World Mission of the Church - Lesson 10

History of Modern Missions Eras 3 and 4

The close of the second era, Beachhead Missions, came in 1974 when Ralph Winter gave his address at the Lausanne Conference on world evangelism. As a result, people began looking at missions in terms of people groups rather than geographic areas. The fourth era of missions emphasizes “by whom” the Gospel is presented. Lausanne II and the Global Consultation on World Evangelization took place in 1989.

Timothy Tennent
World Mission of the Church
Lesson 10
Watching Now
History of Modern Missions Eras 3 and 4

    D. Unreached Peoples Missions - 1934 (cont)
    E. Indigenous Initiated Missions - 1989
        1. Global Consultation on World Evangelization
        2. Definition of an indigenous church
        3. The four "selfs" of an indigenous church

  • For people who are pastors or will serve as pastors, this course will expose you to what you need to know about missions to be effective in the local church. This is also a foundational course for people who are preparing for missionary service by considering topics dealing with practical and theological aspects of missions. For everyone, regardless of your vocation, this course will challenge you to become a world Christian. (Note: It is helpful to know that a pericope [pair – ik – o – pay] is a section of scripture containing a teaching or describing an event.) 

  • Mission is the reconciling work of God in the world. Missions is the obedient, Spirit-led strategy and implementation of plans to fulfill God's mission in the world. The basis of the Torah is not untethered from a global heart of God for the nations of the world.  Even in the Writings and the Prophets, the covenant is being celebrated in the context of the nations of the world, including ramifications of both blessing and cursing.

  • Mission is the reconciling work of God in the world. Missions is the obedient, Spirit-led strategy and implementation of plans to fulfill God's mission in the world. The basis of the Torah is not untethered from a global heart of God for the nations of the world.  Even in the Writings and the Prophets, the covenant is being celebrated in the context of the nations of the world, including ramifications of both blessing and cursing.

  • As the early Christians experience missiological breakthroughs, they will cite the Old Testament because they see these events as a fulfillment of what had already been written. The Abrahamic covenant is cited to demonstrate how God is using the Messiah to bless the nations. The theology of Great Commission found in culminating texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and reinforced in Acts 1:8. Jesus repeated the Great Commission to his disciples in different ways and at various times. Matthew’s account begins by saying that Jesus is giving authority by the Father for the extension of His kingdom. God has given us a mandate to present the Gospel publicly to the world, not just to separate into a cultic community. The only main verb in the passage is, “make disciples.” God’s command is to disciple all people groups, not just people in each country.

  • As the early Christians experience missiological breakthroughs, they will cite the Old Testament because they see these events as a fulfillment of what had already been written. The Abrahamic covenant is cited to demonstrate how God is using the Messiah to bless the nations. The theology of Great Commission found in culminating texts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and reinforced in Acts 1:8. Jesus repeated the Great Commission to his disciples in different ways and at various times. Matthew’s account begins by saying that Jesus is giving authority by the Father for the extension of His kingdom. God has given us a mandate to present the Gospel publicly to the world, not just to separate into a cultic community. The only main verb in the passage is, “make disciples.” God’s command is to disciple all people groups, not just people in each country.

  • The verses that contain Mark's version of the Great Commission first appear in later copies, but there are good reasons to treat these verses as part of the inspired text of the Gospel of Mark. In Mark, the proclamation is to be made to all creation. The emphasis in Mark is preaching. The emphasis in Luke is witnessing. The emphasis in John is sending.

  • Acts 11:20 describes the first time the Gospel is intentionally preached in a cross-cultural situation. A church was planted in Antioch and Saul and Barnabas discipled believers there for a year. The Antioch church sends them out, and they come back and report to them what happened. Both local evangelism to your own people group and cross cultural evangelism are important. 

  • There have been changes in missions between 1792 and the present. Many people credit William Carey with beginning the modern missions movement. The Moravians were taking the Gospel to places all over the world, even before Carey began his ministry. The eras overlap because it takes a while for new ideas to catch on. A key figure in Beachhead Missions is William Carey. In Carey’s book, “An Inquiry,” he challenges the inaction of the church in cross-cultural missions. He says God has given to the Church, the responsibility of spreading the Gospel   to other parts of the world, summarizes missions history, gives anthropological data and discusses practical issues people give for not going. Ultimately, people need to be open to the call of the Holy Spirit and willing to respond to the challenge. Carey’s motto is, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” He and Judson wanted to plant churches in a new country. 

  • Hudson Taylor went to China as a first era missionary. Taylor travels inland and pushes the limits of what the missions organizations were willing to do. Frontier missions focused on the interior areas of countries, used a faith missions model for organization and funding, and recruited lay people, including students and women. Contextualization is preaching the Gospel in a way that is sensitive to the recipient.

  • The close of the second era, Beachhead Missions, came in 1974 when Ralph Winter gave his address at the Lausanne Conference on world evangelism. As a result, people began looking at missions in terms of people groups rather than geographic areas. The fourth era of missions emphasizes “by whom” the Gospel is presented. Lausanne II and the Global Consultation on World Evangelization took place in 1989.

  • In this lesson, you will learn that the “ten forty window” is one of the places where there is a concentration of unreached people groups. A window is a way to recognize the big picture while realizing that every local context is unique. The main focus is to look at each of the five mega-spheres and identify what is unique about each one.
  • The “ten forty window” is one of the places where there is a concentration of unreached people groups. A window is a way to recognize the big picture while realizing that every local context is unique. The main focus is to look at each of the five mega-spheres and identify what is unique about each one.

  • It’s helpful to summarize what you need to know as a pastor to communicate to people about missions and what the pathway is to getting prepared to serve as a missionary. Every continent should be a sending and receiving continent. Short term missions is the best thing and worse thing that has happened to the local church.

    Previous to the beginning of the audio, there was a video shown that is not available to us. It was an account of the breakthrough of the gospel into a culture.

  • By studying this lesson, you'll gain insights into the top ten key aspects of 21st-century missions, including their holistic approach, indigenous leadership, partnerships, technology, urbanization, short-term missions, Global South's influence, contextualization, business as mission, and diaspora focus.
  • Some mission boards are associated with a denomination and some are independent. Most missions organizations belong either to the IFMA (Interdenominational Faith Missions Association) or EFMA (Evangelical Foreign Missions Agency). Fundamentalist missions organizations each have a specific focus. The steps you go through before you go to the mission field are designed to help you get good training and build a team that will support you. Churches are tending to provide a larger percentage of support for fewer missionaries. Terms are usually 3-4 years at a time. Your first term is usually spent just learning the language and culture. Missionaries spend time between terms connecting with people and preparing to return. People often are more receptive to the Gospel when they are living in a culture other than their native culture. Air travel and email have made asynchronous relationships possible. People with professional training have access to some countries that won't allow people to come in as missionaries.

  • As you consider becoming a missionary, it is helpful to recognize areas in the world where the population predominantly identifies with another religion. Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism are popular with large population groups in the 10-40 window. There are also large immigrant populations in locations throughout the US.

    The map referred to in the lecture with the world religions color coded is not available to us.

  • Hinduism is practiced by a large percentage of the people in India. It also has an impact on the culture and politics of India. Buddhism teaches that there is one path to spiritual enlightenment, as opposed to Hinduism that teaches that there are many. 

  • Understanding world religions affects our strategy and the way we do our ministry around the world. 

    Most people who need a gospel presentation are members of another world religion (e.g., Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism). We study other religions so we know the context of belief of that people group. Identification vs. extractionist model. By understanding the teachings of different religions, you can explain the gospel in terms they can understand. Muslims agree on many parts of the Old Testament but don't believe in the Trinity or that Jesus is God. Religions in China and Japan emphasize sincerity, orderliness and personal and public conduct based on precedent. 


Recognizing the responsibility of all Christians to complete Christ’s commission, this course gives an overview of the strategic and historical progress of worldwide missions today. The ways in which a local congregation can fulfill its worldwide biblical mandate are also considered.

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World Mission of the Church


History of Modern Missions Eras 3 and 4

Lesson Transcript

This will represent a change in the way the course has been taught in the past. And so you'll notice if you have access to my outlines off the web, you'll notice that Hannah number eight has a list of the countries with the most unreached peoples within them the top 40. Which is essentially corresponds what we call the 1040 window, which we'll discuss in a minute here. But. Basically, we spent a lot of time in this class going and looking very carefully, country by country, the 1041 and discussing what's the situation in that country. I don't think that's the best way to go about this. I'm actually going to do a larger conception of the world that looks at a number of windows besides the 1041. Most of you have probably already heard of the phrase 1040 window. Though, this class does not assume that you know that. But what's happened is there's been such neglect to the 1040 window that a lot of groups have just talked about it constantly for the last ten years. And so it has kind of entered into the popular Christian discourse. But we need to make sure we balance it with a proper view of other parts of the world. And so this part of the course tries to address that. And so we're going to actually go around the entire world in the next 80 minutes, around the world in 80 minutes, rather. Around the world, 80 days. We do this through a concept of what is called a window into the world. This is simply a large general way to talk about different parts of the world.

[00:01:59] A window is a way of looking at the world for discussion purposes, for strategy purposes. But it's not meant to necessarily apply to every situation within that block. A window is a way to better understand a complex and diverse world. Again, because you make a comment about how North Americans typically are like X, That does not mean that's true of all North Americans. Obviously, if you say Gordon College students typically are like this or that, these are general generalities about Gordon Conwell, which may or certainly would not be true of every individual then Gordon Conwell. So that we're acknowledging up front these are larger global kinds of discussions because we obviously can't do an in-depth study of every people group in the world in a class like this or any class can do that. A window as a way to appreciate the big picture while realizing that every local context is unique. So we're going to talk about, for example, certain trends and issues in India, recognizing that really there's no way to really explore that issue without getting into the particulars issues that are true to every little part of India. But we're making some general statements about India. A window is often referred to as a mega sphere. In popular literature, they talk went like 1040 window. That term window is used. The mega sphere is a term that you often find as well in other other literatures. Now, to my knowledge, the 1040 window, that phrase is the most popular of these. I'm going to give you actually total five windows on the world. And what we'll do is we'll first just list the five windows and then we're going to take a trip around the world and look at each of these five windows, which will essentially encompass the whole world.

