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 from July 29,
2007 to Sep. 2, 2007. 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
Also see our earlier series,