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53. What God wants His people to be and to do

Christian theology in a Sudanese context. Conclusion: Our need to put theology into practice.

Theology provides us with ways of thinking about God. The words we use and their meanings must be carefully defined to ensure they lead us towards a correct understanding and appreciation of God. When I travelled around the three cities of the Nile confluence, Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North, I was happier if I had someone with me as a guide– someone who knew the way, or who could at least speak the language well enough to ask for directions. I hope that this book has been, and will prove to be, a helpful guide to you. Thank you for (unknowingly) providing me with a reason to write it during my health recovery.

Sometimes I journeyed in the cities by large Tata buses, occasionally by bashed up yellow taxis, but more often than not in my own Toyota car.

When I drove my own car, my guides

used to say to me: “Don’t take this upcoming road on the left. Keep straight ahead until the next turn. The next left has a paved surface. It will be better for your car”. Paved roads were, usually at least, a little less bumpy and pot-holed than dirt roads. I soon discovered that under the layers of dirt on some ‘dirt roads’ there was in fact a paved surface. Because nothing had been done about the wind-blown sand and grit over many years, the smooth paved way had become lost, buried under dirt upon dirt. The way around the cities had become more difficult as a result. Since good theology is giving us right ways of thinking about God, we must be careful not to let our good thoughts become buried under months and years of bad thinking. Bad theology is as destructive to the Christian life as bad morality (Colossians 3:1-10; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Philippians 4:8-9). Good theology, well applied in life, is always the basis for excellent Christian living, even in a largely non-Christian environment. In turn, attractive Christian living will revolutionise the witness from all of the Sudanese churches that encourage it.

God wants us to be wary of false teachers and false teaching. He also, and perhaps primarily, wants us to be very careful that our own teaching is always helpfully pointing others along their way to maturity in Jesus Christ.

The groups of people who are employed sweeping the major roads of our cities may give us a helpful reminder of this point. Most days along by Al Moradah’s El Nil mosque towards the parliament building, or on the divided Shambat road that goes in front of the Syrian House sweet pastry shop in Bahri, or on the Burri bridge next to the electricity generating company opposite Kober, gangs of men in green-blue uniforms, with brushes, spades and wheeled barrows, work very hard to keep the nicely paved roads clear of the persistent and encroaching desert dust. I suggest that like these men, Sudanese Christians must work hard every day to keep good Christian theology in Sudan clear from the polluting rubbish that is always trying to invade it.

God wants us to study His word. God wants us to always apply it to our lives in the way that gives most honour and glory to Jesus Christ, no matter how difficult that may be.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:12-13).

“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all thingsGod may be praised throughJesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11).

Thinking it through.

(a). Why must ‘good thinking about God’ lead to changes in our individual and corporate

(church) behaviour?

(b). Is studying the Bible enough? What more is there to successful Christian


(c). Describe the best advertisement for 'Jesus Christ and Christianity' that Moslems

could possibly see?


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