ShahidiHub International Journal of Theology & Religious Studies <p>ShahidiHub International Journal of Theology &amp; Religious Studies- <strong>ISSN (Online Version): 2788-967X</strong> is a monthly, double-blind, peer-reviewed, unrestricted access journal, published by “ShahidiHub Publishing” in Kenya, East Africa. The journal publishes original and recent scholarly research, of both empirical and theoretical nature.<br /><br /><strong>Areas / Fields<br /></strong>Exegetical Theology, Biblical Studies, Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Practical Theology, Political Theology, Ecological Theology, Hermeneutics, African Christian Theology, African Church History, Church History, Theology &amp; Culture, Theology &amp; Development, World Christianity, Intercultural/Missions &amp; Church Planting Studies, Pastoral Studies, and Translation Studies, Comparative Religion, Philosophy of Religion, Christian Ethics.</p> SHAHIDIHUB PUBLISHING en-US ShahidiHub International Journal of Theology & Religious Studies 2788-9661 Understanding the Relationship between Personal Sin and Corporate Punishment: An Examination of Joshua 7 <p>Joshua 7 presents a story of personal sin that results in corporate judgment. In Joshua 7, Achan stole from the things devoted to destruction leading to Israel’s judgement and defeat at Ai (7:4–5). God declared, “Israel has sinned” (7:1, 11), yet only one individual, Achan, had sinned. God links Achan’s sin to their defeat (7:12) and says that Israel has become “devoted to destruction” (7:12), just like in Jericho. The only remedy was to destroy the devoted things, including Achan, his family and all his property (7:13, 15, 25–26). Some scholars suggest that the stolen things polluted or defiled the nation; others claim the issue is one of corporate personality or solidarity, while others leave it in the realm of mystery. This study seeks to determine the relationship between personal sin and corporate responsibility through discourse analysis and textual analysis. The scope of the study will be delimited to Joshua 7, in the context of Joshua 8 and 22 and any other relevant sections of the entire book of Joshua. This study has found that corporate accountability best describes the relationship between personal sin and corporate punishment. Corporate accountability reminded Israel of its responsibility to the community’s overall well-being. Joshua 7 demonstrates that sin has repercussions for others since no sin is committed in a vacuum, as it affects those around us.</p> Lawrence Kagira Kagutha Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-02 2023-06-02 3 2 1 20 Worship or Veneration: An Analysis of Whether the African Veneration of Ancestors Equals the Biblical Understanding of Worship <p>Before the coming of Christianity, Africans believed in the existence of a supreme Being and worshipped him. They also have a long-held, almost-ubiquitous belief in and veneration of ancestors. However, after Christianity was introduced in African societies, there have been conflicts between African traditional understanding of veneration of ancestors and biblical teaching of worship to God. Some have argued that respect, reverence, and honour accorded to ancestors amounts to worshipping them. However, some African authors have refuted these assertions and have asserted that ancestors are intermediaries between the living and God. This paper sets out to determine whether the African traditional practice of remembering, respecting, and honouring ancestors is veneration or worship. This is critical because some African Christians continue to venerate their ancestors and have fallen under sharp criticism of ancestral worship, which constitutes idolatry. The study utilised existing literature and biblical texts. It evaluates the concept of worship as understood and carried out in the biblical and African traditional contexts. The Bible and traditional African perspectives have similarities; for example, they uphold the existence of life after death. However, the meaning of life after death in the biblical perspective differs in these two worldviews. Also, in African cosmology, worship to the supreme Being was offered through intermediaries like ancestors and divinities, but in Christianity, worship is offered directly to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christians should not fall into the temptation of ancestral worship in the name of honouring the dead.</p> Simon Karani Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-07 2023-06-07 3 2 21 36 An Examination of Factors Influencing Conversion of Kalenjin People to Islam in Marigat Town in Baringo County in Kenya <p>&nbsp;In this study, the researcher examined the factors motivating the Kalenjin people group in &nbsp;Marigat town in Baringo County, Kenya, to convert to Islam. The researcher adopted a qualitative research approach and used ethnographic interviews to collect data on the factors driving these conversions. Conversion is a process that significantly influences the life of the converts, affecting the communities where they live. The findings revealed that the first contact with Islam was mostly through close personal contact with Muslims living there. Also, the study highlights theological, religious and socio-cultural factors influencing the conversions. The study suggests ways the Christian church could be more effective in Christian missions.