Wednesday, 15 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 30
Next, Walls starts to connect translation and growth to the rather gnostic other-worldlyness that has infected much of the church:
This feature means that Christian faith is repeatedly coming into creative interaction with new cultures, with different systems of thought and different patterns of tradition; that its profoundest expressions are often local and vernacular.
That's good so far - apart from the implication of dying out in the centre - which is tragic for, as much as Christianity moves, ebbs and flows, so do people: there are always new people moving into the heartland areas. But Walls goes on:
It also means that the demographic and geographical centre of gravity of Christianity is subject to periodic shifts.
We see this in our day, with the rise of the Global South and the movement of numbers (if not vitality,command and control) away from the 'West' - America and Europe - to Africa, Asia and elsewhere, where the people are.