Christology in Contemporary African Christianity: Ontological or Functional?

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  •   Babatunde Ogunlana

  •   Benjamin I. Akano

Abstract

This article examines the practical nature of Christology in contemporary African Christianity. The writers argue that though the religious mindset of the African people does not allow a dichotomy between ontological and functional Christologies, existential challenges have made many Africans tilt towards the functional end. The method adopted in the article is a descriptive approach. Christology is central to the orthodox Christian faith. It permeates all the pages of the Bible. The Old Testament consistently predicts the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament writers focused on Him in the light of His work on earth and the office he came to occupy concerning the Messianic predictions of the Old Testament. In history, the focus of theology has always been on the person and work of Christ. Contemporary African Christianity is not an exception to this trend. Many controversies have emerged in the process of the discussion on Christology. These Christological controversies surround the Person, picture, and deeds of Christ. A tilt towards functional Christology may cause a down-playing of God’s sovereign will to focus on what works. This may lead to syncretic beliefs and practices as people look for what gives a solution. The conclusion is that African Christology should blend ontology and functionality. The Christology that is both contextually relevant and scripturally balanced should be presented to the African people. Therefore, African theologians should make efforts to prepare theology that reflect a balanced Christological presentation intentionally.


Keywords: African Christianity, Christology, Functional, Ontological.

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How to Cite
Ogunlana, B., & Akano, B. I. (2022). Christology in Contemporary African Christianity: Ontological or Functional?. European Journal of Theology and Philosophy, 2(4), 13–18. https://doi.org/10.24018/theology.2022.2.4.71