The many faces of Jesus. Which Jesus do you preach? – Reverend Nelson Rivers III delivers powerful public lecture to AU Community”.
Africa University was honoured to have Reverend Nelson Rivers the III visit the Africa University campus from the 18th to the 24th of October 2019 in the capacity of guest teacher where he delivered lectures and availed his expertise and perspective to faculty and staff within the Institute of Religious Studies. From delivering a rousing sermon during the traditional Wednesday worship service on the 23rd to giving a public lecture, the university certainly benefitted immensely from the time that it was privileged to have Rev. Rivers present.
Justice, mercy and faith from the verse Matthew 23:23 formed the Bedrock of the Public Lecture delivered by Rev Rivers III to students within the Institute of Religious Studies. His message encouraged students from the ITRS to carefully introspect on how they engage scripture and in turn their congregations and nations. He said,
“The first person who preaches should be the first to be touched by the word of God. If we cannot hear the word, how can we be expected to preach the word? In that same vein, do you preach the Jesus you like or do you preach the whole of Jesus?”
Rev. Rivers then went on to further stress that scripture can be used to support points of view that are convenient to the bearer of a message however he went on to say,
“Proof texting, which is what this practise is, is unnecessary. The Lord does not need your proof; he needs you to teach!”
Texts written by Obrey M Hendricks and the teachings of African icon Nelson Mandela and civil rights hero Martin Luther King made for a rich lecture founded deep within a variety of academic and lay sources. Reverend Kurewa, Africa University’s first Vice Chancellor was present and added to the post lecture debates in an experience that was definitely enriching and memorable for the ITRS students, faculty and AU community that were in attendance.