</p> Abraham Mpyana Ngoy Sanga Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-07 2023-06-07 3 2 37 56 Factors Affecting Lutheran Church Planting in Lake Victoria Islands: A Case Study of Ukerewe District in Mwanza Region Between 1972 and 2022 <p>In the past, church planting efforts by the Lutheran church in the Ukerewe islands of Lake Victoria have been unsuccessful. Out of the 38 islands that comprise the Ukerewe District, the Lutheran Church has managed to plant a few churches on only two islands from 1981–2000. The study examined the church planting challenges and strategies by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) of East of Lake Victoria Diocese (ELVD) in the Mwanza region from 1972 to 2022. The study examines the church vision and mission analysis, cultural anthropology for the Christian mission, church planting strategies, models of evangelism, and discipleship. It suggests ways the Lutheran church can be effective in this mission field.</p> Stephen Ling’hwa John Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-08 2023-06-08 3 2 57 74 Pastoral Care to Individuals who Confess to Experiencing Same-Sex Attractions and Practising Homosexuality <p>Recently, there has been a rise in the discussion surrounding same-sex sexuality. Terms like homosexuality, LGBTQ (an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer), same-sex attractions, and many others are employed. An increasing number of people (both Christians and non-Christians have come out claiming they are experiencing these attractions. Some advocate for acceptance as “they are,” while others seek help navigating the challenge. Now than before, pastors need to engage in this discussion when preaching or when approached by individual members struggling with same-sex attractions. However, many pastors are ill-equipped to respond to this discussion in biblically true and culturally relevant ways. The result is that many who the pastoral ministry could have helped end up being pushed away from the church. It examines God’s vision for human sexuality in the Old and the New Testaments and concludes that sexual relations are to be expressed in a marriage relationship that is heterosexual. It also explores the biblical prohibitions on homosexuality and scientific and psychological research. The study argues that the pastor has much to learn from science and psychology, especially how nature and nurture influence peoples’ sexualities in complex ways.</p> Stephen Mwendia Francis Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-09 2023-06-09 3 2 75 92 The Implications of the Concept of Koinonia on Poverty Alleviation in a Globalized World <p>Globalisation is making the world more economically, culturally, politically, and spiritually connected. In such an interconnected world with increased knowledge, one would expect the world to be a better place in terms of how people care for the needs of fellow human beings; unfortunately, the world’s economic discrepancies show that the opposite is true. Though international corporations and institutions have tried to create economic, political, anthropological, and cultural structures to foster a caring community, they have not delivered much. This paper looks at the theological concept of <em>koinonia</em> as a biblical resource that can provide insights into how the globe can move toward a more understanding and caring community. Using the social scientific method, the paper explores the paradox of globalisation, expounds on the theological foundations of koinonia<em>, </em>and examines the concept of koinonia in the Early Church and how it functioned to address socio-economic needs within the community. The paper provides a review on conceptualising poverty in relational terms rather than material deficit, understanding the impact of globalisation on poverty, and seeking to partner and share all the gifts bestowed upon us by God. Also, acknowledging that what we possess is meant to benefit the world and embracing our multi-ethnicity for the good of all instead of discrimination, favouritism, or dominance would avail much in alleviating poverty in our times.</p> Juliana Nzuki Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-09 2023-06-09 3 2 93 108 Understanding the Islamic Da’wah and Its Contribution to the Growth of Islam in Kenya <p>Islam has been publicized as the world’s fastest-growing religion. According to present trends, the Pew Research Center predicts that by the year 2050, there will be almost as many Muslims as Christians worldwide. Islam is the second-largest religion in Kenya after Christianity. Da’wah is explained as calling or inviting people to the religion of Islam. This article helps Christians to understand da’wah and examine how da’wah has contributed to the growth of Islam in Kenya. It will discuss the da’wah methods and the preparation for Muslims to get involved in dawah. The paper will evaluate the success of this dawah by how Islam has grown in Kenya. It suggests responses that Kenyan Christians can make. The methodology used for this study was qualitative research; the rationale for using a qualitative approach was to obtain a detailed description of the da’wah strategies that Muslims use for Islam’s growth.