[00:03:56] What do you need to know about this? I think what I would like you to know, because this can be kind of overwhelming, the kind of your suddenly your have to know the whole world. You know, it kind of can be overwhelming. Well, today you don't need all the world. But in terms of how you should take notes on this, I think, first of all, you should always take notes based on what you're learning and what's helpful. But in terms of for exam purposes, I think the best way to look at this. Okay, let's take each of the five mega spheres or windows and ask ourselves what is unique or particular to that window. If you knew that, that would be great. Great. That's kind of the general point of this. So many, many other points to be made, perhaps, but at least get that general point. So we'll look at these. The first window is the one that everyone has probably heard the most about, and that is the 1040 window. And just to make sure everyone is aware of what that means, it refers to that portion of the globe, ten degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator, stretching from North Africa all the way across to the Far East in that geographic window to relatively small shot on a map. In a moment, there are 97% of the least evangelized countries are located in that block. We have not only the least evangelized countries, but by implication, perhaps you might guess also the highest number of unreached nations, that is ethnic groups are also located in the 1040 window. Two thirds of world population is located in this window. So it is the most populated part of the world by far.

[00:05:57] And it is remarkably the heart of the three major non-Christian world religions Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. So it's no surprise that the 1040 window has received the most attention in recent years as the great neglected block of missionary activity and missionary work and strategy and church planning and prayer and everything. It's been highly neglected. Though from your point of view, it may not seem that way because in the last 15, 20 years, entire mission boards have been founded to focus on 1041, though there's been a more discussion on what mission boards are doing and what churches are doing or not doing in this region of the world than probably anything else. So this has really entered into the discourse. This phrase, by the way, 1040 window was coined by a guy named Louis Bush, a Latin American scholar and missionary thinker. At the time. He did not realize what a tremendously helpful phrase this would be, because this has helped people to get an anchor and talk about it. I'm always torn about this phrase because on one hand, it is a very helpful phrase to talk about in local churches especially. This is something that anybody, despite the popularity of it, the most I've already heard of it shows you how powerful this phrase has been to help people to know where we need to focus our energies. So even the average mission board and a local church could understand that. If you explain to them the importance of this area and then ask the obvious obvious question how much missionary work do you have in this 1040 window? And they will generally you will say, well, none. That means a lot to people, because here's where the obvious the greatest need is and there's nothing happening there that's a problem.

[00:07:54] And I used to in this class, you know, because the need was so great. We really delved into the 1040 window with a lot more detail. But what I've noticed in the last few years is that we're having the opposite problem. What we're now having. I had a person, for example, a friend of mine who lives just above the 1040 window and works in one more strategic parts of Central Asia. I mean, the man is in a very strategic area, but it's not in the 1040 window. It's just north of there. And he said to me kind of wistfully, he said, well, I'm not in the window, but I'm on the windowsill. All right. And maybe this is just the missionary community that's kind of been bombarded by this more than others. But there has been a sense of you should feel guilty if you're not in the 1040 window. And I don't like that. Because it really depends on God's calling in your life and the gift of your life. And I look what Roland, Roland Varner is doing in Germany. That's not in the 1040 window. You have to be able to realize there's someone down in Latin America shouldn't always precede their missionary report by saying, I'm sorry. But I'm not in whatever. So I have expanded this to talk about other windows. And the other one to the window is the post Christian window. You can forget the 4070. That's that would take us another direction. The post one that would be those parts of the world in the Western Europe and North America. We'll look at this later. All of these parts of all to see is the orthodox window, which would refer to those north of the 1040 window where Eastern orthodoxy is has been predominant.

[00:09:44] We'll look at that. The younger church window, which would be focused on sub-Saharan Africa, not north of the Sahara, and then finally the Christo Pagan or Pentecostal window. All of this will deserve a lot more explanation. What might these terms mean? But these are the five mega spheres or blocs that we'll look at. The only caveat I'll make is when we actually look at all of these, it may appear that I've left out Indonesia and I do not mean Indonesia. What I do, for all practical purposes, when you look at the 1041 window, you should show it to you. This. I'm not sure how accurate that actual body's through the box in there is a graph, but the Indonesia actually falls below the 1041 does slightly, but everything about the 1040 window is true of Indonesia. So I think that I would just include that in the 1040 window. It's not neat, not the straight line, but you know, it helps just to mention that. So this 1040 window concept is the idea of focus on this part of the world where there is such great need. This is a more official picture of a 1040 window. Probably the Joshua Project. So you can see Indonesia falls well beneath the 1040 window. So I include that this particular graph shows the world's most unreached people groups where they're located. That's why you see down there in Indonesia some of the important people groups that are unreached. That should be part of this discussion. But you can see obviously the huge challenge of the Indian people groups, tremendous challenge there and across South Asia and Thailand and Myanmar. And you can look at the and even out all the way out into Korea, North Korea, Japan.

