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Spengler on Rise of christianity in Sub-Saraha Africa
#1
This is also noteworthy, in that Spengler agrees with the writer, Philip Jenkins, that Christianity is winning out in Africa, over Islam. It is quite lengthy, but has much going for it.

here is some of it. I find this a debate well worth discussing. And note that Spengler also acknowledges the reort by a leading muslim cleric, that at least 6 million muslims are converting yearly to Christianity. I see this cause for concern amongst muslims. But I agree, in it's current form, Islam is fated to lose ground, unless it can change it's stripes.


Quote:Both Christian and Muslim sources, it appears, agree that Christianity is winning the battle for souls in Africa. David Barrett (in the World Christian Encyclopedia, 2001) projects that the count of African Christians will rise to 634 million in 2025 from 360 million in 2000, while the number of African Muslims will rise to 519 million from 283 million - increases, respectively, of 49% against 40%. One Muslim cleric asserts that 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity each year.

Muslims inflict violence on Christians, Jenkins reports:


Quote:Between 2000 and 2005, violence between Muslims and Christians in just one Nigerian province killed or expelled over 50,000 people, mainly Christian. Across Africa, repression by secular states often includes an incidental religious element because of the strong Muslim tradition in the armed forces; this predominance recalls the preference of colonial powers for Muslim "warrior races". Soldiers serving dictatorships tend disproportionately to be Muslim, and their critics and opponents are often Christian clergy.

Despite Islam's command of superior force, it is losing the battle for souls. Why should this be the case? Here Jenkins is no help at all. In matters of theology and religious practice, he calls attention only to similarities between Islam and Christianity. The premises of the two religions are diametrically opposed, however.

"One dies a vicarious death in order to secure eternal life," I wrote under the title The blood is the life, Mr Rumsfeld! (October 12, 2005):


Quote:Unlike Christians or Jews, whose religions are based on vicarious sacrifice, Islam demands the self-sacrifice of its adherents, in keeping with its essentially militant character. Revealed religion puts blood at a distance; Abraham sacrifices a ram and spares his son Isaac, and God sacrifices his own son in order to spare humankind. That is why blood in Judaism became taboo, to be handled only by the priest or his surrogate, the ritual butcher. Usually a Catholic priest administers the Eucharist. Unlike Christianity or Judaism, Islam has no ritual of sacrifice, nor does it need one, for the sacrifice that Islam demands is that of the Muslim himself.

To sacrifice one's self for one's kind is the sine qua non of pagan cultures; revealed religion (Judaism and Christianity), unlike Islam, exempts the individual from this terrible requirement. Islam represents the last defense of traditional society with its demand for self-sacrifice of every adherent, uniting the tribes into the ummah whose definitive sacrament is jihad. Christianity lifts the mortal decree for those who repudiate traditional society, that is, abandon their own ethnicity for a new and universal ethnicity, namely that of Israel.

The conclusion suggested by Jenkins' report is that the people of the Southern Hemisphere increasingly are willing to substitute a universal Christian identity for their ethnic or tribal identity, choosing Christianity over Islam. If that is correct, we are witness to one of the most remarkable things to happen in world history.
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All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
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#2
The online publication, Asia Times - is it a newspaper? This author, Spengler, is providing personal views, not just reporting the news.

I don't mean to argue details, but a Christian increase in sub-Saharan Africa, from 360 to 634 million, is a 76.1% increase, not 49%. Also, a Muslim increase from 283 to 519 million is an 83.4% increase, not 40%. Thus, the very point he's making, is false. It's junior high math. The Muslim numbers are increasing at a slightly higher rate, and the numbers were only a forecast, printed in a 2001 book. The estimates, if true, would be almost twice the rate he says, but in opposite proportions than he claims.

Spengler attributes the appeal of Christianity to its method of blood sacrifice being indirect or substitutionary, in contrast to Muslim theology. His phrase, "The blood is the life!" is from Dracula, not from the Bible, which says quite by contrast, "The life is in the blood," and that there is no atonement made without blood sacrifice. While the 'revealed religion' (a loaded term) of Judaism finds a substitute in the ram rather than in Abraham's son Isaac, originally God calls Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. It's a bit convoluted to say that God giving up his only son was a distant atonement, when it required the human Son to be killed. One of the countless differences between Jesus and a suicide bomber is that Jesus didn't take anybody with him, even though he told his disciples to die in the same way.

If Spengler thinks that Christian faith doesn't require a faithful person to die, he's wrong. Not only did Jesus die for the sins of many (the term used is 'shed his blood'), but Jesus commands his followers to likewise follow his example and 'take up their cross' which was the method by which the government killed its subjects. That emphasis is lost now in modern faith, but Bonhoffer said, 'When Christ bids a man to come after him, he bids that man to die." Even the military likes to quote Jesus, "Greater love has no man, than he lay down his life..." although the military doesn't realize how Jesus meant it.

Hey, if the greater point of Spengler's article is that Christian missionary efforts are succeeding in Africa, I hope it's true. I think there are more Mennonites in Africa now, than in any other continent.

I think Spengler attributes Christianity's gains in Africa primarily to its difference in blood atonement, and I just can't imagine that's the main difference that converts make when they convert. Evangelism usually includes having a very attractive group of practicing Christians who accept the new person in. Love is paramount; Paul says it was the love of Christ which compelled him to convert.

John, wouldn't sociologists attribute some conversions to socio-economic criteria? The Protestants of Chiapas, Mexico are usually more capitalist than the Catholics (shades of Max Weber), and they're less communal, and more Europeanized.
I'm often wrong. But I'm not always wrong!
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#3
An important trend I'd say in world affairs.

Of course, you'd also have to balance that out against the rise of atheist China in the same region.
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#4
John,

If you take this demographically and do some math,the 6 million CONVERTS per year is hard to figure out. I WISH it were so. In 25 years which is what the article used for total numbers of both religions,that is 150 MILLION CONVERTS away from Islam into The Body of Christ.

Yet,the article states Islam will prosper in those same 25 years from 283 to 519 million in just another 25 years. Almost as many as Christians.


Doesn't that look hard to achieve mathematically?

I can tell you for a fact that there are Islamic converts to Christ. I know a few from Cameroon and Nigeria. One is a sheik who told my missionary lady friend that he believed in Jesus as God by reading certain Koran verses,deducing from them and from NT verses that Jesus indeed is who He said He was. She wrote me an e-mail on what his logic was.

Basically it is this A Koran verse says that Mohammad himself cannot say 100% what the deal is for heaven,i.e. how to arrive there or if he knows for sure even if he gets to go, another says each human is responsible to handle his sins,yet HOW is in his heart now. Then,he recalls "I am The Way,The Truth and The Life,no man comes to The Father but by Me" and voila,he believes then and there in Jesus as The Christ.

The man speaks 11 languages,is exceptionally wealthy,real fluent in Arabic and his current desire is to become THE missionary to Arabia.

I know a young man named Alex from Cameroon who converted and is in a seminary to become a pastor and a lady named Zena from Cameroon.

But,6 million annually? Man,that's a whole lot of converts. I hope it's true,I wish it were 60 million annually. My missionary friend spends lots of time in Nigeria,Zimbabwe and Kenya and his agents spend more time in Uganda,Sudan,The Congo and Rwanda and Burundi.

b5b,

I have it on personal authority of 2 Chinese citizens that Christianity is growing in China as well. That ain't MUCH to base this on,but I met a young lady last week here from Beijing who told us that Christianity is growing in China and that they have people waiting outside of the Churches in long lines waiting for a service to worship in.

The other is a Chinese businessman who met my missionary friend in Jos,Nigeria and invited the missionary team to China.

The young lady said most Chinese are Buddhists,I'm not sure atheism is growing there. I am confident Christianity is.

For the record,it is growing in India as well,I can make that statement with fair confidence. Not rapidly,slowly,but enough to pi.ss off radical Hindus. They occasionally act like Muslims and harrass or murder Christians and claim we American Christians "pay Hindus" to convert.
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#5
Agreeing with Palladin - the math in Spengler's article doesn't seem to add up, but surely converts are being added daily, on several continents. Of course, it isn't just Islam versus Christian; many converts were animists, polytheists, etc. Even in Chiapas, there are still traditionalists who worship the gods of sun, moon, corn, etc., and it's a mission field for evangelicals, and even for Muslims.

Many Chinese families were probably Confuscists or Buddhists or nothing. The Christian church grew leaps and bounds during the reign of the atheist Communists, and are now reported to be sending missionaries to the Muslim parts of China.
I'm often wrong. But I'm not always wrong!
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#6
Rick Warren is doing some work in Rwanda. I watched the FOX Special and saw the helicopter blow the roof of a school. The devil certainly is not happy about this, which means he's doing something right. Wink1
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#7
Well. Should we guess that the present warfare in Somalia is the first sign of a major clash between Islam and Christianity in central Africa?

