Christ also ours in Africa: a consideration of Torrance's incarnational, Christological model as nexus for Christ's identification with African Christians
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The perceived foreignness of Christ in African Christianity is an ongoing challenge that is captured in various pieces of African theological literature. This problem partly arises from some early Western missionaries' presentation of the gospel to Africans from a predominantly Western perspective, which caused many Africans to perceive Christ as a Western Saviour with a Western identity. The problem of the foreignness of Christ in African Christianity is further intensified by the traditional African ancestral world view that requires a blood-related ancestor to address the African contextual needs. Therefore, many African Christians do not like to view Christ as identifying with them. This has resulted in the unchanging ethical lives of some African Christians as Christ and the consequent Christian ethics have not taken deep roots. To inform the identity and ethical lives of African Christians as true followers of Christ, many African theologians have responded to the foreignness of Christ in African Christianity by proposing various African Christological approaches that identify Christ with African Christians. However, these Christological approaches are limited in various ways. Thus, in the quest for an alternative Christological model that identifies Christ with African Christians, this article critically analyses and evaluates Torrance's incarnational Christological model in order to determine how his (Torrance's) incarnational Christological conceptualisation can open up aspects of Christ's incarnation that fully identify Christ with African Christians. The article highlights that Torrance's incarnational Christological concepts, namely, anypostasis and enhypostasis, the close association between the doctrine of creation and redemption, and the interpretation of the redemptive history of Israel from an incarnational perspective configures that in the incarnation, God in Christ completely identifies with all humankind and saves them from the ontological depth of their existence. Hence, Torrance's incarnational Christological model has the significant implication that the gospel is for all humanity in its dealing with sin and spiritual forces. African Christians may claim complete solidarity with Christ everywhere without the stumbling block of a claimed foreignness of Jesus Christ. This article contributes to African Christian identity discussion by identifying a constructive way of understanding Christ's salvation in a manner that effectively communicates Christ's relevancy to African Christians. As such, it contributes to systematic theological discussion on Christ in Africa from a Christian identity perspective and its soteriological implications. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article focuses on interdisciplinary, that is, systematic theology and missiology (African Christian identity). The article contributes to identifying a constructive way of understanding Christ's salvation in a manner that effectively communicates Christ's relevancy to African Christians. As such, it contributes to a systematic theological discussion on Christ in Africa from a Christian identity perspective and its soteriological implications.
- Faculty of Humanities 
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