm), nomadic people. Because of their nomadic life style, they do not cultivate the land and have no schools; they sustain themselves solely by hunting and fishing. Previously, evangelism to the Pigmies was not successful because of the absence of contact points with them. But MM began its ministry in October 2007 to these people. And now, MM operated four main camps (Aloya, Malondo, Makele, and Teule) and twenty-six satellite camps. The most effective projects to make contact with these people were the thirteen water projects that supplied fresh water through a water tank system. The projects opened their hearts to the source of Living Water—Jesus Christ—and enabled MM to begin a school for the Pigmies. (3) Lugbara mission. The Lugbara are a tribe in the northeast of the country, but about 6,000 of them were living away from civilization within a 30-40 km radius from Bethel church. MM began ministering to them, beginning in August, 2007. Projects such as the water project at Bethel made them open their hearts to the Christian faith. There are currently 150 baptized church members, and 200 baptismal candidates in Bible classes. A vocational high school with a capacity of 200 students, is under construction through the cooperation of MM and the Bicycle Mission to the World. Bethel Church takes care of 10 orphans and needy children, and plans to build an orphanage in conjunction with the high school dormitory. AAMM, Vol. 1,
(4) Mutiri Hospital. MM supported Mutiri Adventist Hospital in Butembo, the only Adventist hospital in the DRC. It has helped to build an obstetrics and gynecology ward. (5) Scholarships to needy students. From the beginning of its ministry, MM has supported 406 elementary, secondary and college students yearly through the help of the SMI Scholarship Congo. (6) Supporting full time pastors. MM now supports nine full time pastors working on five camps for the Pigmy and the Lugbara. (7) Supporting retired pastors. There are fifty seven retired pastors in the North Kivu Field, and they are paid from between U.S. $5 to $15 dollars per month. MM gives each retired pastor a $20 bonus twice a year, and plans to hire them to work as Bible instructors. (8) Church roof projects. DRC has good quality clay bricks, and where church membership increases to seventy or one hundred people, new churches is needed. The local church members are usually too poor to build roofs, and MM has so far helped twenty churches to install tin roofs. In 2009, an additional twenty churches will receive aid from MM to install roofs. (9) Distribution of Spirit of Prophecy books. MM distributes free booklets of Ellen G. White books across the African continent in coordination with the Everlasting Gospel Publishing Association. (10) MM has expanded its operations to other East and Central African countries and to Moldova since August 2008. These countries include Burundi, Tanzania, and Kenya as well as in Moldova, an East European country. ( i ) In Konyao, Kenya emergency food has been supplied to an orphanage for one hundred children, and bridge construction, clean water supply, and school construction projects have been conducted. ( ii ) In Kajiado, Kenya projects have included Masai evangelism, lay pastor employment, and the operation of a mobile medical unit. ( iii ) In Karao, Tanzania a one meal a day program has begun for eighty six Masai children, and a mobile medical unit has begun operating. ( iv ) In Burundi there are church roofing projects, as well as a pastors’ intensive education program, and an agricultural program. ( v ) In Moldova a house church purchase program has been established as well as a missionary sending program. Also humanitarian seminary scholarships, and one D.Min scholarship have been provided. A Radio Station purchase plan has been implemented, and a pastors’ retreat center is now operational. B. An Evaluation of MM’s Ministry
When MM began its ministry in December 2006, Elder Yang was the only foreign missionary in Butembo. Foreign missionaries had been forced to leave the country during the civil wars. The area was closed to the outer world. MM up to a couple of years ago was the first and only missionary outpost in the area. It found much to do in terms of addressing the people’s great needs. MM’s achievements during this short time were remarkable, and greatly changed the life of the poor in Butembo. Now new foreign missionaries are coming, and foreign missionary outposts are interested in this area. It is appropriate at this time to evaluate the work of MM and look for ways to make its mission even more effective. 1. Positive Achievements MM’s achievements can be positively evaluated as follows: (1) MM adopted a wholistic missionary approach to meet the needs of the poor. It met their physical needs by providing food for orphans and fresh water systems to the Lugbara and the Pigmy. Four main missionary camps and twenty six satellite ones provide bases to teach farming methods to indigenous tribes so that they can settle and form a self-supporting community. MM took care of the sick through hospitals. It met educational needs by offering educational scholarships to round four hundred six students and by supporting a vocational high school. It met spiritual needs by supporting full-time pastors and retired pastors. Church roof projects provided physical shelters for souls hungry for Christ. (2) MM has reached indigenous tribes neglected by other evangelistic programs. These tribes cannot be evangelized using a short term approach. The Lugbarans are a scattered farming people. To win their trust is the first objective, so as to persuade them to accept Jesus Christ in their hearts. Effective evangelism requires great patience, and involves understanding their traditions, habits and immediate needs. To those who are constantly migrating in search of food, one must begin with explaining the need and reason for settlement. Providing even minimal medical care to these people is not easy and often it is very costly. Yet MM has persevered in serving them and has won their hearts. (3) MM’s major approach here, was by satisfying the needs of the community. Social development and the social welfare of the entire tribal community were its major concerns. When such social need were satisfied, the tribal communities welcomed the gospel message and were converted to the Christian faith. (4) MM hired native Christian workers to serve the community, thus helping to break down the barriers of language and culture. (5) MM has a well-organized body of trained staff. Elder Yang’s experience as the CEO of a thriving international electronic communication company provides him with multiple skills in this mission AAMM, Vol. 1,
field. His strategic management skills and communication abilities were factors that gave MM such a strong beginning. (6) MM has a good relationship with denominational organizations. MM works together with local churches and the various Union Missions and Divisions of the SDA Church, as well as the General Conference of SDA’s. It actively communicates with such entities. Denominational leaders are able to see clearly what MM has achieved. MM has gained positive recognition by church officials for its work, within a very short time. (7) MM is transparent regarding donations and donors. MM reports to the donor how the donation has been used through pictures and plans. Donors trust MM’s integrity and often gave continuing support. 2. Suggestions to Assist in Achieving Greater Effectiveness A set of suggestions are listed below to reinforce the effectiveness of MM’s wholistic ministry. One must be mindful that an effective ministry to the poor always aims at encouraging them to stand alone and work for themselves. (1) Meeting physical needs: Indigenous people need to learn how to cultivate the land and to be self-supporting. The Korean Saemaul Undong (SU, New Community Movement, 1970s) is a good model for helping to address their need. Korea experienced a revolutionary change of life through this movement. The Kihuya project in DRC is a fine example of how implementing the SU-type program can have a great impact in the poor country. The yearly per capita income rose from U.S. $70 to $ 600 within four years of implementing the movement (SBS). MM will recruit SU leaders from Korea to be missionary workers for the poor. Industries can be set up to offer jobs and community development. (2) Meeting educational needs: SU is a movement that emphasizes changing people’s mind. It has a three-fold motto: diligence, self-reliance, and cooperation. Those values are greatly emphasized in Proverbs. The Christian worldview has to dominate the thoughts, practices and customs of the community. The spirit of SU is to be rooted in and fed by the Christian worldview. Elementary, secondary, and college level educational institutions are to be established to offer quality education. Students will have hope for the future, and can become political leaders, lawyers, doctors, and businesspersons, etc. They will break the chain of poverty and be the guardians of their community. MM should have an educational strategy for building a strong and healthy community through education. (3) Meeting spiritual needs: Church-planting among indigenous tribes is to be continued. Since MM’s ministry was based on community development, mass conversion to Christianity should be anticipated. 20
Converting the natives to become disciples of Christ is the goal of this mission work. Church roof projects can focus the attention of foreign Christian supporters of this work.. The ultimate goal of MM is to have selfreliant Christians in the mission field. Churches should be schools in which members learn to serve others. They will grow by serving others. IV. Suggestions for Enhancing Public Relationship with Other Organizations A. Cooperation with Governmental/Non-Governmental Organizations Because MM's primary work among the underprivileged indigenous tribes is community development, MM can work together with external organizations. Governmental and non-governmental (NGO) organizations can offer financial, legal, and technical support. 1. Governmental Organizations: Developed countries have budgets to support developing countries. Useful information for governmental organizations are available from the Korea International Cooperation Agency, USAID, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Australia's International Development Assistance Program, the Department for International Development in the UK, the Canadian International Development Agency, Sweden’s International Development Agency, GTZ in German, CFD in France, the Belgian Development Cooperation Agency, and the Agence Française de Developpement. 2. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) Such organizations that can lend a helping hand are found in many countries. Some Korean NGO’s are: a) Medical service: Loving Care International, People for Medical Cooperation, Dental Mission for Christ, Korean Open Doctors Society, Global Care. b) Community development: Good Neighbors, Korean Medicine Service Team Abroad, World Vision, World Together, Korea International Volunteer Organization . c) Poverty and food: Cooperation and Participation in Overseas NGOs, Korea Food Hungry International. d) Children's relief: United Help for International Children, International Corn Foundation, Save the Children Korea, Future for African Children, Korean Committee for UNICEF. AAMM, Vol. 1,
In order to share the NGO spirit, Korea NGO Council for Overseas Cooperation (KCOC) was organized in 1999, and includes 62 organizations as its members. B. Cooperation with Adventist Church Organizations It is natural for MM, as an evangelistic body, to have connections with church organizations. It needs to have connections with church administrative organizations, denominational institutions, Adventist development organizations, volunteer services, missionary movements, and local churches. 1. Church administrative organizations and especially the Adventist Mission departments of the General Conference, divisions, and union conferences. 2. Denominational institutions such as Adventist hospitals and clinics, Sahmyook Foods, universities and schools, and SDA language institutes in Korea. 3. Advent development organizations, and most especially the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) in interested countries, for example ADRA Korea, etc. 4. Volunteer services, and most particularly Adventist Volunteer Services. 5. Missionary movements like for example the Pioneer Mission Movement (PMM) of Northern Asia-Pacific Division, the 1000 Missionary Movement, as well as the global magazine, Adventist World. 6. Local churches: Local churches in Korea and the US can be good supporters. A cell group can have a sister relationship with a church in a poor country. The Spencerville Korean SDA Church made 20 sister relationships with African churches. MM needs to encourage such movements. Local churches can organize short or long-term mission trips. C. Organizing an international charity incorporated association Developed countries have public funds available for aiding community development in developing countries. In order to qualify to receive such funds, MM needs to become a federally recognized charity organization, registered as an incorporated association. Because MM currently extends its ministry to several countries including DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Moldova, and has plans to include more countries, it needs to form a global network that can provide financial support. V. Conclusion 22
Through the various terms referring to the poor/poverty, the book of Proverbs recognizes that poverty is a fact of life. Proverbs does not equate poverty with piety, instead pointing out the various reasons behind a man’s becoming poor. However, it also states that the poor are God’s creation and that God is their protector He will defend their dignity and rights as human beings. The book teaches that true piety involves helping the poor and being magnanimous toward them. At the same time it points out that poverty is not a problem that can be solved simply through material support. Poverty is a problem with physical, mental, spiritual, and social dimensions, and thereby requires a wholistic solution involving much care and service. MM provides the kind of wholistic service that the book of Proverbs recommends, through its mission in Africa. It provides drinking water and agricultural, educational, medical, and missionary support to the Pigmies and the Lugbaras (naked people) in DRC. In order to fully implement the lessons provided by Proverbs, MM must go beyond its role as a provider and must help the indigenous people to themselves work to cast off poverty from their communities. To successfully obtain the immense financial resources and dedicated workers that the local development projects require, MM must establish a strong relationship with church and governmental organizations and departments. It should also establish itself as an incorporated association in different countries, thereby creating a global network that will help it to expand its service into other poor countries and regions. The book of Proverbs tells us that it is the king’s duty to take care of the poor, and in this way opens the door for missionary organizations cooperating with governments and world institutions like the UN. Proverbs is not merely a collection of ancient adages; it is God’s living Word, which can help solve the problems of suffering that humanity faces today. By studying its lessons, missionary organizations serving in developing countries can obtain practical wisdom for fulfilling the needs of those who are in need of God’s Word.
References Chen, S. R., Martin. (2004). How Have the world's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s? World Bank Research Observer, 19(2), 141–169. Coppes, L. J. (1980). lld. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Vol. 1, pp. 190). Chicago, IL: Moody. AAMM, Vol. 1,
Domeris, W. R. (1997a). !wyba. In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (Vol. 1, pp. 228–232). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Domeris, W. R. (1997b). $wm. In W. A. VanGemeren (Ed.), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (Vol. 2, pp. 868). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Garrett, D. A. (2002). Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers. Garrett, D. (2008). Proverbs 3: History of Interpretation. In T. E. Longman III, Peter (Ed.), Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (pp. 566–578). Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press. Gottwald, N. K. (1993). The Hebrew Bible in Its Social World and in Ours. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. Holwerda, D. E. (2002). Poor. In G. W. Bromiley (Ed.), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised (Vol. 3, pp. 905–908). Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans. Jang, I. (2004). Wisdom for Life: A Study on Hebrew Wisdom Literature. Seoul, Korea: The Christian Literature Society of Korea. Kassis, R. A. (1999). The Book of Proverbs and Arabic Proverbial Works. Leiden; Boston; Köln: Brill. Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (2002). Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. Lange, J. P. S., Philip; Zöckler, Otto; Aiken, Charles A. (2008). A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Proverbs. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. Lichtheim, M. (1997). Instruction of Amenemope (1.47). In W. W. Y. Hallo, K. Lawson (Ed.), The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World (Vol. 1, pp. 115–122). New York: Brill. Longman III, T. (2005). How to Read Proverbs (E. W. Jeon [Ed.], Trans. Korean). Seoul: Korea InterVarsity Press. Longman III, T. (2008). Proverbs 1: Book of. In T. E. Longman III, Peter Enns (Eds.), Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings (pp. 539–552). Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press. Murphy, R. E. (2002). Proverbs. Word Biblical Commentary (Vol. 22). Dallas, TX: Word. Pleins, J. D. (1992). Poor, Poverty (Old Testament). In D. N. Freedman, G. A. Herion, D. F. Graf & J. D. Pleins (Eds.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (Vol. 5, pp. 402–414). New York: Doubleday. Pogge, T. W. M. (2008). World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities and Reforms (2nd ed.). Cambridge; Malden, MA: Polity. Reyburn, W. D. F. & McG, Euan. (2000). A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies. 24
Roth, M. (1997). The Laws of Ur-Namma (Ur-Nammu) (2.153). In W. W. Hallo & K. L. Younger (Eds.), The Context of Scripture: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World (Vol. 2, pp. 408–410). New York: Brill. Washington, H. C. (1994). Wealth and poverty in the Instruction of Amenemope and the Hebrew Proverbs. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. Whybray, R. N. (1989). Poverty, Wealth, and Point of View in Proverbs. Expository Times, 100, 332–336. Wittenberg, G. H. (1986). The Lexical Context of the Terminology for "Poor" in the Book of Proverbs. Scriptura (Special issue 2), 40–85. Shah, Anup. The Democratic Republic of Congo. Retrieved from http://www.globalissues.org/article/87/the-democratic-republic-ofcongo). Maha Mission. http://www.mahamission.org SBS. Saemaul Undong in Kihuya, DR Congo. Global Community VJ Special, July 16, 2008.
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Using the Concept of Substitution in African Traditional Religion to Formulate Contextual Theology on Biblical Atonement: The Yoruba Example Joseph Adeyinka Olanrewaju ABSTRACTâŽŻLike other traditional religions, Yoruba Traditional Religion (YTR) is not dying out. The believers in YTR take sacrifice seriously in solving life problems. Their concept of substitution in this regard is unique. The question is how the concept of substitution in YTR can be used to formulate a contextual theology of biblical atonement for the purpose of reaching potential believers in YTR? This paper examines this issue and seeks to formulate such a theology. It shows the basic and relevant elements in the concept of substitution in YTR, which are compatible with a contextual theology of biblical atonement. In doing so, it focuses on deliverance from transferable death among the Yoruba people of South Western Nigeria. The paper also recognizes that there are elements of substitution in YTR that are not compatible with the idea of atonement in the Bible. The paper concludes that using the suitable elements in YTR idea of substitution can help the Yoruba to understand how Christ substitutionary death has secured victory over both physical death and eternal death. Keywords: Yoruba, substitution, atonement, Africa, traditional religion I. Introduction Manuscript received July 12, 2009; revised Aug. 25, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Joseph Adeyinka Olanrewaju (Ph.D. Associate Professor, email@example.com) is with Religious Studies Department, Babcock University, ILagos, Nigeria.
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The contemporary religion pattern of Nigeria has been described as triadic in nature as it comprises of Christian, Islamic and Traditional religions (Ejizu, 1998, p. 179). Interestingly, none of the three religions enjoys “an overwhelming statistical advantage over the others (Ejizu, p. 186).” For while Islamic religion is dominant in the northern part of the country, Christianity dominates in the southeastern and southern parts (Ejizu, 1998, pp. 182–184). It is not so in the southwest, which is the home of the Yoruba speaking people. Yoruba Traditional religion (YTR) has remained influential in this area. Its influence has even gone beyond its place of origin. Though the religion originates from Western Nigeria, it lays claim to millions of adherents throughout the world. Apart from Nigeria, other countries where it is practiced in one form or the other are the Republic of Benin and Togo in West Africa. Taking a more global dimension, the presence of the religion is felt include Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Vincent (Emeagwali, 1999, pp. 1–2) YTR, as an influential religion among the Yoruba and beyond, has a sacrificial system as one the cores of its beliefs and practices (Idowu, 1962, p. 118; Awolalu, 1975, p. 81). There are various needs for sacrifice among the Yoruba traditional worshippers. The basic ones are the need for propitiation, the need for prevention, and the need for substitution (Awolalu, 1978, pp. 143–146). Substitution is frequently practiced in the religion. Hence, this work focuses on substitution in YTR. The questions are: (1) What are the similarities and dissimilarities between the concept of substitution in YTR and the concept of substitution in biblical atonement? (2) Are there elements in YTR concept of substitution that are suitable for contextual theology on biblical atonement? (3) How can these elements be used to do contextual theology on biblical atonement? In attempts to answer the above questions, the idea of substitution in YTR is presented, followed by the concept of substitution in biblical atonement. Next, an attempt is made to identify the suitable elements in YTR concept of substitution and use them to formulate a contextual theology of biblical atonement. II. The Idea of Substitution in YTR Among the traditional Yoruba, it is believed that there are wicked spirits who are determined to torment man. Emiefe Ikenga-Metuh sheds light on the identity of evil spirit in the thought of African people he explains: 28
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Among different African peoples are found other spirits which are believed to be inherently evil. Some of these are disincarnate human spirits, other are non-human spirits. Some are believed to be groups of anonymous spirits who may attack individuals, families or communities. Others have the status of a deity (Ikenga-Metuh, 1987, p. 155). Also, it is held that people may come under the wrath of supernatural beings for one reason or another. Accordingly, the Yoruba believe that the solution to these kinds of problems may require an act of substitution. It appears that there are two main kinds of problems in Yoruba culture that call for an act of substitution. These is (1) the need to alter an agreement or covenant, and (2) the need for a substitute to bear suffering or death which an individual is in danger of suffering (Awolalu, 1978, pp. 122–123). Like other African peoples, the Yoruba people place great value on having children who survive them. As such, life is considered to be tormented if a couple is childless, either as a result of being unable to bare children or through the death of their children. Certain evil spirits are believed to have the basic task of afflicting pregnant mothers. They are identified as wandering, wicked spirits whose main purpose is to make women childless (Idowu, 1973, p. 175; Awolalu, 1978, p. 158; Quarcoopme, 1987, p. 91). The Yoruba call them Abiku which is literally translated “born to die” (IkengaMetuh, 1987, p. 156; Quarcoopme, 1987, p. 91; Idowu, 1973, p. 175). It is believed that these spirits, are in groups or companies (Idowu, 1962, p. 123). Ikenga-Metuh adds that “it is believed that these evil spirits are arranged in age-groups, some are infants of five years and below, others are children between seven and fourteen years. Others are young people not more than thirty years” (1987, p. 156). Moreover, it is believed that the members of each group of abiku agree among themselves by covenant to engage in their hurtful tasks in turns. The assignment is to enter the womb of young pregnant woman, then be born, die, and return to the rest of the members of his group at a designated time. This is done repeatedly by the same abiku to the same woman, troubling her with the pain of the birth and death of all her children for many years, while she remains childless and frustrated as she passes her childbearing age (Idowu, 1973, p. 175; Idowu, 1962, p. 123; Awolalu, 1978, p. 159). Ikenga-Metuh (1987, pp. 156–157) seems to suggest the reason why these “born to die” spirits are seen to be “the most devilish agents of misfortune.” The reason is that they prevent the victims from becoming ancestors, “since those who die childless cannot reach AAMM, Vol. 1,
their ancestral home and are therefore lost or damned.” Perhaps this is why the abiku are the group of evil spirits most feared by young mothers. Whenever a woman begins to experience repeated death of children, the legitimate question she asks is “why?” In her belief there is nothing which occurs by chance. Every occurrence has a definite cause. Although a medical doctor may see the possibility of such deaths being the result of sickle cell, a traditional Yoruba person will consult an oracle because of her belief in the activities of the abiku. If the oracle links the problem to the nefarious activities of the abiku, the woman will experience fear, not knowing what to do in order to overcome the problem. According to Yoruba belief, there are two ways to have victory over the abiku. First, she can seek to prevent the abiku from returning when he dies by mutilating and torturing the dead body. Second, by presenting a prescribed sacrifice as a substitute so that there will be a breach of covenant between the living abiku and his group members, which makes him willing to live as a human being on earth rather than dying and going back to them (Idowu, 1962, p. 123). It appears that the need for substitution becomes critical when the person who is considered an abiku is sick (Idowu, 1962, p. 123; Quarcoopome, 1987, p. 91). Because of this substitutionary sacrifice, his companions will not be able to require him to join their group again and take him away anymore. There is a need to overcome the evil activities of the abiku. The pain they inflict creates a peculiar need for substitutionary sacrifice in YTR. There is another need for substitution, aside from the need for substitution with the intention of breaking the covenant between an abiku and his companions. It is the need to provide a substitute to bear a calamity, especially death, that should have come upon a person. In many African cultures, it is held that many calamities, especially death, are unnatural and preventable (Mbiti, 1979, p. 204). This kind of death is transferable from one person to another victim, so that the victim dies instead of the person. John S. Mbiti holds that such deaths are caused by certain agents (Mbiti, 1979, p. 204). Similarly, Awolalu notes that there are certain agents that can cause transferable death (Awolalu, 1978, p. 158). These agents, according to him, are witches and sorcerers. Idowu’s identification of such agents seems to be broader than that of Awolalu. In Idowu’s view, the agents can be either Orisa (divinity) or certain malignant spirits. When they are angry, they can kill the person against whom they are angry (Idowu, 1962, p. 124). In Yoruba culture, witches are dreaded agents of transferable death. 30
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They are dreaded because in the mind of the people, witches can cause havoc and mysterious deaths. For example, Marc Schiltz relates the experience of a man who ran away from his hometown because of his fear of witchcraft. Later on, he began to suspect his mother-in-law to be responsible for the blood deficiency of his wife (Schiltz, 2002, pp. 343, 347). Mbiti also explains that witches, who are mainly women, are “people with an inherent power by means of which they can abandon their bodies at night and meet with similar people (other witches) to suck or eat away the life of their victims” (Mbiti, 1979, p. 263). On the basis of this assumption, a traditional Yoruba is afraid when he suddenly falls sick (Imasoge, 1985, p. 38). His fear escalates if the sickness is not remedied by medications. Instinctively, under the grip of fear and uncertainty, the sick person goes to a diviner to inquire about the cause of the sickness (Imasoge, 1985, p. 38). If the divination confirms that the sickness has resulted from witchcraft and may lead to death, an appropriate solution is sought. This is secured by providing a substitute as a sacrifice to bear the death (Pembeton, 1971, p. 24; Olowola, 1991, p. 6). This is the reason for substitutionary sacrifice in YTR. It is the oracle that reveals the kind of sacrifice to be offered in order to provide a substitutionary solution to the problem. It seems that the objects to whom sacrifices are directed are either benevolent or malevolent supernatural beings, depending on the particular situation. For instance, Awolalu states in connection with the abiku that sometimes his companions require a she-goat, which is taken into the forest and tied to a tree from where they (the companions) will come to take it away (Awolalu, 1978, p. 158; Quarcoopome, 1987, p. 92). The object of substitutionary sacrifice for redemption from transferable death is the agent of the inflicted calamity or imminent death. For instance, Awolalu writes of a father who offered a chicken as a substitute for his child. He concludes the account of the action of the father as follows: On investigation, we gathered that the one who took this action did so because he had been told by the diviner that his child’s sickness was caused by the witches. In order to appease them, therefore, and make them release the child, the man had to give another life for the child’s life. Thus, for the man’s child, the chicken died (Awolalu, 1978, p. 139).
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In this manner, a traditional Yoruba man solves the problems of transferable death characterized by a sickness that cannot be cured naturally. The substitutionary victim dies instead of the one for whom the sacrifice is made. III. The Idea of Substitution in Biblical Atonement Having presented the concept of substitution in YTR, it is essential to present the concept of substitution in biblical atonement too. Doing this may help one to notice the similarities and dissimilarities between the YTR idea and the biblical idea of substitution. In the biblical atonement, the problem of sin necessitates substitution. Man sinned. He must die. In the Garden of Eden, God warned man that the penalty of sin is death (Gen 2:17). The same warning that death is the penalty of sin is echoed both in the OT and NT (Ezek 18:3; Rom 6:23; Andreasen, 2000, pp. 331– 332; Pink, n.d, p. 38). It appears that this penalty is beyond the capacity of man to pay unless God provides for it. Aside from death as the penalty for sin which hangs over humanity, we also have become corrupt in our nature which makes us unworthy before God (Ps 51:5). The human race becomes by nature, children of wrath (Eph 2:3; Grudem, 1994, p. 496). As a result of our corrupt nature, humanity is burdened by an inability to please God and produce acceptable righteousness before Him (Isa 64:6). Paul insists that carnal man cannot please God (Rom 7:18). Likewise, Jesus makes it clear that man is incapable of doing anything without Him (John 15:5). According to Paul, man’s incapability to produce acceptable righteousness is rooted in the fact that nothing good dwells in man (Rom 7:18). Rather, people becomes enslaved to sin and sinful habits, serving diverse lusts (John 8:34; Eph 2:1-2; Grudem, 1994, pp. 497–498; Wallenkampf, 1998, p. 13). This condition of humanity needs God’s intervention. Leon Morris asserts that those who practice sin are a “slave to their sin whether they realize it or not. This means that they cannot break away from their sin. For they need a power greater than their own” (Morris, 1995, p. 406). It appears that a substitute, with a perfect righteousness, must stand in for humanity. Therefore, the need for substitution becomes indispensable because of the two-fold tragedy under which people find themselves as the result of sin (Dale, 1902, p. 337). In other words, people are faced with both the misery of divine condemnation which requires a suitable substitute, and the misery of a corrupt nature which brings 32
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enslavement to sinful habits, which is a hindrance to producing an acceptable righteousness. Humanity requires a substitute who can make available an untainted righteousness needed for humanity’s justification before God. Though it is an undeniable fact that because of man’s condition, there is a need for substitution, the question is: How is this need for substitution met? Right from Old Testament times, there was an indication that the problem of death as penalty for sin is solvable only through the death of an innocent victim. For instance, the book of Genesis tells us that after Adam and Eve sinned they heard God pronounce the penalty for their sin. Yet God did not send them out of the garden immediately. God made coats of skins for Adam and Eve and clothed them (Gen 3:21). This hints at the idea of substitution, as certain animals were killed in order to provide coats for Adam and Eve. There are scholars who see theological significance in this text. In spite of the absence of the word sacrifice in the text, Angel Rodriguez perceives that this is the origin of the OT sacrificial system (Rodriquez, 2000, p. 376). He argues that when one places Gen. 3:21 in its theological context the implicit death of the animal becomes a sacrificial act. (Rodriquez, p. 376). In reference to the provision of the covering for Adam and Eve, David Atkinson ponders that “one has died, that Adam may be covered. In the sacrifice, is there not a hint of God’s way with the world: that new life is given through life laid down” (Atkinson, 1990, p. 98)? J. E. Conant notes that “the first picture of substitution is in the clothing of Adam and Eve” (Conant, 1941, p. 125). The act depicts a victim dying as a substitute to provide solution to the problem of sin. Likewise, the sacrifice of his son Isaac by Abraham seems to prefigure Christ substitutionary death on the cross for sin (Gen 22). Isaac would have died that day, but God intervened by providing a ram as a substitute in place of Isaac (vv. 9-13). Although some scholars see the above narrative as only a test of faith from God to Abraham (Davidson, 1973, pp. 91–98; Janzen, 1993, pp. 77–81), other scholars see it as both a test of faith and also the prefiguration of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. For instance, D. Staurt Brisco recognizes that Isaac in the narrative is “a type of the suffering Son who willingly submitted Himself unreservedly to the Father’s will.” Also, Abraham is a “poignant picture of the Father who ‘did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all’ (Rom. 8:32)”, and the “ram as a type of the Lamb who died as substitute for sin of the world” (Brisco, 1987, pp. 194–195). In the OT sanctuary system, a sacrificial victim died instead of a sinner so that he could be free from the penalty of sin, which is AAMM, Vol. 1,
death. As stipulated in Lev 4, if anyone committed sin, he was to bring a clean and unblemished animal to the anointed priest. The sinner was required to lay his hand on the animal and kill it (Lev 4:4, 15, 24). Following this, the anointed priest collected the blood, dipped his finger in the blood, and sprinkled it before the veil separating the holy place and the most holy place (Lev 4:5, 6, 16, 17). Through this process, symbolically, the sin of the sinner was transferred to the animal which died as a substitute (Porter, 1976. 37). It also seems clear that this idea of the substitutionary death of Christ predominates in the prophetic portrayal of Isa 53. It is necessary to note that the OT sacrificial system points to the Lamb of God who would come to die for the sin of the world (Branson, 1933, p. 247). In the fullness of time, the Old Testament sacrificial system, which were types and shadows, was replaced by the reality of the sacrifice and ministry of Jesus who is the antitype. Jesus came to the world to live a sinless life in order to be the right substitute and to die for the sin of the world. According to Heb 2:9, the purpose of the incarnation of Christ was for Him to taste death for every man (Morris, 1967, p. 278). As a worthy substitute, Jesus was sinless. When tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He did not yield to Satan’s temptations (Matt 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-14). Jesus Himself challenged the Jews as He asked: “Which of you convinces me of sin” (John 8:46)? As recorded in John 15:10, Jesus testified that “I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” During Jesus’ trial before Pilate, he confessed that he found no fault in Jesus, despite the accusations leveled against Him by the Jews (John 18:38). Similarly, the apostles attested to the sinlessness of Jesus. In their writings, they insisted that Jesus was not involved in any sin (2 Cor 5:21). He was tempted in all points, yet He didn’t sin (Heb 4:15). As the High Priest, Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separated from sinners ( Heb 7:26). He is like a lamb without blemish (1 Pet 1:19). In spite of His sinlessness, Jesus suffered (2 Pet 2:21,22). He is identified as an Advocate with the Father on behalf of humanity (1 John 2:1). Therefore, when Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t die for His own sin, but for the sins of humanity (Rom 4:25; 5:6; 2 Cor 5:14,21; 1 Pet 2:24). This will result in deliverance from eternal death of all who accept His substitutionary death on their behalf (John 3:16; Rom 6:23). Thus the need for substitution is fully met through the death of Christ on the cross for sinners.