</p> Charity Kadogo Mutie Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-09 2023-06-09 3 2 109 123 The Role of the Church in Facilitating Reconciliation Between Warring Communities: A Case Study of Pokot and Turkana Communities in Northern Kenya <p>This study focused on the Christian church’s critical role in facilitating a sustainable peace process between the warring communities of Pokot and Turkana, which have witnessed protracted inter-ethnic conflicts that have led to the loss of lives and property. Various organisations have attempted to resolve this recurring problem; however, their efforts have not yielded fruit. The study investigates how a sustainable reconciliation can be achieved and proposes the Christian church as an entity that can appropriately facilitate sustainable reconciliation between warring communities. Four specific objectives guided this study: First, it explored the underlying cause of conflict; second, examining why other attempted conflict resolution has not been able to offer sustainable conflict resolution; third, it discussed biblical mandates for the church as an agent of sustainable reconciliation; and fourth, explore how the church can be equipped to offer sustainable reconciliation. The study adopted a qualitative design in collecting the data, and the Pastoral cycle methodology was used to analyse the data. The study revealed that the sinful nature of humankind is the primary root cause of the repeated conflict. Also, the failed approaches have focused on only responding to symptoms of conflict hence offering temporary reconciliation. The Christian church has a divine role and mandate to be the agent of sustainable reconciliation and should be equipped to fulfil this role.</p> David Kibet Chirchir Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-16 2023-06-16 3 2 124 140 An Investigation of Factors that Contribute to Homosexuality within the African Context <p>Homosexuality is a practice that has received global attention in recent years. Some nations in the world have advocated and legalised it, but others have strongly denounced the practice viewing it as a threat to society’s well-being and moral foundation. This study investigates practices promoting homosexuality, including polygamy, the Kamba cultural marriage of Kaweto, Female Genital Mutilation, and other factors like same-sex boarding schools. The study argues that although cultural practices like polygamy, FGM, and Kamba cultural marriage of Kaweto had no association with homosexuality, they are increasingly seen as practices that enhance homosexuality. The qualitative study used interview-guided questions.</p> Rose A. Mulekye Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-16 2023-06-16 3 2 141 156 Homosexuality and God’s Institution of Marriage: An African Evangelical Perspective <p>Homosexuality is a practice that is confronting the African church. Even though some Western churches have embraced the clergy and members who are gay and lesbian, the phenomenon has received a mixed reaction from the African Church. Some churches in the African continent have refused the idea of entertaining a discussion, while others feel that homosexuals have a right to be heard. In this regard, this library research paper discusses marriage as God’s institution anchored on biblical teaching; the contemporary perspectives of homosexuality; the biblical view of homosexuality; and the African Evangelical perspective of homosexuality. The paper concludes that the church in Africa, in its response, should be rooted in the Scriptures to advocate for good moral behaviour in society appropriately.</p> Leonard Ndzi Copyright (c) 2023 2023-06-20 2023-06-20 3 2 157 177 Tracing Gender Inequality in Church Leadership: A Case of Burundi Evangelical Churches <p>Gender parity in leadership has been an issue in Burundian society and the church. The study examines attitudes towards women’s leadership in evangelical churches in Burundi and how this could influence the spiritual, social, and economic life of the women in the church. A right biblical interpretation is desirable because male church leaders ho deny women church leadership roles base their positions on the Bible and Burundi’s culture and traditions. This article seeks to redirect and refocus the attention of policymakers of Burundi’s evangelical churches to areas not previously explored in church management and leadership, such as participatory church leadership and the moral implications of the Image of God concept. It argues that men and women have equal status, value and dignity before God. Further, this article traces the role of women in the traditional Burundi culture. The critical correlation method was used in this study on the perception of gender leadership in Burundi’s evangelical churches. The study showed that some church leaders unsupportive of women’s leadership cite social and cultural reasons, claiming that no woman in Burundi culture had participated in the grassroots council; hence women could not lead even in church. Others misinterpret biblical verses and traditional beliefs to suit their cultural interpretations.</p> Angelique Kanyange Copyright (c) 2023 2023-07-06 2023-07-06 3 2 178 196 False Prophetic Pronouncements of Prosperity: An Exegetical Study and Reflection of Ezekiel 13:1–16 <p>False prosperity preaching is a fast-growing phenomenon within Christian ministry circles across the globe. This phenomenon traces back to biblical times, although manifested in different forms. Ezekiel 13:1–16 is an example of such false prophetic proclamations of prosperity. This paper employs a historical-grammatical approach to examine an instance of the proclamation of false prosperity in Ezekiel 13:1–16. It also reflects how this event sheds light on similar phenomena in the church today. The study text is a prophetic oracle of indictment and judgment concerning the prophets of Israel during the exile before the final destruction of Jerusalem. The prophets are indicted for prophesying peace to the people where there is no peace, falsely claiming to speak on behalf of Yahweh, and speaking prophecies out of their own imagination. In addition, they are judged for failing to mobilise the nation towards repentance and intercede before Yahweh for the pardon of the nation, engaging in the forbidden practice of divination, and taking advantage of the spiritually broken nation for their own profit. A reflection on these observations points out some key characteristics of the perpetrators of false prophetic pronouncements. These include misrepresentation of the truth of Yahweh, preaching of messages to please the crowds, carrying out ministry for selfish gain, lack of genuine concern for the devotion of the people to Yahweh, and even meddling with other forms of spirituality to have something to offer their hearers.