Once again, the Theological Education Association of Southern Africa (www.teasa.co.za) held a very successful Bible College Consultation, for the tenth time in eleven years! The three-day event was attended from 8 to 10 June by some one hundred delegates, while several other delegates participated via Zoom. In total 32 Bible colleges and other institutions from several countries in Southern Africa participated in one or another way.
And not only was there much to learn, but this event continues to promise much for future fellowship and networking.
The theme of the consultation was “Standing firm for the truth in Bible education within Africa”. Some of the most important points made by the dozen speakers during the consultation are summarised as follows.
Apologetics Urgently Required
Believers must always be ready to defend the faith convincingly, according to Rev. Rodgers Atwebembeire of the Africa Centre for Apologetics Research in Kampala, Uganda. But many pastors lack Biblical and theological knowledge. How can they teach their flock?
The result is that in Africa there are numerous cultic groups and heretical movements with many millions of followers of local cults and African initiated churches, such as the amaZioni and amaNazaretha, as well as Africanized neo-Pentecostalism. There are also millions who support imported cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.
Islam is growing fast in Africa, as well as the Western influence of atheists and sceptics. Not to mention the belief in the Prosperity Gospel in many churches of established denominations.
Many Bible colleges and churches in Africa do not give proper attention to apologetics in their theological curricula. Apologetic courses, such as Mukhanyo is offering, should be introduced in all diploma and degree programs of all Bible colleges.
Undermining the True Faith
The true faith of the Bible is undermined in subtle ways by the many forms of the African Traditional Religion, according to Pastor Sipho Mfusi who grew up within the Zionist Church. He now pastors the Estcourt Community Church in KwaZulu-Natal, a Reformed Baptist church plant. Common examples of African syncretism include:
However, Bible education in Africa must also be defended against Western errors, as expounded on by Prof. Vhumani Magezi of the North-West University, South Africa. Eurocentric and colonial influences everywhere are seen in ideas, philosophies, worldviews, individualism, materialism, etc. The unbiblical ideologies of liberal theology, cultural Marxism, secularism and humanism are infiltrating African society at every level. In addition, the attempts to defend the Bible include many voices and unbiblical views such as African, Black and liberation theology, feminism, different hermeneutical approaches, etc.
Visit the TEASA website for information on the 2021 event (www.teasa.co.za) and to download the audio recordings of all the keynote addresses and some of the afternoon discussion topics. You can also register online for next year’s event planned for 14-16 June 2022, the Lord willing.