March 31, 2019 by directorfsm
Mark Noll on What This Past Sunday Looked Like
Mark Noll, writing in The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith (IVP Academic, 2009):
It is as if the globe had been turned upside down and sideways.
A few short decades ago, Christian believers were concentrated in the global north and west, but now a rapidly swelling majority lives in the global south and east.
As [a Christian] Rip Van Winkle wiped a half-century of sleep from his eyes [after awaking this past week] and tried to locate his fellow Christian believers, he would find them in surprising places, expressing their faith in surprising ways, under surprising conditions, with surprising relationships to culture and politics, and raising surprising theological questions that would not have seemed possible when he fell asleep.
The Christian church has experienced a larger geographical redistribution in the last fifty years than in any comparable period in its history, with the exception of the very earliest years of church history. . . .
More than half of all Christian adherents in the whole history of the church have been alive in the last one hundred years.
Close to half of Christian believers who have ever lived are alive right now.
Noll gives us a snapshot of this past Sunday around the globe to put flesh and blood on these generalizations….
Continued at Source: The Gospel Coalition