The thrust of this article is an attempt to respond to the question whether we can read and
interpret the bible in Africa from the child theology vantage point. The author’s answer is in
the affirmative in two ways: Firstly, it is that the majority of children in Africa are facing abuses
of unprecedented proportions. Historically and traditionally, African scholars always read and
interpreted the bible with African lenses. The African bible critic and exegete should be part of
the church, the body of Christ which ought to be a lotus of healing. Theologising in the context
of the crisis of the ‘child’ in Africa is fairly a new development and needs to be aggressively
pursued. The second aspect of this author’s response is that when Christianity entered the
Graeco-Roman as well the Jewish milieu, it used the family symbolism such as father, brothers,
love, house of God, children of God, and so on. The New Testament authors therefore used
family as reality and metaphor to proclaim the gospel. The African theologian, critic and
exegete, is therefore in this article challenged to make a significant contribution using the
African context in that, ‘… the African concept of child, family and community appears to be
closer to ecclesiology than the Western concepts’.
This article emanates from a consultation on ‘Child Theology’ in August 2015, co-hosted by the Centre of Contextual Ministry,
Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria.