Secularists seem to be giddy about the demise of Christianity in the world, and some evangelicals are wringing their hands in despair about the decline of the Church and even the collapse of evangelicalism.
“Their world … overlooks a few continents, namely South America, Africa and Asia.” What does this mean? The decline of both the Christian faith and evangelicalism, both of which declines are grossly overrated according to the best studies, is something that is largely Western and American and European, but if one takes a global perspective, the Church and evangelicalism are thriving.
What do you think happens to the term “evangelical” when we define it by the global Christian church?
In short, Evangelical cannot be equated with “Rich American.” The Church is growing in unprecedented ways in other parts of the globe, and it is time for the alarmists to tell the truth. And the global growth of the Church is largely shaped by nothing other than evangelicals, many of them quite conservative on many issues.
In 1900, 80% of Christians were Euros and North Americans; now 60% are in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Two thirds of the world’s evangelicals live in the Two Thirds World.
Wilkens and Thorsen: if Christianity disappeared from the Euros and N Americans, the Church would be thriving still. The movement, they say, does not rest in our hands.
One of the most valuable aspects of reading Christianity Today is its global stories.
Too much paternalism; time to listen to the Two Thirds World. That Two Thirds World is increasingly vital in North America as well. It it not just over there; it is here, too.
Now a major point: global Christianity is evangelical and it is poor; it is charismatic and it is traditional in morality though it is socially active as well. It does not have access to money or power as does the Western/North American Church.
They point to a few lessons we can learn:
1. The Majority World is less concerned with the doctrinal specifics than we are.
2. The Majority World is less concerned with academic credentials and more shaped by spiritual transformation.
3. The Majority World is more influential through the fringes than through seats of power.
The Majority world has a Christianity that was not shaped by Christendom or the sword, but by the Word and the Spirit.