Full Text for Church History 3 - Volume 22 - Results of Mission Work (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY CH3-022 PROFESSOR LAWRENCE REST PROFESSOR WILL SCHUMACHER Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 800-825-5234 ***** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. ***** >> PAUL: What were the results of mission work? What kinds of churches were established outside of Europe? >> SPEAKER: That's a short question, Paul, but it's a huge answer. For starters, I would just say that the results of mission work are still coming into existence. We find ourselves still in what I would call an age of mission in the church�s history. But if we look for the moment at this great age of Protestant missions which encompasses the whole 19th century, I think we can make some general statements about that. Actually, we can start this age with the formation of William Carey�s missionary society in 1792. And where you end it, is a little bit arbitrary as well, but I think we could extend this age of Protestant missions at least up to the outbreak of World War I. So we'll take it up to 1914. That overlaps the ends of the 19th century, both the beginning and the end a little bit, but at least that's sort of a rational time frame to take a look at. What happens in that timeframe? What are the results of this Protestant mission work in India? One way of looking at that is to take a snapshot at the beginning of that period and at the end. Before William Carey went to India, there were hardly any Protestant churches at all outside of Europe and North America, hardly any Protestant churches outside Europe and North America. By the end of that century, that period that we are looking at, protestant Christianity had spread to virtually every continent around the world, had gained a firm foothold in dozens and dozens and dozens of countries among hundreds of different people groups and languages. And these churches were often already staffed with indigenous leadership and were well on their way to becoming the sorts of independent churches that men like Henry Venn envisioned with his self-governing, self-supporting, and self-extending churches. Statistics are hard to come by for this period. But researchers have estimated that in the year 1800, so this is the year after the Church Missionary Society was established. William Carey had been in India for seven years. The year 1800, there were about 200 million Christians in the entire world, virtually all of them in Europe and North America. One hundred years later, in the year 1900, the best estimates are that there were about 560 million Christians. So in 100 years, global Christianity had grown from 200 million Christians to 560 million Christians, more than doubled. Now, the reason I started my answer to your question the way I did, Paul, and said that we have to talk about this not just in the past tense, but in the present tense, is that if you would extend those statistics up close to the present day and say what was the world Christian population in the year 2000, we find that there were more than 2 billion Christians in the world. Of course, the world population had grown significantly. But World Christianity was also growing very rapidly, in fact, faster than during the 20th century than it did during the 19th century. But in this 19th century, in this age of Protestant missions, there was a tremendous outpouring of energy and commitment and sacrifice and dedication and creative initiative, and it was largely successful, not only in absolute terms of numbers of Christians, but in places that Christianity had taken root. By the year 1900, there were Christian churches, as I said, on virtually every continent of the world in virtually every country of the world, often sheltered by the protective power of European colonial governments in one way or another, but not always. This big picture of overall success, the spread of Christianity around the world, is often overshadowed or lost sight of if we look only at individual cases. I�ve mentioned several missionaries have had very, very difficult times in their personal ministries, Adoniram Judson in Burma, for instance, who left behind a relatively small number of converts to Christianity and suffered a great deal in his personal life and for the sake of being a witness to the gospel in that difficult place. If we just look at his individual ministry, we might wonder whether he was really successful. But if we look at the overall picture, what he initiated and made it possible for others to follow, we find that the big picture is one of really amazing success world wide. In just over 100 years, Christianity had become a truly global religion planted firmly on all continents. ***** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *****