Readers Respond to the 100 Events Issue
When we published Issue 28 on “The 100 Most Important Events in Church History,” we had no idea it would draw more response than any issue in our history.
The Religious News Service published a feature story on the issue, as did the Associated Press, and these stories were carried in leading newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune.
Most gratifying to us, however, was that so many of you, our family of readers, wrote. You told us which events we should have included—and which we should have left out.
Only a Western View?
Several readers wrote about a Western slant in the entries. One eloquent statement came from Dr. Paul E. Pierson, dean and professor of history of mission and Latin American studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California:
The 25 most important events listed (after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and the Council of Nicea) has no event which takes place outside the Western world, unless it was the adoption of Christianity in Russia by Vladimir. The list is incredibly parochial and deficient in its focus when we consider that at least 60 percent of practicing Christians in the world today are found in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
We agree. Our research was among church historians from North America, and we openly admitted that the results were thus biased from a Western viewpoint. Rather than disregard that research, however, we decided to use it, admit its perspective, and try to cover non-Western developments in subsequent issues. We are planning issues on the following: Columbus’s landing and the coming of Christianity to Latin America; some aspect of Christianity in Africa; and Pentecostalism, a movement with explosive growth in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We stand committed to covering ...