By Clint Archer - Posted at The Cripplegate:
Zambia is not a country known for its exports. It’s not like you would ever find a “Made in Zambia” sticker on your kid’s Playstation. But if Southern Africa only shared one product with the world, it should be Dr. Conrad Mbewe.
This statesman, scholar, preacher, writer is Africa’s premier expository export. He ranks as one of the most influential Reformed preachers and writers to come out of Africa since Athanasius and Augustine. (Although JRR Tolkien was born in South Africa, since Lord of the Rings is technically fiction, not theology, he doesn’t count.)
While laboring in a copper mine, Mbewe felt called to the full-time pastoral ministry. Swimming against the cultural current that flows lazily along the path of least resistance, the young Mbewe jumped through the bureaucratic hoops and trappings of red tape to study internationally and acquired the MPhil (Practical Theology) and MA (Pastoral Theology) and eventually a PhD. He returned to his beloved country to pastor Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka. His undeniable giftedness and contagious passion soon catapulted him to prominence in the African Reformed Baptist circles.
Mbewe fearlessly confronted the shallow theology and unbiblical practices endemic to African denominations, especially the corrosive prosperity gospel. He has been credited with (blamed for) the widespread migration of Zambian Christians from their Arminian, Pentecostal, seeker-sensitive allegiances, to the bourgeoning movement of Calvinistic, cessationist, expository churches. What Al Mohler did for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and by extension the theological landscape of American Evangelicalism, Mbewe did for the country of Zambia and by extension the Evangelicals of Central and Southern Africa.