An African Tree of Life demonstrates how mission involves not only a "bringing-to" a people, but a "discovering-of" those deep symbols in human culture and God's creation that, in the light of the gospel, draw humanity to Christ. This book, in a scholarly yet intriguing way, explores the stories and rituals of the Gbaya people of the Cameroon and the Central African Republic. These deep symbols are typically centered not in the esoteric or exotic but in the familiar and everyday. Christensen focuses on the especial importance of the peace-bringing tree of life--the sore tree--central to the lives and worship of the Gbaya.
"Gbaya Christians," says Christensen, "offer to North American Christians fresh and hope-filled images, rich metaphors, new and yet familiar to us." Thus, An African Tree of Life is an important book not only for theologians, missiologists, and Africanists but for all those concerned with issues of contextualization and seeking life-giving symbols in the quest to communicate the gospel message.