Book Review – Donovan, VJ (2009) Christianity Rediscovered, London, SCM Press.

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Christianity Rediscovered tells of the journey of Vincent Donovan, a Catholic Missionary’s journey among the Masai people in East Africa.

The book begins with a frank overview of the effect of colonialism and missionary endeavours had amongst African Cultures. Donovan needed to find new ways of engaging with the Masai as earlier encounters with westerners had created a background of distrust. Missionary work had gone hand in hand with colonialism, introducing western systems such as schooling and giving aid, however Donovan’s purpose was to explain the gospel message.

The Masai tribe have resisted any change which other tribes and nations have tried to impose on them. During his conversations with the Masai, Donovan mirrored events from the Bible, making it relevant to them. He was able to share stories from the gospel, translating them into their own culture, thus helping them understand. Significant work took place, overcoming language and cultural differences, to enable Donovan to share the gospel message. Donovan’s aim was to bring them hope, through the message of the life and the resurrection of Jesus. His mission to the Masai resulted in communities turning their lives to Jesus.

Donovan shared the gospel with people who had no understandings of Christianity and faith in Jesus, and is an example to western Christians that there is no one way of sharing the gospel.

A negative aspect within the book was the established churches’ disregard for the ministry of the Masai people once they had discovered their own expression of faith. They were not willing to incorporate the ways the Masai expressed their faith which may have impacted on the way the Masai community considered their faith.

About localpreacherforkliftdriver

I am currently a Methodist Minister in the Huddersfield Circuit with pasoral charge of Hade edge, Scholes, Parkwood and Bradley churches. Views are my own.
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