According to an article published by the Associated Baptist Press, Jenkins said that many things about life and practice in the Old Testament are difficult to convey to a contemporary Western audience.
The following is an excerpt from the article published by the Associated Baptist Press:
Cultures that espouse tribal identities and are intimately acquainted with animal sacrifice, dietary restrictions, polygamy, sacred rocks and the like are well-equipped to read and identify with the Hebrew Bible's stories, Jenkins said.In Western societies, many people have never seen an animal sacrifice or lived in an agricultural community. To them, such a way of life is foreign to their culture and difficult to understand. Thus, I believe that, to some extent, Jenkins in right. And this may explain the reason the church is growing in Africa and Latin America and it is stagnant in Europe and in the USA.
"Teaching people [in the developing world] to obey the Bible if it means the Old Testament is not difficult," he said. "In fact, for many of the new Christians in the world today the big problem is . telling people that the old law must be made subordinate, must be treated as inferior, to the new law."
In Africa, Jenkins continued, Western missionaries often must convince people that the Old Testament is not the only or primary revelation of God's work.
If Martin Luther hated it, he joked, it goes down great in Africa.
On the up side, Jenkins said, African and Asian tribes can easily recognize and understand aspects of the traditional religion of the Old Testament as shaping what they should practice in light of the New Testament. And they often understand those aspects better than Christians in the Western world.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Africa, Church, Philip Jenkins