Biblical Approach to Development: A Theological Reflection from the Perspective of Burkan Pentadic Criticism

John Kwasi Fosu ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.4  April  2022  Article 5 pp. 148-159
DOI :  |   Published online 29th April, 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


The subject of development has been approached from different academic disciplines mainly from sociological, economic, political and anthropological perspectives. Not much has been written about the subject of development within theological scholarship. The reason is that the church and for that matter, traditional theological scholarship has focused on personal piety and discipleship instead of social responsibility and development. Subsequently many have come to think that the Bible has less to say about development. The main aim of this article is to offer a biblically informed systematic approach to the subject of development. It argues that the Bible provides a useful guide on what it means to develop. Using the method of Burkan Pentadic Criticism to analyse the biblical teaching on the essentials of development, this paper maintains that the Bible and for that matter, the biblical teaching on development, should shape the human understanding, worldview and attitudes about development.

Keywords: Development, Worldview, Bible, stewardship, Pentadic Criticism, shalom.

Abuiyada, Reem. “Traditional Development Theories have failed to Address the Needs of the majority of People at Grassroots Levels with Reference to GAD ones.” International Journal of Business and Social Science 9, no. 9 (September 2018): 115-119. doi:10.30845/ijbss.v9n9. Accessed, March 4,2022.

Adeyemo, Tukunboh. Is Africa Cursed? Nairobi, Kenya: WordAlive Publishers Limited, 2009.

Allen, Scott and Darrow Miller. The Forest in the Seed: A Biblical Perspective on Resources and Development. Phoenix: Disciple Nations Alliance, 2006.

Bamgboye, O. A. “Capacity Building as a Strategy for Sustainable Infrastructures Maintenance Culture.” Paper Presented at National Engineering Conference, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Gateway Abeokuta, Nigeria, December (2006).

Boateng, Richard, Richard Heeks, R. Molla and Robert Hinson. “E-Commerce and Socio-Economic Development: Conceptualizing the Link.” Internet Research 18, no. 5 (2008): 562–594.

Burke, Kenneth. A Grammar of Motives. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1945.

Cooper, Tim Green. Christianity: Caring for the Whole Creation. Great Britain: Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, 1990.

Dyrness, William A. Let the Earth Rejoice: A Biblical Theology of Holistic Mission,Westchester: Crossway Books, 1983.

Foss, Sonja K., Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice, 2nd Edition (Illinois: Waveland Press, 1996).

Fosu, John Kwasi. Experiences of Pneumatic Phenomena in Contemporary Ghanaian Christianity as Appropriations of 1.Cor 12 – 14: A Critical Analysis. Hamburg: Missionshilfe Verlag, 2019.

______. Principles of Stewardship and Wealth Creation. Kumasi: Shalom Press, 2015.

______.Theology of Development: Understanding Christian Mission of Community Development. Kumasi:Glocal Publications, 2022.

Fosu, John Kwasi and Fosu, Mary. Dynamics of Christian Education: Ghanian Perspective. Hamburg: Missionshilfe Verlag, 2021.

Glasser, Arthur F. Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of God’s Mission in the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003.

Groningen, Jay Van. The Theology of Development: A Biblical Understanding of Christian Mission and Community Development. CRWRC, 2005.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Nottingham: IVP, 2007.

Jakonda, Z. Suleiman. Your Kingdom Come: A Book on Wholistic Christian Development. Jos: Rurcon, 2001.

Kantonen, T. A. A Theology for Christian Stewardship. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1956.

King, Andrew. “Pentadic Criticism.” In Rhetorical Criticism: Perspectives in Action,edited by Jim A. Kuypers, 165-181. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009.

Kinoti, George. Hope for Africa and what the Christian can do. Nairobi: African Institute of Scientific Research and Development, 99.

Mante, J. O. Y. African Theological and Philosophical Roots of our Ecological Crisis. Accra: SonLife Press, 2004.

Miller, Darrow L. and Allen, Scott. Against all Hope: Hope for Africa. Phoenix: Disciple Nations Alliance, 2005.

Moffitt, Bob and Tesch, Karla. If Jesus Were Mayor: How Your Local Church Can Transform Your Community. Harvest Publishing, 2004.

Pearson, Ruth. “Rethinking Gender Matters in Development” in Poverty and Development into the 21st Century. Edited by Allen, Tim. & Thomas, Alan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Washington, D.C.: Harvard University Press, 1981.

Rountree III, Clarke J. “Coming to Terms with Kenneth Burke’s Pentad.” American Communication Journal 1, no. 3 (May 1998). Accessed March 22, 2018.http://ac

Sena, Luis. Foreward to The Forest in the Seed: A Biblical Perspective on Resources and Development, 6-7. Phoenix: Disciple Nations Alliance, 2006.

Taringa, Nisbert Taisekwa. Towards an African-Christian Environmental Ethics. Bamberg: University of Bamberg Press, 2014.

Tongoi, Dennis. Foreward to Against all Hope: Hope for Africa, 6. Phoenix: Disciple Nations Alliance, 2005.

Uma, Kalu Ebi, Paul Obidike and Veronica A. Ihezukwu. “Maintenance Culture and Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria: Issues, Problems And Prospects.” International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management II, no. 11(2014): 5.

Walsh, Brian J. and Middleton, J. Richard. The Transforming Vision. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1984.

Rev. Dr. John Kwasi Fosu is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Theology and Ministry of the Ghana Baptist University College, Kumasi, Ghana. He is also the Executive Director (Geschäftsführer) of Glocal Compassion gGmbH, Germany.

Fosu, J.K.,”Biblical Approach to Development: A Theological Reflection from the Perspective of Burkan Pentadic Criticism.” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.4 (2022):148-159

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (