Thursday, 9 February 2017
The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History: Studies in the Transmission and Reception of Faith,
Andrew F. Walls, T&T Clark, 2002
Chapter 2, "Christianity in the Non-Wstern World" (pp. 27-48), page 29
Andrew Walls points out what might be considered a vulnerability in Christianity, compared to Islam:
With relatively few (though admittedly important) exceptions, the areas and peoples that accepted Islam have remained Islamic ever since. Arabia, for example, seems now so immutably Islamic that it is hard to remember that it once had Jewish tribes and Christian towns, as well as shrines of gods and goddesses to which the bulk of its population gave homage. Contrast the position with that of Jerusalem, the first major centre of Christianity; or of Egypt and Syria, once as axiomatically Christian as Arabia is now Islamic; or of the cities once stirred by the preaching of John Knox or John Wesley, now full of unwanted churches doing duty as furniture stores or nightclubs. It is as though there is some inherent fragility, some built-in vulnerability, in Christianity, considered as a popular profession, that is not to the same extent a feature of Islam.
He does seem to have a point. Spain is perhaps one of the more obvious exceptions, and Israel is currently contested territory, but Islam does seem to have a certain stickability that Christianity seems to lack.