Subscribe now

Bitesize Biography – Festo Kivengere

By Frank Retief
November 2013 | Review by Tony Pietersen
  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-851-2
  • Pages: 176
  • Price: 6.99
Buy this book »

Festo Kivengere
Frank Retief
EP Books, 176 pages, £6.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-851-2
Star Rating : 4

Here is a well written bitesize biography of a man mightily used by God in Uganda, Africa and other parts of the world. He is described as ‘the Billy Graham of Africa’ and even ‘the giant of Africa’, as he pursued the aim of bringing Jesus Christ to a sinful and (in his own experience) violent world.
    He would not fit neatly into our Reformed categories (the author admits this when making mention of his sermon on liberation theology, and in the epilogue), but in reading this you will come to see and understand how God can take hold of a life for his glory.
    Kivengere’s passion and commitment is obvious: ‘The cross speaks of life in conflict with death, life defeating death … The cross is … God moving in love to meet violent men and women, himself facing violence and suffering for us…
    ‘Your faith was born in violence. The Christian is not scared when nations are upset, when the whole world is shaking. Your faith was born at Calvary — I can stand anything. It is an all-weather faith’ (p.88).
    The biography covers his life in a warm and understanding way, from an African perspective that the reader will find informative and helpful. Many aspects are described, including Kivengere’s struggle under the rule of Idi Amin. His love for his family and his faithfulness to Jesus and the gospel, even in his dying moments, are highlighted.
    I particularly enjoyed reading of Kivengere’s early impression of Christians, brought out when his friend Bugaari joined ‘the burning ones’ or — as we know it — was born again (pp. 34-35).
    At the end, you cannot but feel that Africa has lost a great man of God. You will find yourself praying that God would use you for his glory like he did Festo Kivengere.
    It is wonderful to read in such biographies how ordinary men are transformed through the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into giants of the faith, by the power of our great missionary God.
Tony Pietersen
Workington

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Christ and the Law: Antinomianism and the Westminster Assembly
Whitney G Gamble

Drawing on newly available primary sources, this title contends that the initial concern of the Westminster Assembly (1643-53) was the growing influence of antinomianism: the belief that, in Christ, the people of God are not subject to the law of…

See all book reviews
John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Richard Bennett and Michael de Semlyen

The German-born Pope Benedict XVI is due to carry out a state visit to the UK from 16-19 September. The climax of this visit is a Mass in Coventry at which the Pope will beatify John Henry Newman (1801-1890). Newman…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Evolution and the Christian Faith. Theistic evolution in the light of scripture (Creation Points)
Philip Bell

The creation / evolution debate still rages, and many Christians believe it is both scientifically untenable and scripturally naïve to accept a literal account of the beginning of Genesis. Some even charge creationists with pushing a teaching that is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
New Covenant Theology: Weighed and Found Wanting
Kevin McGrane

To read this book was like a breath of fresh air. I could not put it down. Despite the traction that has been gained in the UK among evangelicals by the so-called ‘new covenant theology’ (NCT), it is surprising that…