[00:11:43] This gives you a feel for why we call it in 41, though the place with the most unreached people groups are located there. We often in practice, we look at the world in terms of this is called population complexes. It's a way of talking, looking ethnically at the world. This is a kind of a large global map, but this shows you various spheres of the world. Now, if you look at the various spheres, you'll see, for example, in the upper portion of Central Asia this kind of light green which represents the Turkish peoples. Now, what we've found is that there's certain, even though in that Turkish peoples you have many, many ethnic groups. So in some ways the people group concept can go on forever within that discussion. So you can say, okay, how many people groups do we have within the Turkish world and how many churches are there that are viable? All that discussion takes place along those lines. So if you're working among Turkish peoples, it will say you're working in Turkey, for example, or Kazakhstan or wherever. You would be able to sit down and actually look at a map and do detailed analysis of the people groups and who has the church and who doesn't. And we do this in India, for example. But the reason this larger kind of snapshots are helpful to look at where are the Turkish people groups in general? With a larger affinity of being Turkish or being Persian or being a Berber, these Berber peoples in North Africa and so forth. The advantage of that is this whole gateway city concept, which is why that list is on your handout for the test today. Because what we have determined is that if the gospel can penetrate some of these big urban areas like Istanbul, in the case of the Turkish peoples, then it would have a huge influence on the whole of the Turkish world and in some ways would leap over a lot of people groups because of the influence.

[00:13:50] Because if the Muslim world were to have a huge response to the gospel in Indonesia, or as is happening today, there's been some pretty interesting movement of the gospel in Morocco and other parts of North Africa that's very, very significant. It's not impact in the Middle East as much, but that is the doorway that could break into a huge block of people across North Africa or across Indonesia. So this larger window concept is very helpful because it does help us to see how certain movements could affect a larger region of the world The way the world the 1040 window is not as helpful is because it's so complex. It's the most complex window of diversity and therefore you really can't talk very meaningfully about ministry in the 1040 window. Because the difference the 1040 window was so dramatic, as you might imagine. So we're going to look at different spheres within the 1040 window. The first would be North Africa and the Middle East. Typically, by the way, Egypt is considered part of the Middle East in discussion because of its ties to the Arab world as opposed to the Berber peoples in North Africa. But if you look at North Africa and the Middle East, typically ministry strategy that is relevant for the 1040 window is peculiar to that area. So in other words, the strategy has been used to reach Muslim peoples in North Africa would not be particularly helpful in India, even as part of the 1040 window. So this area, 1040 window, North Africa and Middle East generally draws a lot of strategic thinking as a bloc. And so in this this part of 1040, when the shares all of these six characteristics, they're all predominantly Islamic, many of them in the 90 percentile Islamic.

[00:15:55] I mean, Oman is 97% Islamic. So you have some that are very, very high. And a company with that very small percentage of Christians that much all of us probably knew before we walked into this class. What you may not be aware of as much is the distinctive fact that these countries. You have an ancient Christian past. That is to say when you're talking about ministry in North Africa. And obviously in the Middle East, in a place like Jerusalem, the be obvious, but certainly may not be as known for some of you in North Africa. If you work in North Africa, you have to be aware of the fact that the church was once very strong, vibrant, and it was in fact, the heart of Christianity. And so you look at places like Alexandria. You look at the home of great Christian leaders like Augustine, who's from North Africa. Then you begin to realize how that plays into strategic discussions for missions, because you cannot go to North Africa the same way you would go to the heart of Africa in the 19th century. It's just not the same because it isn't as if they've never heard the gospel. Even though those individual groups have not. Their history is replete with Christian influence discussion and there are well aware of that history. So it's like, okay, we've been there, we've done that, but now we've got Islam. And so that's an issue you have to always address in discussing Christianity in this part of the world. You often find and this is a general rule, again, that cultural identity with Islam is often greater than religious identity with Islam. In other words, that a muslim there feels like because they are born and raised in Tunisia, because they're born and raised in Algeria, another place where the church is starting to make a little impact are Morocco.

[00:17:59] To be a moroccan is to be a muslim. You ask the same Muslim, what are the five pillars of Islam? And he or she may not be able to give them to you. Have you read the Koran? No. But I'm willing to die for the fact that my Muslim. So there are cultural reasons, and that's a huge part of strategy because you cannot assume that this is the highest level theological discourse on who is Christ and who is who is Muhammad. That's there. It is there. And that's an important but it is not often the most important consideration for why a person would resist Christianity. They are often unfavorably disposed of Christian gospel because of misconceptions. In other words, you arrive and there's already baggage there. It isn't that you're going into some kind of void where people are just, you know, haven't heard a thing about Christianity. Well, what is it? You can have that in North India. I had groups that I had the privilege of sharing the gospel. They had never, ever even heard of the name of Jesus. And I even tell the story occasionally of one of our colleagues. His name is Babu Bhaiya, who an Indian guy from from South India is works in our church playing ministry, is a leader, been there for since the late eighties. And in Hindi, the word for Jesus Christ in Hindi is Issa Massey. And so most North Indians have never heard of ism. I see Jesus the Messiah as what it literally means, Jesus Christ. We say that because the Muslims say, Use Esau, see for Jesus in the Koran. So it's helpful to to say is a must see to distinguish the Muslims talk about Jesus. So we use it.

