Biblical Prophecy, Philosophic Prophecy, And Social-Political Liberation In Nigeria


Biblical prophecy is couched in the messenger formula: “Thus says the Lord,” Philosophic prophecy relates to “self-fulfilling prophecy,” and the “self-refuting prediction.” Prophecy can be direct revelation from God or an output of in-depth philosophical reflections. How can Prophecy aid the socio-political liberation in Nigeria, a secular nation? This paper examines prophecy in the Bible, and philosophical areas such as metaphysics, epistemology, and value inquiry, which comprises ethics, social, and political philosophy. The methodologies this paper adopts include hermeneutics interpretation, critical philosophical analysis, and historical documentary analysis under three broad segments. The first part clarifies biblical prophecy. The second section discusses the philosophic prophecy, and the third section deals with the need to achieve socio-political liberation in Nigeria. The paper looks at the religious and political habituation of Nigerians to Prophecy in confronting the injustice in social order and dichotomy in the geopolitical regions. The paper reasons that participation in the process of socio-political liberation for the fulfillment of justice is a sine qua non’ for the Church, and all Religious Bodies in Nigeria. The paper summarizes some ways the Church in Nigeria can contribute immensely towards the desired liberation like the prophetic warning of the oppressive mechanism. The Nigerian Pentecostalism by the partnership in practice ought to change the face of Nigeria and contribute to sustainable development. The paper concludes that prophecy and social liberation enhances institutions that will influence the socio-political life of the Nigerian society to restore and expand qualities like love, empathy, justice, peace, and harmonic-coexistence among Nigerians.

Keywords:      Biblical Prophecy, Philosophic Prophecy, Socio-Political Liberation,                                           Messenger Formula, and Religious habituation


Colonialism, imperialism, racism, and tribalism created scopes of impoverishment and underdevelopment in Africa, especially in Nigeria, which has led to the urgent demand for social justice and liberation. Nigeria’s ethnic and religious crises have continued unabated causing disunity, extensive damage in loss of lives, properties, and dispersal of citizens from their homes. Religion is an important cultural characteristic as well as one of ethnic ‘descriptors’: a critical factor that at times is used to identify ethnicity (Soboyejo, 2016. Religion, Ethnicity, and Change).

Colonialism, imperialism, racism, and tribalism created scopes of impoverishment and underdevelopment in Africa, especially in Nigeria, which has led to the urgent demand for social justice and liberation. Nigeria’s ethnic and religious crises have continued unabated causing disunity, extensive damage in loss of lives, properties, and dispersal of citizens from their homes. Religion is an important cultural characteristic as well as one of ethnic ‘descriptors’: a critical factor that at times is used to identify ethnicity (Soboyejo, 2016. Religion, Ethnicity, and Change).

In Nigeria, religion and ethnicity have been used as potent tools for disunity of the people. Political inclinations have compounded these disasters. The ethno-religious conflicts have affected the sovereignty of the nation and the paradigm of the citizens into unpatriotic attitude. The scope of violence crystallizes the opinion that the government is culpable when it has the means to stop the conflicts but fails to prevent the violations and safeguard the legal or civil rights of the citizens. The devastating upsurge of militant and resistant groups in Nigeria such as the Fulani herdsmen, and the Islamic Terror group known as Boko Haram signal the level of discontent amongst the citizenry. Year in and Year out, the so-called Nigerian prophets shun out political prophecy mostly of doom or at times to win over the politicians.