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IV. Substitution, Sacrifice and Victory in Yoruba Context There is an assumption that the effect of sin is felt on all aspects of creation, including man’s culture (Gnanaken, 1992, pp. 68–69). This may explain the reason for the distorted ideas of God, man, and the plan of salvation in every culture, when not enlightened by the Gospel. However, it is also correct to assume that certain elements exist in every culture. Though they are often clouded by distorted concepts and practices, they show traces of God’s eternal truth. Therefore, it may not be justifiable to discard all the elements present in a given culture, without investigating whether there are certain elements through which the gospel could be made more understandable and concrete to the people of such a culture. This understanding is very applicable to the Yoruba culture in relation to the teaching of biblical atonement. Based on the above understanding, identifying and using appropriate cultural elements to formulate and communicate biblical truth in a cultural context becomes significant, as it minimizes the potential for truth to look abstract and foreign in a particular culture, such as the Yoruba culture. Ken Gnanakan rightly notes that God does not bypass culture in His redemptive program (Gnanaken, 1992, p. 70). He observes further, that this was why Jesus became incarnate. He took upon Himself a particular culture and was able to communicate the plan of salvation to humanity in that context (Gnanaken, 1992, pp. 72-73; Bevans, 1992, p. 8; Kraft, 1975, pp. 173-178; Inch, 1982, pp. 171-180). This is the essence of contextual theology. The above observation seems to suggest that to pronounce every element in a culture as demonic is not God’s method. It becomes imperative to identify appropriate cultural elements, practices, principles and thought patterns in Yoruba culture in relation to sacrifice and substitution. Then one can formulate and present a theology of substitution in biblical atonement in the context of Yoruba culture. This is, in a sense, a continuation of the incarnation. Such contextualization can enhance the process of making the biblical truth about substitution more understandable and concrete to the Yoruba traditional people (Bevans, 1992, p. 8). A major theological fact which seems to underline the concept of substitution in both the Bible and YTR is that there is a problem which leads to death. This problem is sin, in the Biblical teaching. In YTR it is a kind of incurable sickness from which man seeks deliverance. In the biblical teaching, everyone has sinned, hence everyone must die unless there is a substitute. It is this theological fact that sets the tone for the discussion in this section as we AAMM, Vol. 1,
examine the following elements: (1) sickness or sin and death which is transferable death in YTR and eternal death in the biblical teaching; (2) the oracle, as the voice of authority; (3) object(s) of sacrifice; and (4) articles of sacrifice. As has been noted earlier in this work, one of the needs for sacrifice in the Yoruba culture is the need for victory over transferable death. J. Pemberton notes that in the Ifa writings the greatest number of verses are concerned with death either directly or by implication (Premberton, 1971, p. 24). Also, Awolalu relates that he once witnessed a father who wished to save his child from an incurable sickness. The father consulted a diviner, who revealed to him that his child’s sickness was caused by witches (aje) (Awolalu, 1978, p. 139). Thus in the YTR, there is an awareness of the need to be saved from transferable death. This need focuses on the need to have victory over physical death. It also reflects an acknowledgement of the need for victory over the fear of both physical death (the first death) and eternal death (the second death) which are common to the human race. What is the origin of the death over which man seeks victory? In Yoruba belief, no event, such as death, occurs without a spiritual/metaphysical cause (Imoasogie, 1985, p. 67). Therefore, the Yoruba believe that transferable death is traceable to the wrath of divinities or the activities of malignant spirits (Idowu, 1962, p. 124; Awolalu, 1978, p. 158). That means the Yoruba believe that death is traceable to a cause. Likewise, the Bible teaches that death is traceable to a cause. The origin of death is traceable to sin (Gen 2:16,17; cf. 3:19; Rom 5:12, 6:23; 1 Cor 15:21). Millard J. Erickson notes that “one of the most obvious results of sin is death.” (Erickson, 1994, p. 611). Likewise, Louis Berkhof agrees that scriptural expressions certainly point to death as something introduced into the world of humanity by sin, and as a positive punishment for sin (Berkhof, 1988, pp. 669–670). Erickson points out that the death which the Bible refers to, in connection with disobedience has three aspects, namely, physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. He further identifies physical death as the “termination of human existence in a bodily materialized state,” spiritual death as the “separation of a person from God” and eternal death as the “extending and finalizing of” spiritual death (Erickson, 1994, pp. 661, 613). In contrast, Jemison note that “the Bible pictures two deaths: the first death, … [and] the second death” (Jemison, 1959, p. 137). Though it is not unbiblical to recognize “physical death,” “spiritual death,” and “eternal death,” for the purpose of this work, we have chosen to use the terms 36
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“physical death” or “first death” and “eternal death” or “second death. It is believed in Yoruba culture that transferable death is traceable to a cause. Likewise, the origin of death as indicated in the Bible is traceable to a cause, which is sin. Nevertheless, the death which the Bible talks about goes beyond the physical death feared by the Yoruba people. It includes eternal death too, which is more serious. What indication is there that in Yoruba culture, transferable death, requiring substitution threatens people? As was noted earlier, the indicator of such death is any sickness which can’t be remedied. For instance, Idowu tells the following story: There was for example, a popular stilt-dancer who became grievously ill. When the oracle was consulted about him, it was revealed that he was so ill because the witches were jealous of his popularity and therefore wanted to make a feast of him! A substitutionary sacrifice was therefore prescribed (Olodumare, 1962, p. 125). This illness prompted the affected person to consult the oracle to ascertain the reason for the sickness. Likewise, sin could be seen as a sickness which serves as an indicator of eternal death. It may not be inappropriate to use sickness as metaphor for sin. Teachings on sin may need to be presented in a more concrete and conceptual manner by using metaphors like sickness for sin, as this paper is attempting to do. It seems that abstract thought about sin predominate western theology. As such, western theologians often understand sin through legal and commercial metaphors. It becomes imperative for Bible scholars in every culture, including the Yoruba culture, to be more culturally sensitive in their theological presentations. Therefore, this paper will put more emphasis on sickness as a metaphor for sin in relation to substitution in an attempt to help the typical Yoruba to see the seriousness of sin in concrete terms and understand the need for deliverance from eternal death which results from sin as sickness. For instance, Isaiah refers to the nation of Judah as a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters, who have forsaken the LORD, and have provoked the Holy God to anger (Isa 1:4). Further, Isaiah asks why they should be punished more. He then gives a colorful description of their sin: “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores” (verses 5-6). Thiessen, AAMM, Vol. 1,
in reference to v. 5, points out that in so far as sin is a transgression of the law, it is guilt; in so as it is a principle, it is pollution (Thiessen, 1977, p. 24). He adds that here we deal with it as pollution, caused by an evil nature. The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint” (Isa 1:5)(Thiessen, 1977, p. 244). Ellen G. White seems to have the same passage in mind as she wrote about the people of Judah and the God whom they had been claiming to serve, but whose character they had misunderstood. Ellen G. White saw that in this Bible passage God is portrayed as the great Healer of spiritual disease. In this context White uses the phrase “spiritual diseases” as a metaphor for sin. (White, 1943, p. 315). In Matt 9:12, Jesus stated that those who are well don’t need a physician, like those that are sick. Craig L. Blomberg explains that the focus of the passage is spiritual health and sickness” (Blomberg, 1992, p. 156). Joseph S. Exell also mentions, in connection with this statement of Jesus that there is moral disease in the heart and character of man (Exell, 1978, p. 159). Patrick McCormick, who attempts to build a disease model of the theology of sin, argues that sin as illness is coherent with notions of sin as state and power as both sorts of models points to the fact that sin pervades the human experience. Sin is not merely something one does, an act performed or a crime committed. It is also, even primarily, an orientation toward disintegration and death. Sin permeates the totality of human experience, contaminating everything by its noxious presence and influence (McCormick, 1989, p. 132). Therefore, using humanly incurable spiritual sickness as a metaphor for sin in the teaching of atonement in Yoruba culture may help the people of that culture to see the enormity of sin. This may lead to the desire to know what should be done to overcome death, which may result from such spiritual sickness. At this point, it needs to be made clear to the Yoruba that every person is spiritually sick, meaning that everyone is a sinner. It is a kind of sickness that is more terrible than physical sickness since it leads to eternal death. Certain Bible passages indicate that every man is a sinner. In his prayer of dedication of the temple, Solomon recognized and stated that there is no man who does not sin (1 Kgs 8:46). Psalm 143 insists that no one living is righteous, in God’s eyes (Ps 143:2). The writer of Prov 20:9 challenges: “Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’”? Isaiah, in his prophecy on the suffering Servant affirms that we are all like lost sheep, having gone in our own direction. (Isa 53:6). In another place, Isaiah further portrays the deplorable condition of the human race as 38
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follows: “But we are all as an unclean thing. And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa 64:6). Paul contends that both Jews and Gentiles alike are sinners (Rom 3:9-19) and he finally declares that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”(Rom 3:23; Fowler, 2000, p. 255–256). Therefore, if humans want to avoid eternal death, resulting from the sickness of sin, there must be an intervention. That means that man needs victory over death. What is the solution to the problem of transferable death which confronts people in Yoruba culture? It seems that the offering of a sacrifice, as prescribed by the oracle, averts the death that threatens them. The Yoruba traditional people attach great importance to what they consider to be the voice of divine oracle when it comes to sacrifice. This seems to explain why they consult a diviner called Babalawo whenever they are in trouble. Mostly, sacrifice is prescribed. Babalola seems to be right when he insists that sacrifice can never be separated from divination among the Yoruba” (Babalola, 1992, p. 84). Concerning the solution for solving the problem of transferable death in YTR, Premberton cites a myth about the importance of providing a substitute in order to have victory over pending death as follows: If a says that death is now ready to kill the person; but if he can make plenty of sacrifices, he will wriggle out of danger . . . Exchange, exchange. The Ifa priest of the household of Elepe cast Ifa for Elepe. He was told to exchange an animal for his life on account of death (Babalola, 1992, p. 84). In relation to the biblical atonement, there seems to be a better divine oracle through which the solution to the problem of humanity, including the solution to the problem of overcoming death, is prescribed. This divine oracle is the Bible. The origin of the Bible is traceable to God and therefore is the most dependable authority from which to find the truth about the human predicament. It provides the means for victory over transferable death. It has been noted that the entire Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, was “given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim 3:16). Erickson concurs that “the uniform testimony of human authors of the Scriptures” affirms that “the Bible has originated form God and is his message to man” (Erickson, 1985, p. 203). Jemision also upholds the Scriptures as AAMM, Vol. 1,
God’s message to man. He shows that God’s instruction through the prophets covers every aspect of human’s life (Jemison, 1955. 77– 79). What does the divine oracle, the Bible, say concerning the solution to the problem of spiritual or eternal death which has resulted from the human disease of sin? The traditional Yoruba believe in substitutionary death. In fact, this belief is reflected in the mythological story of Odunmba the son of Agbonirekun, who was instructed to sacrifice to prevent imminent death. According to the mythology, he sacrificed a hen for that purpose and he was able to escape death. This led to Odunmba’s poetic statement, “The year I would have died/Death took away my hen. My own hen. My irana hen/Which I offered for sacrifice was taken away by death” (Abimbola, 1977, pp. 24–25). Likewise, the Bible teaches that a substitute has been provided to die instead of sinners. The substitute is Christ who died for the sin of the world (Isa 53:5,6,10,12; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:15; 1 Tim 2:6,1; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 2:24). Bible scholars maintain that Christ died a substitutionary death as substitute for sinners (Ryrie, 1986, p. 290; Morris, 1967, p. 175). In the Yoruba culture people provides their own substitute, which could be any kind of animal sacrificed to either divinities or malevolent spirits. But God operates differently. He is the object of worship and sacrifice in biblical atonement. And He is also the One who gave His sinless and only Son to die as a substitute for sinners, saving them from eternal death (John 3:16). The objects of and articles used for sacrifice in YTR don’t seem to be compatible with Bible teaching on atonement. To be sacrificing to divinities or malevolent spirits seems to amount to worshipping of idols. It needs to be noted that these divinities are represented by idols or certain emblems. Idowu admits that each of the divinities in YTR “has his own emblems according to people conception of him.” He explains further that the emblems and images are visible objects to represent the invisible divinities (Idowu, 1962, pp. 63–66). The Bible is against idol worship (see Ex 20:3-7; Deut 9:12-16; 16:21-2; 1 King 14:22-24; Ps 106:19-23; Isa 42:8; 2 Cor 6:16; Gen 35:2-4; Exod 23:24,32; Deut 4:23; 7:2-6; Josh 24:14, 23; 1 Sam 7:3-4; 2 King 23:4-7; Ps 81:9; 1 Cor 10:7; 1 John 5:21). It is God alone, the One the Yoruba people identify as the Supreme Being (Olodumare), that is worthy of our worship. E. Dada Adelowo intimates that “the Yoruba never made the mistake of putting God, Olodumare, on the same pedestal with divinities (orisa) and the ancestors. In their belief, Olodumare is unique, incomparable” (Adelowo, 1990, p. 168). Also, sacrificing any kind 40
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of animal is not even in tune with the Old Testament sacrificial system that pointed to Christ, the real and perfect sacrifice. Whereas unclean animal can be used for sacrifice in the YTR, only clean and unblemished animal was allowed for sacrifice in the Old Testament (See Isa 1:13-15; Exod 12:5; 29:1; Lev 1:10; 4:3,23,28,32; 5:15; 9:2,3; 14:10; 23:12,18-19; Ezek 43:22,23; 45:18,23; 46:4,6,13; Mal 1:8). Therefore, it may not be right to use these elements for contextual theology on atonement. God Himself sacrificed His Son for the salvation of humanity. This is an indication that substitution in biblical atonement is superior to the substitution in YTR. This seems to be further demonstrated by Jesus conquering death through His resurrection. Death couldnâ€™t keep Him in the grave (Matt 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-41; John 20:1-20). Erickson observes that the inability of death to hold him symbolizes the totality of his victory (Erickson, 1994. 776). This victory is victory over death. The resurrection of Christ, who is our Substitute, is the guarantee of the resurrection of all those who have accepted His substitutionary death (John 5:28, 29; Acts 4:2; Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 15:12-58; 2 Cor 4:14; 1 Thess 4:14). Because He lives, having been resurrected from the dead, Christ has secured victory over death (John 11:25). This is a basic need of every culture, including Yoruba culture. What is the relationship between the victory over the second or eternal death and the first or physical death? What is its relevance to Yoruba culture? It appears that the victory which Christ has secured over the second death has resulted in the possibility of the victory over the fear of the first death that is being experienced by humanity. Those who have accepted the substitutionary and atoning death of Christ know that even though they may die the first death, they will rise again. They, therefore, experience victory over the fear of the first death which is temporary (1 Cor 15:54-57). Erickson points out that believers, while still subject to physical death, do not experience its awful power or its curse (Erickson, 1994, p. 1172). Thus the dread of death may be removed through the work of Christ, and any one who believes in Christ may face death with calmness and peace (Hagner, 1990, p. 56). Believers now see death as sleep. Andreasen recognizes that the Bible favors the metaphor of sleep to describe death (Deut 12:2; 1 Kgs 2:10; Job 14:12; Dan 12:2; Matt 9:24; 27:51,52; John 11:11; Act 7:60; 1 Cor 15:18,51; 1 Thess 4:13). He writes of the importance of this metaphor of sleep for death, as follows:
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“Of all the biblical metaphors for the state of the dead, that of sleep is the most important, enabling us to speak gently and naturally about death in a way that does not frighten the survivors” (Andreasen, 2000, pp. 235, 325). This becomes relevant to the Yoruba culture, since Christ’s victory over death has met the need for the fear of the first death which sometimes is seen as transferable death among the Yoruba. Thus, by His substitutionary and atoning death, Christ has adequately met the need for the substitutionary sacrifice, which leads the traditional Yoruba to sacrifice either to malevolent spirits or divinities. V. Summary and Conclusion In the course of the discussion in this paper, an attempt has been made to outline the concept of substitution in both YTR and biblical atonement. Attempt has also been made to identify the elements that are appropriate for contextual theology and those that are not in YTR. While it has been suggested that there are elements (objects of and articles for sacrifice) in the religion that may not be appropriate for contextual theology, there are elements (incurable sickness and transferable death) in the religion that are appropriate for such theology in the context of Yoruba culture. Therefore, it has been further suggested that incurable sickness, as an element, is an appropriate metaphor for sin in teaching biblical idea of substitution in Yoruba context. Further, transferable death which can be transferred to another victim, seems to reflect to some extent, the idea of the eternal death experienced by Christ on the cross. It is then affirmed that Christ, as the substitute, has afforded the Yoruba the opportunity to have victory over transferable death, which is eternal death, and peace in the face of physical death.
References Abimbola, Wande. (1977). Ifa divination poetry. New York: Nok. Dada, E. (1990). Ritual, Symbolism in Yoruba Traditional Religious Thought. Asia Journal of Theology, 4(1), 456–471. Andreasen, Neil-Erik A. (2000). Death: Origin, Nature and Final Eradication. In George W. Reid (Series Ed.) & Raoul Dederen 42
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(Vol. Ed.), Commentary Reference Series: Vol. 12. Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (pp. 375–417). Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald. Atkinson, David. (1990). The Message of Genesis 1-11: The Dawn of Creation. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press. Awolalu, J. Omosade. (1978). Yoruba Beliefs and Sacrificial Rites. Essex: Longman. Awolalu, J. Omosade. (1975). Yoruba Sacrificial Practice. Journal of Religion in Africa, 5, 81–93. Bablola, E. O. (1992). The Continuity of the Phenomenon of Sacrifice in Yoruba Society on Nigeria. African Theological Journal, 21(3), 78–91. Berkhof, Louis. (1988). Introduction to Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker. Bevans, Stephen B. (1992). Models of Contextual Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Blomeberg, Craig L. (1992). Matthew. New America Commentary (Vol. 22). Nashville, TN: Broadman. Branson, William H. (1933). In Defense of the Faith; The Truth about Seventh-day Adventist; A Reply to Canright. Washington, DC: Review & Herald. Brisco, D. Stuart. (1987). Genesis. The Communicator Commentary (Vol. 1). Waco, TX: Word. Conant, J. E. (1941). No Salvation without Substitution. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Dale, R. W. (1902). The Atonement: The Congregational Union Lecture for 1875. London: Congregational Union of England and Wales. Davidson, Robert. (1973). The Cambridge Bible Commentary. Genesis 12-50. London: Cambridge University Press. Edward, James R. (1992). Romans. New International Biblical Commentary (Vol. 6). Peabody, MA: Hendriksen. Ejizu, Christopher I. (1998). Nigeria’s Three Religions: Patterns and Prospects of Interaction. Africa Ecclesial Review, 17(3), 179–195. Emeagwali, Gloria. (1999). Editorial: The Yoruba Religious System. Africa Update, 6(3), 1–2. Retrieved August 2, 2004 from http://www. Cccsu. edu Afrstudy/supdt99.htm. Erickson, Millard J. (1985). Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker. Exell, Joseph S. (1978). The Biblical Illustrator. Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker.
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Fowler, John M. (2000). Sin. George W. Reid (Series Ed.) & Raoul Dederen (Vol. Ed.), Commentary Reference Series: Vol. 12. Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (pp. 375â€“417). Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald. Gnanken, Ken. (1992). Christ, Culture and Christianity in India. In Sunand Sumithra (Ed.), Doing Theology. Bangalore, India: Theological Book Trust. Grudem, Wayne. (1994). Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, UK: Inter-Varsity. Hagner, Donald A. (1990). Hebrew. New International Biblical Commentary (Vol. 14). Peabody, MA: Hendriksen Idowu, E. Bolaji. (1973). African Traditional Religion: A Definition. London: SCM. Idowu, E. Bolaji. (1962). Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief. London: Longman. Ikega-Metuh, Emefie. (1987). Comparative Studies of African Traditional Religions. Onitsha, Nigeria: Imico. Imasogie, O. (1985). African Traditional Religion. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press, 1985. Inch, Morris A. (1982). Doing Theology Across Cultures. Grand Rapids: Baker. Janzen, Gerald. (1993). Abraham and All the Family of the Earth: A Commentary on the Book of Genesis 12-50. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Jemison, T. Housel. (1959). Christian Beliefs. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. Jemison, T. Housel. (1955). A Prophet Among You. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. Kraft, Charles H. (1975). Christianity in Culture: A Study in Dynamic Biblical theologizing in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Mbiti, John S. (1979). African Religion and Philosophy. New York: Anchor. McCormick, Patrick. (1989). Sin as Addition. New York: Paulist. Morris, Leon Morris. (1967). The Cross in the New Testament. Exter Devon, UK: Paternoster. Morris, Leon. (1995). The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Olowola, Cornelius Abiodun. (1991). Sacrifice in African Tradition and Biblical Perspective. African Journal of Evangelical Theology, 10(1), 3â€“9
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Pemberton, J. (1971). A Cluster of Sacred Symbols: Orisa Worship Among Ighomina Yoruba of Ila-Orangun. History of Religion, 17(1), 1â€“28. Pink, A. W. Pink. (n.d.). The Atonement. Swengel, PA: Reiner. Porter, J. R. (1976). Leviticus. The Cambridge Bible Commentary. London: Cambridge University Press. Quarcoopme, T. N. Q. (1987). West African Traditional Religion. Ibadan, Nigeria: University Press. Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. (1986). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Bible Truth. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. Schiltz, Marc. (2002). A Yoruba Tale of Marriage, and Magic, Misogyny and Love. Journal of Religion in Africa, 32(3), 335â€“365. Thiessen, Henry Clarence. (1977). Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Wallenkampf, Anorld Valentine. (1998). What Every Christian Should Know About Being Justified. Washington, DC: Review & Herald. White, Ellen G. (1943). The Story of Prophet and King: As Illustrated in the Captivity and Restoration of Israel. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press.
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Making Missionary Disciples in Matthew James H. Park ABSTRACT⎯This article attempts to give a brief overview of the major themes of the Great Commission by showing how the Gospel of Matthew itself, along with the call of Abraham, helps to illuminate just how missionary disciples are to be made. The introduction outlines how the Great Commission has often been divorced from its rich context and thus the missionary enterprise of the Church has not been well informed in its attempt to reproduce lifelong disciples. Sections on Christ’s missionary authority, the sending of the disciples to make disciples of the nations by baptizing and teaching are also explored. The article concludes with the important promise of Christ’s continued presence as we go to make disciples of the nations, as well as a call for the church to wait again on the mountain with Jesus to regain anew the spiritual, theological and practical dimensions of the Great Commission. Keywords: missionary, disciple, Matthew, the Great Commission I. Introduction During the last two centuries, the Protestant missionary enterprise has often appealed to Matthew’s “Great Commission” in order to inspire and shape its outreach to people across the globe. This modern use of the Great Commission to direct the church in its mission seems in part to reflect why the gospel of Matthew was originally written (Bosch, 1997 p. 55). While it is difficult to understand the total historical environment which guided Matthew to write his gospel, Bosch states that “Matthew wrote as a Jew to a predominantly Jewish Christian community” in order to motivate Manuscript received Jun. 10, 2009; revised Aug. 25, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. James H. Park (Ph.D., Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org) is with AIIAS Theological Seminary, Silang Cavite, Philippines. AAMM Vol. 1,
them towards “a missionary involvement with [their] environment” (1997, p. 55). Although the Great Commission in Matthew 28:17-20 has been one of the most cited missionary texts in the Bible, it has often been isolated from “the gospel of Matthew as a whole” (Bosch, 1997, p. 55) and “from the rest of Scripture as well” (Blauw, 1962, pp. 85– 86). In contrast to the usual isolation of the Great Commission from its biblical context, Blauw contends that the Commission expresses the continuity of God’s universal concern with His promise to bless all the nations through Abraham (1962, p. 19). Bosch argues that the Great Commission is intimately linked with the rest of the book of Matthew (1997, p. 57) and Michael Wilkins, (1988, p. 162), has asserted that the entire book of Matthew can be viewed as “a manual on discipleship.” The major directives of the Great Commission such as “Go,” “Make Disciples” and “Baptize” have often been used as mere slogans to compel the church forward in its missionary enterprises without the appropriate study given to just what these terms meant in its original setting or how they might be properly contextualized in the Church’s mission to the nations. As a consequence, the superficial study of Scripture has often led to superficial results. Yes, the church has indeed gone and baptized but has often failed to make the lifelong, fruitful disciples the Risen Lord envisioned. In order for the Church to engage properly in its mission, the Great Commission must not be seen as a mere appendage to the gospel of Matthew, but must be reattached to both the immediate and broader missionary context of the gospel and the rest of Scripture. The Commission was meant to serve as an important index to God’s whole missionary program, which began with Abraham and now climaxes with Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations.
II. Context and Background of the Great Commission The pericope is first linked to its immediate context by Matthew’s carefully constructed report of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. The account begins in 27:55-66 with two distinct groups interacting with Pilate concerning the burial of Jesus. Whereas the true disciples, composed of Joseph of Arimathea and the women, seek permission to bury the body, the chief priests and the Pharisees 48
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are the powerful group which plead with Pilate to guard the body of Jesus. The contrasting behavior between the two groups continues in 28:1-10 when the women are commissioned by both an angel and Jesus to go and give the disciples a true report about the resurrection. In contrast to the commission given Christ’s true disciples, the Pharisees in 28:11-15 bribe their disciples (the guards) to go and spread a false report of the resurrection. The Great Commission itself is linked to these preceding sections by the transitional verse in 28:16. While most of the disciples positively respond to the report of the women by going to the mountain in Galilee in order to receive the Great Commission from Jesus, some of the disciples “doubted” perhaps as a result of the false testimony given by the soldiers. By linking the comment that the report of the soldiers has continued to “this very day” (28:15) with Christ’s promise that He would be with His church until the “end of the age” (28:20), Matthew has alluded to the continuing opposition that the true disciples of Christ in their mission to make disciples among the nations. Within this framework, Charles van Engen, (1996, p. 117), has recognized that the Great Commission is actually part of three commissions given within the last chapter of Matthew. The table summarizes how Matthew 28:17-20 is linked to the activities and reports of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. Event/Time
The Burial of Jesus
Pharisees/Chief Priests Women/Disciples The Pharisees came from Jerusalem.
The women came from Galilee.
The Pharisees go to Pilate and ask to guard the body of Jesus.
Joseph went to Pilate and asks to bury the body of Jesus.
The True and False Commissions
The Pharisees instruct the guards to go and spread a false report of the resurrection.
The angel and Jesus instruct the women to go and tell the disciples about the true report of the resurrection.
Forty Days Later and Beyond
The story of a false resurrection is widely spread among the Jews “to this day.” Some doubt Jesus.
The story of the true resurrection is to be spread to all the nations “to the very end of the age.” Many believe Jesus.
Table 1. The Immediate Context of the Great Commission
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The Great Commission is not only linked to Jesus’ death and resurrection but Bosch states “that the entire gospel points to these final verses: all the threads woven into the fabric of Matthew, from chapter 1 onward, draw together here” (1997, p. 57). If the major themes in the Great Commission are to be properly understood, then they must primarily be defined within the gospel of Matthew itself. In the early 1960s, Johannes Blauw was commissioned by the World Council of Churches to survey and appraise the recent work in Biblical theology about the nature and necessity of the Church’s mission. He begins his survey by saying that “the Old Testament can neither be by-passed nor referred to merely by way of introduction.” In this respect, the older literature on the Biblical theology of mission in the Old Testament is “constantly disappointing” (1962, p. 15). He argued that God’s universal concern and covenant for humankind is established with Abraham through the promise, “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). Here it becomes clear that the whole history of Israel is nothing but the continuation of God’s dealings with the nations, and that therefore the history of Israel is only to be understood from the unsolved problem of the relation of God to the nations (1962, p. 15, emphasis his). However, this separation of Israel to become the people of God was never meant to isolate them from the rest of the nations but rather to foster the centripetal movement of the nations to God’s people, city and sanctuary. It is not until the Great Commission of Matthew 28:17-20 that the centrifugal aspect of God’s universal concern for the nations is expressed, “for it cannot be denied that here, and for the first time, the commission is given to go out among the nations” (1962, p. 19, emphasis his). Therefore, as De Ridder insists (1975, p. 178), the Great Commission expresses the continuity of God’s universal concern which began in the Book of Genesis. This strong missionary movement is put into effect by the command of the risen Lord to His disciples on a mountain in Galilee. Although it will often be hindered by doubt, both the command and promise of the commission propels and protects his faithful disciples throughout all the nations for all time. Thus the Church’s present missionary enterprises should not be theologically and practically divorced from the Old Testament directive which primarily began with Abraham and can be traced all
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the way through to the Great Commission, the Book of Acts and the life of the Church beyond the gospel age. III. Christ’s Missionary Authority As has already been noted in the immediate context of the Great Commission, the disciples of Jesus will be opposed by powerful elements and they will need the fullest authorization in order to faithfully carry out their Lord’s command (see Blauw, 1998, pp. 30– 49, esp. 46). The divine authority of Jesus as the Son of God is not an idealized element in Matthew but has a clear missional intent. This missionary authority is brought out in the structure of Matthew’s gospel itself. Some scholars have adopted a threefold division of the gospel based on the formulaic statement “from that time Jesus began” at 4:17 and 16:21. Each of these three sections is climaxed by the declaration that Jesus is the Son of God: “this is my Son” (3:17); “you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (16:16) and “surely he was the Son of God” (27:54). Almost in anticipation of the Great Commission, there is a broadening progression of the recognition of the Divine Person of Jesus. What is first declared by the Father at Jesus’ baptism is echoed by the Jewish disciple Peter in the midst of Christ’s rejection and the Roman centurion at the moment of His death. Thus the way is prepared in Matthew’s gospel for Jesus to be proclaimed as the Lord of all the nations in the Great Commission. In addition to the testimony that Jesus is the “Son of God,” there is the important Christological title “Son of Man” that is often mentioned in Matthew and other places. Just as the confession that Jesus was the “Son of God” by others is made in the context of His life and work, this self-designation traces both His humiliation and exaltation. As the “Son of Man” goes about His mission “He has no place to lay his head” (8:20) and is falsely called “a glutton and a drunkard” (11:19). Jesus tells His disciples that the Son of Man is going to be “betrayed” (17:22; 26:2, 24, 45), “condemned” (20:18) will “suffer” (17:12) and will “give His life as a ransom for many” (20:28). The title “Son of Man” not only points to Christ’s humiliation but His exaltation as well. The “Son of Man” has authority to forgive sins (9:6) and is “Lord of the Sabbath” (12:8). All the cities of Israel were to be witnessed to (10:23) before the “Son of Man” would come in the transfiguration (16:28). The transfiguration is a foretaste AAMM, Vol. 1,
of the glories awaiting the “Son of Man” after His resurrection (16:12). The “Son of Man” will come in great glory (16:27; 24:2730; 25:31) to reward each person according to what they have done (16:27; 19:28). Therefore, we should always be ready for the coming of the “Son of Man” (24:44). Just as the righteous are commended for their ministry towards the lowly (cf. 25:34-40), the “Son of Man,” who has spent his whole life ministering to the poor, is raised and exalted to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is then commissioned to go and judge “all the nations” to see whether they have responded to His call to be discipled (cf. Blauw, 1962, p. 83; De Ridder, 1975, p. 171). The message is clear. If the disciples want to share in the exalted status of their Lord they must tread the same path of humiliation and service. The path of faithful discipleship is not built upon an arbitrary rule over the unfortunate but rather on a redeemed brotherhood of all humankind based on the life, death and resurrection of the “Son of Man.” IV. The Sending of Missionary Disciples The word “therefore” in Matthew 28:18 “links the announcement of a reality (Jesus’ universal authority) with a solemn challenge: ‘Make disciples.’ If Jesus is indeed Lord of all, this reality just has to be proclaimed” (Bosch, 1997, p. 78, emphasis his). The word “therefore” is used fifty-six times in Matthew in the following representative contexts: (5:45-48; 6:1-2; 7:24-27; 10:16; 12:9-12 and 21:33-41). With a full consciousness of Christ’s missionary authority over all the earth, the disciples are sent on a mission to all the nations (De Ridder, 1975, p. 184). Within the gospel of Matthew there are other commissions given which center around the word “go.” Whereas Herod sends the Magi to Bethlehem to go and make a careful search for the child (2:8), the angel tells Joseph to go and take his family to Egypt (2:20). The centurion understood the imperative “go” (8:9) and Jesus sent John’s disciples back to John to report what they had seen and heard (11:4). Jesus tells Peter to go fishing to pay the temple tax (17:27) and relates the story about the man who goes and looks for the one lost sheep that has wandered away (18:12). Disciples are sent into the village to find a donkey (21:2) and in the parable of the banquet the servants are told to “go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you can find” (22:9). The wise virgins tell the other 52
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five to go and buy oil for themselves (25:9) and Jesus tells the women to go and quickly tell the disciples (28:7). The word “go” or the phrase “as you go” not only relates to missionary activity but is linked to the patterns of common life. It is within these daily tasks that the Lord urges His followers to make disciples of the nations. The sending of the disciples can be seen as an apostolic mission. De Ridder (1975, p. 148) defines apostleship in the following way: Apostleship involved commissioning with authority for a specific task in specific areas at a specific time. It included the right to appoint assistants in the work whose authority never exceeded that of the commissioned apostle. Such apostleship was exercised within the limitations of the assignment. After the resurrection, there is a dramatic change in the mission of Jesus. The Apostle who has been commissioned and sent by the Father now sends and commissions other apostles to take up the work of making disciples. “His own mission was completed, and his role changed from sent one to sender” (Harvey, 1998, p. 44, emphasis his). Just how this discipling of the nations is to take place is brought out in the following discussion. V. Making Missionary Disciples in Matthew The verb “to disciple” occurs only four times in the New Testament with three of them occurring in the book of Matthew. Bosch (1997, p. 73) emphatically states: The most striking use of the verb matheteuein is encountered in the “Great Commission” (28:19). It is also the only instance in which it is used in the imperative sense: matheteusate, “make disciples!” It is, moreover, the principal verb in the ‘Great Commission’ and the heart of the commissioning. If the phrase “make disciples” is the primary element in the final commission it is not surprising then that the term “disciple” is far more central in Matthew than in the other synoptic gospels. “The term occurs seventy-three times in Matthew, compared to forty-six times in Mark and only thirty-seven times in Luke. It is, in fact the only name for Christ’s followers in the gospels” (Bosch, 1997, p. AAMM, Vol. 1,
73). While it could be argued that there were other names for Christ’s followers in the gospels, Matthew does use the term more than Mark and Luke. According to the NIV concordance, the count is Matthew, 70; Mark, 44; Luke, 31; John, 58; and the book of Acts, 24. The epistles do not use the term. The disciples not only listened to Jesus, they “followed him” (8:23) which demanded denial of self and cross-bearing (16:24). The first time the “twelve” disciples are mentioned is in Matthew 10:1 when Jesus commissions them to go the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This marks an important turning point in the focus of the ministry of Jesus. Before this the disciples are only mentioned nine times. From Matthew 10 onwards they are mentioned sixty-one times. Thus Matthew teaches in the heart of the gospel that the loosely knit band of followers are becoming missionary disciples through an intimate relationship with Him. Disciples were closer to Jesus than his own mother and brothers (12:49) and they often asked him questions in private to gain instruction (13:10; 20:17; 24:3). The disciples helped Jesus in His ministry to the people when they took the loaves from Jesus and fed the 5,000 (14:19) and the 4,000 (15:36). The disciples, at times, could not replicate the missionary discipleship of Jesus, as when they urged Jesus to send away the 5000 (14:15); the Canaanite woman (15:23) and the children (19:13). Because of their lack of faith, they could not cast the demon out of a young boy (17:19). The disciples were also slow to understand Jesus’ words regarding the cross (16:21) and His prediction of their denial of Him (26:35). The cost of discipleship is emphasized by Simon Peter and Andrew leaving their nets and James and John leaving their boat and father. Jesus teaches that to respond to the call involves letting the dead bury the dead (8:22) and the carrying of a cross (10:38; 16:24). Following Jesus will involve a sacrifice of self, a surrender of the will of the Lord that has extended the call. Discipleship involved acceptance of his authority, inwardly by believing in him and outwardly by obeying him. There is a supremely personal union implied everywhere in the New Testament when the word maqhths (disciple) is used. There can be nothing in the life of the disciple that is apart from the Lord and his life (De Ridder, 1975, p. 186).
