As Christians, we belong to not only a diverse global Christian family but also a diverse human family. Todd Johnson, a noted expert on global Christianity and world missions trends, and Cindy Wu show how divisions within these families work against our desire to bring about positive change in the world. They provide an overview of global Christian identity, exploring how we can be faithful to our own tradition while engaging Christians across denominations and be better informed as we work with people of other religions. The book utilizes the latest research data on global Christianity and world religions and includes tables, graphs, charts, and end-of-chapter discussion questions.
Todd M. Johnson (PhD, William Carey International University) is director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and associate professor of global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Cindy M. Wu (MA, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) has served in various church-planting contexts and lives in Houston, Texas.
Plenty of books discuss the process of globalization and the related spread of Christianity to all corners of the world. But I don't think any other book has presented these stories within the framework of family--the Christian family worldwide and the broader human family. The authors ask what would happen if Christians actually took seriously the language of brotherhood and sisterhood. How would we seek to change ourselves and change the world? Our Global Families is a thoughtful, provocative, and deeply rewarding book.
distinguished professor of history, Baylor University
Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu have usefully underscored the great fact of Christianity's dramatic recent spread around the world. But they have also gone further with sage writing about what should be done with this fact. Their insights, cautions, wise words, careful theology, and practical advice make for a book that deserves careful attention from a wide readership.
-Mark A. Noll,
University of Notre Dame
For years we have read statistics about the rise of the global church, but here we have a stellar introduction to these realities that makes this phenomenon personal. Behind the numbers we are discovering the family of God in new and profound ways. At a time when we often hear stories of how divided the world and the church are, it is refreshing to discover this deeper connectedness that is emerging in the church. This volume also helps us to move past the 'let's-change-the-world' drumbeat, to a deeper appreciation of the transforming power of our 'faithful presence' in the world. Our Global Families is the best introduction to global Christianity you will find. I heartily recommend it.
-Timothy C. Tennent,
president, professor of world Christianity, Asbury Theological Seminary
Johnson and Wu have presented world Christianity in all of its diversity, pointing the way to greater unity in hospitality and grace. More than just a description, this volume outlines ways forward for Christians to make a difference in a world filled with poverty and despair.
-Scott W. Sunquist,
dean and professor of world Christianity, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
This excellent book provides a much needed reality check for Western Christians, joyfully reminding us that the diversity of the Christian global family is rapidly increasing. Using mountains of credible social science data, Johnson and Wu present a well-researched yet accessible argument that today's Christians should abandon their ethnically and culturally homogenous enclaves and step out toward the diverse Christian global family. By rightly presenting the family of God as a global people, Our Global Families goes beyond simply describing the changing social landscape to offer compelling reasons for and action steps toward forging a common identity with Christians around the globe. I highly recommend this book for pastors, lay leaders, students, and practitioners who want to experience the fullness of the family of God.
associate professor of reconciliation studies, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota
A winsome message calling us to embrace our global Christian identity and our place in the whole human family. This book beckons us beyond the narrow, parochial worlds we have created for ourselves and into the future world being created by God.
general secretary emeritus, Reformed Church in America
I am excited about this book. The last decade has seen an amazing increase in scholarship regarding contextualized theology, helping us understand the complexity and diversity of the global church and our faith. This is a good thing. However, in studying our differences Christians around the world are in danger of forgetting all the things that unite us into a single body. Our Global Families is a wonderful reminder not only of the eternal commonalities that we share as Christians, but also provides a blueprint for life in community both inside the church and out in the world. Todd Johnson and Cindy Wu have done the global church a wonderful service.
executive director/CEO, The Lausanne Movement