Missio Dei and ethnic diversity in Africa : a reflection on the metaphor of community
CITATION: Onwunta, U. A. & Hendriks, H. J. 2009. Missio Dei and ethnic diversity in Africa : a reflection on the metaphor of community. Scriptura, 101:314-325, doi:10.7833/101-0-642.
The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za
This article explores the concept of the missio Dei as it affects the Christian missionary enterprise in Africa. It offers a brief overview of the theocentric understanding of mission as a holistic approach that does not dichotomize between humanity and creation but rather affirms the wholeness of existence in the African primal world view. Secondly, the implication of the missio Dei for the ethno-religious diversity in Africa and the Nigerian nation in particular, is explored. Thirdly, a call for a new missional hermeneutics, especially on the metaphor of community, is advocated. The essay argues that the way to proceed is by focusing on Jesus, the heartbeat of whose ministry was reconciliation, compassionate response to human needs, and whose actions show forth the horizon of the coming world of shalom – justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.