The Old Has Passed Away: The Twentieth Century

Sources: Adrian Hastings, "The Twentieth Century," in Richard Harries and Henry Mayr-Harting, eds., Christianity: Two Thousand Years (Oxford, 2001); Brian Moynahan, The Faith (Doubleday, 2000); Hans Frei, Types of Christian Theology (Yale, 1994); Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom (Oxford, 2002).

Reading: Matt. 13:1-33.

Western Christians Survive Modern Progressivism — Barely
Liberalism is western Christianity's child and main rival 1650-present
Liberal Christianity separates science from faith to preserve the sovereignty of each
Fundamentalism tries to reconcile and harmonize them
Churches often submit to nationalism/Fascism, but occasionally fight it
(e.g., the Confessing Church opposes "German Christians" with the Barmen Declaration 1934)
Christian socialism and the Social Gospel counter individualism, but many Christians capitulate
Churches survive and ultimately defeat communism (e.g., Pope John Paul II)
Western Europe, predicting religion's disappearance, rapidly secularizes, slows missions
Ecumenism softens denominational attitudes, though rarely dissolves boundaries
(World Council of Churches 1948, Vatican II 1962-65, bilateral dialogues)
Following the Holocaust, Christians begin re-examining anti-Judaism (esp. Dispensationalists)

The Next Christendom is Southern
Pentecostal and charismatic movements finally de-Europeanize western spirituality
Holiness, Pentecostal, free churches all undermine old clergy (and thus gender) boundaries
Latin America retains a robust and increasingly Protestant Christian faith
Asian missions produce growing indigenous churches, especially in Korea and China
Sub-Saharan African missions create traditional yet truly African churches
Islam grows, radicalizes under Wahhabi influence, pressures Christians and secularists
Shrinking or stable Christian communities survive in Muslim societies
Against the pattern, the wealthy United States remains basically Christian

Summary: Europe surrenders the initiative
Adrian Hastings: the twentieth century was like the seventh to ninth
Then the European periphery became Christianity's new center
For the first time since the sixth century, Europe is marginal to Christianity (and much else)
The new century's main ecclesial forces are indigenous, American, and Roman Catholic