Eastern Religion

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Christianity Today has an interesting article on the influence of young Asians in the contemporary church. This is interesting for a lot of reasons but one I think especially curious for the future is how this is completely undermining the arguments of Christianity as Western. This won’t happen in the next few years to be sure, but I am fascinated with how the conception of Christianity will change as those who are its most ardent supporters are majority non-white.

Christian history is the story of movement. From the Middle East it moved into Northern Africa and then into Europe. From Europe it moved to North America, finding especial dynamic soil in the United States. Now, as the US becomes somewhat dim in its spiritual fervor, we may see Eastern Asia as becoming the primary driving force behind the faith. Taiwan and South Korea are already strongly Christian, with China finding its way that direction even in the midst of incredible struggles. Japan is not at all, but it almost became such, back in the 1500s. By the by, the book Silence by Shusako Endo is a magnificent read about Christian struggle during persecution.

On these shores, this dynamic transformation is influencing the first and second generation immigrants as they explore their own lives before God, leading to the reality, which will only increase that the picture of a Christian in America will soon change from a backwoods uneducated white hick, to a extremely well-educated man or woman of Asian descent, whose enthusiasm and dedication matches the early Methodists.

The next Great Awakening will begin on the Pacific shores, led by those from the Far East, whose lives are now here in the west. The Ring of Fire will take on a new meaning. A rather ecclesial meaning.

Maybe, at least.

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