John H Armstrong has introduced me to a number of good books. He has a wide ranging reading list and more importantly, he is interested in the whole church, not just the small evangelical corner of it.
He posted some thoughts about An Unpredictable Gospel: American Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920 by Jay Case this morning.
This excerpt of John’s review captures the heart of what makes the book interesting to me:
What Case argues is that most analyses of the Christian missionary encounter have failed to to take into consideration the role of indigenous Christian leaders in the missionary response. Case believes standard histories have often misread the power dynamics of the missionary encounter. In the words of reviewer Douglas Tzan (Boston University School of Theology) in the Evangelical Studies Bulletin(Summer 2013/Issue 84), “Indigenous leaders played critical roles in the emergence of new forms of world Christianity, and the most successful missionaries worked from ‘positions of weakness’ (page 8 in Case).” Indigenous peoples critically adopted and adapted various resources introduced to them by American missionaries and in the process they pushed the missionaries to change as well.