Philosophy is closely tied to the concern people have for their communities. The Philosophical enterprise is concerned with the most significant possible issues that confront the people. Almost all known philosophers have proposed political theories: Plato, and Aristotle among the Ancients; John Locke and Karl Marx among more recent contributors. Prophecy can be direct revelation from God or out-put of in-depth philosophical thoughts. Philosophy like Prophecy focuses on the most basic principles of existence, and the proper relationship with one another. Its results are of imperative to anyone who wants to succeed or live a successful life. Prophecy belongs to the realm of metaphysics. Aristotle initially called metaphysics “First Philosophy,” a science of being or dealing. Prediction is a spiritual science in its essence. Some call Prophecy a study in illusion. Some think it is mystical. In this respect, Prophecy could be correct, but in most cases, the metaphysical position of the recipients of prophecy dictates the acceptability. Prophecy is couched in Religious language, and the question posed by Philosophers is simple: Is Religious language meaningful? Human language is a gift of God and is designed to communicate human experience. Kant said that the categories of human understanding could only be meaningfully employed within the scope of man’s sense-experience. If human understanding is applied to talk about realities outside the phenomenal world, it becomes meaningless and illusory according to Kant (Omoregbe: 2014, p.179). Human beings use concepts, ideas, and principles as mental tools for learning and for guiding oneself through life existence. The age-long and ongoing worldwide battle for social, and political liberation, justice, and fairness is, therefore, a direct response to and proof of the calamitous social realities of our time.

Biblical Prophecy:

There is a record of Prophecy in both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). “Thus says the Lord” is a common beginning with biblical prophecy and is known as “Messenger Formula,” (Thompson, 2008: p.21). God instructed Moses to use the messenger formula when he spoke to Pharaoh (Exodus 4: 22). The significance of the messenger formula is deduced from its secular use. A servant who had been sent by his master to deliver a message commonly used it. The prophets introduce their oracles with the formula and then speak in the first person as though they were God, often saying things that only God could say in the first person (Isaiah 66:1). That is the pattern of Biblical prophecy. The prophet categorically is not saying “This is what I feel God is leading me to say.’ Or “This is what I believe the Lord is saying.” The OT view of prophecy is corroborated in the NT (Matt. 1:22 – 23, 2; 5-6, 4: 13-16, 12: 6-21; Acts 1:20, 2: 16-21). From the New Testament, Prophecy could be defined as “telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.” Jesus actively taught the divine authority of prophecy (Luke 24: 25). The NT shows continuity like prophecy in the linguistic evidence, received revelation, and prediction of future events. This writer believes the current Pentecostal and Charismatic prophecy is different from the biblical prophecy. So prophecies in the present church should be considered merely human words, not God’s words, and are not equal to God’s words in authority.

Apostle Paul indicates that God could bring something spontaneously to mind so that the person prophesying would report it in his or her words. Paul terms it “Revelation.” “If a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one so that all may learn and all be encouraged.” – (1 Cor. 14: 30-31). Jim Thompson in his book (Thompson: 2008, pp. 26-28) gave five differences of prophecy in Israel according to the biblical record. The differences are (1) Means of Revelation, (2) Status among the Prophets, (3) Behaviour among the Prophets, (4) Ministries given to the prophets, and (5) The amount of material that has been recorded and preserved from each prophet. There is almost uniform testimony from all sections of the Charismatic movement that prophecy is imperfect and impure, and will contain elements that are not to be obeyed or trusted (Robinson, 2015. For example, Bruce Yocum, the author of a widely used book said, “prophecy can be impure – our thoughts or ideas can get mixed into the message we receive.” Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology book (Grudem, 1994: p.1059) quoted the words of Michael Harper (Anglican Charismatic pastor): “Prophecies which tell other people what they are to do – are to be regarded with great suspicion.” The examples of prophecies in the New Testament indicate that prophecy is not only predicting the future. Biblical record shows some predictions (Acts 11:28; 21:11), and some disclosures of sins (1 Cor. 14:25). Paul says, “He who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” (1 Cor. 14:3). Biblical prophecy does not relegate the Scripture to the background. In fact, the church should place more prominence on the superior value and authorities of Scripture as the source Christians can always depend on to hear the voice of the living God.

