Episode: Don’t Remember Reinhard Bonnke for His Crowd Sizes


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Don’t Remember Reinhard Bonnke for His Crowd Sizes

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.

Last Saturday, Reinhard Bonnke, a prominent German evangelist in Africa, passed away at the age of 79. Bonnke’s ministry began in 1967 and lasted for 50 years. Millions of people attended his crusades, leading him to be dubbed by some as“the Billy Graham of Africa.”

In 2000, CT sent a reporter to see him in Nigeria:

Sunday night Bonnke delivered a sermon on the first chapters of Acts—when the apostles received the Holy Spirit. He then told the audience: "Jesus is here with all the fire you will ever need! Raise your voices! Receive the Holy Spirit now!" Thousands in the crowd began wailing, screaming, and crying. Frantically waving their hands in the air, many begged loudly for anointing. Bonnke gave a similar message on Saturday night to 1.3 million people on the crusade ground. Building momentum with the audience, the evangelist instructed the crowd to begin shouting "Alleluia!" until the Holy Spirit entered their bodies. "You are going to speak in new tongues—a language you have never learned," he told them. "It comes from you're heart. Don't be afraid—this is fantastic!"

Behind Bonnke’s massive popularity was a deep sense of humility, says Nimi Wariboko, the Walter G. Muelder professor of social ethics at the Boston University School of Theology.

“Something that will strike you about Reinhard Bonnke and the way he relates to Africa and the way he works is that he believes in Africa and he loves Africa and he loves Africans,” said Wariboko. “….The man never portrayed himself as one of these white guys coming on the white horse with a savior mentality to save Africa. He didn’t ever pretend that God had called him to the whole world. His focus was on Africa and he never lost that.”

Wariboko joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how a German evangelist became passionate about Africa, how he differed from other Pentecostal preachers, and how his work affected the church on this continent.

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Music by Sweeps

Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder

The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola

This episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, which offers a practical, student-centered approach to seminary. Wesley Seminary’s model connects applicable coursework with active ministry. For more information, visit seminary.indwes.edu.

This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Christianbook.com, your go-to source for everything Christian. Books, Bibles, gifts, music and more, all in one place. And always from people who share your values. Go to Christianbook.com.



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