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Reconsidering the place of Christ in Trinitarian mission in the African Divine Church of Kenya

Titus M. Ingaboh, Caroline G. Seed, Andries Le R. Du Plooy, Amanda du Plessis
Published: 31 August 2022

Abstract: African Divine Church (ADC) is an African Instituted Church affiliated to the Organisation of the African Instituted Churches, which shapes African Instituted Churches’ (AICs’) theology through theological education. ADC has both lived, and sung-narrated theology and it originated from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, hence Pentecostal with experiential undertones. Selected leaders of ADC in Vihiga County contributed to the study. The de-emphasised place of Christ was investigated to establish his place in ADC’s Trinitarian and missional Theology. The study articulated theological principles regarding Trinitarian ecclesiology, to assist the ADC in reworking its Christology. The historical approach of the early church, medieval, reformation, and modern periods regarding the place of Christ as the second person of the Triune God were investigated, to formulate guidelines for a paradigm shift in understanding the place of Christ in Trinitarian ecclesiology and the missional community that ADC may use in reworking its Trinitarian Mission. The study employed a mixed-method that followed three steps, namely interviews, questionnaires and observation. The study population was determined through purposive sampling. A coding method safeguarded the identity and confidentiality of participants. The results were classified as historical, practical and theological. ADC derived its name from John 15:1–17 through meditation, vision and revelation. The colours red, white and green symbolise its mission and growth, while its experiential and charismatic liturgy was derived from 1 Samuel 6:1–4, with evidence of hermeneutical deficiency. Theological findings included the undeveloped relationship between God and ecclesial mission, emphasis on the Holy Spirit, healing, and prophecy with a lessened place of Christ in the Trinitarian mission, as well as the blend of ancestorology with Christology that threatens the hypostatic Christology and Trinitarian economy. The study implied a call for reworking hermeneutics, Trinitarian theology, and reconstructing the relationship between God’s mission and that of the Church and a reworked Christology, distinctive from ancestorology. Contribution: African Divine Church’s narrative theology is exposed especially the Trinitarian mission to a constructive critique and further study. It has advanced mixed-method in progressing narrative inquiry as an alternative methodology.
Keywords: Church / African / ADC / place of Christ / Christ in Trinitarian mission / mixed method

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