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Jesus is not content with a mere classroom experience but teaches His disciples as they follow Him. Wilkins (1988, p. 165) has observed that the inclusion of the term “disciple” in the gospel stories directly linked them with the instruction of His followers: Bornkamm establishes that by the inclusion of maqhths in 8:21,23, the entire pericope was to be considered a “discipleship story,” and if that perspective is kept in mind, one can see that Matthew has transformed many teaching segments into explicit discipleship-teaching pericopae. In approximately seventeen of Matthew’s thirty-four inclusions, the term maqhths is a signal word to note discipleship instruction. Despite some apprehension by Peter and the disciples when Jesus mentions the cross (16:21-23), the disciples faithfully follow their Lord as He weaves His ministry back and forth between Jerusalem and Galilee. Christ’s prediction of their abandonment of Him is repudiated by Peter and the rest of the disciples (26:33-35). Although their human weakness does prevent them from following Jesus to the cross, they do gather in Galilee as Jesus had promised (26:32) to follow Him again (28:16). Thus the principles as to how missionary disciples are to be made is constantly unfolded in the first disciples who left all to follow the life and teachings of their Lord. The book of Matthew provides rich resources for the disciples of all ages to discover anew both the meaning and the method of fulfilling the Lord’s commission to go and make disciples of all nations. VI. The Global Mission of the Disciples Having been personally discipled by Jesus, the disciples are now prepared to go and disciple the nations. The incorporation of the nations into the express will of God is not a surprise addendum at the end of the gospel but has been a central theme from the very beginning in the genealogy and Jesus’ ministry in “Galilee of the Gentiles” (4:15). David Bauer (1996, pp. 129–159, esp. 157), writes that through the genealogy the reader is required “to enter the world of Matthew’s Gospel by way of the history of Israel, which began with Abraham.” In the record of Jesus’ ancestry there are liars (Abraham, Jacob); an adulterer and murderer (David) and kings who sacrificed AAMM, Vol. 1,
their sons in fire (Ahaz, Manasseh). “Matthew suggests that this kind of moral and religious failure characterized the entire period and led finally to the destruction of the monarchy with the Deportation” (1996, p. 146). However, it was not only for these sinful Jewish people that Jesus came as God’s missionary disciple to save. For included in the genealogy of “His people” (cf. 1:21) are three Gentile women of questionable repute (Tamar, Uriah’s wife and Rahab) and the widowed Moabite woman Ruth. By specifically including the four Gentile women, the gospel from its very beginning embraces the nations and the marginalized within the arms of God’s love. In addition to the inclusion of the Gentile women in the genealogy, the geographical area where Jesus both began and ended his ministry is specifically mentioned as “Galilee of the Gentiles” (4:15, cf. Isa. 9:1). Because the primary trade route between Egypt and the Mesopotamian valley passed along Israel’s coast and through Galilee, there were many foreigners present in northern Israel. Perhaps the Great Commission was given on a mountain in Galilee in order that the disciples could see the nations in the distance. In order to disciple the nations, “one will have to pass Israel’s boundaries consciously and intentionally to be able to fulfill the order” (Blauw, 1962, p. 86). Blauw goes on to say: Seen in the light of Christ’s position of authority over all things (in heaven and earth) a positive attitude towards “all nations” has come into being that overshadows anything negative that may have been said about the nations. This positive relationship has been given character and meaning by the order “make them into disciples of mine” (1962, p. 86). Just as Jesus had come to save “His people” as illustrated in the genealogy, He now commissions the disciples to make missionary disciples of the nations. They are to do this through the baptizing, teaching and sending of others into the harvest field until the very end of time. Like themselves, the nations are now called upon to leave all and come under the authority of the risen and exalted Lord. VII. Baptizing and Teaching Missionary Disciples While the previous sections linked the authority of Jesus to what the disciples were to do, this section discusses how the disciples are 56
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to reproduce their missionary discipleship through “the two modal participles ‘baptizing‘ and ‘teaching’” which “are clearly subordinate” to matheteusate and describes “the form the disciplemaking is to take” (Bosch, 1983, pp. 218–247, esp. 230). The whole concept of missionary discipleship in the Great Commission and the book of Matthew is under the umbrella of the authority of Jesus who is affirmed as “Lord.” The whole focus of both the baptism and teaching elements of making missionary disciples is to call all the nations under the Lordship of the Risen and exalted Christ who will then send them to bring others under Christ’s missionary authority. The participles “baptizing” and “teaching” describe the way by which disciples are made. The believers are commissioned to make disciples by baptizing men and putting them under instruction . . . Baptism is the sign of consecration and discipleship in the New Covenant. It’s meaning is life, the new life, that has been made possible by their participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. Matthew 28:19 means consignment under the authority of Christ.” (De Ridder, 1975, p. 190, emphasis his). In the discussion of readiness for baptism, De Ridder makes a most cogent comment: “The Head of the new body is Christ who is confessed as its Lord. Therefore, in its mission the Church requires the confession of that Lordship before it administers the sign and seal of covenantal incorporation” (1975, p. 193). Could it be that because of a superficial understanding of the Great Commission command to “baptize” the church has, at times, added members without the benefit of a deep conversion or a thorough grounding in the Christian life? A greater understanding of the theology of baptism within the framework of the Great Commission and Scripture would go a long way in producing more mature disciples for the kingdom. Conversion is the first and most essential step in the process of making disciples. The inward work of the Spirit is outwardly demonstrated by a new life in Christ. The person has a new Lord, a new life and a new capacity to know, understand and obey the teachings of Christ. Just what areas of one’s life need to be brought under the whole realm of the Lordship of Christ is abundantly clear from Matthew. This instruction of disciples in the ways of the Lord will be, “by no means a merely intellectual enterprise (as it often is for us and was for the ancient Greeks). Jesus’ teaching is a call for a concrete decision to follow him and to submit to God’s will” (Bosch, 1997, p. 66). “Whereas ‘all nations’ indicates the extensive area of authority AAMM, Vol. 1,
of the exalted Lord, ‘all that I have commanded you’ contains a reference to the intensive range of authority: all life and the whole man is claimed by Christ” (Blauw, (1962), p. 87, emphasis his). Since missionary disciples are sent into the world, “not the classroom (where ‘teaching’ usually takes place for us), nor even the church” (Bosch, 1997, p. 67), this becomes the arena of their teaching and discipling activities. This is shown in the gospel of Matthew itself where the teaching takes place both within the discourse and the narrative material. According to Wilkins, (1988, p. 222), “Matthew uses the word “disciples” as a “signal word to specify a certain teaching as a discipleship teaching. Matthew has created a literary device to show the way Jesus has taught his disciples and to show how that teaching can relate to his church.” For this reason, Matthew has arranged the discourses of Jesus into five major addresses which some have described as “Matthew’s ‘Pentateuch’” (Bosch, 1997, p. 69; cf. 7:29; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). In this chiastic structure shown in Figure 1, Jesus’ own baptism which initiated His missionary discipleship is paralleled by the command to baptize the nations. The blessing of true discipleship in Matthew 5-7 is contrasted with the curse of false discipleship in Matthew 23-25. Finally, the parables of missionary discipleship in Matthew 13 are bracketed by the mission of the disciples in Matthew 10 and ministry of the disciples in Matthew 18. Baptism of Jesus Blessings of True Discipleship Mission of Apostles
Baptism of Nations Curses of False Discipleship Ministry of Apostles
Parables Figure 1. Baptism and Major Discourses in Matthew
VII. The Presence of Jesus in Missionary Discipleship The Great Commission ends with the promise: “‘and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (28:20). Immanuel‘s promised presence with His people at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel (1:23) is now specifically directed and provided for those who have joined Him in missionary discipleship.
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The expression “with you” and “the close of the age” are typically Matthean. Once again, as he so often does in this final pericope, Matthew reaches back to themes he has developed in the earlier part of his gospel. In the case of “I am with you” he takes up the words from Isaiah 7:14, which he has used in chapter 1:23, “And his name shall be called Immanuel (which means, God with us)” (Bosch, 1997, p. 77). Christ’s authority is universal in both place (“heaven and earth” 28:18) and time (“always” 28:20). “After the proclamation and the commandment, the promise now follows. The presence of Christ is the great gift to His disciples. The promise of the presence is the fulfillment—but now for all nations—of the promise expressed in the name Yahweh (Exod. 3),” (Blauw, 1962, p. 87, emphasis his). When the Lord God appeared to Moses at the burning bush, He sought to reassure him by saying “‘I will be with you’” (Exod. 3:12). Now the incarnate Son of God stands before His disciples and extends the same promise to His disciples who are about to be sent out to proclaim a new spiritual exodus to all the nations. The last words of Jesus in the book of Matthew not only express the continuing presence of Christ with His missionary disciples but also place all their work within an eschatological context. “Therefore the attributes of discipleship are not only obedience to His command to proclamation, baptism and instruction to all nations, but also orientation to the consummation of the world as the last and deepest goal of Christ’s work” (Blauw, 1962, p. 87, emphasis his). The promise of Christ’s presence at the end of the Great Commission not only is meant to constantly empower and comfort the disciples but direct them to the reality of the final consummation. From the genealogy to the Great Commission, the missionary authority and discipleship of Christ has been the focus of Matthew’s gospel. As the gospel has progressed through the narratives and discourses a profound change has taken place. Both the genealogy and the missionary commissioning focus upon Christ, thus pointing to the gospel’s primary emphasis on Christology. In the entry frame of the genealogy we encounter the voice of the narrator, which will be the predominant and determining voice as we travel through the narrative world of the Gospel. But in the exit frame of the missionary commissioning we encounter not the voice of the narrator, but the voice of Jesus; in this way Matthew indicates that the predominant and determining voice
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in the real world of post-Easter discipleship is the exalted and everpresent Christ. (Bauer, 1996, pp. 158–159).
VIII. Conclusion In a very real way, Christ is still speaking today through His church as we seek to join the women on that first Eastern morn to proclaim the reality of His resurrection. It is only because of the Great Resurrection outside the gates of Jerusalem that there can be a Great Commission on a mountain in Galilee. As we go about our daily tasks, the nations are encountered and opportunities are given to convert and bring others under the loving Lordship and teachings of Christ. But just like the first disciples, modern day disciples can expect to be opposed by those in authority. Although it is easy to see that the Risen Lord desires to send His church to make disciples of the nations, the parable of the sower makes clear that many forces will be at work to neutralize the power of the Word in the world. Not only are there external barriers to overcome in the work of the gospel, but missionary disciples must seek to overcome their own ignorance, prejudices and un-Christlike attitudes, if they are to properly reproduce the Lord’s life in others. As we contemplate His mission, we may often wait with the disciples upon that mountain in Galilee, to regain anew a deeper sense of His promised presence. Jesus disciples are to be under His authority, armed with His teachings, and baptizing those who have submitted to the Lordship of Christ, been born again by the Spirit. Such disciples will be adopted by the Father. Then we can surely fulfill the Great Commission and hasten the day of His soon return. Even so, come Lord Jesus, Come.
References Bauer, David R. and Powell, Mark Allan. (Eds.). (1996). The Literary and Theological Function of the Genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel. In Treasures New and Old Recent Contributions to Matthean Studies. Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars Press. 60
James H. Park
Bosch, David. (1983). The Structure of Mission: An Exposition of Matthew 28:16-20. In Wilbert Shenk (Ed.), Exploring Church Growth. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Bosch, David. (1997). Transforming Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Blauw, Johannes. (1962). The Missionary Nature of the Church. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. De Ridder , Richard R. (1975). Discipling the Nations. Grand Rapids: Baker. Harvey, John D. (1998). Mission in Matthew. In William J. Larkin Jr. and Joel F.Williams (Eds.), Mission in the New Testament. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Van Engen, Charles. (1996). Course Syllabus: Biblical Foundations of Mission. Pasadena: Fuller Theological Seminary. Wilkins, Michael. (1988). The Concept of Disciple in Matthewâ€™s Gospel. Leiden, the Netherlands: E.J. Brill.
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Mission Paradigm Shift in the Postmodern Context Unbae Kim ABSTRACTâŽŻThe Adventist church should be sensitive to the change of the world. Society at large is in the midst of a cultural shift of seismic proportions, which affects every area of society. The transition from modernity to postmodernity represents a seismic shift that can result in churches becoming perplexed in their mission. The changes are deep-rooted, comprehensive, complex, unpredictable and global in their ramifications. There were old methods for past generations, and there were methods for a decade ago. It is time to consider what kind of mission paradigm we should have for the future in order to maintain our passion for mission. Understanding our times and knowing the objects of our mission are key assignments prior to gathering the fruits of effective mission. If we do not know people, we cannot but fail in leading them to Christ. As the mission of the early church was giving a new message to the old world, the mission of today's church is giving the old message to a new world. And we can appropriately express the characteristics of this new world by the word 'post-modern.' This term is so compact and complex that it cannot be defined simply, but it expresses a reality that has great influence on both the world and the church. Keywords: postmodernism, paradigm shift, mission, Korea, Korean Adventist I. A Reality Check: The Problem and Challenge of Mission A. The Problem of Mission in Cultural Shift Manuscript received Jun. 2, 2009; revised Aug. 12, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Eunbae Kim (D.Min, Associate Professor, email@example.com) is with Theology Department, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea AAMM Vol. 1,
How is our society changing, and what will it be like in the future? The Adventist church should be sensitive to this issue. Otherwise, it may become so traumatized by internal problems, like other churches, that it fails to notice that society at large is in the midst of a cultural shift of seismic proportions, which affects every area of society. Regele alerts church leaders to the fact that they minister in a world that is seemingly out of control and characterized by stress and uncertainty. He believes that "if we do not understand the forces of change, we will be overwhelmed by them" (Regele, 1995, p. 15). The transition from modernity to postmodernity represents a seismic shift that can result in churches becoming perplexed in their mission. The changes are deep-rooted, comprehensive, complex, unpredictable and global in their ramifications. In Korean Adventist churches, we are witnessing a situation of primary stagnation in church growth. We often hear that evangelism is not going well. It seems that evangelism is not very fruitful, though there are various strategies and many seminars on mission in the church. It is no exaggeration to say that the present Adventist church has been thrown into a serious state of stagnation. Spreading the gospel to people who live in this postmodern society dominated by religious pluralism, and who are undergoing massive cultural upheaval, presents us with an unavoidable responsibility. New methods of evangelism need to be developed and associated mission training must be implemented. However, these measures will merely treat the symptoms of this crisis unless we undergo a shift in our mission paradigm. B. The Challenge of Mission in Postmodernity The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Korea, already experiences the dangers of stagnation in mission and growth. Real selfexamination is needed if we are to fulfill the mission of the church in this postmodern society. The following questions need serious consideration: What should Seventh-day Adventist churches do in the midst of cultural transition and upheaval? How successful and effective are our methods for carrying out our mission? It is time to collectively strategize for mission and evangelism. There were old methods for past generations, and there were methods for a decade ago. Itâ€™s time to consider what kind of mission paradigm we should have for the future, in order to maintain our passion for mission.
Unfortunately, much of today's Korean Adventist Church has succumbed to serious inactivity. Since 1990, not only Adventist churches in Korea but also other churches in general have experienced stagnation in terms of numerical growth. But in spite of this crisis in mission, our mission paradigm has not altered. In the past people came to church out of interest, but today it is a different world. The come and see message no longer seems persuasive. It is time for us to go, rather than wait for people to come. We believe that God never changes. His character and nature is consistent. The problem is, humans change. The way we live and think changes constantly. As we already know, society is in rapid and constant change, and it is necessary to understand today's culture as a postmodern culture. Fundamentally, our changed environment requires mission and a way of thinking that is capable of managing these particular changes. Understanding our times and knowing the objects of our mission are key assignments prior to gathering the fruits of effective mission. Ellen G. White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church wrote about the importance of understanding human minds in spreading the gospel: â€œIn order to lead souls to Jesus there must be a knowledge of human nature and a study of the human mindâ€? (1948, pp. 67, 92). The objects of our mission are people who are undergoing constant change. The church cannot concentrate on a particular group of people in our society who are not changing. Yet we are slow to change. We are not responding to the changes and are still approaching these people, using our old methods. Such an approach leads to stagnation and marginalization. Long has asserted that an unchanging church which ignores culture will become more and more marginalized and exert less and less impact on society as the culture continues to change (2004, pp. 23â€“24). If we do not know people, we will fail in leading them to Christ. What the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Korea desperately needs is a consciousness of crisis. Through such a consciousness of crisis, we will be led to see the heart of our mission and find mission strategies that are most appropriate for this society. At times, danger provides momentum for growth. We must seek godly wisdom in discovering a new Seventh-day Adventist strategic mission paradigm for this time. Above all, it is important to understand the fundamental changes in our present mission environment. We need wisdom to know how to approach people, while understanding their needs. In other words, our evangelistic strategies will be adapted to each new generation. Thus there has to be a radical paradigm shift in our mission strategies. AAMM, Vol. 1,
II. Understanding the Postmodern Context If the mission of the early church was giving a new message to the old world, the mission of today's church is giving the old message to a new world. And we can appropriately express the characteristics of this new world by the word post-modern. This term is so compact and complex that it cannot be defined simply, but it expresses a reality that has great influence on both the world and the church. To understand it and adapt our ministries to meet our culture's needs, we must first define postmodernism and postmodernity. A. The Emergence of Postmodernity As â€œpost" means "after" and "modern" means "up to date" or "now," we may define something that is postmodern as "beyond now"; or living on the edge within a constant flow of changes. However, the term post-modern does not have a consistent definition and varies according to context. Yet it is used by many people as a representative term for defining the mindset of a particular contemporary culture. It appears that this term was first coined by Frederico de Onis in the 1930s but it did not achieve prominence until it was used to describe reactive tendencies to modernism in art and literature in the 1960s and in architecture in the 1970s. Then in the 1980s its meaning was stretched to cover an emergent, comprehensive worldview embracing philosophy, the arts, politics and certain branches of science, theology and popular culture (cf. Gibbs, 2000, p. 23). Perhaps the most concise literary definition of postmodernism comes from Lyotard, calling it "incredulity towards meta-narratives" (Lyotard, 1984, p. 24). This is why we call this generation post-modern. Pujic, a current leader in Adventist evangelism to postmoderns, helps to clarify postmodernism. Postmodernism is a reaction to the rationalistic outlook of modernism, specifically a reaction to the concept that truth can be discovered by simple rationalistic induction. The most common caricature of postmodernism is that it is a complete denial of truth, thus making everything relative. Postmodern people, however, do not deny that there is truth and objective reality. What they question is our ability to distinguish truth from non-truth. (Pujic, 2005).
Sampson interprets the postmodern mindset in the fo1lowing terms: "Reason is displaced by reasons, each within its own discourse and for its own public. None is privileged. The rational project begun in the seventeenth century has collapsed, leaving a field of competing rationalities. But then there is no privileged rationality to adjudicate and therefore no rational basis for judgment" (Sampson, 1994, p. 40). In short, postmodernism stands for a relativism and pluralism that rejects absolute authority and absolute truth. Postmodernism as a present day mindset is exhibited in culture and the arts, in human lives, and in religion. Before everything else, postmodernism creates 'new, complex and shocking' art and cultural forms, as the expression of a cultural movement in the modern world. Also, it is revealed clearly in everyday life. In the middle ages, the view of life was presented as doctrinal heteronomy and in modern times, it is viewed as reason, rational ego and behavior. Thus, in contrast, an emotional and volatile ego was brought to the fore in present times. Therefore people pursue the sensational and live sensational lives. Moreover, when considering values, absolute religious values were dominant in the middle ages and absolute rational values were dominant in the modern world, whereas value-relativism has developed and absolute values have collapsed in the present. In addition, cynicism, an attitude of indifference, and extreme individualism, which neglects the community spirit, has also become characteristic of the postmodern world. More specifically, postmodernism has an indifferent, laissez-faire attitude towards religion. Acceptance of each individualâ€™s world view is based on this condition. While medieval Christianity claimed that "God exists" and modern rationalism argues against it, postmodernism and the current generation take the position that "it doesnâ€™t matter whether God exists or not." Even among Christians today, some try to deny the Bible, traditional doctrines, and ecclesiastical norms. Instead, they base faith and its practice on experience, mystical meditations, and feelings rather than on the Scriptures, established doctrines, and theology. Consequently, Christianity in this generation predominantly emphasizes the immanence of the Spirit of God, instead of God the Father, and asserts that God participates in reality and process instead of being the impassive God in heaven above. As contrasted with liberal theology, which is a pre-modern theology, present theology calls for a de-liberal theology and insists on
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religious pluralism, indigenization of theology, and popular and political theology (Jun, 1994, pp. 177â€“178). B. The Main Characteristics of Postmodernism At this point we are able to classify the features of people in this postmodern society, characterized as postmodernism, according to the following types. An understanding of these characteristics is a prerequisite as one seeks to determine the church's appropriate response to this postmodern society in terms of mission. First, for postmoderns, truth is not stated but experienced. Their personal story becomes their truth. Personal experience equals the most trustworthy version of reality. And they reject objective and absolute truth that is universally applicable. For the record, the most common misunderstanding of postmodernism is that it is a complete denial of truth, thus making everything relative. Postmodern people, however, do not deny that there is truth and objective reality. They question the ability of people to distinguish truth from non-truth (cf. Pujic, n.d.). A person of this type takes a radical relativistic position, not accepting the enlightenment belief which claims that knowledge is objective. Absolute truth, and eternal unchanging being do not exist. Neither does the transcendent view or principle that provides the ground for all decisions and universal facts. They lean toward religious pluralism while rejecting religion itself. Postmodern philosophy states that we are in a sea of many truths. Postmoderns tend to believe that there is not only one way, but plenty of room for diversity (cf. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2003, p. 20). For postmodernists religion is a set of rules, traditions, and beliefs that only touch the mind. Typically, they are not interested in organized religion but in spirituality, which is at the top of their list of interests. Second, postmoderns are also deeply image driven people who oppose reasoning. In the modern era the most important thing was human reasoning, and logical persuasion was possible; but in the postmodern world what feels good or bad matters more than what is right or wrong. That is, they do not listen to a logical message unless feelings and emotions are first considered (Lee, 2004, p. 51). "The modern world was word-based. Its theologians tried to create an intellectual faith, placing reason and order at the heart of religionâ€Ś. Propositions are lost on postmodern ears, but metaphor they will hear; images they will see and understand" (Sweet, 2000, p. 86). They like to keep control of their choices, staying interactive and participating in their world. 68
Third, postmoderns are also subjective people who resist and doubt authority. They tend to question everything. This leads to a paradigm shift where objectivity is out, and subjectivity is in. They become the creators of their environment and destiny, and they are not responsible for anything but themselves. Such an emphasis on man's independence rebels against absolute authority. Any form of authority that lacks absoluteness cannot lead or govern people effectively anymore. They put themselves in place of senior officials (in the workplace), parents, teachers, and ministers who once had authority. Basic respect for authority is gone. Fourth, postmoderns are people who deny order yet pursue transcendence. Postmodern minds speak with skepticism, saying that there is no absolute trustworthy truth and that it is not necessary anymore. Any form of authority and rational reason is rejected, and there are no new positive values or principles that can lead human society. So they begin to look for a transcendental power again, in order to find the answer for the problems of life, by interacting with the authorities that they once destroyed (Lee, 2004, p. 52). Fifth, postmoderns are pragmatic people who live for today. They are concerned with the immediate rather than the long term because history is meaningless and the future is too fearful and unpredictable to contemplate. After all, they certainly recognize the temporality and space limitations of all objects and creatures. Heaven is meaningless for there is no afterlife nor future world. What matters to them is what to eat, and how to enjoy and spend the day. Also, their basic concept toward all human activities is very practical and technological. Sixth, postmoderns are individualistic, yet they pursue meaningful relationships. Accordingly, postmoderns pursue an individualistic life and are exceedingly more selfish than in modern times. The tendency of an individualist is obviously self-centered, making no room for understanding others. But postmodernists do not live in isolation. On the contrary, they are computer-savvy people connected by the World Wide Web to the electronic global village. This virtual community provides a marketplace of ideas. It represents a virtual reality that is paradoxically both anonymous and intimate (Gibbs, 2000, p. 24). As a result making humane and warm relationships has become difficult. This individualistic lifestyle has brought serious loneliness, and it causes people to seek after true fellowship through meaningful relationships. Lastly, postmoderns are people who are obsessed with media and popular culture. Post-modernism is an age in which people watch, not listen. It is an era of popular culture and media where one can AAMM, Vol. 1,
flick through channels and choose scenes and images. That is why they think more highly of style rather than content, and value advertising and packaging over quality. They worship and imitate celebrities, the stars of the pop culture, and prefer the sensational pop culture over more classical culture because it is easier to relate to. III. Challenges for Mission in the Postmodern World Is postmodernism as an emerging culture of this age an obstacle that threatens church mission; or is it an opportunity? Many see postmodernism as a threat while others see it as an exciting opportunity. The answer to this question depends on how the present church precisely understands the times and responds creatively to them. I think these times serve as a new opportunity to evangelize. There is no doubt that postmodernism is a huge obstacle to mission. Yet there are also many opportunities as well. D.A. Carson has acknowledged this, In my most somber moods I sometimes wonder if the ugly face of what I refer to as philosophical pluralism is the most dangerous threat to the gospel since the rise of the Gnostic heresy in the second century, and for some of the same reasonsâ€Ś. In a happier frame I suspect that â€Ś postmodernism is proving rather successful at undermining the extraordinary hubris of modernism, and no thoughtful Christian can be entirely sad about that (Carson, 1996, p. 10). At issue are our rigid ways of thinking. A hardened heart does not allow changes. A problem that is often bemoaned in the church is our methods of evangelism. Many people are against new methods of spreading the gospel, though these are often just a response to new ways of thinking by our intended audience and a completely changed mission environment. We cannot change the message of the gospel. But it is necessary to be flexible with our methods, recognizing that the ways of carrying out mission can always be changed. The method which Jesus demonstrated was not a fixed mission strategy. He approached people in various ways, and even used a totally different mission paradigm depending on the situation. For example, one can observe how differently Jesus met Nicodemus and 70
the Samaritan woman, as recorded in John 3 and 4. The apostle Paul acted in a similar manner. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, one can see Paul's mission philosophy, where he tries different ways to save a few people. Philip's method of evangelizing, where he adapts to the needs of the other person, also hints at the possibility that our ways of evangelism can change in response to changing times. We need to be aware that the gospel we cherish, and the theological understanding on which it stands, are the product of a unique historical and cultural environment. These understandings arose in large part from eighteenth century European Pietism, and from the evangelical awakening in the nineteenth century in the United Sates (Carson, 1996, p. 61). Ellen G. White acknowledges that the various circumstances and conditions that we face in the world today require similar efforts as we seek to cope with our unique situations (White, 1888). Along these lines, she continuously points to the examples of Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul, who not only varied the method of ministry, but also reconstituted the message according to the situation (White, 1948, p. 300). She advised today's church to operate as Jesus and Paul did. We also must learn to adapt our labors to the condition of the people, to meet men where they are.... When these efforts are so limited, the impression is given that the message we present is not worthy of notice.... You must vary your labor, and not have one way which you think must be followed at all times and in all places. Your ways may seem to you a success, but if you used more tact, more of the wisdom of the serpent, you would have seen much more real results of your work (White, 1948, p. 301; cf. pp. 297–308; White, 1946, pp. 57, 123–125, 141–142, 231). White's statement supports the need to boldly change the mission paradigm to one appropriate for our generation. A. Principles of Approaching Postmoderns McLaren has well stated. Before us lies a new world—a world nearly empty spiritually, which makes it hungry and thirsty for good spiritual bread and wine. It is a world hostile to dogmatism but ready to be sown with good seeds of vibrant, living
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faith. If we as Christians do not fill the need, someone else will (McLaren, 2000, p. 171). Here is the most significant challenge to Christian evangelism in the postmodern world. How should we approach postmoderns and present Christianity as relevant while not neglecting its most fundamental tenets? Some principles to consider in reaching people in a postmodern world are presented below. First, various methods of approach are required due to the various backgrounds people present. Approaching with a fixed method makes evangelism difficult. A standard method of evangelism has its strengths, yet in a highly specialized and pluralized society, evangelism and mission must be multidimensional and multifaceted. Second, we should expect that it will take a lot of time to evangelize these people. Since they do not have an active faith in God, nor accept the inspiration of the Bible, they probably canâ€™t start Bible study right away. We must first find where our interests converge. Then we should lead them to the Adventist faith step by step. It is better not to anticipate rapid adherence to our faith. Third, in all human beings, general needs and desires exist. Things such as desire for significance in life, fellowship through meaningful relationships, universal absolute values, certainty in oneâ€™s life and beliefs, a prosperous life, a thirst for spiritual comfort, and escape from a consciousness of sin are universal. It is necessary to show that the Adventist message can fill these human needs. We must consider the fact that Seventh-day Adventists has an advantage in reaching postmodern people with the gospel. There is no question that many Adventist doctrines and teachings are attractive to postmoderns. For instance, the message of a Sabbath rest is of a special significance to people living in a restless society where pluralism, individualism, and an inhumane technology-first system prevail. Fourth, postmodern people need to meet warm, loving, friendly Adventists who can positively impact their lives. This means that Adventists must make efforts to become friends with their neighbors and co-workers. Fifth, the most important principle in evangelizing people in a postmodern society is to develop an intimate relationship. Making relationships through acceptance and emotional bonding, sharing feelings and common interests is essential. We must remember that it is very difficult to spread the gospel unless such relationships are developed. 72
B. Mission Paradigm Shift in the Postmodern World In what ways then, should our mission paradigm shift in the postmodern world? Eight such paradigm shifts are considered below. 1. From Traditional Church to Missional Church A factor that needs to precede a mission paradigm shift is a new understanding of the church. The traditional church usually regards worship and liturgy more highly than mission. However, we cannot talk about the identity of the true church without mission and evangelism. The church now has to convert itself from a traditional church to a missional church. A foundational emphasis in this concept is the 'openness' of the church to the world and its needs (Rasi & Guy, 1981, p. 71). Instead of seeing the prevailing culture as a battlefield and Christians as warriors, those in the missional church see the world as a mission field and Christians as missionaries. And the missional church sees itself as intimately involved in the culture (cf. Long, pp. 33–35). There is sufficient evidence that postmodern people will react favorably to the gospel when they know the gospel of Jesus Christ has a real connection to their needs. The postmodern generation needs love and not war, hope and not despair. Among the basic needs which the church can fill are love, fellowship, common sympathy, significance of life, certainty and stability, a sense of values, identity and personal dignity, salvation, and a prosperous life in terms of health, prosperity, peace, justice, social acceptance, and freedom (cf. Paulien, 1993, pp. 127–136). The missional church is a church that practices mission by being aware of these needs and meeting them through gospel proclamation, worship, service, and fellowship. 2. From Minister-Centered Mission to Lay-Centered Mission Mission and evangelism that has long been dependent on pastors and evangelists, needs to become the work of the laity, accomplished through the gifts of the Holy Spirit among neighbors, co-workers, family, friends, and in the unique environments and situations where God has purposefully placed each lay person. This is because lay people have a unique role in the church, and also because they are strategically situated in the real world, where the sense of God's existence and God's order in life is lost. The world is the ‘stuff’ of their life. Thus, the laity is the core of the church’s mission. They are more deeply rooted in the world outside the AAMM, Vol. 1,
church and are capable of penetrating into postmodern society more deeply than ministers generally can do. Redemption does not change the fact that missional people are involved in the culture, but it changes them and the character of their involvement. They become people who share God's love for those who do not yet follow God. So their strategy is twofold. First, they seek to have influence and engage in dialogue outside the church. Second, they desire to speak prophetically within the church by calling the church to embody the gospel in the community. They remind the church not to retreat from the community or lash out at people in the community. Lay people have been passive partners in mission. They need to be called, trained and set to work as co-workers in mission. They must become the powerhouse of mission. To do so will require change in the perception of ministers in regard to the laity, and in the self-understanding of lay persons themselves. The idea that mission and evangelism is the ministerâ€™s job only, and that lay people should just obey, is all too prevalent among ministers as well as lay people. The church should restore the laity's privilege and role, by recovering the true 'theology of the laity.â€™ 3. From Difficult Methods of Evangelism to Christ's Method Generally believers see evangelism as something difficult. The word 'evangelism' evokes images of door-to-door work or giving out literature. And meeting strangers and teaching them the Bible is definitely not easy for lay people. These general thoughts about evangelism are the reasons for feelings of unease and avoidance of evangelism. We should introduce Christ's way of evangelism, in which everybody can take part and not feel disappointed or a failure. White says "Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people" (1948, p. 143). She affirms that following Christ's example in reaching others will give "true success," because such a method "accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power or prayer, the power of the love of God" cannot fail. This has a significant meaning for the postmodern era. Christ's way of reaching people is the most effective postmodern approach. White continues to explain Christ's method: "The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, "Follow Me." (White, 1948, p. 143). Christ's way of reaching people may be divided into six progressive stages: 1) Christ mingled with others as one desiring their good. 2) He sympathized with them. 3) He ministered to their 74
needs. 4) He won their confidence. 5) He invited them to follow Him. 6) He promised to make them "fishers of men" as implied in this context, and evident in Matthew 4:19 (cf. Samaan, 1990, p. 40). Jesus became friends with tax collectors and prostitutes. He accepted and mingled with those that society had discarded. He showed sympathy and shared their pain and despair. He had compassion for them and served their needs. His service and caring gained people's trust, and this is why they wanted to come to Him. This was Christâ€™s method. His method of evangelism requires persistent contact and deep understanding and care for the individual. This method establishes friendships through ongoing fellowship prior to sharing the gospel. 4. From Church-Oriented Mission to World-Oriented Mission If the mission up to the present was come and see churchoriented mission, we now need a shift to a go world-oriented mission. The church-oriented mission paradigm had as its objectives church growth, the expansion of the kingdom of God, and the saving of souls. In contrast, the purpose of a world-oriented mission paradigm is evangelism itself - the primary evangelization of those who have not heard the gospel. In viewing the world, the church-oriented paradigm recognizes the world as wicked; therefore it plays an inferior and passive role. However, a world-oriented paradigm sees the world as God's wellcreated world, a place of redemption in Christ. Thus it has an active role in the process. Consequently the church-oriented mission is kerygmatic and truth-oriented in its approach. It calls people out of the world. Communication between people is quite conscious and does not go beyond the verbal level. On the other hand, a worldoriented mission is an incarnational one, that is needs-oriented as well as human-oriented. It stresses caring and sharing in the world. The church operates not as God's holy stronghold, but rather as salt, yeast, and the tool of the gospel in the world. Therefore a world-oriented mission paradigm demands a shift from program-centered evangelism, system-centered evangelism, evangelism dependent on professionals and on a specific time and place to hold campaigns. It will become evangelism that is voluntary and an integral part of life. But such a paradigm shift does not mean that old methods are completely useless. It only indicates a shifting of emphasis. 5. From Prophetic Evangelism to Shepherding Evangelism
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The absolute message that is not influenced by cultural and social change is a message that we cannot surrender. A strong message that urges one to escape from sin and repent, the three angels' messages, and the unique beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are elements we must maintain. But the lives of people in a postmodern society are often too stress-filled to react to strong prophetic evangelism or messages. They often do not respond well to messages unrelated to their needs. What is effective for those oppressed and hurt by sin is healing and embracing - a shepherding evangelism. Shepherding evangelism is sensitive to changes in the situations and environment people are in. It is sending out relevant messages to fill their needs. 6. From Public Evangelism to Small-Group Evangelism In the past, big campaigns were well carried out, but people no longer show interest in big campaigns. The church is experiencing increasing difficulty with such campaigns. Attendance is low. In spite of spending great amounts of money and inviting renowned speakers, the number of people influenced through these campaigns is very small. Such meager results have increased the number of churches choosing not to engage in public evangelism. There has been avoidance not only of such campaigns, but of evangelism itself. This is a very serious problem for the church. This generation is plagued by pluralism, individualism, and vast needs that are intense and varied. Thus various approaches are needed to meet all situations. Perhaps small-group evangelism is the most suitable method to meet these needs. Empowering deep relationships through small groups is the vital point of this method. Small group evangelism should not be considered just another ministry or program. Rather it involves the making of small groups within the larger assembly of the church, and it should be understood as the essence of church. The present array of diverse social systems needs a greater variety of small groups. They could be classified according to relationships, or purposes and functions in the church. For example a church may choose to have groups for parents, youth, teens, professionals, and for various ages. They may also choose to have various prayer groups, Bible study groups, and mission groups. Such groups as care and share gatherings, evangelism teams, the church mission center group, the new believers' class, family groups, Sabbath school committees, and the seekers' group should also be included here. Small groups naturally evangelize through relationships, and thus fulfill the objectives of evangelism. Group 76
members feel at home quickly. Human beings are made for fellowship and interaction. They grow and develop in relationship to others. In church, it is called 'koinonia.' Small groups offer opportunities to meet the basic social needs of people and deepen human interaction (Barlow, 1972, p. 35). 7. From Oral Transmission Evangelism to Media (image) Evangelism This generation is not a listening generation, but a watching generation. It is the generation of multimedia. This is more so for younger generations who grew up with television. Thus there is a definite need to incorporate show evangelism. The church needs to utilize a variety of visual media and develop well-presented audiovisual materials as evangelistic aids. It must effectively deliver persuasive messages in which the content is well-adapted and sensitive to cultural trends. The media generation is also a brand generation. So this generation thinks highly of images. If the image is bad, faith drops. Promoting a good image to the world is the only way to lift the brand value of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church must maintain the image of a healthy and ethical organization in society. Efforts should be made to improve the churchâ€™s image in a more active way. We must create a better church image through social service, such as relief work, senior citizen services, and medical services, actively demonstrating a service ethos and showing a continuing interest in the local community. 8. From Center-powered Mission System to Local/Decentralized Mission System In the past, mission was generally accomplished under guidance from the conference or union level. However, now the local church has to be the fortress and headquarters of evangelism and all mission work. In such a paradigm, the minister is an enabler and the conference or union is a resource center which performs a supportive role. Instead of commanding mission policies and managing all sorts of mission programs, the conference has to search for ways to provide necessary means and human resources, and to encourage local churches to establish and carry out the most relevant mission plans that fit their environments. This is the way to change from a center-powered, vertical-strata mission system to a local/decentralized, horizontal, democratic, local-church oriented system. AAMM, Vol. 1,
In such a mission system, conference directors provide expertise and inspiration. Local church pastors are the educators, teaching and training believers to participate in evangelism. Such a local/decentralized system assists the church to turn her eyes to fill the needs of the local community, enabling a world-oriented mission. IV. Conclusion We live in the midst of an emerging culture that is postmodern. As we have observed, today's church has the task of meeting these changing postmodern people and spreading the gospel. While digging deeper into the world and the real problems of people we should act in solidarity with them. Saving souls with the gospel on one hand, and reaching out to hurting people with love and compassion on the other hand, is our mission. We should be concerned about what kind of people we should be in the secular world. The pressing question is whether or not we have the spiritual power to change our world? At the same time we should consider how best to deliver the gospel to our neighbors. In what ways can we spread the unchanging gospel to people whose cultures and lifestyles are constantly changing? We must keep on searching for answers together. As individuals and as a church, there is a need for the recovery of a true spirit of revival. Ellen G. White asserts that "a revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work" (White, 1958, p. 121; 1943, p. 626; 1947, pp. 41â€“42). True spiritual revival, where the Holy Spirit is manifest, is the prerequisite for a Seventh-day Adventist Church mission paradigm for our postmodern society. Clear spiritual insight must be restored. Above all, the realization that evangelism is a privilege entrusted to Christians of all generations, is needed. Evangelism is a privilege, of which even the angels are envious. Further, evangelism is God's only method for changing the world (Lee, p. 52). The gospel message is too good to hide. Our vision must expand by pursuing newness and freshness while, at the same time, creatively carrying on the tradition. We must put all possible efforts and means into spreading the everlasting gospel to every person. The church must have a Spirit-given courage and respond appropriately and creatively to the new environment of mission. Our Lord deserves to receive our best efforts. 78
References Barlow, T. (Ed.). (1972). Small Group Ministry in the Contemporary Church. Independence: Herald Publishing House. Carson, D. A. (1996). The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Gibbs, Eddie. (2000). Church Next: Quantum Changes in How We Do Ministry. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Jun, Kwang Sik. (1994, March). Criticism on Post-modernism in Christian Worldview. Ministry and Theology, 177â€“178. Lee, Dong Won. (Speaker). (2003). Evangelism Paradigm in Postmodern Times (Cassette Recording No. 1). Seoul, Korea: Duranno. Long, Jimmy. (2004). Emerging Hope. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Lyotard, Jean-Francois. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota. McLaren, Brian D. (2000). The Church on the Other Side. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Paulien, Jon. (1993). Present Truth in the Real World. Boise, ID: Pacific Press. Pujic, Miroslave. (n.d.). Postmodernism: The Emerging Culture. Retrieved from http://www.reframe.info/resources/97/ Pujic, Mliroslav. (2005). A Disciple-making Strategy to Reach the Emerging Postmodern Generation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Rasi, Humberto M. and Guy, Fritz. (Eds.). (1987). Meeting the Secular Mind. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press. Regele, Mike with Schulz, Mark. (1995). The Death of the Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Samaan, Philip G. (1990). Christ's Say of Reaching People. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald. Sampson, Philip. (1994). The Rise of Postmodernity, Faith and Modernity. Oxford: Regnum Books. Sweet, Leonard. (2000). Postmodern Pilgrims: First Century Passion for the 21st Century Church. Nashville,TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers. Morris, William. (Ed.). (2000). Secularism. In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.). AAMM, Vol. 1,
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=secularism (July 2003), 20. White, Ellen G. (1888). Ms 8a. White, Ellen G. (1943). Prophets andKkings. Mountain View: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1946). Evangelism. Washington, DC: Review and Herald. White, Ellen G. (1947). Christian Service. Washington, DC: Review and Herald. White, Ellen G. (1948). Gospel Workers. Washington, DC: Review and Herald. White, Ellen G. (1948). Ministry of Healing. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1948). Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4. Mountain View: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1958). Selected messages, Vol. 1. Washington, DC: Review and Herald
An Adventist Response to African Traditional Religion Gorden R. Doss ABSTRACT—Contextualizing Christianity in a way that is culturally appropriate but biblically faithful is an on-going challenge. This article traces the encounter of Christianity with African Traditional Religion (ATR) and its four components of transcendence: God, lesser gods, ancestors and power objects. Jesus Christ, Scripture and the Devil were new components brought by Christianity. Suggestions are made about how the problems of syncretism and dual allegiance can be addressed. Keywords: African, Africa, Religion, Adventist, Power Objects I. Introduction The encounter of Christianity with African traditional religion in the modern era changed them both. Although there are African peoples who belong to ancient branches of Christianity, this paper discusses the non-Christian traditional religions which were dominant in most of Africa when the era of modern missions began in the nineteenth century. In that encounter, Christianity was incarnated into African culture just as it was into the Greco-Roman culture of the Early Church and that of every subsequent era. The ancient religions of Africa were also molded by the encounter. Today’s “African Christianity” is truly an African religion, just as “American Christianity” is an American religion. At the same time, both forms are local manifestations of the universal religion of Jesus Christ (Walls, 2002, p. 119).
