The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Will, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Will

    Will
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    I recently read, "The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity," by Philip Jenkins which in published by Oxford University Press. Jenkins is a professor of history at Penn State University. I have read another of his books in the past, "Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way," which is probably one of the finest books at showing the absurdity of the Jesus Seminar methodology. His books are written somewhat for a more professional then popular audience. I would describe his theology as more liberal then Baptist.

    "The Next Christendom" is a startling book. It was full of shocks and surprises to my standard thought process. Jenkins meticulously documents how in the next century, if current trends continue, Christianity will not only grow in raw numbers globally but also as percentage of the increasing world population. This entails a shift of the Christian epicenter from "the North" to "the South," with incredible increases in Africa, South America and Asia. Also, if the trends continue, by 2050 there will be over 1 billion pentecostals worldwide.

    Anyone interesting in the trends and health of Christianity worldwide should read this book.

    http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product/77277404?item_no=46166&event=SRC
     
  2. rsr

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    Thanks for the info. Here's a link to a review in Christianity Today:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2002/002/16.32.html

    Very interesting. The next pope, in fact, might not even be European. And it's well documented that the home of the Reformation is becoming less and less Christian, even in name.

    This does raise serious questions about missions; as more and more converts are made, how will the indigenous church deal with foreigners? Should we totally reassess foreign missions in favor of domestics missions -- to missions to increasingly heathen Europe?

    Interesting note in the review that:

     
  3. rsr

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    On a similar note, the growth of Christianity in China apparently has been significant.

    Ken Curtis picked the growth of the church despite the Cultural Revolution as one of '"The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History." (Fleming H. Revell, 1991)

    Mark Kramer, writing for Urbana.org, notes that there are 140 million Christians today in China.

    http://www.urbana.org/wtoday.china.3self4.cfm
     
  4. Will

    Will
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    rsr,

    I agree with your assessment about missions. It is unquestionably an area that needs to be re-evaluated.

    One area that the book covers is that but for immigrants from the Southern Hemisphere, there would be even lower attendance in European churches. In England, for instance, Jenkins documents that some of the only growing churches are those of African Christian immigrants. Their pastors are worried about how to bring white Britons into their fold comfortably. They are providing outreach to the unchurched there.

    Again, it's an incredibly important book.
     
  5. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    Warm Christian greetings!

    As an evangelist living in England I can state categorically that England is a mission field; it is not even nominally Christian any more. Missionaries from the US who wish to come here will find plenty to occupy their time.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  6. Will

    Will
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    Robert,

    One of the statistics Jenkins referenced in his book concerning England had to do with teenagers. The survey done showed that over 50% of teenagers in England didn't even believe that Jesus was a historical person.

    This reflects that atheistic evangelism is going on in England as this is a radical academic view. I fear this type of evangelism is going on in our country via the Jesus Seminar among others.

    Do you find this to be the case during your evangelism?

    Also, one of our Baptist Colleges locally here in St. Louis, did send missionaries to Great Britain. They reported back that times were desperate for Christianity there.

    We'll pray for your efforts and pray for our country as well.
     
  7. Robert J Hutton

    Robert J Hutton
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    Warm Christian greetings!

    Reply to Will:

    What I tend to find is that, not only are people harder than they were, say 20 years ago, but that there is also a militantly anti-Christian attitude among an increasing number of people. I have had people fly into a rage just to be offered a tract (thankfully, that doesn't happen often). Moreover, there is a real threat to freedom of speech. If you wish to promote Gay Rights or environmental issues that is fine; but an increasing number of open air evangelists are having problems with the local authorities.

    Indeed, in the West country of England Satanists are getting themselves elected to office so that they can get laws passed banning evangelism.

    The situation for the Christian faith in England is dire - please pray for us.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  8. dp

    dp
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    I will Robert...
     

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