/track_snake
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#8
No, I don't think it is. What's going on in Somalia and Ethiopia is unique to those two countries, not caused by a wider trend related to Islam or Christianity.

Consider that the civil war in Sudan hasn't spread to the rest of Saharan Africa; or that Ethiopia has a history of not getting along with its neighbors.
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#9
"Spengler on Rise of insanity in Sub-Saraha Africa", indeed. I reckon, the missionaries recruit the converted amongst the 30% or so of the AIDS infected? They would not qualify for 72 virgins anyway, maybe not at all for the Muslim heaven. Unclean or so? Christian paradise is still achievable. Expect a rush of souls there.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#10
quadrat Wrote:"Spengler on Rise of insanity in Sub-Saraha Africa", indeed. I reckon, the missionaries recruit the converted amongst the 30% or so of the AIDS infected? They would not qualify for 72 virgins anyway, maybe not at all for the Muslim heaven. Unclean or so? Christian paradise is still achievable. Expect a rush of souls there.
Besides, HIV positives saving their souls by rushing into Christianity, they also get cared for in Christian Hospitals if they convert to Christianity, or pretend to be converted.

However, my hat is off to Christians who help to reduce agony of Aid sufferers.
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#11
Thai,

In all honesty,we also have to consider the opposite,that some Christians can convert to Islam. I know this happens. I know folks who were believers in Christ,left the faith for Islam and came back. Probably happens everyday.

I have a feeling China is going to surprise everyone and not be the Marxist lighthouse Russia served as.

Concerning that Chiapas comment,OF COURSE,Protestants read their Bibles,why do you think Protestant sectors of Europe prospered more than Catholic ones???? Individual responsibility,getting away from the collective mentality,etc. If Catholics got into Scripture,they'd be more like capitalists as well instead of socialists. There is no provision in Scripture for collective anything,it's human viewpoint mantra. Why do you suspect Mexico remains appallingly poor? There's a good reason for it!

Kamil,

I never heard of a Christian hospital that serves only Christians. But,let's assume you were sick and needed help and the only way to get it was to be a Christian. You aren't going to privately believe in Jesus as God because you cannot do so on your own initiative. Think about this.

You might say you do to get treatement,but you wouldn't really have done so as this belief cannot be done by our energy. You might say you are,get your treatment,but you wouldn't be a believing Christian,right?

Any Christian with any Bible doctrine understands this,we cannot force other souls to join us,it just doesn't work that way. We pray everyone joins us,to include even Saddam and Osama,but we know from Scripture it cannot be forced and won't happen among most people. That's just reality.
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#12
Palladin Wrote:Concerning that Chiapas comment,OF COURSE,Protestants read their Bibles,why do you think Protestant sectors of Europe prospered more than Catholic ones???? Individual responsibility,getting away from the collective mentality,etc. If Catholics got into Scripture,they'd be more like capitalists as well instead of socialists. There is no provision in Scripture for collective anything,it's human viewpoint mantra. Why do you suspect Mexico remains appallingly poor? There's a good reason for it!
I didn't say that the Protestant natives of Chiapas (who did the massacre of 12/22/1997) read the Bible more; I was surprised how much the Catholics read the Tzotzil bible (actually, both denominations worked together on the translation). My second-hand observation that the Protestants tend to be more capitalist has NOTHING to do with who reads the bible more. It has to do with which denomination's missionaries convince them to abandon milenia of collective existence, stop practicing their traditions, etc. World-wide, Catholicism is so much more capitalist than when Max Weber did his studies, that I doubt whether there's a significant difference now, between NW Europe and the rest of Europe.

Both Testaments literally tell about communities of Jews and Christians who were far, far more collectivist than you may realize. You can read the King James Version, realizing that the word you is always plural. We had a thread on this in the religion forum.

What missionaries preach and teach (and which scriptures they even teach) is critical to what form of Christianity the natives convert to. Many new converts are far more devout than those who are born into a faith.
I'm often wrong. But I'm not always wrong!
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#13
Thai,

I disagree with Weber then. Southern Europe is far more along the humanist collective thinking than Northern Europe and is far less wealthy.

Southern is also more monolithically Catholic/Orthodox by far. Spain,Italy,Greece.

In Mexico,about the "millenia traditions". They have kept those people mired in appalling poverty. Not much else to discuss. I've seen their documentaries,their fathers have to come here and live like a rat among 25 other workers to feed his family down there.

Maybe they should have abandoned their traditions say 1000 year ago and Mexico would be among the great world powers today and their people wouldn't be starving.

If we weren't sitting next door,it is altogther likely they would be starving.
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