[00:19:44] Use is a must see. So in India, there is a very, very famous company that makes sewing machines. It's known as Moosa. And the word for machine in Hindi is obviously taken from English machine. So just before we went into this village. The people who sell sewing machines have been there. And we're talking about outta my scene. Outta my scene. The Ujamaa saying this is like the sewing machine and this company is called USA. So when we got there, we were talking about intimacy. All right. So at the end of the presentation, people came forward, you know, to talk more and all that in self who came forward asking where their sewing machine was. And we're like, What are you talking about? And we found out that they thought that we were a follow up group to the sewing machine people. And we were preaching about the good news of the sewing machine, how to help you and save you and all these things. And we were flabbergasted. And it is I mean, it is humorous, I guess, in a way, but it's also hopefully very, very sobering to realize, are people groups in the world that do not have enough information to distinguish between Jesus Christ and a sewing machine. This is in my own experience in North India. So I'm telling you, this is a huge difference from the Muslim world where the anti-Christian rhetoric is part of the Islamic message. That's part of what it means to be a muslim, is to articulate it in light of Christianity and therefore that baggage is there. And you cannot ignore that in your strategies in North Africa, the Middle East. And another thing that's widely misunderstood is how diverse politically and culturally this part of the world is.

[00:21:44] People assume for all kinds of, I think, these cultural reasons that Muslims are Arab. And we have a way of equating in our minds Arab peoples with Muslim peoples. This is a huge fallacy. It is true that the vast majority of Arab peoples are Muslim, but the vast, vast I mean, majorly vast majority of Muslims are not Arabic. Are not Arab peoples, in fact, is about I don't know, Todd Johnson can tell you exactly, but I'm saying it's probably 80 to 85% of Muslim peoples in the world are not Arab, because the sheer numbers of Muslims in Indonesia, in East Africa and India and even in places well known Middle East like Iran and Iraq, these are culturally diverse places. So Iran does represent largely Arab peoples. But Iraq are Persian peoples. They are not Arabs. So even the Middle East, we can't talk about the Arab world as coterminous with the the Middle East. So not to mention the Berber peoples in North Africa. The Arab peoples represent actually the not that large of a percentage of the overall Muslims, but they are a huge factor in the 1041 though this is a picture of global presence of Islam around the world where you have the darkest screen would be between 50% and 99% Muslim. So the dark green, if you can see it visually, is where Islam is in the majority. In that country or more. And all the way to the lighter green down to where you have virtually no Muslims. Only up to 1% in the white areas. And in the US we have around those we'll see. Well, we won't have to look at it between five and 6% Muslim in the US. So that's why it has that light green.

[00:23:41] If you go on cross into Central Asia, you'll see again a number of Muslim groups in Central Asia that are also on the 1040 window that are outside of this particular bloc, Middle East and North Africa. And they have a stake in the Turkish world, a lot more different kinds of issues that you have to address with them when you're working with the gospel in there. Here's a picture of the major unreached Muslim peoples in the world and where they're located. And you can see the Muslim ethnic affinity. This is largely looking at Arab in the yellow and Berber and the darker yellow you have Chinese, Eurasian, Indo, your Iranian, sub-Saharan Turkic, all kinds of different people groups. You can see the diversity of many of the unreached people groups and this part of the 1040 window. So you're moving across a 1040 window. You're seeing a big shift as you go from Muslim peoples in North Africa and Central Asia, in the Middle East. And when you get over into South Asia, you totally begin to change. As you get into South Asia, you begin to encounter the great heartland of Hinduism, which is found in mainly in India and then over into Southeast Asia, in Buddhism. So South Asia requires a whole nother kind of range of strategies and discourse because the issues are totally different here. You find this is the heart of the Hindu and Buddhist world like we found with Islam. There is a strong cultural identity with Hinduism and Buddhism. To be an Indian for many Indians is to be a Hindu. To suggest leaving Hinduism is like asking someone to revoke their nationality. And we encounter this all the time. So it's something that is a huge factor in ministry.

[00:25:52] One of the features also in South Asia, which be very different from the Muslims, is they're open to Christ, close to Christianity. Muslims often are close to both. But in South Asia, they're quite prepared to speak positively and favorably about Jesus Christ. You don't meet too many Hindus or Buddhists that are angry or get upset at the mention of the name of Christ. They're quite happy to accept Christ is another great teacher, a great prophet. Whatever the difficulty is in grasping the uniqueness and the normative ness and the claims of the Christian gospel, that is where you will run into huge problems in India. If you are, a lot of times you'll have these groups, for example, that come over to India and they don't know India. They know nothing about India. They come over there and they'll have these huge, like evangelistic rallies. And they will they will fill up a huge field of thousands of Indians and they will have a big, big platform out front and they'll bring some really high powered preacher around. And he'll preach the gospel and he'll say to the audience, I say. If you believe that Jesus Christ is God and you want to ask him into your life to save you and deliver you, would you please raise your hand or come forward in thousands or come forward? Because, you know, if you have 330 million gods in India, there's always room for one more. You know, the Pantheon can be expanded. So in India, if you were to ask a Hindu, do you believe that Jesus is God? For the average Hindu, no problem. For a muslim, if you told a muslim that you know you believe Jesus God, that you could be killed for it.

