Skip to main content

Book: Evangelicals Around the World

Today’s book is more of a textbook than a read-for-fun book.

What is an “Evangelical Christian?” Other than “Not a Catholic or an Episcopalian,” that is?

Trying to nail that answer down first, and then examining the history of what fits with Evangelical Christianity is the opening challenge of this book. After that, Evangelicals around the World addresses the global spread of this sector of Christianity. In short, there is no small task here, even for 400+ pages of densely spaced writing.

Before we talk too much about content, let me make this observation: this book is nicely printed. It’s full-color throughout, enabling the illustrations, maps, and graphs to pop out well. It also features footnotes! Academic-type works are harmed by endnotes, so I love to see footnotes.

Now, to content: the work opens with 200 events in history that illustrate the depth and breadth of Evangelicalism. This is followed by an attempt to define “evangelical” in broad enough terms to include many groups while still showing a restriction to its meaning. This chapter does well in the attempt, and I will not reproduce it here. The authors did well by using both “what it is” and “what it isn’t” to line out the definition.

From there, we see a development of Evangelical interaction with other Christian groups. One could take issue with which groups are counted as Christians—certainly some Evangelicals would—but the authors are mainly working on mainstream views here.

Then we see summaries of doctrines that Evangelicals agree on, with good notations on what range of opinions exists even in these areas. Rightly, the defining characteristics are the belief that the Bible is true and Jesus sent us to carry the message. How that bounds out is where there is much discussion!

Finally, the book wraps with a region-by-region look at international Christianity. This section serves as a helpful introduction, though international situations can be so fluid that some of this data will be obsolete soon. Still, the snapshot of “where things stand right NOW” is a valuable reminder that America is not the center of the Christian world.

In all, I think this is a valuable book on current church status and an encouragement that the Gospel keeps going forth. It’s not the first book you should read every day, but if your church wants to learn where things are, it’s a good help and start. I would also commend it to homeschoolers to couple, as a reference, with geography—learn about the church in each area as well.

Free book from Booklook Bloggers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…