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Abstract

The past twenty to thirty years in the history of Zimbabwean Christianity have witnessed the emergence of a new breed of Pentecostalism that tends to attract the middle and upper classes urban residents. This paper presentsfindings from a case study of one such movement, the Family of God church. It describes and analyses the origins, growth and development of this church as an urban modern Pentecostal movement. Thefirst section of the paper discusses the origins and development of the church focusing on the life of the founder. The second section focuses on the teaching and practices of the church. The church's doctrines and practices are here analysed tofind out the extent to which these have been influenced by the socio-political and economic challenges in the urban areas. The paper concludes that the modern Pentecostal movement is meant to address urban needs.

In: Exchange

Abstract

The examples of Old Testament prophets like Amos show that the call to prophecy is a life changing experience. This paper demonstrates that by looking at the 'birth' of Andrew Wutawunashe as a prophet. It opens with a brief history of the life of Wutawunashe showing how he was 'called' from pursuing university education to founding the Family of God church. It then discusses the possible reasons that led Wutawunashe to break from the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe. Although several reasons are suggested it is concluded that chief among them was his claim to prophetic inspiration.

In: Exchange

Abstract

This paper discusses the paradox presented by two realities: the situation of extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and the rapid growth of charismatic Pentecostal Christianity with its emphasis on prosperity. Earlier studies on Pentecostalism have identified its success among the poor as a result of its promise of prosperity. Indeed others have viewed this doctrine as an impetus for delusion. This paper critically reviews the Pentecostal gospel of prosperity in the context of the poverty experienced in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, it discusses the possible contribution of this doctrine to sustainable development. Over and above a theorization of how this gospel can contribute to sustainable development for poverty reduction, the paper also discusses specific cases of how Pentecostal Christianity is contributing to poverty reduction in Zimbabwe and Botswana, for example.

In: Exchange