[00:27:40] So you see, there's a real difference in the kind of the upfront attitude about Christ when you start. So we have kind of a general amiable, positive reception about Christ. The real rub comes when you were to say to that group, Are you prepared to forsake all of your idols? No more Krishna, no more Hanuman, No more Ganesh. Leave all that behind and come only to Jesus. You will. A very different response. You may have a riot. In fact, it's just very, very different. So that is, you know, you have to always ask where is the stumbling block of the Christian message in this context? And certainly in South Asia, these are some of the issues that you will find as you move farther east into East Asia. You find China and Japan, Korea, some remarkable differences in East Asia. Just to give you some examples, China very responsive to the gospel. We're seeing some most dramatic growth of Christianity anywhere in China, growing house church movement. The second largest evangelical population in the world is now found in China. Ironically or wonderfully, the three highest percentage of evangelicals in a country. Now we're not talking people groups. This country would be the US, Brazil and China on three different continents. To give you some feel for the globalization of Christianity, we're seeing that despite suffering, we're reminded those great words of Tertullian about the martyrs is the seed of the church. And we're certainly seeing this happen in China. But just to give you a little reality check, even within China, we hear so much talk in more recent years about the growth of the church in China. When the missionaries were kicked out of China after the war. We're looking at maybe a million Christians in all of China.

[00:29:54] Under the so-called Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao, it was believed that the church diminished in size to probably a half a million to three quarters a million members. All the church buildings are close to the ground. Shanghai, which was at the heart of the missionary work in China. They had a very famous headline on the South China Post News, which proclaimed the closing of the last church in Shanghai. So essentially you have cultural war being made on the church so that the church is considered to be the great cancer, which means being cut out of the Chinese fabric to use the language of Chairman Mao. But when the China was reopened to the outside world, when Henry Kissinger and later Richard Nixon made their famous trip to China in the early seventies, and we began to get reacquainted with the Chinese situation, we found that during the period of the worst, most dramatic attacks on the Chinese church. The church didn't decline. And there are people in schools like Gordon Conwell that during those years, especially in the late sixties, were. We're saying that classes in the Western world pray for the church in China because we don't know what's there. It's like what we now what we talk about North Korea, the same things there we don't really know. And so we we assume that things are going very badly for the church in North Korea, but we don't know that. And so we had this kind of negativism about what was happening. And when the doors are open that we found out during that period of cultural attacks on the church, the church actually grew from 1 million to 30 million believers. When the Chinese government established the three self church. Again, this is a play off of the three self in a negative way, but a way to get rid of all the foreigners.

[00:31:55] The three self church has become an arm of the Communist government. That's a complicated story, which I tend to go into some of the pros and cons of the Three Self church and how it relates to the Chinese Christian Council, but in other classes we export more in detail. But what's happened is the house church movement has become the real face of the dynamic church in China, which represents the vast majority of Christians are in non-registered churches that are not register with the government. These are illegal churches in China. So these are not the official churches, though. Those are packed out. These are the underground churches. So when I was living in Wuhan in southern China on the Yangtze River, there's a city of about 5 million people, only had four churches that the government permitted. And that's it for 5 million people. Well, that city, you can believe there were thousands of small house churches that were unknown to the government that meet, you know, in apartments and very in fields and all kinds of things. So that is the good news. The churches continue to grow, and today it's estimated to be around. The estimates are different, between 55 million, up to 70 million believers today. So this is a very dramatic this is the most dramatic growth of Christianity in our lifetime. It's happening in China under totalitarianism. So this could give you some feel for the power of the gospel. And it doesn't require a democratic government or any political help for God to do his work. Though we naturally pray for the people of China to be free from totalitarianism. But in terms of the gospel context, the Christian church is growing there. Yes, John, how do they go about finding other.

[00:33:49] These houses are. The answer to both is, I think, fairly secure. The the main way the church spreads is through family relations. This is the ultimate of the homogeneous unit principle. I mean, literally blood relations, not just ethnic. So people will invite their brothers uncles to this. I had a wonderful experience of leading a young man to the Lord in China, who's now the head of a home church, a house church in China. And he one point in a letter told me who was in his church, and he listed names in his prayer request, Please pray for these people. And he was giving this person. This is my aunt, this is my second cousin this. And he was related to the whole church. And that's very, very typical because you can trust your family. So you'll be very difficult at work, you know, to say to your employer, by the way, please come out to my church on Tuesday night. That's a very dangerous thing to say. And men especially, I find that very difficult because they lose their job. So it typically passes around the safest line, which is the the family unit, which whether these churches are so small. And now there are some that are much larger. And now you even have domination or I mean, I would say damnable groups of house churches which have their own distinct theology and issues, other churches. So now there's a whole range of house churches in China. The suffering, though, is immense. If you've not read the story of Called the Heavenly Man, it's a you might even read that book, Just curious. It's a biography about Brother John, who is a Chinese believer in the struggles, the persecutions he undertook. It's a brand new biography.

