The whole article is a fascinating read, and I recommend it. My main focus here has to do with these words of his.
Anxiety - fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things - strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought. Every man has his place and, call it fear or respect, a great weight grinds down the individual spirit, stunting curiosity. People won't take the initiative, won't take things into their own hands or on their own shoulders.
Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and unsubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosphical/spiritual framework I've just described. It offers something to hold on to to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.
Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the know-how that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.
In my reading of emergents, one of the bogeymen they often come out against is individualism. They question of concept of God saving individuals, and stress instead concepts of community and group-think. One of their 'churches' even has the congregation help in making it's services.
But this athiest sees the truth, that Christian individualism is a good thing.
Rather, this now holistic trend emergents are so hyped on is nothing more than a new form of conformity and servitude, where the group decides, and please check your brain at the door lest your opinions not be conducive to the conversation, and state are opinions in the form of a question, and please don't expect an answer. We will tell you how to think, after you're sufficiently conditioned by our mystical disciplines to be open to acceptance without question.
And you will do as we say, or else your loving and caring emergent cohorts will sorrowfully kick you out and call you a Modernist or Fundamentalist or some such thing and say that you were ruining the conversation and not giving off good vibrations or some such thing.
Yeah, something like that.
Sad, when the committed athiest sees things the uncommitted good-as-athiests don't.