Christianity Today Award of Merit
Christianity is not becoming a global religion. It has always been a global religion. The early Christian movement spread from Jerusalem in every direction, taking on local cultural expression all around the ancient world. So why do so many people see Christianity as a primarily Western, white religion?
In A Multitude of All Peoples, Vince Bantu surveys the geographic range of the early church's history, revealing an alternate, more accurate narrative to that of Christianity as a product of the Western world. He begins by investigating the historical roots of the Western cultural captivity of the church, from the conversion of Constantine to the rise of European Christian empires. He then shifts focus to the too-often-forgotten concurrent development of diverse expressions of Christianity across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
In the process, Bantu removes obstacles to contemporary missiological efforts. Focusing on the necessity for contextualization and indigenous leadership in effective Christian mission, he draws out practical lessons for intercultural communication of the gospel. Healing the wounds of racism, imperialism, and colonialism will be possible only with renewed attention to the marginalized voices of the historic global church. The full story of early Christianity makes clear that, as the apostle Peter said, "God does not show favoritism, but accepts those from every people who fear him and do what is right."
Missiological Engagements charts interdisciplinary and innovative trajectories in the history, theology, and practice of Christian mission, featuring contributions by leading thinkers from both the Euro-American West and the majority world whose missiological scholarship bridges church, academy, and society.
"A Multitude of All Peoples rewrites the narrative of early Christian history. Rather than focusing on Christianity's growth in the classical Greek and Roman world, Bantu positions what have traditionally been considered the margins of ancient Christianity (Asia and Africa) at the center. A much-needed addition to the field."
"There are very few books we can legitimately call game-changers in the publishing world, that can revolutionize a field of study and transform our ongoing engagement on a topic. Dr. Vince Bantu has written a game-changer of a book that will rework our engagement with church history, global Christianity, missiology, evangelism, and multicultural ministry. Thoroughly researched while comprehensive in scope, all future discussion on the history of the church and its implication for the future of the church must now go through this book."
1. The Roots of Western Christian Identity Politics
2. The First Christians of Africa
3. The Early Church in the Middle East
4. The Beginning of Missions Along the Silk Road
Index of People
Index of Places