Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity

Article excerpt

Globalizing Theology: Belief and Practice in an Era of World Christianity. Edited by Craig Off and Harold A. Netland. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006. Pp. 384. Paperback $27.99.

This edited volume is a Festschrift for evangelical missiologist Paul G. Hiebert and follows up the important addition he made to the three "selfs" of mission theory. Hiebert argued that new churches should benotonlyself-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating but also selftheologizing. But what are the implications for Christian belief and practice if each church does theology locally? And how does the localization of theology play alongside the forces of globalization and in an era of world Christianity? These are the issues addressed in this forwardlooking book.

In the introduction, Harold Netland calls evangelicals to rethink the definition and method of theology in the light of global or world Christianity. There follow thirteen contributions to the debate from colleagues of Hiebert and one from Hiebert himself. The chapters are of varying style, but most are of high quality. Highlights for this reviewer include Tïte Tiénou's plea that Christian theology should recognize the fact that the Christian faith is not only the faith of white Western people, Andrew Walk's discussion of the need to write Christian history from global and cross-cultural perspectives, Kevin Vanhoozer's argument that doing Christian theology is a "world endeavour," and the articles by Vinoth Ramachandra and Eloise Hiebert Meneses, who expose some uncritical contextualization in North American theology. …