Book Review“ A Letter To Africa About Africa” -- By: Kevin Gary Smith

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 05:1 (Mar 2008)
Article: Book Review“ A Letter To Africa About Africa”
Author: Kevin Gary Smith

Book Review“
A Letter To Africa About Africa”

Kevin Gary Smith

Munza K 2008. A letter to Africa about Africa. Johannesburg: Trans-World Radio. (78 pages)

The objective of this short book is to argue that the root cause of the social evils that afflict Africa have their roots in an unbiblical worldview, and the appropriate treatment is “theotherapy”, helping African Christians to embrace a biblical worldview.

The author begins with a brief chapter outlining the technological, economic, social and medical ills of Africa. Turning to the common reasons for these problems, he rejects colonialism, a spiritual curse, lack of education and poverty as candidates for the primary cause of these ills, regarding them as symptoms rather than the disease itself. He proposes that the traditional African worldview is the primary cause.

Much of the remainder of the book is devoted to exploring the traditional African worldview and its implications. Munza summarises the African worldview as a cycle of life between two worlds, the temporary physical world and the spiritual world (home). Birth and death are gateways between these two worlds. He explains how these beliefs promote lack of development, spread of disease and rejection of western medicine, power struggles and wars, fatalism, cannibalism, and other ills.

After briefly describing his conversion and personal change of worldview, Munza offers his interpretation of a biblical worldview, focusing on a biblical perspective on the relationship between the physical and spiritual realms, and a linear view of life and death. Much of the latter half of the book addresses

the question, “How can we help African Christians develop a biblical worldview?”

A Letter to Africa about Africa is a short, reader-friendly book[let] that can be read in an hour. The book's presentation of the traditional African worldview and how it limits peace and progress is enlightening. This is its greatest value; it is worth reading just for this insight. I found the analysis of complex problems in the latter half of the book simplistic and unconvincing, littered with sweeping, unsubstantiated claims.

Does the book achieve its purpose of arguing for a change of worldview as the solution to Africa's problems? Although philosophically I agree with this premise, I think the argument for it is weakened by the simplistic analysis of complex problems. Munza does expose that without a change of worldview, the ills of the continent will continue, but I was disappointed with his case for “theotherapy”.

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