Archbishop Peter Akinola in Time’s 100 list of people who shape our world

Source: Time Magazine on-line

Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006

Archbishop Peter Akinola - The Strength of a Lion
By RICK WARREN

Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola captured headlines last year for leading the worldwide revolt of evangelical Anglicans against the ordination of gay bishops in the U.S. by the Episcopal Church. But to caricature his ministry with that one issue would severely underestimate his importance. Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian church, namely that the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern. New African, Asian and Latin American church leaders like Akinola, 61, are bright, biblical, courageous and willing to point out the inconsistencies, weaknesses and theological drift in Western churches.

With nearly 18 million active Anglicans in Nigeria, Akinola’s flock dwarfs the mother Church of England’s membership. And since he is chairman of the 37 million—member Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, when he speaks, far more than just Anglicans pay attention. Akinola has the strength of a lion, useful in confronting Third World fundamentalism and First World relativism. He has been criticized for recent remarks of frustration that some felt exacerbated Muslim-Christian clashes in his country. But Christians are routinely attacked in parts of Nigeria, and his anger was no more characteristic than Nelson Mandela’s apartheid-era statement that “sooner or later this violence is going to spread to whites.” I believe he, like Mandela, is a man of peace and his leadership is a model for Christians around the world. Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life

5 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Chibuzor Okpala Says:

    I strongly agree with WARREN about the above article. Primate Akinola is a man of his words. he is A MAN that speaks out about the atrocities arising from the western world.
    He is fighting a good fight and we the Anglican black brethren in this country will see to it that we would not and would never be drawn away from the original christian doctrines and teachings.
    Thanks

  2. J Lynn Pflug Says:

    Archbishop Akinola is the man, he is the main man.
    May our Lord keep him from harms way. God’s Blessings! JLP

  3. Remi Akano Sr Says:

    I have had the benefit of situating Primate Akinola’s role in the context of the international war against homosexualism in a piece I did in KINGDOM PERSPECTIVE, a weekly column I write in a Nigerian newspaper, NATIONAL INTEREST.

    Truth is, it is impossible not to highlight the courage that has gone into taking a very firm public stand against the international gay movement even when many other respected leaders appeared to be equivocating. The desperation with which that the gays group invaded Nigeria, held what they called an AGM with a lot of publicity was unprecedented and must be seen as a strategy of taking the general’s home base in order to weaken the opposing army. That is why the anti-gay marriage bill before the Nigerian parliament must be seen as a first major step by government, expectedly with a nudge from Akinola, as a strategic preemptive move.

    I am however in agreement with the respected Warren who himself was selected in a similar TIME exercise last year as successor to Billy Graham as America’s national prophet, that Akinola has provided leadership against relativism and other such invidious liberal theories attempting to give the lie to the time-tested infallible word of God, the bible. Congrats Archbishop. May God continue to bless and keep you.

  4. mccabe Says:

    From the article:

    “...the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern.”

    This is certainly the truth. We are at a point were each sphere of influence must move to develop its’ own pattern of growth. The need to ‘win’ is not the way Christ would bless. We should take our guidance from St. Paul.

    1 Corinthians 9: 20-23

    “20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.

    21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.

    22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

    23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

  5. Marivaldo Gouveia Says:

    I remembered Peter Akinola in 1993 as a classmate in Singapore, during Haggai Institute session. During one month, me and other christians leaders received precious lessons from a humble and active leader of leaders, Peter Akinola. God bless Akinola all the time and in all ways.