Christianity is the largest religion in the world currently in terms of the number of adherents to it. It is approximated that it comprises of over 2 billion followers, who have classified themselves within the 34,000 different denominations currently in existence. Having been a religion that has spread so fast across the globe through the missionary work, many societies have embraced it though the beliefs and practices have been modified through the ages. For instance, the Christianity practiced in the western world differs to some extent to that practiced in either Africa or Asia. However, it is worth noting that the fundamental Christian beliefs are guided by the Bible (Spencer and Spencer 21).
Nigeria is one of the countries found in the African continent that has had to contend with the idea of culture and Christianity. The early missionaries to Africa clarified that the African cultural practices went against the Christian values, and were in correct. However, in the recent years quite a good number of African scholars have risen up against the ideologies that the missionaries were trying to impart on the Africans. They claim that the majority of the traditional customs and practices that Christian churches cannot tolerate were not, in fact, against Christian values and teachings. As such, the African practice of Christianity is characterized by both incorporation of part of their traditional practices to the western Christianity views.
Quite a good number of Africans who convert to Christianity find hard to abandon the religion they practice. To this effect, contrary to the western Christian views, Africans still believe in witchcraft although they regard it as a sinful practice. Similarly, some Christians in this region still talk to their ancestors but worship God (Spencer and Spencer 25).
Christianity in Eastern world, a case in point being Russia is characterized by the presence of the Orthodox Church. Most adherents of this denomination originate from parts of Middle East and the greater part of the Eastern Europe. The orthodox has values that accept the seven Ecumenical Councils.
This denomination has cut itself a niche where it only associates itself with the, original first, church established by Jesus and the other Apostles. What is most fascinating about Orthodoxy is its lineage whose history dates back to the apostolic successions of the earlier days. Their religious studies and practices have remained relatively unchanged as they focus more on the biblical teachings to the latter. Among the practices they engage in include Divine Liturgy, sacraments, and mysteries. They also emphasize more on the safeguarding of their tradition, which is mainly derived from the nature of the apostolic teachings (Spencer and Spencer 29).
How do the perspectives differ from each other?
What cultural or social factors contribute to the unique views of both authors?
Considering that culture and social factors shape our ways of reasoning, it is worth noting that the African traditions shaped the views of the author about Christianity in Africa-Nigeria. Furthermore, considering the belief that Christianity is a western idea trying to infiltrate and maybe eliminate the traditions in existence, the author was much biased towards supporting the African traditions. On the other hand, since Christianity is believed to have emanated from the Middle East, the nations around this location tend more to follow the teachings of the first church (Spencer and Spencer 44).
Spencer Aida Besancon and Spencer William David. The Global God: Multicultural Evangelical
Views of God. New York: Baker Books, 1998. Print