Manuscript received July 13, 2009; revised Sep. 7, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Gorden R. Doss (Ph.D. Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org) is with World Mission Department, Theological Seminary, Andrews University, USA). AAMM, Vol. 1,
One of the major concerns of missiology is the planting and developing of Christianity that is both relevant to culture and faithful to Scripture. Paul Hiebert used the term “critical contextualization” to describe evangelization done with these two goals (Hiebert, 1985, pp. 171–192; 1994, pp. 93–103). In other words, the universal, eternal principles of the Bible must be authentically expressed in the every day beliefs and practices of Christians who remain members of their home cultures. From this position they are best able to model and proclaim authentic Christianity to their neighbors without seeming like foreigners peddling an alien religion. Just as Jesus incarnated himself into Jewish culture, so his religion is to be incarnated into every culture. The development of culturally appropriate and biblically faithful Christianity has not always occurred in an ideal way in Africa (or anywhere). The result is syncretism, or the weaving of unbiblical beliefs and practices into the fabric of Christianity. At the core of syncretism is a dual or divided allegiance to both the God of the Bible and the gods and powers of traditional religion. The causes of syncretism can be found on both sides of the encounter between missionaries and African peoples. Some early missionaries failed to teach fully authentic Christianity and to adequately engage issues in local culture and religion because of their own limitations. On the other hand, the initial African reception of Christianity and the way it has developed since have also been marred by human limitations. Looking at contemporary Africa, Andrew Walls speaks of the “immense theological activity” in the “great theological laboratory” of Africa, which is driven by the mega-issues facing the continent (Walls, 2002, p. 133). Paul Hiebert wrote of “the right and responsibility of the church in each culture and historical setting to interpret and apply the Scriptures in its own context” (Italics supplied, Hiebert, 1994, p. 101). He also discussed the development of a “supracultural theology” that involved reaching an “internationalized … consensus on theological absolutes” (Hiebert, 1994, pp. 102–103). As a major player in world Christianity, Africa now has the right and responsibility of doing the best possible theology for the sake of Africa and the world. One of the most important issues that confront African Christians is the classification of ultimate reality (See Hiebert, 1994, p. 193 ff. and Kraft, 2008, p. 167 ff.). “What is prime reality—the really real?” (Sire, 2004a, p. 20). What is the most real thing in the universe? What transcendent beings or powers exist beyond the everyday human realm? How should humans relate to them? In the modern secularist or naturalistic worldview, ultimate reality is fully 82
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contained within empirically visible nature. For Christians, the deepest reality in the universe is the Creator-God. Early missionaries around the world had varied success in discovering a vernacular name for this Creator-God. Paul Hiebert has described how the difficulty of naming God persists to the present day in India (Hiebert, 1985, pp. 144–146). Finding a name for God was also highly contentious in China (Walls, 2002, p. 121). One might have expected that early missionaries to Africa would have struggled to find suitable vernacular names for God when they translated the Bible. Their orientation did not lead them to anticipate discovering God among the “heathen” peoples of Africa. At the time of the 1910 Edinburgh mission conference, “The general feeling was that there was ‘practically no religious content in [African] Animism,’ nor was there in it ‘any preparation for Christianity’” (Bediako 2004, p. 4). Robert Moffat, early missionary to Botswana, said that the Tswana had neither a knowledge of God nor a religion, in the proper sense. However, Moffat changed his mind when he translated the Bible. “God did have a Tswana name; and Moffat found it, not because he was looking for it, but because it was there” (Italics supplied, Walls 2002, p. 121). Missionary Bible translators “found” the Creator-God in the vernacular all over Africa because he belonged to the conceptual universe of Africa’s traditional religions. By comparison, Buddhism is essentially a religion without a God and Hinduism has 330,000 gods. Thus, neither of those great world religions was prepared like Africa to accept the God of the Bible. II. Traditional Components Walls says that the traditional African map of the universe has four components that define the transcendent: (1) God, (2) lesser gods or divinities, (3) ancestors, and (4) objects of power (Walls, 2002, p. 123). This conceptual map provided a ready template upon which to plant the beliefs of the Bible. This does not imply that the ancient concepts stayed or should stay the same for Christians, however. In fact, the understanding of these four major components has changed dramatically in many different directions (Walls, 2002, p. 122). Contemporary African Christianity reflects a wide range of adherence and non-adherence to the biblical map of the universe. Ancient African religions were neither monolithic, nor rigid, nor immutable with regard to the four components. Some were Goddominated, some were dominated by the lesser gods, others were ancestor-dominated, and some made power objects central. Not AAMM, Vol. 1,
every group had all of the components. Internal and external forces sometimes changed the role a particular component played. Some components were dominant in certain parts of a society but not in others. If traditional Africa was not monolithic, modern Africa is even less so. Africa is a vast theological patchwork of infinite variation. A. God The first component of Africa’s traditional map of the universe is the Creator-God. What greater point of continuity could there be between traditional religion and Christianity? Among many peoples, however, the nominally supreme God was functionally relegated to a secondary position while the focus of religious life was placed on other components. The most consistent and important impact of Christianity was the magnification of God. The vernacular Bible, using a vernacular name for God, provided new content and depth to traditional beliefs about God, some being corrected and others augmented. One of the challenges for contemporary believers is to ensure that the Triune God of the Bible is indeed sovereign in both the theory and practice of their faith. B. Divinities or Lesser Gods The second component is what Walls calls divinities or lesser gods. Missionaries whose beliefs were shaped by the Enlightenment tended to deny the reality of beings in the middle zone between humans and God. For them, Gabriel, Lucifer, and the other angels identified in the Bible had a rather theoretical, ethereal existence. Their usual solution for African converts whose daily lives involved divinities, ancestors, and power objects were to say, “It’s all superstition. You have become Christians. Just stop believing it and you won’t have any more trouble.” This solution was really no solution at all. Because of their own experience, African converts could not simply deny the existence of the divinities, ancestors, and power objects. Hiebert referred to the missionary non-solution as the “flaw of the excluded middle” (Hiebert, 1994, p. 189 ff.). The divinities, ancestors, and power objects were in the “middle zone” between humans and God that was “excluded.” The non-solution was based on a theological error which grew out of their own cultural biases. Not all missionaries excluded the “middle zone” in their theology but many failed to directly address issues arising from African traditional religion. The middle zone is 84
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not empty, according to the Bible. Traditional religion was correct in saying, “There is something out there.” The non-solution was also a methodological mistake because they did not systematically engage traditional religion in dialog and critique. The methodological mistake continues today when indigenous leaders fail to engage traditional religion directly. Because Christianity magnified God, it tended to diminish the role of the traditional divinities. Sometimes they disappeared altogether from religious belief and practice. Other times they were demonized and made to represent all forces that opposed God, the Bible and the church (Walls, 2002, p. 124). Among some contemporary Christians, the divinities have reemerged into religious life because of a sense that available spiritual resources are insufficient to cope with life’s stern challenges, like HIV/AIDS. However, even those who seek power from the divinities tend to locate the ultimate source of that power in God or the Holy Spirit. Some Christians have filled the gap made by the departure of the divinities with a fervent belief in the role of angels who mediate God’s power and protection. Adventist missionaries taught the existence of Gabriel and the “good angels” and Lucifer and the “evil angels.” However, I am not aware that they generally took the next vital step that I think is needed to deal with the divinities. The divinities can be used as an effective point of contact or starting point from which the biblical doctrine of angels can be taught as a functional substitute. The message would be something like: “Your traditions are correct in saying that there are transcendent beings, greater than humans but lesser than God. The Bible calls them angels and here are the details about them …” C. Ancestors The third component is the ancestors. As with the divinities, the role of the ancestors has often been diminished by the Godcenteredness of Christianity. Roman Catholics have redirected African ancestor veneration toward the Catholic saints. Protestants have usually forbidden ancestor cults. Yet, the ancestors remain problematic for many African Christians. The Adventist critique of the situation is that dealing with ancestor cults is inherently problematic for Christians who believe in the immortality of the soul, which gives the “living dead” ontological existence. The doctrine of non-immorality means that ancestors have no ontological existence. Adventists link the nonAAMM, Vol. 1,
immortality doctrine with the ontological existence of evil angels to conclude that evil angels impersonate the dead in various deceptive ways, as with Saul and the witch of Endor (1 Sam 28; See White 1911, pp. 551–562; Andreasen, 2000, pp. 325–326). Thus, Adventists affirm that ontologically real beings (evil angels) are behind the apparent encounters of living humans with their dead ancestors. Seances and other spiritualistic activities are not relegated to “primitive superstition”—but neither are they what they appear to be. The divinities component of traditional religion includes “trickster gods” of many kinds which trick each other and humans. Among other things, they are accused of causing the first human sin through trickery which resulted in the general human predicament. I think that the trickster gods can be linked with the deceptive, impersonating evil angels of the Bible to address the challenge of ancestor cults and other spiritualistic rites. The message would be something like: “Your tradition is correct in saying that people sometimes seem to encounter their ancestors. The Bible teaches that Satan and his angels are very deceptive (like your traditional trickster gods) and can impersonate the ancestors. The Bible also teaches that dead people are asleep and cannot communicate with us. Therefore, we should not be deceived by the tricks of Satan.” D. Power Objects The fourth component is power objects (like charms, amulets, costumes, statues, relics, or holy water) that are used in African traditional religions to mediate power for either good or evil. Walls states that the use of power objects has been “painlessly drawn” into the African Christian world (Walls, 2002, p. 128). He means that Africans who joined Christian groups that used Christian power objects continued to use some traditional power objects, although with altered meanings. Some believe that Christian power objects have inherent powers and others ascribe their powers to Christ or the Holy Spirit. Many Christian groups, including Adventists, have seen the use of power objects as wholly unbiblical and do not believe that God’s power is mediated through them. Adventists have rigorously required converts to remove power objects placed on their bodies, in their homes, or in other important places. In my observation, the use of power objects has visibly decreased in the last half-century but some usage has gone underground. Where dual-allegiance is present, it is often expressed in the visible or secret use of power objects. 86
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I suggest that the traditional trickster gods be used to address the challenge of power objects, as with the ancestor cults. Just as evil angels act like trickster gods to impersonate the ancestors, so they really do use objects in deceptive ways to do good things or bad things to people. The message would be something like: “Your tradition is correct in saying that certain objects seem to have power to do good or bad things. The Bible teaches that Satan and his angels are very deceptive (like your traditional trickster gods) and can use objects to do good or bad things. Therefore, we should not be deceived by the tricks of Satan.” III. New Elements Although the conceptual map of traditional African contains components similar to those of Christianity, there were also new elements that came with the religion of Jesus. A. Jesus Christ The person of Jesus Christ was something new. As a member of the Trinity, incarnated into human life, and then ascended to the right hand of the Father, Jesus “greatly intensified the sense of the immediacy of the presence of God” (Walls, 2002, p. 129). Jesus was known to appear by spoken voice, visions, and dreams, thus displacing the divinities from that traditional role. Whereas traditional divination sought answers from the lesser gods, Christians sought wisdom from God, through Jesus Christ. The enhanced immediacy of God through Jesus can be felt in the frequent use of the Malawian Chichewa exclamation Mulungu, Yemwe!, or, “God, Himself!” Apart from the fact that the phrase is from the Bible (Gen 22:8; Rev 21:3), my impression is that Malawians find great comfort in sensing God’s immediacy through Jesus. Their relationship is not with lesser deities but with Mulungu, Yemwe! Christology remains a matter of lively theological discussion in Africa (See Bediako, 2004, pp. 34–44). Nevertheless, the addition of Jesus to the conceptual map was very enriching. B. Scripture Written scripture is a component not found in African traditional religion. If God is the first component of ultimate reality, the book by which he reveals himself must occupy a very high position. AAMM, Vol. 1,
Africans accepted the Bible warmly and, like everyone, viewed it from their cultural perspective. While many early missionaries were trained in the hermeneutics of higher criticism, their African converts had different worldview assumptions that led them to a more literalistic hermeneutic (Jenkins, 2002, p. 8). Some would go beyond seeing the Bible as a vehicle of God’s revelation to making it a power object. As African converts learned the vernacular Bible (usually from fellow African teachers and preachers), they perceived some things differently from the general missionary perspective. Some books of the Bible (like Leviticus) which were given little emphasis by missionaries became prominent in African usage because of their concern with ritual cleanliness. The Adventist focus on the Sanctuary fits easily into this cultural context. Although the whole idea of blood sacrifice is abhorrent to many Western Christians, the concept makes good sense from an African cultural perspective. The biblical dreams, visions, and ecstatic utterances which were not typically part of the missionary’s religious experience found a natural home in African thinking. In my view, the main theological task with regard to the Bible is to avoid the pitfalls of an overly literalistic hermeneutic that overlooks or denies the role of culture in Bible interpretation, belief, and practice. C. The Devil Along with a magnified God, Christianity brought a vastly more powerful opponent to God (Walls, 2002, p. 132). We have already seen that trickster divinities were blamed for the human predicament. These tricksters were much less powerful than the Devil described in the Bible. Evil is centered in the person of Satan and his angels and good and evil are locked into what Adventists call the “Great Controversy.” The biblical details surrounding the human predicament and its solution add depth, detail, and urgency to the traditional African perspective. The theological task is to treat Satan as seriously as he deserves. The continued participation in unbiblical beliefs and practices involves not just playing with trickster gods or human-like spirits or grumpy ancestors but with Satana, yemwe, Satan, himself. IV. Conclusion
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This paper has traced in very broad strokes the way Christians in African have come to think about the four traditional components of the transcendent and to suggest some helpful directions. My study suggests to me that African Christians, although already embarked on a profound theological journey, have a major theological agenda remaining. At the top of the agenda is the doctrine of the Triune God. Closely following is the doctrine of the angels, which I have suggested is important in addressing the divinities, ancestors, and power objects. Next is the doctrine humanity, in life and death. Much deeper attention must be paid to the local cultural and religious context. The theological journey has to reach the deepest, most remote places where the real power of tradition resides. Adventists need to become expert practitioners of the processes of critical contextualization and worldview transformation so well described by Paul Hiebert (1994; 2008) and Charles Kraft (2008). To bring current members and future converts into fully authentic discipleship requires unprecedented theological work followed by the best possible missional methodology.
References Andreasen, Neil-Erik A. (2000). Death: Origin, Nature and Final Eradication. In George W. Reid (Series Ed.) & Raoul Dederen (Vol. Ed.), Commentary Reference Series: Vol. 12. Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (pp. 375â€“417). Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald. Bediako, Kwame. (1995). Christianity in Africa. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books. Bediako, Kwame. (2004). Jesus and the Gospel in Africa. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books. Hiebert, Paul G. (1986). Anthropological Insights for Missionaries. Grand Rapids: Baker. Anthropological Reflections on Hiebert, Paul G. (1994). Missiological Issues. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. Hiebert, Paul G. (2008). Transforming World Views. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. Jenkins, Philip. (2002). The Next Christendom: The Coming Global Christianity. New York: Oxford University Press. Kraft, Charles H. (2008). Worldview for Christian Witness. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.
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Sire, James W. (2004a). Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Sire, James W. (2004b). The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog (4th ed.). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. Walls, Andrew F. (1996). The Missionary Movement in Christian History. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books. Walls, Andrew F. (2002). The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. Mary Knoll, NY: Orbis Books. White, Ellen G. (1911). The Great Controversy. Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association.
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Suggestions for the Structure of Campus Ministry in the Korean Adventist Church Changho Song ABSTRACTâ€”In modern society, universities and colleges hold a very important position, so Christian churches have tried to evangelize them from the beginning of their work in Korea. The Korean Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church also has put a lot of effort into campus ministry on non-Adventist campuses during the past forty years, but the results are not very satisfying for the Church. The main reasons for such poor results are that the church has not shown much concern for it and also that campus ministry too often has had a complicated leadership structure. Therefore four leadership structures for campus ministry are discussed in this article: 1) A union and local conference AY department centered model, 2) A Adventist Collegians with Tidings [ACT] club centered model, 3) An ACT church centered model, and 4) A local church centered model. Keywords: university, college, campus ministry, Korea, Adventist Church I. The Social and Evangelistic Importance of the University In modern society, the influence and role of universities and colleges is difficult to overestimate. They are at the heart of the country and a primary source of economic development. It is no exaggeration to say that universities and colleges lead the country and society rather than vice versa, because they are the reservoir of future leaders of the country and society (Youngcheol Kim, 1993, p. Manuscript received Aug. 1, 2009; revised Aug. 20, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Changho Song (D.Min., Associate Professor, email@example.com) is with Religious Studies Department, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea..
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40; Choi, 1991, p. 64). This is especially so in Korea, where in 2007 82.1% of high-school graduates enter universities or colleges (Korea National Statistics Office, 2007). It is therefore meaningless to discuss any social issue without referring to universities and their students. This fact must also be recognized in any discussion of the mission of the church, which is to spread the gospel to the world. Three million undergraduates are now studying in universities and most Koreans are university or college students before their working lives begin. For this reason campus ministry should be considered as the most important area for evangelism and not just one of the many evangelistic areas. From the view point of mission strategy, winning one person through campus ministry has a larger impact than the mere number would suggest. This is so for many reasons. Firstly, campus ministry is evangelism of the middle class of our future society and of its opinion leaders. Secondly, it targets specialists in numerous fields of activity who have almost unlimited potential. Thirdly, university students have the potential to contribute in the present as active church members. Compare this with child evangelism which is an investment for a more distant future. Although most church leaders and members recognize and agree that evangelizing children and youth is easier and more effective than adults, churches hesitate to invest their money and human resources for young people, perhaps because it takes time for them to begin serving in the churches with their talents and financial support (Jo, 2002, p. 91). However, campus ministry to college and university students can shorten the time frame involved in this longterm investment, which is perceived as one of the obstacles in the way of ministry to young people. At the same time it can increase the evangelistic potential of the churches, which is to everyoneâ€™s advantage. College students not only can become pillars for the future church but even now they can serve in the church (Molnar, 1982, p. 25). In addition, it is often apparent that college and university students are not as prejudiced about other denominations, outside the mainline churches. Contact and experience with the SDA Church at that time, may well provide them with a positive image of the denomination, whether or not they accept Adventism. They may well attend the church and serve as valuable church members even after graduation because of their knowledge and experience of Christ and His church. Even if they will not become Adventists, they may use their power of influence positively in behalf of the church. 92
Finally, campus ministry is the last opportunity for evangelizing young people. Many children and academy students receive the gospel and grow up in the church. But when they enter college or university, however, they are exposed to atheism and surrounded by secularism without sufficient pastoral support. If they arenâ€™t taken care of properly by the church, they can easily be lost to the church and never return to it. On the other hand, colleges and universities are the last place for the non-Christian and non-Adventist young people to meet and experience Christianity and Adventism in their youth. In this sense, colleges and universities are the final venue for the nurture of our young church members and for the evangelization of a wider student audience. At present the SDA church in Korea is in an impending crisis in terms of youth ministry. Korean society is rapidly becoming an aging society at a speed never before experienced. Youth who have attended the church from birth are leaving the church in large numbers. And in addition, the number of young people coming into the church is decreasing every year. These factors are creating an aging church, and if there is no epoch-making effort for youth ministry, the church will not avoid a zero growth in the near future. The doors of many of our churches will shut, as many European churches have done. The social influence of a religion depends on the number of its young people. It is no exaggeration to say that â€œwe are in the middle of an invisible war in terms of winning young peopleâ€? (Park, 2005, p. 11). In such a situation, college and university campus ministry is indispensable for the present and future of the church. Thus we do well to invest in and to be concerned about such ministry The purpose of this study is to offer some suggestions about a more adequate structure of campus ministry in the Korean Adventist church. For in spite of a forty year history of Adventist campus ministry in Korea, the word "campus ministry" is still a strange and awkward term to many. I hope that this study can promote the growth of campus ministry, even in a small way. II. A Brief History of College Campus Ministry Universities began in Europe during the middle ages, and they grew quite naturally with Christianity, which was the state religion in European countries at the time. Afterward, even in America, many universities were founded in Christian environments. However, the principle of separation of the church and the state AAMM, Vol. 1,
created an environment in which Christian elements in universities could easily be eliminated. Even Christian universities were secularized, and finally lost most of their Christian spiritual heritage. In this environment the churches began to run special programs to evangelize college students, which were quite separate from the regular institutional program. This was the starting point of so called ‘campus ministry.’ Under the influence of “The Great Awakening,” that happened in Europe and America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, para-church campus ministry groups began to appear outside of the church, and after World War II they increased dynamically in their number and activity (White, 1983, pp. 48–53). In Korea, Protestant Christianity began with the youth. Christianity was introduced into Korea by young missionaries (Jeon, 1974, p. 110), and young people assisted missionaries to translate the Bible into Korean (Kim, 1991, pp. 54–55). These missionaries also focused on evangelizing the youth by establishing Christian schools in Korea (Yu, 1994, p. 20). Denominational campus ministries in Korea began with the Christian Endeavor (CE) of the Presbyterian church and the Epworth League (EL) of the Methodist church (Yu, 1994, p.21). However the influence of these denominationally based youth groups on college campuses was very weak (Kim, 1988, p. 34). The Hak Sook Youth Group (Christian Student Group), which was organized in Baejae College in 1901, may be regarded as the first non-denominational campus ministry (Kim, 1965, p. 238). In 1903, the Student Young Men’s Christian Association (Student YMCA) was established on the basis of the Hak Sook Youth Group (Yu, 1994, p. 29), and “it led out in campus ministry until Korea gained independence from Japan in 1945” (Jang, 1999, p. 135). In the1960s evangelical campus ministry groups, such as the CCC (Campus Crusade for Christ), the Navigators, Inter Varsity, and the UBF (University Bible Federation), became dominant on campuses (Yu, 1994, p. 69). These evangelical campus ministry groups have been very successful in penetrating campuses with the gospel, and have led out in campus ministry. They have been influential on campuses and even in the churches up until the present. III. A Brief History of Adventist Campus Ministry in Korea In Korea, SDA campus ministry was initiated voluntarily by university students themselves, not by the denomination. Later, the 94
official college campus ministry of the Korean Adventist church began, out of a recognition of the need for nurturing Adventist college students attending non-Adventist colleges and universities. Evangelism of non-Adventist students was barely contemplated (Lee, 1997, p. 11). These campus ministry groups didn’t exist separate from the church organization. They grew through the support and help of the church. In many cases, they were led by the leadership of the church. The first SDA campus group called “Seoul Daehakgy SDA Haksaenghoe [The Seoul National University SDA Student Group]” was started at Seoul National University by some Adventist students attending the university in 1966 (Nam, 1997, p. 21). Then in 1967, Seoul Jigu SDA Chonghaksaenghoe [The Seoul Area SDA College Student Association] was organized by eighty six students from several universities with the help of the Central Korean Mission (Jun, 1997, p. 3). In 1982, stimulated by the vigorous activities of other campus ministry groups, the SDA campus ministry group reorganized itself and added an evangelistic dimension to its name by changing it from “SDA Daehaksaenghoe [The SDA College Students Meeting]” to “SDA Daehaksaeng Seongyohoe [The SDA College Student Evangelistic Association]” (Korean Union Conference of Seventhday Adventists, p. 94). The year 1989 was meaningful for SDA campus ministry. First, the SDA campus ministry group was given an English name, Adventist Collegians with Tidings (ACT). Second, ACT was recognized and voted by the KUC Executive Committee as the official campus ministry group of the church under the direction of the Adventist Youth Department (AY) of the Korean Union Conference. Third, at its leadership meeting in February 1989, ACT organized branches in each of the five local conferences of SDA’s (Lee, 1997, p. 15). From 1991 to 1994, four ACT churches, consisting of college students and some graduates from non-Adventist colleges, were established in each local conference except one. As of 2009, two ACT churches were still operating. In addition, the “ACT Club,” which was composed of those who graduated from non-Adventist colleges, was launched in 1994 to support ACT activities. It was through the financial support of the club that field staff were provided for ACT in that same year. Oh Man Kyu, a professor of Sahmyook University, points out that the Korean ACT movement is “a great experiment.” He makes four significant observations about the ACT movement: (1) it started as a grass roots movement within the church; (2) it has been useful in keeping Adventist students faithful to the church and in AAMM, Vol. 1,
evangelizing non-Adventist students; (3) it has been a successful and spontaneous lay movement ; and (4) it was not imported from any other country, but was a local response to current problems, and has become an example of a successful campus ministry for other countries (Oh, 1997, p. 9). IV. The Current Situation of Adventist Campus Ministry in Korea A. Statistics It's frustrating that we don't have an accurate list of the Adventist students who attend non-Adventist universities and colleges. We think that on non-Adventist campuses there are many students who attended Adventist churches at high school days or graduated from Adventist Academies. But we cannot confirm the number of students. Our guess is that it is quite big. According to the final quarterly report of 2006, the number of Adventist college students was 4,777 (Korean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2006). But this number was based on the quarterly report of the five local conferences which included the number of Sahmyook University and College (an Adventist university and a college) students. It may well represent nothing more than the number of college students who participated in Sabbath worship. According to a report from the ACT president, as of August of 2007, 553 college and university students were registered with ACT, and of them only 305 students took an active part. Nationally 11 field staff including 2 full-time field staff are working on nonAdventist campuses. Twelve pastors are involved in campus ministry. These consist of the AY Directors of the local conferences, ACT church pastors, and local church pastors. Two ACT churches are running in two of the local conferences. ACT has been enrolled as a formal student group with the Studentsâ€™ Affairs Department of only one educational institution. B. Activities Since SDA campus ministry in Korea was initiated to care for the Adventist students attending non-Adventist colleges and universities, evangelism through campus ministry has been a low priority, even after the 1980â€™s when an evangelistic dimension was added to 96
Adventist campus ministry. Only after ACT churches were established evangelistic results began to appear. However, the numbers have been disappointingly low, even up to the present. Campus meetings have been established by each college or in each area where there are several non-Adventist campuses in close proximity to each other. Meeting rooms near the campuses have been found. During vacations many revival meetings are held by the various conferences or by the union conference, and these meetings help college students to be united in their faith. It is unfortunate that only a few college students are involved in important roles in their local churches. Mostly, local churches and campus ministry have very little relationship with each other. Most campus ministry activities are led by field staff and ACT churches function as outposts for campus ministry. The local conferences and the union conference directly support campus ministry both financially and administratively. C. Structure Adventist campus ministry in Korea is currently structured in an odd way. Firstly, the main body of the campus ministry has no clear relationship to the local church. ACT is a church organization belonging to the Adventist Youth department. Yet local churches have no responsibility for campus ministry. Such activities are engaged in by college students alone, without any connection to the local churches near the campus. The college students get help directly from the local or union conference, not from the local churches where they attend on every Sabbath. Secondly, the leadership of campus is strangely divided into three: the local or union conference, the ACT churches, and the ACT Club. As mentioned above, ACT is an official organization under the direction of the AY department of the church. However, most ministry activities and plans are made and implemented by the students themselves. Since the establishment of the ACT churches, many college students have attended them. These churches seem to be the center for campus ministry activities and meetings. The ACT Club also plays a significant role in campus ministry in terms of its members experience and their money. These days they are trying to make their own corporation. The peculiar structure outlined here, provides a degree of safety through its shared responsibility. However it has often made ACT members confused. It is one reason why SDA campus ministry has not been more effective. AAMM, Vol. 1,
V. Suggestions for the Structure of SDA Campus Ministry It is desirable for SDA campus ministry to operate from within the official church structures and to have good relationships with all levels of the organization: 1) in order to prevent complications between church administration, campus ministry groups and local churches, 2) to maintain the concept of one church as the remnant church, and 3) because Adventist church members often lack understanding of outside groups. Nevertheless, changes to the current structures are needed. Four possible structural models, and the advantages and disadvantages of each are presented below. A. The AY Model (A Local Conference Centered Model) In this structure the local conference leads campus ministry together with the local churches which are located near colleges or universities. Even though the AY department would not have an official central organization separate from the local church, it would manage activities at the area level where necessary. This model could have an area wide organization without any national level leadership. Here the conference AY department could lead out and give direction to ACT according to its plans, and ACT members could be involved in local churches as church members as well as doing evangelistic work on campus. If necessary, one of the local church pastors could be assigned as an advisor for ACT in his local area. The effectiveness for such a structure would be seen as each local conference and union conference youth department makes campus ministry a first priority and one of its prime responsibilities. The conference youth departments should also plan to overcome any decline in student enthusiasm for campus ministry. B. The Para-Church Model (An ACT Club Centered Model) This model would allow the ACT club to manage campus ministry independently. The ACT club would lead campus ministry with its own plans and finance, and the union and local conference would support it financially and advise it administratively. The ACT club would set up action plans for campus ministry, maintain field staff, and manage all the evangelistic activities on college campuses. 98
Several branches could be established by each local conference which would support and guide campus ministry activities. The ACT club would maintain its own organization as distinct from the local church, but all students would serve the local church on Sabbaths while working on campus during the rest of the week. The real advantage of this model is the spontaneity derived from the ACT membersâ€™ feeling of belonging, plus the special focus and experience that its members would bring to campus ministry. In this model the center of the evangelistic work of the Adventist church changes from the pastor and the church to lay people and professionals. During the last one hundred years the Adventist church in Korea has worked with pastors, institutes, and churches in the center of its evangelistic work. This has resulted in a lack of evangelistic fervor among the laity of the church. Korean society, however, is gradually becoming more fractionalized and specialized so that now the church cannot avoid relying on professionals to contact other professionals. The pastor alone cannot assume all responsibility for contact with all classes of people. This may well prove to be a better evangelistic strategy anyway. In this model there is potential for conflict between the church administrators and ACT club leadership concerning campus ministry. Financial matters may become a source of tension, as a great percentage of financial support for the ACT club comes from the union conference and local conferences. In such a situation, the ACT club would be well advised to seek other financial sponsors for their campus ministry. C. The ACT Church Model (An ACT Church Centered Model) ACT churches can be useful centers for campus ministry if they are supported and guided wisely by the church. The AY director himself may be in charge of the ACT church, and he can plan and run the church. Then the ACT church can select field staff by itself, and teaching, evangelizing, and nurturing college students. When the ACT church members, ie college students, graduate, they may go back to their home churches or local churches and serve as regular members. In this model, students who attend regular local churches near the ACT church could also be trained for campus ministry in an ACT church. In this way, regular local churches can develop a real concern about campus ministry. Since the pastor of the ACT church is the AY director of a local conference, he may be able to get help for campus ministry more easily from the local churches, and he may have fewer problems AAMM, Vol. 1,
when sending back ACT church members to their home churches after their graduation. This model can reduce the problems of local churches with the ACT churches because of their focus on campus ministry.. In addition, the ACT church pastor, who is the AY director of the conference, might have more concern about campus ministry rather than solely about the ACT church itself. This model also can be a method for pioneering churches in areas with many campuses near each other. D. The CAM (Christâ€™s Ambassador Mission) Model (A Local Church Centered Model) CAM started as the college department of the church school of Yoeui-Do Full Gospel Church and it enlarged to become a college campus ministry group in 1980. The members of CAM do evangelistic activities such as small group ministry, training disciples, and conduct bible studies on campus during the week, and serve in their church on Sundays. They maintain the belief that the church and the campus are one. Now they are registered as a regular student group on many campuses. The Adventist church is not like the Full Gospel Church in so many ways. Yet this model is a structure where the AY department of a local church concentrates on campus ministry. CAM which began campus ministry at the local level in the1980s shows that it is possible for the Adventist church to build a unique model where the local church would lead campus ministry on a nearby campus. If everyone agrees that there should be a special department for evangelizing children and academy students, it is only natural for every church, especially the churches near college campuses, to have a special department for college campus ministry. If many local churches have their own department for campus ministry at the local church level, the union and local conferences could support them financially as far as field staff are concerned. This model could well be the best strategy for Korean SDA campus ministry. This model could bring an epochal change to the evangelistic paradigm of the Korea SDA church. Generally we regard adults as the center and prime target for evangelism, and young people as a secondary target group. However, in the CAM model, college students who are a bridge group between adults and young people become the prime group for evangelism. In this way both these age groups can be encouraged to participate in evangelism more fervently. Such a strategy can in this way increase the efficiency of evangelism. People from the elite classes can be won to Christ in a 100
comparatively short time. They will then make a real contribution in their local churches. And in time the Korean church will be revived by young people, and the church at large will overcome the present big evangelistic slump. VI. Summary and Conclusion In our modern society the importance of universities and colleges can hardly be overestimated. It is not an exaggeration to say that we are in the middle of an invisible battle field in terms of winning college students who will be leaders in society and the church. The Christian churches very early recognized the importance of such universities and the Korea Adventist church also started campus ministry in 1966. However, currently the campus ministry of the Korea Adventist church is focused on nurturing Adventist students amid the secular campus culture and not so much on evangelizing the general student population. Even though ACT is an official and recognized part of the Korean Adventist church, it is being led by three groups: the AY department of the union and the local conferences, the ACT churches, and the ACT club. We must discuss ways to simplify this complicated structure to increase the efficiency of campus ministry. In this article four alternatives were presented: 1) A union and local conferences AY department centered model, 2) An ACT club centered model, 3) An ACT church centered model, and 4) a local church centered model. The church should have much more concern about campus ministry and decide on a more efficient structure.
