The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith by Mark A. Noll
Evangelical movements began as renewal movements within European state-church Protestantism in the eighteenth century. The state-church system in the United States gave way to a purely voluntary system in the nineteenth century.
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At the same time, evangelicals in America also experienced vast new territories and populations that were free of traditional institutions and hierarchical authority. Conversionistic and voluntaristic evangelicalism enjoyed remarkable growth and success as it adjusted to, and was shaped by, the fluid, rapidly changing, and ethnically pluralistic culture of nineteenth-century America.
Americans became a majority of the global missionary force after World War II, and non-denominational, evangelical, and Pentecostal believers came to dominate the American missionary force by the end of the twentieth century.
The New Shape of World Christianity
Noll describes this missionary force and traces some direct influence it had. Less traditional and non-hierarchical forms of Christianity have encouraged new believers to run with the gospel and develop local Christianities, which are well suited to influence their culture and spread rapidly. The third part of the book is comprised of three case studies that describe and draw lessons from interactions between American Christianity and world Christianity. In a mainly descriptive chapter, Noll tracks the evolving awareness of global Christianity among American evangelicals by looking at evangelical periodicals throughout the twentieth century.
Noll also examines Korean Christianity and the East African revival that began in the s.
He notes that Americans did influence both Korean and East African Christianity, but he also supports his thesis by demonstrating the manner in which cultural forces experienced in America have also shaped the Christianity of these other regions. For example, the instability brought on by wars in Korea parallel similar formative factors in the American religious experience.
He does note that non-traditional forms of Christianity promoted by evangelical missionaries have given local Christianities the freedom to develop. InterVarsity Press Bolero Ozon. The New Shape of World Christianity: In this book Mark Noll revisits the history of the American church in the context of world events.
He makes the case that how Americans have come to practice the Christian faith is just as globally important as what the American church has done in the wor. What Does Counting Missionaries Reveal?
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