All posts filed under: Jesus

Stop Pastoral Self-Appointments by Conrad Mbewe – My response

8 min read The esteemed Rev. Conrad Mbewe pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church and a council member of The Gospel Coalition Africa penned a blog post in which he called for regulating the ministers of the Church. You can read the blog here.  There is a huge ongoing debate and wrangling in some parts of Africa namely Kenya, Zambia and South Africa about regulating religion but to a greater degree the regulating the Christian faith. This is because of ongoing abuses within the church. This is very rampant and apparent, especially within the charismatic movement. It is then obvious that such measures regarding regulation and screening should happen. Or so we think. On a casual reading of his piece, you will agree wholeheartedly with his positions. I would. They make sense. They are practical and would safeguard the Church from abuse. Again, on surface reading that would be so. On a deeper reading, however, it may not be as easy as he advocates. 

Who is your Center?

1 min read Whoever or whatever is your CENTER will master and enslave you. And when you fail they will crush you, and when you succeed, it will never be enough. In all worldviews except the Christian Gospel, there is one center. Human beings or the general term “Man” is the center. Consider these ideas Fundamentalism, Man is the center. Cultural Christianity, Man is the center. Spirituality, Man is the center. Psychology, Man is the center.

Just do it—Why this advice is the source of your frustrations

6 min read A fascinating narrative in the life of Jesus ensues just when he is about to embark on his three-year ministry tour. (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13, Mark 1:12-13) Three Bible writers, Matthew, Luke and Mark captured this moment. Each of them wrote this narrative from their own vantage point to their audiences. This is typical when writing narratives. You write for and to your intended audience.  So, Jesus is in the wilderness and the devil tests him. Peirazo the Greek word used for test means to scrutinize, assay, examine, go about, to prove. Contrary to traditional teaching on this narrative, the devil wasn’t tempting Jesus to cause him to sin, but he was testing the authenticity of who Jesus was. He was like a lawyer examining a witness in a court of law to ascertain whether their testimony is true. You remember that in the preceding chapter, Jesus had just been baptized at the Jordan River by his predecessor John the Baptist, and his father had affirmed his identity by these words, “This …

On this Father’s Day, we celebrate our men for what Jesus has done for them

5 min read I have done this before, I’ll do it again. Here we go. Grab a mic or open your voice memos app, walk up to both men and women on the street and ask them this question, what do you think manhood is? Define who a man besides his physical form. The answers will be varied and based on the cultural context. If the person responding has adopted the individualistic belief system (mostly lived out in the Western hemisphere and North America) they will convey something to this effect. A man is someone who takes good care of themselves. They work and play hard. They are modern and educated. They love the good things in life. They are gentlemanly, romantic and are not afraid to show their emotions. They frequent massage parlours and do facials, pedicure and manicures. They have a vision and a plan. They know what they want in this life. They are religious or spiritual. They also love to have a good time—a drink here and there, and some good music. He has …

Healthy competition in marriage? Is this​ possible?

5 min read A friend of mine read my blog on how grace helps us deal with competition in our marriage. He and his wife are good friends of ours and they had a nagging issue they wanted me to help address. In a nutshell, their issue was this, is there healthy competition in marriage? Can a married couple healthily compete to build each other, to make each other better, and build a great life? Our ensuing conversation went something like this. I asked him to define the term healthy competition. I had to probe his definition so I could understand what he means. He said something akin to this. He said, “It is bringing your talents, gifts and experience together to win in life, to build a great life. When we compete we make each other better.” Then I said to him, “Your definition has to assume that a rival, a competitor exists, right? You are not just competing in a vacuum. There is an opponent and a prize, right?”  Yes, he said. Then I asked, “Who …

The shout of the King is among us

5 min read Numbers 22:12, 23:8-10, 20-24 (NLT) is a fascinating account in the history of the Jews as they travelled from Egypt to the Promised land of Canaan. At this stage in their course, they were at the plains of Moab, whose monarch was Balak. Balak and his subjects were so scared of the Jews that he solicited a witch or a sangoma (South Africa) or mchawi or mganga (Kenya) to curse the Jews. Apparently, he was so excellent at it that whoever he blessed got blessed and whoever he cursed got cursed. (22:6)  This story is fascinating in so many levels. First, God appears to this witch and briefs him on what to do. This is mind-boggling to religious people. How can a holy God talk to a sinner? And a sinner of this magnitude? This is the truth—God only has sinners to talk to. God talks with sinners. He did it with Cain soon after he had murdered his brother, Abel. (Genesis 4:9) God talks with sinners, even today. Christian, how do you …

Are you a good Christian? Why you might need to rethink that term

5 min read Ever heard of this term ‘good Christian’? A term used to define good, intelligent and morally upright people. Sometimes used to mock Christians or even identity one Christian from another Christian—especially when non-Christians encounter Christians of dodgy character. It’s a term pervasively used that some believe it originated from the Christian scriptures. It’s one of those words like ‘Trinity’ used to explain the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no such word in the Bible, however, we use the word to describe a relationship in words that fit the human experience. The same with the term good Christian.  If you read this post and are a Christian, I bet you think you are a good Christian—someone who is morally upright, good, honest, you faithfully obey the teachings of Jesus, you go to Church regularly, you tithe, you pay your taxes; you are faithful to your wife and kids; you obey the laws of your country; you are generous to the poor, the widow, orphan and immigrant, you pay your employees …

Paul F. M Zahl’s, Grace in Practice: A Theology​ of Everyday Life – Part one: On the Law

3 min read In 2018, I stumbled on Paul Zahl’s book, Grace in Practice: A Theology of Everyday Life, and read the book for the whole year. It was the only book I read besides my bible.  Paul’s views on grace and the gospel are weighty. Many times I had to wrestle with his views on grace because they are otherworldly – too good to be true and impractical. The adage “Too heavenly minded, No earthly good” kept on ringing in my head. And yet, I kept on reading.  Paul Zahl gives us a lofty view of what grace is, and yes, he gives you a heavenly view if you will be of any earthly good. Grace is lofty, heavenly and otherworldly. And grace helps you live in this base, restless, and evil world. Grace is in this world but not of this world.  I thought I should share quotes from his book. 

Bring out treasures new and old

5 min read Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old. Matthew 13:52 (NKJV) Matthew 13 introduces us for the first time to the Greek word parabole. In Matthew 13, Jesus for the first time speaks in parables to his audience. Why not speak in plain language to them? It was an invitation to them to find out more—to go on a journey of discovery—to go deeper in search of meaning. His disciples got the cue card and did exactly that. They pulled him to the side and asked what the parables meant. The parables prompted the enquiry.  The point of this post is not to unearth what the parables mean but rather to point out how teaching in the New Covenant should look like.

Will a loving God send people to hell?

4 min 11 sec read Inevitably as a Christian, this question will be posed to you—will a loving God send people to hell? The assumption beneath this question is that because God is love, God cannot possibly send people to hell—that love and judgment are incompatible. Let’s examine this question in view of grace. Yes, the Christian faith agrees with this question, somewhat partly. Yes, the Christian faith acknowledges that God is love. In the Christian faith, love is the essence of God and God is the essence of love. (1 John 4:8,16 NLT) God and love are not mutually exclusive things. They are the same. But the Christian faith disagrees with the view that God sends people to hell. The unpalatable truth is this – people send themselves to hell. There is nowhere in the Christian scriptures to show that God sends people to hell. God will not shovel human beings in a wheelbarrow to hell. Human beings send themselves to hell.