Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Scripture References in this Resource
Acts 16:25-34; Acts 10; Luke 7:1-10; Luke 8:49-56; Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 9:1-8; Luke 19:1-10; Acts 16:11-15; Acts 18:8; Acts 10:48; Acts 2:39; Genesis 17:7- 9; Genesis 18:19; Psalm 103:17-18; Luke 1:72-75; Acts 2:38; Joshua 2:12-3; Joshua 6:17-21; Acts 16:33; Joshua 24:14-15; Acts 11:14; Habakkuk 2:4; Luke 7:50; Luke 9:37-42; Luke 1:3
Mberebe, Jean Baptiste. “The Salvation fo the Household in Lukan Theology: A Tool for Mission and Evangelism in the West African Church, Acts 16:25-34 as a Case Study.” Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2018. 251 pp.
What is the “salvation of the household” in Lukan theology? What does it mean for mission and evangelism in the West African context? These are the questions the author is attempting to answer, and in so doing he hopes to draw the attention of the reader, both in the West, and especially in Africa, on the nature of salvation-that the nature of salvation is not only individualistic, but also communal, as can be seen in the pericope he studies, namely Acts 16:25-34. He asserts that the salvation of the household has implications for Mission and Evangelism in West Africa, especially among the Tupuri people of Northeastern Cameroon and Southwestern Chad. In Luke and Acts, salvation is not restricted to the spiritual, or salvation of the soul. Salvation is both temporal and timeless, physical and spiritual, individual but also, and more so communal. Salvation comes to an entire household or family; it comes to people who have shown personal faith, but also to people who cannot speak for themselves, but can count on the faith of others. This is so because in first century Palestine and Greco-Roman world, the personality of the individual is dyadic, not individualistic, that is to say, an individual finds his or her identity in connection with a web of people, the dyad, an entity composed of more or less extended family members under the authority of the householder or the pater familias, who inn general is the decision maker of the group. Thus when preachers of the Good News enter his house, they speak the word to him. And when such a householder believes, he believes for all under his roof, when he acts, his acting engages the fate of the whole household. This can be seen in Luke as well as in the Acts of the Apostles.
If this is so, what shall be done with a society that has a similar worldview? Wouldn’t it be expected that such a people will act in like manners? The author answers this positively. He posits that the Tupuri of West Africa, when they hear words like those of Acts 16:31, they understand that because of their faith their entire household is saved. It cannot be otherwise, because those under their care take their cue from the householder, and what he says, they say, what he believes, they believe. There are two important lessons the missionary or evangelist can learn here: 1) the household is readily a church for the missionary to use as the locus of his ministry, and 2) the people of this household can be easily reached through the head of the household, rather than one individual at a time. Once the householder commits to the faith, his entire household is committed, and Scripture says, “Salvation has come to this house.” Though the householders are generally more resistant to change, once they do embrace change, they do so for the entire family. They can also become the catechist of their family. All this to say that the missionary or evangelist operating in West Africa, can see his work eased away through the model of the salvation of the household.
Mberebe, Jean Baptiste, "The Salvation of the Household in Lukian Theology A Tool for Mission and Evangelism in the West African Church; Acts 16:25-34 as a Case Study" (2018). Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation. 102.
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