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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Legacy: Wisdom of African Traditions and the Bible by Chris Morehouse is a well-researched and stimulating book that answers the question: Is biblical and religious wisdom a gift unique to the West? The author has assembled a collection of proverbs, sayings, and aphorisms from African traditions that show how some of the writings and famous sayings in the Bible and other religious sources like Buddhism existed and still exist in African traditions. The sayings in this book constitute African traditional wisdom and precepts that are designed to guide people on the right path. Readers will discover sayings about seeking from God, speaking and listening, love, forgiveness, compassion, foolishness vs. wisdom, conscience, peace, gratitude, trust in God, virtue, fruits of the spirit, sowing and reaping, prayer, and a lot more.
Legacy by Chris Morehouse opens with a saying that instructs readers to be wise and not act rashly, a Nigerian proverb that says: “Only a fool tests the depth of a river with both feet.” The author identifies African wisdom in the proverbs that exist in the different cultures and they will resonate powerfully with Christians. These proverbs are presented with clear and succinct commentaries and the author asks questions for reflection at the end of each section. Right from the opening pages, readers get insights into the African versions of the Golden Rule. In Kenya and Tanzania, they say, “What is bad for you is not good for your neighbor.” In Ghana, the traditional wisdom warns: “What you do not like, do not do unto your neighbor.” The Malagasy believe that you will know what hurts others if you know what hurts you. This book is a labor of love and it will open the eyes of readers to the understanding that God speaks to peoples of different traditions. He puts in their hearts the wisdom to know the rules to direct human behavior and create the atmosphere where love and brotherhood can grow and where God finds His place in the human heart. It is well-structured, composed in excellent English, and features commentaries that are as eye-opening as they are informative.