Jungwoong. (1991). Daehakgyoyookeui Pyeongdeungseonggwa Soowoulsung [Equality and Excellency of College Education]. In Hopyo Jung (Ed.), Daehakgwa Daehakgyoyook [College and College Education]. Seoul, Korea: Gyoyook Gwahaksa. Jang, Jinho. (1999). Hanguk Gidok Haksaeng Undongui Hyeonsilgwa Gwaje [The reality and task of the Christian student movement in Korea]. In Hakwon Bogeumhwa Christian Saenaegireul Wihan Hyeopuihoe. (Ed.),
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Daehaksaenghwal Giljabi [Guidelines for Christian freshmen]. Seoul, Korea: Hong Sung. Jeon, Taekbu. (1974). Hanguk Gidokgyo Cheongnyeon Undong [History of the Christian student movement in Korea] (Chap.). In Hanguk Gidokgyo Gyoyuksa [The history of Korean Christian education]. Seoul, Korea: Daehan Gidokgyo Gyoyuk Hyeophoe. Jo, Sangwon. (2002). Jigeumi Got Sangsareulgun Ganghyang Soojungyi Julsili Piryohan Taeida [Now is the Time to be Changed]. In Sunghun Lee, et. al., Gunganghan 12 Gyohoi: Cheongnyundaehakbu Buheungjeolluak [12 Healthy Churches: A Revival Strategy for Youth and College Department]. Seoul, Korea: Gidoksinmoonsa. Jun, Byeongduk. (1997, September–October). Chuksa [Congratulatory Remarks]. In ACT 30junyeon Ginyeom Teujipho [ACT Bulletin] (p. 3). Kim, Inho. (1988). Bigidokgyo Daehaksaeng-i Bon Hanguk gidokgyo[Christianity in Korea through the eye of nonChristian college students]. Seoul, Korea: Joy. Kim, Sehan. (1965). Baejae 80nyeonsa [The history of 80 years of Baejae College]. Seoul, Korea: Baejae College. Kim, Yonah. (1991). Chongshin 90nyeonsa: 1901-1991 [History of 90 years of Chongshin University: 1901-1991]. Seoul, Korea: Yang Moon. Kim, Youngcheol. (1993). Hanguk Gidok Cheongnyeon Haksaeng Undongsa: 1897-1987 [The history of the Christian student movement in Korea: 1897-1987]. Seoul, Korea: Hanguk Gidok Haksaenghoe Chulpanbu. Korea National Statistical Office. (2007). Statistics of Youth in 2007. Korean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Adventist Youth Department. (1990). Jaerim Cheongnyeon Yoram [Adventist Youth Guidebook]. Seoul, Korea: Korean Publishing House. Lee, Jeongho. (1997, September-October). ACTui yeoksa [The history of ACT]. In ACT 30junyeon Ginyeom Teujipho [ACT Bulletin] (pp. 11–20). Molnar, Bernie. Developing an Effective Campus Ministry. (1989, Feburary). Dialogue, 25–27. Nam, Daegeuk, (1997, September–October). ACT Hangjeon [Acts of Act]. In ACT 30junyeon Ginyeom Teujipho [ACT Bulletin] (pp. 21–22). Oh, Mankyu. (1997, September–October). ACT 30junyeonui Jaerimgyohoesajeok Uiui [The significance of thirty years of 102
ACT in SDA church history]. In ACT 30junyeon Ginyeom Teujipho [ACT Bulletin] (pp. 8â€“9). Park, Joosung. (2005). Gyohoireul Teonaneun Cheongsonyeon Yiyooiteotda [There are Reasons for Young People to Leave the Church]. Seoul, Korea: Eunheagihoik. White, Jerry. (1983). The Church and the Parachurch. Portland, OR: Multnomah. Yu, Jae Deok. (1994). Gidok Cheongnyeon Haksaeng Undongui Banghangseong [The direction of the Christian student movement]. Seoul, Korea: Jung In.
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Jewish Early Childhood Education and Jesusâ€™ Education Soodong Choi ABSTRACTâŽŻ Early childhood education represents a unique opportunity to engage both young children and their parents in a rich and meaningful communal life. At this stage of their lives, parents of young children are open to considering questions of identity and connection for themselves and their children. More specifically, the raising of young Jewish children offers Jewish communities an unrivaled opportunity to engage young families and deepen their Jewish journeys. This study compares the Jewish early childhood education and with that of Jesus. The synagogue was the center of the Jewish early childhood education. However Jesus was not educated in the synagogue. The Jews taught from the Mishnah as their central text for the synagogue education. Jesus had a different experience. He valued useful work, the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and the experiences of life as the prime sources of His education. This study seeks to understand the reason why He did so. Those four elements that Jesus chose can be characterized as the NEWS of Jesus when their first letters become an acrostic. The NEWS of Jesus finally will be compared with the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9) and Luke 2:52. Keywords: Jews, education, childhood, synagogue, rabbinical education, Mishnah I. Introduction
Manuscript received May 13, 2009; revised July 29, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Soodong Choi (Ph.D., Associate Professor) is with Early Childhood Education Department, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea; Associate Dean, External Affairs.
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The early years of a child’s life have a substantial impact on brain development, socio-emotional intelligence and personal identity. Brain research has shown that the first three to five years of life are a time of extraordinary brain development. Jewish early childhood scholars assert that during this period of amazing growth, Jewish experiences lay the groundwork for a lifelong Jewish identity and create the basis upon which all future learning is built. Jewish early childhood education is about building the foundation of a strong, vibrant, joyful Jewish identity for each child. The foundations for future learning, personal relationships and communal belonging are laid down in those early childhood experiences. Thus, parents seek the best educational environment available for their children. The Jewish community must offer them excellence. An excellent synagogue early childhood program begins laying the foundations of Jewish identity in a very sacred and central place within the community. In the days of Jesus, both boys and girls attended school in Galilee. But only gifted boys continued their education beyond the age of 15, as girls were married by that age. Students probably attended school in the synagogue and were taught by the hazzan, the local Torah teacher. According to the Mishnah (the written record of oral tradition at Jesus’ time and afterward), students followed a specific educational plan: ● Study began at age five or six in elementary school, called bet
sefer, with memorization and study of the Torah.
● At age twelve, boys began studying the more complicated oral
interpretation of the Torah. Question and answer sessions between teachers and students were added to the memorization drills. ● These boys became religious adults at the age of thirteen. ● After age twelve or thirteen, gifted students might continue their studies with a local rabbi in beth midrash (meaning “house of study,” or secondary school). Here a more intense process of understanding and applying the Torah and oral tradition to specific situations was conducted. ● Truly gifted individuals would travel and study with a famous rabbi as a talmid or disciple. The disciple’s goal was to become like their rabbi by learning and applying the wisdom of Torah and oral tradition to daily situations. ● Students learned a trade at twenty. ● Students were considered fully able scholars at thirty. (www.pottershouseschool.org).
Since knowledge of the community was passed on orally, memorization of tradition and Godâ€™s Word were essential. By the time a person was an adult, he knew most of the Scriptures by heart. If someone recited a passage, the audience would know whether it was quoted accurately or not. In his ministry Jesus, in keeping with his culture, simply began with "It is written..." knowing his audience would recognize an accurate quotation. II. Synagogue Education The New Testament records more than ten occasions on which the ministry of Jesus took place in the synagogue. The Gospels record that "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues." (Matt 4 :23). The synagogue was school, meeting place, courtroom, and a place of prayer. In some towns, the synagogue may even have provided lodging for travelers. It was the place where small groups of Jewish students assembled for Scripture reading and discussion of the Torah and oral tradition. This meant that worship and study, friendship and community celebration, and even the governing of the community were all done by the same people in the same place. By the first century, a synagogue was found in most of the towns and villages of Galilee. The Gospels specifically mention those of Nazareth (Matt13:54) and Capernaum (Mark 1:21). Ellen G. White (1940) wrote that, The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things... As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. (p. 70). Why did Jesus avoid such rabbinical education which Jewish leaders regarded as the best? The same author gives us the answer. The schools of His time, with their magnifying of things small and their belittling of things great, He did not seek. His education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life - God's lesson books, full of instruction to all who bring to them the willing hand, the seeing eye, and the understanding heart. (White, 1952b, p. 77). AAMM, Vol. 1,
While some authors assert that Jesus was educated by the traditional Jewish school system (Wilson, 1975, p. 23), since Jesus was called as ‘Rabbi’ both by his followers and enemies, the Jewish leaders once asked “how did this man get such learning without having studied?” (John 7:15, NIV). The clear implication is that he never attended their schools! Thus these Jewish leaders concluded that Jesus understood both Hebrew, the language of the Bible, and Aramaic, the language in which religious discussion was held. Yet they knew that Jesus had not learnt the Bible at the village school until the age of twelve nor at the local synagogue. III. Problems of the Rabbinical Education Ellen G. White wrote about the formalism of rabbinical education, and the fact that tradition had, in a great degree, been substituted for the Scriptures. The teachers gave their attention merely to matters of ceremony and ritual. She plainly stated that that “which was regarded as superior education was the greatest hindrance to real development. Under the training of the rabbis the powers of the youth were repressed. Their minds became cramped and narrow.” (White, 1940, p. 69). Further, she wrote that, The Jewish child was surrounded with the requirements of the rabbis. Rigid rules were prescribed for every act, down to the smallest details of life. Under the synagogue teachers the youth were instructed in the countless regulations which as orthodox Israelites they were expected to observe. (White, 1940, p. 84). That was why Jesus did not interest Himself in these matters. From childhood He acted independently of the rabbinical laws. However, the Jewish scholars were very impressed by the child Jesus when He visited the temple in Jerusalem on the Passover when He became twelve years’ old. In the words of Ellen White, they found His understanding of the prophecies far exceeded theirs. In this thoughtful Galilean boy they discerned great promise. They desired to gain Him as a student, that He might become a teacher in Israel. They wanted to have charge of His education, feeling that a mind so original must be brought under their molding. (White, 1940, p. 80). However, Jesus refused their offer and went back to his home with his parents. This was the beginning of the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders. In the four gospels, there are many stories of disputes between Jesus and the Pharisees. For example, in 108
Mark 7, the scribes and Pharisees complained about His disregard of the traditions of ceremonial purification. The rules in regard to purification were numberless. Yet, Jesus had little regard for these rabbinical requirements associated with ceremonial defilement, and the endless round of washings and purifications. Where did all these rules and regulations originate? How did they become such important traditions that any Jewish person neglecting them was thought of as a heinous sinner, who would be punished both now and in the next life? It was even regarded as a virtue to destroy such a transgressor! A. The Mishnah These laws of ceremonial defilement were contained in the sixth order of the Mishnah, the major source of religious texts for rabbinic Judaism. The Mishnah was the first recording of the oral laws of the Israelites, as championed by the Pharisees, and is considered the primary work of rabbinic Judaism. It was the full tradition of the Oral Torah, as formulated by the rabbis in the first centuries of the Christian Era. These traditions could not be written down, but had to be transmitted and learned by word of mouth. This restriction was observed quite scrupulously throughout the eras of the Mishnah and the Talmud. Mishnah, a Hebrew term meaning "repetition" or "study," is the name given to the oldest post-biblical codification of Jewish oral law. Together with the Gemara (later commentaries on the Mishnah itself), it forms the Talmud. Between 400 BC and the beginning of the Christian Era, the biblical laws of the Torah were intensively studied, applied to new situations, and supplemented by popular traditions and by precedents established by prominent leaders. This material, transmitted by word of mouth and known as the Oral Torah for a great length of time, defined the meaning of biblical laws. By looking at the Mishnah in detail, one can easily see why Jesus was not interested in the education of the rabbinical schools. One can appreciate what Ellen White meant when she characterized these schools as magnifying small things and belittling great things. (See White, 1952, p. 77). The Pharisees placed the authority of their traditions above that of Scripture itself, thus going against the Word of God. The scholar Joachim Jeremias (1979) affirms that for the Pharisees, the oral tradition was "above the Torah," in authority and that the written esoteric scribal teachings were regarded as inspired, even surpassing AAMM, Vol. 1,
the canonical books "in value and sanctity" (pp. 236, 238â€“239). Another scholar, Alfred Edersheim (1997, Vol. 1) also points out that traditional law was of "even greater obligation than Scripture itself" (p. 98). The Mishnah consists of 6 orders (sedarim): Zeraim ("Seeds"), treating agricultural laws; Moed ("Seasons"), Sabbath and festivals; Nashim ("Women"), marriage, divorce, and family law; Neziqin ("Damages"), civil and criminal jurisprudence; Qodashim ("Holy Things"), sacrificial cult and dietary laws; and Tohorot ("Purifications"), ritual defilement and purification (Neusner, 1991). B. Sabbath Regulations The major conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders focused on his "violation" of Sabbath rules and regulations that every devout Jew was expected to honor. Through the centuries, Jewish people developed rules and regulations to be certain that no work was done on the Sabbath. They defined work. For example, a person must not have access to the tool of his trade on the Sabbath. A tailor could not carry a needle and a school teacher could not read during those hours. Strict regulations forbade cooking and prescribed correct ways to allow lamps to burn on the Sabbath. There were regulations about handling the dead, about rescues from accidents on the Sabbath and even about how to deal with house fires. A person was not to ask a Gentile to extinguish the flames during the hours of the Sabbath. But if a Gentile extinguished the flames voluntarily, he should not be hindered. The rules and regulations prescribed what might or might not be saved if a personâ€™s house caught on fire. Only those clothes that were absolutely necessary could be saved. But one could put on a dress, save it, then go back and put on another. Other regulations controlled how far a Jew could walk on a Sabbath. This distance was known as a Sabbath day's journey (see Acts 1:12). If a hen laid an egg on the Sabbath, it could not be eaten. But if the hen had been kept solely for the purpose of fattening it, the egg could be eaten, since it could be seen that a part of the hen had fallen from it! These regulations considered studying the Mishnah on the Sabbath more important than studying the Bible. Sabbath regulations were extremely important religious expressions in Jewish life. In Jesus' ministry, his actions on Sabbaths often distressed religious leaders (see Matt 12:1, 2; Luke 110
14:1-3). A failure to observe these regulations guaranteed that an Israelite would suffer the severe anger of religious leaders. C. Sabbath Conflict No wonder that Jesus’ major contradictions with Pharisaic law were especially apparent in the rules of Sabbath observance. Edersheim (1997, Vol. 2) writes that "On no other subject is Rabbinic teaching more painfully minute and more manifestly incongruous to its professed object." The same author then charges the scribes with "terribly exaggerated views on the Sabbath" and "endless burdensome rules with which they encumbered everything connected with its sanctity" (pp. 52, 53). In not less than twenty-four chapters [of the Mishnah], matters are seriously discussed [regarding Sabbath observance] as of vital religious importance, which one would scarcely imagine a sane intellect would seriously entertain…. Yet in all these wearisome details there is not a single trace of anything spiritual—not a word even to suggest higher thoughts on God’s holy day and its observance.( Edersheim, 1997, Vol. 2, pp. 778–779). The Mishnah had the 39 categories of activity prohibited on Sabbath divided into four groups: The first eleven categories are activities required to bake bread. The next thirteen categories are activities required to make a garment. The next nine categories are activities required to make leather. The final six categories are activities required to build a house. George Knight (1992) called the Jewish Sabbath rules the “logic of the slippery slope.” They wished to protect the law from the slightest personal indiscretion and guard the Sabbath from being violated. To accomplish this there were 1,521 or 39 x 39 detailed regulations. (p. 25). This illustrates what a complicated machinery of merely external ordinances traditionalism was set in motion, how utterly unspiritual the whole system was, and how it required no small amount of learning and ingenuity to avoid committing grievous sin. Interestingly enough, modern Jewish rabbis and scientists have invented ‘grama (indirect)’ methods to avoid direct violation of Sabbath restrictions. For example, they have invented a ‘Sabbath elevator’ which operates without pressing buttons. They also have ‘Sabbath phones’ and ‘Sabbath clocks’, all working with grama methods (Bartholet, 1994, p. 48). Pharisaism is still well and alive.
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D. The Cost As one reads the Gospels, the reader could easily conclude that almost every act of Jesus was in conflict with these Mishnaic laws. The controversies Jesus had would never have happened were it not for the Pharisees’ exaggerated views about things that were forbidden or allowed on the Sabbath. The Jewish leaders came to the place where His open rebellion against their ‘sacred rules’ could not be overlooked any more. So, in accordance with their rules and regulations Jesus was sentenced to death. Eventually, it cost Him His life. IV. The NEWS of Education As mentioned above, Jesus’ “education was gained directly from the Heaven-appointed sources; from useful work, from the study of the Scriptures and of nature, and from the experiences of life.” (White, 1952b, p.77) W. D. Frazee has characterized Jesus’ education as the N-E-W-S of education. He has made an acrostic of the first letters of the four elements – Nature (N), experience of life (E), useful work (W), and Scripture (S). Nature represents intellectual education. Experience of life represents social education. Useful work represents physical education and scripture represents spiritual education. This study now turns to a consideration of each of these categories. A. Nature Robin C. Moore states, Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world. (as quoted in http://ectc.nde.ne.gov/nature/nature.htm, Nature Education for Young Children, para.2). Young children need nature to balance the over-stimulating and sometimes violent media world in which they live. Being outdoors during the early years of a child’s life helps the child to establish a 112
love of nature and an appreciation for its life cycle. By connecting with the natural world, children develop and grow into adults who care about the environment and continue to nurture it. Children have been allowed to become disconnected from the natural world for a variety of reasons, including safety issues and the attraction of electronic media such as television, computers, and video games. Children’s outdoor time has also become more associated with structured activities such as sports and other organized events. With young children spending less time in natural settings, they are becoming more uncomfortable with outdoor textures and sensory information due to this lack of exposure. This trend needs to be reversed. People must develop awareness about the importance of the natural setting in the educational development of children. Richard Louv (2006) has outlined evidence that suggests that children and adults benefit so much from contact with nature that land conservation can now be viewed as a public health strategy. B. Experience of Life Many people have commented on the value of experience of life in education. For instance Aldous Huxley said, "Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” For Vernon Sanders Law, "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." Archibald McLeish commented that, "There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience." Dan Stanford quipped, "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want." And Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said, "You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful flower garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if you experience losses, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain and learn to accept it, not as a curse or punishment but as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose." Ellen G. White’s philosophy of education remains the single most important driving force behind Adventist education, though she died in 1915. She called nature the lesson book of life. Notice, in the following extended quotation, that she constantly connects nature with experience of life. As each thing in nature ministers thus to the world's life, it also secures its own. ‘Give, and it shall be given unto you.’ Luke 6:38 is the lesson written no less surely in nature than in the pages of Holy Writ….The lesson of seed sowing teaches liberality. ‘He which AAMM, Vol. 1,
soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.’ 2 Corinthians 9:6 …. As parents and teachers try to teach these lessons, the work should be made practical. Let the children themselves prepare the soil and sow the seed. As they work, the parent or teacher can explain the garden of the heart, with the good or bad seed sown there, and that as the garden must be prepared for the natural seed, so the heart must be prepared for the seed of truth. As the seed is cast into the ground, they can teach the lesson of Christ's death; and as the blade springs up, the truth of the resurrection. As the plant grows, the correspondence between the natural and the spiritual sowing may be continued. (White, 1952b, pp. 103, 109, 111). C. Useful Work In historical times, scientists and especially those who have done most to advance the development of natural philosophy, did not despise manual work and handicraft. However, these days a sharp distinction is made between the brain worker and the manual worker. The masses of today’s workforce do not receive more scientific education than their forefathers did. Yet they are deprived of an education in the workshop. In earlier times children often worked in mines or factories, from a very early age. They soon forget the little they may have learned at school. Ellen White, often commented about the value of work. It was a major feature of her philosophy of education. She wrote, Useful manual labor is a part of the gospel plan. The Great Teacher, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, gave directions to Israel that every youth should be taught some line of useful employment. Therefore it was the custom of the Jews, the wealthy as well as the poorer classes, to teach their sons and daughters some useful trade, so that, should adverse circumstances arise, they would not be dependent upon others, but would be able to provide for their own necessities. They might be instructed in literary lines, but they must also be trained to some craft. This was deemed an indispensable part of their education. (White, 1943, p. 307). D. Scripture The Bible is to become the foundation of all study. One cannot think of Jewish education without the Torah. It is revered as the most sacred written work in Judaism. Teaching children to build effective Bible study habits is wonderfully rewarding. There are so 114
many benefits to be found in giving a child the Word of God as the firm foundation for their life. Bible study is a not optional for Christians. The Word of God is the source of strength for Christian believers. It can provide direction, hope, peace, and understanding to those who apply its precepts in their lives. The Bible has an elevating influence on all who carefully read its pages. Yet, it primarily benefits people who accept its teachings as God’s will in every part of their life. King David wrote, “I have stored up your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11). He understood the importance of studying and knowing God’s Word so that he could live according to God’s will and perfect plan. God has told us about Himself throughout the Bible. He wants us to read it and know all that He has said. Ellen G. White regarded the Bible as a pure source of life principles that certainly outclasses all other worldly literature. (White, 1952b, p. 188) Its life principles are very practical, as is mentioned in the following quotation. The institutions of human society find their best models in the Word of God. For those needing instruction, in particular, there is no lack of both precept and example. Lessons of great profit, even in this age of educational progress, may be found in the history of God's ancient people. (White, 1923, p. 95). V. The Shema It is interesting to compare this N-E-W-S philosophy of human development with the experience of Jesus as described in the Gospel of Luke. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2: 52). Four elements are described here as part of His childhood development. Wisdom is for intellectual education. Stature is for physical development, favor with God is for spiritual training, and favor with man is for social education. It is even more significant when compared with the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9). The Shema is a declaration of faith, a pledge of allegiance to One God. It is said upon arising in the morning and upon going to sleep at night. It is said when praising God and when praying to Him. It is the first prayer that a Jewish child is taught to say. It is the last words a Jew says prior to death. The full Shema is comprised of three paragraphs from the Torah. The first paragraph, Deut. 6:4-9, speaks of loving God, learning the Torah, and passing on Jewish tradition to children. This paragraph is AAMM, Vol. 1,
about accepting God’s rulership in ones life. It is an affirmation of belief in God's unity and in His sovereignty over the world, the unconditional love of God, and a commitment to the study of His teachings. It emphasizes the religious duties to love God, to teach Torah to one's children, to talk of the Torah at every possible time, to put on tefillin, and to place mezuzot on the doorpost of one's home. While praying, the person praying wore a tefillin as a visible sign of God closeness to their heart and closeness to their mind, showing that every thought and emotion was directed toward God. The mezuzah scroll was attached to the doorposts to show that they were secure in God's presence. The Shema reminded Jews that: ● There is only one God. ● God is good and loves them and they should love Him. ● God’s rules apply to every part of a person’s life. ● Children should be taught about the Torah.
Jewish people believe that they have made a covenant with God. This covenant is an agreement that they will love God and follow His rules. In return God will take care of them. Saying the Shema is a way that Jewish people have of reminding themselves of their promises to God. The second verse of the Shema promises long life and good harvests to those who keep God’s rules. The third verse tells Jews to wear clothes with tzitzit’s at each corner. These are tassels made of several threads tied together. The Shema says that when people look at the tassels they will remember their promise to keep God’s rules. Some Jewish people follow this rule all the time and wear a sort of vest with tassels at the corners. Jewish people also wear a special prayer shawl called a tallit when they are praying in the synagogue. A tallit has four corners with tzitzit threaded through them. Jewish people also remind themselves about the covenant by fixing a little box called a mezuzah to each door frame of their homes. Inside the mezuzah is a piece of parchment with the Shema written on it. VI. Conclusion This study of Jewish early childhood education concludes by presenting the findings of Taylor (1999). He has shown how the 116
Shema may be incorporated into every aspect of the Christian curriculum: ● Curricular focus—God is the center of the educational program.
Christ is the “core curriculum.” context—Love is the prime environmental ingredient in this education. ● Curricular scope—This education is to be comprehensive and wholistic, involving every human faculty. ● Curricular source—The Word of God is to be internalized in the life of the teacher because a person cannot share what he does not have. ● Curricular process—Such education happens when people are “taught diligently.” Real effort, perseverance, and excellence are required. ● Curricular settings 1. “When you sit in the house”—the classroom 2. “When you walk by the way”—life experience 3. “When you lie down”—end of the day 4. “When you rise up”—start of the day ● Curricular dimensions 1. “Bind them upon your hand”—physical development 2. “Wear them as frontlets between your eyes”—intellectual development 3. “Write them on the posts of your house”—spiritual development 4. “Write them on your gates”—social development ● Curricular
Taylor (1999) also has made a table that encompasses a wholistic curriculum, which neatly summarizes Luke 2:52, the N-E-W-S of Jesus, and the Shema as follows. Intellectual
In favor of God
In favor of men
NEWS of Jesus
Experience of life
Frontlets between the eyes
Writing upon the door post
Sign upon the hands
Writing upon the gate
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References Bartholet, Jeffrey. (1994, February 28). The Law and Godâ€™s Loopholes. Newsweek, 48. Edersheim, Alfred. (1997). The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Nature Education for Young Children (para.2). Retrieved from http://ectc.nde.ne.gov/nature/nature.htm. The Thirty-nine Activities. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/39_categories_of_activity_prohibited_on_Shabbat#The _thirty-nine_activities http://www.mb-soft.com/believe/txo/mishnah.htm http://www.pottershouseschool.org http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/TalmudMap/Mishnah.html Jeremias, Joachim. (1979). Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press. Knight, George R. (1992). The Phariseeâ€™s Guide to Perfect Holiness. Boise, ID: Pacific Press. Louv, Richard. (2006). Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books Neusner, Jacob. (1991). The Mishnah, A New Translation. New Haven: Yale University Press. Taylor, John Wesley. (1999). Seminar Notes for Educators. Unpublished manuscript, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea White, Ellen G. (1923). Fundamentals of Christian Education. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association. White, Ellen G. (1940). Desire of Ages. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1942). Ministry of Healing. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1943). Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Student., Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1952a). Adventist Home. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association. White, Ellen G. (1952b). Education. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1954). Child Guidance. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association. White, Ellen G. (1977). Mind, Character and Personality, Vol. 2. Nashville, TN: Southern Publishing Association. 118
White, Ellen G. (1980). Selected Messages, Vol. 3. Washington, DC: Review and Herald. Wilson, Clifford A. (1975). Jesus the Master Teacher. Grand Rapids: Baker.
