As we approach Christmas, with the good news of the birth of God’s Son in a small town in Palestine, it’s an appropriate time to think about the movement of the Christian faith back to the lands where the church first was established.
In recent lectures at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary (as reported by Baptist Press), Baylor historian Philip Jenkins “described the consequences of the movement of Christianity toward the Global South from its predominant foundation in North America and Europe since 1900.

“Christianity is a religion that was born in Africa and Asia and, in our lifetimes, has decided to go home,” Jenkins said. This is not the end of Christianity in the West, but a shift from the prominent influence of Western culture projecting that Christianity’s strength by 2050 would not just be in the United States but in such Southern Hemisphere regions as Mexico, Brazil, Uganda, Nigeria, the Congo, Ethiopia, the Philippines and China.

“Christianity’s rise in the Global South will cause the faith at large to be expressed with unique and new characteristics of each culture where it expands, Jenkins indicates. The attributes that develop in predominantly poor areas, he said, likely will bring major repercussions to Western, affluent, industrial Christianity.

“For instance, the Bible will be heard rather than read within predominantly poor and illiterate people groups, Jenkins said, pointing out that listening changes the way authority is perceived. Biblical parables often overlooked by Western churches, he noted, tend to resonate with people of poorer cultures who can identify with searching their home for one lost coin or know firsthand that someone who is robbed and left on a well-traveled road will be passed by until a genuinely kind person decides to stop.” (Click to read the full story.)

Michael Duduit

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