One of the most formative theological books I ever read is Luther’s De Servo Arbitrio or merely The Bondage of the Will. You may accuse Luther of barbaric arrogance, to which he would humbly admit, but you cannot fail to concede to the forcefulness of the argument he makes in this masterpiece.
As I do the required reading for my courses, I often encounter golden nuggets that force me to stop my reading, ponder, and at times dance inwardly. Then I rejoice and mutter a few words of wonder and doxology.
It is often said, rightly, that the whole purpose of our being is so that we may know God, through whom and for whom all things exist, and to enjoy Him forever, in an intimate experiential and mysterious way. Apart from this, we live for nothing else.
It’s always amazing to travel. Especially to new lands, to places one has often heard of, or perhaps only seen in the movies! With it comes an invitation into the soul of another civilization, a revelation of life beyond one’s ancestral confines.
It is impossible for those who see themselves as gods and Christ not to have a human-centered view of life rather than a God-Centered one. For a man to see himself as a god, he must have such an inflated view of himself and a deflated view of God, a reversal of the reality of things, ‘for there is none like the God of Jeshurun.’ This man-centered view of reality is humanism; it is what is called anthropocentrism.
It is often said, and more rightly so that those who don’t know history are poised to repeat it. Often, the problems we struggle with today have been before, and we grow in wisdom by looking back at how our forefathers resolved them. The theological and ecclesiastical problems the modern church faces today are not new, as we will see.
The death of Christ for the redemption of humanity is the gospel that rejoices the hearts of the redeemed. This redemption is Trinitarian. The Father decrees before the foundation of the world to redeem a people for Himself through His Son, not based on any merit of their own, but purely on the substance of Christ His Son, who would die to effect the ransom for their redemption (Eph 1:3-14). This work is produced in the believer’s heart by the Spirit of God, through regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
In my previous article entitled ‘Why Cults Thrive in Uganda,’ I highlighted the conditions that make it possible and easy for false teachings to prosper in this land. Notably, I made mention of the lamentable lack of biblical teaching on the pulpits, as well as media platforms.
In 2013, Conrad Mbewe of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia preached a Sermon titled ‘Are we Preachers or Witch-doctors?’ at the Strange Fire Conference, an annual Conference organized by Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. In his presentation, later published in a blog that can be found here, Mbewe makes an excellent diagnosis of the evangelical movement in Africa, most especially the popular charismatic churches.