Philosophic Prophecy:

Philosophy is an intellectual inquiry originating in the mind of a human being in his effort to understand matters mostly outside himself. Because the process is directed from below towards subjects on high, the level of understanding is limited and finite. Revelation, conversely, describes the infusion of truth from Above into the human intellect below, will reveal truths otherwise clogged by little intelligence alone. Philosophy conclusions are based on the guidelines of instruction in formal logic, analysis, technical terms and mechanical concepts; they are not inherently intuitive or correct. Prophecy, however, is a purely fluid and natural result of spiritual refinement through which, with the grace of God, a person knows the existential truths that stimulate his soul and subconsciously spark vision in the minds of others. A philosopher is called “a prophet of immortal nature (Dio Chrysostom, A.D. pp. 40-120).” Philosophic prophecy is not the activity of offering noble lies (false claims). According to the famous sociologist of science, Robert K. Merton:

The self-fulfilling prophecy” is in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior, which makes the original false conception come true. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning. (Merton, 1996, p.185)

Self-fulfilling prophecies and self-refuting predictions take for granted that publicly expressed ideas can have a meaningful effect on the world. In particular, their impact can change the truth-functional status of descriptions of the world. Even in the social sciences, there is a class of theorems that show that there are efficacious, non-trivial predictions that need not change the underlying system. Eric Schliesser in his online article written on June 3rd, 2012 distinguished ten features of philosophic prophecy (Schliesse, 2012). Schliesser’s features are hereby summarized:

Philosophic prophecy is a ‘secular’ prophecy that appeals to the imagination. It is not primarily about offering predictions; it is about intending to help create a possible future. Philosophic prophecy like a Teleological concept avoids obvious falsehoods. It is characteristic of philosophic prophecy to invent or restructure intellectual traditions. The nub of “philosophic prophecy” is that the present or even the future once-unforeseen actions can be the intended outcome of past design. So, while the content of philosophic prophecy can be rich in detail it needs not anticipate the exact variety of ways in which history unfolds. Rather, what philosophic prophecy entails is a kind of shared horizon between the prophecy and the often-implied prophesied future. Philosophic prophecy therefore introduces a set of conceptual oppositions that help delimit how philosophic problems, controversies, and questions are treated subsequently.

Plato’s discourses are probably the origin of the genre of philosophic prophecies: Socrates is contrasted with false authorities (the best of which are Sophists), and Plato’s characters use narratives that are full of claims that are probably false and which enhance philosophic doctrine. In philosophic prophecy, the exoteric text is doing the work of shaping the thought of future generations.

Prophecy, Nigeria’s Socio-Political System and The Need for Liberation:

Biblical, and Philosophic Prophecies have anticipated and unanticipated consequences of social-political actions. Public prophecies, beliefs, and expectations have become an integral part of Nigerian situation and therefore affect the development of the Nation. Every New Year, self-styled Nigerian prophets shun out the year’s prophecies. While some of these predictions come true, some never become a reality. The self-fulfilling prophecy works its ways in every sphere of human experience, social or public and individual or private (Merton, 1996, p.186).

The self-defeating Prophecy has contributed to the vibrancy of social and cultural change, as has been recognized with varying degrees of cogency by Hegel, Marx, Wundt, and other philosophers. The consequences (either anticipated or unanticipated) of social action are specified by the existing state of knowledge. The categorizations of acts and situations never involve complete homogeneity for prediction of specific events. “A classification into completely homogenous categories would lead to functional associations and would permit successful prediction, but the aspects of social action which are of practical importance are too varied and numerous to permit such homogeneous classification.” (Merton, p.1996.)

Nigeria’s Socio-Political System:

Power is a source of political conflict in Nigeria. The composition and character of the Nigerian state are central to the nature of intra and interrelationships existing within it that usually lead to the ethno-religious contradictions. The political development of Nigeria began with the annexation of Lagos in 1851 by John Beecroft on the instruction of Lord Palmerston; the reason was to promote British trade in the “Niger Country”39. The Second World War influenced the political development especially in the 1940s and 1950s; which decisively affected both national and local affairs. The political socialization was extremely ethnicised and religionalised and produced ethnopolitical chauvinism and fanaticism. The resultant effects are ethnicity, propaganda, intolerance, and violent confrontations. In Nigeria, politics use religion as a tool of political trade and this relationship between religion and politics has become a major interest in the polity of the country (Soboyejo, 2017. In 1967, the military government split the existing four regions of Nigeria into 12 states. The military governor of the eastern region refused to accept the division of the eastern region and declared the region independent republic of Biafra. This led to a civil war between eastern region and the rest of Nigeria. The war started in June 1967 and ended on January 15, 1970, when Biafra surrendered after over one million people had died. The discovery of Oil in Nigeria exacerbated political tensions in Nigeria as minority ethnic groups, endowed with natural resources, intensified their political agitation to enable them share equally in the resources of their land. 300,000 Ogoni People in 1993 marched peacefully to demand a share in oil revenues and some form of political autonomy.

The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, ‘MOSOP’ asked the oil companies to start paying compensation for oil spills and damages (environmental remediation). Instead of addressing the legitimate concerns of the Ogoni People, the then Nigerian government executed nine leaders of the group on November 10, 1995. In spite of the executions of the nine Ogoni people including Saro Wiwa, the agitations for meaningful political autonomy and meaningful resource control have not abated (Soboyejo, 2017). The political system of Nigeria is not conducive to the socio-political aspirations of Nigerians. The inappropriate political structure and the inappropriate political system continue to fuel ethnocentric ideologies in Nigeria. There has always been a great dichotomy (in politics and religion) between the northern and southern Nigeria. The annulled 1993 election of the southern candidate Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO) though a Muslim led to a re-grouping and mobilization of people under prodemocracy led by the Afenifere Yoruba Leaders opposing the annulment and military government. President Babangida stepped aside, left an interim government headed by Abiola’s Yoruba kinsman from the same state but barely three months after, he was toppled by General Sani Abacha, another military man. Abacha jailed Moshood Abiola, a businessman who won the nullified presidential elections. Abacha spent his time in government manipulating election transition process and intimidating any perceived opponents. The tenure of Abacha was tyrannical. He oppressed all opponents and crushed dissents as he repeatedly puts off ceding power to civilians. In May 1998, Abacha called religious leaders of all Faiths to Abuja imploring them to pray for three days so that God will hear the nation’s prayer and moved the country forward. Self-styled prophets were prophesying words that never materialized and obviously falsehood. Abacha died mysteriously about two weeks later on a Monday after he had called upon God to help Nigeria. Most news media, both electronic and print detailed Abacha’s death at the time (see and

His military successor, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, a major general and defense chief of staff relinquished power to the civilian government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. The Obasanjo’s administration presided over another constitution (1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria), which is the ninth since Clifford Constitution of 1922. Till today the ambiguous constitution is in force and receiving attention in the National Assembly for amendments. Nigeria has sustained democratic rule since then and President Muhammed Buhari is the 4th elected democratic president after the Abubakar’s military government. The structure of Nigeria is built to betray the underprivileged. Nigeria is currently divided into 36 states and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The number of Local Government Areas is 774. The political dimension of impoverishment is in keeping with Walter Rodney’s description of how Europe underdeveloped Africa, which reveals that the present underdevelopment of Africa is directly resulting from, and perpetuated by the past negative and fundamentally destructive experience of European colonialism. As cited in Adegbola (1987: p.64), Rodney explains that by taking over political power, Europe took over all that Africa had and thus, impoverished her. There are widespread cases of tribalism, ethnicism, nepotism, and classism, and so on in Nigeria. The possession of or access to political power and privileges becomes the prerogative and exclusive reserve of particular groups on the basis of their ethnic group identification or other cleavages and at the expense of unity and justice, competence, capability and destitution. Therefore underdevelopment is perpetuated. A careful consideration of the socio-political, situation of Nigeria reveals that she is faced with the characteristic problems of injustice, corruption, inequality and other such oppressive and exploitative vices. Today, a small group of rich and powerful fellow Nigerians maintains its power and wealth at the expense of the misery of millions of the population (Uchegbue 1989: p.206). The result of the 1991 census puts Nigeria’s population at 88,514, 501, while the 2006 census, fifteen years after, puts it at of this teaming population, the 2004 publication of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) reveals what it describes as “a startling paradox” (NEEDS 2004: p.xiii). That is the fact that more than two-thirds of the Nigerian people are poor, despite living in a country with vast potential wealth. As Adrian Hastings confirms:

The coming of political independence did not bring any effective transfer of power into the hands of the masses, but into those of small elite. The masses remain exceedingly poor, mostly illiterates, and probably even more remote from the mechanism of even local power than in colonial or pre-colonial times (Hastings. 1976: p.78).

This statement reveals how unjust and detested the Nigerian government has been. In fact, elections in Nigeria are a mere travesty and rape of democracy and institutionalized robbery of the people’s mandate. This truth is exemplified in the popular June 12 episode, when the incumbent military regime under General Babangida refused to install the winner of the presidential election, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as the democratically elected president of the country. This situation is further exacerbated by the dominant presence of election rigging, intermittent but frequent military interventions and perpetuation of totalitarianism, despotism, and dictatorship in the Nigerian political scene.

The Social-Political Liberation:

The first agitation in anyone’s mind is the link Philosophic prophesy has with socio-political liberation in Nigeria. Philosophy is the solution to many crises in Nigeria today especially, on nation-building and leadership. Plato once said, “unless philosophers are made kings or kings are made philosophers, there will be no end to the problems ravaging the state and humanity” (Republic: 473d-e). Philosophy has an advantage of equipping people with important intellectual skills that are useful in all spheres of life (Oduwole, 1999). It has been established that Philosophic Prophecy is rooted in Philosophy of logic and reasoning.

Leadership must be exposed to logic and critical thinking to equip them and help in social-political liberation. Philosophic prophecy can help provide analytical powers applicable in all spheres of life. One of the frameworks of philosophic prophecy is conceptual decolonization, which could be positive or negative. Political leadership in Nigeria is bedeviled with lack of focus, lack of integrity, unrighteousness, and problem of the Truth. The problem of Truth is a major issue in both the Western and African epistemologies. The problem of ‘Truth’ leads to endemic corruption, lack of rule of law, wanton disobedience to the Constitution, and lack of patriotism among many vices. The correspondence theory of truth derives from the empiricist tradition that accentuates perception. The coherence theory of truth stems from the rationalist tradition. According to Bertrand Russell, “the mark of falsehood is the failure to cohere in the body of beliefs, and that it is the essence of a truth to form part of the completely rounded system, which is the Truth” (Russell, 1985:70). Philosophic Prophecy can instill ethics of value. The moral notion of ‘Truth’ is crucial in nation-building. It is shown that giving truth its rightful position in society creates a good social and political order which African states have been trying to achieve since they began to gain independence (Oduwole, 2011b). Only the ‘Truth’ can liberate the people from social and political malaise. The Spirit of ‘Truth’ is the source of Biblical and Philosophic Prophesies. If the truth can be firmly entrenched in the people, religious and political leadership then in essence, there will be a socio-political liberation. Prophecy and social liberation enhances institutions that also influence the socio-political life of the Nigerian society. The result is the restoration of qualities like love, empathy, justice, peace, and harmonic-coexistence among Nigerians.

Illustration from European theologies and Marxism, Latin American theologians established their belief by radically reinterpreting Scripture with “bias towards the poor.” In the same way, South Africans developed their brand of liberation during and after the apartheid regime. The attitudinal aspect of freedom also involves the sensitization of the upper and middle-class elites to the factual nature and scope of the predicament of the oppressed, thereby seeking their change of attitude, understanding, and commitment to the cause of the downtrodden. It may be that some of them do not realize the full implications and effects of their activities on the masses. They may likely change for better and help to improve their colleagues when their consciences are awakened.