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Education and Medical Work as Tools for Mission in the Defunct Ilorin Province, Nigeria: The Shao Experience Adelowo Felix Adetunji ABSTRACTâ€”To reach out to the world with the gospel is the priority of Christian mission. In order to achieve this, missionaries usually employ various strategies in their mission fields. In this paper, an attempt is made using a historical approach to present mission education and medical services as examples of tools for mission as applied to the Shao community in the defunct Ilorin Province of Nigeria. In doing this, relevant prominent individuals were interviewed to secure first-hand information. At the same time, the works of available and relevant authors were consulted. The research revealed that the Seventh-day Adventist mission chose education while the Sudan Interior Mission made use of medical work in Shao. Each of the mission organizations succeeded in using its respective strategy as a wedge in a traditional but Muslimcontrolled mission station, Shao. It concludes that education and medical services are effective tools for mission. Keywords: education, medical work, Shao, mission, Ilorin, Africa, Nigeria, Lugard, Seventh-day Adventist I. Introduction When it comes to population, Nigeria is usually referred to as the giant of Africa. Like every other country of the world, its people practiced traditional religion before the introduction of foreign religions. In the North, Islam came to the people through the trade routes from the Mediterranean and the Nile valley. Christianity was Manuscript received May 13, 2009; revised July 29, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Adelowo Felix Adetunji (Ph.D., Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org) is with Religious Studies Department, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria. AAMM, Vol. 1,
brought to them by the returned slaves beginning from 1838 (Falk, 1985, pp. 339–341). Among the earliest missions in the SouthWestern coast were the Methodists led by a Ghanaian, Thomas Birch Freeman who came to Badagry in 1842. Three ministers of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and their wives came to start a mission station in Abeokuta in 1846. The group was led by Henry Townsend and Samuel Crowder, a Yoruba freed slave was also in the company (Baur, 2001, pp. 111–112). However, the colonial era, starting from 1885 when the British declared Nigeria a protectorate, witnessed great expansion of Christianity to different parts of the country (Falk, 1985, p. 340) Among the Christian missions that came during this period include the Seventh-day Adventists(S.D.A.) and the then Sudan Interior Mission (S.I.M.). Baur (2001) gives a later picture of the religious distribution in the country when he says: The northern region is predominantly Islamic (HausaFulani) but includes a strongly Traditionalist “middle Belt”; the eastern region is decidedly Christian with a Catholic Igbo predominance; the western region (Yoruba) is the most divided, with some 40% Christians (chiefly Protestants), one-third Muslims and the rest Traditionalist (pp. 269, 270). This paper, focuses on the various missionary enterprises and strategies carried out by the Seventh-day Adventist mission and the then Sudan Interior Mission in their typical mission stations within the Shao community. II. Colonial Administration, Native Authority and Christian Mission In relation to missionary activities in northern Nigeria as a whole, and particularly around Ilorin, it is necessary to review the interplay between the Colonial Administration, the Native Authority headed by Islamic monarchs and the missionaries. During the colonial era, it was observed that the colonial powers in their attempt to align with the Islamic native authority, provided the Muslim dominated areas with essential amenities at the expense of the non-Muslim traditional communities. Such actions effectively prevented the development of amenities for education in such communities. According to Turaki (1999), “as a policy, the Colonial 122
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Administration had no serious education programs for the nonMuslim areas and thus abandoned them to Christian missions”. (p. 308). Thus, one can say that the colonial administration created a vacuum which apparently was filled by the missionaries. Lending credence to this fact, Ralph D. Winter in Pierson (2004), declares that ninety percent of the schools were established by the Christian missions during the colonial era. (p. 267). Apart from this negligence in the area of education, the colonial administration also developed soft spots for Islamic religion. They did this probably to allay the fear of the Emirs that the missionaries may end up interfering with their religion (Ayandele, 1999, p. 129). The clarification was then made that the missionaries would not interfere with Islam. However, there was neither a plan nor promise to keep the missionaries away from their Emirates. Lugard (1912, July 25) himself acknowledged this fact (as cited in Ayandele, 1999, pp. 132, 133). What appeared as proscription of the missionaries from the Islamic dominated areas from Lugard’s end was really a warning for the missionaries not to force their way into such areas. The issue was that such ventures may have led to loss of lives for the white men. The only exception was in situation where the Muslim rulers willingly invited the missionaries to their emirates. Lugard (1906, July 23) wondered why missionaries desired to convert people who would not yield to gospel appeals. They should rather concentrate “their efforts on the teaming population of ‘pagans’ in the territory?”(as cited in Ayandele, 1999, p. 141). In addition to what looks like protection from the colonial administration, the Islamic native authority, headed by the Emirs in their respective emirates and the Sultan as the overall spiritual leader, were also out to protect Islam. The double-walled protection made missionary incursion and enterprise in some Emirates of northern Nigeria to be suicidal. Some actually lost their lives while for others, it was a “near-death” experience. Alayande’s account (1999) on this is as follows: The missionaries were very fortunate to escape being murdered in their attempt to go to Khartoun before Omdurman. In fact, perhaps never in their lives were they so near to death as they were when they arrived in Kano. There was a heated discussion for over three hours between the Emir, “Aliyu the Great” and about forty of his lieutenants. The emir was rather inclined to kill the missionaries, as majority of the chiefs wished. But the Waziri put his feet down that the missionaries should not AAMM, Vol. 1,
be molested. What made wiser counsel prevail in the Emir’s court was the military subjugation of Zinder, a neighboring town, by the Frenchman. If the Kanawa killed the missionaries, the argument went, they would suffer the same fate.” (p. 135). As the guarantor for the security of white men on the African continent, Lugard (1929, p. 589) was furious when he later learned through the British press about the humiliation and the threat to life suffered by the white men in Kano (as cited Alayande, 1999, p. 135). Consequently, he gave the instruction that “any compromise or diplomatic relationship with Kano was henceforth out of the question. As in the Ijebu Expedition, the maxims and seven Panders must follow the missionary’s trial.” (Ayandele, 1999, p. 135). Generally speaking, the efforts of the missionaries in evangelizing the Muslims did not yield much fruit. According to Ayandele (1999), Archdeacon Henry Johnson of Ilorin ancestry in 1881, declared that, “There are no more fanatical or bigoted people anywhere than in this part of the world. The rulers of the country know nothing of that compromise called religious toleration, but take their stand on the precise dogmatic teachings of the Koran.” (pp. 135–136). Considering such difficulties in reaching the Muslims with the gospel, a Church Missionary Society (CMS) source said, it is evident that if the cross would overcome the crescent, special methods of evangelism must be employed. III. Shao as a Community Shao is a traditional community of the Yoruba tribal group, that is dominant in the south-western part of Nigeria. An off-shoot town of the Old Oyo Empire, Shao is an ancient Yoruba community of about ten kilometers in the north-western direction from Ilorin in Kwara State, Nigeria. It is situated along the road that runs from the Gambari area of Ilorin through the army barracks, and from there to Sobi, Bode—Sadu and Jebba - the major route that links the north with the south—western part of Nigeria. “The town is located on the world map at longitude 40 35E and latitude 80 35N” (Oke, 1996a, p. 1). History has it that it was founded in 1779 (Emielu, 1991, p. 12) when Alaafin Abiodun (r.1774-1789) (Law, 1997, p. 395) was the paramount ruler of Oyo. According to Wole Oke(1996a), a political stalwart and early educationist in Shao,
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[the community] emerged from the collection of some small, but independent settlements that were founded at different times by hunters/warriors who, out of their love for adventure, particularly hunting expedition, or a sheer desire to find a new abode for themselves, had moved out of Oyo. These hunters/warriors left Oyo at different times (p. 2). The new settlement became prosperous for the dwellers, and it was soon populated by friends and relations from Oyoâ€“Ile and other Yoruba settlements like Ikoyi. All this happened, according to Dada (1985), about sixty-five years before Ojo Isekuse founded Ilorin the capital city of the emirate (n.p. in Oke, 1996b, p. 3). As a result of the difficulties encountered by the missionaries in reaching the Muslims directly with the gospel, they resorted to other missionary strategies. Although Shao is a typical Yoruba traditional community, her location in the heart of Ilorin emirate, and proximity to Ilorin, the seat of the Emir, give her a colorful religious history. The two mission organizations to be considered here are the Seventh-day Adventist Mission (S.D.A.) and the Sudan Interior Mission (S.I.M.) which was later changed to Evangelical Church of West Africa (E.C.W.A.). They are chosen as examples of those who had interactions with the people of Shao, Kwara State, Nigeria in their mission field. In this connection, the SDA employed the strategy of mission education while the ECWA made use of mission medical work. IV. Seventh-day Adventist Mission The Seventh-day Adventist church does not regard itself as one of many denominations but rather â€œas a movement entrusted with a momentous message and motivated by an impelling sense of mission.â€? (Maxwell, 1977, p. 7) Having been given a Christcentered message, Adventists preach the everlasting gospel of Jesus who died and rose again to give new life. The same Jesus ascended to give the world a unique hope of His return at the completion of His priestly ministry in heaven. This message engenders a mission, which Maxwell (1997) has summarizes as follows :
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to take such good news and tell it to the world . . . for it doesnâ€™t belong only to the people who happened to be Seventh-day Adventists today. It is a universal message for everyone everywhere. It is to be taken to every nation and kindred, and tongues and people; to all cities, to all villages, to every country, commonwealth, colony, and creatures. Mark 16:15 (p. 7). Formally organized as a world-wide church in 1863, the churchâ€™s executive committee at the General Conference level constituted a missionary board. It was charged to select missionaries and mission fields for the church. Although the first foreign missionary, J.N Andrews, did not go out until 1874, the church has never lost his sense of mission. Ever before the church organization, home-based evangelists had been carrying the gospel message to different lands. For instance, R.F Cottrell presented the gospel through an interpreter to a group of Seneca Indians who were Baptist. (Review and Herald, 1857, February 12, p. 117 in Maxwell, p. 155). The same year A.C. Bourdeau and Daniel T.Bourdeau reached out to French-speaking people in Vermont. There were many others doing similarly (Maxwell, 1977, p. 155). It has also been one of the churchâ€™s outreach methods to send out biblical literature. Through such means, they have reached out to many lands since the 1850s. Commenting on the reason why the church embarked on such a methods so early Maxwell (1977) says: It is easy to understand why in the 1850s Adventists sent publications instead of preachers overseas. The available ministers, over-worked, underpaid and inadequately led were unable to meet even the demands at home. . . (they) had calls for twenty times as many as they could care for and they could scarcely have served abroad before the home base organized itself in support. (p. 155). The use of tracts to reach foreign lands continued even after the 1863 organization. According to D.O. Babalola, a church historian and leader in SDA Church, Nigeria, it was through this that the adventist message reached West Africa in 1888 when F.I.U. Dolphin came across a stack of tracts at the harbour of Apan in Ghana (then Gold Coast) (Babalola, 2004, in Dayo Alao ed., p. 15). During the General Conference session of 1905, it was voted that David Caldwell Babcock be sent to carry on the work in West Africa. He arrived in Freetown with his family on October 1, 1905. While 126
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in Sierra Leone, he was invited by the Royal Niger Company from northern Nigeria and another from Lagos to extend the Seventh-day Adventist mission to Nigeria. In a conference held in Sierra Leone from December 1913, an action was taken to split up the mission field into three namely: Sierra Leone and Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria respectively. Babcock was assigned to be in charge of the new field, Nigeria (Babalola, 2004, pp. 15, 18). On March 7, 1914, D.C. Babcock and his family arrived in Lagos from Freetown along with R.P. Dolphin from Ghana and S. Morgue from Sierra Leone (Babalola, 2004, p. 19). When he got to Nigeria, he traveled northward by rail and finally made Erunmu, near Lalupon, (about sixteen miles in the North-eastern part of Ibadan), the first mission station (Agboola, 2001, p. 24). In 1915, D.C. Babcock moved further into the interior part of the country. He came to Ilorin, the capital city of the present day Kwara State. After spending some days with a white man who was also resident in the province he presented a proposal to establish a church. This was turned down and was advised to go to Shao about seven miles from Ilorin. This was partly because while Ilorin people embraced Islam, the people of Shao held strongly to Yoruba traditional religion. An Islamic historian, H.O. Danmole (1989) looked at it from another perspective when he says: in Ilorin, â€Śthe colonial administration used Islamic institutions which helped to foster the cause of Islam while it followed strictly, not only the policy of non-interference in religion, but also adopted measures which prevented the spread of mission stations such as church buildings or schools inside the main core of Ilorin town . . . . (p. 82). Shao therefore became a more favourable station for the missionary. According to S.A. Oladele, a descendant of one of the chiefs that received Babcock in Shao, it was during the reign of Emir Bawa that the missionary was directed to the Ohoro of Shao, Oba Abilude (Oladele, n.d., p. 8) On his arrival, Babcock was happily received by Ohoro Abilude and his chiefs. The missionary was warmly received and later given a parcel of land near the palace and beside the community central market. As the first missionary ever to visit the ancient community, the site convinced him of the peopleâ€™s love and acceptance. According to Rev. Solomon Oladele, the Oba and each of his chiefs decided to give a male child from their respective families as the AAMM, Vol. 1,
beginning of a nucleus of members for the new faith. This, no doubt, further encouraged the newly arrived missionary (Oladele, n.d. p. 8). A. Seventh-day Adventist Mission and Education When it comes to education, the Seventh-day Adventist church “prepares people for useful and joy-filled lives, fostering friendships with God, whole-person development, Bible-based values and selfless service in accordance with the Seventh-day Adventist mission to the world.” (West-Central Africa Division Working Policy, 2004, p. 176). The curriculum is designed in a way that students receive an academically sound education, together with spiritual qualities that can positively impact their communities as builders and responsible citizens (West-Central Africa Division, 2004, p. 177). In relation to mission, Paul Pierson identified three goals of educational institutions and they are: “to prepare leadership for the church, to be an instrument to improve society, and to evangelize non-Christian students.” (Pierson, 2004, p. 266). In her book, Education, Ellen G. White (n.d.a), paints a beautiful picture of such education thus: True education means more than the perusal of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come (p. 13). This type of knowledge that touches every facet of human endeavor is indispensable. No wonder then, that White, in one of her writings, emphasized further that a school should be established wherever there is a church, either small or large (White, n.d.b, p. 228). The reason for establishing schools along with churches as presented by Ellen G. White is not unconnected with the fact that there is a close relationship between the two. For instance, Christianity was brought by the missionaries to the Africans as a literate religion. This was because the Christian scripture must be studied for one to understand the teachings of the religion from the onset. It should be noted that the primary goal of the missionary was not education itself, but rather the knowledge of the Gospel. 128
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Education helped the missionaries establish new believers in studying and understanding the Bible. No wonder Turaki (1999) describes mission education as being “… primarily auxiliary to and a hand-maid of, evangelism and church planting.”(p. 271). Serving such an important purpose in mission work, education, as packaged by the missionaries, is regarded as the most powerful and potent instrument for evangelism and church planting (Turaki, 1999, p. 271). Commenting further on such educational role on evangelism Turaki (1999) states that: Mission education contributed immensely to the growth and development of Christianity and the general social and human development of the people. From our analysis of educational statistics, we observe that there is a correlation between education and church growth. Where…[a Church] emphasized and provided adequate education, there we see that the church is still quite strong, but where…[a Church] did not emphasize and did not provide adequate education, there we see that the church is quite weak. Education, especially at the primary level contributed immensely and more than any other means towards the growth and development of Christianity. The rapid growth and development of Christianity in the Middle Belt was as a result of massive missionary education. (pp. 309, 310) B. Adventist Mission Education in Shao In tracing the history of mission strategy, Beaver (2004) identified Boniface who preached to German pagans in the eighth century, as the first example of someone with a well-developed strategy for mission. One of the methods he employed was the establishment of an academic school. The success recorded was wonderful. (p. 241).It is little wonder therefore, that the first Adventist missionary to come to Nigeria followed the same method in Shao shortly after establishing a church. As a base for the preaching stations, Elder D.C. Babcock, in consultation with the church leaders, approached the community leader with a request to start a school in 1916. This was to serve the people. The response from the Oba and his chiefs was favorable, and the school was established. The enrollment was between twenty and twenty-five from the outset. A church historian and Adventist educator, D.T. Agboola (2002), explains more about the school, when he says, AAMM, Vol. 1,
the main subjects that were taught in the school included reading, writing, arithmetic and Bible which was the most important of the subjects. Beside these, the students were taught trades like brick-making and laying, carpentry, furniture making, agriculture and gardening. Babcock was both the manager and the head teacher. His wife and their interpreters also helped him to teach the slower students. The system called monitorial was used in order to inculcate in the students the sense of responsibility and to make up for the shortage of instructors. . . .The work at Shao was taking good shape by 1917 and the students made encouraging progress both in their bookwork, spiritual experience and vocational education ( p. 26). The school later became a central boarding school for training young people from the three stations namely: Erunmu, Shao and Ipoti. It was upgraded to the first Seventh-day Adventist formal school in Nigeria by the year 1918. Although the school suffered many set backs, it was not without a legacy for the people (Osundina, 2002, p. 21). The comprehensive nature of the training, as described above, characterizes the Adventist missionary package. Describing such package a specialist in Christian education and former secretary of Nigeria Union of Seventh-day Adventist church, (S.N. Chioma, 2004) says, Seventh-day Adventist missionaries are known for their “comprehensive package” which, when fully executed, results in the complete transformation and development of the entire person and the community. Following Jesus’ example, Adventists combine teaching with preaching and healing. Thus, they establish churches, schools (at all levels), medical institutions, . . .(p. 11). Another relevant point in this development is the relationship between the school and the church’s mission. Up to the 1970s, pupils under the mission school were made to attend the Sabbath worship on Saturdays. This was strictly supervised by the teachers and attendance taken by the committed school prefects. Those who failed to turn up received strokes of the cane on the assembly ground every Monday morning. However, for many of the pupils, including this writer, attendance was not burdensome; rather, it was an opportunity to keep away from the farm work with our parents, 130
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which of course, was not pleasant. In this way, the majority of the pupils whose parents were not Christians imbibed the faith and are today serving in different capacities of the church – as ordained ministers and committed laymen. In this way, education was tied to religion to benefit the mission, the community, and the individuals connected with the system (Adetunji, 2007, p. 275). This confirms the fact that mission schools are effective tools for evangelism. The missionary enterprises in Shao had a positive impact on the social life of the people and were becoming most popular among the neighboring communities. An interview with one of the early pupils of SDA mission school in Shao, Amos Amuda (one of the early beneficiaries of the Seventh-day Adventist educational system in Shao, personal interview, July 6, 2004) helps us understand the impact of Adventism in the community. According to him, the church with its strategic location in the heart of the community was the first building ever to be roofed with iron sheets in Shao. It was also on this site that cement and paint were first used in the town. It is little wonder, therefore, that the first three local people to roof their houses were also Seventh-day Adventists. In the same vein, it was an Adventist who first used cement to plaster his house in the community (Amuda, 2004, July 6). Such development also agrees with Pierson’s observation (2004) that, while the primary aim of mission has always been to present the Good News of Christ, the process always culminates in the “transformation of the social situations, the physical conditions, and spiritual lives of the believers” (Pierson, 2004, p. 262). V. Sudan Interior Mission (SIM)/ Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) In the year 1893, two Canadians, Walter Gowans and Rowland Bingham joined with an American by the name Thomas Kent in Toronto North America to found a mission called Sudan Interior Mission (SIM). It was established with the aim of evangelizing the interior part of Africa. As part of this account, a scholar and prominent leader in SIM/ECWA, Yusuf Turaki (1999) asserts that this mission, though with a humble beginning, grew steadily “to become one of the largest evangelical non-denominational and international mission agencies in the world today” (p. 3). The three pioneer missionaries’ first attempt to get established in Africa in 1893 was not successful. Neither was the next attempt in 1900. It was the attempt made in 1901, under the name ‘Sudan Party’ and AAMM, Vol. 1,
championed by Alex W. Banfield, E. Anthony, Albert Taylor and Charles Robinson, that recorded success. The team arrived and stayed in Lokoja for a few months from November 1901. During the brief stay, the missionaries visited some parts of the Western Nigeria, especially Kabba area in search for a mission station. They finally settled at Pategi (Nupeland), which became their first Nigeria mission station in March 1902 (Turaki, pp. 176, 177). Within a decade, the mission spread to many other areas including Egbe mission station in Yagbaland which was opened in 1908. It is interesting to note that although both Pategi and Egbe were inside the Ilorin province, the gospel was resisted in Nupe, in Muslim dominated Pategi, but their work was was well received by the Yoruba traditional dominated Egbe station. The positive response from Egbe (Yagbaland) made the mission turn its attention to the traditional areas. According to Yusuf Turaki, â€œthe mission launched out from this station (Egbe) to reach the entire Yagbaland, and eventually, Igbominalandâ€? (Turaki, 1999, p. 179). In the latter, the author further stated that, Oro Agor mission station, also in the Ilorin province, was the first and was opened in 1912 by Rev. Guy W. Playfair. From Igbominaland, the mission spread its tentacles to Ilorin city in 1946 through the effort of Rev. and Mrs. C.P. Jensen (p. 196). The gospel message by the S.I.M. finally reached Shao in 1952 through Rev. and Mrs. Derek C. Porter (Porter, 1986, September 28, in Oke, 1996a, pp. 35, 37). When the American missionary, Rev. Derek C. Porter of the Evangelical Church of West Africa, (ECWA), as the mission was renamed in 1956 when the management was taken over by the nationals from the missionaries, came to Shao in 1952, the Adventist mission had existed for about 37 years in the community (Adetunji, 2007, p. 122). Rev. D.C. Porter came to Shao during the reign of Ohoro Yusuf Afolabi Alabi, Oyerinde II, the paramount ruler of the community. He paid several visits to the Oba before he finally made known his intention to open up a mission station in Shao. Permission was granted, and by February 1952 the church began in earnest with eight nucleus members raised by the King and his chiefs (Oladele n.d. p. 13) A. SIM/ECWA Medical Work As a wedge into the Muslim emirates, SIM made great use of medical work. The mission pioneered and made substantial contribution in the northern part of Nigeria where the largest part of the population are Muslims. They are larger than any other Christian 132
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mission in the area. These medical activities are concentrated in provinces like Kano, Katsina, Bauch, Ilorin, Kabba to mention but few. Broadly speaking, the mission embarked on two categories of medical work, namely general medical practice and leprosy medical work. The first category consists of Dispensaries and Hospitals. Here, the medical care is primary health care services and the treatment of different types of common diseases and simple physical sicknesses. The dispensaries grew out of the simple medical home treatments offered by the pioneering missionaries. Increase in the demands for such medical services necessitated some building construction. Such facilities, in one form or another, were made available in every mission station established by the ECWA. (Turaki, 1999, p. 312). It is a thing of interest to know that SIM established 110 dispensaries and treatment centers between 1902 and 1954. They also built many hospitals. The usual practice in each of these mission dispensaries and hospitals is for the dispensary/hospital attendant or chaplain to conduct, on a daily basis, a short worship service consisting of prayers and singing. Many of these dispensaries/out-patient clinics which were built in Ilorin Province include: Ilorin, 1946, Oke-Ode in 1947, Oro Agor in 1912, Igbaja in 1933, Shao in 1953. Also the Ilorin provincial Leprosarium was established in 1943 and the leprosy camp in Shao began operation in 1957 and Oro Agor in 1959. “There were many conversions and professions of the Christian faith resulting from the medical work.” (Turaki, 1999, pp. 313–314, 329). Where available, the author further explained, dispensaries were supervised by missionaries who were qualified registered nurses. In a general sense however, lack of enough medical personnel was one major constraint that greatly affected the mission medical work. This happened because there was no serious training of the indigenous staff until 1954, when the Egbe Nursing Training School was established. This was followed by establishment of the SIM Medical Auxiliary Training School (SIMMATS) in 1959. This was opened in Jos for the training of dispensers and medical attendants (p. 313). It has also been observed that through medical work, the missionaries were able to reach not only the patients but also the community (Traditional/ Muslim) with the gospel. Even Emirs of Islamic strongholds like Kano, Katsina and the Sultan of Sokoto agreed with the idea of building chapels for worship in Leper Camps where there were about 200,000 such lepers who could be reached with the gospel in Nigeria (Turaki, 1999, p. 317). Yusuf AAMM, Vol. 1,
Turaki (1999) summarizes the relationship of the SIM medical work and evangelism thus: It would be difficult to qualify the impact of medical work and services in establishing Christianity in the Sudan…. Missionaries had access and opportunities for sharing the Gospel of Christ with whosoever came in contact with this Christian ministry of mercy and caring…. In the main, missionary medical work and services were primarily tools for evangelization. They gave SIM a very good opportunity to take the Gospel of Christ into the heart of the Muslim Emirates and some resistant traditional areas (pp. 316, 329) B. SIM/ECWA Medical Services in Shao The people of Shao are known, for their potent traditional herbal medicine. With this knowledge, the people cared for themselves medically. The coming of the Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in 1915 brought the “first aid“ form of medical care to the community. However, Reverend and Mrs. C.D Porter of the Sudan Interior Mission in 1952, made a considerable change in Shao. According to Oke (1996a), Porter came as a medical missionary and was handling the treatment of some ailments working from house to house along with the spread of the gospel. However, the volume of the health related works called for the establishment of a health centre. Between 1954 and 1956, the church’s dispensary was established in the town under the care of Reverend C.D. Porter (p. 36). In the early days of his medical services, he also had the support of some other foreign and indigenous nurses. Mrs Benith was a popular foreign nurse who served at a time when guinea worm and other dangerous diseases were plaguing the community. To reduce the plight, Reverend Porter counseled the people of Shao to sink wells instead of using rivers as sources of water. This was done and the situation changed very much. Commenting on the quality of services rendered by this establishment Oke (1996a) says: the Dispensary built by the mission (ECWA) was receiving patronage from within and outside Shao. As a matter of fact, the bulk of its patients were from Ilorin. This was so because of the high quality of dedicated service the 134
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dispensary was offering. Unlike in government owned health institutions of that time, it was abomination to dilute medicines which should not be diluted. Another factor responsible for its high level of patronage was that it was never short of drugs. On top of it all was the belief among the workers, who were of course Christians that they could only treat, it is Jesus that heals. (pp. 36, 37). David Ajao (the first baptized convert of ECWA church, Shao. oral personal interview, April 4, 2004), who served as a housecleaner to Rev. Porter and was the first to be baptized, and then ordained as elder of the local church, explained his relevance in this respect in an interview. Popularly known as Alagba (Elder), Davidâ€™s house became a mini-clinic after he left Porterâ€™s house. The services rendered by David included dressing of general wounds as well as those from tribal marks and circumcisions. He provided these services along with the treatment of minor ailments. As the volume of his own work at home was increasing, he engaged the services of his children who later became as skillful as himself in attending to their patients. As earlier observed by Turaki (1999), traditional communities like Shao suffered some deprivations of social amenities in the hands of both the colonial administration and the Native Authority (p. 316). Such deprivations include medical services. This was one of the reasons why it became a viable tool in soul wining for the missionaries. In Shao, for instance, the ECWA dispensary which was established in 1953 served the community, as the sole medical facility in that town for over twenty years. The first and only Government Health Centre was built in the 70s. In a situation like this, patients as well as their relations were easily reached with the gospel whenever they came for treatment. This influence was not limited to Shao community as the quality service attracted people from neighboring towns and villages. (Oke, 1996a, pp. 36, 37). VI. Conclusion In concluding this paper, it will be appropriate to shed light on how much value each of the missions under consideration placed on the mission strategy used by the other in Shao. That is, does the SDA mission really value medical services as a mission tool? Also, was education of any value to the SIM/ECWA mission? How have they demonstrated these in other mission stations? AAMM, Vol. 1,
It is necessary to point out that the fact that Seventh-day Adventist mission used education as a mission tool in the Shao mission station should not be misconstrued as disregard for the value of health services. The church established many clinics and hospitals in many other places in Nigeria. For instance, there are SDA hospitals in Ile-Ife Osun State, Aba, Abia State, and Jengre, Plateau State. There are mobile clinic in the Creeks of Okitipupa, Ondo State. And this list is by no means complete. Commenting on the SDA medical work in relation to mission strategy Agboola says: “Medical services have played a very important role in the spread of the gospel message in many parts of the world. Health services form one of the most effective entering ‘wedges’ for Adventism, especially in new areas.”(Agboola, 2001, p. 65). It is an undisputable fact that all these establishments are serving as tools for church growth in their respective locations. It is also equally important to state that although the ECWA Mission focused on medical services as a tool for mission in Shao, they were not totally inactive in the educational services in the community. For instance, Rev. J.A. Taiwo who served along with Rev. C. D. Porter started a primary school in 1953 (Oke, 1996a, p. 36). This school didn’t become a full fledged primary school, but remained at a kindergarten level, until 1995 when ECWA United Primary School was established (Orilowo, 2004, July 9). The absence of a bigger ECWA educational institution in Shao for all those years, did not deter the education of their members. This is because the ECWA had established many schools in places like Oke-Ode, Odo-Eku, Oro-Agor and other places in Igbominaland. They were well established. Interestingly, SDA pupils became students in these institutions when their own school in Shao suffered a brief set back in the 60s. From the foregoing therefore, one can conclude that both education and medical services are effective tools for mission. We may also conclude that each of the two missions considered, focused on one of the two modes of ministry in the Shao community as a matter of choice rather than neglect or preference.
References Adetunji, Adelowo Felix. (2007). Religion, Identity, and Social Change in Shao Community, Kwara State, Nigeria. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Religious Studies 136
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Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Ayandele, E.A. (1991). The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria 1842-1914: A Political and Social Analysis. Nigeria: Longman. Babalola, D.O. (2004). Elder David C. Babcock and Adventism in Sierra Leone 1905-1914. In Dayo Alao, 90 years of Adventism in Nigeria 1914-2004. A Compendium. Lagos, Nigeria: Communication and PARL Department of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nigeria. Baur, John. (2001). 2000 years of Christianity in Africa: An Africa Church History (2nd ed). Kenya: Pauline’s Publications Africa. Beaver, R. Pierce. (2004). The History of Mission Strategy. In Winter Hawthorne (Ed.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (3rd ed.). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Chioma, Silvanus N. (2004). Introduction. In Dayo Alao, 90 years of Adventism in Nigeria 1914-2004: A Compendium. Lagos, Nigeria: Communication and PARL Department of Seventhday Adventist Church in Nigeria. C.M.S. G3/09/03. (July 25, 1912). Unpublished Memo of Interview with Lugard. C.M.S. G3/A9/01. (July 23, 1906). Unpublished Memo. of Interview with Lugard. C.M.S. G3/A3/01. (1881). Unpublished Report on the Upper Niger Mission, by Archdeacon Henry. Dada, P.A.O. (1985). A Brief Histroy of Igbomina (Igbommna) or the People Called Igbomina/Igboona (Revised Version). n.p. Danmole, H.O. (1989). Religion and Politics in Colonial Northern Nigeria: The Case of Ilorin. Emirate. Orita, XXI/2 December. Emielu, S.A. (1991). Guide to Kwara with Special Spotlight on Ilorin City. Ilorin, Nigeria: Sam-Naak. Falk, Peter. (1985). The Growth of the Church in Africa. Kinshasa, Congo: Institute Superior Thologique. Law, Robin. In John Middleton (Ed.) (1997). Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara (Vol.4). New York: Charles Sanbner’s Sons. Lugard, F.D. (1929). The Dual Mandate. Unpublished Document. Maxwell, C. Mervyn. (1977). Tell it to the world: The Story of Seventh–day Adventists (2nd ed.). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press.
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Oke, Wole. (1996a). No Thoroughfare: The History of Oppression. Ilorin, Nigeria: Matanmi. Oke, Wole. (1996b). Shao: My People, Their Tradition, Custom and Culture. Ilorin, Nigeria: Matanmi. Oladele, S.A. (n.d.), Ibere ati Idagbasoke Ijo Kristi ni Ilu Shao ati Agbegbe Re. Ilorin, Nigeria: Okinbaloye Commercial Press. (The translations are mine). Osundina, D.A. (2004). Seventh-day Adventist Church, Oke-Ila Orangun, 80th Church Anniversary Program. Unpublished Document. Porter, D.C. (1986). Unpublished Personal Account of Rev. D.C. Porterâ€™s Missionary Work in Nigeria as related on September 28, 1986 at a Valedictory Service at the ECWA Church, Shao. Turaki, Yusuf. (1999). Theory and Practice of Christian Mission in Africa: A Century of SIM/ECWA History and Legacy in Nigeria, 1893-1993 (Vol. 1). Nairobi, Kenya: International Bible Society Africa. West-Central Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists. (2004). Working Policy. Accra, Ghana: Advent Press. White, Ellen G. (n.d.a). Education. In Spirit of Prophecy (Vol. 2). Harrah, OK: Academy Enterprises. White, Ellen G. (n.d.b). Selected Messages (Book III). In Spirit of Prophecy (Vol. 2). Harrah, OK: Academy Enterprises. Winter, Ralph D. (2004). A History of Transformation. In Winter Hawthorne (Ed.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (3rd ed.). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.
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Social Justice in Daniel 4 Sungik Kim ABSTRACT⎯ This research deals with the main message of Dan 4, social justice, one of the universal implications of the sovereignty of God. Daniel told the heathen king that God cares for oppressed people, even in foreign lands, whether they are believers or not. Daniel then preached justice to one who was responsible for social justice in the heathen kingdom (vs. 27). Through this study on the subject of social justice in Dan 4, it can be concluded that God requires a heathen king to dispense justice. The story highlights two aspects of God’s universal rule. First, every person is required to honor a vertical relationship between God and humans, by recognizing God as Creator and Savior and by obeying His law. Second, every person must also honor horizontal relationships between human beings by treating people kindly and lovingly as brothers and sisters. Keywords: social justice, cultural mandate, Daniel 4, the oppressed, Nebuchadnezzar
I. Introduction In his exile to Babylon, Daniel seemed to perceive God’s eternal purpose which would be carried out by his service in the heathen kingdom (Kim, 2005, p. 33). Whenever he had opportunity, he not only witnessed for his God in the presence of the heathen kings, but also requested repentance on behalf of his God. Furthermore, in the process of his witness to Nebuchadnezzar, he even preached about God’s justice (Dan 4:27). Using modern missiological terminology, it can be said that Daniel perceived God’s missionary calling on his Manuscript received July 10, 2009; revised Aug. 10, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Sungik Kim (Ph.D. Associate Professor, email@example.com) is with Theology Department, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea. AAMM, Vol. 1,
life in the cross-cultural context, obeyed the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, and also preached a social justice message. This essay focuses on the social justice ministry of Daniel who worked in the secular context of a heathen court. In this way, it seeks to discover some biblical foundations concerning social justice, which is a key missiological issues.
II. Social Justice in the Cultural Mandate The term “cultural mandate” refers to God’s mandate to the first human beings (Rzepkowski, 1997, pp. 89–94; Starkes, 1981, pp. 36–50). God commanded Adam and Eve to rule over creation (Gen 1:28), meaning “to share with God in the management of all that he has made” (Greenway, 2000, p. 251). Exercising dominion means to be compassionate and not exploitative (Hamilton, 1990, 138). It is also evident that God’s purpose for Adam and Eve was to “dress” the garden and to “keep” it (2:15, KJV). The Hebrew verb “dress” is ‛ābad meaning “to serve” and the verb “keep” is šāmar, having the root meaning “to exercise great care over.” (Greenway, 2000, p. 171). According to Hamilton, the poetic synonym of šāmar, nāsar (3:24) meaning “to protect’ denotes that “the garden is something to be protected more than it is something to be possessed” (Greenway, 2000, p. 171). Gerhard von Rad also supports this understanding. He says, “That man was transferred to the garden to guard it indicates that he was called to a state of service and had to prove himself in a realm that was not his possession” (von Rad, 1972, p. 80). Thus, scholars like H. Herbert Kane use the verb “cultivate” instead of “rule over” (1:28) to emphasize the aspect of human activity where people should “live in conformity to the law and work in harmony with the purpose of God” (Kane, pp. 96, 97). With the use of the verb “cultivate,” God’s commands began to be called a “cultural mandate.” Some refer to this mandate as “Christian social responsibility” (Wagner, 2000, p. 531) because by this mandate “God called Adam and Eve to accept responsibility for this world as his vice-regents, to serve and control it under his direction and for his glory” (Glasser, 2000, p. 127). Thus, care for the oppressed or the poor is part of the cultural mandate, too. In a sense, the cultural mandate might be regarded as the first reference to mission in the Bible and a prelude to the “Great Commission” of Jesus Christ because the mandate can be widened as a mandate for family, community, and civilization as 140
the “good news of the Kingdom” to the nations (Matt 24:14; 28:1820; p. 127). Glasser (2000) also says that although this cultural mandate was issued before the Fall occurred (Gen 3), and obviously predated the missionary mandate (Matt 28:18-20), it can be extrapolated into the present. Serious reflection on the cultural mandate enlarges the Christian messages so that it addresses everything that God made, sin corrupted, and Christ made new. It propels Christian activity into every area of human life and every corner of the world to combat evil and falsehood and promote mercy, righteousness, and truth (p. 127; See also Snyder, 1977; van Engen, 1981). The creation motif is prominent in the book of Daniel. For example, although Daniel 7 is eschatological and concerned with the last judgment (116), the divine judgment is re-creation because God’s retinue is mentioned (Dan 7:10; cf. v. 27) (Lacocque, 2000, p. 114). The theophanic setting of a tribunal in Daniel 7, with the Ancient of Days presiding as the One who rules over space and time, corresponds to other comparable scriptural descriptions within a context of creation and its perfect fulfillment (cf. the assembly of the sons of God: Ps 29:1; 82:1; Job 1:6; 2:1; of the spirits: 1Kgs 22:19-22; of the saints: Ps 89:6, 8; of the watchers: Dan 4:10, 14). With the scene of Daniel 7, history is present from its beginning (creation) to its end (eschaton), a fact already signified by the first part of the chapter with its succession of world empires (125). From this perspective, it is very interesting that the motif of judgment, which is prominent in the book of Daniel, is connected with the creation motif. Furthermore, Ramond Hammer contrasts the obedience of Adam with the obedience of the loyal remnant in Daniel 7, which is connected with taking over the kingship from God’s hands (Hammer, 1965, p. 78). This means the concept of social justice, connected with the scene of judgment, can be developed as a part of the motif of cultural mandate in the book of Daniel. This research will focus the social justice motif in the context of judgment in Daniel 4. III. Context of Daniel 4 A. Background AAMM, Vol. 1,
The narrative in Dan 4 is mainly a type of personal testimony given by Nebuchadnezzar himself. In chapters 2 and 3, Nebuchadnezzar was impressed and acknowledged the existence of God, but the king still thought of him as only the God of the Jews and believed that their God was not the only true God, but simply the highest God, the chief of all gods (Nichol, 1953-1957, Vol. 4, p. 785). Even in chap. 4, Nebuchadnezzar designated Daniel as “Belteshazzar, after the name of my god” (vs. 8a; cf. 1:7). However, the phrase may be taken to describe the king’s identity as a Marduk worshipper at the time of the dream (Miller, 1994, p. 131). The expression “the spirit of the holy gods is in him” (4:8) also should be interpreted from a polytheistic perspective based on the context of vss. 8, 9, and 18, since these texts are located in the narrative before the king was converted. However, after Nebuchadnezzar’s encounter with God at the end of chap. 4, he shows a radical change in his attitude towards God. It appears that the king used the phrase “the Most High God” (4:1, 2) in an absolute sense, as a deity superior to other gods, and even as a personal God, as indicated when he said, “the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me” (Doukhan, 2000, p. 60). Nebuchadnezzar praised Yahweh not only for his greatness and power but also for his sovereignty (vs. 3). In his praise, by using the terms “eternal” and “from generation to generation” for God’s kingdom, Nebuchadnezzar was comparing God’s rule with a long and brilliant reign of his own, so recently taken from him because of illness (Wood, 1973, p. 102). This suggests that the king became a convert to the worship of the Most High (Fewell, 1988, p. 63). B. The Oppressed Motif in the Near East The “oppressed” motif was also important in the ancient Near East. In the code of Hammurabi which was written by Hammurabi, King of Babylon in 19th century BC, the king showed the same concern in the purpose of the code: “to cause justice to prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil, that the strong might not oppress the weak” (Pritchard, 1955, p. 164; see also Richardson, 2000, p. 123). According to Babylonian texts collected in the northern palace of Nebuchadnezzar, the king claimed to “have taken the side of the weak, poor, crippled, and widowed against oppressors, enabling them to win a just hearing for their cases” (Wiseman, 1991, p. 239). Through these references it is learnt that 142
the Babylonian king was familiar with the concept of social justice. It may be surmised that the king had already been under God’s general revelation on the subject of social justice through his legal system. IV. Content of Dan 4 A. Message God had demonstrated his sovereignty over the kingdoms of this world through the king’s dream, and Daniel had courageously interpreted it in a straightforward manner in a cultural setting where it was customary to flatter the sovereign and avoid telling him anything disagreeable (Nichol, 1953-1957, Vol. 4, p.788). In his interpretation, Daniel proclaimed the message of judgment and the sovereignty of God (4:25). In vs. 17, the purpose of the dream was for the living, meaning all living humans to let them know that the Most High is sovereign. In vs. 25, the same purpose is specified for Nebuchadnezzar (Wood, 1973, pp. 112, 116). God’s sovereignty was then confirmed by the voice from heaven (vs. 32). However, Daniel introduced the topic of God’s mercy immediately after his message of God’s justice (vs. 26). Daniel then appealed to the king: “Renounce your sins by doing what is right and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed” (vs. 27). The appeal was for the king to repent, confess, and restore (Shea, 1996, p.75) because the sovereign God would bring judgment. Daniel’s concern for the oppressed was based on his understanding of God’s justice. Daniel was aware of the context of the oppressed in Babylon and bravely advised the heathen king to take care of them. B. The King’s Sin and Identity of the Oppressed Daniel’s request to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Renounce your sins by doing what is right and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed, it may be that then your prosperity will continue” (4:27), well describes the concept of social justice. Although the Aramaic word “renounce” (pěruq) is often translated as “atone” (NRSV), the textual or contextual evidence supports the meaning, “tear away or break off” (Brown, 1979, s.v. “Pāraq; Anderson, 1984, p. 47; Jeffery, 1956, p. 415). By the request of “doing what is right,” Daniel was telling the king to correct his sinful life by conducting himself righteously (Wood, 1973, p. 117). In other words, it was a strong AAMM, Vol. 1,
request for repentance (Nichol, 1953-1957, Vol. 4, p. 792) and cessation of committing sins (Wood, 1973, p. 117). What were the sins the king was committing? The narrative shows that Nebuchadnezzar’s principal sin was his pride, and that his continuing display of such pride, ignoring Daniel’s counsel, was what really prompted the fulfillment of the dream’s warning (4:2832). The issue was spiritual and concerned Nebuchadnezzar’s relationship with the God of heaven (Doukhan, 2000, p. 66). Daniel, however, also pointed out an ethical aspect involving the king’s treatment of his subjects (p. 66). By suggesting that the king show kindness to the oppressed, Daniel exposed specific sins of the king: injustice and a lack of concern. Daniel asked Nebuchadnezzar to be just and take action on behalf of the needy (Goldingay, 1989, pp. 94, 95). The king needed to show greater mercy to the afflicted. In the Old Testament, “the oppressed” are frequently listed together with “the miserable” and “the poor” (Mic 6:8; Ps 72:3, 4; Isa 11:4; Jer 22:15-16). Nebuchadnezzar was a noted builder (Goldingay, 1989, pp. 89, 90; see also Kodeway, 1914; Parrot, 1958). Often kings showed little consideration to those who did the work on building projects, with hundreds dying from extreme heat under difficult conditions (Wood, 1973, p. 117). From the counsel of Jeremiah to King Jehoakim, it is also possible to connect the problem of injustice to the issue of not paying for the workers in the building process: “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. . . . He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well” (Jer 22:13-17). Nebuchadnezzar’s sin was likely connected to injustice in the area of his building activities (Goldingay, 1989, pp. 94, 95). According to Stephen R. Miller (1994), “he [Nebuchadnezzar] may also have taken little notice of injustices meted out by judges and other officials as well as by the rich of his kingdom” (p. 139). Although the king might not have been personally treating others cruelly, he probably practiced an indulgent lifestyle and simply ignored the misfortunes of others (p. 139). At least in this case, sin consisted of injustice and unconcern (Goldingay, 1989, p. 95). Collins introduces Rashi’s suggestion (1993) that “Daniel was urging the king to take better care of his Jewish captives” (p. 230). According to T. C. Michell (1991), Jewish captives were obliged to settle on inferior sites and were mainly engaged in agriculture, but were involved in commerce one century after the exile (p. 422). However, in the process of rebuilding Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar not 144
only used prisoners of war, but also local labor brought in from outside the city of Babylon (Wiseman. 1991, p. 239). The oppressed were not all Jews; Gentiles were included. God is concerned about injustice carried out against people from any nation for “it is a basic conviction of the Old Testament that God created heaven and earth and particularly human beings, which would include Israel and all other peoples” (Gen 1-11; Yieh, 1984, p. 95). This universal relationship of compassion is revealed in the eternal, unchanging character, will, and acts of God who treats all human beings the same as he does Israel (p. 96). Daniel might have known that God would bring justice to the nations through His suffering Servant (Isa 42:2), judge the people to maintain justice (Ps 7:8-11), and save the despised and the outcast, but punish unjust oppressors (Judg 5:11; Ps 7:9, 10; p. 97). Thus, it can be concluded that Daniel seemed to be aware of the fact that God cares for aliens as well as Israelites (Deut 10:17-19; see also Jer 7:5-7; Isa 1:17; Mic 6:8). Why does Daniel emphasize, at the risk of his life, justice for the oppressed? First, it is because God cares for the oppressed even among the Gentiles (cf. Prov 14:21). Second, it is because the realm of salvation in God’s justice will reach to the “wicked neighbors of Israel.” God will judge the wicked neighboring leaders, but he will give them a second chance and according to their reaction they will receive final judgment, as Jeremiah warned: This is what the LORD says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the house of Judah from among them. But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country. And if they learn well the ways of my people and swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the LORD lives’—even as they once taught my people to swear by Baal—then they will be established among my people.” (Jer 12:14-16) These verses also show that Daniel’s speech to the king requiring justice concerns the manner of his conquest, as well as his treatment of the captives in his empire. With this universal perspective, Daniel asked the king to be just to the oppressed of Babylon. V. Implications AAMM, Vol. 1,
The main message contained in Daniel’s advice is that God has a universal interest and concern for the oppressed, even in a foreign land. Daniel, with his understanding of God, strongly urged the king to reflect on his critical position before God and to seriously consider the warning message God was sending (Wallace, 1998, p. 81). In Dan 4, the main message is about the sovereignty of God. God’s sovereignty has universal implications. God cares for the oppressed even in foreign lands, whether they are believers or not. Knowing this, Daniel urged the king to treat the message from God seriously. In doing this, Daniel preached justice to one who was responsible for social justice in the heathen kingdom (v. 27). God requirement of justice from a heathen king illustrates two aspects of God’s universal rule. First, every person is required to honor a vertical relationship between God and humanity by recognizing God as Creator and Savior and by obeying His law. Second, every person must also honor horizontal relationships between human beings by treating people with kindness and love, as brothers and sisters. These perspectives suggest that missio Dei also includes the welfare of the marginalized: “The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression, and discrimination” (Gilliland, 1989, p. 21). Therefore, this requirement of social justice that is a part of the cultural mandate should also be a part of the practice of the crosscultural missionary. The proclamation of the Word of God should be balanced by the inclusion of God’s concern for justice. The missionary task includes calling on local leaders to care for the oppressed, the poor, and the miserable, whether they believe in God or not. The book of Daniel illustrates that the missionary mandate and missio Dei apply to all areas of life. Traditionally, the centrality of the cross of Jesus has been stressed as payment for the penalty of sin to satisfy the requirement of the justice of God for eternal life (Carroll R., 2000, p. 529). However, the book of Daniel shows that the justice of God encompasses more than the spiritual dimension and extends into the concrete realities of the human social context. Daniel’s example suggests that God cares about the present context of justice in today’s mission fields. It also suggests that sharing God’s care for the people who are in the context of injustice in a society, is a part of a contextualized message.
References Anderson, Robert A. (1984). Daniel: Signs and Wonders. In International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Brown, Francis, with S. R. Driver and Charles A. Briggs. (1979). Pāraq. In The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon with an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic. Based on the lexicon of William Gensenius. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. Carroll R., M. Daniel. (2000). Justice of God. In A. Scott Moreau (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of World Mission. Grand Rapids: Baker. Collins, John J. (1993). Daniel. Heremenia - A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress. Doukhan, Jacques B. (2000). Secrets of Daniel: Wisdom and Dreams of a Jewish Prince in Exile. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald. Fewell, Danna N. (1988). Circle of Sovereignty: A Story of Stories in Daniel 1-6. Decatur, GA: Almond. Gilliland, Dean S. (1989). Appendix: Contextualization Models. In Dean S. Gilliland (Ed.), The Word among Us: Contextualizing Theology for Mission Today (pp. 313–317). Dallas, TX: Word. Glasser, Arthur F. (2000). Biblical Theology of Mission. In A. Scott Moreau (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of World Mission. Grand Rapids: Baker. Goldingay, John E. (1989). Daniel. Word Biblical Commentary (Vol. 30). Waco, TX: Word. Greenway, Roger S. (2000). The Cultural Mandate. In A. Scott Moreau (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of World Mission. Grand Rapids: Baker. Hamilton,Victor P. (1990). The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17. In New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Vol. 1). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Hammer, Ramond. (1976). The Book of Daniel. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jeffery, Arthur. (1956). The Book of Daniel: Introduction and Exegesis. Interpreter’s Bible (Vol. 6). Nashville, TN: Abingdon. AAMM, Vol. 1,
Kane, J. Herbert. (1982). Understanding Christian Mission. (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids: Baker. Kim, Sung Ik. (2005), Proclamation in Cross-cultural Context: Missiological Implications of the Book of Daniel. Seoul, Korea: Sahmyook University Press. Kodeway, R. (1914). The Excavations at Babylon (A. S. Johns, Trans.). London: Macmillan. Lacocque, André (2000). Allusions to Creation in Daniel 7. In John Joseph Collins, Peter W. Flint, & Cameron Van Epps, The Book of Daniel: Composition and Reception (Vol. 1). Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Michell, T. C. (1991). Babylonian Exile and Jewish Restoration. In J. B. Bury (Series Ed.) & John Boardman et al. (Vol. Eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History: Vol. 3. The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries B.C. (2nd ed., pt. 2, pp. 371– 460). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Miller, Stephen R. (1994). Daniel. New American Commentary (Vol. 18). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman. Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1953-1957). Daniel. In Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 743–881). Washington, DC: Review and Herald. Parrot, A. (1958). Babylon and the Old Testament (B. E. Hooke, Trans.). London: SCM; New York: Philosophical Library. Pritchard, James B. (Ed.). (1955). Ancient Near East in Texts relating to the Old Testament (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Richardson, Don. (2000). A Man for All Peoples. In Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne (Eds.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (3rd ed., pp. 104–109). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Robertson, O. Palmer. (1980). The Christ of the Covenant. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed. Rzepkowski, Horst. (1997). Creation Theology and Missiology. In Karl Müller et al. (Eds.), Dictionary of Mission: Theology, History, Perspective. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Shea, William H. (1996). Daniel 1-7: Prophecy as History. In Abundant Life Bible Amplifier. Boise, ID: Pacific Press. Snyder, Howard A. (1977). The Community of the King. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, Starkes, M. Thomas. (1981). The Foundation for Missionaries: An Inspirational Overview of Christian Missions. Nashville, TN: Broadman. 148
van Engen, Charles Edward. (1981). The Growth of the True Church: An Analysis of the Ecclesiology of Church Growth Theory. Amsterdam: Radopi. von Rad, Gerhard. (1972). Genesis: A Commentary (Rev. ed.). Old Testament Library. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster. Wagner, C. Peter. (2000). On the Cutting Edge of Mission Strategy. In Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne (Eds.), Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader (3rd ed., pp. 531–540). Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library. Wallace, Roland S. (1998). The Lord Is King: The Message of Daniel. In Bible Speaks Today Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity. Wiseman, Donald. J. (1991). Babylonia 605-539 B.C. In J. B. Bury (Series Ed.) & John Boardman et al. (Vol. Eds.), The Cambridge Ancient History: Vol. 3. The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries B.C. (2nd ed., pp. 229–251). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wood, Leon. (1973). A Commentary on Daniel. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Yieh, John Y. H. (1984, March). Justice as a Current Theme of Mission: An Old Testament Perspective. Taiwan Journal of Theology, 6(1), 93–107.
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A Contextual Study of the Attitude of Jesus towards Wealth Acquisition and Management in Luke 12:13-21 Sampson M. Nwaomah ABSTRACT—During His ministry on earth Christ used various teaching methods, such as parables. Through these methods He wanted to modify human attitude towards even mundane things like money and inheritance. One such parable is recorded in Luke 12:13-21. It was told in response to the invitation of a younger brother for Christ to intervene in a family dispute over their inheritance. The particular dispute of these two brothers about the acquisition and management of wealth were of little concern to Christ in terms of his mission for humanity. Yet Christ through this parable provided principles that are very applicable to our contemporary society where the inordinate urge for wealth often leads people to engage in corrupt practices. This paper discusses the parable and draws contextual implications for Nigerian society. Keywords: wealth acquisition, wealth management, Nigeria, money, corruption, parable, contextual implication
I. Introduction. One of the most significant warnings about the dangers of wealth in the teachings of Jesus is contained in a parable that was told in response to a man’s complaint about his brother’s handling of the family inheritance. It is often referred to as the parable of the rich Manuscript received June 10, 2009; revised Aug. 27, 2009; accepted Sep. 15, 2009. Sampson M. Nwaomah (Ph.D., Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org) is with Religious Studies Department, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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fool and is recorded in Luke 12:13-21. Christâ€™s teaching on the attitude towards wealth in this passage was revolutionary. He set an agenda for an altogether new attitude towards wealth. His teaching is that wealth, instead of being worshipped, should be subservient to man. It is appropriate to consider these warnings for contemporary Nigeria. The drive to possess everything, as demonstrated in this passage, is very noticeable in the materialism which dominates Nigerian society. This phenomenon is heightened by the assumption by many, both Christians and non-Christian, that economic wealth is the answer to poverty and low self-esteem. For others, wealth is power and security. Therefore, the lust for wealth has led some to engage in many unwholesome practices and even the commercialization of religion and other corrupt practices. Thus this paper seeks to investigate the attitude of Jesus towards wealth and it seeks to understand Luke 12:13-21 in the context of wealth accumulation and greed in Nigeria. This paper provides an exegesis of this biblical passage which includes the following: (1) a definition of the literary unit under consideration, (2) a translation of the passage, (3) an outline of the genre and structure of the passage, and (4) an interpretation taking into account the significant historical, lexico-grammatical, and syntactical issues that are contained within the passage. Following this, the paper surveys the behavior of some Nigerians in acquiring and managing wealth in Nigeria and its effects on the people. Furthermore, the paper concludes by identifying relevant implications for the context of study. II. Definition of the Literary Unit The parable in this pericope of Luke 12:13-21 is peculiar to the Lucan gospel. It belongs to the so-called travel narratives, (Luke 9:51-19:27), a literary feature peculiar to the Third Gospel. Luke here records a great deal of material which is absent in Matthew and Mark. It is in this section that Luke demonstrates vividly Jesusâ€™ extensive use of parables to teach very important lessons relating to ethics and the kingdom motif. The parables peculiar to Luke in this section include those of the good Samaritan, the rich fool, the lost sheep, the lost coin, the prodigal son, the unjust steward, and the rich man and Lazarus. KĂźmmel (1973, p. 133) maintains that this central section of the Lucan gospel was not an original tradition. Rather it was a composition of Luke who brought together materials of different 152
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origins, and fitted them into the framework of the journey to Jerusalem. He further contends that the Evangelist may have expanded on the situation presented in Mark 10:1; 11:1 by rearranging disparate material. In our view this argument seems absurd because there is nothing to suggest that it is inconsistent with Luke’s elaborate record of the parables of Christ, since nineteen of the thirty-five parables recorded in the entire Gospel account are unique to Luke. This may be attributed to literary sources peculiar to Luke. The passage in focus, Luke 12:13-21, contains a parable told by Jesus in response to a man’s complaint against his brother whom he accuses of greed. The man invites Jesus to arbitrate between them. Jesus is being treated as a Rabbi here, in being asked to become an arbitrator between the brothers in this dispute over the family inheritance. (Ellis cited in Bock, 1996, p.343). The parable is sandwiched by two other pericopes (Luke 12:1-11 and 22-34), the later being Luke’s version of an aspect of the Sermon on the Mount. Content wise, Luke 12:13-21 focuses on the attitude towards obtaining and managing wealth. While the main thrust of the preceding pericope is on warnings against the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees and on general encouragement to faithfulness, the succeeding pericope deals with questions of trust in God for material provision and the need for contentment. III. Translation Translation of the passage as presented below is that of the author. There are no significant textual variations on this passage, thus this aspect will not be discussed. Nineteen of the thirty-five parables recorded in the entire Gospel are unique to Luke. They may be attributed to literary sources peculiar to Luke. (13) Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, command my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (14) Jesus replied to him, “Man, who appointed me a judge or arbiter over you?” (15) Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard from all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (16) So he told them a parable thus: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. (17) He reasoned within himself saying, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my grains.’ (18) “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do. I AAMM, Vol. 1,
will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. (19) And I will say to myself, “Soul, you have plenty good things stored up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ (20) But God said to him, “Fool, this very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will inherit what you have prepared?’ (21) “This is the fate of the one who stores up treasures for himself but is not rich towards God.”
IV. Genre and Structure This pericope is an ethical teaching by Jesus on the right attitude towards wealth. It can be structured as follows: A. The Complaint by the Aggrieved Brother [Luke 12:13] B. Jesus’ Answer to the Aggrieved Brother [12:14] C. Jesus’ Exhortation to the Crowd [15-21] 1. The Dangers of Greed  2. The Parable of the Rich Fool [16-21] V. Interpretation of the Passage A faithful attempt to exegete this pericope should take into consideration the various elements and issues raised in the structure above. The result of such effort should be in harmony with biblical teachings on the issues in question. The structure outlined above shows that the central feature of the pericope deals with the uncertainty of human life and the transient nature of wealth. This being said, our approach is to investigate the passage following the structure set out above. A. The Complaint by the Aggrieved Brother (Luke 12:13) The ancient Jewish legal system left no doubt concerning the dividing of family inheritance. It provided for the first son to succeed the father as the head of the home and guaranteed him the inheritance of a double portion of his father’s estate, leaving the remaining son(s) to share the final one-third (Deut 21:17; 1 Chro 5:1, 2) (Horn, 1979, p.153). Where there is no male family member, the 154
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family’s wealth passes on to the daughters on the condition that they marry within their tribe (Num 27:1-11; 36:6-9). The cause of the younger brother’s contention over family inheritance in the passage in question is not obvious. Some suggestions have been made in the quest to understand this situation. First, the elder brother might have taken beyond what the legal system authorizes. Second, the complainant might be challenging the law because he felt unprotected. Lastly, it is suggested that the elder brother might have desired a partnership in the management of the inheritance; an option unacceptable to the complainant (Henry, 1991). While the last option might have been unwelcome by the plaintiff, in the ancient world families could jointly hold their property and share its resources for business purposes (Bock, 1994, p. 224). This, however, would still be at the supervision of the elder brother. Thus, the complaint of the youngest in this setting could have arisen from his protest against the elder brother’s legitimate share or his [the complainant] disapproval of the established legal rights governing the management of inheritance which may have left him with less than what he desired. B. Jesus’ Answer to the Aggrieved Brother (Luke 12:14) The aggrieved brother calls Jesus “rabbi,” a term used to refer to religious teachers who are supposed to have authority to teach and abdicate on ethical matters such as the one in question. This title is generously applied to Christ in the Gospels (Matt 26:25; Mk 14:45; Jn 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8). The title was used for scholars and teachers of the law. It is assumed that their learning and knowledge of the torah and their interpretation of the religious duties prescribed in it are infallible and thus unquestionable (Horn, 1979, p. 923). During the time of Christ it was not unusual for these honored teachers to travel from one place to another, dispensing answers to social and ethical concerns. Therefore, it was with this notion that the aggrieved brother approached Christ with the request to intervene in his affairs. But the expectation of the aggrieved brother is dashed with Christ’s refusal to be drawn into this family affair. Two principal reasons have been adduced for Jesus’ refusal to accede to this request. First, Barnes (1976, p. 80) suggests that Christ’s refusal was because the primary purpose of His ministry was not to settle civil affairs which the laws of the land could resolve. The second reason raised is the question of motivation of the younger brother who had asked Jesus to intervene in this family AAMM, Vol. 1,
dispute (Leifeld, 1980, 8:961). The mood of the expression--the imperative, which in this context could be seen as a command, may point to this. The phrase communicating his request in verse 13 could read, “Teacher, command my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Bock (1996, p. 343) implies that this position from the perspective of the complainant, recognizes certain authority in Jesus which could enable Him to issue such a command. With this understanding, the request may not have been to arbitrate, but to advocate for the petitioner against his brother. Consequently, Jesus’ response was to distance Himself from trivialities inconsistent with His divine mission to save humanity from the very wantonness plaguing the complainant. C. Jesus’ Exhortation to the Crowd (Luke 12: 15-21) 1. Warning on the Dangers of Greed and Wealth (verse 15) Rather than consenting to the request of the petitioner, Jesus takes advantage of the opportunity to warn of the dangers of greed or covetousness (KJV). But this time He speaks to the crowd (autous, “them”) who is His first audience. In warning about greed, Jesus employs the Greek term pleonexia, a word which can be translated as “greediness”, “avarice”, “covetousness.” In a nonbiblical sense, pleonexia could be used positively as in Epictetus 2, 10:9. In this context it could denote a desire for more knowledge or holiness. But it is suggested that its scriptural usage is always negative (Perry, 1975, p. 825). Thus in the context of usage, pleonexia, could refer to the gross selfishness and inordinate desire to have more by denying others what is legitimately theirs. While Luke does not elucidate on this theme of greed—mentioning it only in 8:14 and 16:14, its dangers are frequently mentioned in other passages of the New Testament (Rom 1:29; 2 Cor 9:5; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19; 5:3; 2 Pt 2:3 14). Speaking of the possessive nature of greed, Plutarch (cited in Johnson, 1991, p. 198) observed that “greed never rests from the acquiring of more.” It drives its captives to an insatiable state where everything that matters is wealth, no matter how it comes. Next, Christ admonishes that life is not measured by possessions (Luke 12:15b). Certain difficulties attend the clear intention of Jesus in this part. Perhaps, it is because of this line that some have suggested Luke 12:13-15 is the work of an editor. But in our view this line is entirely appropriate, and there is no reason that it should be labeled secondary. The warning against covetousness provides
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the perfect backdrop for the parable. Without the framework, the parable is left entirely in the air. In exploring the meaning of the thought of verse 15b, it is necessary to investigate, though briefly, the meaning of the word translated “life.” The Greek word zoē, translated “life” in this passage, could be symbolic and may thus mean “happiness,” or “quality of living.” It could also be taken literally as the “physical life.” If understood from the first two meanings (happiness and quality of life), Christ could here be saying: “Happiness in life is not determined by the amount of wealth one has at his possession, even if the quality of life might be enhanced by items of luxury and comfort.” On the other hand, if the “life” here is physical, he could be saying: “wealth does not guarantee the length of life; it cannot prolong it.” Earlier in His teachings on the Mount, Christ had stated that no person could lengthen his life by worries for wealth and the cares of life. In this vein therefore, the latter meaning of life as physical in Luke 12:15, seems more consistent with the passage as is illustrated by the parable of the rich but foolish farmer who follows this warning. Christ’s injunction here is very significant. It elevates the meaning and value of life above riches and wealth. Security of life is not in amassing property. This was a radical challenge to the original hearers and also to contemporary society’s measure of success. The message is clear; possessions do not guarantee comfort and security, nor lengthen one’s life. Thus one is not to be obsessed by it. 2. The Parable of the Rich Fool (verses 16-21) These introductory warnings concerning the dangers of greed prepare the stage for the parable of the rich but idiotic man told in verses 16-21. This parable is the fitting illustration of the statement of Christ in verse 15b about the uncertainty of human life and the transient nature of wealth. The parable does not suggest that the man had acquired the wealth illegally or coveted it. Yet it plainly shows that obsession with wealth, whether acquired genuinely or through dubious means, is a vain pursuit. The man in question could have been a wealthy Jewish farmer who, beyond his careful planning and forecast, had excess returns in his harvest for the year in question. In such a situation he could be spared the worries of life (verse 19). In handling this abundance, his human wisdom was displayed in his decision to expand his barns to accommodate the bounty harvest. Being a farmer, the barns certainly would be for the storage of the grains, possibly wheat and AAMM, Vol. 1,
barley, two very important grains in Palestine. This type of barn was “commonly made by the ancients, underground, where grain could be kept a long time more safe (sic) from thieves and from vermin” (Barnes, 1976, p. 81). In fact, no wise farmer or investor could think and do less that the man in this parable sought to do. Jesus had no query on the manner of the abundance, since there was no indication of Him being a stern farmer such as indicated in James 5:4. What then was the basis of His rebuke as aphrōn—foolish or senseless (verse 20), a person “who rejects the knowledge and precepts of God as the basis for life” (Liefeld, 1980, p. 961). Barclay (1975) offers a further insight thus: There is no (other) parable which is so full of the words, I, me, my and mine….The rich fool was aggressively selfcentered….When this man had superfluity of goods, the one thing that never entered his mind was to give any away. His whole attitude was the very reverse of Christianity. Instead of denying himself, he aggressively affirmed himself; Instead of finding his happiness in giving, he tried to conserve it by Keeping (p. 166, emphasis mine). Commenting further on the attitude of the rich fool Geldenhuys (1951, p. 355) also observes: He considered that he had the full command over his life and over all his possessions and thus spoke about ‘my barns, my fruits, my goods, and my soul’ (verses 18, 19). He did not regard the possessions as things lent to him by God’s grace and to be used for his own pleasure and enjoyments. In the light of the disposition of the rich fool, God addresses the man on his own pragmatic terms of not dealing with kingdom matters or life beyond the present realm, but on the question of mundane affairs—his possessions. (Leifeld, 1980, p. 961). Thus he has to leave it all, possibly to an incompetent heir or to no one in particular (see Eccl 2:18-19). Conclusively, therefore Luke 12:13-21 leaves one with the following insights: 1) Selfishness involves the urge to have more at the expense of what legitimately belongs to others and it brings dissatisfaction with what one has. 158
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2) Greed is possessive and leads to destruction. 3) Obsession with wealth, whether acquired legitimately or otherwise is contrary to the God’s will for humankind. 4) Happiness in life is not measured by the amount of a person’s earthly possessions nor can an extension to a person’s life be guaranteed by one’s wealth. 5) Life has to be lived in the light of eschatological realities, since whatever a person has on earth would be ultimately left following death. VI. Luke 12:13-21 in the Nigerian Context In the attempt to show the relevance of Luke 12:13-21 to the Nigerian society, this paper will briefly discuss the inordinate quest for wealth and its improper management within the nation. This is brought to view by the many cases of corruption that have become public knowledge. Corruption in Nigeria is manifested in all its shades. It has touched every aspect of public life. This is attested to by the many investigative panels that have been instituted in the last decade. Notable among these are the investigations probing the Nigerian Airways Ltd., the former National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), now Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the Nigerian Custom Service, and the Nigerian Telecommunications Plc. (NITEL), the Nigerian Ports Authority Plc. (NPA), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Airports Authority, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Nigerian judiciary among others. At one time or another, the executive, the legislative and the judicial arms of government have been shown to be corrupt (National Conscience Party, 2004). The most controversial of these probes was that of the CBN. The panel headed by Pius Okigbo, a renowned economist, in 1995 found that $12billion dollars from the Gulf War windfall could not be accounted for (Maier, 2000). Nigerian newspapers have been crammed with news of corruption in all its forms. Barely a year after the infamous “bribe for budget” scandal, allegations of corruption in the legislature have been rife. Members of the Joint Committee on Constitution Review of the Nigerian National Assembly (JRCC) headed by the Deputy Senate Leader, Ibrahim Mantu, were accused of receiving $37,000.00 dollars each (Akpe, 2006; Kola, 2006). Further, Ribadu’s report on the review of contracts awarded by the NPA AAMM, Vol. 1,
between 2001 and 2003 was rejected by the Federal Government because of its lack of specificity and inability to locate $250m in NPA’s account (Chidozie, 2006, p. 6). An allegation of corruption has also rocked the Nigerian oil industry with revelations that the $4b dollars Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Finimar, Rivers State, may have been mired in corrupt practices (Bello, 2006, pp. 1–2). It appears the oil sector posses the greatest challenge in terms of corruption in Nigeria (Editorial, Washington Post, 2005, June 1). Allegations of plundering of state and local government funds by their accounting officers are also rife in the Nigerian society as governors and local government administrators are accused of looting their state treasury (Aiyetan, 2006a, pp. 18–23; 2006b, pp. 18–25; Allegoa, 2006 ). Aluko (2006) documents extensively the various forms of corruption in the local governments in Nigeria. These range from payment for ghost contracts purportedly awarded, maintenance of peace in imaginary crises, inflation of contract sums and purchases of equipment, funding of political parties, and various forms of collusion among officers. The other forms are extortion by professionals engaged by the councils, stealing and vandalism of council’s properties and various forms of fiscal recklessness. Both elected and career council officials perpetuate these corrupt practices. The falsehood that security can be found in covetous wealth accumulation has led some, especially, public servants, to engage in severe corrupt practices to amass for themselves a greater percentage of the nations’ collective wealth. For instance the head of one of the anti-corruption agencies, Nuhu Ribadu, had reported that the sum of export earnings gained by corrupt means, during the period from the mid-1980s to 1999, exceeded US $100 billion (Ribadu, 2006, p.48). This amount is about twenty percent of the projected US $600 billion post-independence earnings on oil (Adeleye, 2006, p.3). The consequence of this is the non-availability of adequate resources for public spending on essential basic social amenities like education, health, water and electricity. Poverty, sickness and low life expectancy result (Nwaomah, 2007, pp.73–81). While the evidences of corruption in Nigeria are overwhelming, the sad fact, however, is that most of the perpetrators boldly defend their action and explain them away. At the same time, basic amenities such as water, light, good roads, affordable health care and other social benefits for the masses are conspicuously absent. The unequal distribution of wealth, covetousness and greed has left 160
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no less than sixty percent of the Nigerian populace living below the poverty line. Some even put the figure higher and advocate that it is the opposite of the situation at the dawn of the country’s independence in the early 1960’s (Nwaomah, 2005, p. 56). It is no doubt that an acceptance of this unpleasant situation has led governments at various levels to initiate programs for the eradication of poverty. In the circumstances described above, one may ask,: “To what areas of life in Nigeria can this paper speak?” I suggest two ways. First, it can speak to the individual wealthy Nigerians whose manner of wealth acquisitions is questionable and whose security is wealth. Second, it can speak to the country of Nigeria collectively, which in the midst of abundant resources has a high level of its populace living below the poverty line. We shall briefly address these two areas together.
VII. Implications for the Nigerian Society In the light of the above scenario on the consequence of obsessive wealth acquisition and poor management in Nigeria, the salient lessons from the Bible passage under consideration become relevant to the Nigerian society. First, covetousness produces self-inflicted trauma. Those who indulge in such ungodly acts probably think that they deprive others. But they often and unexpectedly experience the trauma too. Take as a case in point, the various embarrassing situations such as trials, imprisonments and bad publicity. It affects the corrupt individuals as well as their families. This has been a common experience in the new Nigeria. Second, wealth does not guarantee the extension of life. For instance, the rich fool never imagined his life was coming to an end that night. At the very moment he concluded plans for himself and his wealth death came knocking. Similarly, it is absurd for any person in contemporary Nigeria to think that wealth builds a chasm between them and death. A realization of this sober reality can moderate the obsession to wealth acquisition and management. Lastly, the fact that self preservation and class preservation govern the quest for wealth and its management by many Nigerians is quite unassailable. This covetousness blinds people in such a way that the sole consideration is the immediate solace that might come their way. But the admonition Jesus provides in this passage (Luke 12:21) is that accountability to God rather than any mundane AAMM, Vol. 1,
contemplation should moderate the quest for and management of wealth. VIII. Conclusion This study shows that God does not loath wealth. But he abhors the covetousness and greed which compels one to secure wealth at all cost. He also disdains wealth management that does not factor in the needs of the poor in society. We also observe that the lust for wealth in contemporary Nigerian has led to corrupt practices by some public officers at the expense of the welfare of the majority of the people. Thus Luke 12:13-21 holds significant implications for the Nigerian society where the lust for wealth and its poor management have impoverished many and the wealthy live without regard for their divine accountability. And, since wealth is no substitute for goodness or character and is not a guarantee of the real essence of life, accountability towards God rather than the desire to satisfy ephemeral needs, should govern its pursuit and management.
References Adeyeye, J. (2006, May 25). Nigeria’s Post-Independence Oil Earnings Hit $600 Billion Mark. The Punch, 3. Aiyetan, D. (2006a, February 27). The Looting of Taraba. Tell Magazine. Aiyetan, D. (2006b, May 15). The Rape of Abia. Tell Magazine. Akpe, S. (2006, April 11). Mantu’s Trial: Fairness versus Group Interest. The Punch, 38–39. Allegoa (2006, May 6). Local Government Administration and Accountability. Tide Online. Aluko, Jones O. (2006). Corruption in the Local Government System of Nigeria. Ibadan, Nigeria: Book Builders. Barclay, William. (1975). Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Luke. (Rev. ed.). Edinburgh, UK: The Saint Andrew. Barnes, Albert. (1976). Notes on the New Testament: Vol. 2. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. Bock, Darrel L. (1994). Luke. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994.
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Bock, Darrel L. (1996). Luke: The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Chidozie, I. (2006, May 4). NPA Probe: FG Rejects White paper. The Punch. Geldenhuys, Norval. (1951). Commentary on the Gospel of Luke. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans. Henry, Matthew. (1991). Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Luke. New Modern, Electronic Database. Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Horn, Siegfried. H. (Ed.). (1979). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary (SBD). Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald. Johnson, L. T. (1991). Luke. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier. Kümmel, W. G. (1973). Introduction to the New Testament (17th ed., Howard C. Kee, Trans.). Nashville, TN: Abingdon. Leifeld, William. L. (1980). Luke. F. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Vol. 8). Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Maier, K. (2000). This house has fallen: Nigeria in Crisis. London: Penguin Group National Conscience Party, (2004). Probing Corruption in Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.nigeriancp.net/ tribune.html. Nestle, Erwin, Aland, Barbara and Kurt (Eds.) (1999). Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine (27th ed.). Stuttgartm, German: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. Nwaomah, Sampson. M. (2005). Modelling the Ministry of Christ in Luke 4:16-19 in Contemporary Adventist Mission in Nigeria. Insight: Journal of Religious Studies, 2(1 &2), 50–59. Nwaomah, Sampson. M. (2007). The Role of the Church in Combating Corruption in Nigeria. In Ayandiji D. Aina (Ed.), The Task of Nation Building (pp. 73–81). Somolu, Nigeria: Emaphine Reprographics. Perry, R.E. (1975). Greed. In The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 2). Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Ribadu, Nuhu. (2006, May 9). Money Laundering: Promoting Compliance Among African Financial Institutions. Nigerian Tribune, 48. There is countless media reportage of financial corruption perpetuated by several public servants at the three levels of government. See Tell Magazines, Feb. 20; Feb. 27; May 22. Corruption in Nigeria. (2005, June 1, Editorial). Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.africanews.com/opinion /corruption_in_nigeria.htm.
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Sound Attitude of Seventh-day Adventists toward the Signs of the Times Byungho Jang Abstracts—Some Korean Adventists insist that worldwide Sunday laws will be legislated by the United State of America, and accompanied by the Jacob's trouble. They believe that the global financial crisis will start in America, and surely propel the religious situation of the world toward the time of Jacob's trouble for the remnant who keep the seventh day as the Sabbath. It means that they accept such a global financial crisis as one of the most important signs of the times, and a time of leaving the cities for rural and mountain areas. However, such social and economic depressions and rumors of Sunday laws here and there in the world would be only partial signs of the times. The Adventists’ eschatological concern regarding the signs of the times should be the latter rain (Joel 2:23; Acts 1:8) and the spread of the message of the Jesus’ second coming. The remnant plays a leading part and they are represented by three angels. The greatest concern of Adventists must be sharing the positive sign, namely, the message of the second coming of Jesus, rather than concentrating on negative and passive signs such as a financial collapse and the prohibition of trade. Keywords: signs, times, remnant, Adventist, Sunday Law, Jacob’s trouble, second coming, last days I. Introduction
Manuscript received July 10, 2009; revised Aug. 16, 2009; accepted Sep.15, 2009. Byungho Jang (D.PTh., Professor, email@example.com) is with Theology Department Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea; Dean, Theological Seminary; President, Mission and Society Research Institute.
