As an atheist…

…well I’m not, but this week I was reminded of an article that I never read but knew about through a quote.  I went looking for it and found the article called “As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God” (2008, UK timesonline, read the whole thing here http://tiny.cc/nqhgz).  The writer, atheist Matthew Paris, gives his rational that Africa needs spiritual transformation to see true development and liberation.  It is refreshing read to see that someone outside of missiology sees the realities and complexities of cultural interaction – he also doesnt fall into the post-modern trap of assuming that culture is sacred and cannot be messed with!  This is probably due to his own cross-cultural backgroud and experience of good and bad in multiple cultures.  The defining paragraph for me is after outlining some issues in traditional african tribal culture he states:

Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I’ve just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.

There is probably alot in the article that can be improved on, I dont really know as I have much to learn in this area, but I found this an elightening and engaging article in my journey of viewing future work in Mozambique.

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