Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution  -     By: Mark Shaw
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Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution

IVP Academic / 2010 / Paperback

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The last century has seen the revolutionary remaking of Christianity into a truly world religion. How did it happen? What triggered the emergence of this new global faith no longer dominated by the West, full of new and vital forms of devotion?

Mark Shaw's provocative thesis is that far-flung revivals are at the heart of the global resurgence of Christianity. These were not the quirky folk rituals associated with rural America and nineteenth-century camp meetings that belong more to an age of plows and prairies than of postmodernity and globalization.

Rather they were like forces of nature, protean, constantly adjusting their features and ferocity to new times and to new places, speaking Spanish, Portuguese, Yoruba, Korean, Mandarin and Gujarati. They crossed the equator. As they traveled abroad they grabbed hold of missionaries, Bible translations, national evangelists, globalization and glossolalia and turned them into a religious revolution.

In this engaging book we read the stories of Joseph Babalola and the Aladura Revival in Africa, of Kil Sun-Ju and the great Korean revival of 1907, of Paulo Borges Jr. and explosion of neo-Pentecostalism in Brazil, and of V. S. Azariah and the mass conversions of the Dalit people in India. As Shaw paints portraits of these and many more, his gallery fills, and we begin to see beyond isolated pictures to the sweeping landscape that we didn't realize was before our eyes all the time.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830838775
ISBN-13: 9780830838776
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The last century has seen the revolutionary remaking of Christianity into a truly world religion. How did it happen? What triggered the emergence of this new global faith no longer dominated by the West, full of new and vital forms of devotion? Mark Shaw's provocative thesis is that far-flung revivals are at the heart of the global resurgence of Christianity. These were not the quirky folk rituals associated with rural America and nineteenth-century camp meetings that belong more to an age of plows and prairies than of postmodernity and globalization. Rather they were like forces of nature, protean, constantly adjusting their features and ferocity to new times and to new places, speaking Spanish, Portuguese, Yoruba, Korean, Mandarin and Gujarati. They crossed the equator. As they traveled abroad they grabbed hold of missionaries, Bible translations, national evangelists, globalization and glossolalia and turned them into a religious revolution. In this engaging book we read the stories of Joseph Babalola and the Aladura Revival in Africa, of Kil Sun-Ju and the great Korean revival of 1907, of Paulo Borges Jr. and explosion of neo-Pentecostalism in Brazil, and of V. S. Azariah and the mass conversions of the Dalit people in India. As Shaw paints portraits of these and many more, his gallery fills, and we begin to see beyond isolated pictures to the sweeping landscape that we didn't realize was before our eyes all the time.

Author Bio

Mark Shaw is the director of the world Christianity program and professor of historical studies at Africa International University in Nairobi, Kenya. He has studied world Christianity at the University of Edinburgh (M.Th.) and the history of Christianity at Westminster Theological Seminary (Th.D.). Mark is the author of a number of books, including and He and his wife Lois currently reside in Kenya where they have lived and worked for over twenty-five years.

Endorsements

"Mark Shaw's bold thesis about the ongoing importance of revivals in the modern world is a treasure for many reasons. It offers a persuasive account linking American pentecostalism and the American career of Billy Graham to the upsurge of evangelicalism around the world. It challenges blinkered views of evangelical Christianity that insist on reading it as just a cover for right-wing politics. And it opens edifying vistas for Christian believers of all sorts who have become aware of momentous shifts in the nature of Christianity around the world, but who have needed a solid theological guide for understanding what is taking place. Along with Michael McClymond's Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America, this book is the most impressive study of worldwide Christian revival to have appeared in a very long time."
—Mark Noll, University of Notre Dame

"Transforming experiences of spiritual awakening and spiritual power have been central in shaping the remarkable growth of Christianity in the non-Western world over the last century. Mark Shaw's book charts many of the most important of these revival movements, and identifies the crucial issues and hard questions which they raise for all Christians."
—Brian Stanley, University of Edinburgh

"Everyone has heard of the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century, and historians have long discussed its long-term effects on Britain and North America. That there was an analogous movement in the twentieth century and that its effects are now shaping contemporary Christianity is less widely known. The manifestations occurred in different parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and helped to produce some of the Christian powerhouses of today. Dr. Shaw has done a great service by providing this engaging and thought-provoking introduction to the most recent phase of Christian history. It deserves a wide readership."
—Andrew F. Walls, University of Edinburgh and Liverpool Hope University

