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Empowering as a Missional Concept vs. Empowerment as a Political Ideology

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The article contrasts the meaning of empowerment in a political ideological perspective with a Christian mission understanding of empowering as a process of reaching out to the other with the love of the triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is argued that as far as the developing world is concerned there are many reasons for an empowering process in Christian mission, and one of them is an existing identity crisis facing churches in the developing countries (sometimes referred to as third world churches). The article also undertakes to work with a proposition that states that the solution to a perceived paternalism from the churches in the developed world over those in developing nations does not necessary lie in a moratorium call, however, it should be found in embracing a notion of empowering that creates an attitude of partnership between both churches. Three basic principles are proposed that should under gird this process; namely, Unconditional acceptance, Unconditional respect, Unconditional dignity. An African tale is given to illustrate the basic working assumptions and presuppositions of this article.


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