Wednesday, 4 November 2015
The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission and Reception of Faith,
Andrew F. Walls, T&T Clark, 2002, page 78
Skipping over 1700 years of intervening history, Walls returns to his main theme:
But in our own day the Ephesian moment has come again, and come in a richer mode than has ever happened since the first century. Developments over several centuries, reaching a climax in the twentieth, mean that we no longer have two, but innumerable, major cultures in the church. Like the old Jerusalem Christians, Western Christians had long grown used to the idea that they were the guardians of a "standard" Christianity; also like them, they find themselves in the presence of new expressions of Christianity, and new Christian lifestyles that have developed or are developing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to display Christ under the conditions of African, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Latin American life.
Walls is certainly correct in his comments about the many cultures that are now represented in the church today. But where on his list are the Jewish believers in Messiah, the remnant by faith that G-d promised to reserve from our people in every generation? It is often said that, "There are two types of people in the world, one who ... and the other who ...". The fundamental cultural division remains; there are still Jews and there are still Gentiles. Until the church recognises and returns to resolve that fundamental issue within the church, she will be unable to reach complete resolution between Western and any other flavours of Christian culture from around the world, because Western Christianity is itself still flawed and incomplete.