Israel’s thesis has been about Reverse Missiology, that is, the idea that missionaries and pastors from the Majority World (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America) are engaging in mission in the European context, returning in gratitude to the efforts of European missionaries in the past. To this end his research and writings have focused on Reverse Mission as an important contribution to the field of Diaspora Missiology – ( Diaspora Missiology is a subsidiary of the discipline of Mission Studies or Missiology). His research has led to four published books, journal articles and chapter contributions in various academic volumes. Below are a selection of Israel’s books:
Currently working as the editor of African Voices: Towards African British Theologies, Langham Partnership, September 2017.
African Voices: Towards African British Theologies sets out a new field of study known as African British Theologies. The book argues and articulates that the significant presence of African Christianity in Britain and the theologising of African Theologians in the British context is paving the way for this new academic field. It is African Theology because of the presence of African Christianity, but it is also British because the new context, Britain demands that African Christians contextualise the gospel for the multicultural British society. One of the uniqueness of this book is that all the twelve contributors are African pastors-scholars all engaged in ministry and theological scholarship in Britain. The book is divided into three sections, Missiology, Constructive Theology and Practical Theology, and under each discipline are emergent theologies such as Reverse Missiology, Sacred use and spaces by African Churches, African Pneumatology, African Christology, Prosperity Gospel, Intercultural Ecumenism, Black Womanist Theology, Second-generation Africans and African church growth and spirituality.
Partnership in Mission: A Black Majority Church Perspective on Mission and Church Unity, 2015
What on earth are Black Majority Churches? Are they a homogenous church movement in Britain?
These are just two of the questions this book seeks to address. Black Majority Churches are a significant part of the history, landscape and mission of the British church. They are diverse in terms of theology, church structure, mission, culture and ethnicity, and it might be argued that Black Majority Churches could also be referred to as Black Multicultural Churches!
This book offers a challenge to rethink mission in the light of the changing British landscape. How can BMCs and British churches partner to effect institutional changes in society? Israel Olofinjana offers case studies of partnerships in action and explores practical methods in which churches together can respond to needs and opportunities, and ways to overcome some of the challenges.
‘Israel’s claim that “It will now be impossible to write the history of the church in Britain without proper reference to Black Majority Churches” is both true and important, and needs to be heard.’
Dr Lucy Peppiatt, Principal, Westminster Theological Centre
‘Rev. Olofinjana proves himself again one of the most capable and lucid interpreters of the BMC scene.’
Dr Stephen Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Theology, St Andrews University
‘I recommend the book both for personal and institutional enlightenment.’
Rev Yemi Adedeji, Director One People Commission, Evangelical Alliance UK
‘Israel’s latest offering goes the “extra mile” by proposing insightful and pragmatic ways that UK Christians can further express the prophetic nature of what must inevitably be increasingly creative and diverse expressions of mission and ministry in the unfolding history of the United Kingdom.’
Rev Dr Kate Coleman, Founder of Next Leadership, Baptist Minister, Former Chair of the Evangelical Alliance Council and a past President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Olofinjana, I.O, 2014, Nigerian Pentecostals: Towards Consumerism or Prosperity? In A. Adogame ed. 2014. The Public Face of African New Religious Movements in Diaspora, Surrey, Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 233-254.
This chapter explores prosperity Gospel as articulated by Nigerian Pentecostals in Britain comparring the development of prosperity Gospel in the United States, Africa and Britain.
Olofinjana, I.O, 2014, The Significance of Multicultural Churches in Britain: A Case Study of Crofton Park Baptist Church. In R.D. Smith, W. Ackah and A.G. Reddie eds. 2014. Churches, Blackness and Contested Multiculturalism, New York, Palgrave macmillan, pp. 75-86.
Olofinjana, I.O, 2014, Biography of the Revd Dr Mojola Agbebi. In G. Richards, 2014. Text and Story: Prophets for Their Time and Ours, Oxford, Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, pp. 18-20.
This contribution explores the life and legacy of the African nationalist and Baptist theologian, Dr Mojola Agbebi
Turning the Tables on Mission documents the experiences of contemporary missionaries from the global south coming to the UK. Their candid, personal accounts challenge many stereotypes and form a rich resource for collective learning as we seek to grow a shared identity as the people of God in what is an increasingly complex and diverse society.
