Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches
University of California Press, 2009
360 pp., $85.00
The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith
Mark A. Noll
IVP Academic, 2009
212 pp., $25.00
Thanks to our social and cultural dynamism and our historically welcoming posture toward immigration (which one hopes will weather the occasional gusts of nativism just as it has in the past), the United States continues to be, perhaps more than any other "Western" nation, a place where "conversionist, voluntarist, entrepreneurial" Christianity can thrive. You can find that Christianity in storefront churches and in megachurches, in newly diverse small cities and suburbs as well as in crowded urban centers, in the dominant culture as well as among newly arrived ethnic minorities. Increasingly its leaders will have connections to fellow leaders in similar settings around the world, and they will be learning from one another. Which could mean that not only will global Christianity continue to look surprisingly American, but that American Christianity, confounding the rumors of its decline or demise, will turn out to be part of the "next Christendom" after all.
Andy Crouch, a senior editor at Christianity Today International, is the executive producer of Round Trip, a documentary film on short-term missions.
Copyright © 2010 by the author or Christianity Today/Books & Culture magazine.
Click here for reprint information on Books & Culture.