A new book that considers the theme of Discipleship, Suffering and Racial Justice written by Rev Dr Israel Olofinjana, Director of One People Commission, Evangelical Alliance, has just been published by Regnum Studies, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS).
This book explores the subject of discipleship and suffering and what we can learn about whole life discipleship and suffering from the experiences and theologies of Majority World contexts. It argues powerfully that suffering is relative (relativity of suffering) and develops this as a discipleship theory needed during the pandemic and post-pandemic. The book therefore examines post-colonial contextual theologies rooted in pain and how they can serve the Church during the pandemic context. It proposes alternative discipleship models that addresses racial justice concerns using the concept of Jubilee as a theological framework. It argues passionately that mission in today’s world must include the concerns of racial justice.
The book explores as an example the suffering context of the pandemic and how the pandemic has affected every area of life. It is argued that this new existential reality is a paradigm shift that demands fresh perspectives and insights on the church’s discipleship model and mission engagement.
The book covers a range of themes that will interest many readers, these include, human identity and racial justice, how to develop an intercultural church or ministry, multi-ethnic Christianity, racial justice and discipleship, climate justice concerns, impact of the pandemic on churches and society, suffering, lament and World Christianity.
What UK Leaders are saying about the book?
Israel’s timely monograph is a powerful and prophetic call to UK churches (and leaders) to embrace the opportunity the COVID 19 season presents, to reassess discipleship beliefs and practices in light of insights Majority World Christianity brings to the gospel imperatives regarding suffering and sacrifice.
Rev Dr Kate Coleman, Founder and co-leader, Next Leadership
‘The coronavirus pandemic has been so challenging to us all. In this important book, Israel challenges, encourages, provokes and inspires us all to think and act differently in the days ahead. The questions at the end of each chapter help the reader to ground what they have read in what they are facing in this season too. This is such a timely contribution to the church.’
Gavin Calver, CEO the Evangelical Alliance
This book is thought- provoking, insightful and addresses some very current, topical issues, as the church seeks to engage in a society that has been impacted in so many different ways by COVID-19.
I have found this writing very challenging; knowing that there are many major issues we must face head on as the church post covid-19 pandemic. We face challenges internally, as we work out the changes required to our services, sermons, discipleship and pastoral care. We also need to reconfigure how, outside of the church, we communicate a message of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation to God.
This book is a must for every church leader and their leadership teams, as we look for answers to questions about suffering, injustice and discipleship. The book raises some fundamental questions which, if we can find and out work the answers, we have the potential to become thriving, local congregations.
Rev Canon Les Isaac OBE, Founder Street Pastors Initiative
In this time of global upheaval, Israel’s gracious and provocative challenge is a catalyst to reimaging discipleship and mission afresh. To grow fruit-bearing, resilient and hope-filled followers of Jesus in today’s world we need ‘whole-church’ wisdom. Israel signposts vital ways through which Majority World theology, wisdom and experience can re-shape our discipleship models, releasing the whole church into ‘whole-life’ discipleship and mission for the glory of God and his purposes in the world.
Tracy Cotterell, Vice Chair of Board, Evangelical Alliance UK
Senior Mission Associate, London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC)
This book proffers an apocalyptic reading of the Covid 19 pandemic—an unveiling of the racial disparities and their entanglement with longstanding social inequalities. But the prognosis is not pessimistic. In the best traditions of the 8th Century prophets, the author engenders hope. He challenges the church to ‘read’ the pandemic as a kairos moment – a timely opportunity to engage in missional interventions which resist injustice.
Dr Robert Beckford – Professor of Climate and Social Justice, University of Winchester.
Many people are struggling as a result of the pandemic and are asking questions about the relevance of their faith at this critical time. This book is a timely and excellent work of Practical Theology and provides critical theological reflection on the professional and ministerial practice of the Church. If you are searching for Bible study materials and resources that explore whole-life discipleship through the prism of racial justice – look no further. This book addresses what discipleship that is rooted in racial justice looks like. I wholeheartedly commend it.
Ram Gidoomal CBE
Chairman, South Asian Concern
The ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has changed a great deal of how we live and how we worship. Communities of faith have find new ways of understanding who they are and how to stay faithful to what they are called to be. Israel Olofinjana’s book is a great resource in that conversation. It will not only challenge the reader; it will also point the reader in the direction of the answers. If we are going to come out of the pandemic better and stronger, we need to listen to this book.
Dr Harvey Kwiyani, CEO, Global Connections
While much has been written on the theme of discipleship and suffering, very rarely have the issues been addressed in the Western context, from the Majority World theological perspectives, during a pandemic! This book is a must-read for all, whether from the global north or global south.
Loun Ling Lee, Editor of Lausanne Global Analysis
The book which retails for £6.00 can be purchased from Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) at this link https://www.regnumbooks.net/products/discipleship-suffering-and-racial-justice
Rev Dr Israel Olofinjana
Founding Director, Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World