Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Writers on the status of Christianity in the 21st Century, such as Dr. Philip Jenkins in his book The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South, have pointed out that Christians in the "Majority World" tend to be much more conservative in their approach to Scripture than those churches from North America and Europe that first brought them the gospel. I commented on this reality in an article on the Future of Christianity that I wrote back in 2004. As Jenkins' title indicates, believers in the new center of gravity of world Christianity are much more likely to be "Bible believing." That means they will take the Bible more seriously in terms of the theology it presents, as well as the moral issues it teaches.
Recent actions by two Lutheran Church bodies have resulted in scathing criticisms that are coming from, in one case, a Lutheran communion in Kenya, and in another case, from the Lutheran Churches of the Baltics. These churches have paid a price for their faith, and I suspect that they find the mental and theological gymnastics that are being toyed with by certain church bodies reprehensible.
You can read, in their own words, the following documents:
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN KENYA ON THE CHURCH APOSTATE
MESSAGE FROM THE MEETING OF THE BALTIC LUTHERAN BISHOPS
Churches in the "Majority World" certainly must look with wonderment at the way in which churches in the U.S. and Europe seem to be playing footloose with the Scriptures and the faith handed down to them. Not only are more and more missionaries coming from the Global South to the U.S. and Europe, but churches from the Global South and other areas where the church has experienced persecution are more and more exercising theological leadership.