Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Turkana Boy Controversy

Occasionally I hear comments from Brethren evangelicals that "real" Christianity is alive and well in Africa. It is certainly true that evangelical Christianity seems to be thriving there. But this is why I don't celebrate it:
Deep in the dusty, unlit corridors of Kenya's national museum, locked away in a plain-looking cabinet, is one of mankind's oldest relics: Turkana Boy, as he is known, the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human ever found.

But his first public display later this year is at the heart of a growing storm -- one pitting scientists against Kenya's powerful and popular evangelical Christian movement. The debate over evolution vs. creationism -- once largely confined to the United States -- has arrived in a country known as the cradle of mankind.

"I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it," says Bishop Boniface Adoyo, head of Kenya's 35 evangelical denominations, which he claims have 10 million followers. "These sorts of silly views are killing our faith."

What is thriving in Africa is a throw-back version of Christianity that denies the validity of evolution, tramples womens rights, and holds bigoted views about homosexuality. It may very well be alive and growing, but it's not good for humanity and its not good for Christianity.

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