In Passing the Baton, Akinfenwa explains ministerial succession in the church
Archbishop Joseph Olatunji Akinfenwa’s book Pasing the Baton: Religious Familism and Ministerial Succession in the Life and Genealogy of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther adds to the growing scholarship on the life and times of Bishop Crowther .
The book particularly focuses on the continuity of the Christian faith by the descendants of Bishop Crowther, who, according to Akinfenwa, continued their father’s legacy of Christian stewardship for the betterment of their community and the world. in general.
The eight-chapter book begins with “A Faith to Pass On,” where Bishop Akinfenwa describes faith as a personal matter, before going on to ask if it can be passed on to biological offspring.
He reveals that it is common in many cultures around the world for families to share religious experiences, adding that such a common faith or religious experience, in many cases, translates into a family religion or often becomes a mark of distinction. or identity for the family. .
As a result, according to the author, religion/faith becomes a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next, “and this is the foundation of family religion, or religious familism”.
With this explanation, Bishop Akinfenwa reveals why he chose Ajayi Crowther as his case study. He admits that Ajayi Crowther was able to pass on his religious heritage to his generation, and at a time when the world is becoming increasingly secular and permissive, and the traditional Christian religious familialism that was the norm in the previous generation is under attack, and with the issue of succession in many Christian organizations generating tension, then Ajay Crowther’s success in this area made it the textbook case.
The second chapter, Crowther and Religious Familism: A Review, delves into Ajayi Crowther’s approaches to history.
Akinfenwa sheds light on earlier work done on Crowther’s life – his experience of slavery, life in Sierra Leone, and his life as a clergyman.
The third chapter, Context of ministerial succession and propagation in Christian families, highlights the current challenges of Christian religious organizations in the area of succession. It is a known fact that succession can create a crisis in an organization if not handled well, and Bishop Akinfenwa used this chapter to explain ministerial succession in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Here he gives three types of Christian succession – biological, ministerial and apostolic – and explains everything in detail.
The author returns to focus fully on the life, ministry and legacies of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther in the fourth chapter, while the fifth chapter delves into the trials, frustration and death of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.
On the issue of succession, Chapter Six dwells on Christian influence and ministerial succession in the family of Biship Ajayi Crowther.
The author also examines the contributions of Crowther’s biological descendants to the Nigerian church and regime.
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
The final two chapters dwell on Crowther’s legacy today, as well as the lessons to be learned from his influence.
The book comes at a good time when the question of succession is controversial in Christendom.
In fact, in his foreword, Professor Jacob K. Olupona of Harvard University, Cambridge, USA states that Reverend Akinfenwa “rightly cites countless examples of ministerial succession such as they are written in the scriptures, as well as those found in the indigenous religious tradition of the Yoruba people where the priesthood is transmitted from father to son.
Professor Olupona, however, states that “it is appropriate that the sons and children of pastors are not assured of being called to the ministry. On the one hand, it is true that for institutionalized Christianity, the call to ordination is fundamentally understood as an agreement between individuals and God.
The book is therefore recommended to churches, Christian institutions, universities and seminary libraries.