[00:35:31] Just been out last year, but very moving story of how much he was persecuted. So the government is working very hard to stamp it out in many ways. But, you know, it's it comes in spurts in China. Yes. During the liberation movement, he was there. In the leg and this life like. Right? That's right. Right now. Now, even in China, though, we cannot forsake all that we've learned before. This is why we keep coming back to the f nei, because we talk and there's been an avalanche of books out and articles about the great things God is doing in China. But again, we talk about China. That's geographic language. We get belied by that constantly because we find ourselves still falling back into the trap of forgetting missions about peoples, not places. So if you look at China, you'll notice that the people groups that are mostly been empowered by the gospel are in the darker red areas. As you go out into western China, the situation is very, very different. And not to mention the fact that when you get way out into the far west, you're having major Muslim groups in China that have nothing to do with kind of the whole Chinese world in history and very, very different kinds of backgrounds and so forth. So again, you have to come back to that. But the larger story of China as a general rule is great things are happening. Contrast that with Japan, which has an extremely small indigenous movement despite being open to missions. So here you have China, where it's against the law to go there as a missionary. You can't go there on a missionary visa and all that. You can go to Japan as a missionary there. There are literally thousands of groups working in Japan, and yet the indigenous movement there is extremely, extremely small.

[00:37:34] So this kind of reveals that even though one is a democratic country, one is a communist country, that does not necessarily assume that in the open country you're going to have a more dynamic movement than in a closed country. And also, naturally, as we've seen all throughout this cultural associate associate with Christianity have created a barrier to hearing the gospel. This is a huge problem. A number of Japanese have said to our missionaries working in Japan, I am really convinced that your message is true, but I could never become one. Why not? If you believe it's true, because it would decide on my parents. And I can't do that. So that's a very powerful you could argue, well, they don't really believe, but there are people who are theologically convinced that Christianity is coherent and compelling, but find it culturally extremely difficult to make that step. So you find very, very different situations in China, Japan, and by, you know, by extension, into Korea. Look at the DMZ, North Korea, South Korea. We don't know the situation in North Korea, but it looks quite dire. South Korea is one of the great mission sending countries of Asia. I'm going to come back to say a little more Korea later in the course, but probably right now at least 12,000 Korean missionaries being sent out from Korea. So this is no longer just a, you know, place for the churches growing, but actually themselves founding mission organizations in reaching Asia with the gospel. So within a 1040 window, you have a wide variety of differences within that one block. Okay. Questions or comments about this or the inclusion of Japan is that most common religion? And so one of the other. Right. Well, you have actually in Japan, you have Buddhism, you have Daoism and you have secularism.

[00:39:44] And a lot of it's based on old somebody as and then their perspective and how you define a religion, because Buddhism is a very, very predominant religion as kind of traditionally defined. But among young people today in Japan, especially in the last 20 years, there's been a dramatic departure from Buddhism. So there is a huge void that people no longer feel the cultural identity with Buddhism that they did, that their grandparents did, and they've had an opportunity. But secularism is filling that very, very powerfully. Daoism is also very powerful. Daoism can be termed by some as a as a philosophy, the way Confucianism is in China. Daoism has been so tied to Japanese nationalism that after World War Two, when the Allies made Japan surrender unconditionally, one of the conditions that MacArthur put on the Japanese was they had to disenfranchize all the Shinto temples because Shintoism was so powerful as a nationalistic force. So you have that kind of nationalism and religion, religious aspects to Shintoism. You've got Daoism as a philosophy, you've got Buddhism as a pure religion and you've got secularism, all that's there in Japan. And the younger you go, the more likely you'll get into secular worldview. Yes. There is a fairly strong presence in Israel. It's very diverse. The Christian presence in that particular region is dropping in percentages. And so it's actually a declining church. One of the problems with this survey is that we're just doing a real quick run through the whole world so we don't have time to discuss the context of Israel, particularly that particular challenge. But it's there. There's a lot of effort being done. It's not neglected at all. But the success of it, the particular challenges there, are also unique to the situation.

[00:41:46] Okay, let's move on and talk a little about something totally different. Let's move into the so-called post-Christian weekend, which I think would primarily include North America and Western Europe. I'm going to include portions of Eastern Europe in it as well in a moment. This is a the part of the world that we are now in. Again, the word post-Christian is not meant to be pejorative. It's not meant to say that Christianity is, you know, is not going to have a huge impact in our lifetime. This is just a term it's often used to describe the West. What it refers to is acknowledging that in this part of the world, on the one hand, there's been a very strong Christian heritage in the formative stages of its cultural and political formation. There's no question from the Pilgrims and the New World to the the European rise of European religious faith and its version of politics in Western Europe, that Christianity has had a huge and important role in the way the culture and political life have been formed and shaped. And therefore that affects ministry in the post-Christian world today. Even people who do not have ever really heard the gospel much in this culture, it's in their blood, as it were, in certain things about Christian worldview which are present in their thinking. So if someone says, Do you believe in God, that carries certain kinds of assumptions about what God may or may not be in the Western world? All of these are also called post because there has been a rapid decline in, quote, what we'd call mainline churches in Europe was often called the state churches, both a numerical decline and virtually all the mainline churches and a widespread abandonment of historic Christianity.

