Steve Nichols:
On this episode of 5 Minutes in Church History it’s a real privilege for me to have a special guest who has come all the way from Zambia to meet with us here in the studio. I’m sitting with Dr. Conrad Mbewe. He’s the Founding Chancellor and the Director of Advancement of the African Christian University in Zambia.

He’s also known as Shakulu Inaswila. I would love it, Dr. Mbewe, if you would just take a moment to let us know about this other name that you are known as?

Dr. Conrad Mbewe:
Thank you. Thank you very much. Well, the name simply means “grandfather of Inaswila.” In an African context, when you marry, people start referring to you as “husband of so-and-so.” When you have your first child, they start referring to you as “father of so-and-so.” And then when you have your first grandchild, you now start being called “grandfather of so-and-so” within the wider community. So, I’m grandfather of Inaswila, and the African phrase is “Shakulu Inaswila.”

SN:
So, if you would like to email Dr. Mbewe, if you call him “Shakulu Inaswila,” he will certainly answer that email and you’ll get right through. Well, you’re also known as the Spurgeon of Africa.

CM:
I’m blushing over here.

SN:
I know that’s not something you call yourself, so let’s establish that first. But as you think about Spurgeon and his influence, let’s talk about that for a little bit. Tell us about why Charles Haddon Spurgeon matters.

CM:
When I first became a Christian—within I think the first year or two, actually within the first year—I stumbled across Spurgeon in the many readings that I was devouring in those days.

One book that I came across is written by Iain Murray, titled, “The Forgotten Spurgeon.” At that time, I was thinking that all it meant was the Spurgeon that people needed to remember. I didn’t realize he was bringing out the doctrinal aspect of Spurgeon’s ministry. That book impacted me quite a lot. I would really say that what I learned from that book is what still makes Spurgeon relevant even today, within the wider context of the world, and even so in Africa. Because we have a context which tends to be doctrine-less, it results in not just a lot of wildfires (in terms of people thinking they are Christians when they are not, and therefore the church going off into a nominal direction), but also in terms of the wildfires related to what I call the African import of the health and wealth gospel, the prosperity gospel, the charismatic movement in its extreme form. I honestly think that recognizing the emphasis in the Bible of truth—doctrinal truth—would save the Christian Church worldwide and especially in Africa from a lot of headaches and nightmares because of the tragic growth of all the other poisonous teachings that are infesting the Christian Church.

SN:
This is a subject that means a lot to us here at 5 Minutes in Church History, and that’s the relevance of church history in church life and the Christian life today. I can think of no better model than Spurgeon. As you spoke of that book by Iain Murray, we’re reminded how easy it is for the church in any land to be led astray and to have false teaching come in, and how important it is for us to guard that good deposit of faith.

Well, I am looking forward to having you back. In fact, we might have you back next week to talk even more about some books, impacts, and influences on you. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to having you back with us.

CM:
Thanks. Thanks a lot.

SN:
You’ve been listening to a conversation with Dr. Conrad Mbewe. I’m Steve Nichols, and thanks for listening to 5 Minutes in Church History.