Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

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Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century

April 11, 2024 Books

It is no small challenge to define and outline the life and history of any of the three major Christian communities in the world. Evangelicals, who some estimate make up 600 million of Christians around the world, Roman Catholics who are estimated at 1.2 billion and the World Council of Churches (including Orthodox Churches) numbered at 550 million – are all varied in history and their make up.

Evangelicals Around the World: A Global Handbook for the 21st Century attempts to blaze a trail: to set out to provide definition as to who Evangelicals are.

Over the past decades many others have defined our particular community in its various forms. Our team decided it was time to provide our own definition.

As the Evangelical community has grown, especially in the past few decades, its influence in some places is significant, and in other countries and regions, Evangelical influence is much smaller.

This book is a beginning. It is an imperfect book for an imperfect community. Each of us will find articles or data with which we may not agree. There will be places, people and events that you would have included, that we did not.

As we outlined the book, we consulted far and wide. With our finite amount of space, we chose how much we could devote to various topics. Our team then asked scholars and practicioners around the world – those researchers and writers with specialized knowledge – to put their fingers to the keyboard. It was not a simple task to match the right writer with the best topic. Each writer presents his or her own understanding of what are often complex subjects, full of nuance and potential debate. You won’t be surprised to learn that the editorial committee doesn’t always agree with everything written. Such is the reality of a complex community. We stand by the integrity of the writer’s scholarship, as they reflected on this wide and varied Christian community, past, present and future.

We invite you to join the journey as this edition inevitably leads into a second edition. Please send your thoughts, suggestions and additions to handbook@worldea.org. These will be used for future considerations.

I’m grateful for my colleagues who served on the editorial team: Todd Johnson, as Associate Editor, Karen Stiller as Managing Editor and Mark Hutchinson as Regions Editor. They poured their expertise and time into making this a reality. As well we are so thankful for others who served us at the very right times with their immense skills in writing, editing and research: Debra Fieguth, Bert Hickman and Rob Robotham. Please read through the list of contributing writers. Their time and effort made this a reality.

On the previous page we noted our thanks to those people, foundations, churches and agencies that provided the development funds to get this up and running. Your vision and support has made this a reality, and for you I again express my thanks.

This book is about a part of Christ’s church that is growing in new and wonderful and at times troubling ways. I noted it is imperfect, wrestling with issues and challenges which inevitably face those who have the temerity to believe that Jesus Christ came to our world, as God, dying and rising again so we might live eternally.

May you thrill to the stories, histories and issues, knowing that the Spirit of God is leading, empowering and pouring into his people the very life of our risen Lord.

When I am asked, “What is an Evangelical?” my answer is: “Enthusiastic Christians.” That is, Christians who believe the Bible to be true, and God’s message of love and his plan for life, peace and reconciliation. We are a community of Christians who want the world to know this very good news story.

Brian C. Stiller, General Editor

This handbook—with his carefully, edited reports, many graphics, and worldwide coverage – represents the first splendid effort to tell the whole Evangelical story. Carefully gathered information, strategic guides to ministry, and the oversight of the World Evangelical Alliance and ensures that this will be a landmark volume.

Mark Noll, Frances A Cananey professor of history at the University of Notre Dame, and author of The New Shape of World Christianity.