This article analyses pneumatological thinking as it appears in postcolonial mission in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana (elcb), thereby engaging with challenges being posed by the new Pentecostal Churches and African Independent Churches in the region.1 These “spiritual churches” are attracting increasing numbers of worshippers with the result that the Lutheran Church is currently facing the dual challenge of both the new phenomenon and the historical colonial heritage of the missionary era. Pneumatological thinking in the elcb is examined from an epistemic point of view, and the difficulties and strengths in both the postcolonial Lutheran mission and the new religiosity are evaluated.
African Theology as Liberating Wisdom; Celebrating Life and Harmony in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana, Mari-Anna Pöntinen analyses contextual interpretations of the Christian faith in this particular church. These interpretations are based on the special wisdom tradition which embraces monistic ontology, communal ethics in
botho, and the indigenous belief in God as the Source of Life, and the Root of everything that exists. The constructing theological principle in the ELCB is the downward-orientated and descending God in Christ which interprets the ‘Lutheran spirit’ in a liberating and empowering sense. It deals with the cultural mythos which brings Christ down into people’s existence, unlike Western connotations which are considered to hinder seeing Christ and to prevent existential self-awareness.