A comparative study of Akan and biblical concepts of a human being : a study to illustrate a method of cross-cultural evangelism.
This study establishes what the Akan and Biblical concepts of a human being are in terms of origin, constitution, gender, body form, age, status, moral behaviour, ethnic affiliation, and communality. It then compares the Akan concepts with the Biblical concepts to see what the similarities are, and, what the differences are? The findings are that in terms of origin, constitution, gender, age, status, moral behaviour, ethnic affiliation and communality, the concepts are similar even though there are some differences. For example, while in both Akan and Biblical thought, the human being consists of material and immaterial components, the Akan have five components, namely, :Jkra, honhom, sunsum, mogya and nipadua, and the Biblical has three, body, soul and spirit. In terms of body form, Akan thought is completely different from Biblical thought. The presence of such differences in thought poses a problem in evangelism as it often leads to conflict. Yet this should not be for it then affects the effectiveness of evangelism. This study therefore illustrates how Akan culture, just as it is, can be interpreted by the Bible and thus establishes that it is possible to evangelise cross culturally without creating conflict so that the Christian faith can be integrated into the culture. This is possible only if evangelists know and understand the culture in which they try to evangelise, if they know what needs their beliefs and practices meet for them. The study proposes that for effective evangelism to take place, the church must take up the study of cultures seriously and provide funds for it.