A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity's Global Identity

A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity's Global Identity

by Vince L. Bantu


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Christianity is not becoming a global religion. It has always been a global religion. The early Christian movement spread from Jerusalem in every direction, taking on local cultural expression all around the ancient world. So why do so many people see Christianity as a primarily Western, white religion?
In A Multitude of All Peoples, Vince Bantu surveys the geographic range of the early church's history, revealing an alternate, more accurate narrative to that of Christianity as a product of the Western world. He begins by investigating the historical roots of the Western cultural captivity of the church, from the conversion of Constantine to the rise of European Christian empires. He then shifts focus to the too-often-forgotten concurrent development of diverse expressions of Christianity across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
In the process, Bantu removes obstacles to contemporary missiological efforts. Focusing on the necessity for contextualization and indigenous leadership in effective Christian mission, he draws out practical lessons for intercultural communication of the gospel. Healing the wounds of racism, imperialism, and colonialism will be possible only with renewed attention to the marginalized voices of the historic global church. The full story of early Christianity makes clear that, as the apostle Peter said, "God does not show favoritism, but accepts those from every people who fear him and do what is right."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830851072
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Series: Missiological Engagements
Sales rank: 422,602
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Vince L. Bantu (PhD, The Catholic University of America) is assistant professor of church history and Black church studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and is the Ohene (director) of the Meachum School of Haymanot in St. Louis, which provides theological education for urban pastors and leaders.

Table of Contents




1. The Roots of Western Christian Identity Politics

2. The First Christians of Africa

3. The Early Church in the Middle East

4. The Beginning of Missions Along the Silk Road



Image Credits

Index of People

Index of Places

Scripture Index

What People are Saying About This

Caroline Schroeder

"A Multitude of All Peoples rewrites the narrative of early Christian history. Rather than focusing on Christianity's growth in the classical Greek and Roman world, Bantu positions what have traditionally been considered the margins of ancient Christianity (Asia and Africa) at the center. A much-needed addition to the field."

Soong-Chan Rah

"There are very few books we can legitimately call game-changers in the publishing world, that can revolutionize a field of study and transform our ongoing engagement on a topic. Dr. Vince Bantu has written a game-changer of a book that will rework our engagement with church history, global Christianity, missiology, evangelism, and multicultural ministry. Thoroughly researched while comprehensive in scope, all future discussion on the history of the church and its implication for the future of the church must now go through this book."

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