Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, Mission and Ministry PhD

First Advisor

Gordon R. Doss

Second Advisor

Roy E. Gane

Third Advisor

Bruce L. Bauer

Abstract

Statement of Problem

History records that Christian missions have operated in Winneba since 1865 with various approaches being used to share the gospel with the Effutu. Though there have been successes, allegiance of the Effutu to their tribal gods, manifested especially during the Aboakyer festival, raises the need for a missiological bridge or intervention for an effective contextualized ministry among the Effutu of Winneba.

Purpose of Study

This research aims to develop a missiological model based on a comparative study of the OT Yom Kippur festival and the Effutu Aboakyer festival that will potentially facilitate more effective Adventist mission among the Effutu.

Method

To understand the concept of atonement, a literature review studied the concept of atonement in two parts—the biblical view (comprising the Old Testament and New Testament views), and the African Traditional Religion (ATR) perspective. Second an ethnographic research on the Effutu Aboakyer was done to understand its context, particularly, the origins, history, and the rituals of the Aboakyer festival. This involved individual and group interviews as well as participant observation. Using the comparative approach method, comparison and contrast between the Aboakyer and Yom Kippur, with its typological meaning (pointing to ultimate reality), was done to find (a) similarities between them that reveal points of contact and that will make Yom Kippur comprehensible to the Effutu; and also (b) differences that reveal inadequacies in their understanding of atonement that can be remedied by accepting the biblical model of atonement through two phases of atonement provided by Christ's sacrifice. A missiological model that comprehensively and effectively addresses the Effutu situation was accordingly proposed.

Conclusion

Based upon the redemptive analogies (similarities) found in the analysis, and the differences that posed as challenges, the Yom Kippur, expressing the biblical model of atonement, was proposed as the appropriate modus operandi that will potentially facilitate a more effective incarnational mission among the Effutu. This model, which elucidates the two phases of atonement provided by Christ’s sacrifice, was found to have the remedy for the inadequacies (differences) of the Effutu in their understanding of atonement and also the theological insights to give the sanctuary message its eschatological emphasis needed for this time. The model will also put the Effutu history and cosmology into biblical perspective and help the Effutu direct their sacrifices and worship to God rather than the lesser gods.

Subject Area

Missions -- Ghana -- Winneba, Aboakyer (African festival), Yom Kippur, Efutu (African people), Atonement -- Comparative studies

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