Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity
Craig Ott and Harold A. Netland, editors
384 pages, $27.99
"In our lifetimes, the centuries-long North Atlantic captivity of the church is drawing to an end," says Philip Jenkins, historian at Pennsylvania State University.
If Jenkins is correct, then this volume has come none too soon. Christianity has become polycentric, yet the worldwide church has only begun to reap the theological rewards of its cultural diversity.
The right and responsibility of younger churches in the global South to do their own theologizing was once a blind spot in the missionary movement. Now, as these essayists demonstrate, local theologies that are biblically grounded and culturally informed contribute to "a broader, further, and deeper understanding of God's revelation."
This book has its origin in a 2004 consultation, "Doing Theology in a Globalizing World," convened at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in honor of Paul Hiebert. Professors will likely adopt Globalizing Theology as a text. Yet it would be a shame for the ideas here to be relegated only to the classroom.
This volume is a declaration of interdependence. Read it thoughtfully, whatever your station in the church.
You just might discover what it means to be "brothers and sisters with one and a half billion others who profess a similar faith."
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Other CT review articles about global Christianity include:
God's Word in an Old Light | Philip Jenkins on how global South Christians read the Bible. (December 5, 2006)
"Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" | An excerpt from Philip Jenkins' new book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. (December 5, 2006)
The New Context of World Missions | A new textbook tackles the changing world of missions. (December 4, 2006)
Turning the World Upside Down | The coming of global Christianity. (Books & Culture, March 1, 2002)
Jesus and the Religions | A new paradigm for Christian engagement? (Books & Culture, Jan/Feb 2004)
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