Africa and Africans in the Bible

There are some who attack Christianity as being a “white man’s religion” and they say that the Bible is a “white, European, racist book.”  Such assertions are not only false, they are ridiculous to the point of being absurd.  Those who make such assertions apparently have no true acquaintance with the Scriptures and it’s content.  The Bible is at its core a Hebrew book written from the perspective of Middle Eastern Jews.  Indeed, every book of the Bible was written by a Jew, except for the New Testament books of Luke and Acts.  How can a book that is Jewish and Middle Eastern be considered a European, Anglo or white man’s book?

However, even though the Bible is largely Hebrew in perspective, it is also a multi-cultural book.  It reflects the influence of other cultures—e.g., Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Hellenistic—on the people of Israel.  It also records encounters with individuals and people from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  And this includes individuals and groups from the continent of Africa.  In this writing we will examine some of what the Bible says about Africa and Africans.  But first, let us examine the origin of the people groups of Africa as recorded in the Scriptures. Continue reading

Advertisements

Race and Racism

I live in small town only about 10 miles from Charlottesville, VA.  Like everyone else, I was horrified and angered by the events occurring in our community on August 12.  I also was left with a deep concern because there is a growing focus on racial division in this country.  Racism is a hot topic.  And one that needs to be addressed, especially by the Christian community.  With this in mind, I am offering some thoughts on a biblical perspective of the concept of race.  Most of this article was actually posted quite a while back on this site.  However, in light of current events, I feel like it is worth considering again, with a few additions.

 

According to the Scriptural account, there is actually only one human race.  Biblically all humans are part of one family.  We are all descended from Adam and Eve.  This is plainly taught in the Scriptures.  Indeed, Eve’s very name means “mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), thus indicating her as the primal ancestor of all men.  We are also all descended from Noah.  During the Flood, all human beings were destroyed on the earth, leaving only Noah and his family (see Genesis 7:21-23 and 1 Peter 3:20).  This is why the New Testament says that God has made all the peoples of the earth from one blood, one human stock (see Acts 17:26).

Continue reading

Grace: God’s Empowering Presence

Recently I heard an excellent Bible teacher present a seminar on grace.  During the course of this seminar, he made several statements that truly arrested me.  It has made me think about the nature of grace.  Exactly what is grace?  This teacher asked those in the seminar to define grace.  The immediate response was “God’s unmerited favor.”  The teacher affirmed and agreed with this definition.  But he was another question, is there more to grace than just God having a favorable attitude towards us. Continue reading

Jesus Said No

Q:  I hear a lot of teaching on boundaries in relationships.  Also, people tell me I need to learn to say “no” more often.  I am curious… is this consistent with what the Bible teaches about service and sacrifice?  Aren’t we supposed to prefer our brother, and yield to others?  – S. in Virginia

A:  This is a very good question.  There has been quite a bit of teaching on boundaries in recent decades.  Several best-selling books have been published on this subject.  Seminars and classes are offered for interested Christians.  So, is this biblical?

Continue reading

Natural Rights… Given by God

Last year for Independence Day I posted a short essay on natural rights.  Considering the importance of understanding this fundamental concept, I thought it prudent to repost the same essay for this Independence Day.  – Victor Morris

On this Independence Day we celebrate the 241st birthday of our country.  As we reflect on our history and heritage, let us also reflect on how our nation came to be, and the values underlying its founding.  Indeed, let us consider the principle concepts that guided our Founding Fathers in creating this nation.  As men grounded in an essentially Christian worldview, with a tradition of Judeo-Christian ethics and philosophy, these great statesmen were committed to the idea of liberty.  And for them, liberty was not something that must be established by men.  Indeed, it was just the opposite.  Liberty was a God-ordained and God-given right of every human being.  It was not a human creation at all.  It was wholly divine in origin. Continue reading