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Diasporian News of Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Source: Embassy of Ghana, Washington DC

Book Launch ? ?Living By The Power Of God?


I would first of all like to express my gratitude to you, Rev. Dr. Bonful and the Calvary Redeeming Methodist Church of Rockville for inviting me to the launch of the very educational and inspirational book, ?Living By the Power of God?. I also wish to thank Brother Oduro for his warm and complimentary introduction. My presence here today is not the first, as I was privileged to be invited to this Church early this year as a Guest of Honor at the Prayer Service in celebration of Ghana?s 48th Independence Anniversary. But I am here today to chair the launch of the above mentioned book authored by Rev. Dr. Bonful, currently the Founder and Resident Minister of this dynamic and growing Methodist Church.

The main theme of the book, summed up by the words ?Without God We Can Do Nothing?, was indeed the subject of the sermon just preached by Rev. Dr. Bonful. It gave the audience a very good grounding of what the book is about and must have whetted the appetite of those who have yet not read it to grab a copy as early as possible. I, myself have read the book. As a Christian, even though I can say that to some extent the book is preaching to the converted, I have been invigorated by the experiences, insights and perspectives that the author uses to convey his very powerful message. I believe that by the remarks earlier made by the Proof Readers of the book, they too have also been enriched by their reading.

?Living By The Power Of God? with its subtitle, ?We Cannot Make It Without Our Maker?, was inspired, as indicated at the back cover of the book by a vision the author received a few years ago. To convey his message, primarily to his fellow Ghanaians and to other Africans as well as the whole world, the book makes excursions into the history and culture of different races and nations, particularly those of Ghana and Africa. It is quite informative and instructive about some important aspects of our customs and traditions such as the role of chiefs, funeral ceremonies, pouring of libation, naming ceremonies and where they conflict with the scriptures. It draws also on the political evolution of Ghana and other nations and attempts through the vision he received, to enlighten believers and unbelievers alike with biblical prophecies, explanations and interpretation.

With copious quotations from the Bible and other theological authorities, the book provides guidance, counsel and instruction to ordinary people, chiefs, political leaders and all who wield authority over others, and conveys the simple message that they should not lean on their own wisdom, strength, or understanding. They should instead acknowledge God in all their ways, so that God will make their paths straight and guard them in all their ways. The citation of the rise and fall of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Nkrumah, is used powerfully and in a most vivid way to explain this message. In effect, we should all realize that all power and authority come from God and we should use them to serve our fellow man and to glorify God.

While the Table of Contents of the book is very rich in depth and breath, and covers a wide range of topics on the lives of believers and unbelievers alike, I am particularly drawn to the special message that the book has for Ghanaians and Africans in particular. It explains in Biblical terms our woes, trials and tribulations and how we can overcome our problems of hunger, poverty, disease and underdevelopment through the prophecies of the scriptures. Supporting his thesis with the scriptures the well-read, Author Rev. Dr. Bonful, is fortified in his conviction and belief that God has a divine purpose for Ghana and Africa.

Indeed whole Chapters are respectively dedicated to titles such as ?Africa Shall Rise and Shine? and ?Ghana- as the Star of Africa?. Under both Chapters, Rev. Bonful illustrates how Ghanaians and other Africans in various stations of life are being used to fulfill God?s prophecy and transforming the lives of Ghanaians and Africans for the better. Africa indeed is said to have always been a place of refuge for God?s people and currently also hosts the greatest concentration of missionaries and evangelists in the world. They are all working to win new souls for Christ.

The book, ?Living By The Power Of God? has the potential to provide a life changing experience to non-believers and reaffirm believers in their conviction that God is our end-all & be-all. It compares with nothing I have read so far on the market and the Foreword by no less a person than the Presiding Bishop of the Conference of Methodist Churches, the most Rev. Dr. Aboagye-Mensah, is indicative of the importance of Rev. Bonful?s endeavor. This enterprise seeks not only to fortify Christians but also encourage them in their walk with Jesus Christ, who is the only mediator between man and his Creator.

The book is well researched and could be a good and useful reference document in a world which appears to have lost its vision. Rev. Bonful needs to be highly commended for steering Ghanaians and Africans in particular back to this vision. For indeed as the Bible says, ?people perish for lack of knowledge and vision.? It is my hope that the book will serve as a stimulating influence on all and thus save them from total destruction of their lives and their countries.

It has conventionally been held in ?government studies? that the three main branches of government are the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. In this realm of thought, the Press has been recognized as the Fourth Estate. Today, I would like to recommend Religion as the Fifth Estate, for it is my conviction that religion is no longer the opium of the people in this our troubled world and that religious leaders, like their counterparts in the foregoing other estates, have no less a responsibility and duty to speak out on nation building and development.

In his book, Rev. Dr. Bonful shoulders and exercises this responsibility with exemplary sense of patriotism and public spiritedness. He has the courage of his conviction and in a very constructive and edifying way, is making his contribution to nation building and the search for the common good of mankind. Even though he stands ready and well equipped throughout his book to challenge sacred bulls and traditions, he does not condemn but offers a more convincing and satisfying alternative for filling our emptiness and repairing our brokenness- that of repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

It is on this note that I wish once again to express my appreciation to be part of this launch of the book ?Living By The Power Of God? which promises to make a difference in the lives of all who read it.