</p> Florah Misigo Kidula Copyright (c) 2023 2023-07-06 2023-07-06 3 2 197 219 Church and Society: How the Church Helped Burundi to Navigate Its Historical Challenges <p>Burundi experienced recurrent armed violence for 43 years, from 1962, with dire consequences. It resulted in thousands of people losing their lives and properties, internal displacements, and others fleeing the country to neighbouring countries while others remained orphans and poor. Before the coming of Western missionaries, Burundi was arguably an organised kingdom where the king “<em>Umwami</em>,” his sons “<em>Abaganwa,</em>” and the elders/advisors “<em>Abashingantahe</em>” controlled the entire administration and management of the country. This paper argues that the conflicts in Burundi’s history were rooted in poor economic performance, ethnic tensions, and a lack of democratic principles. It explores the role played by the church during this tragic period to bring peace, social cohesion and unity. In addition, it looks at initiatives by the church to bring people together in training on trauma and healing, sensitising people to fight hatred, and promoting peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Church leaders worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring the Christian community an awareness of their role in transforming &nbsp;Burundi.</p> Innocent Iyamuremye Copyright (c) 2023 2023-08-03 2023-08-03 3 2 220 237 An Examination of Matthew 5:13–16; 28:19–20 on the Mission of the Church: A Case of the Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo <p>The number of churches is increasing yearly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). And the question that many people ask is, what is the impact of these churches in addressing contextual issues like corruption and injustices? There are different opinions on whose role it is to fight against these social evils. Some claim that the church’s mission is solely to proclaim the gospel for the salvation of souls. They believe the church is a divine institution that must be concerned only with winning souls because people are perishing in ignorance of the gospel. In contrast, others believe that the mission of the church is to stabilise the community’s social life by fighting against injustice. Therefore, this library-based paper clarifies the mission of the church through a textual analysis of Matthew 5:13–16 and 28:19–20. These two interconnected verses indicate that the disciples of Christ have a role beyond winning souls to Christ; they should be the salt and light of the world. The study is applied to the church in the DRC.</p> Philemon K. Sindani Copyright (c) 2023 2023-08-18 2023-08-18 3 2 238 255 Church and Culture: An Exploration of Challenges and Opportunities for Contemporary Ecclesial Communities <p>This article explores the complex relationship between the church and culture. It examines how Christian communities today might embrace cultural variety while retaining their theological beliefs through church-culture dialogue. It discusses how the church has related to the surrounding culture. The study suggests that Christian communities should critically reflect on their assumptions and principles to comprehend how their beliefs relate to modern culture. Also, Christian communities should be humble and open to learning from others to promote genuine dialogue and understanding. This paper concludes that church-culture engagement must continue with constant discussion, self-reflection, and critical engagement with cultural diversities. Contemporary Christian communities must respond to prevailing challenges such as pluralism, secularisation, technological change, moral concerns, and political issues.</p> Leonard Ndzi Copyright (c) 2023 2023-08-22 2023-08-22 3 2 256 270 Tracing the Christian Heritage and the Emergence of Islam in Goma, DRC: The Way Forward for the Church <p>This article traces the Christian heritage in Goma and examines the increasing conversions to Islam and other cults in Goma, the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It highlights the failure of Christians to live a Christian life and values, the negative perception of Islam by pastors, and the lack of awareness of the Islamic religion by Christians as factors contributing to the recent spread of Islam in Goma. This study used the phenomenological researcher approach and interviews with pastors and district chiefs. It argues for the need for Christians to live out their values and participate in mercy ministries in their communities. The church should organise basic training on world religions for believers to respond to emerging challenges.</p> Daniel Baraka Mirenge Copyright (c) 2023 2023-08-29 2023-08-29 3 2 271 284