A very warm welcome to this first edition of Transform, a journal drawing together contributors and readers from around the African continent and reaching out to the rest of the globe. One of our principal aims is to highlight the impact of Wesleyan theology, history and practical life within Africa. After many months of planning, a few false starts here and there, and a host of willing participants, we are off and running. To God be the glory!
We are delighted to present a great line-up of articles for this first edition, as well as several helpful book reviews.
Oftentimes, Christians have tended to privatise the Christian faith. In the first article, Dr Hermmann Yokoniah Mvula, lecturer in Old Testament Ethics and Applied Theology at the University of Malawi, presents a solid biblical argument for a public faith and the role of believers in public affairs. Mvula, basing his arguments upon the Old Testament prophets, argues that Christian holiness cannot be privatised, but holiness must find a place in the public square.
In an article entitled, Paul’s Teaching on Food Offered to Idols in 1 Corinthians and Its Implication for Wesleyan Christianity in Africa, Dr Valentine Chukwujekwa Mbachi and Professor Hope Amolo analyse 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and 10:23-11:1 in order to mine the texts with strong historical and cultural implications. The authors, lecturers from Nigeria’s Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Imo State University, respectively, make application of the biblical texts to cultural practices within the Nigerian context. The article emphasises the importance of holy living in the daily lives of Christians.
Drs Victor Priest Chukwuma and Chinyere Felicia Priest, lecturers at West Africa Theological Seminary, address the role of theological education in addressing the bane of the prosperity gospel. The authors note the challenges of the prosperity gospel to the message of holiness and argue that theological education is the remedy for this aberration of the gospel message. The articles make some proposals for strengthening theological education within the African continent.
In his article, Interethnic Conflict in Kenya: A Biblical Response to Conflict, Prevention, and Reconciliation among Warring Communities, Dr Patrick Mburu Kamau discusses the various causes for conflict between communities in the Kenyan context. The senior lecturer at Africa Nazarene University further proposes biblical principles for preventing and resolving interethnic conflict. This article places stress upon the practical Christian living in conflictual circumstances.
Dr Samuel Otieno Oketch, Nazarene Compassionate Ministry coordinator for the Africa East Field of the Church of the Nazarene, provides an important emphasis on missions for this issue. His article is entitled Missionary Strategies of the Apostle Paul for Church Growth. Oketch raises the question of whether the strategies of the Apostle Paul can be applied to various contexts. He concludes that Paul’s strategies are applicable and essential to the current era and the various contexts.
God has blessed Transform with a great team of multi-talented editors and managers. We owe special gratitude to Dr J. Russell Frazier, senior lecturer at Africa Nazarene University, Nairobi, who, more than anyone else, spawned the earliest dreams and saw us through to this point. In addition, we must mention the assistance of our team of editors: Drs C. Fyne Nsofor, Felicia Priest, Daniel Mwailu, Billy Coppedge, Dany McCain, Gift Mtukwa, and Tosin Awolalu. Providing invaluable assistance in the production were the following persons: LeCrecia Ali, Thom Cahill, and Ben van Vuuren.
Finally, I am bold to say that Transform is already moving and planning toward our next edition. We are warmly inviting for contributions of both articles and book reviews. We pray that God will use our collective efforts to ‘spread scriptural holiness’ throughout all of Africa over the coming months and years. Again, welcome to Transform!
Professor Gary S. Maxey
ISSN: 2790-9360 (Online)