‘Reverse mission is a hugely significant development that indigenous British Christians will be wise to welcome, interact with and learn from.’ Rev Dr Stuart Murray Williams, Founder of Urban Expression
‘Turning the Tables on Mission points to the increasing connections and shared identities between diasporic Christians in this country and British “indigenes”.
Dr Joel Cabrita, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Cambridge
‘The personal narratives are not only inspiring and thought-provoking, but they are also a valuable resource for those of us who are seeking to understand and interpret the past, and to appreciate how migration and ‘reverse mission’ are reshaping
churches in the present.
Prof John Wolffe, Professor of Religious History, The Open University
I warmly recommend it to all who are interested in understanding the complexity of contemporary Christian mission and transcultural encounters.’
Dr Afe Adogame, The University of Edinburgh
‘This book is relevant to both scholars and practitioners who want to understand more about the reality of “reverse mission”.”
Claire Siddaway, Former Coordinator, Latin Partners
‘I welcome Reverend Olofinjana’s bringing together of experts and practitioners from south and north to reflect upon the Church’s mission and what one part of the body of Christ can learn from another.’ Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, Secretary, Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs, Churches Together in England
‘This book tells some of the stories of a God movement which is impacting the Church right across the UK.’ Steve Clifford, General Director, Evangelical Alliance
20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria, published 2011
Christianity has been recognised to be a growing religion in Sub Sahara Africa. The expression of Christianity that is expanding in Africa is Pentecostalism. One reason for this growth is the renewal factor which has engulfed the whole continent. Nigeria is one of the countries that has and is still experiencing revival that is contributing to local and global Christianity. What is the origin of Pentecostalism in Nigeria? What contributions did the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa make to the Pentecostal scene in Africa? Why is RCCG one of the fastest growing Churches in the World? This book considers the history of Pentecostalism in Nigeria by looking at the pioneering efforts of men and women who laid the foundation of the Movement.
“Ever so often a book comes along that I feel should have been written years ago, and this book is one of them. As a Christian who found faith in Nigeria in the 80s, I was intrigued by stories about ‘God Generals”, those men and women that led 20th century revivals across the world (most of them in the West). Now I have in my hands, a book that shares some of the stories of some of my fellow countrymen who shaped the faith landscape in Nigeria. I am really impressed with the diversity of the leaders identified and the depth of the research undertaken. This book, in my view, should be a must read for anyone interested in origins of Pentecostalism in Nigeria.”
Keno Ogbo, Co-editor, The Black Church in the 21st Century
“The Lord joined us to the ministry of Benson Idahosa for 20 years and we saw firsthand the reality and power of the gospel in Africa that has touched the world. The Lord’s sovereign work in the continent is going to impact the globe for generations to come. Thank God for the African church of Jesus Christ. Millions of strong and faithful believers are coming forth at this critical time as God builds His church.”
Dr Kent & Ruth Hodge, President of Christian Faith Institute, Jos, Nigeria.
There has been a recent shift in global Christianity from North to South. Christianity, particularly Pentecostalism, is growing day by day in the continents of Africa, Latin America and Asia whereas it is declining in the Western world. Africans are now bringing
the Gospel back to Europe and other parts of the world. This reverse in missions has been a recent phenomenon and is the subject of this book.
This book documents the history and contributions of European missions in Africa. It then chronicles the history and development of African Churches in Europe, focussing on the UK. It is passionately articulated that these Churches are certainly contributing positively to global and local Christianity. The historical development of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) is documented to illustrate the impact African Churches are making in Europe. It is a book that is valuable to people interested in African Churches in the UK.
“The presence of so many vigorous and committed black churches is one of the bright spots on the horizon of churches in the UK. This work is a pioneering contribution to understanding where these churches are coming from, how they understand their mission in and to the UK and how they are likely to shape the future of Christianity in
these islands. It is very welcome.”
Dr Nigel Wright, Principal of Spurgeon’s College, London
“Rev Israel has produced a winning combination of research, history and practical theology with this wonderful piece. I believe it is essential reading for every leader who is serious about contemporary cross cultural ministry and mission in 21st century Britain.” Dr Jonathan Oloyede, Convener Global Day of Prayer, London