Christianity and history

I had a discussion with a friend recently, and our discussion veered towards how many Nigerian schools were not teaching history. We reflected on the little instruction in history we both received as young pupils compared to the apparently worse state the subject is in today. Our brief conversation later got me thinking about how crucial…

Modernity: story without a storyteller

In an article published over twenty years ago, the late Lutheran theologian, Robert W. Jenson (1930-2017), left a rather poignant paragraph for us to reflect on:   “If there is little mystery about where the West got its faith in a narratable world, neither is there much mystery about how the West has lost this…

Between Marx and Christ

Karl Marx derided religion as myth. He described it as an opiate which is taken to help us cope with our oppressions and social injustice. And he attempted a better solution: He offered the hope of a classless society based on the belief that the problem with humanity is the acceptance of private property. The…

Christ in Greek society

The coming of Christ turned the world upside down. As the fourth-century Christian bishop and writer Athanasius (296 – 373AD) points out, the impact of Christ upon early Greek society showed clearly that this was no ordinary person. “When did people begin to abandon the worship of idols, unless it were since the very Word…

The Lord’s Song

“By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign…

The King who rode on a Donkey

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38) I wrote in an earlier post about how Jesus turned the world upside-down, especially in relation to power. And there are few incidents in his earthly ministry which portray this like his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Here was the King of the…

The Secret Christian

  I find it interesting that the two men (Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus) who are on record as being so helpful with the burial of Jesus were ‘secret’ disciples (John 19:38-42). They followed Jesus and believed he was the messiah, albeit secretly because they feared the Jews. They didn’t want to be accused of…

We need another Reformation

Several centuries ago, on this date, an unknown monk, professor and preacher posted a document on the door of the castle church in the town of Wittenberg in modern day Germany. It was a simple call for discussion and debate of some important topics and issues. Unknown to him, the material would be taken by…

A Play in Six Acts: The Message of the Bible

This outline is adapted from a paper presented by Michael W. Goheen, Theological Director at the Missional Training Centre in Phoenix, Arizona (USA). It is a very brief overview of the biblical story presented as a play in six acts. So when next you pick the Bible to read, ask yourself what act of the play you…

Christians in History: Augustine (354 – 430)

The eminent church historian, Philip Schaff, described him as ‘the great church teacher of all times’. Augustine is a towering figure in the long history of the Christian church. Aside from standing as an important link between early Christianity and the Middle Ages, his views and ideas have deeply influenced how the Christian world understands…

Christians in History: Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920)

Abraham Kuyper was born on 29th October, 1837 to the family of Reverend and Mrs J. F. Kuyper. He was  home-schooled in his early years, after which he studied at Leyden University, the oldest and most prestigious university in the Netherlands.  After completing his studies in theology, he was ordained as a minister in the…

Christians in History: Irenaeus (130 – 202)

Irenaeus was born around 130 AD in the city of Smyrna (present day Izmir in Turkey). He was raised as a Christian and was a student of Polycarp, an early Christian leader who had been a disciple of John the apostle. On account of persecution by the Roman emperor, he relocated to Rome and then…