And The Need For Cross-cultural Theological Conversations
Thank you for sharing, Harvey. This week’s message is a blessing. The word that resonates with me is “unity.” I pray that globally our moral compass turns towards unity, and may our unity reconcile centuries-old differences and manifest racial healing. Amen.
My prayer is that both Western Christians and African Christians will concentrate more on what unite them in the faith whiles making gradual effort to bridge the differences in their way of worship. Coming together to see the world we live in as the harvest field is very important on the heart of Christ.
Thanks for this, Harvey. Contra Hollenweger, has the growth of black (African Caribbean at his time) churches a case of 'transfer growth rather than 'revival'? Clifford Hill estimated in the 1960s that 69% of migrants had belonged to 'traditional' churches in the Caribbean, but only 4% belonged to them here. Joel Edwards and Joe Aldred have argued that it is a simplification to say that 'they were rejected by the traditional churches and so started their own', rather pentecostal church planters came from the Caribbean, gathered together their members over here, and then effectively evangelised amongst de-churched migrants in this country. So the overall numbers of church-goers did not increase - though pentecostals would describe that as a shift from 'nominal' to Spirit-filled Christianity.
Similarly, the chaplain to Nigerians in this country spoke of those who stayed Anglican here as 'the Remnant'; overwhelmingly others had started going to African Pentecostal churches.
I think you have used the phrase 'recycling' about African church membership - that is, simply transfer growth in an ethnically bounded ,though growing, constituency.
Surely 'revival' means people of no Christian faith coming to worship and follow Jesus. There are some small signs of that (esp with Iranians) but otherwise not on the scale we long and pray for.