Liberation Notion of Development:

Liberationists advocate the eradication of poverty by removing the economic and political structures of Capitalists, which are responsible for the injustice and poverty. The achievement of this aim relates to the notion of development. Gutierrez explained (Gutierrez, TL, 1972, P.36 cited in Muskus.

There has been much discussion recently of development; of aid to the poor countries … Attempts to produce development in the 1950’s aroused hopes. But because they did not hit the root of the evil, they failed, and have led to deception, confusion, and frustration. One of the most important causes of this situation is the fact that development, in its strictly economic, modernizing sense, was advanced by international agencies backed by groups that control the economic world. The changes proposed avoided sedulously, therefore, attacking the powerful international economic interests and those of their natural allies: the national oligarchies.

Gutierrez sees the response of developed countries as totally out of touch with the real problem. What is needed is liberation because it ‘is more accurate and conveys better the human side of the problem. The fact that aid comes from nations that are oppressing and exploiting the Third World makes the issue of dependency more acute. It is the task of these poor nations to take their own destiny into their own hands. Gutierrez sees this reality as expressing ‘the profound meaning of Hegel’s dialectic Master-Slave,’ (Gutierrez, TL, 1972: p.37 cited in Muskus. He further adds: Liberation, seems to express better both the hopes of oppressed peoples and the fullness of a view in which man is seen not as a passive element, but as an agent of history. There are three levels of meaning to the term “liberation”: the political liberation of oppressed peoples and social classes; man’s liberation in the course of history; and liberation from sin as a condition of a life of communion of all men with the Lord, (Erickson, 1983: 592). Latin America became a dependent colony of the Spanish and Portuguese empires five centuries ago and this prolonged dependency must be understood in order to appreciate why liberation is sought so fervently. Gutierrez gives priority to liberation in the political, socio-economical spheres of oppressed people. His understanding has been molded by the plight of this social class. Gutierrez speaks of the need for profound transformation, a social revolution that will drastically and qualitatively change the conditions in which they now live. Liberation theologians are shifting the balance to a more socially involved Church, and they deliberately reduce to a non-priority level and reinterpret the answers that the gospel offers to the plight of human beings.

Scripture is clear that there is a God-appointed responsibility to take whatever steps we can to help the poor. Yet, at the same time, Christians and other religions must insist that the transformation of any society depends on the prior transformation of the individuals that make up that society. This is the Christian counterpart to “dependency theory.” The revolution so earnestly sought in society will best be accomplished as greater numbers of people in that society experience the revolution of new birth and the ongoing renewal of life in Christ. The definition of liberation opens the door for justified violence so that the process of liberation is achieved. The Church should be involved by placing herself in this process. Gutierrez maintains: “The Church’s mission is defined prophetically, pastorally and theologically in relation to this revolutionary process.” In the process of conscientization, actions will be taken against oppressive structures. Those actions may take the form of violence; they are justified as self-defense and are only a response to the first violence committed to human beings, hence the phrase second violence is used.

The different approaches to liberation include but not limited to:

  • Social Revolutionary Approach
  • Non-Violence Revolutionary Approach
  • Lesser Violence Revolutionary Approach
  • Praxis Approach
  • Hermeneutic Approach (A hermeneutic of love and justice)
  • Pedagogical Approach
  • Theological Approach
  • Mediation Approach, and
  • Introspection and Inter-religious Dialogue Approaches.

Prophecy could use all the above approaches for ultimate social-political liberation.


