There is a specific book that started me down the path of discovering World Christianity and has led me to engage with global perspectives of theology and contextualization. I bought it for a friend who was also finishing an undergraduate Biblical Studies program. When it arrived from the bookseller, I flipped through the pages and before I knew it, had read the entire first chapter. And the second. And the third.
Theology in the Context of World Christianity , by Timothy Tennent, is the book that I have recommended to several people who have asked me where to start start in bridging their (Western) theological training and emerging non-Western perspectives.
The premise of the book is that Continue reading
Some interesting thoughts from the late Dr. Kwame Bediako.
1. Comparison between initial Christian mission to Northern Europe and missionary activity in Africa
2. The utilization of pre-Christian elements that persist into a Christian era
For more information about African Christianity, see our recent post in the Global Theology Countdown.
(Video is extra interview bites from Dr. Kwame Bediako for a documentary film project on African Christianity produced and directed by James Ault in 2009)
A new format we’re trying here on the blog is the Global Theology Countdown, where we will break down a large topic into more easily accessible parts, linking to other sites for those who would want to go deeper.
- 4 Keys to Understanding
- 3 People to Know
- 2 Blogs Worth Reading
- 1 Book to Read Immediately
This post covers Contemporary African Christianity and we welcome contributors to share on a different context or more information regarding Christianity in Africa. Enjoy! Continue reading
“Numerical expansion in Chinese Christianity in the last couple of decades has occurred at an unprecedented rate. A rate which continues to surprise and alarm some of those observing it. It’s surprising partly because of the ambiguous history of Christianity in China, a history marked both by a high level of cultural and political engagement by the Jesuits in the 17th century, and by a very unashamed alliance with foreign interference and colonial power in the 19th century. In spite of that, China is moving towards having the largest Christian population in the world. A safe guess would be 50-80 million Protestants in China today.”*
Contemporary China is experiencing a big revival of Christianity, despite strict governmental controls on religions. At its current pace of rapid growth, China could have the world’s largest population of Christians Continue reading
Prior to understanding Japanese Christian theology, it is important to know how the Japanese view religion in general. In Japan there are basically two distinctions when it comes to religion: the revealed and the natural religions. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and some new religions are considered to be revealed religions, because they have specific books and scriptures to live by and upon which religious life is practiced. In contrary to revealed religions, the natural religions are more tradition and folklore-based religions, followed with few or no specific books or scriptures. Even though Shintoism does have texts and scriptures to a degree, it is considered more as a natural religion.
It is important to emphasize that in Japan, when people talk about religion, they generally mean the revealed religions, and in particular Christianity. When Japanese people mention that they are nonreligious, it means they do not commit themselves to a revealed religion or religious organization. Japanese people often see all the religions as one entity, and not separate from one another. It is often said that the Japanese are born Shinto, marry in a Christian (western) style and die Buddhist, as many Japanese are buried in the Buddhist way. Japanese do not have the urge to be committed to any particular organized religion. In Japanese, this mindset is called mushukyo, meaning “non-religion” or even “non-religious.” Continue reading
How do cultural issues within the context of scripture affect the reading of the New Testament by those who are unfamiliar with the broader, cultural context? The Dao from Indonesia offer insight to Ephesians 2 as an example of non-western Biblical interpretation.
The early church faced several cross-cultural issues, primary among them the incorporation of Jewish-background believers and Gentile-backround believers together. As the church spread, these issues would threaten to overrun the community of faith and have continued to be pertinent to the self-identification of the church, even as the cultural definitions have changed. Continue reading
(To read more, check out AlmostM and Tall Skinny Kiwi. Video download here)