Spencer’s purpose in writing is not pushing a political agenda here, but he is clear that the West’s Christianity past does not necessarily imply anything about how it should move into the future. Although from an Africa perspective, we differ with him and agree with some of his reasoning. Spencer does want to counter the distortions and lies that our secularized society seems to tell itself about where its confused ideas and achievements have come. That our elites seems to dismiss religion as a backward notion of a benighted past and fallen confusion that need of a solution.
We need to know that Western Christianity invaded Africa and overrode the African religion as it was considered as barbaric and primitive life. The African spirituality was thrown into the fire, and many disregarded that and embraced Christianity. It was good that Christianity came with enlightenment and knowledge of understanding of life from another perspective. Christianity contributed a lot to education we experience in Africa now, which has been made universal. Spencer’s writing may seem like a radical idea because, for the last decade, the New Atheists have argued that the value that many of us hold dear developed not due to the influence of any religion. These arose once we threw off Christianity’s malign influence, they claim, the story of Western thought is one of slow but steady secular emancipation. But spencer argues that our cherished values were not merely born in the enlightenment. Drawing from his wealth of historical, literary, and philosophical sources, he demonstrates that Christianity has had a strong involvement in the development of all of them. What’s more, it is created Humanism, Secularism, and even Atheism.
I am very impressed with spencer in this book, where she shows how Christian ideas impacted the development of welfare state, offer insights into equality that Picketty’s analysis does not consider, or provide an essential underpinning to our commitment to human rights, and underlie our ideas of being a nation. I love the way Spencer is arguing in support of Christianity and challenging the Atheist reason as displaces, and they are all coming from the Christian origin. African spirituality does not have any provision of atheists in the equation. Because everybody is assumed to be connected to a spirit when he is born. But due to Western influence and the high rate of enlightenment, we have started experiencing some who claim to be atheists even here in Kenya. But all have rebelled from the Christian faith.
The African community is disturbed by the Western influence in spiritual matters, and that is the reason the Africa Quakers are now developing their contextualized Quaker theology so that they are not confused by many scholarly views from the west. The west, through missionaries, introduced Christianity in Africa. The same Western people are coming again with another concept that Christianity is an illusion, and therefore Atheist is the way to go. This is confusion, and thus, many African theologians are developing their contextualized theology never again to be influenced blindly. I greatly appreciate this book