Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 137:545 (Jan 1980)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“Christianity as an African Religion,” Byang H. Kato, Perception, May 1979, pp. 1-6.

At the time of his death, Kato was executive secretary of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, the organization that publishes this periodical. This previously unpublished article attacks the nationalistic spirit abroad in Africa that rejects the Bible and Christianity as foreign and non-African. Kato presents the Bible and Christianity as God’s message and faith for all men everywhere in all ages, for Africans as well as all others.

First, Kato emphasizes that Christianity is not a religion since it is “a matter of personal relationship” (p. 1) based on revelation from God instead of human search and discovery. Second, he points out how difficult it is to define African since “there are nearly 1000 ethnic groups or tribes in Africa” (p. 1) in addition to other races such as Arabs, Europeans, and Asians who are truly African. Kato insists that Christianity is as African as any other faith since “150 million out of the 360 million people of Africa call themselves ‘Christians’“ (p. 2). Furthermore, although in modern times foreign missionaries have brought the gospel to Africa, historically Africa has closer ties with Christianity than any other land area except Palestine itself. Third, Kato notes that Christianity has been a universal faith that speaks to all men of all cultures. African Christians need to proclaim and to practice the Christian faith in its biblical purity and simplicity.

“Ecumenicals and Evangelicals,” Byang H. Kato, Perception, May 1979, pp. 6-8.

The balance of this issue is devoted to an adaptation of an article from Today in Africa which contrasts the beliefs of ecumenicals and

evangelicals on crucial points of doctrine, polity, and practice such as the Bible, sin, salvation, heaven, ethics, and evangelism. The two positions are presented in parallel columns for easy comparison. It is an excellent, handy checklist.

“The Witness of the Jews to God: Their Purpose in History,” David W. Torrance, Renewal, August/September 1979, pp. 20-23.

“Has Israel Been Replaced by the Church?” W. J. Maybin, Prophetic Witness, July 1979, pp. 7-9.

These two articles fit together and in the order in which they are listed. The one by Torrance deals with the historical fact of the persistence of the Jewish people as an identifiable ethnic entity, their present-day reconstitution as a national political entity, and the theological significance of all this, if any. Maybin presents the bibl...

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