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As time goes by, an adequate understanding of Seventh-day Adventists’ identity is diminishing. Further, the common misunderstanding has been spread among Adventists, (“Seventh-day Adventist” and “Adventist” or their derivatives are used interchangeably in this paper), that true happiness is experiencing salvation through the cross of Jesus and to live a happy (makarios) life in this world. It seems that the value of spiritual life is decreasing among Adventists as they journey towards an inconceivably glorious heaven (2 Cor 2:9). Indeed many Adventists, who are called to be missionaries in the midst of almost overwhelming apostasy, are taking life easy (Seventh-day Adventist Church, p. 13). Seventh-day Adventists identify themselves as the end-time “remnant.” They believe themselves to have a distinctive mission amidst the prevailing apostasy. The term, “remnant,” is used to refer to people who “obey God’s commandments and have the faith of Jesus” (Rev 12:17) and in support of their calling to the mission of spreading the everlasting gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages (Rev 14:6-12). When the early Adventists first used the term “remnant” (White, 1856), they had self-confidence as “heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:20) and as the only people fulfilling Rev 12:17. James White, one of the founders of the Adventist church, provided biblical evidence for Adventists as the remnant. He applied the war between the remnant and Satan to: (1) the period after 1260 years, (2) the most recent Christians who keep God’s commandments, and (3) Seventh-day Adventists who keep God’s commandments and fulfill the special calling of Rev 12:17. Modern Adventists, who live during the end times, need to reconfirm their identity as the “remnant” as they watch for the fulfillment of prophecy and the second coming of Jesus (Knight, p. 11). II. The Upright Understanding of Jacob’s Trouble Seventh-day Adventists commonly believe that two great events, Jacob’s trouble and the Sunday Law crisis, will take place before the Second Advent of Christ. Even though the expressions “Jacob’s trouble” and “Sunday Law” are not expressly used in the Bible, they are important eschatological terms in the Adventist community. Adventists usually divide Jacob’s trouble into a short period of trouble and a great time of trouble. This is based on their understanding of Dan 12:1, and that the short period of tribulation 166
will happen while Jesus is still within the heavenly sanctuary, immediately before the seven last plagues, and just before the end of probation. Ellen G. White wrote in her first book, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, that during that time God’s people will stand strongly for the Sabbath truth, being impelled by the Holy Spirit. The expression, “the great tribulation” is derived from Dan 12:1, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” She relates this event to the seven last plagues in Rev 15:1. Jesus mentioned “great tribulations such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” in Matt 24:21. First, Jesus had the destruction of Jerusalem in view. Yet at the same time he had in view the tribulation which will happen right before the Second Coming of Christ. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened” (Matt 24:29) and the tribulation will be so severe that except “the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved” (Mark 13:20, 24). Second, the Seventh-day Adventist Church applies that great tribulation to “a time, times, and an half,” and regards it as 1,260 years (AD 538-1798, a period of Roman Catholic corruption), according to the day-year principle (Rev 12:6, 14). Finally White connects the great suffering which God’s people will experience to the annexed tribulation (White, 1950, pp. 613–634; 2000, pp. 282– 285). White (2000) received a revelation that Sabbath keepers who do not keep the Sunday Laws are going to suffer greatly, be imprisoned, and run away to mountains and solitary places. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death” (pp. 282–283). Adventists commonly call this peak of the global tribulation “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” However, God will save his people out of His enemies’ hands, and Jesus will come again.
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III. Objective Judgment about Sunday Laws Adventists feel a great interest in mandatory Sunday Laws which will come into effect just before the end of probation. (They use “Sunday Laws,” “Sunday shutdown Laws,” “Sunday Sabbath Law,” etc. However, the general term is “Sunday Laws”). In essence, “Sunday Laws” refer to any law that issues sanctions against certain activities on the first day of the week, namely, Sunday. The Seventhday Adventist Church is against Sunday Laws because it violates the principle of separation of religious matters from political matters (Matt 22:21). Adventists believe that any kind of Sunday Laws that seek to declare Sunday sacred, will be connected with persecution and religious discrimination (Neufeld, 1976, p. 1436). We find such examples in history. The first Sunday Law very aptly concerned the “Day of the Sun.” It was enacted by Emperor Constantine and prohibited any activities on Sunday, except agricultural work in AD 321. One can find such Sunday Laws through-out church history. King Ina of Wessex (AD 688-728) in the British Isles enacted a Sunday Law. It prohibited labor, but enforced the attendance at Sunday services. A Sunday Law made in 1678 by King Charles II of England became the model for many American colonial and state Sunday Laws. However, the first Sunday Law in America was enacted even before this time. It was made very early in the history of Virginia in 1619. It required attendance of Sunday services, with the death penalty prescribed for the third offense. This was eventually changed to a monetary penalty. After that Sunday Laws were enacted in New England. These laws forbade amusements and drinking. Finally as early as the 1870s, they began to enforce Sunday Laws against Sabbath keepers in such places as Vermont, Michigan, California. According to such Sunday Laws, Samuel Mitchel of Georgia, was arrested and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The persecution continued in 1880s, and the case of R. M. King was transferred from the state court to the federal court and the Supreme Court. Around that same time, Senator H. W. Blair of New Hampshire introduced a Sunday bill into Congress, which proposed the enforcement of Sunday as a “day of worship throughout the United States and its territories.”(Neufeld, 1976, p. 1437). In order to play a primary role for separation of religious matters from political matters, the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized the National Religious Liberty Association on July 21, 1889, and 168
gave positive aid to Adventists who were in jail because of Sunday violations. Nevertheless, three men in Tennessee and eighteen men including a principal and teachers were thrown into prison in Graceville, Rhea County. Ellen White encouraged Adventists to engage in missionary work, rather than to do their ordinary work on Sundays (White, 1948, p. 232). There were Sunday Laws which took affect in forty-nine states and the five boroughs of Columbia in America early in 1960, and there were exceptions for Sabbath Keepers in twelve states. Even though there have been efforts to annul Sunday Laws, they were strengthened by the energy crisis which happened in the autumn of 1973. So, if anyone violated Sunday-closing laws, they would be fined a maximum of five thousand US dollars. After that, because of the vigilance of religious liberty directors, among other things, Sunday Laws have been relaxed, but they still exist. Even though I have provided historical examples above, our chief concern is with the establishment of the “image to the beast” before the end of probation, and the associated legal permission to massacre those people not honoring the supposed sacredness of Sunday (White, 1950, pp. 443–445). Adventists interpret the beast and the image of the beast of Rev 13 as a reference to the papacy and other contemporary religio-political organizations (White, 1950, pp. 443–445; 2000, p. 36). Even though global Sunday Laws have no legal force yet, they have not proved to be a dead letter. Therefore, there is no need to be fear Sunday Laws in Croatia and France, because the intent of Sunday Laws is to be effective globally and their purpose is to safeguard the sacredness of Sunday. However, there is still a need to carefully watch for the fulfillment of prophecy. Norman Gulley (1998, p. 548) insists in his book, “In order to be Armageddon two international events must take place first: that is, the Sunday law (Rev 13:3, 4, 12-14) and the death decree (v. 15).” IV. Wise Discernment about Signs of the Times The eschatological events in the Bible can be categorized as follows: (1) prophecy about the rise and fall of nations in history to the end of time (Dan 2:21-44), (2) natural disasters which threaten human peaceful life and safety, (3) great plagues which threaten human life directly (Luke 21:11), (4) the world falling into utter confusion because of lawlessness, religious depravity and the appearance of many false teachers, and (5) sharing the gospel in the AAMM, Vol. 1,
whole world and conversion of people (Matt 24:14; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Dan 12:1). These signs and events, in turn, can be classified in pairs as follows: signs in heaven and signs on the earth, physical signs and spiritual signs, positive signs and negative signs, common signs and prophetic signs, primary signs and secondary signs, direct signs and indirect signs, signs of salvation and signs of destruction, and so on. The signs in the Bible are not explicitly included in the preaching of the gospel. Their true significance reveals itself only as part of a much bigger picture, and after the fact. For example, the command of God on the fourth day, as recorded in Gen 1:14 is all about the heavenly bodies being signs to mark out seasons, days and years. It contains three subjects: the necessity of the years, the four seasons, and various dates. However, astrologers deceive the public by spreading their false reports that seek to interpret and connect the movements of the sun, the moon, and stars with human destiny. For that reason, God said that Israel should not be terrified by signs in the sky in Jer 10:2. Isaiah also declared that such false prophets will be burnt like stubble (Isa 47:13-14). There are similarities, and also a lot of differences between the signs of the times and signs in general. More specifically, the signs of the times are to point toward the Second Coming of Jesus while signs in general are to urge people to prepare for the event before it happens. Therefore, the signs of the sun, the moon, and the stars (Matt 24:29) do not cause the Second Coming of Jesus right away, but they are part of the signs of the times pointing to the Second Coming of Jesus. However, the small black cloud which appears right before the Second Coming of Jesus, in Whiteâ€™s vision, is the sign of the Second Coming of Jesus (White, 2000, p. 15). The sun over the middle of the sky of Gibeon and the moon over the Valley of Aijalon (Josh 10:12, 13) were not the leading part of that event. The shadow which went forward ten degrees (2 King 20:11) was not the main message itself. The darkness that covered everywhere during the time of Jesusâ€™ crucifixion from the sixth hour to the ninth hour (Matt 27:45) was not the kernel of the event. Some signs are indirect signs of the times. Other signs are direct signs indeed. In other words, a miner may own a rocky mountain that could be a mine. This is a good thing. However, it is only the discovery of a vein of ore that convinces the miner to begin mining. In short, the church of the present time must be keen to watch for signs of the main events rather than minor incidents.
V. A Sound Viewpoint of Prophecy and Mission The prophetic viewpoint of the financial crisis of America which was raised by the sub-prime mortgage crisis due to a raise in mortgage delinquencies is unusual among Adventists. The spiritual awareness to regard it as a sign of the end time may be helpful to believers. However, it would be dangerous to interpret an event contrary to the traditional interpretation of prophecy. For instance, there is an attempt to interpret the bankruptcy of financial agencies in America, collapse of global financial systems, nationalization of many private enterprises in America, and new policies of the U.S. president as signs of the mark of the beast in Rev 13:17. As the prophecies of the Old Testament focused on the calling and salvation of chosen Israel and its mission, so the Bible calls the end-time “remnant” to work for the salvation of people and by so doing, accomplish their mission (Dan 12:3; Amos 3:7; Matt 24:14; Rom 9:27; 2 Peter 3:8, 9; Rev 12:17). Since the interpretation of prophecy requires both textual interpretation and symbolic interpretation, we must be careful not to read our current financial situation in the prophetic text. Of course those situations may have implications as far as the enforcement of Sunday Laws is concerned. However, some Adventists seem to regard them as signs of warning and so contemplate stopping wholesome social activities and transferring to more remote rural areas. Such things are false moves for the “remnant” who are supposed to be witnesses for Christ in the end-time. One Adventist scholars interprets the background of Rev 18, namely Rev 13, as perhaps “a symbolic way of expressing the social isolation and hardship that the faithful and sealed followers of Christ will endure at the time when the whole world will be buying Babylon’s corrupt doctrines and policies” (Stefanovic, 2002, p. 427). In short, Adventist eschatological concern should focus on the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:23; Acts 1:8) and the spreading of the message of the Second Coming of Christ. The remnant plays a leading part and they are represented by three angels (Nichol, 1980, p. 827). The real concern of Adventists must be sharing the positive sign, namely, the message of the Second Coming of Jesus. Adventists should not concentrate on negative and passive signs, such as the present financial collapse or any prohibition of trade. Adventists should intercede for the world like Moses, “But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Ex 32:32) as they share the three angels’ messages. Adventists should continue to make every effort AAMM, Vol. 1,
to be the blameless people of God, who work for the salvation of human beings, for “in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay’” (Heb 10:37).
References Gulley, Norman (1998). Christ is Coming. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald. Knight, George R. (2008). Apocalyptic Vision and the Neutering of Adventism. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald. Neufeld, Don F. (Ed). (1976). Sunday Law. In Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (Rev. ed.). Washington, DC: Review and Herald. Nichol, Francis D. (Ed). (1980). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 7.) Washington, DC: Review and Herald. Stefanovic, Ranko (2002). Revelation of Jesus Christ: Commentary on the Book of Revelation. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press Seventh-day Adventist Church. Fundamental Beliefs. Retrieved from http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental. White, Ellen G. (1856). Review and Herald. n.p. White, Ellen G. (1948). Testimony for the Church (Vol. 9). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (1950). Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. Boise, ID: Pacific Press. White, Ellen G. (2000). Early Writings. Washington, DC: Review and Herald.
Manu, Patrick. (2007). Leading Without Tears. Maharashtra, India: Angela Enterprises. 186pp. In this unique work the author presents the current and future leadership challenges as well as their solutions as he collected and compared information from all relevant and related sources. The author's "thought provoking," terms used by the forwarder Dr. Justus Devadas (xi), work aimed to benefit all leadership and management ranks as well as to guide the future leaders who are presently students, intended audience, in "B.B.A., M.B.A. and M.A. Education/M. Ed. students". The book exposes substantial thoughts, ideas, facts and information to the readers. Two of the factors which make this work unique are its friendly features and readability. The book consists of ten chapters and in each chapter the term "leadership" is a primary feature as well as the permanent driving discourse of the book. The reviewer's perception of why the author wrote on this subject rather than any other is that there is a leadership demand worldwide. The author has been and is still a school administrator. He has served as a dean, principal, and, presently, Vice Chancellor of a given university. The book fits very well in the stipulated areas of leadership category. The organization of the book follows a formal style with few exceptions. The book's coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, and conciseness are reflected in the book. The author may have enough reason(s) why he did not indicate the page numbers in the table of contents which he omitted. Also there are a few quotations which are not fully credited or documented for which the author is aware and apologetic in his acknowledgement (xiv). However, to the reviewer's evaluation, the book very well suits the intended audience. It seems the author mainly used the exposition method, explanation and analysis to present a subject or to clarify an idea. This is the author's second book. His first book is entitled Perspectives in Psychology. Tables and figures are well illustrated throughout the book in order to boost AAMM, Vol. 1,
the readers' understanding. Chapter one presents various comparative definitions of leadership and a leader. It also compares leadership with management concerns, guidelines and principles which are intended for maximum usage. Chapter two describes the behavior and style of leadership. Having explained different sub-headings as suggested by various authors, the author of this work perceives that leadership behavior and style influence positively (when correctly applied) and cause failure (when wrongly used). The chapter draws lines between what satisfies a leader and what frustrates him/her as well as between what interests a leader and what are considered mistakes of a leader (43–47). Chapter three focuses on communication as an effective tool for efficient leadership. It also identifies some communication barriers (56–57) and some avoidable communications (62–63). The central point of discussion in chapter four is change and the causes of change. Nevertheless, the same chapter exposes that even though change is expected and inevitable, unfortunately, either systems or leaders or people can resist and freeze the expected change in leadership (83–89). The whole issue in chapter five is decision making and it mainly pictures the types, strategies, processes, models and values of decision making. Chapter six discusses motivation, which is both the present and urgent need of leadership. The author undertakes the discussion from psychological dimensions in order to prove how effective and productive leadership could be if its workers are motivated (114–116). Chapter seven discusses the importance of delegation (of responsibility, authority and accountability) in order to be successful and increase productivity. Although delegation is imperative, the author attests that there are responsibilities "not to delegate" (129). He highlights two vital set of impediments which are "barriers to delegation" and "factors affecting delegation" (132–134). Conflict resolution is the main thrust of chapter eight. Having featured various models of conflict management, the author suggests how to resolve and prevent conflicts. Chapter nine discusses power, authority and politics. The author claims that these three are "wedged" or fixed in a leader (159). Out of these three, the author took ample time and space in exposing "power," with its positive and negative effects in leadership. In other words, the exposition was in a sequential and descending order and there exist vital lessons for one to acquire. The closing chapter discusses "Servant Leadership." One of the interesting lessons to learn and befit are the ten characteristics of the servant-leader (174– 174
175). It also offers traits of a successful servant leader which impressed the reviewer. The author itemized an interesting five point approach to motivate risk taking in servant leadership. Each chapter is ended with special case studies with questions for discussion and personal reflections in order to validate the importance of the book. The reviewer compared Leading Without Tears to other two books in the area: Leadership: Trilogy on Leadership and Effective Management by Anthony D'Souza and Strategy for Leadership: God's Principles for Churches and Christian Organization by Edward R. Dayton and Ted W. Engstrom. Since each book attempts to suit the author's intended purpose and objectives, it is impossible to rank one higher than the other. In this sense, Dr. Patrick Manu's book has its unique approach in its own ways as intending to fit the said readers. The closing chapter, "Servant Leadership", mainly characterizes the author's leadership burden and behavior – a Christian slant. The reviewer benefitted much from the author's approach and agrees on the topics covered in this book—they are relevant for the said leadership needs. Therefore, he recommends this book to any person who desires to become updated, active, proficient, and a servant leader in his/her respective areas of leadership and wishes to lead many without tears – without causing pain and resentment. Gebre Worancha Bugema University Kampala, Uganda
AAMM, Vol. 1,
Information for AAMM Authors, AAMM Style Guide,
& Editorial Policy
AAMM Editorial and Publication Office
Information for AAMM Authors AAMM Editorial and Publication Office
ABSTRACTâŽŻThis document is for use in preparing the Asia-Africa Journal of Mission & Ministry (AAMM) regular or special-issue paper, and provides short guidelines for authors who wish to submit papers to AAMM. Use this document as a template when you submit a regular or a special-issue paper, along with the style guide. Authors interested in submitting a manuscript to AAMM should visit the AAMM web site, http://aamm.syu.ac.kr. Keywords: AAMM, submission guideline, author rights, responsibility I. Author Rights and Responsibilities A. Original Work Manuscripts submitted to AAMM must be original work submitted exclusively to AAMM and never published before, excluding in short abstract form. A manuscript previously published in another language is not regarded as an original contribution. B. Copyright With each manuscript you must submit an AAMM copyright form which transfers the copyright to the unpublished article to AAMM and which warrants that the article is the original work of the author and does not infringe the copyright of any other parties. Before publication, the Editorial and Publication Office must Manuscript received submission_date; revised last_revision_date; accepted accepted_date. First_author (degree, academic position, email address), Second_author (degree, email_address) are with Department_name, Org_name, State_province, Country_name. AAMM, Vol. 1,
receive a signed hard copy of the copyright form, which can be obtained on the AAMM web site. C. Ethical and Legal Issues Plagiarism, fabrication, falsification, and double submission are unacceptable. Authors are responsible for acknowledging sources appropriately. AAMM assumes that material submitted to AAMM is properly available for general dissemination to the readership of AAMM. It is the responsibility of the authors, not AAMM or Sahmyook University (SU), to determine whether disclosure of their material requires the prior consent of other parties and, if so, to obtain it. D. Contents Statements and opinions given in the articles published in AAMM are the expressions of the contributors. Responsibility for the contents of published papers rests upon the authors, not AAMM or SU. E. Authorship Every contributor should be listed as an author and no one but contributors should be listed as authors. The submitting author is regarded as the corresponding author. All correspondence will be sent to the submitting author by email. II. Manuscript Preparation A. Research Areas Covered in AAMM Papers to be considered for publication in AAMM should be original papers of broad significance and long range interest in: Basic researches on Christian environments of Asia or Africa Theological perspective on social issues Evangelistic project or strategy Church planting or church ministry Church leadership Campus ministry Youth and children ministry or evangelism 180
Information for AAMM Authors
Integration of faith and learning in classroom A survey for mission and ministry Report from mission fields and churches Biblical or systematic theological topics from Asian and African viewpoints All topics should be relevant to mission and ministry in Asia or Africa. Papers should be written to be accessible to non-specialists as well as experts in the fields discussed.
B. Choice of Word Processor Use Microsoft Word to prepare your manuscript. This Author Information file and the style guide file can be used as a template for regular or special-issue papers and book reviews or reports. Please prepare your manuscript according to this format. Most formatting codes are removed and replaced when we prepare your manuscript for printing, so please input your material as simply as possible and avoid excessive use of special formatting. C. Length of Manuscript The length of regular or special-issue papers is limited to twenty pages in AAMMâ€™s format. Book reviews and reports are limited to five pages. Your paper should be just long enough to present the background of the subject, your purpose, the detail of your investigation, your results, and your conclusions. Use Times New Roman 11-point type for all text, including references. The font size and spacing should not be manipulated to forcefully fit the page limit. D. Abstract The abstract of a paper should concisely state what was done, how it was done, the principal results, and their significance. It will appear later in various abstracts/index journals and should only contain the most critical information of the paper. The abstract of regular papers and special-issue papers is limited to 1200 characters including the blank spaces, and book-reviews and reports do not need their abstracts. E. Sections
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Regular length papers generally consist of the title, author affiliation footnote, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and references. The author names and author affiliation footnote must not appear during review for anonymity between reviewers and authors. F. Notes Use notes sparingly, primarily to identify cited sources. Do not include lengthy content in any notes. Only material directly related to your research should be cited and included under references. G. Errors, Revisions, and Timeliness Authors are responsible for correcting errors in their manuscripts and completing revisions in a timely manner as requested by the Editorial and Publication Office. III. Submission Procedure Manuscript must be submitted as a document e-mail attachment (in Microsoft Word format only) to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, Author Profile sheet and Copyright Agreement also should be sent by e-mail or fax at the same time. Before you send your paper by email, you may choose to scan the signed Copyright Agreement form and upload it with the paper. Alternatively, you can just send your paper first by e-mail and then fax the signed hard copy of AAMMâ€™s Copyright Agreement form as soon as possible to the AAMM Editorial and Publication Office (fax: +82 2 6008 3634). IV. Review Process A. Prescreening before Editorial Review When a manuscript is submitted to AAMM, it undergoes an initial prescreening by the Editorial Committee (Editor, Associate editors, English language editor, Publication general manager) in order to determine whether or not the paper fits the interests of AAMM's readers. If the Editorial Committee feels the manuscript meets the journalâ€™s minimum standards for publication, the paper then enters a blind editorial review process. 182
Information for AAMM Authors
B. Editorial Review As reviewing is the key factor in ensuring high quality articles based on an objective and balanced evaluation, all papers that have passed the prescreening undergo editorial review. The Associate Editor of AAMM selects two or three members of the Editorial Board or experts with distinguished records in the research areas covered by the submitted journal as reviewers for each paper. Both the reviewers and the authors are anonymous. For additional information on the review process, see the Reviewer section on the web site. C. Acceptance of Manuscript It is the responsibility of the Editorial Committee for making the final decision whether to publish a manuscript. After carefully reviewing all reviewers' comments and authors' responses and revisions, the Editorial Committee makes a decision based on the best judgment of its members. The Editorial Committee may decide not to publish a manuscript without asking the author for responses to the reviewers’ comments. For additional information on the Editorial Board and the decision process, see Editorial Process in the Editor section on the web site. V. After Acceptance A. Language Editing For every manuscript accepted for publication, AAMM provides free English language editing. The English editor uses the “track changes” and “memo” functions of MS Word for communication with the authors. The authors are required to respond at their earliest convenience so as not to cause any delay in production. B. Proofs Every article to be published in AAMM is re-edited utilizing the authors’ manuscript after English editing. Authors will receive proofs of their paper prior to publication. These must be checked and returned to the AAMM Publication Office immediately. Changes should be minor corrections only. AAMM, Vol. 1,
C. Charges and Complimentary Copy AAMM does not charge authors for submission or publication. Authors of a paper published in AAMM receive two complimentary copies of the issue in which their contribution appears. VI. Contact Information AAMM Editorial & Publication Office Mission and Society Research Institute Sahmyook University 26-21 Gongreung 2-dong, Nowon-gu Seoul, 139-742 Rep. of Korea Email: email@example.com Phone: +82 2 3399 1867 Fax: +82 2 6008 3634
Information for AAMM Authors
AAMM Style Guide AAMM Editorial and Publication Office
ABSTRACTâŽŻThis Style Guide will give you information necessary for preparing your manuscript for submission to Asiaâ€“Africa Journal of Mission & Ministry (AAMM). The Style Guide is organized and formatted as your manuscript should be. The Guide will cover the following subjects: formatting; tables, charts, and captions; references and citations; and miscellaneous advice. If you follow this guide, your paper will be in a form that can be most efficiently reviewed, edited, and prepared for printing. Keywords: AAMM, style guide I. Formatting Your Manuscript A. General Prepare your document in Microsoft Word using this document as a template. All manuscript pages, tables, and charts should be given in numerical order. Use 2.0 cm margins all around, and use Times New Roman 11point type for all text, including references. Do not use bold fonts. Use italics for book titles and where appropriate. The first line of every paragraph should be indented 0.5 cm. Except as noted in this style sheet, follow the directives of: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: DC: American Psychological Fifth Edition (Washington, Association, 2008) for general style and editing matters; and The SBL Handbook of Style (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1999) for Manuscript received submission_date; revised last_revision_date; accepted accepted_date. First_author (degree, academic position, email address), Second_author (degree, email_address) are with Department_name, Org_name, State_province, Country_name. AAMM, Vol. 1,
matters specific to religion or theology not otherwise covered in the Manual of APA. B. Headings For heading titles, use capital letters for the first letter of all words except articles (a, an, the), prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor). To divide titles from subtitles, use a colon (:); always capitalize the first word of the subtitle ("Biblical Theology of Worship: Short Cut for Church Growth"). Your name as author follows after a skipped line, centered. Number the primary headings by Roman numerals followed by periods. Number the secondary headings by capital letters of English alphabet followed by periods. For tertiary headings, use Arabic numerals followed by a period. C. Length The length of a regular or special-issue paper is limited to twenty pages in AAMMâ€™s format including abstract and reference, and its abstract is limited to 1200 characters including blank spaces. The length of a book review or a report is strictly limited to five pages, and its abstract is limited to 600 characters. II. Tables, Charts, and Captions Include your tables, charts, and captions in the file with the text of your paper. Locate tables and charts near the text that refers to them. III. Reference Citations in Text AAMM journals use the author-date method of citation. Document your study throughout the text by citing by author and date the works you used in your paper. A. One work by One Author The surname of the author (do not include suffixes such as Jr.) and the year of publication are inserted in the text at the appropriate point: 186
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Lee (2000, pp. 11–12) insists that church planting should . . . In a recent theory of church planting (Lee, 2000, pp. 11–12) For electronic sources that do not provide page numbers, use the paragraph number. (Myers, 2000, para. 1) B. One Work by Multiple Authors When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. Kim & Smith (1996, p. 56) found . . . C. Two or More Works within the Same Parentheses Past research (Kubo, 1991, pp. 254–255; Baker, 2007, p. 189) Past research (Chung, 2004, p. 221; 2005, pp. 180–183) D. The Bible Identify in the first citation in your text which version of the Bible you are using. Subsequent references do not need the version identified unless you switch (example: John 3:16 King James Version). Do not abbreviate books of the Bible in the text of your paper, but you may use abbreviated name of book in footnote or parenthetical notes (example: 2 Cor. 4:1-3; 5:17). Use the following abbreviations for biblical books. Note that no period follows the book abbreviation (example: Gen 1:1): Gen Exod Lev Num Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1-2 Sam 1-2 Kgs 1-2 Chr Ezra Neh Esth Job Ps (pl: Pss) Prov Eccl Song Isa Jer Lam Ezek Dan Hos Joel Amos Obad Jonah Mic Nah Hab Zeph Hag Zech Mal Matt Mark Luke John Acts Rom 1-2 Cor Gal Eph Phil Col 1-2 Thess 1-2 Tim Titus Phlm Heb Jas 1-2 Pet 1-2-3 John Jude Rev E. Block Quotations
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Indent block quotations 1.0 cm from the left margin and 0.5 cm from the right. If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each an additional 0.5 cm. Alasdair Maclntyre's description (1988) makes the point clearly. Every article of the Summa poses a question whose answer depends upon the outcome of an essentially uncompleted debate. For the set of often disparate and heterogeneous arguments against whatever position Aquinas' enquiries so far have led him to accept is always open to addition by some as yet unforeseen argument (pp. 171–172). Quotations set apart in this way should always be long enough to occupy at least four full lines on the printed journal page. Do not set apart brief quotations, unless they will be the subject of some discussion and will require extraordinary relief on the page. Omit quotation marks at the beginning and end of block quotations. IV. Reference A. Ordering of Reference A list of references must be provided at the end of the paper. The list should be arranged in alphabetical order of authors’ names. References cited in text must appear in the reference list; conversely, each entry in the reference list must be cited in text. B. Format of Reference Samples of correct formats for various types of references are as follows: 1. Books Entire books: Use capital letters for the first letter of all words of books’ title except articles (a, an, the), prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, for, nor).
AAMM Style Guide
Issler, Klaus and Habermas, Ronald. (1994). How We Learn: A Christian Teacher’s Guide to Educational Psychology. Grand Rapids: Baker. Books, group author as publisher: Korea National Statistical Office. (2007). Annual Report on the Economically Active Population Survey. Seoul, Korea: Korea National Statistical Office. Non-English book: Kim, Inho. (1988). Bigidokgyo Daehaksaeng-i Bon Hanguk Gidokgyo [Christianity in Korea through the Eyes of NonChristian College Students]. Seoul, Korea: Joy. 2. Periodicals Journal: Smith, Brian K. (1997). Christianity as a Second Language: Rethinking Mission in the West. Theology Today, 53(4), 439– 448. Magazine: Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Beyond the Melting Pot. Time, 135, 28–31. 3. Encyclopedia, Dictionary, or Commentary Encyclopedia: Sadie, S. (Ed.). (1980). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (6th ed., Vols. 1–20). London: Macmillan. Entry in an encyclopedia: Limburg, James. (1993). Psalms, Book of. In Anchor Bible Dictionary (Vol. 5, pp. 522–526). New York: Doubleday. Separately titled volume in a multivolume work: Murphy, R. E. (2002). Proverbs. Word Biblical Commentary (Vol. 22). Dallas, TX: Word. Seventh-day Adventist commentary (SDABC): Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1953-1957). Daniel. In Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 743–881). Washington, DC: Review and Herald.
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4. Electronic Sources Lichtenwalter, Larry L. (2005, Spring). Twisted Kisses. Journal of Adventist Theological Society, 10(2), 57–59. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from http://www.atsjats.org/publication _file.php?pub_id=192&journal=2&type=pdf 5. Dissertations and Theses Park, Chunsik. (2005). Theology of Judgment in Genesis 6–9. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Maryland, Michigan. 6. Publication Data In giving publication data, generally omit the words "Press, Editions, Publication, Ltd.," etc. When several places in the same country are given, mention only the first; such as, New York: Paulist (not Mahwah). Use postal abbreviations for states of the USA (do not use N.J., but rather NJ) 7. In General A good guide for spelling is Webster's Third New International Dictionary, or its abbreviated edition, Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition (2005). V. Miscellaneous Advice Use one space after periods and colons except time, Bible references, etc. where colon divides a number. Use a zero before decimal points: “0.25,” not “.25.” When expressing a range of values, write “7 to 9,” not “7–9” or “7~9,” except page numbers. A parenthetical statement at the end of a sentence is punctuated outside of the parenthesis mark (like this). (A parenthetical sentence is punctuated within the parentheses mark.) In American English, periods and commas are within quotation marks, like “this period.” Other punctuation is “outside”! When material is omitted from a quotation, if the omitted material falls in the middle of a sentence, the omission should be signaled by three double-spaced periods ( . . . ). If the omitted material comes at the end of a sentence, or the end of one sentence and material from one or more subsequent sentences, it should be signaled by four double-spaced periods (. . . .). The first point indicates the period at the end of the first sentence quoted. 190
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The m-dash (—) is used to set off parenthetical expressions (note: no space on either side of the m-dash). To create the m-dash in MS Word, simultaneously strike Ctrl-Alt-NumLock-hyphen. The n-dash (–) (note: not the hyphen) is used to indicate inclusive page numbers. To create the n-dash in MS Word, simultaneously strike Ctrl-NumLock-hyphen]. Stylists prefer that you write in the first person and use the active voice (“I observed that …” or “We observed that …” rather than “It was observed that….”). If your native language is not English, please get a native English-speaking colleague to proofread your paper.
References Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Beyond the Melting Pot. Time, 135, 28–31. Issler, Klaus and Habermas, Ronald. (1994). How We Learn: A Christian Teacher’s Guide to Educational Psychology. Grand Rapids: Baker. Kim, Inho. (1988). Bigidokgyo Daehaksaeng-i Bon Hanguk Gidokgyo [Christianity in Korea through the Eyes of NonChristian College Students]. Seoul, Korea: Joy. Korea National Statistical Office. (2007). Annual Report on the Economically Active Population Survey. Seoul, Korea: Korea National Statistical Office. Lichtenwalter, Larry L. (2005, Spring). Twisted Kisses. Journal of Adventist Theological Society, 10(2), 57–59. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from http://www.atsjats.org/publication \_file.php?pub_id=192&journal=2&type=pdf Limburg, James. (1993). Psalms, Book of. In Anchor Bible Dictionary (Vol. 5, pp. 522–526). New York: Doubleday. Murphy, R. E. (2002). Proverbs. Word Biblical Commentary (Vol. 22). Dallas, TX: Word. Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1953-1957). Daniel. In Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 743–881). Washington, DC: Review and Herald. Park, Chunsik. (2005). Theology of Judgment in Genesis 6–9. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Maryland, Michigan.
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Sadie, S. (Ed.). (1980). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (6th ed., Vols. 1–20). London: Macmillan. Smith, Brian K. (1997). Christianity as a Second Language: Rethinking Mission in the West. Theology Today, 53(4), 439– 448.
AAMM Style Guide
AAMM Editorial Policy
The Editorial Board of AAMM is composed of members of the Mission and Society Research Institute (MSRI) of Sahmyook University (SU) along with professionals from research institutes and universities throughout Korea and the world. All manuscripts submitted to AAMM are reviewed critically, and it is the responsibility of the Editor, the Associate Editors, and the Editorial Board to determine their suitability for publication. After receipt of a manuscript by the Editor, it is sent to Associate Editors, who usually assign it to two or three members of the Editorial Board or experts with distinguished records in the area covered by the article, for reviewing. Both the reviewers and the authors are anonymous in the process. The reviewers then make a definitive recommendation for acceptance, revision (major or minor), or rejection based on the theological merit and practical value for the church. Reviewers may be consulted when additional expertise is required. Reviewers do not know the identities of the authors and authors do not know the identities of the reviewers. The reviewers' comments are passed on to the authors, and according to its discretion authorsâ€™ revisions are returned to the reviewers. The Editor decides whether the authors' responses and the revised manuscript should be reviewed by the original reviewers for additional comments. Editors and reviewers keep confidential all material in manuscripts they have access to. The Editorial Committee (Editor, Associate Editors, English Language Editor, Publication General Manager) makes its final decision according to the following factors: recommendations of reviewers, topical fields and subjects, novelty, and the quality of written expression. The most time-consuming part of the publication process is AAMM, Vol. 1,
securing the reviewers and their recommendations. The first cycle, from submission of the manuscript to the return of all the reviewers' recommendations, takes from two to three months. The second cycle, from submission of the revised manuscript to the notification of the final decision, is another two to three months. The Editors and Editorial and Publication staff are committed to streamlining the publication process wherever possible.
AAMM Editorial Policy