In 1900, most of the world was ruled by powerful Western Christian empires, and it seemed reasonable to assume that the dawning twentieth century would be a Christian century. No one could have foreseen the fall of those empires, and no one imagined that Christianity would decline in Europe to find new life in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific. This remarkable global reversal is something from which respected teacher and scholar Scott Sunquist says the West has much to learn.
Sunquist gives an eye-opening look at three great transformations in Christian history: the first, beginning in the early fourth century, when the growth of the church became tightly entwined with politics and empire; the second, from the 1450s to the 1550s, as Iberian Christians spread the faith to the far corners of the Earth; and the third, as the twentieth century saw the West lose its place as the global center of the Christian faith, to be supplanted by Asia and the Southern Hemisphere. Today, Christian influence in European culture is practically nonexistent, and there are more avowed Christians in China than in Europe or North America, more Christians than Muslims in Africa, and enthusiastic multitudes of spirit-filled followers of Jesus in Latin America.
Sunquist treats readers to an engaging, non-biased, history-based overview of Christianity’s growth and influence in the world, and highlights the conditions that are needed for Christianity, and Christian communities worldwide, to thrive and flourish.
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