Public Book Presentation Of: “Musings Of A Parson” By Very Rev. Prof Konyin Ajayi
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, THE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK “MUSINGS OF A PARSON” BY VERY REV. PROF. KONYIN AJAYI, ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 14, 2019, AT MUSON CENTRE, LAGOS.
I had the privilege of attending the very first presentation of the ‘Musings of a Parson’ and I feel very specially privileged to be here today.
I am really excited to be here but unfortunately, I won’t be spending the rest of the evening with you because I have another engagement outside of Lagos State. Just before I present the book, I have an intervention I have titled “Why the parson should muse!”
Konyin Ajayi is a master of the understatement. Perhaps it is the influence of his British education that makes him so self-effacing. The title “Musings of a Parson” downplays the profundity of this collection. For those of us who follow him, you will agree with me that these are not the mere musings a parson.
These are really the deep reflections on scripture and the Christian race. But so as not to delay needlessly on the form, let us move on to the question which is the subject of my own musing today and that is “Why should the parson muse?” It is an important question today because of what we see and hear every day in terms of the propagation of scripture. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The question that arises is that why is it that the people perish?
The word vision itself is undergoing its own crisis today because it is used to describe anything from ambition, career aspiration to just about any desire of our hearts. But the rendition of scripture if you look at the same verse in the New King James Version of the Bible, you will find this, “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint.” So, vision is actually a revelation. When there is an absence of biblical teaching, not theatrics, not motivational speech-making, but the deployment of the sword of the spirit. The living Word, the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So crucial is the word that the psalmist says in Psalm 138:2 “…that God had magnified HIS WORD even above His Name.”
So, without the propagation of the word, without the word being disseminated in the shape and form that we find today; without the parson of musings as this particular parson has mused here, there will be no restraint and the people will perish; without the revealed word, there will be no guidance, no direction.
In fact, the scripture says in Romans 10:13-14, that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But then the scripture goes further to say, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”
So, it is the propagation of the word with integrity that transforms individuals and then nations. All of these show us how the Gospel of Jesus Christ transformed Europe and America and entire Asia by adoption. It is the gospel’s promise that men, women and nations will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
And so this is why this Musings of a Parson is so important because there is no other way by which people will come across the transformative word except by reading or coming into contact of the deep reflections of men and women of God who after reading scripture upon inspiration, are then able to express those words in such a way that you and I can better understand how to be transformed by those words.
And this is why I am here privileged and proud to celebrate yet another musing of my dear friend and brother, Very Rev. Prof. Konyin Ajayi.
Prof. Ajayi and I have been friends since childhood. He and I have collaborated in writing legal texts and articles and all of that. But I knew that the day Konyin became a priest, he will continue to trouble everyone with many writings, so when he came up with the first volume, I knew that it was not going to be the last. So, prepare yourselves for several more musings in the years to come.
I want to just read a portion in this book which is what the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria said. He says:
“This book is another testament to the role of preaching in nation-building, in social cohesion, political reformation, the betterment of society and most important of all, in winning and saving souls. This is a book arise at a time of primary need for that which Christ says He is – the way, the truth and the life.”
I don’t think that this could have been better expressed than by the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria. And so, it is my very special pleasure and privilege to formally present to this distinguished audience, the “Musings of a Parson” by the Very Rev. Prof. Konyin Ajayi, SAN.