Editorial Reviews

"Everyone has heard of the evangelical revival of the eighteenth century, and historians have long discussed its long-term effects on Britain and North America. That there was an analogous movement in the twentieth century and that its effects are now shaping contemporary Christianity is less widely known. The manifestations occurred in different parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and helped to produce some of the Christian powerhouses of today. Dr. Shaw has done a great service by providing this engaging and thought-provoking introduction to the most recent phase of Christian history. It deserves a wide readership."
"Transforming experiences of spiritual awakening and spiritual power have been central in shaping the remarkable growth of Christianity in the non-Western world over the last century. Mark Shaw's book charts many of the most important of these revival movements, and identifies the crucial issues and hard questions which they raise for all Christians."
"Mark Shaw's bold thesis about the ongoing importance of revivals in the modern world is a treasure for many reasons. It offers a persuasive account linking American pentecostalism and the American career of Billy Graham to the upsurge of evangelicalism around the world. It challenges blinkered views of evangelical Christianity that insist on reading it as just a cover for right-wing politics. And it opens edifying vistas for Christian believers of all sorts who have become aware of momentous shifts in the nature of Christianity around the world, but who have needed a solid theological guide for understanding what is taking place. Along with Michael McClymond's Encyclopedia of Religious Revivals in America, this book is the most impressive study of worldwide Christian revival to have appeared in a very long time."

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  1. Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Intro to the Global Growth of Christianity
    May 28, 2011
    Bob Hayton
    St. Paul, MN
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    In many ways, America is a world unto itself. Until some tragedy strikes beyond our borders, we are content to fret about our internal problems and concerns. But more and more the world out yonder is coming in to us. Globalization is forever changing our way of life. And the wide world is ever shrinking.

    Almost every social arena is affected by this trend, and the Church is no exception. American Christianity has long prided itself as the beacon of world-wide missions. Yet we still are tempted to think the Church outside our shores stands in need of our American ingenuity. Mark Shaw in "Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution" reveals how ignorant such a perspective truly is. Missionaries are now flocking to our own shores, and the story of the 20th Century is the world-wide surge of the Evangelical Church.

    Some of us may have missed the newsflash. Mark Shaw explains:

    "When one looks beyond Atlantic shores the most significant change in the world in the last several generations is the broader revival of religion sweeping the southern hemisphere.... To miss the rise and significance of the new World Christianity would be like a concerned Christian in sixteenth-century northern Europe missing Luther and the Reformation. Something that affects the renewal of Christianity worldwide is afoot and no one should miss the party." (pg. 10-11)

    From many quarters I had heard of this global renewal of Christianity. Mark Shaw's book offered the chance for me to sample its various manifestations. Shaw uses eight case studies to illustrate his views of the nature and rise of global revivals. He argues that there are natural and supernatural factors at play. And he utilizes missiological and sociological studies to analyze these movements. Global Christianity, he finds, is less an exported Americanism than an indigenous inculturation of Christianity.

    For the average Joe like you and I, his study still offers an accessible look into the variety and vivacity of worldwide Christianity. And to a large degree many of the movements he surveys from Korea and China, to India, Africa and on to South America, are the fruit of earlier mission endeavors.

    The author shares what we all can learn from these historical revivals "as we look toward the future of the church":

    "The current global awakening needs to shake us from our cultural isolation and obsessions as North American Christians.... What the current global awakening teaches me, however, is that the real emerging church is a wildly global and culturally pluralistic one which moves us toward the vision of 1 Corinthians 12, a body of Christ with many parts each recognizing their global interdependence. The message of global revivals is that God is internationalizing his people and we stand at an Ephesians moment (to use Andrew Walls's expression) in which the cultural, geographic and political barriers are breaking down in light of the gospel. The current global revivals are not ends in themselves. Their ultimate significance will be seen in multicultural missional churches that seek to change their world in the power of the Spirit and in partnership with the mission of God." (from an Author Q & A provided by IVP)

    This book isn't for everyone. It's a bit technical and doesn't develop the stories as much as an average reader might like. Furthermore, Shaw is not as critical of new Pentecostal movements as some might like him to be. Nevertheless it offers a helpful survey of the growth of Worldwide Christianity and serves to enforce the notion that the proper term for such global developments is "revival". Shaw helps us see that God uses both natural factors and human movements as catalysts in His work of growing His Church.

    Ultimately, "Global Awakening" spurs us American Christians to see beyond ourselves and look for the hand of God in other places around the world. To serve this end I recommend the book for a wide audience.

    Disclaimer: This book was provided by Inter-Varsity Press for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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