In this general survey paper I present certain perspectives and issues relating to Bible teaching in Ghana, a leading West-African nation that has a vibrant Christian witness. In this paper, I selected a few courses from the Bethany College of Missions curriculum and suggested how the courses could be modified to answer questions that a Ghanaian student might have. This paper might also be useful for Bible teachers who come to Ghana and desire to contextualize their teaching.
Prison Epistles Course
Some Ghanaian Perspectives
- In Ghana, many churches aim for an effective five-fold ministry patterned after Eph. 4:11-13, but a number have experienced problems. Prophets sometimes arise and assume inordinate amounts of control over people. How can the Church effectively practice the five-fold ministry?
- Many slaves came from the region of Ghana during the slave trade, and certain forms of slavery are still practiced. What does the Bible teach about slavery?
- Male headship of the home is a reality in Ghana, and an assertive wife can be disgraceful to a man-especially in front of his relatives. What is the meaning of submission, according to Ephesians 5:22?
General Epistles Course
Some Ghanaian Perspectives & Issues
- Nearly 70% of the Ghanaian population calls itself Christian, yet according to Transparency International, Ghana has a serious corruption problem. Many Christian leaders are deeply troubled about the Church’s apparent lack of impact on society. Because of some charlatans in the ministry, pastors in general have suffered a loss of reputation. How can nominalism be overcome? John’s letters mention we show our love to God by keeping His laws. In societies where corruption is a problem, laws are often treated with indifference. Does this affect how Christians respond to the law of God?
- Many Christians in Ghana give Satan a lot of credit. The promise of protection in 1 John 5:18 needs to be emphasized.
- Does 1 Pet. 2:24 tell us that Jesus died for our physical healing? Many Christians in Ghana say so.
Biblical Prayer Course
Some Ghanaian Issues
- Many churches teach the reality of generational/family curses, and people often pray to be released from such bondages. Deliverance ministries are everywhere. People from traditional backgrounds may have been dedicated to the gods at birth. Are generational curses real? If so, how are they broken?
- In prayer, you will frequently hear people “binding the devil.” Do we really have such power? Does Scripture mandate us to do that? If not, how do we gain victory over the devil? What is true spiritual warfare?
- Ghanaians like to pray out loud, and they all pray at once. The leader guides the meeting through the list of prayer points and enjoins people to pray by saying, “Now let’s pray for so and so…” and everyone will erupt in prayer. Even in their private devotions, Ghanaians like to walk around and shout, if they are in a place where they can do so. Westerners, who pray quietly, are often considered to be weak in prayer. Is there a proper way to pray?
- Faith is a big concern to Ghanaians. They seek to pray in faith and believe the effectiveness of their prayers is directly related to their faith. What is the role of faith in prayer?
Old Testament 1 & 2
Some Ghanaian Perspectives
- Genesis 2:24 says that “a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” How does this passage apply to extended families?
- In Ghana, pastors often reach into the Old Testament when teaching about tithing, particularly the passage in Malachi where God promises to open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing. Can that passage be applied to us today?
- In Ghana, one generation will often teach wisdom to the succeeding generation through stories. Perhaps because of this background, Ghanaians often discover treasures in biblical stories that Westerners will miss. How can we learn wisdom from biblical stories?
- In Ghana, childlessness in marriage is considered shameful. According to Gen. 1:28, God has blessed us so that we may multiply. Has God forsaken a childless couple?
- I have heard some Ghanaians teach that, as descendants of Ham, they are under a curse, especially when they compare themselves to the developed world. How can one refute this teaching?
- Departed ancestors still assume a guiding role in the day-to-to lives of many Ghanaians. Is this acceptable, akin to the cloud of witnesses in Heb.12:1, or does such reverence steal honor from God? One Ghanaian scholar said, “The ancestors play a crucial role consciously and unconsciously in the lives of many Africans. It is a matter for serious theological reflection.”