Global Christianity & American religious history

The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, by John L. Allen Jr. Thankfully the West has become a little more aware of the violence and mayhem directed against Christians globally, but Allen’s catalog of atrocities stuns and enrages nonetheless. It gains its power from the author’s very wide knowledge of conflicts around the world, and also from his refusal to focus excessively on any one culprit. Had it been written by a more simplistic author, The Global War on Christians could have turned into an anti-Islamic tract, which this certainly is not. Read and weep.

Grassroots Asian Theology: Thinking the Faith from the Ground Up, by Simon Chan. Particularly in charismatic forms, Christianity has spread widely across Asia in recent years. Plenty of elite and academic authors have interpreted the emerging faith, but it is a pleasure to read Chan’s account of the thought world of ordinary believers and their communities. Just how are concepts like the Trinity and the work of the Holy Spirit presented in Asian contexts? Chan does an admirable job of addressing Catholic and Orthodox traditions, as well as Protestant and Pentecostal.

From Times Square to Timbuktu: The Post-Christian West Meets the Non-Western Church, by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson. This book is a thoughtful exploration of the implications of shifts in Christianity worldwide, with particular emphasis on congregations and institutions in the Global North, in light of modern-day mass migrations. Granberg-Michaelson suggests that we should see each and every migrant as a potential missionary.