I am leaning heavily on Philip Jenkins' "The Next Christendom" in this series of posts.
As a follower of Jesus and a missiologist, I spend time reading the Scriptures and then I read the newspaper. I am a student of the cultural trends and movements of people. Why? Because I am an ambassador, a cultural broker, if you will. My vocation is to take a universal message and communicate it in particular contexts. But it's impossible to make a message comprehensible within a context that I am ignorant of.
One of the most startling trends for Westerners is the fact that the center of Christianity is rapidly shifting. Most folks have the feeling the Christianity is waning. That's true if we are looking only at the United States and Europe. But when we look at South America, Africa, and Asia, we see the opposite.
By 2025 the continent with the most Christians will either be South America or Africa. By 2050 Africa will be the most Christian continent on earth. This shift isn't only about geography or ethnicity. It's also about character. We'll look at what Christians in the Global South (S. America, Africa, Asia) value in the next post.