The front cover tells us what the book is about: a 1000 year period history of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. It is about the Nestorian Church and churches similar to it. Jenkins illustrates how that during the period of roughly AD 400-1400 there were three very large groups of Christians who agreed with the Council of Nicea: the Catholics, the Greek Orthodox and the Nestorian and Jacobite churches. It is not about the non-Catholic Christians, such as the Donatists and the Paulicans, whose writings were nearly all destroyed. I don't agree with all of Jenkins' conclusions, but I learned much from this interesting and well-written book.
A very inspiring study of Christian churches. For many years, I struggled with the concept of Asia, Africa, and Middle East being mired in pagan and dark for more than a thousand year. I couldn't understand how all-powerful and loving God could have allowed this to happen. This book broke through my euro-centric, narrow understanding. My heart become so uplifted when I read of God's movement in those countries before it was darkened again. I now gladly share the info from the book to anyone who calls Christianity a white man's religion. I now tell them that Christians did spread gospel in those countries but due to many factors, they died out. Then providentially, God sent European missionaries in reaction to death of national Christians.
Jenkins does what so many atheists and others do, he lumps anyone who says the word christian into the same category. This book was disappointing and not what i was expecting. I was hoping for a treatise on those beievers who remained outside of the RCC but what is provided is just the same old thing. There is no real scholarship to this book and no attempt to investigate the history of believers properly. The RC church was not the only historical church, nor were the heretical ones the only alternative. It would be nice to have someone write a book investigating those true believers who seem to have been lost to history but continued in following Jesus and His ways but did not get any notice.
In my opinion, I do not agree to the exclamation that "... The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in The Middle East, Africa, and Asia-and How It Died." As an Asian by blood and lives almost totally in Asian context, I have learned that Christianity in Asia and Africa have never dead. So far, as I had also discussed with fellows in Program for Theology and Cultures in Asia (PTCA), it was true that Christianity in most of those mentioned area there had been decreased. However, there have still lived some root of Christianity in its specific context. For example, in the island of Java, up to present time there have blossomed idea that the Javanese's character was established in the year of 78 AD by a prominent person called Ajisaka (means: Someone who come from the highest). Besides, for every time the Javanese people want to raise a special prayer for their family member that had dead, especially in the 3rd, 7th, 40th and 100th and 1000th day, they have used to make a symbol of small hill (made of rice) with a cross (made of red chilly) and shared a boiled cock that was sliced with the hand of leader and says: Let's eat in commemorate of our life saving prayer with th late one..."So, here I want to encourage another follow study about the unique way of basic Christian life have (might be) lived in every ethnical life-setting in the continent of Asia and Africa. It will be another amazing publication!