Active Faith

"Africans have no use for the pansy Jesus of modern liberalism," Peter J. Leithart writes in the Summer 2008 issue of Credenda Agenda ('What Africa Can Teach the North'). "They want a savior with the testosterone to fight for them."
Life in the North is softened by technological redeemers. Threatened with a difficult childbirth, we turn to epidurals and C-sections. Depressed, we take pills. When there's a break-in, we can dial 911.

Africans have few technical protections, and in the daily threats of life they turn to Jesus. Jesus saves the poor, makes the maize grow in the fields, protects the laboring mother, tears down the barriers that divide men and makes them brothers. For Africans, the salvation Jesus brings is thoroughly "this-worldly," the healthful kingdom of Jesus breaking into the kingdoms of malevolent powers and dangers. ...

Faith is never simply assent to doctrine, but a living active stance toward all of life. A Zulu song summarizes African faith in Scripture and in Jesus: "Satan has no power / we will clobber him with a verse."

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