The Bible speaks to an agrarian world marked by famine and plague, exile and poverty, clientelism and corruption. Only a minority lived to old age. Travelers knew the roads where they were likely to be robbed and left for dead without hope of intervention by official agencies. The supernatural and the demonic had palpable reality. Pagan idolatry was fresh in the memory of converts, and persecution and martyrdom real possibilities.
Today, we in the affluent north enjoy health and wealth to a degree scarcely imagined by any previous society. The Bible strikes us as frequently dealing with issues that are irrelevant to our 21st century needs. Not so however in the burgeoning churches in Africa and Asia. There daily life has remarkable parallels to the biblical world, giving rise to distinctive biblical interpretations with an enormous potential for reshaping Christianity worldwide.
We explored the biblical insights of Christians in the Global South in this six part series. Our series was based on Philip Jenkins' book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. The series was led by David Monyak and Melanie Lee.
The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. Philip Jenkins. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-530065-3