Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Christian Studies) - MA (CSt)

Department

Theology

First Advisor/Committee Member

C. Edward Smyth, Ed.D., Professor Emeritus of Educational Ministry

Keywords

Spiritual warfare—Congo (Democratic Republic); Powers (Christian theology); Witchcraft—Congo (Democratic Republic); Authority—Religious aspects—Christianity; Aulén, Gustav, 1879-1977; Christus Victor; Atonement—History of doctrines; Evangelistic work—Congo (Democratic Republic); Discipling (Christianity); Spiritual formation; Christian life; Missions—Congo (Democratic Republic)—History—19th century; Missions—Congo (Democratic Republic)—History—20th century; Protestant churches

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to discuss the ways the Congolese people received the Gospel from Protestant missionaries from England. I will also discuss how Congolese Christians nurture the Gospel through their own perspectives via teaching, discipleship, living it, and practicing its principles of power. This evangelism, in the Congolese perspective, goes hand in hand with the interpretation of the “Christus Victor Model” of atonement developed by Aulen. This model stands for a victory over the powers of darkness that detain humankind in bondage to sin, death, and the Devil. Irenaeus has pointed out that the problems of sin, darkness, evil, curses, and death are real, and they are the major enemies of humankind, holding people in slavery by the power of evil. According to the Old Testament, humankind could not help sinning, and the divine intervention of God was needed to fix their problems.

Evangelism among Congolese Christians is demonstrated through the disciplines of fasting, praying (sometime all-night prayer), confessing, and repeating the word of God so that they have authority to fight against evil forces. The practice of deliverance has tremendously helped the Congolese people change their lives by becoming disciples of Christ individually and by living out the power of the Gospel in everyday life. The goal is to empower Congolese Christians to live in community through the power of the Holy Spirit and to become disciples of Jesus, both collectively and individually, who are being formed, trained, committed, and equipped to live and practice the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout each day.

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