Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 489
The basic point of this book is that the face of Christianity is changing. Christianity is not a Western religion anymore. The center of Christianity is pivoting away from Europe and North America. Jenkins says,
If we want to visualize a “typical” contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela. (2)
There is also an important demographic point that Jenkins makes. He points out that the world’s population is growing, but this growth is not coming from Europe and North America. The numbers are a stark reminder that the population is rapidly growing in South America, Africa, and Asia. If Christianity is also growing in these regions, then the face of Christianity will change again.
If we combine the figures for Europe, North America, and the lands of the former Soviet Union, then in 1900, these Northern regions accounted for 32 percent of the world population . . . By 2050, the figure should be around 10 or 12 percent. (79)
Another great quote show how different the faith of others can be. For people from the West, things like the supernatural are relegated to the realm of fiction and television. We do not actually believe in demons, witches, and the like. However, Jenkins points out that the supernatural—what is unseen—is very real to people in different lands. Hence, we are forced to rethink our worldview. Perhaps we can ask whether they are onto something that we have forgotten.
As Andrew Walls has remarked, “The role of ancestors and witchcraft are two important issues. Academic theologians in the West may not put witchcraft high on the agenda, but it’s the issue that hits ordinary African Christians full in the face.” (123)
Finally, too often persecution is a real-life event for many Christians around the world. Hence, there is a direct connection with the New Testament, such as when we read of Paul’s missionary...
(The entire section contains 489 words.)
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