A political structure that fails to give people a sense of belonging leads to discontent, and discontentment. It is one-way traffic to violent conflicts and security challenges. The social-political model in Nigeria shows religious/cultural intolerance, and discriminatory government policy contributing to various forms of activism that cause violence. Prophecy from the biblical account or philosophic dimension can be true or false. The word ‘prophet’ denotes the one who speaks in the name of a god, declaring the divine will and counsel in the oracle. The biblical prophets spoke in the name of the LORD, the living, and true God, and therefore were preserved from all errors. They were the true conscience of the people and are not given to corruption. These prophets fulfilled widely differing roles in the plan of God; they spoke the very word of God. Some evangelical and charismatic Christians believe that God had withdrawn the gift of prophecy and that the completion of the gospel of Christ in the New Testament had brought God’s process of revelation to his people. Martin Luther affirmed, “No new and special revelation is necessary” Because the written Word of God (The Bible) is living, and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). Prophecy is rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage and brings the favour of God while all the false gods of indigenous religions bring the curse of ‘Babylon.’ The false gods of African Tradition Religion spread spiritual darkness over the nation causing serious conflicts. Devil wants the people to focus on hunger, poverty, unemployment, corruption, etc., neglecting the actual causes of these varied and myriad problems. These problems are symptoms of ‘spiritual bondage’ – the belief system that affects all things right as created by God. Religion in Nigeria is politicized. Religion relates to everything including birth, name, education, marriage, business, contracts, travels, and deaths. Nigeria needs socio-political liberation. It is then mandatory for the Church to have social significance and relevance and be at the frontal push for liberation. The church urgently needs to enhance her effectiveness in fulfilling this aspect of her mission, which is spiritually oriented and socio-politically relevant.

Nigeria needs a Church “that calls the world evil and steps into the world looks at its evil forms full in the face and does something to change it” (Verkuyl and Schulte 1974: p.69 cited in Uchegbue Christian, Edmund Ilogu rightly comments, “There is no hope for calling any organization a Church that has not manifested the marks of Christ’s fight against evil in the world” (Ilogu 1964: p.275). Such a church that must be able to fulfill this task must be a dynamic and progressive church rather than a static and conservative church that arbitrarily supports the status quo. Religious leaders have social, economic, political and spiritual responsibilities to the people. On this cause, Nigerians religious leaders have refused to act to bring everlasting peace to Nigeria by their lack of positive interference and conflict management. Martin Luther King’s conviction was:

That any religion that professes concern for the souls of men and is not equally concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried. (Martin Luther King, Jr.

Therefore religious leaders must be concerned about the land degradation, unemployment of vibrant and proactive youths, unrest and economic insecurity. Mahatma Gandhi’s concept was SATYAGRAHA (Satya is the truth which equals love, and agraha is force; Satyagraha means truth force or love force). Gandhi’s concept conforms to Jesus’ teachings. It has a great potential in the area of social reform. Gandhi was the first person in history to lift the love ethic of Jesus above mere interaction between individuals to a powerful and effective social force (Martin Luther King, Jr. / Soboyejo, 2016.religion-ethnicity-and-change). Love for Gandhi was a potent instrument for social and collective transformation. Love overrides all things. In unity, man can achieve anything; even the most challenging task. As Iwe equally points out, “Only a creative church with a high sense of ministry and commitment can effect significant contributions in the life of its people” and adequately, legitimately and competently work for the welfare of society” (Iwe, 1979: p.161).


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Soboyejo, J. O., (2016). “Politicization of Religion”, in Christianity and Persecution in the Contemporary World. Abeokuta, Crowther Theological Publishers: NACS.

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Thompson, Jim. (2008). Prophecy Today. New York: Evangelical Press.

Uchegbue, Christian O. (1989). “Religion as a Mechanism for Liberation: A Critical Examination of Liberation Theology as an Anti-Thesis of the Marxian View of Religion”. Unpublished M.A.   Thesis, University of Ibadan, 1989. cited in Uchegbue, C. O. The Place of The Church In  The Socio-Political and Economic Liberation of Nigeria, in Azores, Portugal    Proceedings. (2013). 1st Annual International Interdisciplinary Conference, AIIC,  April 24-26

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Verkuyl, Johannes and H.G. Nordholt Schulte. (1974). Responsible Revolution: Means and Ends  for Transforming Society. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company  cited in Uchegbue Christian O. retrieved from    of-the-church-in-the-socio-political-and-economic-liberation-of-nigeria




One thought on “Biblical Prophecy, Philosophic Prophecy, And Social-Political Liberation In Nigeria

  1. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

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