Not a “White Man’s Religion”: Church History and Biblical Thought (Vince Bantu)

Western Christians tend to emphasize Western church history and culture at the expense of the global church. Many have cursory understanding of the Greek Orthodox tradition, but know little about early Christianity in Asia and Africa. This ignorance of church history leads to more than just historical inaccuracy; it can alienate those of other nationalities and ethnicities with a false portrayal of Christianity as a European- or white-only religion.

In this episode, Dr. Dru Johnson interviews Dr. Vince Bantu of Fuller Seminary about global church history. They give special attention to the origins and spread of Christianity in Egypt, Nubia, and the broader African continent. Along the way, they highlight Western misunderstandings of non-Western Christology and the issue of racism in the ancient world. By expanding our perspective beyond our own historical and cultural tradition, Western Christians can improve our ability to truly preach the gospel to all nations.

Show notes:

  • 0:00 Contextualization and interpretation of Scripture
  • 2:10 The global nature of Christianity
  • 4:07 The origins of African Christianity
  • 12:32 The spread of Christianity in Nubia
  • 15:03 The schism between the Roman and Ethiopian churches
  • 19:06 Racism in the ancient world
  • 22:22 Athanasius, Arianism, and the Egyptian church
  • 25:50 The importance of the non-Western church
  • 33:00 The “cultural elasticity” of the gospel

Learn more about Dr. Bantu and his work.

Show notes by Micah Long.

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