Visiting a village in Kome Island, and one home in particular, inspired a fourth bite-sized book to go alongside the three I wrote for last year’s trip to Tanzania. When God and Culture Clash explores what God intends to happen when the light of the gospel shines into an individual’s and even a community’s life. Life, including our most basic assumptions about it, should be transformed!
For example, how does the gospel speak into our understanding and practice of marriage? —the topic of last year’s pastors’ conference on Kome Island. All of us eagerly await seeing how things have changed for the couples who attended last year as we meet with them again for further study.
This year we plan to dig into Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I can think of no more relevant book for Tanzania. Like Tanzania, Ephesus buzzed with spiritual activity. People feared dark powers, seeking to bring them under control, so they might avoid trouble and experience blessing. As a result, the magic business of Ephesus thrived as do the current practices of witch doctors in Tanzania.
Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, clarifying the truth about their new position, and ours too, as believers. He explains how, after Jesus’s resurrection, he took his seat at the right hand of God the Father, far above every ruler and authority, whether human or angelic!
Paul adds more. Because believers reside in Christ we have access to his power—power for resisting the Enemy’s attacks, power for change, and power for helping release others from the grip of the kingdom of darkness. This renders magic rituals irrelevant and exposes their offense to a sovereign God who cannot and will not be manipulated.
As we look foward to the trip, we ask you to pray with us. Pray the conference will help church leaders, pastors, and their wives gain essential understandings of the Christian life. Over the three days we spend together, we (the conference teachers) intend to focus on process along with content. We’ll model a method for approaching passages that hopefully shapes each pastor’s own biblical theology and preaching. Our goal? At the end of the conference, each church leader, pastor, and wife will leave with useful resources for pastoral ministry as well as a deeper understanding of God’s desire and power to transform lives.
Join us in prayer as we teach. Pray all of us may continue to realize this amazing transforming power God has for us, whether we live in Tanzania or elsewhere!