Majority World Theology: Christian Doctrine in Global Context
Edited by Gene L. Green, Stephen T. Pardue and K.K. Yeo (IVP Academic)
Christianity has declined in Europe and North America—from where centuries of missions and theological and biblical study has come. By contrast, Christianity has grown significantly in Africa, Asia and Latin America—the three continents containing the majority of the world’s population. Unfortunately, the vibrancy of theology in the so-called Majority World has been largely overlooked in Europe and North America. Majority World Theology is a response to that oversight.
The book is not small; it is nearly 700 pages and the size of a reference book. It is divided into six sections like a systematic theology, each section focusing on a different doctrine—God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church and last things. Each section includes several essays from varying perspectives collected over six years of annual conversations with scholars and pastors around the world.
Essays on the Holy Spirit offer an example of the book’s content. A Kenyan scholar argues for the unifying power of the Holy Spirit to overtake the division arising from teachings about spiritual gifts. A Cameroonian scholar, who earned a Ph.D. from Baylor University, examines the pragmatic and deeply spiritual nature of much African theology, which informs the posture of African theology toward imported Western theology. Another essay explores the question of what Christians are “to make of God’s occasional encounters with” peoples in the Americas before the Europeans arrived. Indian, Chinese and Argentinian Christians also contributed essays to this section.
Majority World Theology can help those ministering in diverse settings to gain a deeper appreciation for their brothers and sisters in Christ who see Jesus through different eyes. It ought to be part of every theology and ministry student’s education. For a church thinking about partnering with another church of a different nationality or ethnicity, insights from this book should be included in their deliberations.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher, editor