AFRICAN CHURCH FATHERS AND ORTHODOXY OF FAITH: LESSONS FROM THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
The African man has been a gift to the world in all spheres of life. In the economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological development, Africans have been great pivots who determine the indices. In the ecclesiastical world, Africans have distinguished themselves through their contributions in helping the church navigate through her times of crises, hardship and heresies among others. In other words, in the midst of this present challenges facing the church – the challenge of accepting homosexual and lesbians as normal Christians, the challenge of allowing the homosexuals and lesbians into the ordain ministry, the issue of corruptions among church leaders, the African church needs not to be cowed into accepting unscriptural doctrines rather the church in African should to go down the memory lane in order to understand their position and duty which it owe God and humanity in safeguarding the authentic gospel and tradition of the church from being overrun by heretic teachings. In such case, the African church in contemporary times must imbibe the roles played by the earliest church fathers in African especially St. Augustine towards the church of their times and in view of that rise up to the present challenges confronting the modern church. Hence, this work is centered on the contributions of St. Augustine to the church as a way of appraising the position of the present African Church. This study applied historical phenomenological approach of inquiry.