[00:43:48] Now, I'm speaking to you as a ordained member of a mainline church. Many of you are working with PC USA and other mainline groups, ABC. This is not to say they're not wonderful, vibrant, growing churches within the mainline mainline church where or even within state churches in Europe. This is a picture of the overall picture. The overall picture of the United Methodist Church is it's gone from 12 million to 8 million members in the last 45 years. And that drop, that precipitous drop, has been accompanied by a very, very market abandonment of historic Christianity being preached and affirmed in pulpits and in the seminaries of the Methodist church. Now, I pastor to young mothers church. I preach the scriptures. We had a growing church. People came to the Lord. We saw God do great things. But that's one little story, one chapter of a larger story that is unfortunately a difficult story to be be telling. And that's part of the larger post-Christian world that's happening across the world. And that, by the way, affects the way the secular world views Christianity, because most of the secular media thinks about Christianity still in terms of mainline, even though mainline today is sideline. So the more dynamic ministries that are growing in the North America, in Western Europe are underneath the radar of the media. So they just assume that what's happened, Episcopalian Church or the Lutheran Church or the Presbyterian church is the state of the church in North America. That's simply not true. But this is a factor in how it's what's called post-Christian Christianity, increasingly becoming subcultural. Again, this is one way of looking at it. There are various ways that Christianity is still very dominant in our culture. We can't take away 0.1 with point three.

[00:45:55] These are two things simultaneously occurring. We are always aware of the specter of Christianity which hangs over our whole culture, and yet we're also aware of the ways we feel like our faith is threatened in this culture also. Coupled with the rise of evangelicalism, renewal of interest in engaging the culture and emissions. If you look at the sheer number of Christians in North America and Western Europe, it's either in decline or in slight rise. It's not anything dramatic, but the kind of Christian that is in those numbers is really changing. Evangelicalism is really growing as a percentage of overall Christianity in North America is the same with Western Europe. So even if you have a decline of mainline churches, you're having that space being taken up by evangelical churches. Pentecostalism especially has taken up more than the slack that's been lost globally in mainline and state churches. So that requires special kinds of missionary strategy and work. If you're working in a post-Christian context with people who a reject Christianity because they think it's all something that's been too has been, or they're already baptized in the church as children into a state church. And they think therefore, that that's it. You know, what more is there? If you ask them, Are you a Christian? Of course I'm a Christian. I was born in Germany and it's like I was. I took an evangelism class in college. Don't we have here Same thing. And we were required to go out and witness. I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, often called the buckle of the Bible Belt. I went out to a mall one day. We had we had, like, witnessed like ten people or something. So I went out to the mall to, you know, basically start people and share the gospel.

[00:47:52] And so I had a hardest time finding anybody who admitted to be an unbeliever. You can imagine it's happened in Boston, Right? But here I am going around and I would stop people and say, excuse me, you know, I talk to you about Christianity and are you a Christian? Of course I'm a Christian. So you follow. Of course. We were trying to follow up. You know why I'm coming, the whole thing. Right? And so the why was most interesting part of it. One guy said to me, this is this is the exact quote when I said, Why are you a Christian? He says, I was born in Tulsa. And it was like, you know, to be born in Tulsa, to be a Christian, it's just like I mean, I heard it's the Muslim world so much where Muslims would say, well, I'm a Turk, of course I'm a muslim. But to hear a guy in Tulsa say that, Imam, I'm Tulsa. You know, how could you question my Christian credentials? You know, this is the land of a church on every every corner or whatever. So that that mentality is there. And that creates a huge challenge for preaching the gospel in this particular context. I'm so happy that Roland Verner was here because he's doing a great work in that very context. I'm also including under two Windows Eastern Europe as part of this. Eastern Europe in many ways is part of the post-Christian world and also part of the Orthodox world. Obviously, if you're in places like Serbia, Yugoslavia, you have to take very seriously the orthodox context. But on the other hand, my experience in Eastern Europe and I've been there a lot and preached there for some years now, and my experience in working in Eastern Europe with Dr.

[00:49:28] Kuzmin is that most young people in Eastern Europe are highly driven by materialism and kind of post-Christian ideology and worldview. And therefore I wonder how significant that orthodoxy is for young people growing up in Eastern Europe today. So I think it could be considered in both sides, but that's a block of the world that needs special discussion. Targeting reflection. Again, we're not discussing here priorities, but we do need to be open about the fact that Western Europe, North America is a unique block of the world. Questions. Comments.